Musings from Mars Banner Image
For Software Addicts: Yes!MaybeNah!
News Posts In Category <em>   Philosophy</em>

News Posts In Category Philosophy

June 8th, 2012

The big-talk, no-action Congress

The big-talk, no-action Congress - The Washington Post. Dana Milbank writes an excellent column for the Post. Lately, there have been a rash of articles pointing out what has been obvious to me for years -- namely, it's the Republicans in Congress who are to blame for that body's lack of progress in doing its very important work for the Nation. Here, Milbank describes the inaction in compelling terms, pointing out the silliness of the few "accomplishments" that have been claimed -- such as passing The Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012. Really, guys. Get rid of the Republicans this fall, and we can finally start to move forward again.
    
  • del.icio.us
  • Google
  • Slashdot
  • Technorati
  • blogmarks
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
June 8th, 2012

In search for civility online, is the Golden Rule the answer?

ISO civility in online comments - The Washington Post. This is a spot-on article pointing out the horrible state of interpersonal communication on the web. Nothing new, really -- it's been this way for years, but it's just getting worse. One big insight is the relationship between the "blinders on" mentality of those who troll the web and the "don't bother me with facts" mentality of the Tea Party and their ilk, like survivalists and members of the Government Paranoid. One group feeds the other, and they never read anything but what they agree with. These folks aren't looking for a conversation -- they're looking for a fight. And the rest of us must try really hard to turn the other cheek and not let the fight begin.
    
  • del.icio.us
  • Google
  • Slashdot
  • Technorati
  • blogmarks
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
December 19th, 2010

Senate Exposes Gaping Hole in Conflict-of-Interest Law

Senate panel ban seen as double standard.

Just days after I opened an exploration of the way humans view conflict of interest, and how their personal self-interest makes understanding the way this topic is approached in different contexts, the Washington Post publishes a front-page article that exposes the kind of conundrum I'm planning to look into.

The Senate, you see, has no laws restricting the investments its members can make into companies whose fortunes their votes may affect. In particular, they may freely invest in companies that are major players in specific industries overseen by Senate committees. In the Post article, the industry is defense, and the committee typically has "inside knowledge" into the defense systems that will be built, and which companies will benefit from their votes.

This seems strange enough, but as the Post article points out, the Congress has passed laws that prohibit such investments by those appointed to run the agencies — such as Defense — that will let the contracts to carry out the Senate's decisions. Not only that, but such laws have long been on the books to regulate investment behavior by rank-and-file Federal employees.

    
  • del.icio.us
  • Google
  • Slashdot
  • Technorati
  • blogmarks
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
April 21st, 2007

George Carlin Must Be A Martian

Carlin, Choosing His Words Carefully - washingtonpost.com I felt an immediate kinship with one of our godfathers of comedy yesterday as I read a report of this interview in the Washington Post. Clearly, Carlin is a Martian stranded here on Earth like the rest of us. Looking around, we see humans behaving in ways that seem totally alien, yet appear so natural to them. I wouldn't go as far as Carlin in saying I don't care about humans---I do. But I often consider them hopeless cases, locked in modes of behavior that they're powerless to change, which ultimately are terribly self-destructive to their species. He also seems confused by the way humans behave in the United States, not realizing it's no different with humans in similar circumstances around the globe. There are certainly some advanced cultures on Earth that are more like those on Mars, but they depend almost entirely on ideal socioeconomic and geopolitical circumstances---not on some magical evolution of the humans that compose them. Carlin says,
"At some point [in life] I realized I didn't really care about this species"... "That I didn't really care about this country deep down. That I was in them but not of them. And I found myself in a divorce from my species and my culture."
    
  • del.icio.us
  • Google
  • Slashdot
  • Technorati
  • blogmarks
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
Posted in:Philosophy, |
Just Say No To Flash