But Divided They’ll Fall

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There’s a problem with unions in America. They make the market work too well.

I’ve got a trite rule of thumb for when a politician speaks: Assume the opposite and work back to the truth from there. It’ll save you time. So when the hacks from AFP or the various other Right to Work lobbyists start saying that union contracts are anti-free market I’m not surprised to find they’re almost exactly wrong. Continue reading

Constructivist Theory of American Federalism: Propositional Weaknesses in the Idea of Self-Governance, Then and Now

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American federalism faces as many (if not more) challenges today as it did during the time of the founding. Certain critical topics, such as national security, are easily identifiable through study of the discursive practices surrounding American federalism. Others, while not directly (some might say explicitly) addressed during the Constitutional debates, still require detailed attention filtered though a lens sensitive to American federalism concerns—such as environmental protection and disaster relief. There are no easy solutions to any of these issues; thus, reliance on any a priori ideological formulas for action will certainly exacerbate the problems and frustrate both the American public and its government agencies, at all levels. This natural outgrowth of partisan-political discourse places party interest above that of the public and surely endangers the welfare of American citizens, jeopardizing the fruits of their labor, fueling mistrust in American political institutions, and compromising the integrity of the American republic anytime an unforeseen circumstance materializes.

∞Confusion thus ensues∞

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Scientific Jouissance and What Lies Beneath the “Pleasure Principle”

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“An ego thus educated has become ‘reasonable’; it no longer lets itself be governed by the pleasure principle, but obeys the reality principle, which also, at bottom, seeks to obtain pleasure, but pleasure which is assured through taking account of reality, even though it is pleasure postponed and diminished”

Freud.

The cover of the March issue of National Geographic Magazine suggests that there is a “War on Science.”  The title of the feature article asks “Why Do Many Reasonable Doubt Science?”   I think the question should ask “why do so many unreasonable people doubt science.”  Or what makes them believe they are even capable of the task. When reasonable people “doubt science” we don’t ask why(?).  We call it the peer-review process, the healthy habit of scientific skepticism whereby scientists’ findings are meticulously put through the tests of rigor, of falsifiability and verification through reproducible results.

Indeed, in the article it is suggested that scientists even find a kind of professional pleasure in skepticism, in pointing out to their colleagues where their  studies may have faltered.  On the topic of “pleasure” Freud was one of the most famous to theorize that people (yes, even scientists) instinctually seek biological (material) and psychological (social.professional) pleasure and avoid pain therein.  Thus it’s not unreasonable, in a Freudian sense, for scientists to find pleasure in their professional, critical role; some might argue that its even a crucial part of the “success” of science.

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Unit Shifter

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Hillary Clinton’s gonna run for President.

I’d just say Hillary Clinton’s gonna be President but the Republicans haven’t even really teased their lineup for 2016 yet and I feel like I’m gonna jinx a good showing if I say too much right now. Can’t write them off entirely yet, gotta give ’em time to feel things out. Let ’em show a little leg.

Reread that sentence, but keep an image of Ted Cruz in your mind. Yeah. Continue reading

Half-Cocked

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In business and sports and those annoying moments when your buddy takes the skee ball tickets too seriously you get some guy telling you “it’s time to go to WAR!” and probably fist pumping and it’s very exciting and then it’s over and it was not in fact actually war it was probably just a ploy to get people to pay for the overpriced wings and down a couple pitchers of light beer and you remember you don’t see enough of your nephews and really ought to spend more time outside or just get to bed earlier and really you don’t even know why you keep getting talked into this. Jeesh. But the WAR part comes up all the goddamn time and it comes up a lot as a metaphor in politics which is a great way to get people fired up and quite frankly is absolutely wrong and you need to stop doing that.

That’s the convenient thing about war. When a war is over you can take everyone who was a problem and isn’t on your side and put them up against a wall and shoot them. That’s why we call it war.

In politics even when you win the other side is still going to be there. Continue reading

Come Down From The Mountain

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In modern politics (American at least) it seems there are two basic stances you can take: you can be apolitical, or you can be loud. Nearly everyone seems to agree that this is a problem, and absolutely everyone agrees on the source of the problem.

It is, of course, Those People. They don’t listen. They just don’t understand. I swear to God Margaret, I think They’re being obtuse on purpose. No one could be that stupid. Yet, inexplicably, They are. Continue reading