Showing posts with label wisdom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wisdom. Show all posts

Friday, August 22, 2014

Quote Of The Day

The clock on life is ticking. If you wait for life to be fair you may be waiting until life is over.
 - Charles M. Blow

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

On Knowledge And Wisdom

"Supposing is good, but finding out is better." - Mark Twain

For some reason, newspapers and blogs today are full of discussions about knowledge, facts, wisdom, stupidity, and how to tell the difference.

Nicholas Kristoff: Don't dismiss the humanities:

Noah Smith: I'm with stupid - and Paul Krugman:

Simon Wren-Lewis: Policy-Based Evidence Making, a play on the opposite side of evidence-based policy;

Joshua Smith: EPI And AEI Agree: Cutting Jobless Benefits Did Not Boost Employment; [the case of North Carolina figures in this discussion].

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday, March 8, 2012

All Hat And No Horse

(And not much under the hat, either).

Where is Molly Ivins when we really need her?

In 1776, my ancestor Roderick Rawlins was born in Guilford County, NC.

He didn't stay there. He migrated to Tennessee, Kentucky, across the Ohio to Indiana and Illinois. In 1845 he and his extended family moved by wagon train to the Republic of Texas. Many of his descendants are still there.

If I had been born in Texas instead of Oklahoma, I would count as a seventh generation Texan. Come to think of it, I once lived in Texas, so I can still claim that.

I know about the posturing that goes on in Texas and the foolish policies that result.

Here's one: Texas has cut funding to Planned Parenthood by two-thirds, leaving poor women without affordable health care clinics for themselves and their children.

Texas could, of course, pick up that function itself.

Fat chance!

This is the Texas corollary to the doctrine of less government. Target: women.

But you can buy a firearm with no waiting period, no registration and can carry a rifle or shotgun into any establishment without hindrance. Need a machine gun? No problem.

Religion is really big in Texas.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

All Politics Is Local - Pamlico County Version

Last night's meeting (Feb. 20) of the Pamlico County Commissioners failed to adopt a measure to join adjoining counties in hiring a lobbyist to work the state legislature for repeal of the Ferry toll. The vote was a tie - three commissioners for (Mele, Heath and Delamar) and three opposed (Spain, Brinson and Ollison). Commissioner Holton was absent for only the third time in the past ten years.

The commission also failed to adopt a motion to allow the County Attorney to expend up to $5,000 to research legal issues connected with a possible law suit, including the issue of whether the county has standing to file such a suit. That motion failed by the same vote.

How could that happen? One reason may be that residents of the three districts represented by Mr. Spain, Mr. Brinson and Mr. Ollison don't believe that they are affected by the tolls. I believe no one from those three districts spoke out against the tolls at last week's public hearings.

Representation in this country has always been based on geography. That is, representatives were supposed to represent the interests of the constituents in their own districts, not necessarily the population at large. This has been true from as early as 1750, when the phrase "no taxation without representation" was first used. The Parliament contended that they provided "virtual representation" to all subjects of the crown, wherever they lived. Americans rejected that view. We still do.

So don't expect members of any elected body to represent the general welfare of the entire municipality, county, state or nation instead of the welfare of the district from which they were elected. It isn't in our genes.

Political Scholar Richard Neustadt made the point decades ago (during the Kennedy administration) that the challenge of alliance diplomacy was to convince enough people and the right people on the other side that what we want to accomplish is what is also in their interest. It seems to me this principle applies to all politics and diplomacy if anything is ever to be accomplished.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

American Exceptionalism?

Were the police on the campus of the University of California, Davis, exceptionally annoyed? Perhaps they were exceptionally incompetent.

One of the mysteries of the Occupy movement is how, from coast to coast, authorities have acted with disproportionate force to a petty annoyance. A justified petty annoyance, at that, but it hardly matters.

Just more evidence of how little wisdom informs the world's governance.