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Wednesday, November 22 2017 @ 01:59 PM CST

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Thought for the day

Public money drives out private money.
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Are politicians, as a group, insane?

Thought for the day: the desire to be a politician is itself a sign of mental illness.

I was thinking about this on the way home from breakfast. So what do I find, linked at Instapundit? This Esquire article:

On January 20, Barack Obama became president of a deranged nation. He did so apparently taking no notice of the fact that a good portion of the country, a country that otherwise repeatedly voiced its support for him in poll after poll after poll, continued to be completely out of its mind. He was calm and reasoned, and he spoke in measured tones about the challenges he and the nation were facing. And then he seemed to go manic on us.
I wonder though, if the impulse which sends individuals to seek political power of any kind might not be some kind of mental disorder.

A cheerful though, is it not? This might be why I have the general opinion that anybody who wants to be President probably shouldn't be allowed anywhere near Washington, D.C., let alone the Oval Office.

Update: Dr. Helen (the wife of Instapundit, linked above) graciously and quickly answered an e-mail I sent her on this subject, and I think the thrust of her reply was that "insane" is probably too strong. She notes that (many but perhaps not all) politicians are prone to narcissism--and for whatever reason, the rest of us are prone to vote for narcissists. So perhaps I should be asking "Are politicians, as a group, mentally ill" instead, as narcissism is a recognized mental illness.

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Thought for the day

Sustainability isn't sustainable.
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Thought for the day

Science is a collection of brilliantly wrong ideas, waiting to be improved.
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Thought for the day

Actually, this should probably be the thought for the next four years.

From Instapundit:

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: From Robert Heinlein:
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

I’m just sayin’.
Obama is systematically driving out the truly creative, productive, profitable people from society.

Bad luck, that.

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Thought for the Day: life without edges

Worthy of note, this post from a while back from the American Thinker:
The Left's offer of a life without edges began when Franklin Delano Roosevelt pushed Social Security as a kind of investment without risk in 1935. Through payroll deductions, which are simply taxes by another name, Social Security was created with the understanding that the working class would have guaranteed retirement savings. Today, we know that this grand promise of investment without risk has amounted to investment without return. It is impoverishing rather enriching for the hard working people who gain approximately two percent annual interest on their retirement savings in Social Security, while private savings accounts pay eight percent or more annually.

And where is the Left on this issue when a Republican Senator or Congressman calls for privatization of Social Security? They are aligned with Hillary's and Obama's position of refusing to look at the facts when people point out the bankruptcy of leftist contrivances like universal healthcare.

In 1947 the Left discovered the Separation of Church and State in the Constitution. This eventually led the benevolent Left to protect us from too much exposure to religion by prohibiting prayer in public schools. Ironically, this new separation from religion "for our own good" has resulted not simply in schools without prayer, but education without morality. But of course, the problem is that the Left is still teaching a morality; it is simply not a Christian one.
It seems to me that much of the difference in worldview between the well-meaning Left and the well-meaning Right is that those on the Left tend to believe that people can be consistently good, honest, kind, and well-meaning, if given the proper leadership.  Thus, those on the Left are always surprised when their well-meaning interventions fail--sometimes, as in the Soviet Union, quite spectacularly.

Those on the Right tend to believe that people are in fact quite inconsistently good, honest, kind, and well-meaning.  This is why the American Founding Fathers sought to strictly limit the amount of power that we gave to our government.

Limits to the powers wielded by politicians and governments are almost always better than expanding those political powers, because the expansion of those powers tends to have negative unexpected consequences that the Left never anticipates.  A life without edges tends to toss a lot of people right off of the edge, in the name of "equality" and "fairness."

You can never guarantee either.  The best that flawed Man can do is strive to provide the best environment for those who choose to may seek to better themselves.  That system, from empirical evidence, is truly free-market capitalism tempered by a truly limited government of tightly enumerated powers.

We don't really have either any more, anywhere on Earth.  More's the pity.
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Thought for the day--on taxation

Catching up on some blog reading, and came across this from the QandO Blog, a link to an Arnold Kling post:
Message to Republicans: if you cut spending on "worthy causes" to zero, you still would not balance the budget. You will have to raise personal income taxes.

Message to Democrats: if you increased personal income tax receipts by 25 percent (a ginormous tax increase), you still would not balance the budget. You will have to cut back on "worthy causes."

Message to the AARP: if Social Security and Medicare continue to be "untouchable," then y'all had better buy guns, because in twenty years there won't be any money left to pay for national defense, much less for any "worthy causes."
Ditto that from me.  Bigtime.
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Thought for the day

Any "science-based" statement which does not start with the phrase "I could be wrong, but . . . " is not science.  It's religion.  Or, possibly, philosophy.

(And no, the above statement is not itself a statement of science, but of philosophy.  It is an a priori statement--a statement of the mindset which is a necessary but not sufficient condition for doing science.  If you can't say "I could be wrong, but . . . " then you're not arguing science.)

Let's try it:

I could be wrong, but Evolution is how God decided to make the biological world work.
I could be wrong, but Evolution is not an accurate description of how modern species came to be.
I could be wrong, but global warming is primarily caused by human activity.
I could be wrong, but global warming is not primarily caused by human activity.
I could be wrong, but "string theory" is an overly complex dead-end shell of a physics theory.
I could be wrong, but "string theory" is the long-awaited "theory of everything" which will unlock the universe for our understanding.

Notice how the simple admission "I could be wrong" turns the phrase following it from a dogmatic statement of perceived fact, to a hypothesis which can be researched, discussed, and possibly discarded based on better evidence?

Let's also remember that many now-discarded scientific ideas were once the "consensus views" of scientists of the day.  Agreement between the majority of scientists does not equal truth.  Phlogiston, the ether, and the earth-centric universe all were, in their day, the leading explanations of how the world worked.  And they were all wrong.  Einstein showed that Newton was, in essence, wrong.  Modern physicists are now beginning to wonder if Einstein was wrong.  To be scientific is to be skeptical, even of those theories which seem most true.

More science, less religion, please.
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Thought For The Day

Government is very, very good at making things that regular people want to do more difficult.  It is not so good at making those things easier.
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