Memorial Day Weekend

I’m going to be out most of the day, supervising a job, so entertain yourselves, and I’ll catch up later.

Well, we’ve made it to the traditional start of an American summer, Memorial Day. We’ll be talking about various aspects of that throughout the weekend. But for today, let’s just relax.

If I were asked to provide a synonym for America it would be movement. We’re a restless, impatient people with itchy feet. That’s why our ancestors became Americans, why the initials GTT were once famous in Tennessee, why we went westering until the Pacific got in the way. And still today, a wise man said, “To the British 200 miles is a long distance where to the American 200 years is a long time”. If we have a motto other the E Pluribus Unum, it has to be “real quick”. de Tocqueville noted it in us all those years ago, and it’s still a major part of us.

A lot of that depends on cheap energy, back in the day, we walked from St Joe to Oregon and California. Our Clipper ships were amongst the finest (and fastest) in the world. And gave the world such songs of loneliness as Shenandoah.

But that movement had a price, and you can hear it in that song. Those folks westering, and the ones they left behind, knew that if they were lucky, they would receive a few letters from their friends and family in the rest of their life. And thus the American quest for faster movement, and freedom of movement.

First, the steam train, with its promise of going almost anywhere, and it’s successor the airplane. But the real mark of America is the privately owned motorcar, epitomizing two important strains in our wanderlust. The ability to go where we want, when we want.

And faster, always faster. That’s why the Greatest Spectacle in Sports is American and will be this weekend, in Indianapolis, as always. By the way, did you know that the first winner, Ray Harroun, invented the rear view mirror? Like old Satchel Paige said, “Don’t look over your shoulder, someone might be gaining on you!” Like all of us expatriate Hoosiers, you can sing along with Jim Nabors and the Purdue All-American Marching Band.

And don’t forget to culturally appropriate a few bratwursts and beers, either! 🙂

What’s that got to do with a proper view of Memorial Day? As far back as the Civil War itself, foreign observers were marveling at the speed and fluidity of American Armies, they still do, especially combined with the awesome firepower we have always sought.

But a lot of it has to do with cheap (or affordable) energy, Our malaise in large part dates to that day back in 1973 that  OPEC shut off the oil spigot. We’ve never been quite ourselves since. Well, that malaise seems to be in remission.

Get happy. Summer beckons. Not only bike and hike but also drive, bus, train, and fly to a better environment–your self-selected environment.

The automobile is environmentalism-on-wheels. The open road is freedom to escape the concrete for the great beyond. Mountains, rivers, hills, forests, even beautiful green golf courses–it is all a drive away. (And if it makes you happy CAP, those ‘huge profits’ of “Big Oil’ are a few years absent.)

Everyone else: forget the spin and go for a spin!

Each year, MasterResource celebrates the beginning of the peak-driving season knowing that our free-market philosophy is about energy abundance and affordability and reliability. And there is little to apologize for. When is the last time you got a bad tank of gasoline, anyway?

Oil, gas, and coal have been and continue to be technologically transformed into super-clean energy resources. Carbon-based energies are growing more abundant, not less. And energy/climate alarmism is losing steam on all fronts (except the shouting).

The real energy sustainability problem is statism, not free consumer choice. As Matt Ridley concluded: “There is little doubt that the damage being done by climate-change policies currently exceeds the damage being done by climate change.” As Alex Epstein is telling each one of us to tell our neighbors: I Love Fossil Fuels.

From: Celebrate the Open Road

But, for now: Sad to realize we’ve lost both Jim Nabors and Dinah Shore in the last year. Price of getting old, I reckon, but one that I regret.

Go on, get out there, our soldiers didn’t risk and sometimes lose their lives in all those wars so you could sit around and mope about all that’s wrong with the world. Go, and have fun, the world’s problems will still be here for you, and you’ll be better for it.

Green New Dream and Brexit: the Musical

Well, I think we’ll do a few more videos today.

The Clear Energy Alliance has a series of videos up explaining just how incredibly stupid Occasional Cortex’s (or AOC, if you insist) Green New Deal is.

I’ll post a couple of the series, but more at the link.

and

They are completely right, of course. This whole plan is substandard for college freshmen over a football weekend. But that is fairly standard for Congress.

Or Parliament for that matter, Brexit the Musical is available. It’s not quite up to the standard of Hamilton, but if the F bomb in a posh British accent doesn’t overly bother you, it’s pretty good. But perhaps a bit NSFW

Hat tip to PowerLine for both.

SOTU 2019, and The Old Dominion blows up

The President gave an outstanding SOTU the other night, If you missed it, here it is. I know the feeling, I finally found enough time last night.

One of the things that is very rare is that he is very good with a set piece speech like this, while also being very good with the off the cuff ones, like his rallies. Very unusual for anyone to be good at both. PowerLine and others report that CBS and CNN snap polls found 76% approval.

He’s got a good message, a quite traditional pro-America message when he can get it through the media, who does their best to stifle it. The shutdown delay, and associated hype, probably helped him, as well.

One of the losers of the night was the Dems and their Mean Girl Caucus. It’s not a good look when Congresscritters (who are unpopular, all on their own) remind all and sundry of both the cool kids in junior high and the KKK. You know, like this.

And that is how they came off to me, and probably a lot of others. Sitting there stone-faced at the receipt of much good news about America, only cheering for themselves. As usual.

Then there is the mess the Dims have made in Virginia. Melanie Phillips explains it well.

But now Democrats have revealed a brutalised contempt for life itself.

In the Virginia assembly, Democrat delegate Kathy Tran proposed a law loosening restrictions on abortion in the final stages of pregnancy. She later confirmed that this would permit the termination of a pregnancy up to the very moment of delivery, in other words after labour had started.

The capacity to keep premature babies alive at an ever earlier stage in pregnancy has produced a fraught debate about the need to reduce the abortion time limit. But if a baby is in the process of being born, it is by definition capable of life. It is not longer a foetus; it is indisputably a baby on its way into the world. The suggestion that it might be killed at the very moment of its birth is grotesque – and it’s hard to understand how in practice this could be done without committing infanticide.

The Tran bill failed to pass, but not before it was defended by Virginia’s Democrat governor Ralph Northam, who is himself a paediatric neurologist. He told a WTOP radio show that Tran’s comments were “blown out of proportion” and said third-trimester abortions were rare.

These were done, he said, “in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s not viable. If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen.The infant would be delivered. The infant would be comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother. So I think this was really blown out of proportion”.

Northam was immediately accused of promoting infanticide, an accusation he vehemently denied. His spokeswoman said he had been “talking about prognosis and medical treatment, not ending the life of a delivered baby”; his words were being taken out of context by Republicans, she said, and the notion that he would approve of killing infants was “disgusting.”

But what else would any such resuscitation “discussion” be about? Moreover, Tran’s proposed measure wasn’t about non-viable foetuses or catastrophic deformities or allowing terribly sick newborns to die. It was instead about third-trimester abortion, the deliberate extinction of any viable infant life, in circumstances where continuing with the pregnancy was deemed to threaten the mother’s life or her physical or mental health.

You already know my views, I could be persuaded that anyone espousing such views should be aborted themselves before they can hurt more kids. YMMV, but I’d be surprised.

In any case, the world blew up for Dims in Virginia, Melanie again.

So either Northam was being disingenuous, or he didn’t understand what Tran’s proposals actually were.

What then happened, however, graphically demonstrated how the Democrats are now being sucked into a woke vortex of their own making. It was revealed that in 1984 Northam had featured, on his medical-school yearbook page, a photograph of a man in blackface and a man in a KuKluxKlan hood. Northam immediately apologised for appearing in the picture; then said that neither person in the photograph was him; then he said he had put on blackface decades ago to look like Michael Jackson for a dance contest.

All hell then broke loose and Northam’s future as Virginia’s governor – an office he won after accusing his opponents of racism – is now in jeopardy.

But Virginia’s Democrats then descended into yet another circle of politically correct hell. Virginia’s Attorney General, Mark Herring, admitted that he also had worn blackface in the 1980s. And Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who was poised to succeed Northam if he was hounded out of office, was suddenly accused by a fellow Democrat of sexual assault.

It gets better. The Atlantic reports:

“Fairfax has emphatically denied any wrongdoing and says he had a consensual sexual encounter with his accuser, Vanessa Tyson, a professor of politics at Scripps College. (He has also accusedLevar Stoney, a rival Democrat who is mayor of Richmond, of spreading the story. Stoney denies doing so.) This week, Tyson hired the same law firm that represented Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Justice Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her in high school. Fairfax has also refused to resign.”

So now Virginia’s top three Democrat officials are simultaneously accused of advocating infanticide, displaying racial bigotry and committing sexual assault. […]

What’s happened in Virginia is that the cultural firebombs that the left repeatedly throws at its opponents over race, sexual violence and abortion have suddenly blown back at them and are setting their hair alight. As Rich Lowry writes, in the coming primary season no Democrat will be safe.

“Any lapses will be interpreted through the most hostile lens, made all the more brutal by the competition of a large field of candidates vying for the approval of a radicalized base. The Democrat nomination battle might as well be fought on the campus of Oberlin College and officiated by the director of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion”.

You’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.

Meanwhile, over a sickening culture of institutionalised dehumanisation no liberal progressive turns a hair. Why should they? They created it.

In other words, conservatives are fighting back, using the tools the Dims developed and have been using forever. It’s time and way past time.

The Democratic Party is brutalised and degraded, perhaps irrevocably. And millions of decent Americans are watching this political and cultural death spiral, and drawing their own horrified conclusions.

As that old Progressive Democrat Harry S Truman said, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

Thank God.

A Boondoggle in Hoosierland

From James Taylor at American Spectator.

Under a renewable energy proposal from Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), Indiana consumers would face a 12 percent electricity rate hike, which will cost the average household more than $100 per year in additional electricity costs. NIPSCO is justifying its renewable power rate hike by asserting renewable power saves consumers money, but there’s absolutely no truth to these claims.

Indiana ranks seventh in the nation in coal production and generates 68 percent of its power from coal. Together, affordable coal and natural gas generate 95 percent of Indiana’s electricity. As a result, Indiana electricity prices are substantially lower than the national average. National electricity prices are 10 percent higher than in Indiana.

Unfortunately, NIPSCO wants to put an end to these low prices. It is proposing to shut down two perfectly functioning coal power plants that provide much of NIPSCO’s low-cost electricity. In their place, NIPSCO wants to build expensive wind and solar power equipment and battery storage for when the wind isn’t blowing or the Sun isn’t shining. NIPSCO claims transitioning from affordable coal power to wind and solar will save consumers money, but at the same time that it makes these unfounded claims, NIPSCO is proposing to hike electricity rates 12 percent to pay for the renewable energy “savings.”

NIPSCO is a government-protected monopoly utility, with Indiana state government guaranteeing NIPSCO a profit of approximately 10 percent for every dollar it spends. Accordingly, NIPSCO has a financial self-interest to engage in costly business practices. Building expensive new power facilities, even when existing facilities are working perfectly well, is one of the most effective ways for NIPSCO to ramp up its spending and guaranteed profits, and it does so at the expense of consumers, many of whom will have no knowledge that their electricity bills are about to rise substantially.

In return for NIPSCO receiving guaranteed profits on its expenditures, the Indiana Utility Regulation Commission (IURC) must approve any NIPSCO major investment proposals. In its filing with the IURC, NIPSCO claims its proposal to shut down its coal power plants will save consumers more than $4 billion.

More at the above link.

Which it won’t, not least because windpower installations rarely last beyond 20 years, solar I don’t know, but doubt they are any more durable, and with current technology, batteries won’t last a decade.

It’s pie in the sky bullshit, dreamed up to placate the left, which many of the executives of these companies are of anyway.

But a blast from the past for me. NIPSCO was part of my growing up. As I’ve said, my dad ran a Rural Electric Coop, one of those local associations formed when companies like NIPSCO wouldn’t extend their lines out into the country (mostly farms in those days). Those coops had a love/hate relationship with the privately owned companies. Bought power from them, sometimes even shared poles, but fought like brother and sisters about everything, especially the price of power. In the field, we cooperated fine, which is normal.

So as it happened, dad knew the guy that built NIPSCO from a pretty small municipal water company to the electric and gas utility for most of northern Indiana. Knew him and respected him, and it was returned. They often opposed each other, but each knew the other would fight reasonably fairly.

When I was in my early teens I came by dad’s office one day (most days, really), his secretary waved me off, he had a visitor, not uncommon. I went and amused myself in the shop. A half hour or so later here came dad with a guy in the nicest suit I’d ever seen through our pretty neat but not sparkling shop. He was the CEO of NIPSCO, and the three of us spent a couple hours sitting on shop stools, shooting the breeze. He was a pretty interesting guy to talk to, much more of an office guy than dad was. Learned quite a bit that afternoon. Never forgot how nice he was to me, and how complimentary to dad, either.

Doesn’t happen much like that anymore, that respect for the opposition, the world has changed, and not for the better. Hard men, but fair, now we have soft men (boys really, more than I was at 13) but completely willing to employ any means to win, fair or not. And mostly, that’s what is running our government and our companies, even our unions these days. Running it all, right into the ground.

This deal? Par for the course. Good deal perhaps for the shareholders, certainly for the management, crap for the customer.

No better, no worse than any other alternative energy scheme, really. It’s all the same.

Strangling in Red Tape

True – Code of Federal Regulations governing small business

This is interesting, from Jack Doll, writing in The Federalist.

In his seminal and controversial books “The Bell Curve”and “Coming Apart,” Charles Murray makes the compelling case that differences in intelligence between groups is creating a chasm between the rich and the poor that is only widening. In the modern age, the ability to critically think, read at an advanced level, and perform complex mathematics makes the difference between working in engineering, accounting, law, or the sandwich line at Subway.

This is not to say there isn’t worth in these non-intelligence-intensive fields. My father was a firefighter and although he didn’t have to perform calculus to do his job, the people he saved were likely eternally grateful either way. And, as Uncle Eddie in the hilarious TV show “Grounded for Life” once said, “If everyone could do anything they wanted, who would make the sandwiches?”

Well, if you say so. It might be true for making sandwiches at Subway, but being a firefighter, or at least living through being a firefighter, is certainly a way of making a living that requires intelligence. Think about it, you drive up to a building engulfed in flames, you have to decide whether to enter or whether it’s going to collapse, whether the heat is too high to survive, and many other real-life decisions that must be taken right now. I do not think the author means to demean his father here, but those of us that deal with things in real-life and real-time, see things not as something interesting to write about over the next few days, but as problems that have to be solved real-quick using the knowledge that we already have. One can learn a lot from books, and I’d bet that firefighters do, but the best knowledge comes from experience. The old saying is this, “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment, hopefully, someone else’s”.

In all seriousness, however, the “intelligence gap” is a worsening problem that partially helps explain the rise of Donald Trump. In the book “Shattered,” Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen quote Hillary Clinton aides who rave about Hillary’s policy “wonkiness” (a word only used in Washington DC). They detail how Hillary Clinton could have discussions for hours about the nuances of law and schemes to help “the children” or “women” (classic Hillary talking points). All of that sounds wonderful. Hillary acolytes who read that book I could barely get through might come out saying “she’s so smart, why on Earth isn’t she President?” They also unwittingly answer their own question.

Hillary Clinton’s plans, in reality, are Rube Goldberg machines. Rube Goldberg was a comic strip author who drew complex machines that accomplished a simple goal. For example a “self-operating napkin” (per Wikipedia) would operate as such: [Goldberg was also an engineer, UC Berkeley, ’04. Neo]

This, on the other hand, is an excellent and true point, with the extra added benefit of requiring even more bureaucrats to administer. Win, win, only the people lose, and who cares about them, other than their tax money.

Soup spoon (A) is raised to mouth, pulling string (B) and thereby jerking ladle (C), which throws cracker (D) past parrot (E). Parrot jumps after cracker and perch (F) tilts, upsetting seeds (G) into pail (H). Extra weight in pail pulls cord (I), which opens and ignites lighter (J), setting off skyrocket (K), which causes sickle (L) to cut string (M), allowing pendulum with attached napkin to swing back and forth, thereby wiping chin”

The usual definition of a Rube Goldberg contraption is a mechanism to accomplish a simple task involving a ridiculously overcomplicated series of devices. It is a perennial fun subject in engineering. When I was at Purdue, and continuing till this day, I think, the Engineering school sponsors a contest to design and make work the most ridiculous machines. It is the opposite of elegant design, which is enough to accomplish the mission and not a bit more. See the Golden Gate Bridge for an elegant example.

Enough is important though, see Galloping Gertie. And I’d bet somewhere in that organization there was an engineer, draftsman, or construction worker who knew what was going to happen to that bridge. There always is. But too much is just as bad, wasting resources, time, and money. It may not catastrophically fail, although sometimes it will, but it will never work properly.

One of the major issues with these regulatory schemes is that high-IQ people who love details (and are extraordinarily boring at parties) are too caught up with their own Rube Goldberg machines to see the obvious. It is reminiscent of the character of Lucifer in John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Lucifer (or Satan) is highly intelligent and rational (which explains why he is God’s highest angel). However, he is banished from God’s heavenly kingdom because he attempts an insurrection, as he believes himself to be as high as God. Rationality falls in love with its own creation and falls. Regulation creates unforeseen issues, which are papered over by more regulations. Eventually what we’re left with is a 20,000-page bill which is almost predestined to fail.

He’s speaking here of the Obamacare, which not only failed quicker than Galloping Gertie but was basically impossible to build, these designed pieces could not be made to fit. In my world, there is a chasm between the engineers, who can design the most amazing things, and the people who have to build them and make them work. Over 90% of the time, if built as designed, it won’t work, and can’t be made to. But good practical people can modify it, dink around and make it work, often better than the original design called for. It takes both.

The problem with people like Hillary, Obama, and a bunch of others, especially in Washington, is that they have no real world experience, they’ve lived their entire life off the government’s teat. The government produces nothing, and neither do the people who work for it (other, perhaps, than red tape and trouble) which they far too often use to hamstring the productive people who make a good life possible. Nothing new there, really, its always been that way.

Read his article, it’s a good one.

 

Progressive Authoritarianism

responsibility-42

This is a bit newer (April 2015) than most of the posts this week, but I think you’ll find it valuable.

This is quite interesting, and a fair read of where our society/ government is trying to go, and why. It also goes into some detail as to why if we are wise, we probably don’t want to go there. By Joel Kotkin writing in The Orange County Register.

Left-leaning authors often maintain that conservatives “hate democracy,” and, historically, this is somewhat true. “The political Right,” maintains the progressive economist and columnist Paul Krugman, “has always been uncomfortable with democracy.”
But today it’s progressives themselves who, increasingly, are losing faith in democracy. Indeed, as the Obama era rushes to a less-than-glorious end, important left-of-center voices, like Matt Yglesias, now suggest that “democracy is doomed.”

Yglesias correctly blames “the breakdown of American constitutional democracy” on both Republicans and Democrats; George W. Bush expanded federal power in the field of national defense while Barack Obama has done it mostly on domestic issues. Other prominent progressives such as American Prospect’s Robert Kuttner have made similar points, even quoting Italian wartime fascist leader Benito Mussolini about the inadequacy of democracy.

Like some progressives, Kuttner sees the more authoritarian model of China as ascendant; in comparison, the U.S. and European models – the latter clearly not conservative – seem decadent and unworkable. Other progressives, such as Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir, argue that big money has already drained the life out of American democracy. Like Yglesias, he, too, favors looking at “other political systems.” .
. .
Progressive authoritarianism has a long history, co-existing uncomfortably with traditional liberal values about free speech, due process and political pluralism. At the turn of the 20th century, the novelist H.G. Wells envisioned “the New Republic,” in which the most talented and enlightened citizens would work to shape a better society. They would function, he suggested, as a kind of “secret society,” reforming the key institutions of society from both within and without.

In our times, Wells’ notions foreshadowed the rise of a new class – what I label the clerisy – that derives its power from domination of key institutions, notably the upper bureaucracy, academia and the mainstream media. These sectors constitute what Daniel Bell more than two decades ago dubbed a “priesthood of power,” whose goal was the rational “ordering of mass society.”
Increasingly, well-placed members of the clerisy have advocated greater power for the central state. Indeed, many of its leading figures, such as former Obama budget adviser Peter Orszag and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, argue that power should shift from naturally contentious elected bodies – subject to pressure from the lower orders – to credentialed “experts” operating in Washington, Brussels or the United Nations. Often, the clerisy and its allies regard popular will as lacking in scientific judgment and societal wisdom.

Unlike their clerical forebears, this “priesthood” worships at the altar not of religion but of what they consider official “science,” which often is characterized by intolerance rather than the skepticism traditionally associated with the best scientific tradition. Indeed, in their unanimity of views and hostility toward even mild dissent, today’s authoritarian progressives unwittingly more resemble their clerical ancestors, enforcing certain ideological notions and requiring suspension of debate. Sadly, this is increasingly true in the university, which should be the bastion of free speech.

I find that there is a lot of truth in this concept, unfortunately, like any other closed society, it breeds corruption. Who hasn’t noticed amongst this ‘elite’ a huge amount of influence peddling, not mention pandering, to obtain funding? In Wolf Hall, we watched as Thomas Cromwell curried favor with Henry VIII, do we not see the same process underway (for quite a while now) in Washington?

The killer “app” for progressive centralism, comes from concern about climate change. A powerful lobby of greens, urban developers, planners and even some on Wall Street now see the opportunity to impose the very centralized planning and regulatory agenda that has been dear to the hearts of progressives since global “cooling” was the big worry a few decades ago. This new clout is epitomized by the growing power of federal agencies, notably the EPA, as well state and local bodies of unelected regulators who have become exemplars of a new post-democratic politics.

Of course, this is in large part the model presented by postwar Europe, and we are watching as it demonstrably fails, which makes it less and less likely to be a model we should follow. Most likely the free-est country in Europe is the UK, not least because they share our suspicion of government (although it is not nearly as virulent). But the UK has, since 2008, created more jobs than the rest of Europe combined.

The fly in the ointment here, of course, remains the electorate. Even in one-party California, local constituents are not always eager to follow the edicts of the nascent “new Republic” if it too strongly affects their lives, for example, by forcibly densifying their neighborhoods. Resistance to an imposed progressive agenda is stronger elsewhere, particularly in the deep red states of the Heartland and the South. In these circumstances, a “one size fits all” policy agenda seems a perfect way to exacerbate the already bitter and divisive mood.

Perhaps the best solution lies with the Constitution itself. Rather than run away from it, as Yglesias and others suggest, we should draw inspiration from the founders acceptance of political diversity. Instead of enforcing unanimity from above, the structures of federalism should allow greater leeway at the state level, as well as among the more local branches of government.
Even more than at the time of its founding, America is a vast country with multiple cultures and economies. What appeals to denizens of tech-rich trustifarian San Francisco does not translate so well to materially oriented, working-class Houston, or, for that matter, the heavily Hispanic and agriculture-oriented interior of California. Technology allows smaller units of government greater access to information; within reason, and in line with basic civil liberties, communities should be able to shape policies that make sense in their circumstances.

This is, of course, nothing less than the federalism the founders designed into our system, which wasn’t new, even then, the Catholic Church calls it subsidiarity, although it, like politicians, has always had trouble practicing it. In the eighteenth century as in the twenty-first, America is simply too large to be governed by an elite, centered in the capital, let alone by a clerisy without the requisite skill to understand even the concepts of what most people do.

One possible group that could change this are voters, including millennials. It turns out that this generation is neither the reserve army imagined by progressives or the libertarian base hoped for by some conservatives. Instead, notes Pew, millennials are increasingly nonpartisan. They maintain some liberal leanings, for example, on the importance of social justice and support for gay marriage. But their views on other issues, such as abortion and gun control, track closely with to those of earlier generations. The vast majority of millennials, for example, thinks the trend toward having children out of wedlock is bad for society. Even more surprisingly, they are less likely than earlier generations to consider themselves environmentalists.

They also tend to be skeptical toward overcentralized government. As shown in a recent National Journal poll, they agree with most Americans in preferring local to federal government. People in their 20s who favor federal solutions stood at a mere 31 percent, a bit higher than the national average but a notch less than their baby boomer parents.

If so, and I tend to agree, they may well save us all, simply by thinking for themselves and acting in their own self-interest. Because I think it self-evident that being ruled by a distant, connected (to each other) is not in our best interest, either individually or as a society.
Hat tip to Gene Veith at Cranach, The Blog of Veith

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