Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘the illusion of choice

Tuesday Is Monday Now Links

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* Robert J. Sawyer, against Star Wars. 

‘Save the gun’ law bars North Carolina cops from destroying guns. Finally, someone is solving the real problems.

* Football’s death spiral: Trainers who butt heads with coaches over concussion treatment take career hits.

How Not To Publish Columns Justifying Rape: A Step-By-Step Guide For Editors.

But even moralizing liberals should be on guard against moral sentimentalism, because it ultimately serves immoral ends — it props up class stratification and impedes the realization of social justice. For ordinary folk, who have little control over public affairs, it offers the fantasy of feeling empowered, of taking pride in their own individual conduct as all that really matters. It is a new opiate for the masses in our post-religious age. For elites, it is a way of steering the public away from taking political action to reform their affairs. Moral sentimentalism is one of the principal ways in which our bourgeois society checks impulses towards radical change.

Wayne State invests in Detroit.

* And rest in peace, Fredrik Pohl. One of science fiction’s great writers and editors.

Monday Morning

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* Chris Hayes vs. undecided voters.

Undecided voters aren’t as rational as you think. Members of the political class may disparage undecided voters, but we at least tend to impute to them a basic rationality. We’re giving them too much credit. I met voters who told me they were voting for Bush, but who named their most important issue as the environment. One man told me he voted for Bush in 2000 because he thought that with Cheney, an oilman, on the ticket, the administration would finally be able to make us independent from foreign oil. A colleague spoke to a voter who had been a big Howard Dean fan, but had switched to supporting Bush after Dean lost the nomination. After half an hour in the man’s house, she still couldn’t make sense of his decision. Then there was the woman who called our office a few weeks before the election to tell us that though she had signed up to volunteer for Kerry she had now decided to back Bush. Why? Because the president supported stem cell research. The office became quiet as we all stopped what we were doing to listen to one of our fellow organizers try, nobly, to disabuse her of this notion. Despite having the facts on her side, the organizer didn’t have much luck.

* Headlines I wish I’d never read: “Your pillow is a lot like a toilet seat, microbially speaking.”

* …the moral secret of capitalism, its existential fundament, is not that we are free to choose but that we are forced to choose.

* British foreign secretary taken to court over drone bombings.

* Obama +5 in Ohio. I know Romney technically has other paths to victory, but I still think that’s the ballgame.

* Sadly prudent: Many undocumented immigrants eligible for a reprieve from deportation under the Obama administration’s DREAM Act-inspired policy shift are choosing not to apply because of fears of their applications being used against them if Mitt Romney wins the presidency.

* And I wonder if it isn’t too late to give this McGovern fellow another look.