Jots with dots 11/14

Great moments in “we have to lie (a little / sometimes / often) to get past the stupid recalcitrance of the American people and do some good”. I’m fond of the Gulf of Tonkin incident / resolution by that Straussian neo-con Lyndon Johnson. My family did not have a contemplated military tradition, but my uncle had re-upped in the Marines a couple times during peacetime in the late 50’s and early 60’s. My father enlisted in 1962, and I think he might have done the same, had 1965 and 1966 not made him into a maladjusted 22 year old combat veteran. So he came home in 1967 after his initial 4 yr stint, in time for the proper serendipity to be constructed for him to meet my mother and have me happen when I did. Just like the cottonwood puff in Forrest Gump eh.

Anyway, I don’t have a great philosophical education, though I can keep up I guess with someone who is quoting the contexts of great works. As a dilettante, I think I can seriously assert the obviating nature of fallibility / infallibility for those who think it’s OK to lie to move the ball for social progress. I’d say it’s OK to lie if your judgment is infallible. If it isn’t, your claim to be able to lie for the greater good is obviated. And no one’s judgment is infallible, including the elites. See LBJ example above. Hayekian knowledge problem, to cross germinate the discussion. So no, that the elites get to lie for the greater good is not an acceptable premise.

Blood from a stone: http://theweek.com/speedreads/index/271852/speedreads-woman-faces-bankruptcy-after-ambulance-delivers-her-to-out-of-network-er–when-in-network-hospital-was-3-blocks-away

I almost think this woman has a court case that’s winnable via an absurdity argument if you get my drift. It’s just absurd that she’s that exposed to ruin due to the arbitrary nature of in / out of network. I’m mindful of the big hospital bill. I am going to get one for my hospital stay in October. I’m hoping my personal exposure is say 2k out of a 30k bill, but this is all a guess, and I’ve accepted that I can’t control the situation. I can either pay it or I can’t. If not, I don’t think I’ll lose the hovel..er,..house… over it. If my credit goes to hell. Well, that will be a pain in the ass.

Re the Fortunate Son controversy, as I said, I think it’s a great, great song. But after a bit of reading and reflection I can more appreciate how it’s too strident to mesh with the hagiography that we view veterans with today. So yeah, it’s a controversy, I guess. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/12/bruce-springsteen-dave-grohl-fortunate-son_n_6145812.html

Fluff piece on John Delmonico. http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/282661051.html Good grief, this is absurd, they’re almost as bad as KSTP here. Everything is phrased in approving terms, the working class background in nordeast, the lifting up by the boot straps to complete the undergrad, the low stipend for being a union leader. There’s a real case to be made the guy is a creep, ya know, as demonstrated by the creepy nature of combing FB for unflattering pictures of the Mayor. Where’s that side of the story? We need some balance eh. By the way, the public salaries database at the SPPPD shows his salary as $101k, a detail that the Strib piece excludes. There’s a point I’ve made before….

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2 thoughts on “Jots with dots 11/14

  1. pm1956

    I generally agree with you that lying by elites is a bad thing. At the same time, it is equally bad when people distort and manipulate things to make political points that hurt other people (like taking away their health insurance). Sadly, that is pretty much a description of politics, which leads to a damned if you do/damned if you don’t situation. Ironic, yes. Less than optimal, certainly. Cynicism abounds.

    So what do you do? Retreat, and try to remain pristine (in isolation)? Or engage, and do the best that you can in the circumstances that you find yourself inhabiting? The last would be where i tend to come down. Wallow in the muck and mire, if I must, but never forget that it is indeed muck and mire, and that my actions are not any better than those of my opponents, even if I think that the outcomes I am striving for are far superior (and constantly check that assumption out, because it is always possible to be mistaken).

    Bottom line: I think that it is much better to have more people with access to health care and affordable insurance. Incrementalism ain’t pretty, but it is progress, and that is good.

    As for John Delmonico and the police union–they are just like any other union–not interested in the better good, just self interested. I do not trust him, and I think that it is obvious that there are bad actors in any and every police force. How many? Probably a minority, but Delmonico spends an inordinate amount of his time protecting those bad actors, and we are usually better off ignoring him and his antics (although he is sometimes right).

    The whole Fortunate Son song controversy is silly. The song and Fogerty got it right about the Vietnam era–plenty of abuses about who went to war and who stayed home. Pointing that out is NOT a criticism of vets, but a criticism of the abuse of power by politicians who got their sons into scarce positions with the National Guard to keep them out of harms way, or got phony 4F designations, or went to grad school and got married early (shades of W and Cheney there–classic chicken hawks).

    Never trust outrage–people create it for their own purposes, to manipulate others. Fox News is the classic example of this. People should have been outraged by Bush and Cheney getting us into the situation in Iraq, not a song. Outrage serves this purpose–misdirecting anger and hiding fault.

    Reply

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