Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Limits of Empathy

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by David Swanson, Washington’s Blog:

Paul Bloom’s book Against Empathy was bound to be either advocacy for cruelty and sadism, or a horribly misguided attempt to improve the world, or false advertising (it would turn out he’s only against the most narrowly or bizarrely defined concept of empathy), or genuinely interesting. It turns out to be a combination of the last two, plus a third part made up of numerous lengthy but tangentially related topics — some of them also interesting.

The book’s subtitle is “The Case for Rational Compassion.” Bloom is not against thinking through how others might feel about or be impacted by actions. He’s against the process of actually trying to feel what one imagines others would feel. Except that he’s not against it, he’s only against too much of it. He’s against the fairly strawmanish position that one ought to engage in feeling empathy 24/7, that one ought to engage in no other mental processes, that thinking about things coolly is of zero value, and so on.

Our Institutions Are Failing

by Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds:

Our institutional failure reminds me of the phantom legions of Rome’s final days.

The mainstream media and its well-paid army of “authorities” / pundits would have us believe the decline in our collective trust in our institutions is the result of fake news, i.e. false narratives and data presented as factual.

If only we could rid ourselves of fake news, all would be well, as our institutions are working just fine.

This mainstream narrative is itself false: our institutions are failing, and the cause isn’t fake news or Russian hacking–the cause is insider plundering and collusion, aided and abetted by a decline in transparency and accountability and the institutionalization of incompetence.

Trump’s Ambassador Lobbied Britain On Behalf Of Jailed Pro-Freedom Activist Tommy Robinson

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by Tim Brown, Freedom OutPost:

At last, an American administration that has its priorities in place. What a change from the Obama administration.  The government of Theresa May has become increasingly repressive toward anyone and everyone who opposes its sinister agenda regarding mass Muslim migration into Britain. Tommy Robinson is just the most well known case of many. And while these people have been hounded and persecuted by their own government, that government turns a blind eye to ISIS jihadis returning from Iraq and Syria and roaming around freely. It’s a shocking example of dhimmitude and appeasement, and heralds the larger collapse of British society as a whole. Brownback was right to speak up, and Darroch should heed what he said.

The Debt Train Will Crash

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by John Mauldin, Gold Seek:

We are approaching the end of the debt Train Wreck series. I’ve spent several weeks explaining why I think excessive debt is dragging the world economy toward an epic crash. The tracks ahead are clear for now but will not remain so. The end probably won’t be pretty. But there’s good news, too: we have time to get our portfolios, our businesses, and our families prepared.

What Future Is Uber Seeing for Itself?

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by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

Its fleet of autonomous cars thus far has gone the way of the Spanish Armada, producing nothing but grief.

While Uber isn’t exactly driving straight to the bank, it may get there yet. The company has ripped through $10 billion to date, but its latest report (Q1 2018) is sufficiently rosy for investors to buy into a $62 billion valuation. How rosy? Uber is losing lots of money, but only half as much as it did in the first quarter of 2017, a ground-rule double for Silicon Valley.

Refiner in China Replacing US Imports With Iranian Crude

from Financial Tribune:

An independent Chinese refiner has suspended crude oil purchases from the United States and has now turned to Iran as one of its sources of crude, media reports cited an official from the refiner, Dongming Petrochemical Group, as saying.

The source said Beijing is planning to slap tariffs on US crude oil imports and replace them with West African and Middle Eastern crude, including crude from Iran, Oil Price reported. China has already said that it will not comply with US sanctions against Iran and it seems to be the only country for now in a position to do this.

Ron Paul Warns That When The “Biggest Bubble In The History Of Mankind” Bursts It Could “Cut The Stock Market In Half”

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by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:

When this bubble finally bursts, will we witness the biggest stock market crash in U.S. history?  “The bigger they come, the harder they fall” is a well used phrase, but I think that it is very appropriate in this case.  From a low of 6,443.27 on March 6th, 2009, we have seen the Dow nearly quadruple in value since the last financial crisis.  It has been a remarkable run, and it has lasted far longer than virtually any of the experts anticipated.  But what goes up must come down eventually.  This stock market bubble was almost entirely fueled by easy money from the Federal Reserve, and now that easy money has been cut off.  The insiders can see the handwriting on the wall and they are getting out of the market at a pace that we haven’t seen since 2008.  Could it be possible that the day of reckoning is finally at our door?

Abandoning any last pretense of law and civility, Democrats now openly support MOB RULE in America

by Ethan Huff, Natural News:

If there’s one thing we can all learn about the liberal mindset from the spate of harassment, bullying, abuse, and violence that leftists have inflicted against conservatives and supporters of Donald Trump in recent years, it’s that Democrats in general are anything but tolerant and loving as they love to claim. Truth be told, they actually hate all semblances of decency and civility, at least as far as these common graces are afforded to their political opponents.

Ray McGovern: Strzok Hoisted on His Own Petard

by Gareth Porter, Consortium News:

If FBI agent Peter Strzok were not so glib, it would have been easier to feel some sympathy for him during his tough grilling at the House oversight hearing on Thursday, even though his wounds are self-inflicted. The wounds, of course, ooze from the content of his own text message exchange with his lover and alleged co-conspirator, Lisa Page.

Strzok was a top FBI counterintelligence official and Page an attorney working for then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. The Attorney General fired McCabe in March and DOJ has criminally referred McCabe to federal prosecutors for lying to Justice Department investigators.