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Is Government "just the name we give to things we do together"?

"Government is just the name we give to the things we do together." Well, no. This is a truly deceptive statement. Because look here, there are many, many human institutions where people get together to do things. Churches.
Clubs.
Corporations.
Non-profits.
Families. And these all have their own unique characteristics. If government was simply a variety of these, or vice-versa, why would we bother to have a unique word for it? If government were *merely* a charity, wouldn't we just call it a charity? What is it about government then that makes it unique? I'll tell you. It's the use of force. Government is the sole human institution that legitimately exercises physical force against others. Churches don't commit violence. Corporations don't use physical coercion to get you to buy their products or to work for them. Families don't (shouldn't) do that. BECAUSE government's essence is the use of force, government simply should not do many things, eve…

Transparency needed in investigations of police

I have not sat on a grand jury any time in my life. I am disinclined, having not pored through records, nor listened to dozens of witnesses, to second-guess the difficult decisions these jurors have had to make.

HOWEVER. There is a clear problem of trust going on, and it stems from a couple different sources.

1) Grand Juries are usually secret. There are good reasons for this. Simply investigating whether a crime might have occurred, which is what Grand Juries do, collects a lot of evidence which could put people's lives at risk, or could be embarrassing. You want folks to feel free to talk. And you don't want the person being investigated to get unduly smeared.

However, the flip side of secrecy is that the lack of transparency can lead to a loss of trust. Clearly, in the two incidents discussed recently, many people who have no idea what went on in the GJ's or what evidence was presented, know, they just KNOW, an injustice was committed! And, because they have no opportun…

The Root of Violent Extremism

We are too flippant about writing off violent extremists as "crazy", "psychopathic", etc.

Just because *we* have a hard time conceiving of doing violence to others, does not mean that those who do are insane.

Hitler was not insane. Hitler was evil. There is a distinction.

To be insane, to be "crazy", means you cannot understand the difference between right and wrong.

People like Hitler, like ISIS, these people are *evil*. They have, in what they believe to be a rational process, *chosen* to embrace a death-worshipping morality.

Such thinking is going to lead us down wrong alleys in dealing with violent political extremism.

Unless we understand the various reasons why such people embrace philosophies of death, we cannot combat the root causes and defeat violent extremism.

Obama's "they need jobs" is a juvenile approach at this. But you simply cannot ignore and dismiss the reality of life in the countries that are the flash-points of extremism…

Millennials don't understand free speech

A response to this article by a (presumably) Millennial telling "other generations" how we've got it all wrong. I guess, how we all need to be nice and considerate and stuff..


Well-done. You've managed to publicly pat yourself on the back for your great moral wisdom - stuff the rest of human race has been aware of and done for hundreds if not thousands of years.

This article exhibits typical Millennial fallacies:
a) complete ignorance of history and human nature
b) feeling superior for believing the right things - things you read on the internet - and which you believe you invented.
c) condescending arrogance

PC is NOT as you described. PC is in fact about restricting free speech. The whole point of free speech, the reason it is protected? If people only ever said unoffensive things, well, there would be no need to protect that, would there? Nobody would object to unoffensive speech.

It is precisely those words and ideas that cause discomfort - often to entrenc…