“Over the line”

To commit an outrage is to overstep bounds, for the word comes to us from the French outré (meaning excessive) and the Latin ultra (meaning beyond). It is an accident of etymology that the word seems to indicate a feeling of rage, although raging against outrages is common enough, and convention permits us to say we are outraged by the outrageous. — Over the line by JMSmith

The high-speed-rail solution

Someone alert the Sanders campaign

Most of what I know about Senator Sanders comes from his Twitter feed. Surprisingly, he’s had little to say about high-speed rail. That’s unfortunate, because people need to get from where they are to where they need to be, for work, for school, and for a number of needs documented and otherwise. Because of market failures and fat-cat businessmen, affordable transportation is not always available. The government needs to step in and ensure access to the transportation all of us need.

So, free transportation for everyone! If you’re in Cleveland and you need to go to Chicago, just go to Washington DC and they’ll give you a free ride on green high-speed rail. A network of state-of-the-art transportation hubs will be located in Washington DC, Los Angles, and Managua, Nicaragua.

But how to pay for the high-speed rail? Free College! Because people need it. Some people think two years of college should be free, but actually that’s racist. Grad school should be free, everybody should get a Ph.D., and when they finish they should get a professorship with tenure.

Education pays for itself, and professors almost all vote Democrat, because they’re so intelligent and well educated. After the first crop of professors finishes, they will teach the next generation and, since professors make good money, they’ll pay a lot of taxes while they do it. These taxes will then be available to pay for the students’ tuition, room, and board, plus the high-speed rail line.

As an added bonus, if we implement plans like this we’ll also take care of that pesky illegal immigration problem.

Three things some people hate

  • The law of identity: Everything is identical with itself.
  • The law of non-contradiction: No thing is both black and not black.
  • The law of the excluded middle: Every thing is either black or not black.

When one of these foundational principles of logic is pointed out to those people in a context in which they must respond (ignoring it being their preferred option), they respond with blather, denial, or force — of one kind or another and in combination. Maybe the blather takes the form of endless demands for dialogue; the denial might involve two activists making contradictory assertions while claiming to agree with each other; the force starts with name-calling and escalates to whatever it takes.

I’m not sure who those people are exactly. Maybe liberals, or progressives, or leftists; maybe elites, or politicians, or The Man; maybe simply anyone who begins by thinking “What should I say to get what I want?” Maybe it’s almost everyone at one time or another. Errors are easier to see in other people than in ourselves, and we’d rather not draw attention to the logical failures and sophistry of someone who is “on our side.” Anyway, it’s probably a mistake to put all human discourse into one of three categories.

This explains a lot…

about a lot of things:

“AP’s Lee Calls Out Obama Administration For Living In A Fantasyland Of Their Foreign Policy Failures”

In the video Matt Lee, a reporter for Associated Press, questions John Kirby, a spokesman for the State Department, about North Korea’s nuclear weapons. (seen here) Kirby comes off badly. Of course, that North Korea has nuclear weapons is not a failure only of the Obama administration.

UPDATE 9 January 2016: Described the video, in response to a comment.