The Washington Monument, pictured in October 2016. (from here (
What American is not familiar with this monument? How much longer do you think it will be allowed to stand? Will our leaders tear it down or just rename it?

Have you wondered what is happening to our country? Why are we so angry with each other?

  • Why are we having violent riots in our cities?
  • Why are people tearing down monuments and the portraits past leaders?
  • Why are the attacks that our leaders launch against each other so venomous?
  • Why do some people insist upon forcing their beliefs upon others?

Every society engages in a constant tug of war over what people believe. Why? Each of us wants others to believe what we believe. We feel better when others affirm our beliefs and behave the way we want them to behave. Since what we believe about God usually defines how we came to be, what it means to be human, our purpose for living, and what we each believe about good and evil; we primarily struggle over our beliefs about God.

Consider, for example, America’s last great civil war. Christians in the North led the abolitionist movement. So, Christian churches divided between North and the South. Those theological divisions went deep into the heart. Because of slavery the division between the North and the South became A GAP TOO WIDE AND TOO DEEP TO BRIDGE. That is, because of slavery the cultural beliefs of the South diverged significantly from those of North. Similarly, the cultural beliefs of Secular Liberal Democrats have diverged widely from those of Conservative Christians, but why?

In the United States we have invested state and local governments with the primary responsibility for education, from kindergarten through advanced degrees. This has been a huge mistake. Why? Because it effectively makes politicians responsible for what children learn, and parents should be responsible for that. Parents love their children, but politicians are more likely to love power and influence. In fact, politicians have sold access to the minds of our children, and they have allowed various interest groups to indoctrinate our children in various “isms” and ideologies including.

  • Socialism/Marxism. We have traditionally had a republic which stands in direct opposition to a statist regime. Why? Americans use to think government existed to protect their rights, not to give them other people’s stuff.
  • Environmentalism/Animal Rights. Americans use look upon themselves as stewards of the Earth, that God gave us the Earth to keep and protect it. Environmentalists would have us see ourselves as an unmitigated disaster for the Earth.
  • Multiculturalism/Human Secularism. Multiculturalism is a trick that proclaims all religious beliefs equally valid. Yet, all religious beliefs cannot be equally valid. Each religious belief declares a truth that excludes the others. That means that all religious beliefs must be equally untrue. Hence, if we accept multiculturalism as true, we are left with Human Secularism by default.
  • Tribalism. Identity politics is suppose to be about inclusiveness, but think about the definition: “politics in which groups of people having a particular racial, religious, ethnic, social, or cultural identity tend to promote their own specific interests or concerns without regard to the interests or concerns of any larger political group (from”. When we are obsessed with our race, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and so forth, we stop seeing other people as human unless they are part of our own particular identity group. That is, instead of concerning ourselves with the content of each other’s character, we start judging others based upon superficial characteristics. Instead of protecting the rights of Americans, we start furthering the interests of our identity group at the expense of our countrymen. That is why some people want open borders, for example. They don’t care about what is best for the country. They just want more people who look like them.

So, what should we do about this? Is there anything we can do? Yes. We can fight for school choice for parents. We must make school choice the civil rights issue of the 21st Century.

Each of us should look in horror upon the indoctrination of our children by people we don’t know teaching our children things we don’t believe. In fact, we should be ashamed we have allowed politicians manage the education of our children for so long.

Proverbs 22:6 Good News Translation

Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their life.

Because we cannot trust our political leaders with such immense power, we must put parents back in charge of the education of their children.

If we put parents back in charge of the education of their children, will we still have our differences? Yes, but we will have the opportunity work out our differences in the marketplace. Parents will choose what they want their children to learn, not have someone else impose their beliefs upon their children. Then we will have the opportunity to learn in practice why it is more important to protect everyone’s religious rights than it is to impose our beliefs upon someone else.


  1. Tom,

    I think one of the mistakes that we humans constantly make since the age of reason is that we think we are actually motivated by the rational structure of some closed ideology. We’re just not.

    We are actually motivated by narratives and the difference between living in the real world and dying in a false one is the truth of our narratives we believe for ourselves and for our communities.

    Look at Jesus for a perfect example. What was more influential: Jesus’ few discursive words or the narrative in the Gospels of Jesus’ example through the story of His life, His sacrificial death and His glorious resurrection. Jesus’ Word itself is most often given in narrative form, whether it is His metaphorical Parables or illustrative forms He took when He gave us The Beatitudes and the Sheep and the Goats metaphor in Mathew 25. People have formed ideologies out of these narratives, but in the hard scrabble of daily living, I believe it is the narrative itself that actually inspires and moves us in our decisions each moment of each day.

    Aren’t you presenting here as the defining narrative of our times our current culture wars situation as some new fangled clash of ideologies? However, at the extremes, (like IB in another post), I’m seeing very little difference between the far Right and the far Left. Rather than actually seeing each other as as they are, as looking at mirror images of themselves, they continuously project their own shadow on “the other” and imagine a constant struggle with their own dark projection and they deluded themselves that that projection actually represents the other side.

    That’s the false narrative that you are seeing here, and I think it is a terrible mistake because first of all, we interconnect in modernity to such an extent that to continuously divide ourselves off from one another has become like cutting off our own arm or legs or pulling out an eye. And secondly, the Christian narrative (like those of most of the world’s dominant religious narratives) at its core does not divide tribally (including by race or culture), but is all inclusive, all welcoming of all souls as one Body of Christ.

    Just think of it this way. One in distinct person unwittingly, but also with careless self interest, slaughtered an exotic animal in a Chinese wet market that was also frivolously purchased by another soul and that first tiny self interested interaction of just two individuals in a tiny corner of the world began a chain reaction of selfishness that is hurting billions and will potentially hurt even more billions as economic and physical suffering engulfs all humans on the entire planet. As individuals with varying degrees of voluntary choice, we each can do our small part to serve each other and break the chain of the spread of callousness that is slowly setting the whole world burning, or we can add our selfishness to further advance a little farther this wildfire of suffering.

    It’s not the practical field of voluntary choice that gives rise to our choosing the Christ narrative (even a slave has choices). It is what we do unselfishly with the liberty of choice that gives that liberty moral value, not the our own glory in the liberty itself, liberty which has no value if it is wasted on individualism for its own idolatry.

    Whether by selfishness or by giving, people all over the world are all inexorably connected to each other. We can make sure our connection counts by making small sacrifices that disrupt them spread of evil and pay forward the quenching advance of unselfish good, or we can act selfishly and do our part to further light the flames of suffering. We can wear masks, socially distance, get tested if we’re exposed of have symptoms, and we can quarantine if we are infected. We can help each other. We can encourage our leadership to lead us with good policies and examples.

    Tom, and it isn’t just the virus, but the virus has been a catalyst that challenged us to self examination of our tribalism, our economic divisiveness, and our religious hypocrisies. We don’t so much need new narratives or need to battle against the projected ghosts of our old failed ones. We need to finally just embrace the universal Christ narrative that we have been avoiding since the beginning of human existence, since the Garden itself.

    That is the real narrative that is happening, a narrative that comports with the Christ narrative like never before, exactly because the world is getting smaller and our connectedness has never been greater. I therefore believe that your culture wars narrative of dueling ideologies misses the actual reality we are living in and it misses the reality of the overall narrative given to us by God in the Gospels.

    You know that only out of of suffering comes grace. Just think if we could all agree to turn all this suffering into a new awakening of grace . . . or, like always, we could just fight and divide ourselves over stupid stuff? 🙂

    1. @tsalmon

      The narrative? What do you think you are constantly repeating if not the narrative of the Liberal Democrat news media? You fashion yourself as a moderate and condemn the unreality of the extremes. Seriously? Relative to what? Haven’t you figured it out yet? It is the views that you espouse that I oppose.

      Meanwhile, do you ever justify what you believe? I asked for proof that Trump is a racist. Can you provide it? No. You just start complaining that Trump’s suggestion to the Russians, that they find Hillary’s emails proved he was colluding with the Russians, ignoring the fact that Hillary unambiguously broke the law when she conducting official business on that server.

      And Christ would approve of such dissembling? While you repeat the rantings of journalists who each year use the occasion of Christmas to convince us Christ is a myth and vote for big government abortionists? Jesus was not a big government Liberal Democrat. He told us to render unto God what is God’s, not to render everything unto Caesar.

      1. “The narrative? What do you think you are constantly repeating if not the narrative of the Liberal Democrat news media? You fashion yourself as a moderate and condemn the unreality of the extremes. Seriously? Relative to what? Haven’t you figured it out yet? It is the views that you espouse that I oppose.“

        Actually, I haven’t heard the Liberal Democratic News Media (whatever that is) talk much about Jesus. If you read for comprehension instead of how to give a knee jerk negative reaction, you’d understand that I am indeed proposing a Christian narrative that seems to be absent from both sides, so you’ll seriously have to explain who amongst the boogie men you project as storming the bastions of our democracy you see proposing that we are all welcome, and in fact, Jesus is eternally calling us to be one in the Body of Christ. What specific views am I espousing that you supposedly oppose? Are you just so childishly trip-wired to oppose anything write here? Is it the big brother thing? Aren’t we both a little old for such sibling rivalry? If I say the sky is blue, is it necessary before even looking outside to say the sky is red? Have you thought about the fact that you may be being obstinate for the sake of obstinacy? 🙂

        Tom, I’ve known you my whole life although mostly our careers have kept us apart. I have tremendous respect for your discipline and intellect. I’m still trying to figure out if you are either the most or least introspective person I have ever known? Either way, I find it kinda adorable. Lighten up a little huh? This is only the end of the world, not anything really important.

        Now, I have a “100 Days of Prayer” phone call to attend to – never done that before, but life is full of new things lately. Love you bro.

          1. Tom,

            You’ve confused me with another straw man. I’m not an ideologue for socialism of any flavor, or any other ism. I don’t believe that such things are moral, or even that they work in the long run. Socialism, Fascism, Communism, even the hollow materialism of Capitalism, they all run into inconsistencies when their devotees try to slavishly follow them. Ideologies like those are really just idols that people worship as a substitute for the hard work, the complexity and ambiguity of practicing daily, practical Christian virtues. I just believe in Christ. You can keep your ideological labels.

          2. @tsalmon

            You just vote for Socialists.

            Why does it seem to me that you use “Christian” love to guilt those who don’t vote for big government? Doe it just have something to do with the context of your “Christian” exhortations to love? Does spend, spend, spend other people’s money equal love?

          3. Tom,

            Have you wondered if, like your Democratic shadows, you too may be captured by just an opposite ideological illusion of government and money that you’re raging about in others (strangely in me, at the moment)?

            In supposedly fighting a cartoonish version of these Socialist Liberal Democrats we just would become a sepia materialist caricature of what we hate. Instead of defining ourselves in Christ’s love, we let our hatred of supposed ideological enemies instead constantly define us. That such dualism is comfortingly simple makes it an attractive alternative to the actual difficult sacrifices of lovingly and joyfully bearing our own cross down a far less clear path in this fallen world.

            At least these true believers on both sides who define themselves by their hatred of their enemies have heart. As you know, hatred in many ways is just an expression of love. No one bothers to hate someone so much if they don’t really care about them like we care about ourselves. In fact, in this case, because it’s our own beloved shadow that we are projecting, that’s why in our self loathing we can hate so vociferously.

            The ones really doing the devils work aren’t these children of light on both sides. It’s instead the cold, calculating indifference of the cynics, the children of darkness as Niebuhr defined them, who believe in nothing but themselves, but are just using the chaos they foment in these lovers to bath themselves in power. They are the ones that give me pause, not because I hate them, but because they use our own loving (and hating) hearts against us.

          4. @tsalmon

            That’s an awfully complex explanation. All I did was tell you Christian Socialism is nothing new. Then I think you lost track of the point you were trying to make.

            Look at your last paragraph. If you don’t want to empower such, keep the government simple. Otherwise, we cannot control it. Instead, whoever controls the government controls everyone else.

          5. Tom,

            Government, like money, is just another imperfect material tool in an imperfect world.. It’s not the answer to everything and it’s not the problem of everything either. The answer to everything is Christ.

            Christ, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit can inspire how virtuously in God’s love we individually and as a community use the tools that God blesses us with that this finite and fallen world, but it doesn’t give us some perfect scheme or formula, some material ideology or “ism”, that is right and just in every case. I’m sourly, I don’t believe that’s how our reality actually works Tom.

            The only thing more illusory than thinking that government or money will cure all our suffering is thinking that these simple blessings from God, if used virtuously, can never alleviate any suffering. Either way, our focus is sadly just blinded to opposite sides of the same coin of material idolatry that Jesus pointed out when he held up Caesar’s government’s money.

            When we build up eternal treasure, it’s not actually the decaying material monuments we build, whether it be public statues or public institutions, or the money we invest in ourselves or in our government, it’s the sacrifices we make out of love for each other in God’s spiritual realms of the heart that last.

            I’m uninterested in your hollow platitudes about “big government” or “limited government”. I don’t even know anyone who thinks some totalitarian state of unlimited governmental power would solve every flaw, either of the individual human heart, or of the innate tribal harms we inflict upon each other as groups. In contrast, I don’t actually know anyone, yourself included, who thinks ridding ourselves of all government will magically cause an unanimous uprising of voluntarily community spirit, rather than just a failed state anarchy. Even if we all could replace our current government with such a unity of perfectly voluntary altruism, we would just have to create something out of government’s ashes to organize us (basically government again). In a sense, as imperfect as democracies may be, that’s what we already have. Some of us just put too much of your emotional capital into expecting way too much or way to little out of this imperfect organizing force and not enough in just doing the best we can virtuously out of God’s love with ALL the tools we have been given.

            It’s all a moving target of suffering in a dynamic material world of constant entropy and creation, constant death and resurrection so to speak, and in that endless struggle mysteriously lies the one eternal driving force, the love of the incarnate Christ suffering, dying and resurrecting with us always, from the beginning to the end of time.

          6. @tsalmon

            The answer to everything is Christ. True. If Christ is the answer, then each of us must let our neighbors find their answer in Christ.

            Love is an individual, not a community project. If a community is loving, that is because the individuals that make up the community love each other, not because everyone gives up all their money to the community.

          7. “Love is an individual, not a community project.”


            That is blatantly not true, nor is it scriptural. Love by its nature is a dynamic enterprise, not just a personal intellectual abstraction. In a Christ sense, it’s an active verb, not a noun. Just sitting around with an abstract love all day is almost meaningless if that love of God and each other is not actively manifested in a community.

            Is the love essentially voluntary? Sure, but even those whi do not meet their commitments out of love still have social responsibilities. Our right to be left alone to meet our responsibilities to the community voluntarily verses whether those responsibilities can be coerced is not black and white simplicity, however, and never has been. Our toleration for selfishness should be broad in a free society, but it’s ridiculous to think it’s unlimited, especially when the harm becomes great.

          8. Really? You want to have a rabbinical discussion about this, of all things? You’ve said this yourself in different ways on more than one occasion you know. You should know that better than I that it is more difficult to find a passage in Scripture that isn’t concerned with the individual’s and the community’s active responsibility to each other as a manifestation of our individual and collective responsibilities to love God and all our neighbors. (The term “neighbor” itself implies belonging to a collective community of humans). Jesus did not abstractly die on a cross to redeem corporate Adam and Eve; He actively sacrificed Himself for each of us and for all of us.

            Why did God set the Jews as a group to wander the desert for so long? I’m sure Moses and a few of his lieutenants did not need that extra time to learn how to act like a community chosen by God, but they all learned together or they all suffered together from their failure to learn as a community. This same Prophet driven rinse and repeat divine community instruction happens over and over again in the Old Testament.

            You know this. What is your specific dispute with it? If you genuinely need quotes, I’ll be happy to oblige, but before I waste my time on something so obvious I’d like to know if you actually question it or you’re just being obtuse for the sake of being argumentative.

          9. @tsalmon

            I wrote a post in response.

            Why God require the Jews wander in the desert? That has little to do with my question.
            1. God wanted the Jews to learn to trust Him so they would obey Him. Few ever really did, of course. That is why we have the New Testament.
            2. When people have been slaves for generations, those people have a difficult time learning how to live without a master. Slaves could not conquer the promised land.

          10. Tom,

            I’ll look at the post, but you kinda prove my point, In the OT, the evolution of God’s love and expectations were for the Jews as a “community”, perhaps even more so than as to it’s individuals. If you’re making some subtle distinction here, I’m missing it, but like I said, I’ll look at you new post. Maybe you explain it there.


          11. Nope, your post has nothing to with me or anything I have said or actually believe.

            I don’t believe in closed ideological systems of any flavor, whether they claim to be Christian or not. Actually, I think that Christian love, as Jesus taught it, leads to an “open” system. If you want to discuss what that means, the difference between open and closed systems, and why I think, as an open system, Christianity better effectuates God’s love, then I will be happy to add what I can. Either way, thanks for letting me participate here.

          12. @tsalmon

            Would you mind explaining the difference between an open system and a closed ideological system? I have a feeling you use the words to take advantage of their connotation, not to say anything.

          13. “Would you mind explaining the difference between an open system and a closed ideological system? I have a feeling you use the words to take advantage of their connotation, not to say anything.“


            Funny that you should put it this way because to define something to some extent is to create a closed system. Think about (or look up) the “black swan event” problem. Once we define and categorize all swans as white, we close the system model around swan genus and species categorization. That worked fine in scientific epistemology for years until they discovered black swans in Australia. In other words, we had a “black swan event” that called for opening up the closed system. It seems to me that many (but not all) of all discussions in various fields of knowledge comes from this interplay between our psychological need to subjectively close our understanding into an abstract system so that we can comprehend and work with objective reality and the contradictions that occur because, for various reasons, objective reality is so infinitely expansive (God in a way) that it can never actually completely close to fit inside our necessarily limited (by being closed) abstract models.

            You already, I’m sure, understand the modeling of open and closed systems in thermodynamics – a pressure cooker verses a water heater or a wrist watch versus a sundial. We know that we can close systems to limit and contain the escape of either mass or energy, but seriously, is any system really definitively closed to ALL outside forces and interferences such as entropy, time, gravity, etc.?

            Now analogize this interplay between our epistemological need for subjective abstract modeling within in closed systems verses the endless variety of exceptions and contradicts possible in actual objective reality to various other fields of modeling such as philosophy, sociology, science, economics, theology, governmental systems (including legal theory) and perhaps most of all, psychology. Then you will begin to see the conflict that I am trying to explain not so much in any given connotations I’d “open” verses “closed”, as in the comparisons.

            I realize that this will probably take a much longer explanation than you may want to continue on this already long thread in order to apply the necessities and problems of open and closed systems to a specific closed system like Socialism, but does that will help answer your initial question at least in very general terms?

          14. @tsalmon

            The purpose of government is to close off certain possibilities. When you complain my supposedly closed system, that I think we should limit the size of the government and focus upon the protection of each others rights, it seems to me you are complaining that I don’t see all the other possibilities for the use of government power. However, I do. I also see the endless possibilities for the abuse of government power.

            Human nature being what it is we will at best seesaw between severely limited government and abusively powerful government. When we have a limited government and we the people have forgotten the abuses that come from a powerful government, we the people will welcome the promises of politicians and more government in our lives, that is, until we see for ourselves the problems accompany big government. Closed system? No. We don’t actually have that much self control.

            Would I like a closed system? Yes. I would like a world that does not allow evil, but that is Heaven, not here and now.

          15. In a strange way, we are saying the same thing.

            A characteristic and a flaw of closed systems are that they are deterministic, meaning the model must inexorably predict the result. For example, a closed system like Communism has government doing everything because that is what the Communist believes are the naturally occurring economic circumstances that will inevitably be caused to happen anyway as the capitalist system collapses in a proletarian revolution provoked by the increasing pendulum swings of economic boom and bust. As unavoidable inconsistencies and unexpected unintended negative consequences from outside reality conflicted with the model (For example, the ability of governmental institutions to lessen economic fluctuations), it became less of a natural rational inevitably than a round thing that had to be forced into a square hole through totalitarian centralized control. This is what you and I both fear about closed ideological systems of government. The problem is that your solution to this, in many ways, simply tries to create another closed deterministic system.

            To say “limited government” Is to beg the question “limited to what closed system?”. If you reply, “We should limit government strictly to protecting our rights and let everything else (markets, social mores, conflicts of rights, conflicts of social responsibilities, conflicts between rights and responsibilities, etc.) occur unregulated by any model in some in some feral state, then all you do is create another model that is deterministically (and thus unworkably) closed with all the aforementioned problems of such closed models, but you also don’t have the benefit of any modeling at all so as to truthfully explain and beneficially control all those areas of objective reality that you have walled outside your model limits of governmental organizing and regulatory influence. Faced with both those pesky swarms of inconsistencies and contradictions constantly intruding in on your closed model, along with no model of institutional structure at all to provide any workable playing field for all those other necessary areas of human social interaction and enterprise in an advanced civilization in an increasingly globalized world, you too are forced both into a totalitarian enforcement of a closed model that is obviously not working, and at the same time you must either fall into an unacceptable level of chaos or into other, more corrupt forms of government by another name (corporatism, mercantilism, etc.). Or, of course, you will do what is most rational – you will increasingly open up your closed model beyond its original ideological limits (“just to protect rights”) to deal with all the unexpected inconsistencies and contradictions and environmental changes until finally the exceptions to your model end up replacing it and becoming a newer bigger, open government model.

          16. @tsalmon

            You just love applying those words. Closed. Deterministic. Extremism (implied in this comment).

            Our rights have nothing to do with markets, social mores, conflicts of rights, conflicts of social responsibilities, conflicts between rights and responsibilities, etc? When we fail to fulfill our responsibilities, don’t we violate another person’s rights?

            Note that your second paragraph lacks anything specific. It is just a bunch of generalities. If this is an example of open thinking, then open thinking is useless.

            We don’t have infinite brains. Therefore, of necessity we model closed systems. To grapple with a problem, we have to set limits on the problem. That is why we take complex problems and break them into parts. The more complex the system, the more difficult it is for us to understand.

            Is there a problem with a deterministic model? Not if the model makes accurate predictions. The whole point of modeling anything is to make accurate predictions. That is the problem with Communism. It does not work. The model is flawed.

            The founders of the United States did not create of model of government based on an economic model, race superiority, or even a religious vision. Instead, they created a government based upon the notion that God created all men equal, that He loves each of us as one of His children, fallen children. The founders designed a government to compensate for the vile nature of human beings.

            Because we cannot be trusted with power, the founders did not design a Utopia, some wise guy’s vision of a perfect world. Instead, they designed a government that lets each of us pursue our own definition of happiness. Who know what kind of happiness men will pursue? That is just about as open a system as possible, but the founders did limit the role of government. Therefore, if want to call that closed, deterministic, and extreme, I suppose you are right, but in this case what you call flaws I see as virtues.

          17. No offense, but if you are honest with yourself, you’d realize that I am not actually the one being glib here brother.

            “Our rights have nothing to do with markets, social mores, conflicts of rights, conflicts of social responsibilities, conflicts between rights and responsibilities, etc? When we fail to fulfill our responsibilities, don’t we violate another person’s rights?“

            Now that is complete nonsense. Sure we do. When I went to law school, most of what I learned was how government does all those things. Anyway, you seem to be refuting
            your own premise – that government exists only to protect rights. Market don’t even exist without government articulation, arbitration and enforcement of property and contract rights and responsibilities. A conflict of rights and responsibilities – you have freedom of speech, but you can’t yell fire in a crowded theatre, you have a right to be left alone in your marriage and family relationships but you can’t abandon your spouse and children, you have a right to the use of your property and to exclude others from using it, but you can emit a noise or smell or health nuisance either, I could go on for hours on such conflicts.

            Models can be usefully predictive without being deterministically closed. For example, science models can be very predictive but if a model claims to never be subject to falsification (through experimentation for example) or that it cannot adapt to newly discovered information (black swans for example), then it’s not an open model, indeed, it is not even scientific because science is inherently an open epistemology.

            The rest I don’t have time for, but you don’t really seem to want to have a discussion anyway, rather you just seem to want to pontificate and pretend I didn’t say what I said.

            Oh well, let me know when you really want to discuss this seriously.

          18. @tsalmon

            <Market don’t even exist without government articulation, arbitration and enforcement of property and contract rights and responsibilities.
            That is not true except perhaps from a lawyer’s perspective.

            What is the principal thing that makes markets work? Honor. When two parties engage in a transaction, the two participants need to trust each other to keep up their end of the bargain. Can government facilitate the operation of the market by establishing business regulations that require people to abide by their contractual obligations? Yes. Note, however, that the obligations we assume become someone else’s property. You are familiar with property rights?

            Will people produce goods and services when they don’t have a government? Yes. They don’t have a choice. Can government encourage productivity by protecting the rights of the people to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Yes.

            Models can be usefully predictive without being deterministically closed.

            That’s not true. In the soft sciences defining the boundaries of a model just ridiculously difficult, but modelling implies the establishment of boundaries for the system being modelled.

            Consider in practice how we define the boundaries of a model. Those factors we don’t include in a model are outside the boundaries of the model. In a complex system we look at the factors that matter the most, and we model those factors.

            The operation of a political system is highly complex. We cannot accurately model a political system because we don’t know how to do so. We cannot even predict electoral outcomes accurately. So we don’t have deterministically closed models because we don’t have models that work.

          19. “What is the principal thing that makes markets work? Honor. When two parties engage in a transaction, the two participants need to trust each other to keep up their end of the bargain.”

            Sure, I guess that I just have some weird lawyer’s perspective on the the way that the law actually works. You’re obvious the real expert on such things. I guess that you bought your house, your cars and all your major appliances without a contract – just a handshake and complete trust in the honor of car salesmen, realtors, home sellers and appliance guys you don’t know. I’m sure that they didn’t require a contract either.

            This time I guess I really am the one being glib. 😉

          20. @tsalmon

            I don’t know how glib I am, but I do think you are putting the cart before the horse.

            The law does not exist to create a code of honor. The law does not define the difference between right and wrong. The law enforces something we already know to be true.

            Consider why ignorance of the law is no excuse. The law was originally intended just to prohibit acts and words that are inherently wrong. If someone doesn’t know that lying is wrong, doesn’t that person have a more serious problem than a mere violation of the law of man?

    1. @tsalmon

      There are few rags I less respect for than The New York Times. They don’t help solve problems. Like all Liberal Democrat organs, they feed off them. Here the problem is race hustling.

      Pile on the rage and the guilt. Deepen the divisions. Give people an excuse to hate bigots, enemies of the Democrats. Secure the victims in dependent victimhood. Vote Democrat!

      You want racism to end? Then get the government out of the business (making money for some people) of distinguishing between the races. There is only one human race, and without government intervention, pretending otherwise is bad business.

    2. Every week, it seemed, Black people were still dying at the hands of the police.

      Perhaps “it seems” that way but the data does not support what he implies…that black people are being killed by police at greater levels with less justification. The opposite is true. Furthermore, this lawyer has led a life of privilege. Yet in his writeup he expects people who have not should do penance in some sort of collective for what others have done in the past who share the same skin tone, simply because they share a skin tone.
      That is bigotry.

      Endemic poverty is a big problem. People are mimics, and it becomes very very difficult to break that cycle. I have lots and lots of personal life examples/anecdotes but I’ll spare you. Not all answers lie in “racism”. Nor “sexism” for that matter (but that is a subject for another day).

      The further people are away from the pointy edge of survival the more comfortable and less “tribalistic” they are. Folks who are sent to prison start dividing up by race very quickly because there is little else (they aren’t going to divide based on hobbies in the pen). People living in very poor conditions in dangerous environments are a little up in tier from prison, but not by a whole lot…so there is gang violence, and much of that violence is race based. IN fact, Trayvon Martin was killed in the same area my spouse was raised and I can tell you with a great degree of certainty that if he had been killed on that same day by the same person (hispanic) in my spouse’s old neighborhood it would not have been news at all. Violence was too common in that area between those groups. That was the irony….his parents had sent him north to be safe. And at the end of the day, if he’d not conducted himself like a hoodlum, bashing a man’s face into the pavement while he screamed for help (as the autopsy report would confirm by the fact only his knuckles were injured until he was capped in the head, whereas the shooter’s face had been bashed in and we have tapes of him screaming for help) he would be alive.

      1. Just to add (forgot as I got off on a tangent there), the fact that people become more divisive in dangerous and/or uncertain environments is THE problem we are experiencing now with BLM/antifa. The very people who protect and serve are being targeted and demonized. This will not make those environments better, but quickly turn more areas into dangerous divisive places. It is doing so already. I wouldn’t want to own commercial property in any large city right now.
        Consider just six short months ago we had less unemployment and more black business owners than in the history of the country. Yet now from what we see on television this has been forgotten very very quickly. Black on black crimes are ignored, and black on white crimes purposefully hidden by the media, and the intentions behind that purposefully misleading information are not good for society.

      2. IN fact, Trayvon Martin was killed in the same area my spouse was raised

        Sorry, misspoke there (hopefully it was more clear in the context).

        1. Good grief (edit button needed!)…Trayvon was from the area my spouse was raised in.

      3. Liz,

        I think you’re being a little harsh with the lawyer. He’s just giving his experience. Ending bigotry doesn’t mean we all have to be shaped by the same experiences; it means we try to understand and have a high tolerance to accept each other’s diversity of experiences and how that may have made them different.

        I read recently how we as a nation handled two very similar addiction disease pandemics, and it got me thinking. In the eighties and early nineties, the inner cities of much of America were plagued by poverty and crime, mainly amongst the African Americans that inhabited those wastelands of suffering. You can point to momentary bad policies by each political party for blame or you can recognize the historical reality that it derived from an unbroken direct line of racial subjugation that began four centuries ago.

        Regardless of how you want to characterize the root causes that lead to the plague event, there indeed was an endemic crack cocaine addiction pandemic, along with the those who took advantage of the disease of addiction to make money off of its victims. The response generally by Democrats and Republicans, including many in the black community, was Law and Order. Crack down. Send everybody to jail, victims and pushers alike, with the pushers given extra strict punishment.

        Now contrast that with the pandemic of opioid addiction that has swept some cities but especially rural white areas like West Virginia and Kentucky. Rather than thugs and criminals who lack will power, these white addicts have been rightfully seen as victims of character crushing job losses due to deindustrialization and globalization, of changing energy trends caused by environmentalists and cheap oil and gas markets, and by the job killing advance in productivity caused by coal production mechanization. We don’t send these addicts to jail, we rightfully treat them (while we make hollow promises that coal is coming back or that they can magically convert their lost jobs to sustainable energy opportunities). The pushers now are drug chains, including Walmart, who were making a fortune, selling an ungodly amount of opioids that would have buried each the residents nearby in a mountain of pills, and yet they didn’t ask any questions of those nice doctors prescribing those tons of poison. Maybe a few will go to jail and maybe a few companies will pay some fines or legal claims,, but nothing like the number of black distributors who are still rotting in penitentiaries.

        I know that you can come up with lots of excuses why we as a nation we treated one addiction pandemic with the tough love of prison and neglect while we are bending over backwards (to at least politically pretend) to hold out a helping hand to mostly white victims, but really, its just institutionalized white supremacy and the racism lurking unrecognized in our own hearts that we seriously don’t want to acknowledge.

        1. @tsalmon

          Fine job of changing the subject and repeating yet another narrative line from the Liberal Democrat news media.

          Before you decide to solve the drug problem, why don’t you look into where addicts are get the vast majority of their dope?

          Also, consider that the problem of drug addiction is not new. People have been addicted to various things for who knows how long. Unfortunately, we have short memories. So we constantly reinvent solutions, even the ones that did not work.

          What is the solution for drug addiction? Jesus. We have to learn to love others more than we love our self. We have to be willing to sacrifice our self — our sinful desires — for the sake of a higher purpose.

          Love is of the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot resist our sinful nature. Doctors can get someone off drugs, but doctors cannot easily keep them off. Not in a free society. Until we know the truth in Christ, and we are free from sin, we cannot be free.

          1. @tsalmon

            1. Doesn’t involve blaming the drug companies. Because they underestimated the addition issue, they probably deserve some blame, but they are not the primary source for the opioid addiction problem.
            2. Try putting a religious treatment theory into practice.

          2. Exactly!

            See, if we keep agreeing, what will we do with each other? You just want me to take some imaginary opposite side, don’t you?

            I never said drug companies “caused” the misery of addiction, just that they profited from it. I don’t think crack cocaine pushers “caused” that addiction either. But look how we treated both opportunists differently. Should we? Should crack addicts be treated with less Christian love and understanding than opioid addicts? Why do we see some as lacking basic character and others as just victims of the social changes that caused their despair? Strange how skin color seems to the only difference.

        2. I think you’re being a little harsh with the lawyer. He’s just giving his experience.

          Isn’t he being a little harsh on me? He doesn’t even know me. Yet I am complicent due solely and entirely to the color of my skin. You might not mind the condemnation, but I do. He can pound sand.

          Ending bigotry doesn’t mean we all have to be shaped by the same experiences; it means we try to understand and have a high tolerance to accept each other’s diversity of experiences and how that may have made them different.
          I accept his personal experiences. Why do his personal experiences make me de facto guilty of what my forefathers didn’t even do because they were not here?
          I’ll take more of an interest in “combatting” bigotry when the people who yell bigotry have some actual metrics and concrete objectives. MLK did. What would a “bigotry free world” look like, or just an acceptable level, look like? A friend of ours wanted to apply for a position at the USAF academy (he was a graduate), and he was told there was no point in applying because he is not a minority or woman. Is that a bigotry free world?
          As a side note and reality check, supposing : If you live somewhere in fear of calling the cops, this isn’t the fault of Thomas Jefferson, the blame lies with the local government.

          Another anecdote (just because). Because this person reminds me of the writer of this piece. I worked long, long ago in a hospital lab with a black coworker (immigrant). He wasn’t the only black person in the lab, but he was the only one who had a serious shoulder chip. He was also a big admirer of Castro and so forth.
          I think overall he just felt too good/smart and whatnot to feel content working in a hospital lab and it showed. So he went to dental school, because a dentist, set up his own practice. Good for him. He was a smart guy and I’m sure he’s happier. Maybe he’s nicer to people now.
          After these riots all started I looked him up on facebook just out of curiosity. Sure enough, he wrote a long letter on the plight of being a black man in such a “racist” country. About how he was moving a television the other day and worried someone would think he stole it. White people they are so terrible. I looked up the staff at his practice and they are all white women. He couldn’t find a single minority, with his terrible opinion of white America? His wife is white. His post got about 500 likes (I’m betting all from white people, most likely virtually all women, white women seem particularly enamored with virtue signaling in general, as a way of gaining social status).

          Per drugs…well, not sure how that slipped into the conversation but I could not agree more. The drug industry is a subject for another day. But on the issue of criminality, there is a difference between regulated industry and black market drug trafficking, which surely you can appreciate. And that difference isn’t “hey what color are those folks?”
          The last resident of the home I live in now was not a black person and he is in Hawaii after retiring from the illegal drug trade (cannibus is legal in this state, but still regulated…so there is still a black market of sorts. Pays very well too apparently).

          I’ll leave this thread with a post that someone put up on an old forum far far away, about the subject of racism in America after an excoriation of how awful our country:

          “I have to ask, if this is indeed a common sentiment among black Americans, why do you not just leave? It’s not a rhetorical question, nor am I doing the “Murica, love it or leave it” thing. I genuinely want to know, because that is exactly what me and my family did, and it is incomprehensible to me that you can have such a dismal view of your country and yet never leave despite having the opportunity to do so. And not just my family. The vast majority of Jews in what was then the USSR left as soon as we were allowed to. In the case of the US, there’s no permission to leave required. And when I say we left, I mean WE LEFT. It wasn’t emigration, it was evaporation. There’s no trace of my family anywhere in that cursed place. Most went here, or Israel, a few went to Germany. You know, to cry about the Holocaust and blame the Germans for all of life’s problems. I jest, they’re not actually doing that. They’re just living normal lives. But seriously, I don’t get it. The USSR was an s-hole country, to use the current terminology, and it sucked, so we left. We left everything, came to a place that we didn’t even know the language of, and eventually succeeded and thrived here. I have nothing but gratitude, because permission to immigrate to a country is a favor. I don’t see all this horrible evil you speak of. The only evil I see here is the progressive meat grinder to my left. But, I also recognize that not every place may be right for every person or group of people, as in our case. So why is this option not on the table? Why is it not even part of the conversation? I assure you, it can and does work, both from personal experience and at scale. Do you understand why, from my perspective, when I see people that complain for generations, yet never leave, I take them less than seriously?”

          1. @Liz

            Great comment! Especially liked how you ended it.

            I find myself thoroughly disgusted over these George Floyd riots. This nonsense started during the Obama, and the radicals just used the economic disturbance created by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to start trouble over nothing. The “mostly peaceful protesters” are in fact being racists: (1) We don’t why that cop killed Floyd. Racism is presumed because he is white. (2) The cop has been charged with murder. What is the point of the “mostly peaceful protests”? (3) The riots are being led and used by race obsessed organizations (Liberal Democrats, Antifa, and Black Lives Matters) to further agendas that have nothing to do with George Floyd’s death. What is so special about Floyd’s death that we are just suppose to defund the police, tear down monuments, destroy neighborhoods, and let hoodlums establish autonomous zones?

          2. Liz,

            Like the lawyer, most of your comment was not statistical but anecdotal of the personal experiences of yourself or your friends feeling “victimized” in one context or another. In other words, your argument against those whose subjective black experiences were to feel victimized solely as a result of racial stereotyping is that your identity group also has valid subjective experiences of feeling victimized by what you feel is just a racist overreaction to the racial injustices of the past. I’m not saying that your experiences are any less valid than a black person’s. I just think that your subjective resentment may be exaggerated beyond the actual objective reality of all our individual and collective experiences, especially as you seem to want to pretend that we were all somehow born yesterday, and that there is actually no such a thing as history.

            For example, I have never once had law enforcement pull me over on some context that was really just racial profiling, but the attorney in the article has been pulled over several times. This is also the experience of most of the black persons that I know or know about, including your only black Republican Senator. Why is that?

            Maybe it’s because of the experience (even by black police officers) that most petty crime is predominantly being committed by blacks in poor neighborhoods predominantly occupied by people of color. Why is that?

            Maybe it’s the economic result of systemic discrimination and economic racial theft that goes back to Jim Crow and the segregating white flight from the inner cities as an enormous migration happened when blacks fled the South to the North and West. Why is that?

            Well, if you keep going back far enough looking for statistical connections, it leads us through four unbroken centuries that began with forced bondage excused mainly by the dehumanization of blacks, not insignificantly including our own great Founder’s claims of white racial supremacy, even as they used the wherewithal stolen through that bondage to ultimately free the rest of us white male property owners from tyranny.

            Is there sometimes an overreaction by over sensitive blacks? I’m sure you can give anecdotes for anything. However, you seem to want to pretend we woke up in Heaven yesterday, even-steven , and everyone is miraculously being judged solely by the content of their character, as if we have no past, no history, and no context of centuries of blatant economic theft to deal with. That’s just not the actual collective experience of the people who daily are actually being judged only by their color of their skin, or of a people whose cultural norms, good and bad, grew and were formed by the isolation from the mainstream of forced exclusion and deprivation. You know, it may take many generations to economically and socially recover the theft of their lives and labor, the destruction of their family units by their massive imprisonment numbers that are unheard of in other advanced societies.

            But yeah, your experience of being victimized by reverse racism is absolutely the same.

            I know it’s wrong of me to meet your dripping sarcasm with a little of my own. You should know, however, that I really enjoy yours. But two can play that rhetorical card. 😉

          3. I’ll take more of an interest in “combatting” bigotry when the people who yell bigotry have some actual metrics and concrete objectives. MLK did. What would a “bigotry free world” look like, or just an acceptable level, look like?

            Anecdotes or no, my question remains. The writer of the article doesn’t answer it, he just asserts that unless we are all actively protesting on his behalf, we are culpable.
            That is not a reasonable standard….especially in the face of mass riots and criminal behavior.

          4. Liz,

            That’s fair. However, until we even recognize our blindness to our own implicit biases (which seems actually to be an innate tribal quality that is instinctive to humans), how can we come up with plans and policies to rationally overcome that nature? Hell, probably just that recognition alone gets us more than half way there, more than we have come in over a century since the Civil War. We may all be equal, one humanity each mysteriously made in the image of God, but as soon as that proverbial first couple left the Garden of Eden, we became separately shaped by each our own individual and cultural experiences.

            This nation was not born treating all comers with the same American immigrant’s dream where those who were at first strangers in a strange land, sought to and were eventually, activity allowed to dissolve their own cultural spices into the American melting pot. Many of our various ancestries metaphysically came to this promised land out of our own various lands of bondage, and this scriptural theme is perhaps the predominant American cultural narrative. However, only some of us, with a sick moral justification of white supremacist racism, were captured into the land of bondage and through that same racist ideology kept enslaved by the pharaoh’s people and government for four centuries. Our promised land has been their endless Egypt. The promises that make our land promising, were deprived to them and our exclusion of them from the cultural melting pot based on their race shaped them into a forcefully isolated culture within a culture.

            Just because, only in my lifetime, we have extended the national promise of equality doesn’t, BOOM, undo the damage of centuries done to that culture nor does is suddenly erase the economic stratification that our segregation schemes that allowed continuous labor theft kept them glued to the bottom. Worse than that, promises suddenly made often make matters worse when promises are not kept. Thus as happened many times during the supposedly peaceful Civil Rights Movement, riots happen.

            We have mystified MLK into an icon that neglects a much more complex man. We forget how unpopular MLK was and that he was viewed by most Americans as a troublemaker, even by moderate whites (and some blacks) who were basically sympathetic to his cause. We forget how MLK before his death expanded his racial equality movement into an anti-war movement and a workers rights movement that then too was cast as a Communist plot by Right Wing Law and Order populists like George Wallace and who were pandered to by Republicans like Richard Nixon. We forget that MLK’s murder literally set cities around the country on fire with black rage over the broken promises that MLK’s assassination represented, and that those riots too were understood with any empathyy, but instead resulted in the overreaction of a white majority backlash.

            MLK ultimately came to realize that the cause and the solution to racial inequality was inexorably wrapped up in a corrupt economic system that used racism to promulgate the economic inequalities and subjugation of a workers caste system. He knew that to have both equality of opportunity and greater economic equality in general, that that caste system must be disrupted by a rise in unity of workers, white and black.

            Then as now, the ghost of Karl Marx was raised by the far right as a boogieman, and the specter of “Class Warfare” was weaponized. Then as now the appeal of “Law and Order” was used to promote a populist appeal to what was just an excuse to ignore the effects of a viral spreading of the sins of economic inequalities that both utilize and perpetuate the status quo of the sickness of racism in the name of maintaining order. MLK knew that to change the racism reality we needed systemic change to the economic reality, and no one thing was going to make that happen, but before we could even go down the hard road of compromise on solutions, we would have to agree on the problem.

            Strangely, as far as we have come, we are still where we started from because we ignore or cherry pick the history that got us here.

          5. TSalmon,
            That was a fine rebuttal.
            Didn’t answer the question, but five stars on a scale of one to five in rhetoric.

          6. Thanks. I presume you don’t think that I adequately answered this question:

            “I’ll take more of an interest in ‘combatting’bigotry when the people who yell bigotry have some actual metrics and concrete objectives. MLK did. What would a ‘bigotry free world’ look like, or just an acceptable level, look like?“

            You said MLK answered the question. I actually gave you MLK’s basic answer that he began to work on implementing before he died. He saw that the racial problem, all the way back to slavery, ultimately derived from literally capitalizing on competitive bigotry to promote a tribalized caste system. As long as workers fought amongst themselves over which race would be at bottom of the economic ladder, then investors, employers and even municipalities could take advantage of a race to the bottom in the wages and benefits of workers.

            When he died, MLK was launching a second sanitation workers’ march in Memphis as part of his Poor People’s Campaign. MLK was forced to abandon the first march when rioting broke out as he was leading it. We remember MLK rightfully as advocating peaceful protest but we forget (like today) that his predominantly peaceful protests sometimes lead to or were accompanied by riots that MLK got blamed for, and that those riots were often (like today) used paint his efforts in a whole complex black rights’ movement with the broad brush of rioters, looters and violent communist provocateurs.

            Slavery itself began with economic motivations which capitalized on that form of tribalism. The two things are inherently intertwined. However, we have to recognize one thing (even in ourselves) to get at solutions to the other.

            When your husband became an airline pilot, I’m sure he started to become educated in what it is like to be in a union, to essentially be dependent on collective labor bargaining for his pay, benefits and even his safety. I was a union volunteer and I held leadership roles in my union, including as a national spokesperson for a while after 9/11. I can write you a dissertation on labor problems, strategies and solutions if you like. I can also give you similar information on racial and feminist integration within that movement.

            Even as a negotiator, I never really thought of management as my mortal enemies so much as arms’ length professional adversaries where both sides were advocates for their respective interests. The best deals were made where those interests were mutual, but that did not keep it from being aggressive when that was not seen as the case.

            My biggest problem as a trade unionist, however, often wasn’t management, it was convincing my fellow primodonna pilots that they were not management, and management would never think of them as one of them. As far as most of our our far richer, stock incentivized, multimillionaire overlords were concerned, we were just “the help”, and it was a zero sum game between us and them. Under that Milton Friedman thinking, whatever we got wouldn’t go to themselves and the other stock holders.

            It doesn’t have to be that way. Labor bargaining is a creature of law, as are corporations. Therefore only changes to the law can effectuate those changes. I can get really specific, but this is not a good forum for that kind of wonky granularity. And unless you even understand and buy into the basic premises, what would be the point?

            MLK was trying to get people to buy into those premises and you don’t even seem to know that history, much less do you accept what he was actually doing.

          7. If I am worried about drowning, and my objective is not to drown
            should I:
            1) Complain about the water and demand its removal.
            2) Learn to swim.

            I might have limited success with the first option…and it promises to give me something to complain about until the end of time. The second will solve the problem more effectively.

          8. Liz, you’ve got an anecdote about one idiot and that is supposed to say it all.
            I did mention my spouse’s father worked for Eastern. That was the example that should say a lot since the Union is the reason the airline doesn’t exist anymore.

            TSalmon…I was going to copy and paste the bit about the union committees but it just got too long. I really don’t want to offend, but you sound like you are on the PR payroll here. And I’m not a “union hater”. I didn’t state or imply that everything about all unions is bad. I gave an example of how they can be bad. The hospitals I have worked in that had unions were better than the ones without, and I do believe it saved lives and improved safety.
            In other cases (like Eastern) the union folks actually worked to sabotage the airline and airline safety. It is far from the only example.

            Good advice about my flapping my gams on the internet though, point taken.
            Citizen tom, would you mind deleting that last post I made? I’d appreciate it.

            On the subject: I don’t know if you heard about the petition to force the principal of Whitney Young to resign because she had the audacity to condemn the riots.
            claiming she has “silenced student activists speaking against all forms of injustice. Her silence and her enabling of the systematic oppression that her black and low-income students face should be condemned.”
            This is the school that Michele Obama went to, and one of the best in the country.
            Without a doubt. What is happening now is madness.
            Maybe you think MLK would’ve agreed with this. Maybe he would have and I don’t know what he is about. If he would have approved of the madness happening now I was very mistaken about his character and intention.

          9. I deleted the last comment, the one about learning to swim. Not sure why you wanted to get rid of it.

            Heh, I should’ve said the one before that. I posted in the middle of the night and wasn’t doing my best thinking. Insomnia sucks. 😆
            Thought it probably wasn’t a good idea to post about my spouse’s company (after considering TSalmon’s comment).

            Just to reiterate, it is a fantastic company with an excellent CEO.
            I accept TSalmon’s experience with his union. I’m sure they were excellent people. This does not mean unions are filled with excellent people everywhere or aren’t/can’t be destructive to a company. Nor do they always make the work environment good. Sometimes it’s exactly the opposite. And that is within the airlines too.

          10. @Liz

            Alright. Hope I got the right comment.

            I sympathize with your trials with insomnia. Don’t lose sleep often, but it is usually due to worrying about something, not an illness of some sort. Worrying is a lot easier to stop, at least for me. My attention span is too short to keep worrying and worrying and worrying.

            Anyway, I pray you get the sleep you need.

          11. Thanks, Citizen Tom. 🙂

            Again (to TSalmon): I understand your experience with the union and union people was great. I’m not trying to attack your friends or their job. From my perspective the union exists to step in when things are bad. So to your point about my spouse becoming involved…he is completely happy with how the company is run. So at this point it seems the union only exists to find problems where there are none, and (with recent unforeseen events) frighten people. This ties in very well to the subject.

          12. Tom,

            Feel free to delete my whole long diatribe too, just to make it complete.


            Have you read “The Southwest Airlines Way”? I read it years ago. Herb Kelleher was probably one of the best business leaders this country has ever known. The man used to go out and throw bags with the baggage handlers just to find out their problems. One thing I noticed at most airlines is that when something went wrong and a plane was delayed for example, everyone starts pointing fingers. At SWA under Kelleher, everyone would work together to fix the problem. If you asked anyone in any employee group what their mission was, everyone said the exact same thing: “We need to get airplanes safely in the air because they don’t make money on the ground“.

            Good airline leadership (and that is the operative word, not “management”) makes unions almost unnecessary. Kelleher was beloved by all the employees. Unfortunately, soon after the good leaders leave, as my MBA wife says, the guys in a brown suits take over, and they screw everything up.

            You’d think that corporations would learn from and emulate the “leadership” skills of guys like Kelleher and Sam Walton. Why? Not just because it is moral and altruistic, but because it works, it’s profitable. However, that’s not the way corporate governance laws incentivize them these days.

            I could explain how the corporate governance laws changed dramatically about 40 years ago and started a race to the bottom in innovation and locked in obscene incentives for corporate officers, but that’s a longer topic.

            For airline union history, I recommend reading “Flying the Line”. Pilot unions were originally started because their was no safety standards in the early Wild West of air transport. The eventual union laws there has also created some sick incentives, mainly because they’re obsolete, the Railway Labor Act has not substantially been updated or reformed in a hundred years – another long explanation for another time, but essentially the law is not and cannot create a labor “market” but instead makes a necessary bilateral monopoly. In bilateral monopolies, the incentive is toward holding out and that creates high transaction costs for both sides. There are ways to legislatively reform this system, but entrenched ideologically driven political financial interests on both sides make this impossible for now so both sides are forced to support their own political PACs (thanks SCOTUS) to buy their own politicians in Washington. It can be a not-so-virtuous cycle, but you work within the system you have to do good until things get bad enough to change things.

            Now I’ll probably get another lecture on how I’m all wrong about how government works in another area in which I have worked and studied the issues for over 20 years. But that’s why I love Tom’s blog. It’s never boring and every once in a while I get through.

            Thanks for taking my advice in the spirit that it was intended. My family and your family are more alike than we are different. Like your husband I’m sure, I know that I married up. If anyone ever wonders if I did, , they just ask my wife and it becomes obvious. 😉

          13. Agreed on leadership (and Kelleher). I’m sure we have that book, but I’ve never read it. I do know he was loved and respected by all. In his case we are very blessed and fortunate he picked a good replacement (he was smart there too). He had difficult shoes to fill and is not Herb (RIP), but no one is. Much like MLK you get someone with that skill level very rarely.
            Off to do my taxes hope you have a great day. 🙂

  2. Tom

    Spot on. School choice or school vouchers is the only hope for the future based on the present news what the secular schools either promoted to the students rather than what our Nation’s founders envisioned that included the Rights to choose and teach Religion to thier children..

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    PS,I read this afternoon the the University of Wisconsin wants to remove the statue of Abraham Lincoln now because he signed some laws they believe was racial.

    Sad when we consider that Abe was shot and killed by someone who believed he had the Right to kill and destroy someone he did not agree with.

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He Hath Said

is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort; let it dwell in you richly, as a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life

quotes and notes and opinions

from a Biblical perspective




The view from the Anglosphere

bluebird of bitterness

The opinions expressed are those of the author. You go get your own opinions.

Pacific Paratrooper

This site is Pacific War era information

My Walk, His Way - daily inspiration

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