Articles and excerpts – July 29 to August 7, 2014

The Worst Ideas of the Decade Compassionate conservatism by Reihan Salam, Washington Post, December 2009  – Compassionate conservatism won George W. Bush the White House in 2000, a year Democrats should have taken in a landslide. But over the next eight years, it badly undermined the Republican reputation for competence and fiscal rectitude…While compassionate conservatism elected a Republican president, it may have set the stage for an era of crony capitalism in which real entrepreneurship and growth are snuffed out for a generation.

The Worst Ideas of the Decade – The prosperity gospel by Cathleen Falsani, Washington Post, December 2009     …The “prosperity gospel,” an insipid heresy whose popularity among American Christians has boomed in recent years, teaches that God blesses those God favors most with material wealth.…Nowhere has the prosperity gospel flourished more than among the poor and the working class. Told that wealth is a sign of God’s grace and favor, followers strive for trappings of luxury they can little afford in an effort to prove that they are blessed spiritually. Some critics have gone so far as to place part of the blame for the past decade’s spending binge and foreclosure crisis at the foot of the prosperity gospel’s altar…

Watch This Religious Scholar Obliterate Charlatan Joel Osteen and the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ Fraud! (Video) Rika Christensen, The Raw Story in AATTP, August 6, 2014 …The prosperity gospel comes from greed, and is likely one of the roots of the religious right’s ridiculous favoring of the wealthy, and condemnation of the poor. / references The Worst Ideas of the DecadeThe prosperity gospel by Cathleen Falsani, Washington Post, December 2009

New Study: Republicans Lie More Than Democrats by: Dan Arel, The Center for Media and Public Affairs, August 5, 2014

None Dare Call It Treason By Richard Reeves, Truthdig.com, Aug 6, 2014  … the senior leader of that [Republican] party, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, is on record as saying in 2010: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” In fairness, McConnell later added, “I don’t want the president to fail; I want him to change.” Didn’t happen. The president hasn’t changed. So the only option left for Sen. McConnell and his sidekick, House Speaker John Boehner, is presidential failure, failure of the sovereign. Under our system of government, the president is that sovereign. And the classic definition of treason, going back to 12th-century England, is: “The offense of acting to overthrow one’s government or to harm or kill its sovereign.”…

On Roboethics and the Robotic Human By Fred Guerin, Truthout | News Analysis August 3, 2014

 

Why Liberal Education Matters by Michael Roth, President of Wesleyan University, author of Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters in an interview on NPR, August 03, 2014 …in an economy that places a premium on high-tech skills, is a liberal arts education even relevant? On whether higher education is necessary for success – …Today the shifts in the economy mean technological change will only produce accelerated pace of innovation, of changing relations to audiences. A broad, wide-ranging education is the best way to be able to shape that change rather than just be victimized by it. On the cost of paying for college – Higher education in the United States has traditionally functioned as a vehicle for social mobility. And as costs have escalated and financial aid has not kept up with those costs, elite education has become a way of cementing privilege rather than…

How to Tell a Sociopath from a Psychopath By Scott A. Bonn, Psychology Today, Alternet.org, July 31, 2014 – Key traits that sociopaths and psychopaths share include:

  • A disregard for laws and social mores
  • A disregard for the rights of others
  • A failure to feel remorse or guilt
  • A tendency to display violent behavior

In addition to their commonalities, sociopaths and psychopaths also have their own unique behavioral characteristics as well. Sociopaths tend to be nervous and easily agitated. They are volatile and prone to emotional outbursts, including fits of rage…It is difficult but not impossible for sociopaths to form attachments with others. Many sociopaths are able to form an attachment to a particular individual or group, although they have no regard for society in general or its rules… Psychopaths, on the other hand, are unable to form emotional attachments or feel real empathy with others, although they often have disarming or even charming personalities. Psychopaths are very manipulative and can easily gain people’s trust…

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