Open Thread for Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Two weeks ago today, my family surprised me with an impromptu 70th birthday party at Riverfront Park. In my hand is a card containing the tickets to the awesome show mentioned below…

Yeah, I’ve been quiet lately. I’ve been sick for days. Had a negative COVID test, so I guess it’s something else. Still not over it, but I have been following the news…

  1. Biden Plans to Go to Israel as U.S. Pushes Aid Deal for Gaza — My hope and prayers go with him. It’s a horrible situation that promises to keep being horrible. My prayer is that he and his team can do or say something that will make it less horrible. I’m encouraged by both elements in that headline — Joe going there, and the push for humanitarian aid. Meanwhile, I’ve very worried about the signs of a larger conflict — such as incidents out of Lebanon and Jordan involving Hezbollah.
  2. Judge imposes limited gag order on Trump in election case — Not much to say about this, other than to wonder, “Why ‘limited’?”
  3. Republicans near vote on nominee Jim Jordan as House speaker — This reminds me. This morning, Nancy Mace tweeted, “Let’s give the American people what they want: Jim Jordan as Speaker.” My response was, “I’m assuming this is a joke of some kind, but I don’t get it…”
  4. The South Carolina gerrymandering case — I was sort of startled to see a picture of Dick Harpootlian pointing to some projected maps of South Carolina — at the top of an email from The New York Times. That had completely slipped by me several days earlier. I suppose it was played prominently by SC media — here’s a story from The State — but I had missed it. Anyway, there’s no decision yet, but the U.S. Supreme Court is sounding unsympathetic to a lower court’s view that the redistricting plan was “an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.” I hope I don’t miss it when a decision comes…
  5. And now some happy news — I was determined to shake off this cold or whatever on Saturday, because of things I didn’t want to miss. First, I enjoyed participating with members of my family in the Walk for Life early that morning, and then rested all afternoon before going to see Steve Martin and Martin Short at the Township. My kids had given us the tickets for my 70th birthday earlier this month. No, this isn’t news you can use, since the show was just for that night. But when I see somebody do a great job, I want to say something: This wasn’t just a trip down memory lane. These two guys — who could easily have phoned it in for the fans — put on a fantastic show, from start to finish. Both put as much comedic energy into this as back in the days when they unleashed “King Tut” and Ed Grimley upon the world. And they’re both older than I am. I was amazed, and pleased. Oh, and there was a bonus — the Steep Canyon Rangers were there!

Sorry. Nothing to say about Taylor Swift…

Here’s hoping that Jeffrey Collins and the AP don’t mind my posting this. That’s where the NYT got it…

26 thoughts on “Open Thread for Tuesday, October 17, 2023

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Check this out, y’all….

    Anything stand out about that to you? Such as the fact that Jordan got 200 votes, and Hakeem Jeffries got 212? And yet nobody is talking about Jeffries becoming speaker?

    Maybe they should solve this problem by changing the rules so that all you need is a plurality of votes to win the job.

    Then we could get on with the business of the country…

  2. Barry

    Jim Jordan ignored a Congressional subpoena in the last Congress.

    I would encourage anyone that receives a subpoena in a House led by Jim Jordan to ignore it, citing the “Jim Jordan rule’ whether than be Hunter Biden or anyone else.

    All but a few Republicans in Congress have defended Jim Jordan ignoring a subpoena.

    The Law and Order crowd has always been nothing but huge hypocrites.

      1. Barry

        The Law and Order crowd is only for law and order when”

        1) It applies to someone else

        2) Except for their friends and associates.

        I am NOT a “law and order” guy.

        Jim Jordan very frequently talks about what a Law and Order guy he is.

        He ignored a subpoena, and he encouraged Mike Pence to throw the election.

        If that sounds like law and order to anyone, we have different values.

      2. Robert Amundson

        It’s a common misconception that a strong focus on law and order automatically leads to authoritarian thinking. In reality, it’s about finding a balance.

        Effective law and order can exist within a framework that upholds individual rights and freedoms. A system that emphasizes justice, fairness, and due process ensures that law enforcement is accountable and operates within the bounds of the law.

        The key is to promote a culture where the rule of law is respected, not just for the sake of order, but as a mechanism to protect individual liberties. Open dialogue, community engagement, and transparency in governance are crucial components to ensure that law and order measures don’t morph into authoritarianism.

        In essence, it’s not about choosing between order and freedom; it’s about creating a system that can harmoniously accommodate both. It’s like baking a cake—you need the right balance of ingredients to make it work!

  3. Barry

    A report yesterday detailed how Sean Hannity of Fox News was pressuring House Republicans to support Jim Jordan.

    One member released the email he had received from Hannity’s show producer at Fox which was applying pressure on various Republicans to support Jordan, or else Hannity would blast them on his tv and radio show.

    This is against supposed Fox News employment policy but as former Fox News employees have said before, no one controls Sean Hannity. He does what he wants to do.

    Another Republican in the House who has said he will not support Jim Jordan told Jordan personally that “Jordan’s followers” were spreading lies and Jordan needed to order them to stop. He stated Jordan said he had nothing to do with it, but the Congressman felt like Jordan could put a stop to it if he wanted. Clearly Jordan didn’t want it to stop.

    Imagine you are a politician, and you have “followers” like groupies.

    Imagine your life is such a failure and disaster that you are a groupie of a politician……..

    This is the modern Conservatism. One of the hundreds of reasons to reject it.

  4. Doug Ross

    Can someone explain to me what the U.S. gets in return for it’s funding of Israel to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars over the years? Are they just a charity case or do they offer something else? It better not have anything to do with religion

    We send billions to Ukraine because of the Boogeyman Putin who if allowed to would harm Americans by.. wait.. what exactly are we scared Putin will do? It’s almost like the military industrial complex needs an enemy or else what purpose would they serve?

      1. Doug Ross

        It’s not a tough question, Brad.

        Why do we give billions of dollars we don’t actually have to Israel? What do we get in return for this “special relationship”? What would happen if we stopped giving them our tax dollars?

        This started in the 60s. It was all about weapons and theoretically helping to achieve stability in the Middle East. 60 years later and that has never existed and is in fact worse today. Maybe putting all those weapons isn’t so effective at achieving peace. Maybe a religious war that has been going on for longer than the United States has existed may not be something we can solve.

    1. Barry

      ” It better not have anything to do with religion”

      Oh come on, Christian Zionism has been a thing for a long, long time in America with conservatives.

      There is an entire industry on the right that promotes support of Israel specifically because of religious reasons. Just watch or listen to a few minutes of fringe cable tv shows with supposed Christian speakers and tv preachers.

      it definitely has something to do with religion for many

      Supporting Israel “because the of the bible” is a very popular right wing issue, frequently mentioned at nearly every “family” political event on the right.,a%20survey%20conducted%20in%202017

        1. Barry

          I support sending various forms of support, including money, to Israel.

          AKA- American policy, regardless of President, for decades and decades.

    2. Robert Amundson

      Regarding Israel, the U.S. has historically supported the country for various reasons, including geopolitical alliances, shared democratic values, and strategic interests in the Middle East. It’s not purely a charity case; there are mutual benefits such as intelligence sharing, collaborative research, and economic ties.

      Now, when it comes to Ukraine and concerns about the “Boogeyman Putin,” it’s a complex situation. The U.S. support for Ukraine can be seen as a response to regional stability and a commitment to supporting nations facing external threats. While there might be concerns about a perceived “enemy” driving military expenditures, it’s crucial to differentiate between geopolitical realities and potential military-industrial complex motivations.

      The key is to scrutinize and advocate for transparency in government decisions and spending. By understanding the broader context of international relations, we can encourage open dialogue and ensure that assistance serves the interests of both nations involved.

  5. bud

    Happy birthday! I’m not far behind you.

    I saw Steve Martin at the Golden Spur (inside USC’s Russell House) back in the 70s before he was famous. Funniest standup routine I’ve ever seen.

  6. Judy Cooper

    I hope Steve Martin and Martin Short will come to Memphis soon. I love them! Saw Steve and the Rangers here in the past and they are great!
    I’ll be so relieved when Biden is back home safe. This whole thing is so worrisome!

  7. Robert Amundson

    The interplay of human irrationality and bias in the realm of international governance is a fascinating and complex topic. In our increasingly interconnected world, where nations collaborate on various fronts, these cognitive biases can significantly impact decision-making and global relationships.

    Cultural and Cognitive Biases: In-Group/Out-Group Bias: Humans have a tendency to favor those they perceive as part of their “in-group” over the “out-group.” In international relations, this can lead to favoritism or hostility based on cultural, national, or ideological differences.

    Confirmation Bias: Decision-makers may seek information that confirms their existing beliefs, ignoring or downplaying evidence that challenges their views. This can lead to misguided policies and a reluctance to consider alternative perspectives.

    Emotional Decision-Making Often Due to Fear and Anxiety: Decisions influenced by fear of perceived threats can lead to hasty or overly aggressive actions. This is particularly relevant in the context of global security and geopolitical tensions.

    Nationalism and Pride: National pride can be a double-edged sword. While it fosters a sense of identity, it can also lead to blind support for one’s own country and a reluctance to acknowledge faults or cooperate internationally.

    Short-Term Thinking vs. Long-Term Challenges and Temporal Discounting: The prioritization of short-term gains over long-term benefits is a common human tendency. In international governance, this can result in policies that address immediate concerns but neglect sustainable, long-term solutions.
    Communication Challenges:

    Language and Cultural Barriers: Miscommunication and misunderstandings often arise due to linguistic and cultural differences. These barriers can escalate conflicts or hinder effective cooperation.

    Decision-Making in a Democratic Context Dealing with Populism and Public Opinion: Politicians, accountable to their constituents, may be swayed by populist sentiments. Decisions driven by public opinion, especially in the age of instant communication, might not always align with strategic long-term interests.

    Addressing these challenges requires a multi-faceted approach. Increased cultural awareness, education on cognitive biases, and fostering open dialogue are essential. Additionally, the promotion of international institutions and collaborations that encourage cooperation based on shared interests can help mitigate the impact of irrationality on global governance.

    It’s crucial to recognize that while human biases pose challenges, they also present opportunities for growth and learning. By acknowledging our cognitive limitations, we can work towards building more effective and empathetic international relations.

    I hope my non-profit, “Listening to the Children,” holds tremendous promise in addressing the complexities of international governance influenced by human biases. By focusing on the perspectives and insights of the younger generation, my organization can contribute to breaking down cultural barriers, fostering empathy, and promoting a future where global decision-making is more inclusive and considerate of diverse viewpoints.

    Children often bring fresh perspectives, untainted by deep-seated biases, and can serve as powerful catalysts for change. Through initiatives that encourage dialogue, education, and cross-cultural understanding among children worldwide, Listening to the Children has the potential to lay the foundation for a more rational, compassionate, and globally connected society.

    In a world where collaboration and mutual understanding are paramount, our goal of listening to and amplifying the voices of children is not just (I hope) a noble endeavor but a strategic one that aligns with the long-term interests of fostering a more harmonious and cooperative global community.

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