Sometimes you have to wonder if human nature is to be cooperative and kind or selfish and cruel.
My sister-in-law has a grandson that lives in a "socially integrated" neighborhood... okay, people with different ethnic and racial backgrounds. It happens to be near a "not so socially integrated" neighborhood with "economically and ethically challenged" people.
The other night, some of the "not so socially integrated" were busily breaking a few "social rules of conduct" when they were chased off by the "social rules of conduct enforcers" and hid in the "socially integrated" neighborhood. Unfortunately, they happened to hide near my sister-in-law's grandson's home. He was returning late with his girl friend who was driving. She dropped him off and drove to a turn about at the end of the street. By the time she returned to his home going in the opposite direction, she saw he was being beaten by 4 to 6 of the "not so socially integrated" people. She acted quickly to call 911 and the operator directed her call to police who were just a couple of blocks away looking for this particular "band of brothers." Then they began to approach her car so she sounded the horn and brought out some neighbors who chased off the attackers.
The beaten young man was taken to the hospital where, fortunately, he was determined to have a lot of painful bruises and a bad concussion, but nothing more serious. If the young woman had not needed to turn around her car and return, the young man could have been killed without anyone knowing.
So the question still remains: is it human nature to be cooperative and kind or selfish and cruel? Don't be too fast here. Remember, the young woman was in danger herself and she stayed to be sure that the young man received help. And the neighbor primarily responsible for chasing off the "not so socially integrated" attackers happened to be of the same racial background as the attackers.
Was this a hate crime as the government likes to define it? The "not so socially integrated" attackers were a different racial group than the young man who was attacked. Had the racial backgrounds been reversed, there would be no question in the minds of government prosecutors.
So what does this tell us? 1) the idea of a "hate crime" above and beyond an assault is probably stupid because an attack on another person is always hateful at its core and 2) because such a definition is not consistently applied, it is stupid... oh, I said that.
But oddly, the results of this incident were most revealing about human nature. The young man's grandmother and great-grandmother both had similar reactions to the attack: extreme anger... despite their personal and deep Christian faith. Would it be enough anger to retaliate? Probably not. But it is enough anger not to forget or forgive.
So what does this tell us? Simply this: we can put all of the labels we want on people and actions and beliefs, but when it something affects us very personally, we will forget those "higher" attitudes and react with our deepest feelings. We are human, after all.
In the middle east, the Israelis and Palestinians continue to fight.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Sometimes you have to wonder if human nature is to be cooperative and kind or selfish and cruel.
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Climate Change - What Is and Is Not (Short List)
- Dr. Benny Peiser - Climate and Social Commentary
- Images and Issues Related To Climate Change and Global Warming - downloadable 5.4mb Adobe file
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- .........Dr. Timothy Patterson
- Multi-scale analysis of global temperature changes
- Dr. Scotese - Climate History
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- Climate Science - Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr.
- ...........Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr.
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Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
- O. Henry
The Independent (UK)
FEDERAL RESERVE & HOUSING
February 3, 2006 Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
November 28, 2007 FED VICE CHAIRMAN DONALD KOHN
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com. "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.”January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...
What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?
- Bruce Hall
- Michigan, United States
- Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)