Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thinking like the "Enemy"

I promise this blog won't be ALL about politics.

From Judith Warner's column in the New York Times. At the end she talks about how conservatives can think like liberals better than liberals can think like conservatives. I have noticed this about myself. Often with other situations, I can imagine how someone else might thing differently about something. But I have a lot of trouble trying to do this with conservatives. I do just feel like they are totally wrong and almost evil (OK, evil if they are Karl Rove or Cheney), and can't even start imagining. But it does seem like you have an advantage if you can think like the other side. It helps you think of ways to reason and argue with the other side.

Haidt has conducted research in which liberals and conservatives were asked to project themselves into the minds of their opponents and answer questions about their moral reasoning. Conservatives, he said, prove quite adept at thinking like liberals, but liberals are consistently incapable of understanding the conservative point of view. “Liberals feel contempt for the conservative moral view, and that is very, very angering. Republicans are good at exploiting that anger,” he told me in a phone interview.

Perhaps that’s why the conservatives can so successfully get under liberals’ skin. And why liberals need to start working harder at breaking through the empathy barrier.

I can imagine someone who is anti-choice/pro-life. I can imagine a rich person wanting to keep their rich-person tax cuts. But I have trouble imagining lower or middle class Americans thinking Republicans will be good for the economy, for their lives. But maybe that's not what they are thinking at all. Maybe that is the problem.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Seals vs Bears. Flippity Flop

So McCain is all up in arms about studying bear DNA in Montana -- a federal earmark worth about 3 million.

While Palin was mayor of Wasilla, she helped bring in a 3.2 million earmark for a study of seal DNA. Now she's against earmarks, and perhaps seals, too, I'm not sure about the second one.

I think the sounds seals make when they move around on the beach sounds kind of like "flip-flop."
Just read Krugman's new op-ed in the New York Times. He's talking about the various lies that McCain keeps spreading about Obama, about Palin, about everyone. I hate it when they lie like this and get away with it.

Full article:

And now the team that hopes to form the next administration is running a campaign that makes Bush-Cheney 2000 look like something out of a civics class. What does that say about how that team would run the country?

I agree with Krugman, if they lie now, they will in all likelihood lie in office, about much bigger things. Kind of like what Cheney did with fake intellignce to make up a reason to go to Iraq.

Which by the way, reminds me: the other day, Palin linked the war in Iraq with 9/11. Um, not even Bush & Cheney try that anymore. 

She was talking to soldiers headed to Iraq --  perhaps if this had been Afghanistan she was referring to, it would be a bit different. 

She said:
...defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.

Time to do your homework, Palin.

Recycling in Seattle

The recycling here is so great I almost want to move back. Trash cans are super tiny, food waste & recycling carts, gigantic.

I want Los Alamos to do this. They do a very good job with composting brush & yard waste, and an OK job with recycling. There is a lot we cannot recycle in Los Alamos: glass, many types of plastic, and that thin cardboard like in cereal boxes.