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Rich Rosen
Nothing changes your mind more profoundly than prolonged exposure to those who agree with you.
Nothing changes your mind more profoundly than prolonged exposure to those who agree with you.

Rich's posts

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"When the President does it, that means it is not illegal."
--Richard Nixon, during the Frost/Nixon interviews

Few statements encapsulate the authoritarian mindset better than this one. When you're in a position of authority and power, you can do whatever you want, and it's OK. It's not illegal. It's not immoral. It's not wrong.

When a clergyman sexually abuses a child, because he's a man of God, it's OK.

When a financial institution (or any other large corporation) profits from egregious flagrant disregard for the rules, because they're too big to... you know... that goes unpunished.

When a "respected" artist or performer or athlete is caught doing something that any other person would be justifiably punished for doing, because they're tortured souls and geniuses and supposed role models not subject to the rules the rest of us live by, they get off.

When a police officer uses excessive force that causes the death of an unarmed person, because he's a cop, that's not "murder".

The authoritarian mindset says that our lack of respect for authorities like these is at the root of society's problems. If we only just acceded to authority, things would run more smoothly and there wouldn't be so much tension, discord, and violence. Everyone would know their place. And yours isn't a place of authority. So get used to it.

But that's all a lie. It's that authoritarian mindset itself that is the problem. And the authoritarians have successfully achieved a state where it has become more the norm than the exception. To the point where people who choose not to blindly accept authority are diagnosed as having Oppositional Defiant Disorder (yes, ODD).

If we want a world where it's not OK for corporations to break the rules, where it's not OK for "men of God" to cite their relationship to their incorporeal master as justification for abuses against fellow human beings, where it's not OK for cops to imagine that their uniform gives them license to use their power any way they want to - to steal, to attack, to kill - and for that matter where no one in a position of authority is given license to use their power unchecked...

... then maybe it's time we all got a little bit ODD. And stopped believing that title, wealth, or a badge automatically make anyone a priori incapable of doing wrong, just because they say so. Because that's the root of the problem we face. It's not just politicians, it's not just corporations, it's not just cops. It's the mindset.

So, if Dick Cheney got a heart… did George W. Bush get a brain?

Using my MacBook - battery indicator says over four hours left. Start up Google Chrome - battery indicator drops instantaneously to ONE hour left. Time to go back to Firefox. This thing is a pig and really stopped being useful a long time ago. (Note: all extensions had been shut off and GoogleTalkPlugin was uninstalled, so those were not the only contributors to the piggery.)

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So, assuming corporation-persons are male (which is apparently the assumption here), when two corporation-persons marry (i.e., merge) that's a gay marriage - and should obviously be illegal because it's contrary to the laws of God! It would destroy the sanctity of all human-corporation marriages like this one to allow these "mergers" to occur!!!

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Because he's Sheldon.


Banks and other institutions that insist on you selecting an image and a personally selected phrase to log in to your account. The login page warns you to check the image and phrase and make sure they're the ones you selected when you set up your account. If they're not, they tell you to contact a representative immediately.

Except that Eastern European hacker site trying to break into your account won't bother to put the wrong image and phrase up on their fake page. They'll just omit any reference to a phrase or image at all, counting on the fact that you won't recall that there was supposed to be either a phrase or an image, and you'll just log in. Ah, security!

Meanwhile, the bank will insist that you provide these ridiculous useless artifacts in order to use your account.

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h/t Steven Sudit - "The Onion has become indistinguishable from actual news."

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The flip side of Ayn Rand's lopsided shortsighted ideas about compassion and the "virtue" of selfishness.
It is important that when pursing our own self-interest we should be “wise selfish” and not “foolish selfish”. Being foolish selfish means pursuing our own interests in a narrow, shortsighted way. Being wise selfish means taking a broader view and recognizing that our own long-term individual interest lies in the welfare of everyone. Being wise selfish means being compassionate.

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It's about time! Now the powers that be can go about their business unimpeded by ridiculous laws and regulations preventing them from doing what they want to.

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RIP Etta (1/25/1938 – 1/20/2012) - Most people are probably posting "At Last", her signature song (which we danced to at our wedding, as did a couple of good friends of ours), but this seems so much more appropriate today. I recall that it's actually Mick Jagger playing blues harp on this cover of his own song.
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