The sympathies of a well-adjusted person can easily be aroused by the plight of strangers. Indeed, the skillful writer of a novel, a play, or an opera can engage our emotions on behalf of people who are not only strangers to us, but who do not even exist! And a person whose emotions cannot be so aroused is not behaving normally.
As a result of these news stories, millions of people must have become aware of "niggardly, " who otherwise would never have heard it, let alone thought to use it. If this is right, and the word has a new currency, it is probably not the currency I would wish for. The word's new lease of life is probably among manufacturers and retailers of sophomoric humor. I bet that even as I write, some adolescent boys, in the stairwell of some high school somewhere in America, are accusing each other of being niggardly, and sniggering at their own outrageous wit. I bet ... Wait a minute. Sniggering? Oh, my God ...
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The ordinary modes of human thinking are magical, religious, social, and personal. We want our wishes to come true; we want the universe to care about us; we want the approval of those around us; we want to get even with that s.o.b. who insulted us at the last tribal council. For most people, wanting to know the cold truth about the world is way, way down the list.
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You are inhuman brutes determined to rob us of our spiritual consolations and sweep away the moral foundations of our civilization, and on the other: You are obscurantist ignoramuses who'd like to shut down progress and drag us all back to the 16th century, with kings and priests telling us what to think.
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Steve Sailer gives us the real Barack Obama, who turns out to be very, very different - and much more interesting - than the bland healer/uniter image stitched together out of whole cloth this past six years by Obama's packager, David Axelrod. Making heavy use of Obama's own writings, which he admires for their literary artistry, Sailer gives the deepest insights I have yet seen into Obama's lifelong obsession with 'race and inheritance,' and rounds off his brilliant character portrait with speculations on how Obama's personality might play out in the Presidency.
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Ultimately, however, as the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter pointed out, a powerful bureaucratic class is in the same relation to commerce as was the scorpion in Aesop to the dog on whose back he crossed the river. They will destroy commerce and establish socialism, even if it kills them, because that is their nature.
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Nonmathematical people sometimes ask me, "You know math, huh? Tell me something I've always wondered, What is infinity divided by infinity?" I can only reply, "The words you just uttered do not make sense. That was not a mathematical sentence. You spoke of 'infinity' as if it were a number. It's not. You may as well ask, 'What is truth divided by beauty?' I have no clue. I only know how to divide numbers. 'Infinity,' 'truth,' 'beauty'""those are not numbers.
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