Ryan, Rand, Romney

ryan romney ticket

Charles Hayes: The hate your government virus has become the bubonic plague of American politics. Thanks largely to Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s chosen running mate, the ghost of Ayn Rand is spooking the electorate.

Social Media: Meaning or Madness?

social media

Charles Hayes: Increasingly I see young people (and some not so young) spending their days flitting this way and that, like subatomic particles being moved by unseen forces, while focused on a hand-held gadget.

Preparing Not To Forget

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Charles Hayes: The gradual slide into dementia that my own parents experienced serves as a constant reminder about what can happen when one gives up rigorous thinking.

The Small Government Fallacy

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Charles Hayes: American history shows beyond a doubt that our health as a nation is dependent in large part on a vibrant middle class. Extreme inequality severely weakens our economic foundation.

Duped By the Freedom Ploy

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Charles Hayes: Any country that cannot generate enough goodwill to see that everyone has access to adequate medical care should be embarrassed to refer to itself as the greatest country on earth.

What Do You Mean By Socialist?

Stéphane Hessel

Charles Hayes: One of the biggest fallacies of contemporary economics, and right-wing propaganda in particular, is that a progressive income tax is counterproductive because it dampens incentive. This simply is not true, and yet it is repeated as gospel truth ad nauseam.

An Ayn Rand Train Wreck

ayn rand

Charles Hayes: Now they say it’s time to admit that the whole damn thing is your fault. If you were John Galt, they would let it slide. But you’re not. Your name is Barack Obama.

Empty the Tea Pot

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Charles Hayes: The progressive political agenda for 2012 has never been clearer: Empty the Tea Pot. Remove the Tea Party ideologues from office and those who cater to their whims.

Economic Democracy Reduces Poverty

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Charles Hayes: When I hear senate candidate Elizabeth Warren explain to an audience that no one makes a fortune in America all on their own, I can’t help but wonder why it has taken so long for this argument to surface.

Will the Social Animal Achieve Adulthood?

Impeach Obama 375

Charles Hayes: How disturbing a notion that many of our daily behaviors are reliably predictable. How disappointed would you be to discover that some scientist could study the details of your life and then accurately predict the things you will do or say in the near future?

America’s Greatest Enemy: Ignorance

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Charles Hayes: Nothing is more insidious and more threatening than ignorance. Nothing is more pervasive and more unrelenting in deleterious effect than being unaware of the vital matters that should command our attention.

Time, Politics, and Change

Arthur Schopenhauer

Charles Hayes: When I think about the prospects of individuals standing up these days and making some kind of a qualitative political difference in the world, I can’t help, but wonder what it must have been like to be an Abolitionist in 1850, trying to change popular sentiment about slavery, or a suffragette, arguing for women’s rights.

Raging Inequality and Red-State Rationale

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Charles Hayes: Republicans are celebrating the 2010 Census because it reflects a gain in congressional seats in traditionally conservative states, but it would be wise of them to realize that a significant number of these people are moving because they can’t find work. Many of them have lost their homes to foreclosure, and if the Republican Party doesn’t get a clue pretty soon, these states may turn a brighter shade of purple with a tint of blue.

Meat: Politics and Perspective on Steroids

Sleeping Calf Cow

Charles Hayes: As those who participate already know, the greatest lesson of all of self-education is that things are seldom as they seem. Examining the food industry is a good way to prove this to yourself. Then apply what you’ve learned to politics.

Discombobulated Wingnuttery

If a person is uneducated to such a degree that articulating their political views rationally and coherently is not possible, then emotion is all they can bring to the table. If a person knows little of history and little of the dynamics of human behavior and politics, then any and all arguments that they don’t fully understand are perceived as an assault on their identity.

Symbol Madness

Book Burning Quran Koran

Charles D. Hayes: If any individual or group is going to burn a book, or a flag, or build a structure on their own property that reminds you of something you would rather not think about, the problem does not exist in the desecration or the construction of these items. The problem, plain and simple, is in your own head.

Heroism, Cowardice, and the National Tragedy of Hidden Guilt

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Charles Hayes: Today I feel very differently about the Vietnam War than I did in my youth, but my own feelings of guilt during that time give me a unique kind of insight into the psychology of courage and commitment. America has never had a shortage of courageous citizens willing to take up arms and fight to the death for reasons and causes beyond their own understanding. Arlington Cemetery in Virginia serves as proof. But my sense of the decades since the end of World War II is that America has and is experiencing a courage crisis of shameful origin and of tragic consequence.

Deliver Us from Ignorance: Freedom’s Higher Meaning

freedom of thought

Charles Hayes: as is often said in America, anyone has the right to sleep under a bridge, the rich included, although the rich seldom take advantage of the opportunity. If people can’t quit their low-paying jobs for fear of losing their health insurance, are they free? What about individuals who are so inhibited by what others might think of them they never do anything they really want to do, but instead restrict their life choices to only those acts that they believe will gain them social approval? Are such people really free? How about the groups with which we identify—have you ever considered how they might influence our idea of freedom?

Coffee Time: Reason, Bigotry, and Tea Party Angst

Tea-Party-Violence

Charles D. Hayes: Both liberals and conservatives choose relating over reasoning at times, but research shows that conservatives place much more value on in-group loyalty than liberals do. There is plenty of research data to back up this assertion; one doesn’t have to resort to anecdotal evidence of flag waving and lapel pens, although it’s hard not to notice such behavior.

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