The "Betsy Ross" Flag
Flag of the US Army
Throughout the day, partners would make requests for connection, what Gottman calls “bids.” For example, say that the husband is a bird enthusiast and notices a goldfinch fly across the yard. He might say to his wife, “Look at that beautiful bird outside!” He’s not just commenting on the bird here: he’s requesting a response from his wife—a sign of interest or support—hoping they’ll connect, however momentarily, over the bird.
The wife now has a choice. She can respond by either “turning toward” or “turning away” from her husband, as Gottman puts it. Though the bird-bid might seem minor and silly, it can actually reveal a lot about the health of the relationship. The husband thought the bird was important enough to bring it up in conversation and the question is whether his wife recognizes and respects that.
People who turned toward their partners in the study responded by engaging the bidder, showing interest and support in the bid. Those who didn’t—those who turned away—would not respond or respond minimally and continue doing whatever they were doing, like watching TV or reading the paper. Sometimes they would respond with overt hostility, saying something like, “Stop interrupting me, I’m reading.”
These bidding interactions had profound effects on marital well-being. Couples who had divorced after a six-year follow up had “turn-toward bids” 33 percent of the time. Only three in ten of their bids for emotional connection were met with intimacy. The couples who were still together after six years had “turn-toward bids” 87 percent of the time.
The attacking ISIS forces approached the base in trucks Wednesday and called through loudspeakers for all private security forces and Iraqi special military to leave immediately or die.The report suggests that there may still be a hundred Americans to be evacuated, but the report is 21 hours old at this writing. The contractors were there to help the Iraqi Air Force prepare to receive the F-16s we promised to the Iraqi government, which suggests they are mostly USAF veterans.
The U.S. private contractors in touch with WND reported that after hearing the broadcast, the private security forces and the Iraqi military defending the base dropped their weapons and ran.
The American contractors collected the weapons left behind and were able to hold off further immediate advances.
Let me add one more definition to the picture to heighten this tension. In economics and political science, it is common to define the government as the entity that holds a monopoly on violence. This definition goes back to Max Weber, but it is used by recent Nobel laureates in economics as well. It does not mean that the State alone uses violence, but it does mean that when push comes to shove, the State will win in a battle of wills. If you refuse to pay your taxes, you will lose. You will go to jail, and if you fight, you will lose. The government holds a monopoly on violence. Any law that we vote for is ultimately backed by the full force of our government and military. Do we trust institutions of the government to ensure justice? Is that what history teaches us about the State? Or do we live in particularly lucky and fortunate times where the State can be trusted to do minimal justice? The State's budget is currently about $3 trillion a year. Do you trust that power to the political Right? Do you trust it to the Left? If you answered "no" to either question, you may have a major problem in the future. See Plato on the regime that follows democracy.
So now, I hope you are feeling even a bit more ill-at-ease. The logic above is inescapable for a Christian. If we Christians vote for what we consider to be good policies, we are ultimately voting to ensure that our will is carried out by the most powerful force on earth, aside from God. The U.S. government has a monopoly on violence, and that force underlies the law of the land.
Do we have the right to coerce our fellow citizens to act in ways that follow our Christian ethical beliefs?
“We never know what’s percolating in the minds of children,” Vernon Schools Superintendent Charles Maranzano said in an interview, defending the principal’s actions. “And when they demonstrate behaviors that raise red flags, we must do our duty.”Government is the thing we all do together.
Kind of?He was also free of rancor toward Cantor, whom he judged a good man in a way that appeared authentic. This impressed me even more. Did we have an actual citizen politician here – and, incredibly, an intelligent one? Skeptical old me began to think of Frank Capra movies. Brat even had the diffident, bespectacled look of Jimmy Stewart.Well, Stewart was actually kind of a tough guy. We’ll see.
My family moved from cramped rented rooms to a spacious new house a few days before my third birthday. I remember the move in some detail; and I have half a dozen memories of the rented rooms.I am not sure what my earliest memory is, nor even when they came to be, but I do remember things that I can block out as being before five: the horrid shag carpet (of which I have recently discovered photographic evidence), swimming lessons at a very early age in a very public pool, a brown home with a hex sign on it that I was later told was in the old neighborhood.
At least I think I have. One of Fernyhough’s themes is the unreliability of memory. There are true things we remember; there are stories we were told that somehow end up among our memories; there are dreams and imaginative flights we take for true memories; and there are second-order memories—memories of having remembered one of the preceding.
When national security adviser Susan Rice claimed that Bergdahl had served with “honor and distinction,” members of his unit felt compelled to speak out, because the word “honor” actually means something to them. So did others who joined a dangerous manhunt in a warzone. The rest of us have no reason to prejudge the facts in this case, but those who served with Bergdahl have every right to present their version of events.
The Bergdahl case reveals a disturbing gap between the White House and military culture. After Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers corrected the administration’s false narrative, anonymous White House aides accused them of engaging in “Swift-boating.” Consider that a moment. While the White House (still) claims that Bergdahl served with “honor,” aides now impugn the motives of those who served beside him — and who stayed at their posts. Particularly in a time of war, why are these attacks not a firing offense?
This might be the biggest change we’ve seen so far this year as the result of the top two system. In a traditional primary system a distant second place finish is an outright loss. No wonder that the expectation of coming in second in a primary against an incumbent is usually deemed to be not worth the trouble. Many potential challengers fail to take on incumbents. But in the new system even a distant second place finisher gets his or her name on the ballot in November which gives them the opportunity to draw votes from an electorate with higher turnout. This means a primary run is more viable and in the general election the incumbent might be more vulnerable.
[Australian Prime Minister Tony] Abbott’s conservative Liberal-National coalition won a landslide victory in Australia's elections last year, on a limited government platform that included repealing the country’s carbon tax and cutting green energy and global warming spending.
Abbott’s government is set to slash global warming spending by 90 percent over the next four years. Efforts to repeal the country’s carbon tax have also moved forward as Labor Party Senators have begun to buckle under pressure to get rid of the tax.
“The carbon tax is an act of economic vandalism,” Abbott said in March. “You can’t trust [Labor] anywhere near an economy.”
A study from last year by Dr. Alex Robson, an economist at Griffith University found that after just one year, the carbon tax increased taxes on 2.2 million Australians while doing nothing to decrease the country’s carbon emissions.
Robson’s study also found the carbon tax raised electricity prices 15 percent while the country’s unemployment rate shot up by 10 percent after the carbon tax was implemented.
Thanks in large part to Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power and push into green energy, companies there now pay some of the highest prices in the world for power. On average, German industrial companies with large power appetites paid about 0.15 euros ($0.21) per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity last year, according to Eurostat, the European Union's statistics agency.
In the United States, electricity prices are falling thanks to natural gas derived from fracking - the hydraulic fracturing of rock. Louisiana now boasts industrial electricity prices of just $0.055 per kWh, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data.German companies are responding by shifting production to the U.S. It seems unfair, but with any luck the new U.S. energy policies will fix all that.
SPIEGEL: Do you want to destroy Europe?She is the daughter of the more famous (at least in America) Jean-Marie Le Pen.
Le Pen: I want to destroy the EU, not Europe! I believe in a Europe of nation-states. I believe in Airbus and Ariane, in a Europe based on cooperation. But I don't want this European Soviet Union.
SPIEGEL: The EU is a vast project for peace. It has helped ensure 70 years without war on the Continent.
Le Pen: No. Europe is war. Economic war. It is the increase of hostilities between the countries. Germans are denigrated as being cruel, the Greeks as fraudsters, the French as lazy. Ms. Merkel can't travel to any European country without being protected by hundreds of police. That is not brotherhood.
SPIEGEL: You now intend to head to Brussels only to fight the system.
Le Pen: And why not?
“The king stablished all his knights, and gave them that were of lands not rich, he gave them lands, and charged them never to do outrageousity nor murder, and always to flee treason; also, by no mean to be cruel, but to give mercy unto him that asketh mercy, upon pain of forfeiture of their worship and lordship of King Arthur for evermore; and always to do ladies, damosels, and gentlewomen succor upon pain of death. Also, that no man take no battles in a wrongful quarrel for no law, ne for no world’s goods. Unto this were all the knights sworn of the Table Round, both old and young. And every year were they sworn at the high feast of Pentecost.” (Le Morte d'Arthur, pp 115-116)