“Eugenics” by Another Name…

Replying to 

Everyone will stay opposed to ‘eugenics’… right up until the microsecond that they can use it to give their own kids an advantage in life.

Me:

We just re-brand it as “Pro-choice”-problem solved! Progressives on-board! (Some of that “lateral thinking” I’ve been hearing about).

So, who all here has read Heinlein’s first (published) novel Beyond This Horizon? Skillfully explored the ethics of ‘eugenics’ and also a heavily armed, and thus, extremely polite, society. Heinlein had the government run the (voluntary) eugenics program, and distribute Basic Income (just how topical to 2018 can a 1940 novel be?!)

My current take: Unless we do some kind of World-Treaty, eugenics arms race with the Red Chinese started approximately last month. We just don’t know it yet. And as Geoffrey Miller so pithily notes, no one is going to unilaterally disarm.


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TOTD 2018/5/8: Ambassadorial Wisdom

As some of you all know, I lived in Japan as a young child.  During the mid-to-late 1970s, my father was a U.S. Customs representative assigned to the embassy in Tokyo and my mother taught Spanish at an all-girls Catholic school.  My dad’s first boss during his tenure was Ambassador James Day Hodgson, who before being appointed to that position by Gerald Ford, had served as Secretary of Labor under Richard Nixon.

In 1992, Hodgson published a book titled American Senryu: Verses by a Former Ambassador.  I purchased a copy in 1993 on a visit to Tokyo, and the tome remains one of my most valued possessions, for the wisdom contained therein is timeless.

For those unfamiliar with the Japanese literary art form of senryu, click here.

Apropos of recent events elsewhere, I was reminded of the good ambassador’s verse about pettiness, found on page 53 of his book:

A melange of evil
Swims noisily in the small mind
Before subsiding.

Hodgson explains:

“About all that can be said on behalf of the mean-spirited is that their fulminations are rarely rewarded. Most of their spiteful scheming sputters and peters out in pathetic ineptitude.”

Sou desu ne.

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TOTD 2018-5-1: Quotes by Rob Schneider

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/04/30/alec-baldwin-says-rob-schneider-has-point-in-criticism-snl-trump-impersonation.html

I read the above article and it made a lot of sense. It comes from the viewpoint of comedy has been lost.

 

 

 

Well, what are your thoughts, nutjobs? 


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Quote: America’s Formula for Success in WW2

Dwight Eisenhower understood. In 1943 the American commander wrote to Washington from North Africa requesting equipment to set up ten bottling plants. His staff had determined that Coke was crucial to the war effort. “I had them make a survey to see just what the men wanted,” Ike afterward told a congressional committee, “and more of them voted for Coca-Cola than beer.” Beer might quench the men’s thirst, but Coke reminded them what they were fighting for. A sergeant from Kansas explained to his parents: “It’s the little things, not the big things, that the individual soldier fights for or wants so badly when away.” “It’s the girl back home in a drug store over a Coke, or the juke box and the summer weather.” Eisenhower (another Kansan) felt exactly the same way. “I wish I could be home and go down to the cafe this morning and have a Coke with the gang,” Eisenhower wrote a friend. “I can’t do that here.”—Masters of Enterprise by H. W. Brands

Ike knew that Pepsi would not have gotten the job done.


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They had Henry Kaiser over a barrel.

The railroad decided to play tough with Henry Kaiser. Kaiser was supplying the cement for the building of the Shasta Dam. The Southern Pacífic Railroad had close ties to the cement cartel that lost the contract so they wanted to get even. When Kaiser asked for a good rate to ship his cement from the plant around a mountain, they said, “No.” They weren’t even going to lay track to his cement plant. He had to build a conveyor belt to their tracks. Kaiser was over a barrel.

This is what happened:

“Then one of my boys said to me, ‘Why don’t we just build our own conveyor belt the whole distance across the mountain?’” recalled Kaiser. This was more than Kaiser had been planning to take on, and he dismissed the idea. “Then he had the nerve to say to me, ‘Are you chicken?’ Well, I sure didn’t like that either, so I said, ‘I’m not chicken; we’ll build it.’”
And so they did. The ten-mile belt was the longest conveyor in the world. It went up ridges and down; it crossed the Sacramento River twice; it traversed four creeks, five county roads, the main state highway and—to Kaiser’s distinct pleasure—the S. P. line. Where it passed near a school a special mesh was placed to catch any falling rocks; all along the route horizontal bars were placed low over the belt to discourage thrill-seeking riders. Costing a modest $ 1.5 million to build, it delivered more than ten million tons of aggregate at a third less than the railroad wanted to charge. Kaiser couldn’t have been happier at sticking a finger in the eye of his antagonists. “Losing out on the construction of the Shasta Dam was one of the best things that ever happened to us,” he chuckled.—Masters of Enterprise by H.W. Brands

 

Henry Kaiser had problems understanding what was impossible. Like we all know you can’t make a ship in less than a week let alone in “four days, fifteen hours, and twenty-six minutes”.

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