Six In The Evening: Lazy Holiday Edition

6 in the Evening1 U.S. CONGRESS APPROVES A DEBT CEILING DEAL WITH SPENDING CUTS AND NO TAX INCREASES BECAUSE THE ANTI-GOVERNMENT LIBERTARIAN WING OF THE  REPUBLICAN PARTY REFUSES TO COMPROMISE AND THEY WERE ABLE TO SUCCESSFULLY HOLD THE WORLD ECONOMY HOSTAGE Story here. The Tea Party is just awful. Bad ideas, bad people, bad bad bad. And even after they get their way on not raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, they’re still not satisfied. Unbelievable. What an arrogant, ignorant, un-empathetic, self-absorbed political movement.

Paul Krugman of The New York Times doesn’t like it. Here’s what he wrote yesterday:

For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.

Yikes.

Need a positive and uplifting  story after this mess? Me too. How about this?

2 TERRIBLE PLACES Syria sucks, Somalia sucks, Afghanistan sucks. The protestors being shot at, refugees being starved and lovers being threatened with stoning absolutely do NOT suck, just to be clear.

3 TERRIBLE MURDER IN MANITOBA A First Nations woman was found decapitated this weekend. Awful.

4 CANADIAN GOVERNMENT WAS WARNED ON WARMING Newly-released briefing notes say Canada needs to do more to reduce emissions. I imagine the Conservatives will get right on that.

5 NORWAY’S PRIME MINISTER SAYS DON’T FREAK OUT More leaders wanted like.

6 NO SHUTTLE? NO PROBLEM The 530 km asteroid Vesta is photographed by NASA’s Dawn space probe. Go science!

VIDEO BONUS! Asteroids aside, that’s just too much depressing news today. Let’s see what we can find to make us feel better. How about this?

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth will never, ever pass up a chance to make a Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo pun.

2 thoughts on “Six In The Evening: Lazy Holiday Edition”

  1. I don’t know if you read the Globe this weekend, but there was a nicely written article (as usual) by Elizabeth Renzetti on a book about the neurological origins of the loss of empathy (which is regarded as the definition of evil). The article uses the recent massacre in Norway as a springboard, but it’s probably not such a stretch to apply it to the Tea Party and their sociopathic impulses to victimize the poor, send more and more people to fight wars for profit, and ignore their broader moral obligations to society.

  2. A few years ago I did an interview with a U of R Biology prof about altruism in animals. Doing things like sharing food with your genetic rivals and exposing yourself to danger by calling out a warning to others when you spot a predator might seem counter-productive as by doing so you put yourself at risk while improving the odds of survival for others. But in a group setting over time, altruistic behaviour improves the overall strength of your community and thus is something favoured by natural selection.

    As recently as 1920s-30s that lesson was one that most people instinctively understood as they struggled to escape the constraints of a subsistence lifestyle. Now, we seem to have the idea that with all the sophisticated technology at our disposal we’re self-sufficient and don’t need to concern ourselves with the welfare of others in our community. Short term that might not be disastrous for individuals who think that way, but longer term it’s hard to see how that’s a smart survival strategy. It defies logic too. As our society becomes more complex we’re actually more dependent on each other, not less.

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