Whar rattles me more than the war in Ukraine and the hegemony of China are the videos of people in Walgreens, scooping stuff off shelves, and the people in subways, attacking innocent bystanders. We have always had war and countries amassing power to threaten their neighbors. But the blatant, soulless and vile behavior of people that is unchecked by police or even people around them, let alone by the own consciences and sense of decency, just shocks me. I have no idea how to fix that.

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"I think about how many families encourage their kids to try new things. Maybe your dad was a shoemaker, but you should go and be a doctor! I think we still have this notion of change." - This "notion of change" really equates to part of the problem; that many came to believe that being a doctor is superior to being a shoemaker. That being a stock trader is superior to being a baker. That being a software developer is superior to being an electrician. Now we have thousands of people who can write apps and not enough people who can install or repair an air conditioner in a home, and we can this progress. If saving the world from an increase of .01% in carbon equates to forcing an eight-year-old boy to dig for cobalt in a mine with a wooden shovel, then we need to re-evaluate our priorities.

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One of the things that we have to understand is that when we talk in context of “humans” and “wars,” it’s not the majority of us who are making these decisions. It’s the decisions of a few individuals in powerful positions that decide to move the masses towards wars and bloodshed, so we need to clarify that. Otherwise, we continually propagate this narrative that “humanity is evil.”


I’d argue that this “humanity is evil” ideology is a result of “propaganda” used on a mass level, starting with Darwin’s Evolutionary theory and “survival of the fittest” and has spawned over and over, mainly due to a lack of spirituality that early humans had. Leaders have replaced this “spirituality hole” and have used this “survival of the fittest” idea to promote an “us vs them” which drives humanity towards more war and bloodshed.

When we stop pointing at “humanity” and point it towards the “leaders and role models” in charge, then we humanity can really start to progress.

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Aug 5·edited Aug 5

There is simply a lack of decency and morality at the core of the top elites in this country. This missing piece is not religion per se, but rather the ethical values that underpin religion yet are not exclusive to religion. While Mead describes a triad of politics, money and hedonism, I believe that the core problem is money/hedonism, and that politics is an expression of the former. The elite power uses artificial “values” to provide cover for them.

Below this power structure are the masses which are essentially in the same position. The elite use their “values” to divide this group, through the “culture wars”. The raging conflict about transgender people is the latest example of the use of identity politics tool to divide those with a common economic status.

And, technology amplifies all of this, which contributes to the sense of rage.

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"Expansion of college to everybody in a sense devalued the college degree rather than giving everyone the magic of what a college degree meant in 1960 when it propelled you into a place. "

That's ridiculous. Colleges devalued the college degree. In 1960, if you had a degree, it was a guarantee that you were literate. It was a guarantee that you had some motivation to learn. It was a guarantee that you had been exposed to great books and great ideas. It was a guarantee that you had developed some critical thinking skills. This is what made college graduates employable as professionals.

In 2023, a college degree is a commodity and a college student is a customer. Colleges sold their collective souls in order to get as many students as possible regardless of their motivation and ability. No matter how dumb and unmotivated you are, you can get a degree in something just by taking out enough loans, regurgitating leftist dogma, and being a robotic radical activist. Tree climbing, Lady Gaga, and the TV show South Park are all subjects of college classes. This is not because those subjects have educational value but because spending their lives in front of video screens have left students today with the attention span of fruit flies. Students don't demand an education; they demand college credit for entertainment. They demand colleges reinforce their political prejudices and tell them how perfect they are, just like mommy and daddy (or both mommies or both daddies) always did.

"Give me what I want or I'll go somewhere else." So the colleges fell all over themselves to pander to angry, intolerant brats. So now, the angry, intolerant brats have a diploma that in many cases, they can't even read. They also have thousands of dollars in debts, no real education, and no real job prospects.

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We do live in a more dangerous world than at anytime. Yet I put the a lot of the reasoning on technology that allows the powerful, rich controlling, and world order people who equate money, power, and privilege to superior knowledge as a means for expansion of power to control people. They believe (worldwide elites across the globe) that they know what is best for everyone. Just do this and Sudan will be good. Remember George Clooney and the elites with the “Not on my watch “ campaign. How’s that working; oh wait; now we’re on mutilate children and increase mental illness campaign. Refuse to confront evil and it only grows stronger and mutates into eventually being multi dimensional.

Combine that with governments being led by fundamentally weak governments and institutions run by people with little to no morals, higher beliefs, or desire to make the hard choices. Cowards banding together thinking they know better and meanwhile evil grows unchecked with no one to confront it.

Africa and the Middle East, and Asia have conflicts based on greed of the very people described above. Add in the silly liberal belief that if I weaken myself all my potential enemies will respect me and be kind. No, the same evil trends in people ensuring they want what is yours. Look at the mobs robbing and looting in our cities. Same principles. Tell them they are oppressed and we are so sorry. Please destroy society and commit crimes to help make us feel better, because we are so woke. Liberalism encourages war and our own history points that 2/3 of our wars had Democratic presidents. Dictators and evil fear strength and determination and surely not liberal politicians.

People don’t understand that feelings and good intentions mean nothing to evil people. Look at Soros, Gates, Suckenberg, and expand worldwide. Power and influence over the human race is the goal. Their belief that they know what is best for mankind makes this world more unstable than anything else. So they fund campaigns of the weak, insecure, and absolutely unqualified leadership that the entire world has. Meanwhile the evil just gains more strength and others become targets.

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Aug 5·edited Aug 5

First, it is not humans' ability to produce power that is the problem. Thinkers from Buckminster Fuller up through Elon Musk realized that the greatest driving force to eliminate poverty and misery is the availability of what Fuller called, "energy slaves" - available power equal to the labor of one person. The average American controls 5,000 of them, the average African, "approximately zero." And that is why the elites' Global War on Affordable Energy - which disproportionately affects the poorest in the world, is so immoral.

Second, I taught a course in radiological physics for several years; these goobers in D.C. have zero idea what they are playing with when they poke the Russian bear. (Hint: Atomic and hydrogen bombs turn mass to energy according to Einstein's famous equation, E = mc^2; c^2 is a Very Big Number.) The headlong drive to nuclear war is avoidable. We just have to hang those promoting it. I have plenty of climbing rope, if anybody's interested.

No offense to you personally, Bari, but I perceive your guest as out of his depth.

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I used to consider myself a liberal but now I don't know what liberal mean.

I used to think it meant toleration for diverse viewpoints, but now I see some liberals vilifying condemning and even expressing a wish for harm for those who disagree with their liberal viewpoint.

I used to think it meant charitableness and respect for human rights, but now I hear some liberals saying the meanest and most uncharitable things about people such as RFK Jr. and condemning people who want to exercise their religious or medical freedoms.

I used to think it meant open-mindedness and willingness to learn, but now I see many liberals refusing to even discuss controversial topics out of fear that they might have to hear something that diverges from their narrow perspective, and discounting data that doesn't conform to their conceptual biases.

I used to think it meant fairness and rational inquiry about difficult subjects, but now I see many liberals actually celebrating when some people are treated unfairly for not following what their liberal beliefs dictate they should do.

O liberalism! Where have you fled? You have abandoned your foundational values and embraced the mindlessness of factionalism and tribalism. When will you return, if ever?

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"I think that’s the danger that we’re facing. In my work, I keep referring to something called the Adams Curve, where Henry Adams, over 100 years ago, had looked at the collective power of the human race." - Interesting idea. Here's another "Adams Curve" that we should at least consider as a causation of our current social and economic woes; the farther we stray from the "garden" - meaning the symbolic ideals and relationships represented by the Garden of Eden - the greater the curve bends towards violence (ultimately war) and unhappiness. We have been trying to achieve fulfillment (economic, personal, etc.) devoid of a relationship with a higher power for about 50 years now. How is that working out?

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I find his analysis somewhat shallow.

Perhaps just too brief.

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I worry that if we think things are dangerous in America now, ie crime, political corruption, a biased press, trade imbalance, a weakened military, just wait till the millions and millions of illegal immigrants crossing our open border find out America is not the land of milk and honey they thought it was.

When the income gap widens further and the handouts stop and immigrants realize they actually have to work for a living, and maybe even learn a language foreign to them, things will get much worse before they get better, if ever.

The only crime worse than allowing illegal immigrants free access to America and its wealth of opportunity, is a biased main stream press protecting one political party.

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The biggest risk we face in the United States is that politics has become a religion and the possibility of a religious civil war is beginning to be significant. As a conservative, I lay most of the blame for the increasing temperature and increasing risk on the increasing tendency of the "woke" to restrict free speech, to report only those world events which support their narrative, to gaslight every political event as something other than what it is and ultimately to weaponize all the arms of government against their political enemies. I am not a particular fan of Trump but US institutions survived his Presidency in reasonable shape. I cannot say the same of the Obama and Biden Presidencies.

I sometimes think liberals have decided that they cannot afford any common sense in their reporting and analysis of the world. Instead of "if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, etc.", they say, "if it walks like a duck, it must be a mutant elephant because it has wide feet." Is there any one out there who really believes that the Biden Family is not extremely corrupt in the classic sense of the word? You have to think that Biden runs Harding as the most corrupt President in history. By comparison, there is absolutely no indication that Trump or anyone close to him ever requested or accepted cash payments for access, policy or anything else and, by now with all the liberal sleuths out there turning over every rock, any such behavior would have been found. Does anyone really believe Hunter Biden's paintings are selling on their own merit as art?

When Trump is reelected, which, whether I like it or not, is becoming a real possibility, there has to be a better than 50/50 chance that the "woke" will attempt a coup by violence and that this coup will be resisted with violence.

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" I think of liberalism as the idea of compromise, of toleration, of an openness to allow everyone to go through life making their own choices. Liberalism is like the ivy, but it needs a tree. If it’s going to get anywhere, it needs a tree".

I now see liberalism as anything BUT compromise and toleration. If you don't think like they do, they'll burn, loot and destroy businesses and personal property to try to make their point.

Liberalism isn't like an "ivy", it's more like a cancer and something needs to stop it from metastasizing (if it's not already too late).

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"race relations, 60 yrs after the civil rights movement & passing of anti-discrimination laws, the wealth gap between black& white households is greater than ever. The social problems in the inner city are worse than ever. Whether you’re a liberal or a conservative, you can look at the last 60 years of racial policy & see that it didn’t achieve what people said it was going to."

very true. Much due to encouraging fatherless households by giving out $$ only to single mothers. Race Relations worsened even More under Obama. Race relations were getting better in the Clinton/Bush yrs but worsened under Obama. Likely because he constantly inflamed racial tensions by saying garbage on TV about "police targeting blacks" etc. And of course, race relations are drastically dramatically worsening now with CRT, "anti-racism", DEI & all the garbage. Their goal is to worsen race relations. So they can get elected into office. Because most POC are socially conservative & would vote GOP. But Dems constantly say "All GOP is "racist" which is obviously false. But gets them the votes from POC.

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I just finished reading The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides. The endless war between Sparta and

Athens weakened both city states allowing for a third Hedgemon to emerge, i.e., Alexander. Athens lost its democracy to oligarchs who wanted to continue the war when the people wanted the war to end. Goodness, this sounds a bit like today with our oligarchs making "more informed decision" than we the mere masses. Something about those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

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I enjoy reading Mead's articles in the WSJ. As a history lover, the world is driven by significant figures who shape the world for good or ill. When the USSR fell apart, those who dreamed about democracy thought it would spread worldwide. The Bush Freedom agenda built upon that, but anyone who read a history book should have been dubious. For any society to work, there needs to be cohesion around a particular set of principles and beliefs, and those two things must remain salient. As Mead points out, we are living through the rise of technology, the decline of religion, and what, I would add, the God complex by Western leaders.

The God complex are leaders who think through good policy that they can shape the world the way they want. Their plans will work, and we will all live happily ever after, but the biggest flaw is people. People who like to take drugs, lie, cheat, and steal in the individual sphere, and those who lust for power and control on a grand scale. (Xi and Putin)

In the end, where I am pessimistic, we do not have great people on the horizon anywhere in the West. Biden and Trump are both third-rate actors. When the wheels come off the spending blowout of the past 50 years, we will need a great leader to help get us out of it, but sadly if there are none, a descent into darkness will be ahead of us.

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