Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for February 10th, 2017

And an example of why Trump was compelled to insult Sen. Warren

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Posted by Senator Warren on Facebook:

Yesterday, just two days after a federal court upheld a Labor Department rule to prevent retirement advisers from cheating their customers and draining their savings, the Trump Administration backtracked on their regulatory freeze and submitted a proposed regulation to delay the new rule for 180 days.

Let’s be clear about what this means. On his first full day in office, President Trump froze all new and pending regulations with a stroke of his pen. He froze rules to help people access health care. He stopped a rule to help out spouses of active service members who have been relocated, disabled, or killed. He even halted a rule that would have increased energy efficiency, reducing emissions and cutting your electricity bills. But he had no problem putting forward a rule to give financial advisers six more months to cheat hardworking Americans saving for their retirement.

She included this link, which provides the factual basis for her statements, unlike the unsupported (and generally false) statements that Trump makes (though not the statements do serve the purpose of identifying those who are loyal to him and respect his authority and will follow his lead).

Written by LeisureGuy

10 February 2017 at 10:33 pm

I think Trump may be cracking

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A few recent headlines, most from The Hill:

Trump on report that Flynn talked sanctions with Russia: ‘I don’t know about that’” – Guess he did decide to skip the daily intel briefings—and it apparently hasn’t come up yet on Morning Joe.

Bush-appointed “FEC commissioner to Trump: Show evidence of voter fraud” – from the story:

“The President has issued an extraordinarily serious and specific charge,” added Weintraub, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush. “Allegations of this magnitude cannot be ignored.”“I therefore call upon President Trump to immediately share his evidence with the public and with the appropriate law-enforcement authorities so that his allegations may be investigated promptly and thoroughly.”

WH denies report that it’s interviewing for press secretary” – starts:

The Washingtonian reported Friday that a candidate has been interviewed to serve as President Trump’s press secretary, but the White House is denying the report.

Carl Higbie, a close associate of President Trump’s family and a former Navy SEAL, reportedly interviewed for the position Thursday.

The Washingtonian said it confirmed Higbie’s interview with two senior Trump administration officials, but he would not verify it himself during a Friday phone call with the outlet.

A White House spokesman said there is no truth to the report. . .

Would the White House lie? Of course it would: it has, and repeatedly. (Giant crowds, anyone?) And lied in a delusional way, though Jeet Heer in the New Republic points out that finding out who will accept and repeat big lies selects for those with the greatest Respect of Authority and Ingroup Loyalty, to use Haidt’s classification from a post or two prior in the blog.

Those highest in those characteristics would find an authoritarian system pleasant, so long as they are the authorities and not the outcasts/dissenters, who are impure.

So Trump is identifying his shock troops. It’s interesting to note that our increasingly paramilitary police are very high on Respect for Authority and Ingroup Loyalty in general and Trump in particular.

It seems that those high in Authority and Loyalty are a minority, but a fairly sizeable one. They will feel at home in an authoritarian system and will protect it against dissenters. And I would guess these are the core Trump supporters, undoubtedly a much smaller number of Trump voters (some of whom clearly were simply voting against Clinton and didn’t think much of Trump)—say the true core, which accepts the lies and thus passes the hazing ritual and can feel comfortable knowing that it’s safe, being with these other lie-accepters, being a loyal part of an in-group and showing respect for authority by unquestionably believing what it says. How many, would you guess? 22-26 million I would guess, though certainly not all would get involved in any messiness. Most would simply support the new order and go along with it because it matches their predilections.

Trump taunts Dems for letting ‘Pocahontas’ Warren become ‘face of your party‘” – and not in a press briefing, but to their faces:

President Trump reportedly mocked Democrats in a meeting with senators this week for allowing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) become the face of their party.

“Pocahontas is now the face of your party,” Trump said in the meeting, sources told CNN.

Trump frequently called Warren “Pocahontas” as an insult on the campaign trail, mocking her for previously talking about having a distant Native American ancestry. . .

This is where I started to think “breakdown.”

Written by LeisureGuy

10 February 2017 at 9:39 pm

Ethics Defined: Conservativs vs. Liberals

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Worth reading to increase understanding. It begins:

One of the criteria that Jonathan Haidt uses to identify Liberal vs. Conservative thinking is an openness to new experiences.  This basic and seemingly innocuous indicator tracks well with certain political affiliations as they related to the five foundations of morality.  Liberals as you may suspect are more open to new ideas and are therefore more willing to change.  They are more likely to focus on the good things in change, hoping for the best.  Conservatives tend to be reluctant to change, fearing that change may ruin the good things and bring more problems; unintended consequences.  Such an outlook tends to track with age; younger people tend to be more liberal and older people tend to be more conservative.

While researching morality Haidt wondered if there existed a difference in how conservatives and liberals view morality.  He created an interesting experiment to determine if there were moral differences between the two groups.  He posted a questionnaire online which asked various questions relating to these five foundations of moral values (  Questions are first asked to determine your “openness to new experiences”, which determines your liberal or conservative slant.  Then questions on five foundations of morality are asked.

The results of thousands of respondents in several countries provides clear evidence for a divergence of importance placed on these five foundations of morality.  Liberals’ value – Harm/Care high, then Fairness/Reciprocity, then a big drop to Authority/Respect and In-group/Loyalty, then least Purity/Sanctity.  Conservatives’ value – Harm/Care lower than liberals but place it at the top of their lists as well.  Authority is a close second followed closely by In-group/Loyalty, and Purity/Sanctity, with Fairness/Reciprocity at the bottom.

Graph results for 23,684 participants within the USA; more studies at


I find the fact that Fairness/Reciprocity is ranked lowest by conservatives to be a very disturbing finding.  It seems somewhat intuitive but this study helps to quantify the correlation.  Conservatives, valuing authority much higher than liberals would suggest that they would be far more susceptible to authoritarian behavior; which does prove historically accurate and can be clearly seen in today’s politics.  That means a greater focus on “the mission“.

It therefore makes sense that . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 February 2017 at 9:13 pm

Posted in Books, Politics, Science

Black parents talk to their kids about the police

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Via Kottke. Just watch.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 February 2017 at 8:59 pm

This is terrific: Map showing the homeland of every character in Homer’s Iliad

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Take a look.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 February 2017 at 8:56 pm

Posted in Books

Some good news in the mortar-and-pestle category

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“The vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true,” but I have had a heck of a time find a mortar and pestle that will do the job, whether it is crushing allspice, grinding cumin seeds, or smashing chopped garlic into a paste. I got a series of mortars from which the ingredients would fly when I brought the pestle into play. But now, at last, I have found a good mortar and pestle: this Cole & Mason solid granite mortar and pestle:


The key is that the mortar is quite deep and the sides are steep, so as you smash things they don’t escape the Pit of Doom.

Instructions say not to wash with soapy water. Instead, grind up some rice in it and discard. (I think water alone would be okay.)

Here’s the recipe I made tonight, using the Cole & Mason mortar and pestle to make the garlic paste. It worked perfectly.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 February 2017 at 6:57 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food

It’s not just the U.S. who shoots itself in the foot: The UK does as well

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Just read this post by Kevin Drum at Mother Jones. It’s good news on the assumption that misery loves company.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 February 2017 at 6:01 pm

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