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Will delusional about being able to return to our past

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
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Will delusional about being able to return to our past

George Will’s discussion of I. Somin’s book, “Democracy and Political Ignorance,” [“As government grows, so does voters’ ignorance,” Jan. 3] struck me as an odd endorsement by Will of a seriously flawed argument.

I normally respect Will’s ability to construct a very reasoned and entertaining column, but in this case he let his emotional desire for small government morph him into one of Somin’s “political fans” who tend to evaluate new information in a highly biased way.

Will happily concurs with Somin that our rationally ignorant voters require [us to] limit and decentralize government. The future is too complex, our populace is too ignorant, so let’s fall back to a simpler government of an earlier time. In fact, “An engaged judiciary... leaving decisions to markets and civil society... by reducing voters’ knowledge burdens.” Ignorance is bliss!

Does George Will realize Somin is describing a system similar to modern-day China rather than our long ago nation of the Federalist Papers?

Our world is becoming increasingly complex at a rate that challenges Moore’s Law. Retrenching to reduce voters’ knowledge burden stopped being an option decades ago.

Rather than recycling the Federalist Papers, it is now time to reevaluate how our nation is structured and run. How will, or can we, get an engaged populace? How do we address concerns of an increasingly dissimilar urban population and rural population? How do we utilize the medical advances of the next decades to benefit all of us? The list can go for pages.

Will democracy as we know it today change? I’m sure it will, because change is a certainty in the world we now have. Will the “return to the past” solution that George Will suggests work? If the advances in science and technology we are experiencing continue, I’d suggest no.

Don Cooper

Amsterdam

Climate change is on, and it’s not always warmer

The Jan. 6 “global warming” cartoon might have been cute had it not been misleading.

Yes, it’s getting warmer. But we are not talking about a room, or a building, or even a county. It is the entire globe. On such a large system, increased heat changes the way every pattern operates. We are dealing with global climate change, which does not equal global warming.

Notice the news? Everyone from The Wall Street Journal (“The Midwest is in the middle of a record-setting cold snap”) to NPR [National Public Radio] (“Frostbite... is a concern for millions of people who live in places that don’t contend with serious risk of cold injuries”) noticed, not that normal winter was back, but that an abnormal cold spell had arrived.

It is part of what happens in global climate change. Things will be different, and that does not mean all will be warmer. It won’t. Some of it, sometimes, will be colder.

Much of it, sooner or later, will be under water. Rain patterns will change, so rivers will dry up and farmlands turn to desert. Oceans, with warmer water, will dissolve still more pollutants. Millions of people will be forced to move, to find food and shelter and safe drinking water.

And that is only the beginning.

Phil Sheehan

Scotia

Obama should grant nuns contraception rule waiver

Re Frank Elfland’s Jan. 5 letter,”Don’t yield to Catholics on contraceptive care”, which objects to a group of nuns seeking a waiver from Obamacare:

The situation Mr. Elfland alludes to concerns the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Roman Catholic nuns who care for infirmed elderly (regardless of the patients’ religious affiliation) who cannot afford to pay for their own care.

The Sisters are seeking a waiver from the requirements to provide abortions or contraceptives thought their health care to their employees. Abortion and birth control are prohibited by the Roman Catholic religion.

President Obama has granted waivers to Congress and, according to several articles I have read, over 1,000 organizations.

If the Little Sisters could obtain a waiver from Obamacare, their employees would still be free to obtain abortions or contraceptives, without coverage under the Little Sisters’ health care plan.

Timothy J. Gaffney Sr.

Rotterdam

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comments

January 8, 2014
11:21 p.m.
-2 votes
jjhehir says...

Mr. Cooper, it is because “the future is too complex” that we need a decentralized government. There is not a human or groups of humans in the world capable to govern in this complexity. A decentralized government controlled by responsible, engaged citizens is the answer.

January 10, 2014
4:02 p.m.
-1 votes
Phils2008 says...

Don, Will makes no such argument for a system similar to China. He advocated for a Judicatory that actually does what the Constitution requires. If the Judiciary actually worked as designed, bereft of ideological stacking, then voter knowledge could continue to be pathetically lacking. The big problem with Somin is he tries to attach rationalism to irrationalism. It will always be irrational to vote and not know or understand the issues. It makes absolute sense to reduce the scope of the federal government and move issues closer to the localities where a voters vote will actually have a personal impact. I tend to agree with your final assessment, only because I believe the average voter will always be an idiot.

 

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