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The story of the offensive Grand Junction billboard depicting President Obama as a terrorist, gangster, Mexican bandit, and gay man (http://www.denverpost.com/ci_16339916) is interesting for just one reason: It’s plausable (not probable) that it was commissioned by a Democrat. I hate to say that, because it is almost inevitable that someone will mistakenly interpret that to be either what I actually believe, or what is in fact the case. But it’s just an observation of reality: That billboard is so ridiculously beyond the pale of what any rational person would find anything other than repugnant, you have to wonder if it might have been put there to make those likely to put it there appear even more repugnant than they actually are. But here’s what I suspect is the truth: Those who put it there are precisely who you would think, and they really are that disgusting.

The Public Responsibility of Getting a Vaccination (http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_16329926) is a great example of our real interdependence, and the costs and benefits our individual choices impose on others. Those who have some monolithic notion of “personal liberty,” that just knows what is an inalienable individual right and what is an infringement on the rights of others, are really trapped in assumptions made with less knowledge and less ability to measure and address our responsibilities to one another.  Sure, killing someone because they annoy you is clearly an infringement on their right to life, but neglecting to get a vaccine because it’s inconvenient or uncomfortable, even though it absolutely makes a marginal contribution to the death rate (ie, is partially responsible for the deaths of others) is your personal right? Why, exactly? Explain. And be precise about it.

Ruth Marcus provides us with a glimpse of what our world would look like if our conservatives were a bit more rational (http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_16329990). I’m sure there are many American Republicans as wistful as she, wishing that the insanity that has hijacked their party were just a bad dream from which they would soon awake. My advice: Get out while you can, and join the last sane party standing.

Coming Attraction: I hope to post by tomorrow morning an essay I’m working on titled The Nature-Mind-Machine Matrix, which I hope you’ll keep an eye open for. I’ve only actually worked on these posts once or twice, when I feel like something pretty cool is shaping up. The Nature-Mind-Machine Matrix is one of those. (It builds on the theme established in The Politics of Consciousness  and developed a bit more in Information and Energy: Past, Present, and Future.)

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