Language advisory as to the above video due to foul mouthed liberals.
Philosopher Edward Feser takes a look at schadenfreude:
Bill Vallicella asks: Is there a righteous form of schadenfreude? The Angelic Doctor appears to answer in the affirmative. Speaking of the knowledge that the blessed in heaven have of the damned, Aquinas famously says:
It is written (Psalm 57:11): “The just shall rejoice when he shall see the revenge”…
Therefore the blessed will rejoice in the punishment of the wicked…
A thing may be a matter of rejoicing in two ways. First directly, when one rejoices in a thing as such: and thus the saints will not rejoice in the punishment of the wicked. Secondly, indirectly, by reason namely of something annexed to it: and in this way the saints will rejoice in the punishment of the wicked, by considering therein the order of Divine justice and their own deliverance, which will fill them with joy. And thus the Divine justice and their own deliverance will be the direct cause of the joy of the blessed: while the punishment of the damned will cause it indirectly.
End quote. So, the idea is this: On the one hand, the suffering of a person is not as such something to rejoice in, for suffering, considered just by itself, is an evil and, as Aquinas goes on to say, “to rejoice in another’s evil as such belongs to hatred.” However, there can be something “annexed” to the suffering which is a cause for rejoicing. For example, if we are able to develop a virtue like patience by way of suffering, that is something to rejoice in, and thus in an indirect way the suffering can in that case legitimately be a cause of rejoicing. But another sort of thing which can be annexed to a person’s suffering is justice, as when a person suffers some harm as a deserved punishment. And someone’s getting his just deserts is in Aquinas’s view something to rejoice in. Hence, Aquinas concludes, in an indirect way the suffering of the wicked can be something to rejoice in.
This is in Aquinas’s view true even when the suffering is eternal, if that is what is deserved. Indeed, he judges that the joy of the blessed would be incomplete without knowledge of the infliction of these just deserts:
Wherefore in order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful to them and that they may render more copious thanks to God for it, they are allowed to see perfectly the sufferings of the damned.
Now, that’s schadenfreude, big league.
Putting the question of hell to one side, though, we can note that if schadenfreude can be legitimate even in that case, then a fortiori it can be legitimate in the case of lesser instances of someone getting his just deserts, in this life rather than the afterlife. For example – and to take the case Bill has in mind — suppose someone’s suffering is a consequence of anti-Catholic bigotry, brazen corruption, unbearable smugness, a sense of entitlement, groupthink, and in general from hubris virtually begging nemesis to pay a visit. When you’re really asking for it, you can’t blame others for enjoying seeing you get it. Continue reading
Ah well, in the vibrant economy that Obama created, I am sure they will have no trouble finding jobs in the private sector to pay their attorney fees for the various felonies so many of them committed while in government. With old time hard-case federal prosecutor Rudy Giuliani likely in charge of the Justice Department in the coming Trump administration, I can imagine they will be having sweet dreams for the next 71 days that remain of the regime that I am sure they thought was merely the first of endless leftist control of the White House. Remember ladies and gentlemen to have your attorneys get the terms of the immunity deals in writing first before you start ratting out your colleagues.
An object lesson for the incoming Trump administration: always remember that some day your political enemies will be where you are now.
Ah, Stephen Colbert on election night. He bemoans the fact that Americans are so obsessed with politics. Let that sink in. Colbert made his career by playing a caricature of a right wing television blowhard to the delight of his left-wing audience. It is the liberalism that he has championed throughout his career that has permeated society with noxious attempts to enforce ideological conformity. One can imagine the different tune he would have been singing if Clinton had trounced Trump. If an unexamined life is a tragedy, “funny man” Colbert’s life is a grim tale indeed.
I do love schadenfreude first thing in the morning. A leftist college professor wails about the closed minds of his leftist students:
The press for actionability, or even for comprehensive analyses that go beyond personal testimony, is hereby considered redundant, since all we need to do to fix the world’s problems is adjust the feelings attached to them and open up the floor for various identity groups to have their say. All the old, enlightened means of discussion and analysis —from due process to scientific method — are dismissed as being blind to emotional concerns and therefore unfairly skewed toward the interest of straight white males. All that matters is that people are allowed to speak, that their narratives are accepted without question, and that the bad feelings go away.
So it’s not just that students refuse to countenance uncomfortable ideas — they refuse to engage them, period. Engagement is considered unnecessary, as the immediate, emotional reactions of students contain all the analysis and judgment that sensitive issues demand. As Judith Shulevitz wrote in the New York Times, these refusals can shut down discussion in genuinely contentious areas, such as when Oxford canceled an abortion debate. More often, they affect surprisingly minor matters, as when Hamsphire College disinvited an Afrobeat band because their lineup had too many white people in it.
Go here to read the rest. Most revolutions eventually eat their own, and that is what is happening today. Case in point:
Laura Kipnis is a feminist professor at Northwestern University — and not just any feminist. She’s long been one of the few professors in American public life who are capable of making news with their scholarship, find their books reviewed by the most elite newspapers, and help start elite “conversations” about academe’s favorite topics: sex, power, and identity. She’s liberal, certainly (well known for her sympathetic views of pornography), but she’s a free thinker. And that is intolerable.
Earlier this year she wrote an essay entitled “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe” for the Chronicle of Higher Education. In the piece, she decried bans on students’ dating professors, declaring, “If this is feminism, it’s feminism hijacked by melodrama.” Students were being taught to “regard themselves as exquisitely sensitive creatures.” Their “sense of vulnerability” was “skyrocketing” as a result of the “melodramatic imagination’s obsession with helpless victims and powerful predators.” She warned that “the climate of sanctimony has grown too thick to penetrate,” with any dissenter labeled “antifeminist, or worse, a sex criminal.
Predictably, her words prompted a campus backlash, with mattress-carrying protesters demanding that the university immediately and officially condemn Kipnis’s essay. They used adjectives such as “terrifying” to describe the traumatic effect of her words. Kipnis shrugged off the protests — after all, when you’re a feminist professor writing on pornography, you’re used to a bit of negative public attention. But she couldn’t shrug off what happened next. Two students filed Title IX complaints against her, claiming that she’d violated federal law with her essay and a subsequent tweet. In essence, they were claiming that her writings on matters of public concern constituted unlawful gender discrimination. What happened then should be familiar to anyone who has ever been embroiled in the Star Chamber that is academic “justice.” Rather than laughing the claims out of the university — which would have been the appropriate response — the university retained an outside law firm and launched an investigation. The university not only denied Kipnis legal assistance during the formal proceedings, but its investigators also initially refused to even describe the nature of the charges against her, insisting on interviewing her before she knew precisely what she’d been accused of doing. According to Kipnis, she’d “plummeted into an underground world of secret tribunals and capricious, medieval rules, and I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone about it.” Continue reading
Language advisory to the above video. Schadenfreude is a dish best sampled none too heartily in politics since the wheel always comes round the other way, but I can’t resist a few bites.
1. Sandra Fluke down in flames–Sandra Fluke, whose sole qualification for public office was being called a slut by Rush Limbaugh, has had a very long 15 minutes of fame, but they may be over. With 100 percent of the votes counted, she was decisively defeated by fellow Democrat Ben Allen, a veteran local school official, running for a seat left vacant by the retirement of incumbent State Senator Ted Lieu. Reportedly Ms. Fluke flushed a million bucks of her rich in-law’s money down the toilet on this losing effort.
2. Charlie Crist-A former Republican governor of Florida who abandoned all his prior political stances to run as a born again liberal Democrat, was beaten by Rick Scott, the rather unpopular Republican governor of the Sunshine State. The Richard Riches of this world do not always prosper. I give the majority of the Florida voters credit for having a sound sense of smell in regard to Crist, who gives slime a bad name.
3. Scott Walker-re-election:
For the denizens of the left wing of the Democrat Party, Scott Walker was enemy number one due to his having found a formula to break the power of the public employee unions, the mainstay of their party. Congrats to the usually hysterical Ed Schultz for giving a sober analysis for what his victory may mean.
4. Debbie Does Delusions-On the other hand another Schultz, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is so ordinarily delusional that she makes Nancy Pelosi look like the voice of sanity in comparison:
“I’m at the breaking point,” said Gretchen Gardner, an Austin artist who bought a 1930s bungalow in the Bouldin neighborhood just south of downtown in 1991 and has watched her property tax bill soar to $8,500 this year.
“It’s not because I don’t like paying taxes,” said Gardner, who attended both meetings. “I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this city better. But now I can’t afford to live here anymore. I’ll protest my appraisal notice, but that’s not enough. Someone needs to step in and address the big picture.”
Translation: Liberals love taxes so long as someone else is paying them.
As the New York Times revenue base continues to collapse and it prepares for a much smaller future, it is only natural that members of the top management at America’s holy writ of contemporary liberalism would be made to walk the plank. So it was that Executive Editor Jill Abramson was fired by Publish Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger, Jr. this week. However, Abramson has not gone quietly:
New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. felt he had no choice but to hit back at Jill Abramson late Saturday after being attacked in the media for sexist motives in dismissing his executive editor.
Sulzberger sacked Abramson after concluding that her managing editor, Dean Baquet, would have quit otherwise and that this would have been devastating to the paper, says a Times executive with knowledge of the situation. Instead, Sulzberger elevated Baquet to be the paper’s first African-American editor.
The final straw was Sulzberger’s conclusion that Abramson had misled him by not informing Baquet that she planned to bring in another journalist, the Guardian’s Janine Gibson, and give her the same title of managing editor, the executive said. That was viewed as a sign of disrespect to her deputy. Baquet complained to Sulzberger about being blindsided shortly before Abramson’s dismissal.
The Abramson firing has played out amid allegations of sexism after leaks to the New Yorker that her $500,000 salary was less than that of her male predecessor, Bill Keller. Sulzberger, who had already put out a statement saying that she was actually earning 10 percent more than Keller in her last year, issued a toughly worded second statement on Saturday.
Go here to read the rest by Howard Kurtz. The New York Times accused of sexism, does it get any better than that! Well, yes it does, for those of us who like our schadenfreude served up in large portions. The upper reaches of the management of the paper has apparently been more than a bit daft for quite some time:
Ed Driscoll at PJ Media gives us this bizarre incident:
By 2003, it was obvious that the New York Times had gone off the rails, between the firings of Jayson Blair for serial fabulism and Howell Raines for hiring him — not to mention Raines’ obsession with the Augusta National Golf Club, while a slightly larger story was unfolding in America: 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the dawn of the Global War on Terror.
At a 2003 meeting to reassure hundreds of troubled and irate Times staff members that everything was under control, Sulzberger suddenly displayed a stuffed toy moose. “He commented that unhappy Times employees should ‘talk to the moose,’ ‘deal with the moose,’” wrote one journalist, “and he also urged employees to ‘put their moose on the table.’” Sulzberger then handed the moose to Executive Editor Howell Raines, who put the stuffed toy aside next to his chair.
“You’re sitting in the room with giants in the business,” one Times reporter, appalled by Sulzberger’s toy moose, told New York Magazine. “It was mortifying.” “Its use struck some in the audience as a tone-deaf and patronizing gesture,” reported the New York Daily News. “It wasn’t just embarrassing,” wrote journalist John Ellis. “It was embarrassing and pathetic.”
For days thereafter, pundits pondered why the 52-year-old publisher had brought a toy moose to such a serious meeting. Eventually they discovered that Sulzberger is a huge fan of psychological motivation techniques. The moose is akin to the expression “the elephant in the room,” a big topic that people are reluctant to acknowledge or talk about.
“My father and his generation were defined by the Great Depression and World War II, and it created a very strong command-and-control culture,” Sulzberger has said. “My generation is defined more by revolutions…. We deal with the moose.”
To amplify Pinch’s comments, his father, Arthur Ochs “Punch” Sulzberger (1926-2012), who grew up in the dynasty that owned the New York Times, enlisted in the US Marines in 1944, serving in the Pacific Theater, and accompanied MacArthur to the surrender of Imperial Japan. His son deploys a stuffed moose during critical business meetings. Continue reading
My heart bleeds:
Many in New York’s professional and cultural elite have long supported President Obama’s health care plan. But now, to their surprise, thousands of writers, opera singers, music teachers, photographers, doctors, lawyers and others are learning that their health insurance plans are being canceled and they may have to pay more to get comparable coverage, if they can find it.
They are part of an unusual, informal health insurance system that has developed in New York, in which independent practitioners were able to get lower insurance rates through group plans, typically set up by their professional associations or chambers of commerce. That allowed them to avoid the sky-high rates in New York’s individual insurance market, historically among the most expensive in the country.
But under the Affordable Care Act, they will be treated as individuals, responsible for their own insurance policies. For many of them, that is likely to mean they will no longer have access to a wide network of doctors and a range of plans tailored to their needs. And many of them are finding that if they want to keep their premiums from rising, they will have to accept higher deductible and co-pay costs or inferior coverage. Continue reading
But… but maybe he’s only a little crazy like painters or composers or… or some of those men in Washington.
Mr. Shellhammer, Miracle on 34th Street, (1947)
Something to brighten the Christmas Season courtesy of Mary Katharine Ham at Hot Air:
Capitol Hill staffers are hitting multiple obstacles in trying to enroll in the Obamacare exchange just days before the federal government’s deadline for getting coverage.
They and lawmakers have until Monday to sign up on DC Health Link, the District’s insurance exchange, if they want to maintain the government’s generous employer contribution to their health insurance.
But as crunch time approaches, Democratic and Republican staffers are getting error messages, denials, notices that they’re enrolled in multiple plans and incomplete confirmation — as well as a website that went down briefly Thursday.
Officials at DC Health Link say that they are working quickly to fix each problem. But the snags are causing a lot of frustration and grief.
I feel for anyone who has to go through this process who didn’t have a direct hand in passing this thing. As for the true believers, it is quite useful to have them experience exactly what the rest of America is going through. And, this is what that looks like:
We are in the best of hands.
Rep. John Boehner’s journey through the system has been well documented. It took him 3-4 hours to find out his premiums will double and his co-pays and deductible tripled.
“I’m thrilled to death, as you can tell.”
An amendment to the Affordable Care Act required federal lawmakers and their personal staff to forfeit their government-sponsored health care plans and enroll in state-based insurance exchanges. The goal was to make lawmakers experience what many Americans face in the individual marketplace.
But with the enrollment deadline looming, the complaints are growing louder — and are aimed particularly at the D.C. small-business exchange that members of Congress are supposed to enroll in.
The D.C. exchange’s log-in tool experienced technical difficulties Thursday morning.
“Sigh. I was just in the middle of signing up,” the chief of staff for Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, tweeted in response to an internal Senate email about the hiccup.
Sen. Ted Cruz’s speechwriter and communications adviser Amanda Carpenter has also been tweeting her experiences. She went to a physical DC Health Link help line offered for staffers after her first online attempt failed. Continue reading
Well it’s a Friday, I will be picking up my son for Thanksgiving Break and then tomorrow, he, my bride and I will be going to Monmouth College to see my daughter performing in A Christmas Carol. Life is good, and the story below makes it even better:
“In a shock to the system, the older staff in my office (folks over 59) have now found out their personal health insurance costs (even with the government contribution) have gone up 3-4 times what they were paying before,” Minh Ta, chief of staff to Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), wrote to fellow Democratic chiefs of staff in an email message obtained by POLITICO. “Simply unacceptable.” Continue reading
I really do think that the average Obama voter really did believe that Obamacare would lead to lower health insurance prices, except for mean rich Republicans perhaps. Many of them are now learning just how wrong they were:
Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.
“I really don’t like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family’s pocket each year, that’s otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy.”
Both Vinson and Waschura have adjusted gross incomes greater than four times the federal poverty level — the cutoff for a tax credit. And while both said they anticipated their rates would go up, they didn’t realize they would rise so much.
No national polls today because of the disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see any more until last-minute weekend ones. To tide over political junkies, there is a fun story in SFGate about California liberals petrified over the prospect that the Southside Messiah may not be reelected:
Edelman hosted a bunch of friends to watch the debate over dinner. But after the first five minutes unfolded, nobody ate. Few spoke. “And right after it ended, everybody just got up and left,” she said.
Alas, Obama didn’t respond to Blume’s pleas. And for the next two nights, Blume didn’t sleep. A man who has voted for only one Republican in his life – when the Beatles were touring – found himself questioning Obama and the state of the campaign.