Every So Often Links #8 | Moral Dilemmas and Mini-Distractions

Things are opening back up now. We’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, here are some links to make you think, explore and relax.

We have an interesting and unfortunate moral dilemma coming up this November election. Give one woman justice, or subject the country to 4 more years of Trump? In this heavy New York Times opinion article, author Linda Hirshman makes the best argument I’ve seen about voting for Biden as the greater good this Fall. (via Baratunde Thurston)

So what is the greatest good or the greatest harm? Mr. Biden, and the Democrats he may carry with him into government, are likely to do more good for women and the nation than his competition, the worst president in the history of the Republic. Compared with the good Mr. Biden can do, the cost of dismissing Tara Reade — and, worse, weakening the voices of future survivors — is worth it. And don’t call me an amoral realist. Utilitarianism is not a moral abdication; it is a moral stance…

Weigh it: Don’t a few extra cents for each worker matter more than the marginal dollar for the boss? Weigh it: Won’t the good for all the Americans who will benefit from replacing Donald Trump with Joe Biden, including the masses of women who will get some crumbs, count for more than the harm done to the victims of abuse?

Utilitarian morality requires that I turn my face away from the people I propose to sell out: Monica Lewinsky, Tara Reade. This is agonizingly hard for me to do. Pretending not to believe the complainants — which is what is taking place with Ms. Reade — or that they’re loose nobodies, which is what much of the media did to Ms. Lewinsky, is just an escape from the hard work of moral analysis.

And it adds to the harm. How is feminism advanced by casting a reasonably credible complainant as a liar? Better to just own up to what you are doing: sacrificing Ms. Reade for the good of the many.

The Civil War. Pearl Harbor. 9/11. How would these events have transpired had Trump been the President? When I first read the title of Max Boot’s Washington Post op-ed, I thought it was a bit of a hyperbole. But, by the end of it I thought he made a good case that WWII would not have turned out the same.

Picture the scene a few months after Pearl Harbor. The first U.S. troops have arrived in England, and the Doolittle raiders have bombed Tokyo. But even though the war has just begun, the Trumpified FDR is already losing interest. One day he says the war is already won; the next day that we will just have to accept the occupation of France because that’s the way life is. He speculates that mobilization might be unnecessary if we can develop a “death ray” straight out of a Buck Rogers comic strip. He complains that rationing and curfews are very unpopular and will have to end soon. He tells the governors that if they want to keep on fighting, they will have to take charge of manufacturing ships, tanks and aircraft. Trumpy FDR prefers to hold mass rallies to berate his predecessor, Herbert Hoover. He even suggests that Hoover belongs in jail along with the leading Republican congressmen — “Martin, Barton and Fish.”

Now this is incredibly cool. Explore the tomb of Pharaoh Ramesses VI, all from the comfort of your couch.

They say to never judge a book by its cover, but not to judge book covers. I’m a fan of original and unique book covers, so this was cool to look through. Check out the winners of the American Institute of Graphic Arts’ 50 Books | 50 Covers competition. My favorites are Genealogies of Art or the History of Art as Visual Art and Trenton Doyle Hancock: Mind of the Mound: Critical Mass. (via kottke.org)

Google Doodle pays tribute to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole on what would have been his 61st birthday. A beautiful tribute for a beautiful song.

A quick way to spend 5 minutes. With Land Lines, draw a line and the software does its thing to match it with a picture of the world.

I have mixed feelings about Google as a whole, but I love their Easter eggs. Try Googling The Wizard of Oz and click on the glittering red slippers over on the right-hand side. Then try Thanos and click the Infinity Gauntlet – I gotta say what happens is pretty cool.

Stay safe.

Photo by Philipp Katzenberger on Unsplash

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