Re: Goodness vs. Expediency

Making the question specific. I have a co-worker who is a Deacon in his church and tries to be moral and obey the commandments. He told me that he tries to refrain from lying to the point of avoiding answering a question if it means he has to not be completely truthful. Me, I technically lie quite frequently, especially to friends and loved ones who ask my judgments in matters that would cause them discomfort if I told them how I really feel. "Yes, mom, I love the way you look in those capri pants; I agree, they make you look ten pounds thinner." Or, "thank you for your thoughtful birthday gift of ten romance novels; I'll be sure to bump them up to the top of my reading queue." I also lie to people (usually casual acquaintances or strangers) who I perceive might react with apoplexy if I were to be honest about a broad range of my beliefs. The cliche, "When in Rome..." is emblematic of my choosing such expediency. I believe that lying about feelings is qualitatively different from lying about actions (and not as easy to verify), but my co-worker sees both as the same violation in principle. He did not want to tell the secretary who booked his hotel room that it was the worst place he'd stayed in since his army service, but he couldn't lie to her either, so he evaded the question. I didn't have the heart to conjecture that perhaps he had committed a sin of omission.

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
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