Newsfare for Smaller Screens
 
Larger Print for Mature Eyes

Search Newsfare
Weblogs, with Update Times
The Raw Story • 12 min ago
Daily Kos • 14 min ago
Hullabaloo by Digby • 22 min ago
Boing Boing • 53 min ago
Eschaton by Atrios • 1 hr ago
Talking Points Memo • 20 hr ago
Energy Bulletin • 1 day ago
The Oil Drum •
Huffington Post •
Fafblog •
Emptywheel •
War and Piece •
European Tribune •
Counterpunch •
Firedoglake •
Duck of Minerva •
The Automatic Earth •

  KQ9
Recommended Indy Posts
Permalink Article
Obama's Pragmatism
I think I’m beginning to understand Barack Obama’s concept of pragmatism better. Pragmatism is the name of a school of philosophy. The major point to understand is that, in the pragmatic view, we have to continue working hard at “business as usual,” regardless of what we believe is ethically right or wrong. As I understand it, Obama’s current philosophically-inspired position is that economic success is the major gauge of his leadership, simply because that is the way everything works in our civilization. Many aspects of our system are repugnant, probably as much to Obama as to some of those reading this, but according to his pragmatism we can’t get away from things as they are.

Obama’s is a deeply thought out attitude and not the same as a policy of continuous expediency. He demands that we throw ourselves into the world as we find it. I think he would say that any other attitude amounts to shirking our (his) responsibility to run the country for the good of everyone, including the good of people we detest.

This attitude can be compared with the one advanced by Victor Frankl in his book Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl survived life in Auschwitz while following similar principles. I recommend Frankl’s moving and disturbing book without reservation to anyone who would try to see human beings as we are, inextricably connected to the world around us. In some ways the philosophy of Frankl is the antithesis of the agonized lament, heard in Jean-Paul Sartre’s play No Exit, that “Hell is other people.”

I’m not sure I can entirely accept either Obama’s pragmatism or Frankl’s grim determination to follow the road on which we find ourselves. Nevertheless I believe these are ideas that we need to take seriously, particularly in light of the current president’s apparently deep commitment to principles such as I am awkwardly trying to characterize here.

If Obama succeeds in getting himself voted in for another term, it will be interesting to find out what he does with his second four years. He may not change his policies, but I’m hoping he will start to explain, in much greater depth, the decisions he is making and the logic he follows in making them.

—Ralph    |   |



Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com
Cached Jul 12, 2014, 7:12 pm (all times Eastern US)
Reuters News
Gaza death toll rises; Hamas
fires rockets at Tel Aviv


Michigan student won't be
charged in Visine poisoning


Comedian Tracy Morgan released
from rehab after June crash


Colombia oil pipeline
paralyzed by rebel attack


Twenty-nine killed by gunmen in
east Baghdad: police and hospital


Belfast parade ends without
clashes for first time in years


Syrian rebel commander
assassinated in Jordan: police


Iran sticks to 'unworkable, inadequate'
stances in nuclear talks: U.S.


Disputed Afghan election
to be recounted in full


Trump Plaza in Atlantic City to
close, adding to city's woes: report


Shi'ite group hands back army
camp to Yemeni government


Afghanistan's Ghani and Abdullah
arrive for news conference with Kerry


Central Africa Republic's ousted
leader back in charge of Seleka


Costa Concordia wreck
refloating given green light


Serbian finance minister quits
over reform disagreements with PM


Israel deploys more missile
interceptors, Gaza death toll up to 125


One killed, eight injured
in Istanbul gas explosion


Practical hurdles hampered police response
to D.C. Navy Yard shootings -report


Utah man arrested in bomb plot to
cause uprising against government


Merkel blasts U.S. spying, hopes
Washington will change tack


Acquisition talks show
Reynolds' taste for menthol


Aerospace jamboree on tenterhooks
over F-35 fighter, Airbus jet revamp


Ukraine jets pound rebels
after deadly missile attack


Iraq headed for chaos unless
politicians unite, U.N. says


Exclusive: Jordan reluctant to host
U.S.-led Syria rebel training - officials


Iraq forces executed 255 prisoners in
revenge for Islamic State killings: HRW


No getting away from it all
on the Appalachian Trail


Nigeria police say uncover plot
to bomb Abuja transport network


Libyan protesters shut down
Brega oil port: state firm NOC


U.N. Iraq envoy warns of 'chaos'
without progress to form government


Ukraine scrambles fighter jets above
rebel positions as missile attack resumes


Several injured in explosion
in Istanbul: media


Roadside bomb kills eight
civilians in southern Afghanistan


Philippines arrests Australian
over ties to militant group ISIL


Kerry pushes for a deal in second
day of talks on Afghan vote crisis


China's top paper says no place
for a 'new cold war' with U.S.


Tribesmen bomb Yemen's oil pipeline,
halt crude flows: officials


Seattle's attorney apologizes for
taking bags of marijuana to the office


Lawyers for Colorado theater gunman
oppose videotaping sanity exam


U.S. Navy maintains grounding
order for F-35 fighter jets


German suspect was in contact with
State Dept not U.S. spies: officials


Female Yahoo executive
sued for sexual harassment


U.S. appeals court sides with
gay marriage proponents in Utah


Brazil's leader sees no political
fallout from World Cup defeat


F-35 fighters can resume flight,
travel to UK air show: officials


Two more charged in slaying of
12-year-old NJ girl on scooter


Armed citizen groups seek
recruits to secure U.S. border


Lightning kills one, injures seven
in Colorado's Rocky Mountain park


U.N. Security Council to vote Monday
on Syria aid access resolution


U.S. agency investigating drone
flights after video goes viral


Florida's electoral map in
flux after court ruling


Seattle's first legal pot
shop runs out of marijuana


Mississippi coach, wife indicted
for sex with underage girl


Florida movie theater shooter
wins release from jail on bond


Magnitude 6.8 quake, small
tsunami hit east Japan, no damage


Ex-California pension fund CEO pleads
guilty in federal conspiracy case


Putin pledges to help Cuba
explore for offshore oil


Tsunami advisory lifted after
east Japan earthquake: NHK


California high court
softens 'three strikes' law


Ex-city official in California sentenced
to one year in jail in corruption case


U.S. Medicaid enrollment nears 7
million since Obamacare rollout


Case of Pennsylvania sheriff
accused of assault nears a close


Former NY mayor riles Colorado
pols with 'rural' gun remarks


Sri Lankan Muslim leader warns
of radicalization after clashes


Ex-Minnesota governor: no fight
with 'American Sniper' author


Thousands may telecommute in
case of New York train strike


New York man who threatened
ex-President Bush gets house arrest


U.S. Congress seen backing
extension of Iran nuclear pact


Magnitude 6.8 earthquake hits off eastern
Japan, minor tsunami warning: NHK


Putin meets Fidel Castro at
start of Latin American tour


U.S. anthrax probe reveals new bird
flu mishap, widespread safety lapses


In the brain, sex addiction
looks the same as drug addiction


House backs extending business
depreciation tax break


White House trims 2014 deficit
projection to $583 billion


Accused Boston bomber spoke of
martyrdom before attack -FBI


Republicans wage uphill battle
to win over black voters


Kerry to hold second day of talks
with Afghan election candidates


Texas mass murder suspect collapses
in court as crime recounted


Underage fighters drawn
into Iraq sectarian war


U.S. pilots, other labor unions
split on Ex-Im Bank reforms


Four killed and 57 hurt as
Casablanca buildings collapse


Berlusconi may face trial
over prostitution witness


Central African Republic civilian
leaders threaten to boycott peace talks


Woman stabbed to death at Indiana
hospital, body found at her home


Test-cheating trial delayed for
ill former Atlanta school chief


Erdogan, launching presidential
bid, vows 'pioneering new Turkey'


Haskell collapses in Texas
court as details of murder read


U.S. cigarette maker Reynolds
in talks to buy rival Lorillard


New York police work to ID
body parts found in two towns


New York's MTA may have to increase
debt in LIRR pay deal: Moody's


Ukraine says rebels will pay
as missiles kill 23 soldiers


U.S. House Appropriations chair: Obama
border security request too high


Federal judge affirms Detroit's
access to casino revenue


More Americans succumb to World
Cup fever: Reuters/Ipsos poll


Kurds seize Iraq oilfields,
ministers pull out of government


Iran preparing to start plant needed
for interim nuclear deal: sources


U.N. asks Europe to take Syrian
refugees as region saturated


Portugal's PM tries to soothe investors;
BES says can cover any losses


Thirty Ukrainian troops possibly
killed in rebel missile attack


Two dead, 53 injured in
Casablanca buildings collapse


Reynolds, Lorillard
confirm takeover talks


Turkey says Israel's Gaza
offensive threatens rapprochement


Russian lawmaker says son,
detained by U.S., needs medicine


EU names two South Sudan
military officials it sanctioned


Putin begins Latin American
tour amid Ukraine crisis


India's Modi accepts
invitation to meet Obama


Polish parliament rejects no
confidence motion in interior minister


Kerry urges Afghanistan to focus
on audit to resolve disputed vote


Man suspected of shooting six
dead in Texas to appear in court


Taliban debate merits of Islamic
State's caliphate announcement


FBI agents to testify against
friend of accused Boston bomber


U.S. telecom regulators tackle
Internet subsidy for schools


Taliban hideouts revealed as Pakistan
army seizes militant redoubt


Former Korean 'comfort women' for
U.S. troops sue own government


Reynolds and Lorillard in talks
to sell assets to Imperial


Germany says expulsion of
U.S. spy chief was inevitable


Iraq's foreign minister says Kurds
suspend all participation in government


German police: young man set self
on fire outside Libyan embassy


Wind-swept wildfire chars 18,000
acres in Washington state


Obama, corporate giants announce
plan to boost suppliers


German government spokesman: Merkel and Putin
may meet on sidelines of World Cup Final


German foreign minister: response
to alleged U.S. spying was right


Portugal's BES steadies
nerves, losses still a puzzle


Gas explosion kills one, injures
30 in western Turkish city


Israeli strikes kill more Palestinians;
rocket causes huge blaze in Israel


Britain 'seriously concerned'
over Hong Kong press freedom


China's Xi to visit Greece
on way to South America


Four servicemen, five miners
killed in eastern Ukraine


Ebola deaths surge in Sierra
Leone and Liberia: WHO


Russia likely to prolong asylum
for fugitive Snowden: Interfax


Attackers raid Kenya coast
village, steal police guns


Several injured as gas leak triggers
blast in western Turkish city


Imperial in talks to buy assets
from Reynolds and Lorillard


Philippines' Aquino keeps budget
chief amid corruption scandal


Kerry hopes solution can be found
to Afghanistan vote dispute


Sinaloa drug cartel leader 'Chino
Antrax' extradited to California


Japan economics minister warns of premature
QE exit, sees room for more easing


Border Patrol suspends transfer of
undocumented migrants to San Diego


Kenya's coastal killings pose
insurgency risk for Kenyatta


Taliban sympathizer posts
pictures of smiling Bowe Bergdahl


Amazon seeks FAA permission to
test drones outdoors near Seattle


China sentences 32 in
Xinjiang for 'terror' videos


Israel presses on with Gaza
offensive, Palestinians fire rockets


Ukraine readies
plan against rebels


Argentina to send
technocrats to debt talks


China looking into Bank of China
money laundering allegations: Xinhua


Eleven killed in China
school bus crash


Florida judge throws out 2012
congressional redistricting plan


Measles cases hit 18-year
high in Washington state


Georgia man charged with murder in
son's car-seat death fired from job


U.S. defense chief voices
confidence in grounded F-35 fleet


Two California men indicted
on mink farm sabotage charges


Obama administration warns money
low to deal with migrant crisis


Detroit boy was abused, harshly
disciplined: state petition


Kerry arrives in Afghanistan to broker
resolution in disputed election


Supporters optimistic after ex-U.S.
Marine appears in Mexico court


Florida man executed for
1994 rape and murder of girl


Crime spree helps Pakistani Taliban
squirrel away cash before raids begin


Judge asked to block North Carolina
voting changes before midterms


U.S. House Republicans to focus
Obama lawsuit on Obamacare


Sanofi dengue vaccine
promising but questions remain


Combining vaccines may
help eradicate polio


Hoping for progress, San Bernardino
sets bankruptcy case deadlines


Man charged with killing six
members of same Texas family


Californians lacking health insurance
halved under Obamacare: study


California man gets 15 year
sentence in China spying case


Wisconsin nine-year-old
dies trapped in grain bin


Boston reaches deal with
developer planning nearby casino


Virginia police won't seek nude
photo of teenager in sexting case


Woman charged with manslaughter
in Google exec's heroin death


Obama lets rip on trip
out of Washington


U.S. judge tells IRS to explain
lost emails in 'Tea Party' probe


Libya prepares to move
parliament to Benghazi


Police rescue 165 kidnapped
migrants in Mexican border state


Brazil's Rousseff lets Obama
off the hook for NSA spying


U.S. judge sentences man to
15 years in China spying case


Judge orders former New Hampshire
cop in hit-and-run back to jail


California ends fiscal year with
cash for first time in seven years


Draft notices sent to 14,000
dead men in Pennsylvania


Gaza dead reach 78 as
Israelis hint at invasion


Taliban post picture of commander
with smiling U.S. captive


Mississippi baby thought cured
of HIV no longer in remission


Man hoping to be executed must
get appeal, Florida court rules


Louisiana guard fired after arrest
on suspicion of raping inmate


Teenager charged with killing
soldier at Tennessee armory


Pennsylvania mom drowns trying
to save son in Lake Erie


Top Connecticut court
hears death penalty appeal


U.N. chief says de Mistura
to be new Syria mediator


U.S. Republican warns of 'death
by a thousand cuts' from China


U.S. Senate confirms Donovan
as White House budget director


Denver County to issue marriage
licenses to gay couples: spokesman


British public sector workers
strike over 'poverty pay'


Citizen scientists out of options
to rescue old NASA satellite


Insurgents enter military base
northeast of Baghdad: officials


U.S. prosecutors decline criminal
probe in CIA-Senate dispute


Lawmakers eye U.S. immigration law
changes for Central American children


U.S. Senate tax-writers agree on
$10.8 billion transport funding plan


Friend of accused Boston bomber
watched bag hauled away: agent


Auto union to form branch for workers
at Volkswagen plant in Tennessee


Iran nuclear talks sides far
apart, paper quotes UK's Hague


Hundreds of U.S. lawmakers seek
role in Iran nuclear talks


Colorado judge backs county
clerk over gay marriage licenses


Berlin tells CIA station
chief to leave in spy scandal


Myanmar jails reporters,
newspaper boss for 10 years


North Carolina voter law hurts
African Americans: Justice Department


Catalan language revival
fuels backlash in Spain


WTC cleanup workers may renew
health claims: U.S. appeals court


Exclusive: Coastal flooding has
surged in U.S., Reuters finds


U.S. imposes sanctions on
Lebanese firm for Hezbollah ties


Bahrain charges opposition leader
over meeting with U.S. diplomat


U.S. Senate committee advances
bill on cell phone unlocking


Palestinian death toll rises to 77
as Israel hits Gaza over rocket fire


Turkish parliament gives legal
recognition to Kurdish peace talks


U.N. urges Saudi Arabia to
release activists, halt lashings


Seven killed in Massachusetts
apartment blaze -fire officials


World cities, home to most people, to
add 2.5 billion more by 2050: U.N.


Obstruction trial in Boston
bombing focuses on Web searches


Philadelphia man accused of
being Nazi guard denied bail


U.S. judge blocks New Hampshire law
creating abortion clinic buffers


Man sentenced to year in jail in
Detroit mob beating of motorist


Japan cyber attacks on government sites
surge, government mulling steps to respond


Central U.S. to see cold
snap next week: NWS


Germany asks top U.S. intelligence
official to leave over spy scandal


Philadelphia mayor rebuked for response
to fire that killed four children


Greek far-right Golden Dawn's
spokesman jailed awaiting trial


U.S. weather forecaster still sees
70 percent chance of summer El Nino


More Ukrainian soldiers killed;
France, Germany press Putin


Bruised Iraqi army leans on
Shi'ite militias, volunteers


Germany asks intelligence official
at U.S. embassy to leave country


Militants in Lebanon seek
to emulate Islamic State


U.N. evacuates dozens of
foreign staff from Libya


Texts from accused Boston bomber
at issue in obstruction trial


Part of U.S. Capitol closed to
probe asbestos incident: officials


Merkel says spying on
allies is a waste of energy


EU imposes sanctions on South
Sudanese military leaders


Bulgaria's center-right leads
in first poll since EU vote


Engine fire triggers new
turbulence for Lockheed's F-35 jet


Seized nuclear material in
Iraq 'low grade': U.N. agency


Baghdad halts Kurdish cargo
flights after ministers' boycott


China agrees to reduce FX
intervention 'as conditions permit'


Likely new Indonesian leader
warns against tampering with vote


China says more than half of
foreign aid given to Africa


Taliban kill six de-miners
in western Afghanistan


China, U.S. to boost security
ties, but no breakthroughs


German language rule for immigrant
spouses invalid: European court


Boeing sees $5.2 trillion jet market,
win versus Airbus on twin-aisles


Drone kills six in NW Pakistan, army
seizes most of key city from Taliban


Special Report: All work and no
pay for thousands in the Balkans


Florida set to execute convicted
murderer of 11-year-old girl


Australian minister under fire for not
meeting Tamil groups on Sri Lanka trip


'Prime Evil' apartheid killer
up for parole in South Africa


Kerry faces uphill battle to
defuse Afghan election standoff


Britain says to pass emergency
phone and email data law


Fed independence questioned as
Republicans ramp up pressure


Parched California proposes steep
fines for over-watering lawns


Three Ukrainian soldiers killed
in further clashes in the east


Son of local hero bids to lead
Slovenia to limited makeover


Israel presses Gaza offensive, kills
eight in air strike: officials


China dismisses planned Macau
democracy vote as meaningless


China June trade data misses
forecasts, doubts over economy linger


Shooting at Tennessee National Guard
armory leaves one soldier dead


Australian immigration minister visits
Jaffna, no talks with Tamil groups


Six killed, including four
children, in Houston-area shooting


New form of U.S. healthcare saves money,
improves quality, one insurer finds


Christie-led U.S. governors group
raises $26.6 million in second quarter


Indonesian leader calls for restraint
after presidential stand-off


Japan denies report on North
Korea's abduction survivor list


Chinese hackers pursue key
data on U.S. workers: NYT


Israel pursues punishing Gaza
offensive for a third day


At least six killed in
Houston-area shooting


China's top prosecutor orders more
transparency in corruption cases


Colorado puts annual marijuana
demand at 130 tonnes


Georgia man's death sentence commuted a
day before scheduled execution


Mexican train derails, stranding
1,300 migrants headed toward U.S.


Obama rejects criticism
over border crisis


New Orleans-area school district
agrees to rules protecting Hispanics


'American Sniper' says punched
ex-Minnesota governor Ventura


Exclusive: Commerzbank may pay $600 million-$800
million to settle U.S. probe - sources


Obama urges Congress to pass
migrant funding request quickly


Former U.S. Marine jailed in Mexico
since March appears in court


Fed mulls policy exit, eyes
end of asset purchases


Former IRS official sought to hide
information, lawmakers assert


BBC News
NY Times News