Monday, December 21, 2015

Let us Dance the Dark Morris

Solitice will occurs this year on December 22nd at 04:49 Hours GMT (Universal time) or December 21, 20:49 Hours PST.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Well, that was unexpected....



From the Forward, which really does some good reporting, we have the surpise new: Poland Turns Hard to Right — and Jews Wind Up in Crosshairs.

Wonder when NPR will cover this?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Speech I Wish Someone Would Give: Four thousand throats.

It is often said that we need more people who speak truth to power.

I, however, would rather have power speak truth to people.

The hopeless non-sense spoken by everyone about recent terror attacks miss a single point:

We can minimize attacks, but we can't stop them.

I wish to Hell -- which seems appropriate -- that someone would say this.

Yes we can improve intelligence, control weapons, strike an bases.  And a good strategy might improve safety, limit gun crime, prevent radicalization.

But it won't stop it all.  As the font of much wisdom pointed out "Four thousand throats may be cut in one night by a running man."*

People in power should state firmly we aren't going to eliminate the risk -- live with it.  Then we can talk about mitigation, cost, and benefit.

No one, not the Reactionaries, not Obama, not Hollande, not Clinton, not Sanders, no one is will to tell the truth.

------
*(Star Trek, 'Day of the Dove').

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid

There a number of reasons that I am not a fan of Obama, and while a large part of it is his economic politics (1960s Republican), a more visceral part is his temperament.*

He seems to have problems understanding what it means to govern, and shows very little learning curve.

As a case in point, see  How The White House Lost Democrats On The Syrian Refugee Bill  from the Huffington Post.**

Specifically:

.. after leaving a Democratic caucus briefing on Thursday with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson ...[Steve] Israel told reporters. "They may have strong arguments on their side, but they're not expressing those strong arguments sufficiently."
An aide in the meeting with Johnson and McDonough said the administration’s presentation was “too complicated” and was “not going over well.”

Another aide said they didn't answer basic questions presented by lawmakers, such as why it was not practical or doable to add another level of certification on top of the current vetting process.
One House Democrat, who requested anonymity, said he went into the meeting with administration officials opposed to the bill but left in support of it.
Emphasis added.

Apparently, the White House expected 'loyalty' from Democratic House members. The reason for this expectation, -- given  its lack of zeal during the last election cycle, and attempts to throw Congressional Democrats under the bus during budget negotiations (that God for Republican intransigence), -- is unclear to me. They have done little to earn loyalty.


For the record, Steve Israel, who is quoted above, is not my favorite Democrat, being a bit of a Blue Dog and to close to Wall Street -- though interestingly he supported both Occupy Wall Street and J Street.

However, he points out the political realities -- which anyone with a desire to lead must deal with -- and the short comings of Obama's governance.  There has been no good attempt to explain and push the policy -- for starters, given the politics, Obama himself should have been involved.

It is not enough to attack the demagogues as demagogues -- as noted in the brilliant blog post Reality Politics  -- one has to make a solid case addressing the issues.

This White House has yet to learn this in seven years.  And I predict, it will help its party lose the position in 2016.***

------------------------------------------ 
* This is reference to a famous observation by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., after meeting FDR -- he remarked that unlike Hoover, FDR had"Second-class intellect, first-class temperament," and that this was a good thing. 
** A source I continue to use, despite the injunctions from some as "They...make money off of unpaid writers, and Arianna was a long time buddy with Andrew Breitbart". Credit where credit is due.
***  I make this prediction firmly, and without hesitation -- in hopes that my families track record on such predictions continues: we are generally wrong.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Useful Idiots and Battles We Choose to Fight



I have rather strong feelings about the complexity of understanding history, free expression, and the right to offend -- and a bias in favor of action over display.

I have long wondered (since college) at the various obsessions with PC, White Privilege, marginalization, victimization.

It seems to me, this would be exactly the sort of distraction I would create as a mechanism for dividing opposition to the dominant politics and economics -- as well as undermining support of research, free through, and education.

Specifically, I think that the current spate of campus posturing is probably going to help elect the harder-right wing1.  (That and the condescension surrounding the current security debate , see the brilliant blog post Reality Politics, are likely to give the reactionairies a glide path to electoral success.)

So, I was not displeased to see 's note in the Huffington Post2 Woodrow Wilson, Princeton University, and the Battles We Choose to Fight.

This article contrasts well, I think with Marian Wright Edelman's piece It's Way Past Time for America to Face These Ugly Truths.3 Which is mainly an argument for  a 'guided' introspection, but present no actions that will change reality.

There is an argument that there is nothing so powerful than an idea whose time has come4, that changing minds and raising consciousness is the best way to change reality.

Personally, I am on the side of the larger coalitions, shared interests, and (of course ) bigger battalions5.


Which is why I view the current generation of activists (not unlike many of their failed predecessors) as useful idiots and nothing more.

Or we have met the tools of the enemy, and he,she,it,zee,they, is us6.




-------
  1 I count Hillary and Obama as the mild right wing, at least on economics.
  Which I link to  despite the injunctions from some as "They...make money off of unpaid writers, and Arianna was a long time buddy with Andrew Breitbart".  Credit where credit is due.
 3 Oops did it again.
 4   Victor Hugo 
 5   Voltaire
 6 Apologies to Walt Kelly.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Reality Politics




If you have no use for naivete, there is an article from Mother Jones that is worthwhile viewing: 

Liberals Should Knock Off the Mockery Over Calls to Limit Syrian Refugees.


Along with that by  You might not like Republicans calling for a ban on refugees. But it’s smart politics.

After listing to NPR this is refreshingly honest and insightful.

As a practical matter, respond to people's fears.  Preferably like you know a) what you are doing, and b) as if you really care.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Criminal Justice Reform: Cui Bono







House Bill Would Make It Harder To Prosecute White-Collar Crime



And to think, I was actually wondering why the right was supporting criminal justice reform.

Imams Sing French National Anthem US Reactionairies look for gain.


Two contrasting articles Imams Sing French National Anthem At Bataclan and The Exploitation of Paris [in the United States].

Depending on who wins what is effectively an Islamic civil war no on going, those Imams may be seen as principled traitors.  That is they are will to make an explicit rejection of one side,  a refusal to use or work with its agents, and exposed action.

If they win, of course, they will not be traitors.

Reactionairies in the United States are willing to betray the common wealth for gain, their own interests, and without regard to others who are part of the nation.  This is a preparation for an unprincipled treason.*

This sort of treason take a long time for it to show its head, but I believe it can be indentified by:
  1. Denigration of the state, while being succored by it
  2. Disregard of other loyal members of the common wealth, because of disagreement
  3. Intentionally fomenting discord, instead of discussion
  4. Of making all issues simply fodder to attacking other actors in the polity.
An example of this sort of treason might be seen in the French right. Prior to the Second World War, it strove to undermine the republic, and when given the chance, collaborated  (“mieux vaut Hitler que Blum”), somewhat to the actual annoyance of the Germans.

The current generation of reactionairies would light signal fire on the way to Pearl Harbor and object the surrender in Tokyo Bay rather than work with other Americans.



----
I know my brother Matthew will chide me for my loose use of the term, viz. the definition in the US Constitution, but I will stick with it for now.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Don't you just hate it when they do something right


Liberty University is requiring its students to attend a Bernie Sanders speech

 Liberty Univserity has semi weekly “convocations,”  required school assemblies, with people and issues it considers important. 

They have invited Bernie Sanders to speak at one, and he has accepted -- as did Ted Kenney and Jesse Jackson, though not, I regret to say, Obama, Biden and Hillary Clinton.

The Chancellor of Liberty University, Jerry Falwell Jr, is reporat at remarking to the effect:

[O]ther “liberal” schools could learn a thing or two from a
purportedly closed, conservative campus like Liberty’s.
When former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice was
invited to speak at Rutgers University’s commencement
last spring, students and faculty protested for weeksuntil she voluntarily backed out. Falwell says he’s seen no
such response to the Sanders invite from Liberty’s
own student body.
And in this case, Liberty University has right on its side.

Ask Me about American Heros


Yesterday, August 7 of 2015, Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey died at the age of 101.

Because of what would now be called bureaucratic inertia and government interference, she literally saved the lives and health of thousands of US children.

The rest of the advanced world, including her native Canada, allowed Merrell's drug thalidomide  to be prescribed  as a tranquilizer and painkiller with specific indications to prescribe the drug to pregnant women for morning sickness.

She had only recently joined the FDA, and  "was one of only seven full-time and four young part-time physicians reviewing drugs".

Thalidomide had been on the market in other countries for almost three years, so there was intense pressure from the drug company to approve.

Despite this, she performed her job, requiring more information on that drug because of reported adverse external studies (in particular an English study that documented a nervous system side effects) before approval.

By 'preventing US citizens from having the benefits of new medical technology', the United States was largely spared the at least 10,000 cases of phocomelia (malformation of the limbs) in new borns, with a mortality of 50%.

Perhaps she should be on the $10 bill*.






------------
*Personal Rant: Hamilton, who created the US finance system, should stay on our money.  The more problematic (though populist) Jackson should go.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

No Jew here: Theodore Bikel as described on All Things Considered NPR

There is a word missing from NPR's obituary for Theodore Bikel (Theodore Bikel, Who Starred In Broadway's 'Fiddler On The Roof,' Dies)

That Jew. Or for the squeamish, Jewish.

The piece was delivered (and one assumes written) by Lynn Neary, described as having" develop[ed] NPR's first religion beat. [And] As religion correspondent....covered the country's diverse religious landscape".

The piece identified Bikel as best known for starring as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway (one would think that honor might go to the man who created the role,  Zero Mostel ) and as a 'folk singer.'

Folk singer.  No mention was made of what sort of folk singer. It didn't mention that he specialized Jewish folk song  bringing it to the public, or his support in preserving Easten European Jewish culture, and the Yiddish Language. 

The closest NPR came to hinting that Bikel might have a Jewish connection was that his family fled Vienna to the Palenstine Mandate.  All NPR chose to say was that Bikel's family fled.

I am curious why it was so hard for NPR to say the word Jew, or even Jewish?



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

Oh, lets have fun with it... practical facetious comment.



In Why I Support 'No Gays Allowed' , the head of NJ Pride () takes a rather practical approach to Jeff Amyx, owner of Amyx Hardware and Baptist minister(, who taped a "No Gays Allowed" sign to
his storefront window.

I particularly liked Prince's comments:

"The real problem I have is with all those underground haters. The ones who don't have a sign out front ... have the guts to come out...Then I'll exercise my capitalist right to shop from your competitor--and to proudly put my money where my allies are."
Which, was what so many businesses indicated they would do in Indiana.

As a matter of legal principal, and as a matter of keeping uniform public access to public accommodation, the state should intervene if this person actually tried to enforce such a sign.

The owner, chickened out and put up a new sign, not as much fun, as it represents zero change from current commerce is:
"We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who would violate our rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion."

---------
*Please note, due to scourge  political correctness, I did not refer to him as a red neck, inbred, putative cousin humping, bible thumper. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Crab Bucket

My niece posted a link to a facebook rant, reacting in hostile way to the recent events in LGTBQ(.....) history: Darkmatter - This whole "Trans rights is the new priority" fiasco...

I pass on as an excellent example of 'crab bucket' behavior.


In case you are wondering, it is the behavior of crabs in an open bucket.  If one crab tries to get out, the others will pull it down.


That's very useful if you are selling crabs.  They can be kept in open buckets.


They also don't have to be fed.  A saves to the person who actually owns the bucket.

I have noticed this before, particularly in association with identity politics, and amongst 'progressives'.

It's a tribal attitude -- what might be called "amoral familism" (see The Moral Basis of a Backward Society -- Edward Banfield).

It implies a hierarchy of success of:
  1. I win, you lose
  2. We both lose
  3. We both win.

It makes me somewhat home sick for my alma mater/pater.
From Darkmatter:

This
whole "Trans rights is the new priority" fiasco needs to stop. This
framing of the trans struggle as a "new" priority absolves Gay INC of
its complicity in literally stealing from us, pathologizing us, harming
us and erasing us. Trans people have been here lying under your bus
forever. We were actually the old struggle of this movement -- we just
got kicked out of it.


Let's get a few things straight:

1. The separation of "gay" from "trans" and "sexuality" from "gender
identity" has a political history. This distinction was a conscious
strategy to make the gay movement more palatable to straight cis white
middle class society.


2. "Love" became separated from "Gender"
because Gay INC knew that a politics of love would be much more
palatable than a politics of gender. "Love" allowed gay activists to
say, "We're just like you!" instead of "We look different from you."
Trans become the repository for difference, for otherness, for
transgression.


3. In order for "homosexuality" to become
de-pathologized, gender nonconformity had to become re-pathologized.
Gayness had to distinguish itself from trans: "We are not freaks like
them." The modern gay subject only emerged in distinguishing him/herself
from gender nonconformity.


4. The history of the gay movement
is a history of (re)producing the gender binary and gender conformity.
It is a history of institutionalized transphobia. The gay movement is
foundationally trans violence. It would not exist without trans
violence.


5. Now transphobia is discussed with no history or
origin story. It's only discussed as individual episodes of harm and not
a structure of violence. This de-historicization of trans violence
means that individual trans people are blamed for both their violence
and their outrage. People ask, "Why are you so angry?" instead of, "How
am I complicit in your oppression?"


6. There is no gay celebration without trans violence. Love won because gender didn't.










Monday, June 29, 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015

And if...


At Least 5 Predominately Black Churches Have Been Destroyed By Fire In The Past Week





Ah yes, forgiveness is working.

One wonders:
  1. if theses churches are in "stand your ground states"
    And
  2. if they posted armed guards (you know second amendment rights),
    And 
  3. if these guards were black,
    And 
  4. if they shot and killed an arsonist, 
    And 
  5. if the arsonist was white
the guards would be acquitted.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Be aware of celebrations


There was a brilliant, unsentimental discussion of the reasons to support same sex marriage published after its passage by the Washington State Legislature, and prior the defeat of an initiative that sought to repeal it Two Cheers for Gay Marriage:
The debate about same-sex marriage, on both sides, misses the main point: marriage is not about "love" or "sex".  It is about the creation and accounting of economic units which can accumulate property (which historically includes children), and the maintenance of kinship organization (which is also about property).

Societies and the state need to track such units so as a resolve problems of ownership.  Marriage law, even and especially religious marriage law ,is dominantly about property -- who has access to it, how it is inherited, how it can be separated.  That is, it is contractual.  Definitions of marriage, and its legal status, have always reflected this, for example the reason that monogamous marriage is the norm in west, and now the world, that it simplifies property issues. 

Gay individuals are forming kinship units, accumulating property, having offspring in significant numbers.

It is in the interest of the the state and society that such units be allowed to be regularized, as it would  to facilitate the management of property, assign responsibility the care of children, and clarify kinship relations (for example next of kin in medical cases).
This argument is secular, and does not appeal to abstract values -- so it is not, shall we say attractive.

I still contend, that it is the strongest argument to use, however, with those who will oppose the change.

And the opposition will continue, it is too juicy to be ignored by those whose real agenda lie in economic privilege and political control.  The strategy to rally the base and suppress others will continue.

The sympathetic long term lover stories that could perhaps counter sway will not be in the media in 2016.

Similarly, the ruling on health care faces the same possible negative result.  Though I believe it to be the correct result -- for formal legal and judicial argument reasoning -- it is just as likely to be a God send to those same forces. 

Again, stories about health care disasters won't be in the media in 2016.

For a similar reason, the killings and Confederate Flag debate now provide similar breathing space for reactionary forces.

There is no plan to counter this inevitable reaction.  I predict it will win.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Charleston and Amalek

The survivors of those killed in Charleston have expressed a forgiveness for the attacker.

I cannot criticize this on their part, and would not deny them the right to do this.

This forgiveness by the survivors may be very helpful to them, in an existential way. It can help them to choose to continue on with their lives as real people, and not as victims and exemplars.

For them, as they bear the direct consequences of the act, this is a supportable moral choice.  I will say that to me rage would also be a supportable moral choice.  Whatever helps them.

Much as has been made  of calls forgiveness issued by many and varied outsiders to the event (see
Forgiveness, Tolerance: Sunday Themes After Deadly Church Shooting).

But it is arrogant for the rest of us to speak about forgiveness.  Who are we to forgive, who have not ourselves been injured.

I am not, here speaking about the terrorist*.  He is an irrelevant detail.  Forgive him, if it makes you feel good.

Consider instead, Amalek.

In Torah, Amalek is a nation related to the Israelites, but an implacable enemy -- see D'varim (Deuteronomy) 25:17-19.  In later rabbinic writing, the term is used to describe all implacable evil.

The greatest of the crimes was
he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, all that were enfeebled in thy rear, when thou wast faint and weary
This passage is one of those sections of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) that makes 'modern Jews', itchy, as it goes on to say:
thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget
as it doesn't seem speak about how we would like the world to work.


However, I will suggest that this message of non-forgiveness is applicable and to the world today.

I submit that it is wrong to forget the actions of those who
  • Profit from an environment of 'coded' messages
  • Want the votes of racists -- without seeming racists themselves.  
  • Seek to shift the blame for their policies to another people's inferiority
I cannot do better than quoting an exponent of this school, Lee Atwater
You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”
I know that forgiveness is viewed as a form of love, divinely sanctioned, and is the cornerstone of their faith.

So, at the risk of sounding like Koleth (Ecclesiastes), there is a time not to forgive.

And when is the time to forgive?

Consider Claudius (Hamlet III:iii 52-54):
'Forgive me my foul murder'?
That cannot be; since I am still possess'd
Of those effects for which I did the murder
 ---
* Which I define here (thanks to Treebyleaf McCurdy for the inspiration of a workable definition) as a violent crime committed against non-combatents with the intent of creating pressure to change laws, policy, or social norms.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Who needs truth if truth is dull



The quote is from Mason Williams' The Exciting Accident, but it applies here.

Take a look at the Washington Post's Obamacare repeal could add $353 billion to the deficit and the Huffington Post's Obamacare Repeal Would Swell The Deficit Even Using GOP's New Math, Budget Office Says.

Specifically:
The economist that Republicans handpicked to run the Congressional
Budget Office just told Republicans that one of their favorite arguments
about Obamacare is wrong.


According to a report the CBO released Friday, repealing the Affordable Care Act wouldn't reduce the deficit, as Republicans have long claimed.
It would increase the deficit, by at least $137 billion over 10 years
and maybe a lot more than that -- with the effects getting bigger over
time.
Not that this will matter.

June 19th -- Juneteenth -- Freedom Day


News of the termination of the illegal Confederate state did not reach Texas until May of 1865.

The liberation of Texas could not begin until the Army of the Trans-Mississippi surrendered on 2 June, 1865.

By June 18, 1865, 2,000 federal troops arrived to occupy Texas on behalf of the people of the United States, establishing the Department of Texas.

The commanding Gordon Granger read aloud the contents of "General Order No. 3", announcing the total emancipation of enslaved United States citizens:
The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. 
Memorials for this event, now referred to as Juneteenth and Freedom day, are observed by 43 of the 50 states (Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah do not recognize it), and it is not a federal observance.

To those who do not find this a good and just thing to remember, I say



Since accident, not conspiracy or planning, dominate human history, the proximity of the shootings of Wed, June 17 to this data is probably just an accident.

I hate to be fair...

..but this 'I Don't Know What Was On The Mind' Of Charleston Shooter  is an example of bad -- and in misleading journalism from a non-Foxish news source. (Not that the Huffington Post is bell weather for good journalism.)


Bush's response when asked whether the shooting was because of race,
 "I don't know. Looks like to me it was, ] but we'll find out all the information.
It's clear it was an act of raw hatred, for sure. Nine people lost their
lives, and they were African-American. You can judge what it is.
" [emphasis added]
The video click actually has him sounding actually reasonable.

Pillory people properly, not pettily.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The race is on,



I made a guess (Small prediction  below ), as to how the reactionary media were going to handle the Obama's statement about why we have some many of these killing.
Charleston shooting.  I expected a major focus on tearing at


Well, there is some of that already,Jindal on Obama's gun control comments: 'Now's not the time'


But, I may have been mistaken in what the main thrust would be.


Some are going with the focus on the church, not the racial, aspect of the shooting: specifically anti-Christianism: Todd Starnes: Security Expert: My Fear is That More Churches Will be Targeted.  (


I wonder if they are going to try and tie it to the LGBT community, which according to them is bullyingly anti-Christian and discriminatory.  Hm.



Anyway, I will be interested in which track it taken -- it's Obama's fault or the beleaguered Christian community.

It's going to be hard to judge which deception the reactionary press (can we call it the red press?) is going with.  For example, the Todd Starnes mentioned above seems to be hedging his bets here, his facebook page attacks Obama's comments a political.



Anyone interested in helping keep score?
Late yesterday (6/18), I submitted a post to Facebook on the shooting in Charleston, SC
, where I said:

"Perhaps I am just old and tired, but my first thought was to wonder how Fox News and other reactionaries will find the root cause of this to be

a) The Black community,

b) White liberals,

c) Muslims."
Adding later: "Oh, I left out d) LGBT people



"



I mention this because I was too small minded in my prediction.



There is whole panoply of spn that can be used, some of which I hadn't thought of, for example that it the attack was part of hostility to Christianity (primarily) and this is an example of why we have got to be armed (see Fox's Steve Doocy: It's Extraordinary That Charleston Church Shooting Is Being Called A Hate Crime
).



You have to admire the speed, creativity, and choice of messengers there



But still, I will make a prediction, the big reactionary attack will be on Obama's comment (See Obama Reacts To Shooting

):

At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence doesn’t happen in other countries." 
That's going to be red meat to them.

Small prediction

Late yesterday (6/18), I submitted a post to Facebook on the shooting in Charleston, SC, where I said:
"Perhaps I am just old and tired, but my first thought was to wonder how Fox News and other reactionaries will find the root cause of this to be
a) The Black community,
b) White liberals,
c) Muslims."
Adding later: "Oh, I left out d) LGBT people "

I mention this because I was too small minded in my prediction.

There is whole panoply of spn that can be used, some of which I hadn't thought of, for example that it the attack was part of hostility to Christianity (primarily) and this is an example of why we have got to be armed (see Fox's Steve Doocy: It's Extraordinary That Charleston Church Shooting Is Being Called A Hate Crime).

You have to admire the speed, creativity, and choice of messengers there

But still, I will make a prediction, the big reactionary attack will be on Obama's comment (See Obama Reacts To Shooting):
At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence doesn’t happen in other countries." 
That's going to be red meat to them.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Teacher resigns after reading students book about gay couple

My daughter, and future Goddess/Empress of the World, has a finely developed sense of reality.

The other day, she channeled her grandmother*, and noted, with disgust that there was a fair chance that that once gay marriage is legal everywhere that people can just say, 'Well that's all fixed,' which will be an excuse for doing nothing.

Well, read on about what the future will still contain
Teacher resigns after reading students book about gay couple



* My mother, back in the 1970's, used to remark that she wasn't sure that an MLK birthday holiday would be a good thing.  She thought it would just let white folk think they were off the hook. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Small victory for liberty?

To the right, you see not an Society for Creative Anachronism, but a the image that Turkish president Recep Erdogan chooses to project.


There is small hope at the moment, as his party lost its majority in parliament: Turkey’s election is a blow to Erdogan and a victory for Kurds.

Erdogan was hoping for a super majority, so as to amend the Turkish constitution for an executive presidency. 

Erdogan, started out making some real meaningful changes in the Turkish state, including breaking the power of the military, and providing social services.

He has more recently, moved in a predictably dictatorial way -- suppressing press (last I looked Turkey was the had the most journalists in jail), blaming outside forces for internal protests, preventing independent judiciary actions, you know the drill. 

I find it gratifying that this appears to have backfired -- a bit.  I hope this is Turkey's democratic process asserting itself, and that Erdogan's party, Justice and Development Party (AKP), may reign him in.

On the other hand, the AKP may argue that they still got the most votes (they did) and screw their constitution. They have initially addressed this as a minor set back.

It makes me think of the black knight in the Monty Python's Holy Grail. I am just trying to figure out who has the flesh wound.




Murder through misuse of legal process

I have heard of this story before.  Rarely have I felt as angry and ashamed, see: Kalief Browder, 1993–2015 - The New Yorker



There is a reason a right to a speedy trial is required by the constitution. 


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Have fun, add to the list....


H/T to my borther, and his blog 40 Years in the Desert

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Lord works in marvelous ways, his wonders to behold

And God has also sent earthquakes to fracking Oklahoma

I seemed to have missed something

According to one Bettany Hughes (Mary Renault's hardcore classicism - Telegraph), I missed all the good parts of Mary Renault's novels, "hardcore, drug-saturated sensuality of the ancient world."



Pity, perhaps I was blinded by the over indulgence in her writing in human
drama, interesting ideas and valid emotional content.




Silly me.






Sunday, May 31, 2015

Re: Schadenfreude

In fairness, I thought I would post a link to Michael LaCour's LaCour_Response_05-29-2015.pdf.

defense of his publication, as mentioned in a blog post by myself on Thursday, May 28, 2015 (Schadenfreude).


This response is not convincing to me, or a lot of other folks.  (See

the response (The Strangest Thing About LaCour’s Response -- Science of Us) to LaCour's response by , who wrote an expose article (The Case of the Amazing Gay-Marriage Data: How a Graduate Student Reluctantly Uncovered a Huge Scientific Fraud).


In LaCour's document there is a technical discussion about the data, though the basic question is not why a different group got different results, but why the original results looks too good.


And more disappointingly (as I was hoping for a good story), LaCour's response does not address
  1. Why there is no trail for the surveys.  That survey data might be deleted as part of an IRB agreement is not unreasonable -- though typically, it is delayed for sometime because of just such potential issues. 
  2. That the survey firm which was supposed to have conducted the survey denies that it did so.
  3. That the existence of his alleged contact at the firm does not appear to exist.
In the "impeach the witness' credibility" category, it is reported that there is a lack of evidence that he received a teach award he reports on his vita, and that one of his funding sources appears not to exist (Michael LaCour Made Up a Teaching Award, Too -- Science of Us).

Friday, May 29, 2015

Ben Goldacre's rule and Ardent Creationist Finds Fossil

Ben Acre (see also Bad Science) has propounded a simple law of nature:

“You cannot reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into.”*


To whit:  Ardent Creationist Finds Fossilized Fish, Still Isn't Convinced Evolution Is Real


I particularly like the quote to refute science: "We all have the same evidence...and it’s just a matter of how you interpret it."


Yeah.


____________

 *I don't think this quote is uniquely his, but he seems to do good work.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Schadenfreude

It is said that some words are not translatable into English.

This is not true: if the concept is useful, the word will be in English, just wait.

This is one of the things I love about English.

Schadenfreude is now an English word (from the German  harm-joy).  It was once defined by Denis Norton, CBE on the BBC radio show My Word! as "That agreeable sensation one feels on watching someone spring on to a bicycle, only to discover the saddle [seat] is missing."

That is amusement at the expense of the pain of others.

Earlier, a major if unappreciated American sage and blogger wrote an article entitled,  Rare, surprising, interesting, and depressing event, about the This American Life 'article', Do Ask, Do Tell., of the show, The Incredible Rarity of Changing Your Mind.

He complained, there it was reported that a valid study that showed "changes in opinion came about not through 'reasoned' arguments, but by appeals to emotional connection ...", providing an uplifting story "in a 'Here we can see the importance of actual humans interacting'..." way.

This was depressing to the author because of what he perceived as the arational "limitations of most [people's] decision making" which he found "both alienating and depressing".

I would like to point out, because the data was reported was published in a peer reviewed, respectable journal (Science), and was reported to have been reproduced, the author said he would have to accept and deal with results -- you should not cherry pick science.

Oh, but he should have had faith.

The research article and the radio broadcast have both been retracted (see in Retraction Watch and (This American Life Retracts Story Based on Falsified Gay Marriage Study).

It seems that the surveys cannot be found to be 'missing', that the research unreporducilble by others, and that party conducting the research Michael LaCour, a graduate student at UCLA) fooled his advisor Donald Green, of Columbia.In fairness to Mr. LaCour, he states that he "will supply a definitive response on or before May 29, 2015."

(By the way, given recent research -- which I know is risky to quote -- the retraction will only make more people believe the underlying story....)

This pleases that author as:
  1. It does show, in 'a mills of the gods gind slow, but exceeding fine'* sort of way,
    that science does work.
  2. It gives some (small) hope that rational argument might be at least as
    valuable as emotional suasion in getting people to perform the correct action.
  3. His disdain of this American Life may not be unjustified (which is unfair, but he doesn't care, he still finds Ira Glass' voice grating).
__________
* Earliest known source is in Adversus Mathematicos (Against the Mathematicians) by the Ancient Greek sceptic philosopher, Sextus Empiricus.  See also Retribution, by Longfellow.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ceux qui ne sont pas charlie



A number of writers decided to exercise the right of free association and boycotted a recent PEN America awards ceremony (Two dozen writers join Charlie Hebdo PEN award protest ...), because of its honoring Charlie Hebdo, Journal irresponsable.



I like to think of these as members of the "Yes, but..." club. 



Here is a take on it, Cruelty and Perversity: Postprandial Reflections on the PEN Protester , found in Tablet Magazine, by Paul Berman, who did not boycott the affair.



For the record, I believe that if it isn't offensive, speech isn't likely to be free.

 



Sunday, May 24, 2015

Because some footnotes need to be honored in the text.



Rediscovering the First Woman Rabbi

 

Ordained in 1935, Regina Jonas died at Auschwitz. Now, she’s being honored.


By Laura Geller|

October 15, 2014 2:55 PM

Tablet Magazine

Judaism acknowledges the day of one’s death and not one’s
birthday. It makes a certain kind of sense: You can only really measure
the impact of a person’s life after it is over. But what if we don’t
know the date of a yahrzeit? That is what happened to the first woman
rabbi, Regina Jonas, who was deported from Terezin on October 12, 1944,
and arrived at Auschwitz on October 14. It was Shabbat, Shabbat
Bereshit, which this year falls on Oct. 18. After that there is no
record of her.


It is time to honor her memory. That’s why a growing number of rabbis
and Jewish leaders have designated this Shabbat, Oct. 18, as her
yahrzeit and will say kaddish for her.


Born in Berlin in 1902 into a poor Orthodox Jewish family, Jonas was
influenced by her rabbi, Dr. Max Weil, who, though Orthodox, allowed
girls to become bat mitzvah. At his urging, Jonas continued her studies
at the liberal Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin
from 1924 to 1930. All the other women in her classes were there to
become teachers; Jonas, like the men she studied with, wanted to become a
rabbi. Her primary supporter was Rabbi Eduard Baneth, who was
determined to ordain her, but died just before she finished her
training. Though her thesis—“Can a Woman Be a Rabbi According to
Halachic Sources?”—received praise from her teachers, none of them
agreed to ordain her, including Rabbi Leo Baeck, the leader of the Jews
in Germany, who wasn’t willing to jeopardize the unity of the Jewish
community as the Nazi threat was intensifying.


Jonas was ultimately ordained, in a private ceremony, by Rabbi Max
Dienemann, the president of the General Association of Rabbis in
Germany, on December 27, 1935. She struggled to be accepted. A 1936
article in Der Israelit cites a comment describing Jonas’ ordination as a form of “treason and a caricature of Judaism.”


At first, she worked in hospitals, homes for the elderly, and
schools, but as more rabbis emigrated she began to preach in synagogues
around Germany. In November 1942, she and her mother were deported to
Terezin, where she worked with the famous psychiatrist Victor Frankl to
care for new prisoners.


Though some survivors, including Baeck, who had also been imprisoned
at Terezin, certainly knew Jonas, they didn’t refer to her by name in
their writings. The reason in part may found in the forward to Frankl’s
classic, Man’s Search for Meaning. He wrote that he erased from
his memory everything that happened before he entered Auschwitz. Part
of what he erased was the legacy of Regina Jonas.


Her name began to appear in the early 1970s. Rabbi Sally Priesand,
the first woman ordained by the Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of
Religion, mentions Jonas in her 1975 book Judaism and the New Woman.
Jonas is also cited in a 1972 article by Rabbi Jacob R. Marcus,
founding director of the American Jewish Archives, and by Alexander
Guttmann in an article celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the
Hochschule. She is mentioned in The Jewish Almanac by Richard
Siegel and Carl Rheins. But in my years as a rabbinical student at
HUC-JIR, from 1971 to 1976, not once did I hear her name. It would have
been helpful to me, the only woman in my class, to have known her story.



It didn’t come to light until 1991, when Katerina von Kellenbach, a
professor of Religious Studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, while
doing research in a small archive in Berlin, accidentally discovered a
small box of Jonas’ papers. Among them is a note dated November 6, 1942,
written by an acquaintance of Jonas’, explaining that these documents
were given to him on the day that Jonas and her mother were deported.
Her papers included a photo of her in rabbinical robes, a copy of her
thesis, and her ordination certificate.


Jonas had also kept some newspaper clippings that referred to the
challenges she faced in her struggle for acceptance as a rabbi, letters
from Jewish refugees abroad thanking her for taking care of their
parents, and thank you notes from congregations where she had preached.
This archival collection inspired Elisa Klapheck, a German native who
would became the first woman rabbi in the Netherlands, to write her 2004
biography of Jonas. Most recently, Diane Groo’s documentary film Regina
fills out the contours of Jonas’ story. It reveals that shortly before
being deported to Terezin, Jonas fell in love with a fellow rabbi,
Joseph Norden. In a letter dated July 13, 1942, just as he was about to
be deported from Hamburg to Terezin, he wrote, “The time has come to say
goodbye… maybe Berliners will be sent, too. In that case perhaps there
will be a chance for us to see each other again.” They never did.


A few of Jonas’ papers remain at Terezin, including a handwritten
list of more than 20 lecture topics delivered at the camp, including the
role of women in Judaism, women in the Bible, women in the Talmud, and
Jewish holidays and beliefs. All women rabbis have given those sermons,
but none under such circumstances.


Women rabbis stand on her shoulders. She had been totally alone,
independently ordained, unsupported by most of the Jews around her. I
wonder if she had imagined us when she left her papers to be discovered.
Could she have imagined the rebirth of Jewish life in Europe and the
role of so many young women rabbis and activists in nurturing that
renewal? Could she have imagined the flowering of Jewish scholarship
from gifted women academics or the number of Reform, Conservative,
Reconstructionist and, in the not so distant future, Orthodox woman
rabbis? Could she have imagined the way feminism has totally transformed
Jewish life so that women’s experience is no longer marginal and that
women’s stories are fully part of the larger Jewish story? Now her story
is part of it too.
udaism acknowledges the day of one’s death and not one’s birthday. It makes a certain kind of sense: You can only really measure the impact of a person’s life after it is over. But what if we don’t know the date of a yahrzeit? That is what happened to the first woman rabbi, Regina Jonas, who was deported from Terezin on October 12, 1944, and arrived at Auschwitz on October 14. It was Shabbat, Shabbat Bereshit, which this year falls on Oct. 18. After that there is no record of her.

It is time to honor her memory. That’s why a growing number of rabbis and Jewish leaders have designated this Shabbat, Oct. 18, as her yahrzeit and will say kaddish for her.

Born in Berlin in 1902 into a poor Orthodox Jewish family, Jonas was influenced by her rabbi, Dr. Max Weil, who, though Orthodox, allowed girls to become bat mitzvah. At his urging, Jonas continued her studies at the liberal Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin from 1924 to 1930. All the other women in her classes were there to become teachers; Jonas, like the men she studied with, wanted to become a rabbi. Her primary supporter was Rabbi Eduard Baneth, who was determined to ordain her, but died just before she finished her training. Though her thesis—“Can a Woman Be a Rabbi According to Halachic Sources?”—received praise from her teachers, none of them agreed to ordain her, including Rabbi Leo Baeck, the leader of the Jews in Germany, who wasn’t willing to jeopardize the unity of the Jewish community as the Nazi threat was intensifying.

Jonas was ultimately ordained, in a private ceremony, by Rabbi Max Dienemann, the president of the General Association of Rabbis in Germany, on December 27, 1935. She struggled to be accepted. A 1936 article in Der Israelit cites a comment describing Jonas’ ordination as a form of “treason and a caricature of Judaism.”

At first, she worked in hospitals, homes for the elderly, and schools, but as more rabbis emigrated she began to preach in synagogues around Germany. In November 1942, she and her mother were deported to Terezin, where she worked with the famous psychiatrist Victor Frankl to care for new prisoners.

Though some survivors, including Baeck, who had also been imprisoned at Terezin, certainly knew Jonas, they didn’t refer to her by name in their writings. The reason in part may found in the forward to Frankl’s classic, Man’s Search for Meaning. He wrote that he erased from his memory everything that happened before he entered Auschwitz. Part of what he erased was the legacy of Regina Jonas.

Her name began to appear in the early 1970s. Rabbi Sally Priesand, the first woman ordained by the Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion, mentions Jonas in her 1975 book Judaism and the New Woman. Jonas is also cited in a 1972 article by Rabbi Jacob R. Marcus, founding director of the American Jewish Archives, and by Alexander Guttmann in an article celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the Hochschule. She is mentioned in The Jewish Almanac by Richard Siegel and Carl Rheins. But in my years as a rabbinical student at HUC-JIR, from 1971 to 1976, not once did I hear her name. It would have been helpful to me, the only woman in my class, to have known her story.

It didn’t come to light until 1991, when Katerina von Kellenbach, a professor of Religious Studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, while doing research in a small archive in Berlin, accidentally discovered a small box of Jonas’ papers. Among them is a note dated November 6, 1942, written by an acquaintance of Jonas’, explaining that these documents were given to him on the day that Jonas and her mother were deported. Her papers included a photo of her in rabbinical robes, a copy of her thesis, and her ordination certificate.

Jonas had also kept some newspaper clippings that referred to the challenges she faced in her struggle for acceptance as a rabbi, letters from Jewish refugees abroad thanking her for taking care of their parents, and thank you notes from congregations where she had preached. This archival collection inspired Elisa Klapheck, a German native who would became the first woman rabbi in the Netherlands, to write her 2004 biography of Jonas. Most recently, Diane Groo’s documentary film Regina fills out the contours of Jonas’ story. It reveals that shortly before being deported to Terezin, Jonas fell in love with a fellow rabbi, Joseph Norden. In a letter dated July 13, 1942, just as he was about to be deported from Hamburg to Terezin, he wrote, “The time has come to say goodbye… maybe Berliners will be sent, too. In that case perhaps there will be a chance for us to see each other again.” They never did.

A few of Jonas’ papers remain at Terezin, including a handwritten list of more than 20 lecture topics delivered at the camp, including the role of women in Judaism, women in the Bible, women in the Talmud, and Jewish holidays and beliefs. All women rabbis have given those sermons, but none under such circumstances.

Women rabbis stand on her shoulders. She had been totally alone, independently ordained, unsupported by most of the Jews around her. I wonder if she had imagined us when she left her papers to be discovered. Could she have imagined the rebirth of Jewish life in Europe and the role of so many young women rabbis and activists in nurturing that renewal? Could she have imagined the flowering of Jewish scholarship from gifted women academics or the number of Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and, in the not so distant future, Orthodox woman rabbis? Could she have imagined the way feminism has totally transformed Jewish life so that women’s experience is no longer marginal and that women’s stories are fully part of the larger Jewish story? Now her story is part of it too.
e

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 19, 1865 Jefferson Davis is Taken Prisioner


With the capture of the Davis, today 19 May, 2015 (when I write this) could be argued to be the 150th anniversary of the official end of the Civil War (although Davis met with the Confederate Cabinet for the last time on May 5 and officially dissolved the Confederate government).
In light of that, I thought I would mention an interesting historical reflection in the New York Times,How the Civil War Changed the World, by .

While I think the article is somewhat over blown (and the support of massed 'progressive' forces in the UK and Europe is in dispute), it provides a useful example of looking at events a historical context.

We, for our own reasons, often like to concentrate on the issue of slavery, or of federal state relations, or of separate nationalisms.

But the real issue that the article brings up, was that for many, what was really in play was whether a 'self created' state, and a representative republic was a viable institution for  governing.

We forget what the world looked like at that time, hence Doyle's reference to Lincoln's reference to “last best hope of earth,” in his December 1, 1862 message to Congress.

What we might now call anti-democratic forces had been waiting for a rupture in the union.  To them it was inevitable. How could a state based on some notion of consent actually work.

History, they argued (with some force) showed that such societies could be torn apart if a disgruntled minority withdrew, rather than attempting to participate.

And they asked how could this state then attempt and justify (as a king or traditional ruling class believe they could) to restrain the dissidents.

Lincoln had to show that a republic created on a voluntary basis could provide government, up to an including force.  Which, I believe, is why he said:
I would save the Union. ...If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would
do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery...I do because I believe it helps to save the Union
The willingness to view as binding the covenants that were used to create a legitimate state, and enforce them is, in my opinion, the greatest lesson of the Civil War.

When I look at the feeble responses often provided by those who should defends such legitimacy -- more than the false claims of defending liberty used to attack our state --  I am not sanguine what Doyle refers to as the "trial of democracy".

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 19, 1865 Jefferson Davis is Taken Prisioner


With the capture of the Davis, today 19 May, 2015 (when I write this) could be argued to be the 150th anniversary of the official end of the Civil War (although Davis met with the Confederate Cabinet for the last time on May 5 and officially dissolved the Confederate government).
In light of that, I thought I would mention an interesting historical reflection in the New York Times,How the Civil War Changed the World, by .

While I think the article is somewhat over blown (and the support of massed 'progressive' forces in the UK and Europe is in dispute), it provides a useful example of looking at events a historical context.

We, for our own reasons, often like to concentrate on the issue of slavery, or of federal state relations, or of separate nationalisms.

But the real issue that the article brings up, was that for many, what was really in play was whether a 'self created' state, and a representative republic was a viable institution for  governing.

We forget what the world looked like at that time, hence Doyle's reference to Lincoln's reference to “last best hope of earth,” in his December 1, 1862 message to Congress.

What we might now call anti-democratic forces had been waiting for a rupture in the union.  To them it was inevitable. How could a state based on some notion of consent actually work.

History, they argued (with some force) showed that such societies could be torn apart if a disgruntled minority withdrew, rather than attempting to participate.

And they asked how could this state then attempt and justify (as a king or traditional ruling class believe they could) to restrain the dissidents.

Lincoln had to show that a republic created on a voluntary basis could provide government, up to an including force.  Which, I believe, is why he said:
I would save the Union. ...If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would
do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery...I do because I believe it helps to save the Union
The willingness to view as binding the covenants that were used to create a legitimate state, and enforce them is, in my opinion, the greatest lesson of the Civil War.

When I look at the feeble responses often provided by those who should defends such legitimacy -- more than the false claims of defending liberty used to attack our state --  I am not sanguine what Doyle refers to as the "trial of democracy".

Monday, April 27, 2015

Rare, surprising, interesting, and depressing event

A Rare event.

This past weekend, I was listening to the NPR radio broadcast of This American Life.

This is not something, I ordinarily do, as I generally find the show enormously precious, supercilious, predictable, and (not infrequently) subject to poor journalism*.

I was just too busy working on a stained glass design to get up and change the radio station.

A Surprising Event.

The first 'article', (Do Ask, Do Tell., of the show, The Incredible Rarity of Changing Your Mind,
was interesting to me.  It also appeared well researched, and seemed significant.

An Interesting Event

The gist of the article was that it was possible to change peoples minds on significant issues -- specifically gay marriage and abortion -- by engaging them one on one in an interview or conversation.

These changes in opinion came about not through 'reasoned' arguments, but by appeals to emotional connection (for example, the interviewer is gay and politely raises the issue should they have a chance for marital happiness, or the interviewer is a young woman who wrestled with having an abortion).

If the interviewer was personally involved, the change in opinion appeared to be long term -- for example is if the conversation about gay marriage was conducted by a straight person, a change of opinion seemed less likely to be long term.

This appears true, regardless of the subjects conceptual frame work -- that is a devout Catholic can be swayed by appeal to the personal, regardless of their religious beliefs.

Unlike most such stories, this article was coupled with a study -- a seemingly rigorous study which attempted to verify these results (which surprised the researchers) by running it twice.  And the researchers admit that they believe that the counter example -- anti choice interviewers reporting on abortion regret -- would probably also work.

So to first order, I accept the results. 

This has tactical information of use -- the technique is expensive but works -- and adds more ammunition to my argument for the return of the political machine structure of politics.  But let that pass.

A Depressing Event

I rather guess, that some would find this story uplifting in a 'Here we can see the importance of actual humans interacting' way.

I supposed I would fall into William James' tough minded mental make up (see Pragmatism,Lecture I. The Present Dilemma in Philosophy), so this does not appeal to me.

For the same reason, I have a profound dislike of 'human interest' reporting or argument on important issues -- I feel it devalues the important underlying principals, as well as the roll of fact and thinking.
 
And it seem to emphasize that we tend, either positively or negatively, to make decisions the basis of what is immediate -- that there is an inability to "picture the death of the blameless hero Hippolytos, with out seeing it enacted before my eyes",** without seeing the carnage of a chariot accident.

Most importantly, in the realm of public discourse, I think it constricts meaningful discussion and debate. I would like us to be more easily convinced by statistics, duty, ideals,  and reason. 

I should like to think we can understand that a suffering or situation is wrong, even it we have no emotional tie to the vicitm  -- indeed we should be able to do it even if we have a negative emotional tie.

In the end, that the information on changing minds provided is not easily actionable is merely somewhat discouraging when considered as practical problem.

What it says about the limitations of most decision making is, however both alienating and depressing to me.


* OK I also find Ira Glass' voice grating.
** Mary Renault, The Praise Singer

Hubble: A funny thing happened on the way to 25 years.


The Hubble Space Telescope in orbitIt is said that sometimes having a good memory can be a curse -- though a curse of whom is not made clear.

In all the traditional (cheap) journalism about the Hubble -- reports on how it changed our view of the universes, opened in vistas of the imagination, and so forth -- there is very little memory.

For example, not a lot of reporting on the  mocking it received at first (justifiably in my opinion) due to its initial problem with a poorly ground primary mirror, or its delay in construction.

Those points are fairly minor historical issues.

What I remember is that by the early 1980's, the degree of hostility I recall being expressed by many of the astronomers (particularly the optical astronomers ) in my department (the University of Minnesota Department of Physics and Astronomy).

The repeated complaint was how much better it would be to spend money on ground based astronomers -- just think about how many conventional (that is my sort of researcher) studies could be funded was the complaint. (I side note, the same object was raised about the weather satellites, that is one could spend the money better on more weather balloons.)

There were an interesting set of symptoms on display -- envy of success, an hostility to supporting other's research, and an inability to distinguish between qualitative and quantitative change.  I don't imagine* that the behaviors are changed.

I wonder how many people would own up to their positions today? I do know of some who still dismiss the work -- primarily as it is not their sort of research.


*Read I am dead certain.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

We are becoming Pakistan.

My brother, with some justice, dislikes casual use of the word treason, pointing to the strict definition in the constitution under Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution:
Treason against the United States, shall
consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their
enemies, giving them aid and comfort
I would argue that Clive Bundy (Year After Denying Federal Control, Bundy Still Runs His Bit Of Nevada : NPR) comes pretty close, by the active use of force and the threat of force to constain and intimidate the Federal government.  In so doing, he is stealing my land and my resources.

I say my because as a willing citizen, I must acknowledge partial ownership in this American republic, both the good and the apalling.  And I want my agent, the Federal government to manage the lands we own for the benefit of greatest number of the republic's population/

Instead of this,
Indeed, the BLM has pretty much stopped managing or
patrolling a vast, southeastern corner of the state ...
because of safety concerns.
Which means, in the words of former local national park superintendent, Alan O'Neill, 

"In other words, anybody that doesn't want to follow
any federal laws or regulations can do so if they have
enough firepower with them," O'Neill said.
This is an example of the apalling I have to take ownerhsip of -- I am being forced to forego my right to a bully, because my agent -- the Federal Governement and the President are not acting for me.

 We are becoming Pakistan.