A lot of disparate thoughts travel through this brain case I can safely inform you. You know me well enough to recognize the dangers of entering into my sandbox of synaptic pleasures. I’m either hopelessly unfocused or a cobbled together unrecognized genius. Some days it’s more one, other days, well.
I’ve come to see it as a blessing of sorts. At least I try to see it that way. I should have been a college professor, but of course that but begs the question–on what subject?
Any the hoo, I have a lot of thoughts about Syria but not a lot of coalesced conclusions, so I’ll beg off at the moment. Is it too trite and cowardly to just say, I’m conflicted?
I had a bizarre discussion with fellow high-school mates about the issue of spanking as discipline which proved to me once again how easy it is to stay with ideas that are both comfortable and supported by simplistic memes that denote little if any critical thinking. More and more I conclude that indeed advances in the human condition are the result of a very few minds indeed, and put into place by mostly brain-dead human hordes who are spoon fed some “reason” for implementing them.
If all that sounds rather cloudy and vague, well, it’s a cloudy and vague day here in Las Cruces. It’s been raining off and on for several days, which is highly unusual, at least for us recent arrivals–we saw so little rain last year that it made one appreciate water as a life-giving commodity surely. This year, we were told, as of Monday at least we had not yet received four inches of the wet stuff, and we might get at least that during this week. Since the desert is nothing but sand covering a rock hard-pan, the danger in these parts is floods in low-lying areas. Water races to its lowest place and rushes along, making gullies and rivulets through the desert. These become ditches or arroyos as we call them here, and eventually the Grand Canyon if you can stick around that long.
So anyway, here are some things I’ve read this week that you might find interesting.
It’s an interesting “open letter to the American people“. Part propaganda, part history lesson, part chutzpah, it is worth a couple of minutes to read.
Having a power mad ex-president of the Communist party and ex-KGB officer, Putin deigns to give America a lesson in democracy. One can but admire the rich irony of that alone!
What he has to say about the subject of exceptionalism is worth reading. There is truth in those words.
As I said, my thoughts on the subject of Syria are unclear. That Putin wants to be a “player” is clear. What it will cost is not so clear.
A man so determined to show off his “masculinity” bespeaks something surely. What that is, I am not at all sure of.
That is almost surely a good reason for concluding that I am not.
Like “hero” we bandy about the word genius rather loosely these days.
If you would like to read an interesting take on what genius is and is not, then read I Dream of Genius over at Commentary. I found it a good read.
At least you can see if those you think of as geniuses are what the author does.
If you would like to look at the mind in a different way, a more evolutionary way perhaps then you might want to pick up a new book out there by E. O Wilson, emeritus professor of biology at Harvard.
If you are unsure of whether you want to invest in The Social Conquest of Earth, then you can read through a review of the book from The Spectator.
HINT: once more we are compared to insects. All it all, it looks worthy of some good reading and some very good thinking ahead if you opt in. The review is not favorable on Wilson’s book. See if you agree. In either case, it seems a worthwhile read.
Cosmic archaeology, need I say more?
Some say that aliens have looked and found us. But there is a thriving scientific community that spends its time looking for them. This is way more than looking for Goldilocks planets my friends, much more.
This is the type of scientific speculation that leads young boys and girls to dream of going into space, and leads them to enrolling in our best science and technology universities.
Come and dream for a few minutes. What can it hurt?
Go and read Distant Ruins.
What happens when we both hear and see something? Do these two senses work together to enhance our fact gathering?
Is there a hierarchy of the senses? Do some matter more? Does one?
Oh I’m sure in the late recesses of a bleak and cold winter’s night, you too have asked this question.
So go and get the answer: Who did you hear, Me, or your lying eyes?
HINT: You might just have been McGurked!
Another thing I imagine you’ve given a lot of thought to is why we are so fascinated by the lives of the writers we read and admire. I mean how much has been written about the life of Hemingway for instance? Are we not enthralled with the secret world of Proust, or Dickinson? How about Emerson or Fitzgerald? Balzac? Oh come now, you know you are curious.
A biography writer, shares some thoughts on what we can and cannot learn about those whose words cause us to depart this reality and enter another, one that sometimes we would rather inhabit.
Good reading here.
Finally, if you have ever had the occasion to be “linked” to a “scientist” or other “expert” on something like global warming or evolution, or biblical literalness, American exceptionalism, the Judeo-Christian roots of American government, or similar things, you know what you are up against.
If you had the resources and or time to do the research, you would almost surely find that most of these experts are anything but. Some our out-and-out failures who can be bought for a price, others are traveling into areas for which they have no formal expertise at all, and others are simply grifters, ready always to make a buck upholding any cockamamie “theory” that comes down the pike.
There is a great little site called Encyclopedia of American Loons. You can look up the biography of a startlingly large group of imposters and get the real low down on what they know and don’t know. An invaluable site. Since they seem to be novice bloggers I asked to them add the widget for a search engine and they have. Now you can enter a name and find out if they have bio’ed him or her. Or if you just want some fun reading, just go read a few.
So, now that I have solved all your reading needs for the weekend, I’ll leave you to it, with promises of more to come.
- Sen. Menendez reacts to Putin’s op-ed: I wanted to vomit (thelead.blogs.cnn.com)
- Vladimir Putin Lectures the US on Morality in the New York Times, Greenwald Co-Signs (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- The Social Conquest of Earth – Edward O. Wilson (konradebooks.com)
THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT ONE THING TO HELP ME MAINTAIN MY SANITY!!!
Oh, I know. I said it yesterday. Did we actually expect the “Super Mario Dingbats” to come up with a deal?
Because although Democrats continue to offer real sacrifices when it comes to Medicare and Medicaid, Republicans will not consider raising any revenue. Now a few of them claim they want to, and no doubt some of them are sincere. Until.
Until John Boehner tells them that there is not a chance in HELL that he can push through even a 1 ¢ increase in taxes on the mega-rich puppeteers who control all of them. And the head puppeteer is the smarmy-grinning Grover Norquist who happily threatens anyone who dare withdraw from his “no tax pledge” that he will have them primaried.
And the beat goes on. Republicans who still retain some vestige of sanity (almost all of whom are not presently in elected positions) admit that revenue must be part of the package. They admit that Norquist, who hold no elected position has an insane amount of power and strangle-hold on the Party. A few brave souls have withdrawn from his “pledge” and will face his wrath.
It seems that the prudent thing to do, is for GOP politicos who face re-election in 2012, to do this:
- Schedule a 15-minute spot on their district or states local station.
- Lay out the reasons with expert opinions why they think it necessary to add taxes on the 1% to the mix to solve our problems.
- Invite constituents to write, phone, or e-mail their opinion.
- Indicate that you will publish the results after 60 days in the local newspapers.
- Promise to abide by the results.
In other words, actually do the will of your constituency. Norquist makes his threats based on an assumption that every voter voted on one issue only–the non-raising of taxes. I doubt seriously that this is true. And more importantly, I suspect they are thinking of their own taxes, not those of corporate America nor those of the filthy rich.
I’m tired of this nonsense.
Meanwhile, . . .
While we are at it, I’m sick of Newt Gingrich and his stupidity. Now he wants to eliminate child labor laws, since “every really successful person he has ever know started working when they were 11 or 12.” Yeah. Let’s put them back in the mines Newt, you lousy excuse for a human being.
While we are at it, I’m sick of Mittens Romney. He has now lowered himself to the ranks of Sean Hannity. It’s cut and paste time for Mittens with his new ad, wherein he has Obama appear to say that “if we talk about the economy we are going to lose.” Actually what he said is “JOHN MCCAIN’S CAMPAIGN SAYS IF WE TALK ABOUT THE ECONOMY WE ARE GOING TO LOSE.” (From the 2008 campaign.)
Mittens must be feeling desperate.
The majors and their police forces who have moved against the OWS folks, forcibly and with extreme measures in some cases, are likely to encourage more folks in the US to support the movement in my opinion. Some disagree, and think that people will be dissuaded from entering the movement out of fear of injury or arrest.
I think that when we see the results of unbridled police attacks against quiet, peaceful, sitting demonstrators, it actually encourages people to get involved to support them.
One has only to look at the Middle East. The more vicious the attacks on Syrians and now Egyptians, the stronger and larger the commitment to oppose brutal attacks.
How can Americans duck into their homes out of fear of pepper sprays and arrest, when people in other parts of the world are laying down their very lives to support freedom and equality within their governments?
Could we stand the shame?
Can we accept the only conclusion then that we may talk a fine game, but in the end, we have become soft and compliant in our own demise?
Can we stand the shame?
Michele Bachmann suggests that if we allow marriage equality, the next thing that is sure to occur is that people will marry objects. Yeah know what? In the grand scheme of things, I don’t really care. I wish them all the happiness in the world. To grab a phrase that belongs to a certain Wasilla Mama, “that woman is an idiot.”
Paul Krugman has this great line about Grifter Newt:
“he’s a stupid man’s idea of what a smart man sounds like.”
h/t to Juanita Jean.
One of the stunning oddities of the extreme right is their double take on the President of the United States. On the one hand, he is rather stupid, unable to formulate a sentence without a teleprompter in front of him. They also seriously question whether he ever attended either Columbia or Harvard, reminding you that “nobody remembers ever seeing him.”
On the other hand, they tell you that this stupid man, who doesn’t understand economics, foreign policy, or the American people, is at the apex of a decades-long conspiracy to destroy America and replace it with an Islamic state. And to make it worse, things are so far along that Americans must act “immediately” lest we lose any more of our “freedoms” because Barry, (as they call him) is about ready to suspend the Constitution and declare himself “dictator for life.”
Now both of these can’t be true.
Yet, true to the fundamentalist mind, it is true for them, since wildly in opposite conclusions are simply compartmentalized in different parts of the mind, and never allowed to confront each other.
And that’s the truth, so help me God.
Got your bread drying out? Got the bird ready for a drink? Or are you feeding off a relative this Thursday? Lucky you. Tomorrow will be brutal with a pie, dressing, a salad, and a side to get done. All for a meal that will last about 20 minutes. It is a crying shame to spend all this time! But I love it.
- “Thou Shalt Follow Me or Else!” – The Grover Norquist’s political hit list (reclaimamericafromthelunaticfringe.wordpress.com)
- You Pick: Most Mind-Numbing GOP Clown Car Item of the Day (pamshouseblend.firedoglake.com)
Actually, it’s pretty heady stuff. It deals with that portion of physics that deals with tiny particles and their wave-particle actions. (Remember that light particles (photons) are both particle and wave packets.
Well, the thing about quantum mechanics is that is works perfectly in ordering the world and making new things work out right. It is impossible to understand it however, since it is full of paradoxes. Objects are in more than one place at one time. They are “changed” by the very act of looking at them. They are not what they are until they are actually measured, and normal speed of light calculations don’t seem to apply.
Now I know it’s Saturday and there are lots of things to do, but surely one of the most important might be to go read the article and learn even more exciting things about things too small to be seen.
For instance: we might understand wavefunction collapse if only we understood how gravity played into it, thus we need to marry quantum theory and general relativity. Now, I know you are excited by that!
There is a must read over at the Nation which is got the blogosphere all alight. I heard it mentioned on MSNBC this morning and ran into it over at wearespectablenegroes just now. By the way, read Chauncey de Vega’s fine piece as well about liberal racism. It’s much-needed thinking for the progressives.
Melissa Harris-Perry has written the piece at the Nation entitled Black President, Double Standard: Why White Liberals are Abandoning Obama.
Well, not exactly. You see, THOUSANDS have been protesting across the nation against banks and other finance reforms. And guess what? the MSM has almost entirely ignored the whole thing.
A bunch of women were pepper sprayed in NYC and unless you watch Olbermann or the Daily Show, or Colbert, you probably didn’t know.
And the media is one vast left-wing conspiracy ain’t it Foxy Noise?
Is it just me or have people like the morning morons on Foxy and Hannity, and Rush, just not worth the effort of sophisticated bloggers and readers any more? I mean aren’t they really the fodder for the newbies? One expects utter nonsense from their mouths ALL the time, and what’s the point?
It’s a bit like quoting Michele any more. She’s beyond stupid. She’s beyond beyond, being beyond. The don’t count. Who cares?
How do you feel about the latest US assassination? Al Awlaqi and two other high-ranking Al Qaeda operatives (Al Awlaqi and another were American citizens) were killed in Yemen the other day by a predator drone.
I really feel uncomfortable about all this. Juan Cole has a good piece on it at Informed Comment. Go see what you think.
This from the Salon and their weekly Tweet contest, using the above hash #weekinatweet. Who knows, you may win next weeks!
Do you continue, as I do, to be astounded and so amazed at the willingness of the Syrian people to stand up to a bully dictator? They go out every day and lay their lives on the line in the name of freedom and democracy.
It’s fallen by the wayside of the MSM for the most part now, but the courage exhibited by these people is something we need to remember every day.
Oh, Michele said some more stupid things about abolishing food safety regulations. And Perry said some more stupid things about the intel on Al Awlaqi “probably came from Gitmo” without any evidence that it did. And Herman or “Herb” as our gal Sarah calls him, still thinks that the win in the Florida straw poll were votes for him and not votes against Perry and Romney.
Oh and this is good to know. Pat Buchanan assures us all that Herman Cain was correct in saying the African-Americans were “brainwashed” into voting Democratic all these years. White man says Black man is correct in saying other Blacks are stupid. Well, now that’s some endorsement isn’t it. Mr. House Negro Cain, must be so pleased. Buchanan also referred to liberalism as the “plantation”.
Ahh, ain’t it grand when the racists try to steal the language? This little ditty was posted at the Blaze. So maybe I’ll take a look and see if we can do a little Nincompoop post on this bit of trash.
Blaze is all up into this report cuz you know Cain is their main black man.
What’s on the Stove? Spaghetti with Bolognese sauce, garlic bread and salad. Eat your heart out. The recipe will be posted on What’s on the Stove? later today I suspect or tomorrow at the latest.
- Jesse Jackson to Herman Cain: ‘Don’t Let My People Go’ (thewesternexperience.com)
- WATCH: Pat Buchanan Makes His Own Shocking Comment About Black Voters (huffingtonpost.com)
- Jackson blasts ‘plantation’ comments (politico.com)
- Herman Cain 2012: The Secret Behind Presidential Contender’s Momentum (huffingtonpost.com)