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Our Rogue Evita

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Posted on Nov 16, 2009

By Eugene Robinson

No force on earth can stop Sarah Palin from becoming our very own “lite” version of Eva Peron—a glamorous and tragic legend, minus the tragedy. Eventually, some clever composer will write a blockbuster musical about her life and times. Stage directions will include: “SARAH fires gun. MOOSE dies.”

It’s futile to try to ignore Palin, however noble the effort may be. She’s a phenomenon, and it hardly matters that so many people believe she augurs the final dissolution of American politics into a big, frothy bowl of mush. The republic will survive even her.

Anyway, she’s unlikely ever to become—shudder—commander in chief. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that 60 percent of Americans believe Palin is not qualified to be president, and 53 percent “definitely” would not vote for her. 

You do have to wonder about the 37 percent who’d think about it, though. And as for the 9 percent who definitely would vote for Palin, that’s enough people to qualify as a movement—the equivalent of Evita’s fervid descamisados, or “shirtless ones,” who entrusted her with their hopes and dreams.

Palin’s followers can afford shirts. But evidently they feel so disenfranchised, so ignored, so put upon by forces beyond their control, that they are willing to look past her every shortcoming and forgive her every betrayal. What matters is “Going Rogue”—not the cleverly titled book itself, but Palin’s willingness to thumb her nose at political and social convention.

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So what if she displayed no real grasp of the issues in interviews during last year’s campaign? Those reporters were being beastly, trying to show her up. So what if the inside-the-Beltway crowd thinks she’s an airhead? The state of mind called “Washington” is the problem, and she’s the solution. So what if she quit as governor of Alaska with a year and a half left in her term? “Only dead fish go with the flow,” she explained, demonstrating once more her sassy roguishness.

Palin’s knack for being cleverly transgressive is almost like performance art. Her doppelganger, Tina Fey, did a hysterically prescient bit, right before Election Day, in which “Palin” vowed that she was never going away. Fey’s “Palin” predicted that she’d become either president or “a white Oprah.” So on whose show does Palin launch her book? Oprah’s, of course—adding to the long list of Palin lore that you simply couldn’t make up.

Palin indeed would be a terrific talk-show host, but she has much bigger ambitions. I think her ultimate impact, like Evita’s, may be more sociological than political.

She taps into several broad currents of discontent. She speaks for social conservatives, long taken for granted by Republicans who brandish their opposition to issues such as abortion and gay rights at election time but never actually do anything about them. She speaks for small-town and rural Americans who feel their concerns are ignored. She speaks for hunters who fear that “Washington” wants to take their guns away.

Unlike so many of her detractors—Republicans as well as Democrats—she didn’t go to an Ivy League school. She scrapped and scraped her way through college, as a lot of people do. And she’s a woman who juggles a complicated family and a demanding career. This is one of the most important elements of the Palin persona, because it resonates with so many other American women who see their own daily struggles in Palin’s.

Of course, Palin’s feminism is highly situational. She has expressed sisterly solidarity with Hillary Clinton, of all people, on the added burden that female candidates must bear in deciding what to wear on the campaign trail. But that burden was lightened for Palin by the $150,000 in designer clothing bought for her and her family with campaign funds.

True believers will not mind. Palin’s unconventional trajectory and unkempt mind are seen as authentic, in the sense that we all know people who’ve had ups and downs in their lives and who couldn’t point to Kazakhstan on a map. Her success to date represents a triumph of authenticity over accomplishment. In the final analysis, I believe, that’s not enough to make her president. But others seeking the 2012 Republican nomination underestimate her at their peril.

Toward the end of her life, Eva Peron gave a famous speech in which she vowed, “I will return, and I will be millions!” Sarah Palin, our Evita, has returned—and she will make millions. 

Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.

© 2009, Washington Post Writers Group


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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, January 21, 2010 at 10:55 pm Link to this comment

As times get worse the group runs the risk of being split apart as those members revert to survival of the individual. Short term survival at the expense of the group where the real security lies. So the ones who can maintain their morals and in the long run the group survival would win. Sometimes a few must sacrifice to save others for the future. But as the necessities are in short supply people will do things they normally wouldn’t do to get the food, water and security. A fact as we see in poor benighted Haiti at this very moment. Situational ethics by any other name.

Such moral dilemmas are as important as any other and how people react to them is very important. Psych tests do just that. The military among others do so to see all aspects of the human organism as does psychological testing too. With that data they can catagorize different personality types and have some kind of guideline to operate from. (There will always be variations of type and that too would be figured in.) To some this is just noise—-I wonder how much information is out there that we can only read as noise because we cannot comprehend it?

Some of it is encrypted and can mean one thing to some and specifically something else to the initiated. I wonder how it is with the “Rogue Evita” in this context? The wheels turn.

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By BR549, January 21, 2010 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

Well, I’m still pondering the giant on the heels of the war-mongers. Perhaps it would be best for the woman to have dowsed the bridge with gasoline in anticipation (perhaps toss in a little C4 just to be sure) and then set the whole thing off right as the giant was approaching ..........

....... but then, maybe by torching the bridge BEFORE anyone got across, she could wipe out the giant ....... along with the mucked up end of her camp’s gene pool, go home, and live happily ever after. All the negative people would be frying in hell and she would be skipping her way back to the camp, smiling and picking
wildflowers all the way. What a happy ending!!!!!  :o)

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, January 21, 2010 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

The object of OzarkMichael’s pathetic little story was distraction from the topic being discussed on the thread and it worked brilliantly for the weak minded drones that responded to OzarkMichael’s bait.

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By OzarkMichael, January 21, 2010 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt said: it isn’t about solving it but to see about finding how one thinks in such a situation that has no good ending

I only have a moment but later will write more. The replies to my story are delightful, and Night Gaunt surely summed up the situation: no good ending. Yes, the story is akin to the Star Trek simulator scene.

My story is an illustration of how it stands on Truthdig. It has two layers of meaning. In one of the meanings, the woman at the bridge is none other than the beloved Shenonymous. Later we can talk about who/what the leaders represent, what the giant represents, etc.

There is a second meaning to the story, too. No time now to write it down but i will later.

For now please note that my story generated more thought and interest than “Hamster Huey,” which was fingerpainted onto this thread a few days ago by our ‘friend’ Gooey Kablooie. Gooey Kablooie could learn from this but probably wont.

BR, it is good to hear from you. The talk you guys were having was so great. Please jump back in.

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By Shenonymous, January 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

What one ought to do in a no win situation, with or without any allowed breech
of the rules (cheating) to guarantee a defeat, is the question?  With A Star Trek
student crew, we see that the cadet’s ship loses all on board.  You know what
was the choice there.  Another time, Tuvok has a unique option: Retreat.  The
woman does have that option but it would be suicide anyway as she would be
the very next target of the giant.  Cooperation is also an option.  I guess
character is a key issue, except when the chips are not really down as when you
are dead you are dead.  If everyone is lost, who would really know, if the tree
made a sound in the forest if no one ever heard it?
  Conjecture just doesn’t
do it.  Knowing has an ontologically different status than guessing.  Rigging for
a positive result, a la Kirk, a ‘win’ situation, might be commendable, but how
does one rig for the death of an oncoming giant who was invincible at the
battlefield.  It would take mucho strategy to do it.  Or unless the bridge had
originally been designed for such a scenario.  Does she have time for it?  Spock
sacrifices himself in his test, supposedly for the morality of not killing one’s
loved ones (Sophie is back).  If there is and if the woman knows of a trap door
in the floor of the bridge and can let her loved leaders run by and pull the level
just as the giant steps on the square, if could work.  It would not matter what
kind of tactics were taken, ethical or not, if the leaders were saved and the
giant eliminated, right?  Trickery wont’ work unless the giant is tricked.  What
are the kinds of tricks to fool a giant?  Perhaps a cloak that makes them all
invisible like Harry Potter???

Since there is no real solution, it is as N-G says, a matter of what is the moral
thing to do.  But morality is compromised here since we don’t know which rules
of morality apply.  Whose morality is the measure?  I say always have a two-
sided coin up your sleeve.

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By Night-Gaunt, January 21, 2010 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

Without a few more parameters we may not get the answer if it isn’t a “Cobioshi Maru” kind of test. That is is isn’t about solving it but to see about finding how one thinks in such a situation that has no good ending. How ones mettle is morally etc.

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By Shenonymous, January 21, 2010 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

Heads or Tails?!

She admitted to loving the leaders, she has a dilemma if she burns the bridge,
they die.  She cannot choose.  Anarcissie gives the utilitarian answer, and
Spock would agree with her.  But the woman would carry a guilt for the rest of
her life.  With the toss of a coin, there is a 50/50 chance of two worst choices
but the laws of chance would carry the burden. 

It is true if the giant makes it across the bridge all could perish, but not
necessarily.  As noted, the leaders, the warrior woman, and the other people in
the camp would certainly unite.  Giants have been felled in other places.  But if
a coin is to be tossed, she doesn’t even have to do the tossing, but randomly
get one of the other campdwellers to just do it! 

If no coin, I say throw out your torch lady!  Take your chances.

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By Anarcissie, January 21, 2010 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

I take the problem in the story as requiring a solution within the setting of the story.  Thus the woman must choose between burning the bridge or not; if she chooses the former, the leaders will die, if the latter, everyone but the giant will die.  The choice seems obvious.

However, one might also reflect that it was these same leaders who first inspired and let loose the giant upon the other tribe.  The homicide was in their hearts first.  Therefore, if they are saved from this giant, they will only find another.

Burn the bridge, lady.

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By Leefeller, January 21, 2010 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

Fanatics assume much, so in a closed mind, all others must believe as they do, what else is there other than the most noble blind cause, only one must realize there is always another noble blind cause?

So the leaders attacked the other camp sort of as a preventive measure, before they might be attacked? Victory does not seem so great when a homicidal Giant is chasing one, not quite like watching football it would seem.

As the 7th planet from the sun continues to shine ever so un-brilliantly, it continues today, annoying only like a Vietnam fly. (I have mentioned my experience of the Vietnam Flies before).

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By ThomasG, January 21, 2010 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

With regard to OzarkMichael’s pathetic little story, I am more in agreement with Shenonymous than the rest of OzarkMichael’s chorus.

In the spirit of Shenonymous’ post I agree that, like Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST doctrine and dogma, OzarkMichael’s pathetic little story requires much rhetoric to lead to whatever conclusion he was trying to convey, and once you allow yourself to be led there, you are at a place where you don’t want to be.

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By Leefeller, January 21, 2010 at 7:31 am Link to this comment

Interesting story OM, sticks in the eye to burning bridges. Bridges always amusing as metaphors.

Everyone knows Trolls live under bridges and the Troll may talk to the Giant, for the Troll would protect his supply of tasty camp kid fodder, which the camp leaders would send to him regularly.  So, Troll vs Giant?  Anyway everyone knows burning down a tolls house may bring bad luck and requires abandoning good old apathy.

As far as the camp leaders, the Troll could split them with the Giant and have a jolly good time entertaining each other with amusing ways of tossing partisin leaders over the same cliff frequented by lemmings.

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By Shenonymous, January 21, 2010 at 1:22 am Link to this comment

Sort of a Sophie’s Choice.  Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.  A kind of
Lockean Puzzle, a moral dilemma.  I thought too that she should let the leaders
run across then destroy the bridge.  It wasn’t said it was a rope bridge that she
could easily cut with a machete.  I’m thinking it is a wooden bridge, ergo the
burning strategy.  So it is likely that the giant who could take larger strides
would overcome the leaders before they could get across and he would be on
the bridge at the same time.  We could take Zeno’s paradox and say spatially
the giant would never catch up as the distance could be divided infinitely but
we would be stuck with the time element and so it wouldn’t work after all.  One
of the leaders could sacrifice himself for the sake of the others and divert the
attention of the giant.  Or they could all split up and go different directions and
not cross the bridge and the woman would burn down the bridge to save the
camp. Or, she could lead a brigade of other camp people with weapons to
attack the giant.  The problem is that if the giant were to kill the leaders and
get across the bridge he would kill her and the rest of the camp as well, so the
question becomes one of personal survival as well. She could however try to
reason with the giant about the morality of what he is doing.  A utilitarian view
would say that whatever solution that would yield the most survivors is the
moral action.  But OM says there is only one solution. 

A simple view, maybe the simplest, would hold that there is one numerical
value of the ratio of a loss to the woman who holds the solution with her torch,
although the leaders also hold a right to live, but did they forfeit that when
they instructed the giant to kill for them?  The question that looms is what end
for the woman is morally mandatory.  Justice for all—justice is an end that
every person morally must adopt and pursue at least to a threshold reasonable
extent.

Before a final answer is attempted more needs to be thought about since it is
not a simple dilemma to solve.  If the goal is simply to save the leaders, then
she cannot burn the bridge, if she has a duty to preserve the camp and herself,
then she must burn the bridge.  The only answer I can imagine is that a random
decision is most preferable, leaving it up to chance, a toss of a coin, draw
straws, etc., to decide such a moral dilemma because whatever choice is made
by the woman would violate her deeply held moral beliefs.  She was not
responsible for creating the situation nor the moral dilemma.  The degree to
which she did not participate in the situation facing her is the degree to which
she ought to choose to make a random decision procedure.  No choice would
be cost free and so it is not clear which option she should take.  It is not self-
evident.  The burden of guilt would be extinguished by the toss of a coin.

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By Night-Gaunt, January 20, 2010 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

Let the leaders run across first and as the giant begins to cross cut it to let him fall to his death when he is in the middle of it. The better way would be to simply cut the bridge first.

I am not in the best of physical shape an occasionally don’t feel up to responding or even getting on the computer. Or I couldn’t gain access.

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By BR549, January 20, 2010 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

OzarkMichael, January 21 at 12:50 am

“I ask the reader, what is the only way out for the woman and her cherished
leaders?”  Ummmm ...... get the giant to destroy the bridge ...... while he’s on it?

My ears were burning and I decided to come back and see if this thread was still
alive. It has to be one of the longest ones I’ve seen in a while. I see we have fallen
back to telling stories before bedtime. I better put that tooth under my pillow.

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, January 20, 2010 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

OzarkMichael wrote quite possibly the best story I have read for the work of a preschooler that is in Special Ed Class.

It is now obvious what my difficulty with OzarkMichael is.  I have overestimated his ability———— I have been critical of OzarkMichael due to high expectations, when I should be praising him for his special effort as a retard.

For a person of near average intelligence that I know OzarkMichael to be, OzarkMichael’s story was the worse story I have ever read, without exception.

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By OzarkMichael, January 20, 2010 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

Night Gaunt said: Developing savant abilities is a good thing.

First, i am happy to see you post, Night Gaunt. Your writings of late were clear and expressed a unique point of view. Actually your contribution to the cancer analogy and to the ‘V’ movie was very good. I notice when i started posting that you got quiet, and i hope I am not taking all the air out of the room.

Perhaps the recent conversation is not so interesting to you, and thats ok. If it was interesting to you please comment upon it, and your ‘take’ wont fall upon deaf ears.

Someone recently painted a little picture story of what is happening on this thread.  It was on the level of 3rd grade or so. Actually it was lower than third grade because 3rd graders at least imagine something interesting, and this little picture story was one dimensional and did not hold anyone’s interest. This story was on the level of… oh lets see… “Hamster Huey” by ‘the Gooie Kablooie’.

Anyway, there are some issues I am challenged to address on this thread. Because I have already promised to be direct, any argument that i write cannot revert to my usual more careful ways. That would be bad form.

However, i think an exception could be made for a short story. Yes, our ‘Gooie Kablooie’ is not the only one who can tell a tale. So i too will paint a picture:

Once upon a time there were two camps opposed to each other. The leaders of one camp set lose a powerful giant to ruin the opposing camp. This giant was unstoppable, and the plan was to guide him towards destroying the opposing rulers, for then the enemy camp would be no more.

The camp leaders followed the giant to the opposing camp and watched from the secret safety of a cliff nearby.

As hoped for, the giant tore through the enemy camp, leveling every building, overturning every mark of civilization, and killing the opposing camp rulers.

“This is what I do best!” he thundered.

When the work was done, the giant gazed up to the cliffs above and saw those who had turned him lose for this mission. The camp leaders saw from the giant’s crazed expression that he liked his work, but then with a sudden shock they realized that he liked it too well, for the giant shouted, “And now you are next”!

The camp leaders turned and fled for home as the giant easily clambored up the cliff side.

As they raced to their home camp with the giant hot on their heals, a certain woman of the camp saw them coming. She stood upon the bridge to the camp. She loved the leaders, and she wanted to rescue them from destruction.

She called out to them “Should I burn the bridge to keep the giant at bay?”

“But then we are doomed!” the leaders yelled in despair as the giant clutched at their heels.

“This is what i do best!” the giant thundered.

“But if i allow you to cross then the giant comes with you,” she said.

Thus the story ends. I ask the reader, what is the only way out for the woman and her cherished leaders?

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, January 19, 2010 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

Night-Gaunt January 19 at 3:48 pm seems to have launched a defense of Shenonymous’ savant understanding, which is defined as knowledge without understanding; this is Night-Gaunt’s way of defending Shenonymous, but it is faint praise to praise Shenonymous for having knowledge that lacks understanding.

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By Night-Gaunt, January 19, 2010 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

Developing savant abilities is a good thing. I have done so myself as an accidental aspect of my peculiar ways of learning. It has been recently posited by neural scientists that we could reawaken such dormant faculties and that is a good thing. Also the more you can delegate to your nervous system the better.

Anything that can augment our intelligence is a positive no matter what the critics say.

Also I have noticed when someone gives a reasoned argument against another who cannot respond in kind they literally have noting to say. Sad that means there is a deficit that needs to be filled. Worse they try to give an answer like a petulant child instead of a reasoning adult. Go study young man (or woman) and come back and help us to understand.

People like that and Sara Palin are involved in a game of setting the parameters and keeping their opponents either off balance or following the red herrings they lay out with their folksy kind of speech patterns. So beware. GWBush played that same game. (People who went to see him stated he wasn’t so folksy in his speech to them. That explains much.)

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By ThomasG, January 19, 2010 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

Levels of Awareness (Page 1 of 2)

There were once two Hamsters that were part of a Hamster Society inside of a Hamster Cage, and both Hamsters liked to run on their Hamster Wheels. 

One day one Hamster questioned— who am I, where am I going , why am I here, and could I and others be doing something to serve my greater greedy good, other than running on a Hamster Wheel?

The Hamster with Greater Understanding wanted time alone away from the other hamsters and the other Hamster Wheels to consider his options, alternatives and solutions with regard to implementing his newly discovered understanding to serve his greedy greater good, because the Hamster with Greater Understanding knew that other hamsters were not like him. 

However, there was a female Hamster with Great Savant Understanding in the Hamster Cage that knew much about running on the Hamster Wheels that distracted the Hamster with Greater Understanding from considering his plans to serve his greedy greater good by putting all of the other hamsters to work to serve his greedy greater good.  Therefore, the Hamster with Greater Understanding put the female Hamster with Great Savant Understanding of Hamster Wheels on a Hamster Wheel Project that would occupy the female hamster’s time and the time of the lesser hamsters until the Hamster with Greater Understanding could find useful ways for the female Hamster with Great Savant Understanding and the lesser hamsters to serve the Hamster with Greater Understanding.  By doing this all of the hamsters were satisfied to pursue their life, liberty and happiness with freedom and justice for all, and the self serving Hamster with Greater Understanding had the free undisturbed time to consider his options, alternatives and solutions of how the Hamster with Great Savant Understanding and all of the lesser hamsters could serve his greater greedy good, rather than their own greater good.

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By ThomasG, January 19, 2010 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

Levels of Awareness (Page 2 of 2)

OzarkMichael is the Hamster with Greater UnderstandingShenonymous is the Hamster with Great Savant Understanding that knows about all of the technicalities of the Hamster Wheels.  And, the Populace are the lesser hamsters that OzarkMichael, as the Hamster with Greater Understanding is using along with Shenonymous, the savant hamster, to serve OzarkMichael’s greater greedy good as the Hamster with Greater Understanding.

In hamster society this is all known as “good governance” that satisfies all of the hamsters’ needs for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all that is in service to the Hamster with Greater Understanding.

In Human Society; however, we must ask whether or not Shenonymous and all that she would lead in the American Populace/Back Street America, have a greater calling in service to their own greater good than hamsters that are content to run on Hamster Wheels in service to the greater greedy good of Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Hamsters who would lead them to serve the greater greedy good of their own self serving greater understanding, like OzarkMichael.

The problem with hamsters like Shenonymous is one of perspective and understanding.  Shenonymous does not have the perspective and understanding of hamsters like OzarkMichael, and does not have perspective and understanding as an overview from outside the Hamster Cage.  For Shenonymous, society as it is within the Conservative Parameters of the Hamster Cage is all that there is, and there is no proof available within the Hamster Cage that things can be different; so, Shenonymous is willing to lead the Hamster Populace and be led by the Hamster with Greater Understanding, because it is all that Shenonymous knows, perceives, and understands within the closed world of the Hamster Cage.

Henry David Thoreau calls people who are living like hamsters in the Closed World of a Hamster Cage, unaware of the Greater World outside the cage “Sleepers”; the examplar of “Sleepers” in Thoreau’s time were work gangs laying rail for the railroads; my examplar in this story is hamsters as “Sleepers”.

Those who rouse themselves into a level of wakefulness cannot be led effectively by “Sleepers” to do anything other than “Sleep”, as is the function of railroad ties beneath the iron rails of a railroad, known as ‘Sleepers”, that carry the weight of the rails on top of them, the trains that run on them, and the passengers and freight of a civilization of which they are unaware in an uncomplaining manner, because they are unaware as “Sleepers” that they are due benefit for the service they provide as “Sleepers”, so that they can equitably share in the benefit of the endeavor for which they bear the weight.

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By ThomasG, January 18, 2010 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

The dialogue between Shenonymous and OzarkMichael is a good example of resolution by equivocation, equivocation being the use of ambiguous language with intent to mislead, deceive, and distract dialogue from one topic where discussion is not desired by way of dialogue on another topic that can then cover up the original topic in the complexity of substituted equivocation. This is the way of Republican Right-Wing Conservative Hitleresque EXTREMIST Fascists who do not want to talk about what they do; and, therefore, try to distract the weak minded who NEVER know the difference.

The question in the dialogue between OzarkMichael and Shenonymous is whether or not Shenonymous is the easily distracted dummy or the complicit cooperating demagogue?????

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By Shenonymous, January 18, 2010 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

Oh, one more thing, sorry I meant to post it just previously and on a completely
non-related issue:  Please see, if you haven’t done so already, about making a
contribution to whatever amount you can afford, to the truly devastated poor
people and conditions in Haiti.  The Red Cross is a venue to do that.  Thank you.

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By Shenonymous, January 18, 2010 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

Just to continue with a tiny bit of intellectual fun…
OM defines: “Reductionism: the tendency to explain away the complexities
of faith, philosophy, a political view, or any wordview of any kind as the
products of a single, much simpler cause.”
  I would add that to reduce is to
reduce for a purpose.  Not merely to “explain away.”  But to see into the real
essence of a thing or belief.

However, explaining is not equivalent to explaining away. 

To say a fact is self-explanatory, is to say it is the existential fact.  I.e., If I
carefully follow a course of cause and effect, to see the forces and the results
of those forces, I will then discover that my belief that it is a foggy day is fully
explained by the fact that it is a foggy day.  Then again, if I see what
looks like a phantasm, say a flying horse with wings, an accurate causal
explanation of my vision does not rest on the fact that an actual horse with
wings stands before me and that it can fly.  In just this kind of case, my belief
in the flying winged-horse is not explained, but must be explained away. 

Understanding this distinction, there might be a way to see that extreme
reductionism leads to an absurdity.  It will take a belief that science has
discovered a molecular basis to all matter and how the ultimate structure of all
things material must be explained away and cannot rest on absolute fact.    If
we can agree to this domain of thought and physical evidence, then we would
see that at the sub-molecular level, there are atoms, and smaller than that
level, there are sub-atomic particles, electrons, proton, et al, and lower than
that the particles are composed of the family of quarks, anti-quarks, squarks,
etc., (some of which are still only theoretical, but no matter for the purposes of
this discussion), and since electrons have no size, being called a “point”
particle, there are no particles smaller in size and these smaller than atomic
particles which have only mass about one-millionth of the size of an electron’s
mass.  Hmmmm.  Can it be rationally said that at that level not much is
existent?  If this is logically so, then on what is anything really based,
substantially?  Hopefully even thought has some physical basis?  If not, then
please explain what thinking is.  And please trace that basis from nearly
nothing to the grand thoughts we have particularly those articles of faith that
seem to have less basis than results of investigative science.  I submit that if a
cogent explanation were given (not explained away, please), one would know
exactly where to put the sofa.

No doubt to be continued.

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By ThomasG, January 17, 2010 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

Reductionism is the tendency to reduce different ideas, theories, etc. to a single unifying principle and OzarkMichael has reduced Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST politics to its single unifying principle, “Blather”.  Congratulations are due to OzarkMichael———OzarkMichael must have had an epiphany.

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By OzarkMichael, January 17, 2010 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

Leefeller’s kindness and his observation: OM my respect for your comments would suggest they are really your opinion based on reason.

Yes, hopefully that is true. Thank you for that. I return the compliment to you.

My statement of ‘made up’ was meant to signal the whole thing was coming to mind “ex tempore”(out of the moment).

I merely drew it out of my soul,(or out of my butt if you took a dislike to it), making up a ‘new’ definition for Reduction right on the spot to explain how i saw things. My definition could have been way off from whatever real definition there might have been out there.

For me the word ‘reduction’ came to mind by chance as i was imagining Shenonymous using her considerable mental artillery to ‘reduce’ faith. I was reading a book about World War One recently, so seige artillery just came to mind.

In light of the recent tendency by certain people to refer to objects and constantly associate violence with them, it was perhaps not a good thing for me to write about seige artillery and explosions. My apologies to Shenonymous.

Anyway it turns out that there is such a thing as Reductionism, and my use of the term wasnt far off.. So Shenonymous was right. I must have read it a long time ago.

Interestingly, my ‘made up’ definition of Reduction turns out to be closely related to literature and not the scientific definition:

Reductionism: the tendency to explain away the complexities of a literary work as the products of a single, much simpler cause. A reductive interpretation of a work reduces or ‘collapses’ its actual complexity into a reassuring simplicity, seeing it as the direct expression of some originating element such as a personal motive, a psychological defect, a national or social identity, or a mythic archetype.


Here, i will take out the phrase “literary work” and insert some italics to show how I was using the word:

Reductionism: the tendency to explain away the complexities of faith, philosophy, a political view, or any wordview of any kind as the products of a single, much simpler cause. A reductive interpretation of an opposing point of view reduces or ‘collapses’ its actual complexity into a reassuring simplicity, seeing it as the direct expression of some originating element such as a personal motive, a genetic predisposition or a psychological defect.


That literary definition of Reduction really gets to the center of what I want to convey. There is an effort to explain away, there is an attempt to collapse complexity into reassuring simplicity.

In any case, lets not give the impression that only a few people do this. As Anarcissie pointed out, she has seen it before. Probably everyone does it. Maybe in some ways it is good. Some people even Reduce themselves. I saw a little of that here.

Isnt it odd that whenever people Reduce themselves it usually turns out that they are the ones who have the really admirable and life-affirming basis for their viewpoint? Any other result and the person would be confronted with an inner demand for changing the whole orientation of their life. That would entail rethinking everything. It is like moving from a comfy house. Packing. Then unpacking. And then: where does the sofa belong?

Leefeller again: OM my respect for your comments would suggest they are really your opinion based on reason. Is it possible they are not set in stone?

Yes. It is impossible to interact with people and not be effected by them. As iron sharpens iron, so one friend sharpens another.

But a big ‘sea-change’ is a rare thing. Not something that a person would do for fun.

Perhaps instead of stone or iron we are more like little ice cubes tumbling along together. Sometimes big chips break off, but mostly we melt a little around the edges.

Maybe thats all we really need.

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By ThomasG, January 16, 2010 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

THOMAS FRANK:  And if you want to talk why does government fail? You know, there’s two answers out there.

One is the conservative answer. Government fails because that’s the nature of government to fail. And if you want to look a little bit deeper, you know, why does government fail? Because government has been systematically destroyed. When we, whether you’re talking about the, you know, the pay gap and making—deliberately making government an unattractive career option. Or you’re talking about outsourcing.

This is another conservative strategy for dealing with the state. If you hate and despise government employees. And you understand them as, you know, unbelievable human wickedness, right? What do you do about them? Well, the answer’s obvious. And at the same time, you believe in the market. You believe that private industry does everything better. You outsource the Federal workforce.

THOMAS FRANK:  And the conservative movement tends to be deeply, deeply, deeply cynical about government. Now, it’s also, I mean, deeply idealistic about the market. I mean, the market can do no wrong, almost by definition. But government they regard as a criminal gang. I mean, many, many conservatives have compared—oh, they always do, compare government to criminals. All the time.

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01152010/transcript1.html

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01152010/profile.html

****************************

The American Populace/Back Street America, must remember that the bad economy originated through Right-Wing Conservative Republican EXTREMISTS leadership.  The American Populace/Back Street America must use the Primaries to clean up the corporate toady infestation from the Democratic Party and know that the Republican Party is not a choice.

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By Shenonymous, January 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

There are certain conclusions every human with a discerning mind can easily
recognize, certain universal morals:  slavery is not tolerable, child abuse is not
tolerable, discrimination is not tolerable, murdering or executing for
blasphemy against a religion is not tolerable, and certainly not murder for
political views regardless of how radical they are, with the exception in self
defense where the fanatic inflicts bodily harm on others.  The definition of
harm here is one that can be debated, but any way the pie is carved, harm is
harm.

It is not surprising people from an oppressed state become fanatical if they
cannot effect change in their own community, or even within a small circle. 
There are two kinds of movement, from place to place, and turning in place. 
When it becomes intolerable to move in place, when it seems circular, fanatical
movement from place to place detonates, to use the warfare metaphor again. 

We can be amazed at Nazi Germany and its atrocities committed on human
beings without feeling for one second of remorse that it itself was
exterminated.

While a reductionist effort can produce the essentials of a complexity, the
simplification does not annihilate or destroy the complexity.  We only reduce to
facilitate understanding.  It is not a weapon that allows parts to be
extinguished thereby thinking we have obliterated the whole.  We cannot let
intemperate reductionism like a predator wipe out the inspiration religions
have served, the comfort they have provided in the face of extraordinary
suffering, and aroused the most noble caring for others, which from the cave
onward supplied human beings a civilization that allowed the human mind to
flourish and develop self-reflection. 

Once, however, we humans stepped over the threshold of ignorance, we had to
be very mindful not to allow those beneficial features of religion to be the
platform to inflict suffering on people.  There is no justification at all for
damage to others that can come from a corrupt interpretation of a scripture
and its perpetrators remain human.  This same sentiment can be overlaid on
any ideology that affects human commerce with its universe, including the
world of politics.

In spite of the good they do, it is an emptying effect religions have on human
minds, and that to me is against the instinctively thinking mind humans have. 
I have no intention to try to persuade any one away from their religious beliefs,
but as part of the discussion here, I have often admitted to I not having
religious beliefs.  I do not argue that there is no god, I leave that choice up to
each individual.  It is neither provable nor disprovable with the kind of evidence
that would be acceptable.  But because it is my belief gods are an invention of
man, it is an argument about the kind of god that has been forged by human
imagination.  But that would lead to another whole different argument and I
will save it for another time.

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By ThomasG, January 16, 2010 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

Thomas Frank/Bill Moyers Interview:  http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01152010/transcript1.html

THOMAS FRANK: What conservatism in this country is about is government failure. Conservatives talk about government failure all the time, constantly. And conservatives, when they’re in power deliver government failure.

THOMAS FRANK: Once Bush was out, there was a study done of the SEC, as well. These people didn’t even have like their own functioning photocopiers, okay? So, we’re talking about the lawyers that are supposed to be protecting us from Wall Street. And they have to go stand in line at Kinko’s to do their own photocopying. And they’re going up against the best paid, you know, best educated lawyers on planet Earth, who represent the investment banks. And they’re supposed to be defending us.

BILL MOYERS: So what’s the consequence of this pay gap you described? Or, do we get inferior government because of it?

THOMAS FRANK: Absolutely. It keeps the best and the brightest out of government service, unless you’re really dedicated to a cause.

But let me go one step further with this, Bill. When I say this is done by design, I’m not exaggerating. And this is one of the more surprising things that I found when I was doing the research for “The Wrecking Crew,” is that there’s a whole conservative literature on why you want second-rate people in government, or third-rate.

I found an interview with the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 1928, where he said—this quote, it’s mind-boggling to me. But he really said this. “The best public servant is the worst one.” Okay? You want bad people in government. You want to deliberately staff government with second-rate people. Because if you have good people in government, government will work. And then the public will learn to trust government. And then they’ll hand over more power to it.

And you don’t want that, of course. Your Chamber of Commerce. And I thought, when I first read this, “That’s a crazy idea. I can’t believe that sentiment.” And then I found it repeated again and again and again. Throughout the long history of the conservative movement. This is something they believe very deeply.


THOMAS FRANK: That the market is the, you know, is the universal principle of human civilization. And that government is a kind of interloper, if not a, you know, criminal gang. And getting in the way.

BILL MOYERS: And yet there’s no sense of contrition. What’s amazing to me, and you wrote this, that the very people who brought us this decade of conservative failures, the party of Palin, Beck, Hannity, Abramoff, Rove, DeLay, Kristol, O’Reilly, just might stage a comeback.

BILL MOYERS: Do you really think they believe that unfettered capitalism, unregulated markets, will deliver an ideal democracy and prosperity for everybody?

THOMAS FRANK: No, I don’t. I think that they believe that, and to some degree, they’re sincere in that belief. But the conservative movement in Washington, I’m not talking about grassroots voters in Kansas here. I’m talking about the conservative movement in Washington. And the whole constellation of think tanks and lobby shops and not-for-profits. And, you know, newspapers and fundraisers and all of this stuff.

********************
This is what Conservatives are really up to.  Read the whole enlightening interview at http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01152010/transcript1.html

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By OzarkMichael, January 16, 2010 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

A brief response after reading the last few posts by Leefeller, Shenonymous, and Anarcissie. Rather than be offended, i am delighted to be forced to be more concise by the questions you have. And there is an input from you that challenges towards truth or at least understanding. 

Tonite I will make time to write, and specifically deal with what you have said. It is food for thought. But be reassured that none of it was offensive, it was meant as a critique and it was an honest critique. Thats how i took it and i couldnt be more pleased. i am challenged but that that too is pleasing. 

Only good will come of it.

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By ThomasG, January 16, 2010 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

What we have here now on Truthdig is a gang of adults, Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMISTS and Corporatist Democrats, that are pretending to be juveniles trying to find themselves; and using that pretense to scratch litter and use Truthdig as a Political Litterbox in order to cover up not only their refusal, but the refusal by the Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMISTS and Corporatist Democrats to support the American Populace/Back Street America, and lead others to NOT support the American Populace/Back Street America.  I do remember having these types of conversations when I was 14 years old.

Politics is a reality past juveniles living at home in an insular reality created by their parents; trying to find themselves and the meaning of life.

Politics is representation of constituents in their best interest and non-constituents against their best interest.

Truthdig is a Political Blog to dig out political truth as indicated by its name, “Truthdig”, and OzarkMichael, Shenonymous, Night-Gaunt, Leefeller and Anarcissie are trying to corrupt Truthdig’s dialog and steer Truthdig’s dig for truth to the——who am I, why am I here, and what is the meaning of my existence drivel of juveniles living at home, going to school, watching television, and living in a world of childish irresponsibility.

It is my understanding that neither OzarkMichael, Shenonymous, Night-Gaunt, Leefeller nor Anarcissie are juveniles living at home; Shenonymous is pretending to be a college professor, OzarkMichael pretends to be a Christian and is Shenonymous’ heavy hitter, Night-Gaunt plays the part of the shill to bring in the politically unaware for mental conditioning, Leefeller the part of the affable dummy and Anarcissie as the cooperative anarchist;  all are a part of a political Confidence Scheme to mold understanding of those who are unaware that use and look in on Truthdig.

Since all are adults pretending to have the awareness of juveniles; it follows, as night follows the day, that they are then trying to lead juveniles to follow the Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST and Corporate Democrat Agenda by pandering to the juvenile perspective as adults.

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By Shenonymous, January 16, 2010 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, thank you for a round of belly laughs.  I can always count on you to
do that!  It breaks up the sobriety that often lays heavy on my comments. 
Thank you thank you thank you for being.

Without tottering though, I have no disagreement on the importance of how
raw sense material is processed by the human mind.  It is the only way the
mind can perceive the world and only then can be transformed into thoughts
about the world.

What you call the process of love is a strange characterization.  Love as a
process when it clearly is an emotional state of mind.  If it is a process then the
steps of that process ought to be available for assessment especially if one is
interested in the quality of its outcome.  Preferences are always a matter of
choice.  But it seems to me that love is not always a matter of choice, but
seems to reside in some irrational zone of mental experience.  When it is a
matter of choice, reflection on that passion, or irrational feeling, comes into
play.  I am wont to use the words merely or only since they seem to diminish
the import of a thing.  I don’t think preference implies ‘only’ emotion, the word
only used here as meaning solely dependent on emotion.  Preferences seem to
be based on some reflection of the choices available.  One can either choose to
love or not to love.  Sort of a Hamletian inquiry. (Oh, don’t you love my
neologism?)  And one can further choose how much to love as well, so a choice
of quantity can enter into it, further evidence of measured thought. 

I can see how a progression from original basic raw material emotional love
could be an advantageous premise for the sake of your argument to become
the “new processed material” for preferential love. How the raw materials of
love, which is not at all identified and remains a bit of a cliff hanger, evolves to
preferential love is another mysterious transformation, to a finished product
which is you now call love, a stand alone, is definitely a matter of incomplete
thoughts for which I would “love” to have an elaboration.  Next the stand alone
love is called commitment, and if it is more of a quantity of the emotion, how it
gets from preference to that greater amount is again beyond ordinary
understanding.  The definition of commitment as an orientation of one’s life
and as a type of action seems on the surface true, but is inchoate at its
formulation.

You have built a concept of love that does not have less to do with emotion. 
You have only added another element — commitment, and I suggest that
commitment is profuse with emotion.  One is superglued mentally to a
commitment, and it cannot be wrenched in anyway short of an insanity or a
pounding with a jackhammer.  Those multitude of other options become
completely dismissed as they arise because of the white knuckle grasping of
the commitment.  Such is the passion of commitment. 

You then postulate freedom of choice, but it is a false sense of freedom bred
from the passion of the commitment.  It is a delusion of freedom.  One’s entire
history that led to the commitment holds every imagined freedom to a position
of non-freedom.

Not equating commitment love to truth seems a wise intuition.  I do not doubt
you think you are arriving at your conclusions from within and not from any
book.  However, I would submit you did not come to this conversation out of a
vacuum of some learning both personally experiential and formally in the past.

To put truth on a path means one does not own the truth and seeks it.  It is
metaphorically a Path, a pilgrimage from false belief to true belief.

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By Leefeller, January 16, 2010 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

OM, stated “Everything I am saying here is ‘made up’” where can one find or purchase an OM dictionary?

Actually as one who appreciates concepts in which ideas are made up (which I prefer to call premises)  is much more honest than those touted as being absolute, I find this very refreshing!

Reduction for me is a special technique in making sauce, but I believe this is not made up? OM, semantics as words tend to guide us in their use, especially in how they are connected. So “made up” seems uncomfortable to me, for then the premise already seem to not be what it is?

It would seem appropriate if one said this is my opinion instead of “I am making it up”?  We have seen many made up comments by many on TD for some time now. OM my respect for your comments would suggest they are really your opinion based on reason. Is it possible they are not set in stone?

As She mentioned “Always ready to oblige, with copious thoughts, but always open to revision if
better information comes in. Seems She is open to reasoned changes in ideas and opinion, as am I, though I may on occasion play the devils advocate or set the trap as OM refers to it.

Reason may be the culprit not really Cheif She’s famous Reduction Sauce, not artillery but instead a savored treat for the pallet of the mind. 

Would questioning authority be very much the same as questioning faith?

Let me apologize is any of my comments offend, for this is not my intention. 

On another post, I found a most amusing comment, referring to Ralph Nader.  “Teddy Roosevelt would not piss on Nader if he was on fire, unless he was running into a Redwood Forest.’ Point being only on the pissing part, not Nader, my preference is not to be in pissing contests.

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By OzarkMichael, January 16, 2010 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous said: Love is an emotion it is not reasoned thought.

Love could be said to be merely an emotion. I would like to point out that emotion is raw material. How we process this raw material is very important.

The process of love creates an intermediate material which I will call preference. Preference love is a type of choice. To claim that preference is only emotion wont work. There are elements of knowledge and intuition involved. Does love as preference have anything to do with Truth? No. I suppose it doesnt.

The raw material of emotion love is processed to the intermediate material of preference love. Truth is still nowhere to be seen. But we are not done yet. There is a finished product which is also love. It is commitment. Commitment, much moreso than preference, is an orientation of one’s life and it is a type of action.

Now we have built a concept of love which has less to do with emotion. Commitment love is an orientation which brings constancy of choices even as we are faced with a multitude of other options in every moment.

Actually that is a very good definition, because it acknowledges freedom yet it emphasises a binding choice. It is active in the Now, and yet it has determinational contact with the future. That is the commitment love.

Is commitment love the Truth?

If one expects Truth to be objective and scientific, then the answer is no. Commitment love is merely an internal state of being, with very little to quantify. Commitment love is ubjectivity, and we all know that the Truth has to be an objectivity.

Be aware that I am not getting this from a book, its just that Shenonymous forces me to think and explain myself. Everything I am saying here is ‘made up’.

If I have done well, it is thanks to our Shenonymous. At every point on this forum when She challenges you, good things can happen if you are willing to work a little.

But I digress. And i am too wordy. lets get down to it.

Commitment love,(the love that is action now and is directed also towards the future), is an orientation.
Shenonymous mentioned the Way of Truth. If we insist that Truth is an objectivity we must admit that Truth it is not a Way at all.

A Way is merely a path. Or a method. Or an action. Or an orientation. It is the human orientation/method/action which is a s close to Truth as we can get.

Now recall that commitment love is an orientation that is also an action.

Finally, we arrive. Well, may not. But at least we are on the path to Truth. We have oriented ourselves towards it.

Beloved, let us love one another. For love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who loves not, does not know God because God is love.

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By Shenonymous, January 16, 2010 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

Always ready to oblige, with copious thoughts, but always open to revision if
better information comes in.

Well I don’t know if it can be called faith that we are born with.  Faith implies a
belief in something and upon birth there is only desire to survive, desire for
mother’s milk.  Once mother has fulfilled that desire, then perhaps it could be
called faith that her nipple will be there again, or it could also be called
expectation.  I don’t think faith and expectation are the same mental activities.

On faith - Michael Green wrote in his Ten Myths about Christianity,“Faith is to
commit oneself to act based on sufficient experience to warrant belief, but
without absolute proof. To have faith involves an act of will.”  It seems to me
this is not uniquely a Christian commitment.  It is common throughout all
religions since religion is based on faith and faith alone.  Catholics clerics go
through a complex process to establish their set of truths, but all of their truths
are at their foundation tenets of faith.  All their literature, scriptures, are
untenable in the light of true belief.  The fall back on apologetics to give
credence to their creeds.  This is true of each and every religion.  Expectation
has the element of future while faith is a reference that something is a
particular way based on no real attributes.

Frankly I was not so startled to read about the aggressive behavior to quash
what might have been perceived as false beliefs and a denial of social
acceptance of orthodoxy, especially in a naturally rebellious teenager who is
looking for existential answers as described by you, OzarkMichael.  The
bellicose form it took is not unusual.  Personal anxiety manifests in many ways
as the genes align themselves for adulthood.  The horrid behaviors of youth
gangs come to mind immediately where a “brotherhood” is formed as a
bulwark against the “establishment.” This antithesis is found associatively in all
societies in all their youth. New found atheism in a teenager is not at all
unusual.  It is a stage in the movement from infant to mature adult.  I myself
came to atheist conclusions in my teenage.  But I did not develop an anger, did
not become an avenger.  Blame it on my genes, but I blame it on a loving
parent who put my life ahead of hers many times and taught me real values,
and how to think for myself what is really important for humans with which to
interact in their world.

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By Leefeller, January 16, 2010 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

It seems to me the word faith has many meanings which attempts to muddy the water then see something with blinders on.  OM seemingly defines faith as many things, which in his case are now buried in rubble? 

Is not faith really the same as belief with a twist of dogma entrenched?  Maybe a clear definition is in order? For some reason faith based thought seems more religious than political, though some seem to reverse this possibly as opportunism?

Maybe faith is only used by those who prefer to use the word? Yes, defining seems in order, especially if faith is different than belief.

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By Anarcissie, January 16, 2010 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

However, we are compelled to start with faith and passion.  That is what we are born with.  Some of us acquire reason later.

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By Shenonymous, January 15, 2010 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

You are very sharp Leefeller to catch the distinction between seeming and
being.  While he took it up in several dialogues, it was one of the major topics
in Plato’s Republic.  One of your favorites (you have mentioned it a few times
on various forums), his Allegory of the Cave was written to illustrate that very
point. 

You present a provocative approach for thought, OzarkMichael. There are a few
things that need to be made clear.  But it could get a bit complicated.  I will try
to make it as simple as I can.  It will take a couple of posts.

1.  One can only reduce to rubble what one can grasp.  Justice is one of those
things that is undefined, at least on this forum.  Poetic justice is where virtue is
rewarded and its opposite, vice is punished.  A tidbit of truth is not much on
which to build a belief, if indeed it really is even a tidbit.  Why one would prefer
faith to truth can be conceived as investing in either the Way of Truth or the
Way of Seeming.  Faith is a ‘seeming to be’ rather than a confirmed seeing.

It might be safe to suppose that truth is self-sufficient, that it testifies to what
is self-evident and if it is truth, it is truth for always and eternally.  Faith on the
other hand, bows to the way of seeming, to mere appearance, it is not true
existence it is opinion, and is subject to change since it is not rooted and can
lead to false beliefs, illusion, and deception.  The way of truth and the way of
faith can be mapped onto the distinction between reality and appearance. 
Some other terms often associated with the way of truth, or real being, is
immobile, immutable, timeless, unborn, permanent, imperishable, one, and
whole.  It is unbudgeable.  It is truth and needs no birth, nor can die.  Actually
truth is the only thing that exists in the space of time called now.  It is a whole,
and all together, continuous and does not fall into creation for what part about
it could be looked for? 

The way of seeming, or the way of faith, unlike truth, is changeable, illusory,
experienced in everyday life, absent, and only has existence by the very fact of
being thought.  The instant one thinks a thing, an object of thought is
considered as being a thing.  Thinking inherently involves an object of thought. 
This way of truth is one of correspondence of idea with reality.  It is reason
alone that can judge whether truth is presented or if it is only faith

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By Shenonymous, January 15, 2010 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment

2.  The difference between how things seem and how things really are is a fatal
cleft.  The problem is that our minds are not designed to intuit the truth on its
own, it has faulty machinery in a manner of speaking.  Since we as a living
organism are involved in a process of survival, not to get certain things right
can be disastrous so it becomes hugely important that we find ways to learn
about the world we find ourselves in.  We have to have a system to be able to
discriminate friends from enemies, what is food and what might be our
relatives, and so forth.  It is as I said, greatly important that we not get it
wrong.  Hence we have developed the equipment, as it is said by some, that is,
it is designed to get what matters right, it is called recognition of the difference
between appearance and reality.  False beliefs, or making mistakes, need by
necessity be as much eliminated as possible.  We, as a species, have to have
faith in truth since our equipment is less than perfect and liable to error even if
there are a variety of ways to achieve it.  But there is no truth in faith and that
sets them incurably apart.

Truth has no end since it has no beginning.  Faith looks for nothing except
obedience and piety.  Faith is belief in the truth, faith is not truth.  There are
many reasons to have faith, but there is only one reason for truth.

By definition, faith relies on a belief that does not rest on logic or evidence.
Faith depends on irrational thought and produces intransigence.  Faith appeal
to emotions.  This is evident in bringing up the idea of love and its jeopardy, or
fear of not having it.  Love is an emotion it is not reasoned thought.  There is
nothing implicitly wrong with emotion nor the emotion of love, it is how and
why either are used to establish truth.  to establish our integrity.  Tomorrow we
will look at the cryptic reduction artillery and the metaphor of war with respect
to truth and faith.  It is difficult to see what is actually being said here OM about
enemies and strength and demolishment.  I don’t want to conjecture.  Can you
tighten up what it is you want to describe now that you are an adult?  There are
a few distinct directions going on that need separate considerations.  For
instance, with the statement “The process of Reduction equates the mechanism
of something’s existance [sic] as the sole justification of its existance,” you
imply there is a mechanism for something’s existence and its existence is
justified by that mechanism.  What mechanism is it that can be the basis for
something’s existence?

Truth has no end since it has no beginning.  Faith looks for nothing except
obedience and piety.  Faith is belief in the truth, faith is not truth.  There are
many reasons to have faith, but there is only one reason for truth.  There is
more to say, but it will have to be tomorrow.

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By Anarcissie, January 15, 2010 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael—I’d guess if you found reductionism useful it was applied to you first.  I never encountered it as a child—my crimes and omissions were always attributed to an incomprehensible, implacable will to evil.  There is dignity in that.  I ran into reductionism later as a political attack on various categories of persons I belonged to—teen-agers or boho/beatnik/hippie/peaceniks, whose ideas and practices were said by the attackers to be not evil but trivial.  Since by then I had become a rhetorically apt being, I quickly saw through this trick and sometimes responded in kind, even though I knew it was invalid.  “You’re just a child seeking authority” can be all too easily matched by “You’re just a reductionist seeking a paycheck.”

I found, though, that most reductionists of the professional sort were surrounded by a thick wall of degrees, credentials, social status, and job titles, and if they heard me at all I am pretty sure it was as a tiny, incomprehensible voice far away.  They were not inconvenienced.

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By OzarkMichael, January 15, 2010 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

Thank you Anarcissie. whether we agree or disagree you are always direct.

I would like to say that there two ways to use the Reduction artillery. There is the way i used it long ago, with the sole purpose and intention of eliminating an enemy position, the ultimate goal being to prove “there is no truth in Religion”. Distinguish that intention from Shenonymous, who used it more as an experiment and exploration.

But once it opens up a few salvos, it is hard to stop using it, until the search for truth is forgotten and instead it becomes a destructive act. The resulting pile of rubble can stretch as far as the eye can see.

If I may reveal and be a bit vulnerable… imagine me at 17 years old. I had employed the Reduction against religion, but then, with some pleasure, turned the guns hither and yon, eventually turning them upon myself. Honesty demanded it.

From my pile of bricks I explained to my girlfriend that love was only hormones. You can imagine that she was not my girlfriend for very long.

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By Anarcissie, January 15, 2010 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

It does not seem to me that a genetic or developmental predisposition for liberalism, conservatism, or any other ideology in one person or another invalidates any of the ideologies.  At least, I don’t see a logical connection.

I understand that one may feel that reductionism destroys its target—“Hate us, persecute us, but do not explain us,” once cried a Roman Catholic propagandist—but it really doesn’t.  It mostly discredits the user’s logical and analytical faculties.

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By OzarkMichael, January 15, 2010 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller: Conservatives and Liberals are born that way as gays, becomes a belief instead of a fact

As Leefeller would say, ‘there could be some truth in that’. But there is a philosophical problem emerging from this line of conversation that I would like to discuss with all of you,(Night-Gaunt, Leefeller, Shenonymous and BR) without ruining the collegial atmosphere which you intelligent people have fostered among yourselves.

I will endeavor to be honest, I will try to speak plainly. Instead of setting traps i will just put my cards out on the table.

In earlier posts Shenonymous brought some seige artillery to bear on the fortress of ‘belief/faith’. In military terms she was able ‘to reduce the defenses’ to rubble. This illustrates what i call Reduction.

The process of Reduction equates the mechanism of something’s existance as the sole justification of its existance. The implication of Reduction is that there is no truth in the target, for the target is shown to be arrived at merely by a simple predetermined and easily explained mechanism.

For example, by tracing out some psychology and brain development, Shenonymous was able to show(among other things) that belief/faith appears to be a type of psychological wish for a parent. Her presentation was quite good, and i will let that be. She may even be more right than she knows…perhaps someday they will be able to show that the neurochemicals map out in the same places during prayer and during a child’s call to its mother.

After Shenonymous’ reduction artillary finished the job of turning the ‘faith’ fortress into a pile of bricks, what happens? Well, first there is the expected sense of accomplishment, yes, but then… there is an unexpected development.

How do i know this? Because long ago i was an athiest(if you think i am a smartass now you should have seen me then) and I used the Reduction method too. Not as skillfully as Shenonymous, hats off to our great lady of Truthdig.  But the problem arises after the siege artillary stands triumphant above the rubble. It is impossible to resist the temptation to employ it again on a new target. Its great fun too.

On this thread the next target was conservatives. After reducing that target to a pile of rubble, the artillery would seem to be the most useful device in the world for exposing the ‘falsehood’ of everything we dont like.

But then all it takes is honesty to go another step, in this case Leeefeller is the one who took the next step: Conservatives and Liberals are born that way as gays, becomes a belief instead of a fact.

Now we can reduce Liberalism as well. We can(if science advances enough) reduce it to DNA and hormones.

After we are done, honesty demands that next we demolish the concept of love. Reduce it to rubble! There is nothing to it.

We inevitably will bring the artillery to bear on ourselves, proving that there is no truth in anything that humans do. There is only a pile of bricks.

Been there. Done that.

What i discover? There was truth under the rubble that i made of the faith fortress so long ago. It took me awhile to dig it out but it was there. Furthermore, i do not mind enduring the same seige that so long ago i once placed others under. It is a poetic justice*.

(*Ah but even justice can be reduced to rubble if you are determined to use the Reduction artillery)

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By ThomasG, January 15, 2010 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

It appears that Shenonymous and Leefeller, as cats in a Political Litter Box, have done their stinky duty and are busy covering up the results.

In the wild, this type of behavior is used to cover up the cat’s trail, so that the cat is more secure from other animals tracking the stench.

Shenonymous and Leefeller are reduced to behaving as cats in a litter box as a Political Strategy to cover up their stinky political duty.

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By Leefeller, January 15, 2010 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

Thanks She for the comment, though asking if it seems true, rattled me memory of other posters punchy posts of yore!

What seems to be true may or may not actually be true, semantics may be my problem. (among the many other problems in my repository)  What seems true to one may not seem true to others. True love for example may or may not seem true at the time and may only be coming from one side, both sides or may not have really existed to begin with at all, it may have been only infatuation?

Yes what has been stated in your post seems to be true, makes sense and could be correct or true, but if one preferred to believe otherwise, (ie: Conservatives and Liberals are born that way as gays, becomes a belief instead of a fact)  so then, what seems true may only be seen as true by one person then two and maybe others.  Since I find your premise acceptable and have little to add, it will stand as true in my mind! (Though I always enjoy satire as truth).

Are belief and truth the same? What of the true believer? 

Sorry I sort of wondered onto sideways tangent this happens on occasion, my mind seems a vast space like an empty wine glass. (leaving myself open on that one).

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By Shenonymous, January 15, 2010 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

Good afternoon Leefeller, the fact that we are born left handed and right does
not really imply a theory that we are born left minded or right politically, even
though it is tempting to do so. 

Some of the research scientists think that quiet babies and noisy ones suggest
certain conservative and liberal proclivities which other scientists find the
theory over the edge.  If we are not born with any beliefs except for those that
talk about our initial physical experiences, then even though it is possible that
how we relate to the world is to preserve existing conditions, that could be
interpreted as conservative, if that brand new world is comfortable and a
feeling of safety is felt.  Or if it is not comfortable or it is fearful, then an infant
might have a liberal sense of how to negotiate its environment, but that is
quite a stretch.  And while we must allow all stretches, we do not necessarily
have to believe them.  Seems like infants, all of them, all of us, come into this
world in a high state of fear, looking for food first of all, and the warmth and
protection from our mothers second of all and that provides any security to
carry on in a healthy way.  How that feels and from then onward all our
experiences are added to whatever natural senses we have from our genetic
make up and that determines what we are as adults.  It is a combination of
nature and nurture and their relative quotients, or percentages that goes to
make up the differences among all of us.  Doesn’t this seem to be true?

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By Leefeller, January 13, 2010 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

Glad to have returned to see the Shester’s post. Enlightenment so refreshing.

She, your comments remind me of something I read several years back. The premise was, Consevitive and Liberal minds are born that way, sort of like gays. (I added the gay thing). If I recall conservatives, require or prefer to have answers to everything for their continued confort. On the other hand Liberals seem to prefer new things and appreciate change.  This is out of context, but your post seemed connected and is most appreciated.

When I read this article several years ago, I believed it to be a satire, but it seems now it may have been researched and real? (I always appreciated the gray and white brain matter theory in regarding the propensity to lie, especially when Bush and politicians in general bring anything to my attention.) 

She, yes, I dp apprentice the wine glass analogy.

For some reason I am missing OM and others comments on the trolls and Italian thing, (have we not gone through this before?)  Seems only because, Trolls live under bridges and will eat you and use your bones to pick their teeth! The story of Trolls was to keep kids from wondering far from home.

Fear, seems used though out history to make a point. Of course I seem to be missing the point? (Though I have not read all the posts, for most of the thread seems peppered with repetitious bold type, someone must be typing wearing brain-cuffs?). Though it does make it easier to skip over.

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By ThomasG, January 13, 2010 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

If one “goes along” with Negative Framing because those who are engaging in Negative Framing are propagandized to believe that their Negative Framing is the Truth, how does the result of “going along to get along” differ from the intentional activities of sophists and propagandists that promote the same result?

If the accusation, condemnation, denunciation, demonization, Negative Framing, misrepresentation, and putting words in the mouths of others to perpetuate Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST efforts to dominate and subdue the Left and Liberals in support of a Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Agenda is going to be controlled, so that totalitarianism does not overwhelm Democratic Governance in the United States, it will not be from the Left and Liberals “going along” with and appeasing Right-Wing intransigence “to get along”, it will be from the Left and Liberals of the American Populace/Back Street America, STANDING UP for and DEFENDING their rights and NOT giving in to disingenuous sophist and propagandistic rage, indignation, ridicule, and outrage of the Right acting like truculent children in an effort to get their way.

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By ThomasG, January 13, 2010 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

Night-Gaunt’s post January 13 at 1:06 am advocates appeasement of expedient negative frames as a “go along to get along” tactic to achieve objectives.

Those who are willing to accept and appease negative framing of the truth as a “go along to get along” tactic to achieve an objective are on a fool’s errand “full of sound and fury signifying nothing”.

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By Night-Gaunt, January 12, 2010 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

When the wine glass is poisoned no matter how good or superior the wine is now its wonderful message is just no good. Worse than straight poison because it is hidden within something traditionally good to eye and nose and palate. The same goes for messages too.

Just imagine if the words of the Bill of Rights were being promoted by Machiavelli, would anyone who knows him and the way he phrases things would ever trust anything he says? Especially when he laces his talk of freedoms in the parlance of the Inquisition! Take note those who understand my meaning and the rest? Never mind.

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By ThomasG, January 12, 2010 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

YOU will notice that OzarkMichael has posted more of his usual blah.  OzarkMichael does not address the message from the messenger and apparently never will.  OzarkMichael has a pattern of sophism and propaganda that he uses to accuse, condemn, denounce, demonize, frame, misrepresent and speak for others, but OzarkMichael does not ever address the message, because OzarkMichael appears to be a sophist propagandist and addressing the message in a legitimate way would be contrary to his sophism and propaganda.

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By OzarkMichael, January 12, 2010 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie said: A case of the italians is what you get if you get too close to trolls.

Point taken. My own choice, I blame no one but myself for getting too close. Speaking of which, Martha Thomas wrote the following:

American Populace/Back Street America:

Shenonymous’ Three Posts: Two January 12 at 6:44 am and One January 12 at 6:43 am, much the same as her past posts are unrelated objective facts and subjective imaginings

Shenonymous posted a critique of faith systems, using evolution/science/human development and psychology. Its was one of the best arguments I have ever seen. She is one of the best minds and writers on Truthdig. She is an atheist and she makes a good case today against faith. Its original and interesting.

Even though I disagree with her conclusions I have to admit she made a good case. Why in the world cant you do the same, Martha/Thomas?

And supposedly you are an atheist, although you were a Christian a few months ago. Are you pretending to be a Christian now or have you forgotten which personae you are writing with? “Thomas G” is your personae who is the the hard hitting atheist, remember?


You cannot tell me that after all your threats of retribution, that you are really offended that Shenonymous might call you on it. Your threat towards me…“A bullet in the head till you no longer wiggle”... hasnt been reported.

In support of Shenonymous, i just might report some of the things you have said to me. Except you really help me make my points about the tyrannical aspects of the Far left and its similarity to Fascism.

Its been a great run.

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By Shenonymous, January 12, 2010 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie - I occasionally reflect on the reflections in a glass of wine and I am
shopping for one of those silver spheres for my garden.  We can raise an
electronic glass of cabernet and salute human evolution and hope it goes better
than it is showing at the moment. 

I think it goes in fits and starts and overall, if one could project oneself outside
of humanity and still retain cognition, it would be seen over the history of
humankind, contrary to what we think of it now, much evolutionary
development.  I mean hell, here we are communicating in an electronic medium
and that in itself says something no less than amazing.  We often get too
caught up in provincial thinking, meaning locally private concerns to even
imagine the bigger picture.  Historians of long time intervals oftentimes get a
sense of what has advanced, but who really listens to historians or learn from
history?

It seems like we have to imagine too much like the atomic world and the
expanse of the universe, yet we are aware of how much we don’t know, which I
think speaks to the potential of the human mind to enlarge geometrically.

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By Anarcissie, January 12, 2010 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous—that’s a nice quote from Feynman.  It is literally true that the whole universe is reflected in a glass of wine, as it is in those silvered glass balls people used to have in their gardens, and maybe still do.

Ozark Michael—A case of the italians is what you get if you get too close to trolls.

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By ThomasG, January 12, 2010 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

Shenonymous’ Three Posts: Two January 12 at 6:44 am and One January 12 at 6:43 am, much the same as her past posts are unrelated objective facts and subjective imaginings to intentionally obfuscate the demonstration of causal relationship by other people in their posts, that appears to be meant by Shenonymous to submerge and overwhelm meaning and causal relationship with the sheer volume of her obfuscatory information for her own self-serving Political Purposes.

With regard to Shenonymous’ current posts, Shenonymous has made an intricate frame in her posts to define herself and others, an idealism that results from her frame and a threat of retribution against those who do not accept and comply with her self-serving frame and idealism.

To me, Shenonymous appears to be delusional, and it would be in her best interest to get medical help that will allow her to get a grip on objective reality, rather than continue in her self-centered and self-serving imaginary and delusional construct.

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By Shenonymous, January 12, 2010 at 2:44 am Link to this comment

In three parts,,,
Why people believe?  It is said that babies are born atheists.  We are born to
survive, nothing more.  Whatever beliefs we come to have come external to our
genes.  We come to have beliefs as we experience our environment and are
taught from others and what they say.  The universe is vast and we are
infinitesimal in comparison.  We are always in awe of that which is bigger than
us.  It has been said by psychologists who have studied human cognition from
infancy onward to adulthood, that we conceive ourselves through the eyes of
others.  We have others in mind whatever it is when we behave. 

The starting point of consciousness is awe.  Humans first experience the world
as overwhelming first as sense felt. But from the first moment we become
conscious of our environment in an external world, we are aware of our
meagerness. From the moment we reflect on the world, we sense helpless, and
vulnerable we are o the conditions that overpower us.

Visual anthropologist, Edmund Carpenter, reporting on the adults of an isolated
Papua New Guinea tribe, the Biami, who presumably never had at all any mirror
experience and the rivers in the Papuan plateau are typically too murky to
provide clear reflections, unlike the rivers of ancient Greece enjoyed by our
dear self-loving Narcissus.  Carpenter recorded the Biami’s reactions when
looking for the first time at themselves in a mirror and then more astonishing
viewing themselves in video recordings or Polaroid photographs. Carpenter
describes reactions of terror and anguish: ‘‘They were paralyzed: after their
first startled response—covering their mouths and ducking their heads—they
stood transfixed, staring at their images, only their stomach muscles betrayed
great tension’’

At birth, according to developmental psychologist, Phillipe Rochat, there is no
self-world differentiation and the degree of self-awareness is zero, that is,
there is a complete absence of self-awareness.  We do not know we are an “I”. 
But, from concentrated study of infants, it appears that soon after birth, within
weeks, infants are capable of demonstrating a sense of their own body as a
differentiated entity, they are aware of being an entity among other entities in
the environment, showing that the rudiments of the concept of “me” inherently
exists.  The evidence comes from observing what is called the rooting response
of newborns and what triggers it (infants innately search for a nipple. If they
feel something touch their face, they assume that it may be a nipple and they
will begin to try to position their head to take advantage of the potential food
source. It is a built-in response to survive.  This response is highly predictable. 
Also, infants are more oriented toward an external tactile stimulation than if
they brushed themselves with their hand.  They differentiate themselves from
non-self.  We are not born in a state of fusion or confusion with the
environment as William James had theorized (as a blooming, buzzing,
confusion). 

We do not have a perception of ourselves as an “I” until about two and a half
years.  Up to that time, self-awareness is implicit perceptually and through
actions.  There are no symbolic means to express self identity, no language. 
Nevertheless, understanding the gradual development of self-awareness, then
self-consciousness, we can come to understand self-knowledge, the
subjective, or subjectivity simultaneous awareness of the external world, the
objective, or objectivity.

As adults we look at our reflection in a mirror as if we were someone else
looking at us, we pretend so to speak, by projection.

By the age of two, children have an elementary fear that engenders a
realization of how they feel inside and how those others on the outside might
see them.  Self-evaluation has begun.  It is then that fantasies and imaginary
beings, or phantasms appear.

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By Shenonymous, January 12, 2010 at 2:44 am Link to this comment

2.  Around the age of four, we can and do start to make inferences not only
about the age, but also the sense perception ability, temperament and
emotions of others graphically symbolized in a drawing.  This capacity gives
rise to the development of beliefs not only about other people but in symbolic
things such as maps, photographs, and models of ships.  And the child
recognizes when someone else holds a false belief and think they themselves
have the right or true belief. 

A significant number of infants show at about the age of 4 months
temperaments descried as anxious, shyness and fearful to unfamiliar people . 
This means if true, people are preconditioned through temperament to be
receptive to any explanation that allays anxiety, transcend their shyness, and
reduce fear.  It doesn‘t matter that there are 80% who may not have such fears. 
If enough of these types of individuals are found within a society, their fears
will accept intriguing occult explanations to sublimate those fears and tend to
create an emotional support group.

Where is all this talk about infant development leading?  I maintain that from a
very early age we become predisposed to believing in things more powerful
than ourselves through our organic experiences of the world, and by world I
mean, everything external to ourselves.  Where the locus of control is perceived
determines the vulnerability of assimilating the sentiments of others.  If we
simply reflect on how we, as it is said, lose a grip of ourselves such as when
viewing a movie, how we mentally become the protagonists of the action, even
feel the emotion that is projected, we become someone else and seem to
actually live in the realm of what we are watching, it is not difficult nor even a
short stretch to see how beliefs about supernatural beings could be responsible
for everything.  Individuals who have concluded this have throughout history
created stories about how this could happen and then extend that to how it did
happen.  These stories are shared with others who are overwhelmed by what
they conclude from their everyday experiences of being in a hostile world in
which the must find ways to negotiate their survival.  And this is why the
universe seems beyond our understanding.  It is vast, and it is mysterious.  As
ordinary people we do not have the ability to fathom its vastness. 
Astronomers, and other scientists, do begin to understand but for lay people
religion is a safe haven, a place for answers even if there is no justifiable
support for those answers, albeit beliefs.  For others who are secular in belief,
politics or achievement in a career becomes the opiate.

The relative benefits and harm that can come from religious or dogmatic
secular belief is unique to each person and is a function of the degree to which
they are not able to find answers otherwise.  For some reason or another, they
do not have access to finding knowledge about the world and other minds, they
do not have access to what is true.  It is when many individuals decide to agree
on particular dogma and impose that onto others who do not share their
beliefs, and when that manifests in bodily harm to those who do not believe,
that humankind experiences moral problems.  That bodily harm can come in
countless ways by withholding the means for survival and general happiness of
the individual in need.

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By Shenonymous, January 12, 2010 at 2:43 am Link to this comment

3.  Richard Feynman, one of my heroes, said, “A poet once said, “The whole
universe is in a glass of wine.” We will probably never know in what sense he
meant that, for poets do not write to be understood. But it is true that if we
look at a glass of wine closely enough we see the entire universe.” 

And for fellow Truthdiggers, Night-Gaunt and Leefeller, who I think will
appreciate the rest of this quote,  “There are the things of physics: the twisting
liquid which evaporates depending on the wind and weather, the reflections in
the glass, and our imagination adds the atoms. The glass is a distillation of the
Earth’s rocks, and in its composition we see the secrets of the universe’s age,
and the evolution of stars. What strange arrays of chemicals are in the wine?
How did they come to be? There are the ferments, the enzymes, the substrates,
and the products. There in wine is found the great generalization: all life is
fermentation. Nobody can discover the chemistry of wine without discovering,
as did Louis Pasteur, the cause of much disease. How vivid is the claret,
pressing its existence into the consciousness that watches it! If our small
minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts
— physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on — remember
that Nature does not know it! So let us put it all back together, not forgetting
ultimately what it is for. Let it give us one more final pleasure: drink it and
forget it all!”

Contrary to what is said about me, much of it is untrue and is a function of
what others want to believe of themselves.  I cannot control that.  I can only
control myself.  What I am has been revealed in my thoughts as presented in
words on all of these Truthdig forums for years now.  Others will interpret
them according to their own psychology and often desperate need to impose
their perspective on others.  Not being a gadabout, I enjoy in depth discussion
about many things and look for a special forum or two.  If our society is ill and
we think through dialogue we can find solutions to bring it to health I am
happily willing to read, think about and consider what is proposed, rationally
proposed, and offer my own perceptions as an interchange.  Take them or
leave them.  Otherwise it is pointless to be on a forum of this type.  Since I
wish, since I choose, to have human interaction of a certain caliber, this is my
condition to participate further.  It is immaterial what the perceived virtuous
cause may be, I will not tolerate any additional disparagement from the
corrosive and slanderous sick mind of ThomasG, or anyone else who thinks
they have the right to insult and castigate me.  I am herewith giving fair
warning that henceforth I will do something I have never done in the years I
have blogged anywhere.  I will file a formal complaint with Truthdig each and
every time he chooses to utter such remarks to me, through me, or about me.

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By ThomasG, January 11, 2010 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

There OzarkMichael goes again with behavior that is characteristic of Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Media Echo-Chamber demagoguery that is to be expected from OzarkMichael and his ilk.

OzarkMichael’s posts: January 11 at 11:30 pm and January 11 at 10:05 pm are more of the same subjective accusation—— accusing, condemning, denouncing, demonizing, framing, willfully misrepresenting, and speaking for others, because OzarkMichael cannot defend his own reprehensible behavior, he chooses to attack and blame others that are witnesses and messengers, rather than take responsibility for his own abhorrent behavior.

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By Night-Gaunt, January 11, 2010 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

Accidents happen. Thanx for the information.

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By OzarkMichael, January 11, 2010 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

Doh. My last post didnt close its “Italians” somewhere and now they are running all over the place. Sorry about that.

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By OzarkMichael, January 11, 2010 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

I write this for Martha/Thomas, the rest of you please continue your nice chat.

Since Martha/Thomas has her own ‘crowd’ of imaginary friends who she thinks is real, she cannot help but imagine that the rest of us run around in the same sort of packs. She cannot accept that a single individual could have real conversation with other real people.

There was a wonderful conversation about friendship on another thread, which Martha/Thomas tried to ruin with her “witness” and “message”. When no one answered her, Martha/Thomas posted this little screed, using the fact that Shenonymous wouldnt answer as her springboard to the following lunacy:

By ThomasG, October 12, 2009 at 11:30 am #


Shenonymous,

Now that it is established by your lack of denial that you work in a Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Boiler Room—questions arise:

1) With regard to the issue of shift work in the Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Boiler Room, how many different shifts of people working under the title of Shenonomous are there in the Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Boiler Room?

2) How many other employees work in the Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Boiler Room? 

3) What are their titles, shifts and pay for employees of the Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Boiler Room? 

4) Are the employees in the Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Boiler Room full time employees? ——with health benefits or do Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Boiler Room employees work through a Temp Agency?

5) Will your minders let you continue working in the Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Boiler Room now that you have let the cat out of the bag?

Thats enough for now. There were several more questions, and of course the whole thing had bold print etc etc. But enough, you get the idea.

Use the Truthdig search engine for MarthaA or ThomasG and you will see the same hatred and the same attacks over and over. This has been going on for many months.

The sad thing is, while everyone else’s posts here are so enjoyable, i worry that Martha/Thomas will succeed in ruining this thread like she has so many others.

I wish there was something i could do, but Martha/Thomas is deaf to warnings, deaf to politeness, deaf to intellectual argument, and deaf to all human relationships.

She does have her 70% Common Majority Backstreet Culture of all America in attendence. Which is millions. 70% is a lot!

But for all that, it must get lonely in there.

In a way 70% doesnt seem like much. It isnt much of a life to relate to a vague 70% of something.

Wouldnt it be better for us to get to 100%?
100% what we really are?
100% dedicated to love the few people we know and come across, including here on a forum?
100% giving and considerate of those less fortunate than we are?
100% what God made us to be?

100% is the goal, few people even try. But in our hearts we know we are supposed to.

In my own way i too have pestered Shenonymous for a long time, because I think she is aiming for 100%. All she needs is God and she will be there!

If we reach out to him, he is there. Trying to reach out to anything else as a substitute for God is always going to come up short, whether its politics, science, 70% Backstreet America, whatever.

Shenonymous could complain that I am also turning a nice conversation into a “witness” and “message”. True, but at least Jesus offers 100% instead of a paltry 70%. And at least i am not pretending to be completely represent God.

We can become 100%.

Now if my message didnt please you, well, i told you guys not to read it… smile

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By BR549, January 11, 2010 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, January 11 at 12:10 am #
“I’ve enjoyed the interaction here.”

Ditto!

Catch you on some other volley. ;o)

Junior, signing off!

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By BR549, January 11, 2010 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, January 11 at 12:10 am #
“I’ve enjoyed the interaction here.”

Ditto!

Catch you on some other volley. ;o)

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By BR549, January 11, 2010 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, January 11 at 12:29 am

“Clinton gave GWB no matter how it was accomplished a surplus then GWB
spent it all plus much more.”    ——>  I still feel that Clinton was able to bury
his mistakes enough to give the illusion of a surplus. And quite honestly, a
country THAT strong could not have slid THAT far THAT fast in just four years
..... not unless it was artificially poised to have people believe otherwise.

They lie about everything. They lie about the unemployment level. They say it’s
10-12% when it is functionally at least over 20%. To say that Clinton had left us
with a surplus, I’m sorry, despite what so many of his supporters say, the math
doesn’t work out. While Clinton made sure to pay down the Public Debt and
make it look like there was surplus there, the Intergovernmental Debt rose
enough to more than compensate for any perceived savings.

Here’s a CBS quote from Andrew Biggs, a resident scholar at the American
Enterprise Institute on March 31, 2009:  “Over the past 25 years, the
government has gotten used to the fact that Social Security is providing free
money to make the rest of the deficit look smaller.”

With any of its OWN surplus, Social Security is mandated to buy US Government
securities and those immediately become Intergovernmental holdings, so the
whole thing is nothing but one big smoke and mirrors campaign. C’mon,

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By OzarkMichael, January 11, 2010 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

Ok, Martha/Thomas, I get it. You arent talking to me, instead you are talking to the large audience. Millions of Americans who you think are reading your posts.

Except that doesnt make any sense. The people who read Truthdig are a small sliver of America. And the people who read Truthdig have left this little thread behind weeks ago. There are only a three or four people reading here. There is no large audience. There isnt even a small audience. Its just a few acquintances chatting. You know, like at a coffee shop.

Listen. If one person from the outside world should miraculously drop in, they will see your posts that begin with “Dear Backstreet America, 70% Common Majority and Culture” etc etc, and they are going to understand without reading anything more that you are wacky.

Its as if they walked into a room and you are alone but you are talking like you were holding a press conference. There is no crowd and never will be. Its just a few individuals, and you could have been one of them, but you are far too smart and better than anyone here to want to be friends. You couldnt have a normal friendly conversation with anyone but yourself. Hmmm. Now I am starting to understand…

Martha/Thomas claimed to have a little crowd “in here” which I assumed was her home. They talk among themselves and they agree about everything 100%.

When I asked Martha/Thomas how many are in there with her, she suddenly clammed up and answered that she was ALONE. 

But it is clear, Martha/Thomas, that you still have your little friends.

True, you might have packed your little friends into a trunk and then you can tell us you are alone.

But thats not what happened. I think Martha/Thomas has let everyone in her head loose.  Now they are outside of her and she addresses them. Her own Backstreet America.

Must be quite a crowd. Yeah, and I am sure they all read your posts approvingly.

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By ThomasG, January 11, 2010 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

Shenonymous and OzarkMichael have much that they prate and prattle about as self-serving sophist nabobs that are doing what they can to effect the laying of rails of tyranny and oppression on the backs of the American Populace/Back Street America, that is in service to benefit for Privatized Capitalism of Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMISTS and their Corporate Democratic Party toadies; in this regard Shenonymous and OzarkMichael have said much and will continue to say much, most of which is irrelevant.

What I say is that the expedient of tyrants and oppressors establish tyranny and oppression, and that the expedient of the Body Politic being oppressed is to likewise establish the forced relinquishment of tyranny and oppression by tyrants and oppressors by the same expedient means and to not be distracted by dirges and volumes of irrelevancies such as that expounded by Shenonymous.

When an expedient is accomplished that establishes tyranny and oppression as a government by tyrants and oppressors and that government is administered to maintain tyranny and oppression over the Body Politic, it is the obligation, the right, and the responsibility of the Body Politic to implement an expedient END to the tyranny and oppression of a government established by tyrants and oppressors to maintain tyranny and oppression of the Body Politic.  The U.S. Declaration of Independence declares this truth to be self evident as a remedy to the cyclical nature of tyranny and oppression.

The U.S. Declaration of Independence does not state a process or requirement to force relinquishment of tyranny and oppression by tyrants and oppressors, and, thereby, leaves the process and requirements as an expedient choice of the Populace and Leadership of the Body Politic.

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By Night-Gaunt, January 10, 2010 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

BR549 23% of those who accept Evolution believe as you that the Bible and science are reconciled. I don’t at all. [But I understand how they reach that conclusion.]

Also IQ’s are irrelevant to moral values. Intelligence is only how you react and anticipate and solve problems not how you will treat animals or fellow humans or have emotional empathy with them. We can discuss separately what exactly is moral for each of us passed rape, robbery, confidence games differ from personal choices of sexuality etc. that some religions frown upon.

Clinton gave GWB no matter how it was accomplished a surplus then GWB spent it all plus much more.

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By Shenonymous, January 10, 2010 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

Yes, BR549, “but you and I, it seems, could be glued to our chairs for days
going back and forth.
”  That is precisely why I am limiting myself to one or
two forums these days.  My cat, a large yellow American medium hair, wants to
drink water pouring out of a cup.  I don’t get it, and cannot explain it but it
could be because he sees me drinking out of a cup.  And he grunts instead of
meows sometimes when I speak to him that makes me laugh my head off. 
Now I don’t think dogs (or cats) have the larynx structure to actually make
verbal sounds and the configuration of their mouths I’ve read are not conducive
to speech.  Unless they can speak through some exotic means that we haven’t
figured out yet.  Yes, I’ve had some pretty precocious dogs and their brains are
quite a bit bigger than a cat.  Although I also read that the size the brain does
not determine behaviorial complexity.  Reading on the Brain from Top to
Bottom website (a very fascinating site by the way), it is made note of that
elephants and whales have brains 4 to 5 times larger than human’s, but their
behavior is much less complex than human’s.  It is more a matter of brain size
in proportion to body size.  I’ve enjoyed the interaction here.

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By BR549, January 10, 2010 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, January 10 at 8:51 pm
“Ah, they have so much to learn.  And they would also have to evolve a long
way to appreciate the finer musical nuances of Rimsky-Korsakov.”

—-> Don’t be so sure. If plants can respond positively to Bach and negatively
to Heavy Metal, it might be that the only thing apes are lacking is being shown
how to change the channel, if not turn it off altogether. My Abyssinian will only
drink water running out of a faucet and so after I leave her to her drink, my
ongoing battle with her is to at least let me know when she’s done, since I’ve
hinted to her to just take that paw and push the lever. (Hey, I can dream, at
least.) But then I figured something else out; she likes to sit there and listen to
the water. Once I turn it off, she leaves. Someday, maybe I’ll get a life of my
own.  :o)

I hadn’t meant to dismiss all the other issues you spoke about, but you and I, it
seems, could be glued to our chairs for days going back and forth. I, thus,
choose to comment on some topics which seem to be more relevant and then
add some of my own material. No slight was intended.

As far as Clinton, he was already up for discussion, but the only difference
between him and any of the other presidents over the last 45 years was that he
was the most intelligent and for him to abuse the system the way he did I find
inexcusable. It’s be interesting to try to get all their I.Q. scores, just to see.

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By BR549, January 10, 2010 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, January 10 at 8:51 pm #
“One would have to assume shamanism is a viable option for rules of living,
BR549, to think working in a mystical realm would be a possibility.  I do not
consult shamans, do you?”

No, and no, again, but once man had reached a point in his evolution where he
began personifying his surroundings, there always seemed to be one member
of the community better equipped to answer those deeper questions. Today, we
have what? Nada. The masses are given starvation wages of spiritual knowledge
and growth while anyone who does manage to navigate his or her way through
the mass of esoteric information winds up in a cultural no-man’s land. The
remnants of that practice have been buried in the practices of the church as a
means to maintain power over the masses. Shamans, on the other hand, were
often so encumbered with their visions that they needed to live on the outskirts
of town to be able to “read” more efficiently.

“It is a romantic notion to think humans are just a microstep above the apes.” I
don’t know about microstep, but even Alex the Parrot was able to discern
colors, shapes, textures, and quantities, and, unprompted, say good-bye to
someone as they left the room. There was Koko the Lowland Gorilla, who I
spoke of earlier, and the Australopithicine Lucy ........ interestingly enough, all
from with the same 300-400 mile swatch of land on the same continent. If one
wanted to throw in the odd vocal characteristics of the Basenji, as well, that is
another candidate from that exact same region. Did a UFO land there millions
of years ago? I dunno, but I haven’t heard much about intellectual capacities
from other continents surpassing this cluster (correct me if I’m wrong).

I used to have this REALLY smart German Shephard. Sometimes I’d just talk to her like I would another human, then after her first year, she started this really odd pattern of mouth movements, like she was trying to mimic me. For years afterward she just kept at it, eventually reaching a level of distinctly discernible sounds, but for obvious reasons she was never able to reach any high level of articulation. When I spoke with her, she didn’t just bark back, she chortled, somewhat like a Basenji would and at my normal conversational volume. I’m not meaning to read too much into that, only to say that I believe there is far more intelligence out there in the animal kingdom than most people wish to admit..

You mentioned “deity” at one point, and I would bet that in the very near future, given just a few more words in his lexicon, some ape will try to ask where he came from. After being reminded of his parents and grandparents, he might ask who came before them or who was the first ape. I can conceive of that happening within our own lifetime.

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By Shenonymous, January 10, 2010 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

One would have to assume shamanism is a viable option for rules of living,
BR549, to think working in a mystical realm would be a possibility.  I do not
consult shamans, do you?

The primeval social laws you say humanity evolved with I think is a function of
the natural laws of survival.  We can sublimate our ignorance in untold number
of ways and as a species has since humankind arose from the swamp and
consciousness about the world became a question.  Sometimes I wonder what
was the first question a human asked.  It is an acme of man’s curiosity to
understand our DNA simian cousins.  I usually follow what Jane Goodall does
with the chimps.  She believes that our sophisticated language is all that
separates humans from the apes.  While we learn much about our own species
watching and recording what they do and comparing their behavior with
human’s, I think there is a huge difference between the lower hominids and
humans beyond language: spatial thinking skills and conceptual reasoning are
not in the duffle bag of the apes. They may have crude creative thinking skills
and even more rudimentary critical thinking skills, but they are not on the first
rung of the ladder to higher thinking abilities.  While I love Goodall for her
great heart, I think she has a prejudice for her beloved chimps.  I listen to
interviews with her every time I can.  Calculus for our monkey and ape friends
would be at least a million years off.  While it is silly to use the word absolute, I
do rule out supernatural intervention as it would be tightwaddie of the guy to
let the universe go so long without providing reasonable justification to believe
for its thinking members.  The classic argument that a deity is unknowable is a
weak argument for if it is unknowable then nothing at all truthful can be said
about it, either positive or negative.  If negative, then it’s a useless concept.

It is a romantic notion to think humans are just a microstep above the apes. 
One look at the Library of Congress is enough of a difference to squash that
idea.  And the Library of Congress is small compared to what is available on the
Internet, and the Internet itself is proof of an infinite difference.  There are
infinite actualities that testify to that, space ships and space stations are just
the most recent.  Language is a hurdle as Goodall says, but it is a huge hurdle.

I do not argue that apes are not on an evolutionary path, but if they are, there
is no reason to suppose they would not go through the same evolutionary
stages as humans.  Why would they not?  There are very few if any leaps in
evolution.  Regardless of the advertisements, they don’t go from swinging in
trees to playing the violin like an Itsak Pearlman.  But if evolution is the case,
then yes, it is only a matter of time.  And monkeys would have to lose that tail! 
It might be all right prehensile-wise, but I think it would be uncomfortable
when driving a car and surely they would have to go through that stage of
owning a car and getting a cheap loan.  Ah, they have so much to learn.  And
they would also have to evolve a long way to appreciate the finer musical
nuances of Rimsky-Korsakov.

Humans would do well to spend more time trying to craft themselves as better
moral beings.

What I find strange is that of all the material I talked about in my last couple of
posts you focused on the one very small item about Bill Clinton.  He was only
one example of what could have been ten dozen.  I have to think that I spoke
above your head and Bill Clinton is always on your mind, a hot button item. 
Too bad.  Seems like lessons can be learned from Bill Clinton’s presidency and
then move on.

I love Koko and have been a member of her website for years. I know about her
kitten and the tragedy of the baboons.  It seems the organization of the society
they left behind was a survival need built into their genetic makeup.  Why is it
surprising?

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By ThomasG, January 10, 2010 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

BR549 has a point; Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party were complicit in enabling the New World Order and the World Trade Organization, the framework Trade Agreement that enables the NAFTA, CAFTA, and other Trade Agreements.

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By BR549, January 10, 2010 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, January 10 at 2:45 pm
“To be a truth-teller must not one also possess a fanatical, consuming desire
to understand the world as it really is, and to have the fixed loathing of
vagueness… and mysticism?”

I need some clarification there. To me, any self respecting shaman would, out
of necessity, have to admit that there are mysteries still out there for us to
discover. To suggest otherwise would have the shaman having everyone think
that he has the answers to everything. And while that shaman may have
enough of the answers about death, the weather, and local spirits to keep his
local population in line, I think having a loathing of mysticism flies in the face
of anyone who would claim to be working in a mystical realm.

—————————-

As far as man’s consciousness, I have no problem integerating evolution with the bible. I’m not a practicing anything, but to me there is no conflict. As man was evolving, there were already social laws in place for that species, just as we have alpha wolves and omega wolves. Was consciousness a series of realizations about man’s own relationship to his surroundings or might it have been some singular point when the light bulb came on? I believe the former.

Neurobiologist Robert Sipolsky takes his whole family to Africa each year and while on a working “vacation”, returns to some site to monitor the stress levels of this troop of baboons he’s been following for decades. The fiercely dominant alphas would harrass those below them to keep them in line and that behavior rippled down the ladder. The closer one got to the bottom of the ladder, the higher the cortisol and cholesterol levels, depression and amount of visceral body fat.

As I have told his story before, he returned one year to find all the alphas dead. Apparently some safari group had left behind a shed containing meat that had spoiled quite badly, and in the alphas discovery of the stash, they hoarded and ate it all for themselves. The alphas all died. The REALLY interesting part of the story is that after the alphas were no longer around, the rest of the troop went into a nurturing mode and apparent just groomed and took care of each other.
Think of that in terms of the Builderberg Group and the possibilities for the rest of the world’s population.

While I, personally, cannot rule out the “possibility” of some divine intervention or apes getting zapped with some consciousness inducing Kryptonite ray, I tend to side with the notion that it was consciousness that was always really evolving.

I used to live a few miles away from where Koko the gorilla had her pet kitten, Ball (or All Ball), in Woodside. After the kitten ran out of the enclosure and was run over one day, the following sign language conversation took place:
When asked, “Do you want to talk about your kitty?”
Koko signed, “Cry.”
“What happened to your kitty?”
Koko answered, “Sleep cat.”
When she saw a picture of a cat who looked very much like All Ball, Koko
pointed to the picture and signed, “Cry, sad, frown.”

Then we have N’kisi, one of many talented African Gray Parrots, who had a 900
word lexicon. N’kisi had seen Jane Goodall in a picture with chimpanzees, so
when Jane had come to visit one time, the parrot remembered her face and
asked, “Got a chimp?” (Wikipedia)

If the animal kingdom has been that poised to move forward, I cannot help but
think that it was all just a matter of time and humans just happened to be the
first ones at the punch bowl.

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By ThomasG, January 10, 2010 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

Shenonymous talks as if one observing a burning building would have to be an architect, a philosopher and a fireman in order to put out the fire, but I think that if the hem of Shenonymous’ dress caught fire that Shenonymous would forget all that she has said that would delay the fire being extinguished and put out the fire.

It is my opinion that if it would be an appropriate expedient for Shenonymous to extinguish the fire of her burning dress to save her own ass, that perhaps Shenonymous may not be sufficiently connected to her argument to understand the urgency of the problem.

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By BR549, January 10, 2010 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, January 10 at 2:47 pm #
Wow! You’re just a loaded cannon today.  :o)

“While Clinton is given credit for reducing the financial deficits, he was culpable
on other pastures.”

I would say that in Clinton’s having passed on a ‘house of cards’ to Bush, any real analysis of the situation was well hidden to give the appearance of a reduction. I have no favorites here. Clinton’s culpability lies in his having completed what Bush41 wasn’t quite capable of doing, and that was to shore up NAFTA. He also started the wire-tapping, which Bush43 needed to keep tabs on ‘America’. On the short term, from within their myopic politicians’ perspective, they probably saw that as a way to shuiffle enough of the existing money around to give the illusion of a reduction, but on the longer term, coming into Bush43’s two terms, it only spelled a disaster for our manufacturing base. Let’s not forget Clinton’s renegotiation of the US/Paraguayan extradition treaty right before Bush43 purchases 99,980 acres there. Apparently, not wanting to be hassled by any potential subpoenas, Key Lay in reported to be living there.

I’m certainly no financial analyst, but there is no reason that our economy could have fallen that fast and degraded so far, just because of Bush43’s antics. I just don’t see it, and I’m not in any way defending the idiot. Another thing is that Clinton was already well on his way to building detention facilities with FEMA monies long before 9/11 happened. We send tax money to Washington and they use it to prepare for an insurrection, political Armageddon to them.

Clinton was asked by one reporter about the REX84 Alpha program (Reagan’s paranoid answer to potentially being overrun by angry citizens) and I thought Clinton was going bite the reporter’s head off. They’re all in bed together.

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By Shenonymous, January 10, 2010 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

1.  Yes, I agree BR549, there is such a thing as denial and that interferes with
seeing reality and the continuity that exists.  That does not nullify the impulse
to complete what does appear choppy in our experience.  Those who see
nothing but voids do pathologically complete (in keeping with the theory) what
seems missing, they just fill in the blanks with faulty premises. 

Yes, again you postulate what could happen and what someone with a
pathology would do, give up thinking they “know” whatever the small degree
they could know.  Yes, what lies on the bottom of ocean floors can be
analogous to what lies at the bottom of misperceptions.

There is a lot of ‘garbage’ in the body of knowledge we have, not always
however garbage just misapplied and at the wrong time.  The mistaken
computer analyst’s model would have worked at 15 ft data, right?  If it is a
matter of pissing into the wind, don’t we need a good umbrella?  Meaning,
some method of avoiding the piss in the face even if our shoes get wet
sometimes?

Again, yes, the domino of the game of hot potato seems to be the thrust of
entering governmental administrations in one form or another.  While Clinton is
given credit for reducing the financial deficits, he was culpable on other
pastures. 

I’ve given some thought to another interesting topic we touched on:
I watched the entire first episode of the PBS The Human Spark, as several of us
on this forum are asking the question when did humans begin their ascension
to the ‘thinking’ animal and be come conscious of the ramifications of social
life, ethics, morality, and coexistence with their fellow humans?

Bruno Snell, in his still amazing 1953 text, The Discovery of the Mind… speaks
of a German fairy-tale in which a youth wanted to know what fear is. He is so
stupid that he has never known fear.  So his father, unable to cope with him,
sent him forth into the world to find fear and thus satisfy his curiosity.

The story takes for granted that all men, far from needing to exert themselves,
possess an instinctive acquaintance with terror inspired by the mysterious.

For us to grow out of that fear, Snell says, we would have to go much much
farther than the hero of the story goes on his quest.  Fear of the uncanny
controls much of the thinking of children before they become able to talk about
the order of the universe in which they discover they exist.
?It occurred equally large in the mentality of primitive peoples where it most
usually advanced in the form of religious ideas. ?

One might legitimately ask if one who feels no fear is really so very stupid after
all. The ending of the tale showed what is meant: the fool marries a king’s
daughter and wins the charmed treasure precisely because he is ignorant of
fear. The wise simpleton, oxymoronic as that sounds, might have the right
attitude towards life; after many apparent monstrous figments which fail to
produce their effect on him, he becomes terror-stricken when a maid pours a
bucket of fish into his royal bed. Among all his dreadful escapades, this was
the only one real enough to touch him.  Isn’t that the real measure of reality,
when something actually and physically occurs?  Virtual reality is not reality.  Is
that the old Cartesian question, the Kafkaesque of what is the reality, the bug
in the bed dreaming he is a man or a man dreaming he is a bug?

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By Shenonymous, January 10, 2010 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

2.  How do men and tribes learn to distinguish reality and fact from spectres
and imaginary doppelgangers?  By what measure do they determine what is
natural?  The awesome and the mysterious first confront man under the guise
of numinous or as we like to call it, the demonic; primitives seek to control and
purge them through religion, and consequently the conquest of terror is for
them tantamount to a change in religious ideology.

While the question is why and how did Homo sapiens developed a different
kind of consciousness than their so-called evolutionary cousins, the
Neanderthals, some insight into brain as an organ’s evolution may also go into
the nexus of this most grand universal event.  There is an amazing sight that
offers in the simplest terms what science thinks (pun) it knows about the
functions of the brain:
http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/index_i.html

The notion of self-education is quixotic and utopian in such a complex world. 
While more possible than ever before because of the electronic media available,
autodidacticism has its peril of becoming insulated from social demands and
self-delusional, a thinking one knows when one just brushed reality, if even
that close.

To be a truth-teller must not one also possess a fanatical, consuming desire to
understand the world as it really is, and to have the fixed loathing of
vagueness… and mysticism?  When Richard Feynman said the first principle is
that you must not fool yourself, for you are the easiest person to fool; when
Carl Sagan demanded extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims were
they not speaking of the ethic of the truth-teller, and for me the first principle
is to tell yourself the truth.  Isn’t that also the ancient Delphic edict to Know
Thyself?

How does this all apply to us humans right now, in the present, and having to
deal with powerful forces that drastically affect all our lives .  It is one thing to
speak abstractly about various groupings of wherewithal, personal wealth, the
haves the have nots, and those in between, the ever perennial middle, and
another thing to provide a comprehensive program to have a just society. 
Theories of economic readjustment need more than ever laid bare for their
merits and demerits so that at least the literate public may see and make
connections and find self-power to effect change.  Without that kind of
confidence, I cannot see that the public would not remain apathetic and victims
of the power structure that uses them.

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By ThomasG, January 10, 2010 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

American Populace/Back Street America:

What BR549, January 9 at 10:34 pm, says about the body’s need to heal itself is true.  I agree that it is time for strong antibiotics and medication to rid the body politic of invading yeast infections, germs, fungi, and parasites before the damage to the body politic from these afflictions weaken the body politic beyond its ability to repair itself.

The American Populace/Back Street America, is learning to be the doctor and will have to self-educate themselves to the repair task if the body politic is to prevent destruction from invading germs, fungi, yeast infections. and parasites that are Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMISTS.

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By BR549, January 10, 2010 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, January 10 at 10:25 am

Since this topic now seems to be more within your realm than mine, I’ll defer to the research you have done, but bear with me.

“..... our minds fill in the blanks because we want, we need to see things complete.  We create the continuity because we need to.”

But the question is, with what? For someone who is more spiritually accepting of themself and their environs, they may engage in enough alpha time to fill in those blanks temporarily from metaphysical sources, but to someone who has been blocking out major portions of their surroundings while they fester with some internal struggle, they may see nothing but voids everywhere they go, totally miss the natural continuity, and attempt to envision how to fill them with perverse manifestations of their own. (That last part sounds like Washington DC.)

“.... then to use your analogy of the tops of waves and the dynamic activity in between, we seem to have a tendency to seek closure in our segmented emotional lives, ..”

Hmm!  Within the wave observation analogy, someone might raise their head a bit higher over the fence and actually see the troughs of the waves, as well as the crests, and still erroneously assume that, “Oh, I’ve seen what is in between what I now understand was only the tops of the waves”, close the book, go home, and never wonder about orbital particle motion in the water column. Having spent a lot of time on the ocean bottom on various shipwrecks, I can tell you that what’s going on down below can be totally different than what’s on top.

One time a nationally known computer analyst had used his ocean current models to ascertain the location of a downed commuter plane around here. The problem was that he only used the government supplied current figures down to the 15 ft datum. Since I was very familiar with that area, and knew the bottom currents went in different directions at different times, I roughly calculated the location within about a half mile. He was at least 10 miles off, when the plane was finally found. My point is that it is too easy to fill in those gaps with garbage, particularly where our ego slides in to take control, and until we actually get true inspiration or gain a sound experience base, we might just be pissing into the wind, ...... so to speak.  :o)

“Napoleon was not alone in his campaigns.  Yet he gets all the blame for the
misery caused in the Russian excursion both for the Russians and the French. 
And by extension, it is not only one political party who is to blame.”

Amen to that. I knew in 2000 that Bush had inherited a financial House of Cards from Clinton. It was like a huge political game of “hot potato”, where each outgoing administration hopes they can slide out of the back White House door with the presidential silverware and then when the new tenant moves in, the loss must have happened under his watch.

BTW, Rimsky-Korsakov has been a favorite of mine since I was 16.

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By Shenonymous, January 10, 2010 at 6:25 am Link to this comment

BR549 - Jan 9 at 6:40 pm “linear but maybe just not continuously linear.” — 
— -> While we may see that line as being segmented, from a higher
perspective, the line never lost continuity at all; all those seemingly missing
segments were actually part of the path itself, not unlike looking at just the
tops of the waves versus the entire dynamic of the water column beneath them.

Regarding spiritual maturity, might that be more about someone’s ability to
accept things as they are; like knowing every day WHY we continue to keep
taking the Red Pill?”

In art theory there is something called closure.  It comes from Gestalt
psychology and means when we perceive something say like the segmented
line, our minds fill in the blanks because we want, we need to see things
complete.  We create the continuity because we need to.  We would rather
Schubert had finished his two movement symphony (and Brian Newbould tried
to do just that, only he preferred to call them “New Realisations!”). That is why
artists who intuit this principle of mental completeness, or rather
incompleteness, use it purposely to create tension or a palpably felt movement
in a work.  Anticipation is a huge emotional ticket.  Sometimes when a major
artist leaves a work unfinished, whether it is in the visual arts or any other, like
literature, someone will attempt to finish it.  For instance, Mozart’s Requiem
was completed posthumously by his contemporaries and Alexander Borodin’s
opera, Prince Igor, was left unfinished at his death, completed by Nikolai
Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov.  Then Alan Watts’ Tao The
Watercourse Way was finished by Al Chung-liang Huang; Aubrey Beardsley
abandoned his novel Under The Hill mid-sentence, and a ‘completed’ version
finished by John Glassco.  I found a plethora of these “unfinished’ anecdotes as
I had to find examples once for a graduate paper dealing with this notion of
closure.  Some people even express a deep and abiding “yearning” to have
these works finished, which is a declaration of unrequited desire.

Now if our minds have this need when seeing physical objects and this
happens with all of our senses, as in the tension felt in music, or following a
scent, take that analogously to our third eye, seeing with the mind, then to use
your analogy of the tops of waves and the dynamic activity in between, we
seem to have a tendency to seek closure in our segmented emotional lives,
segmented by the interruptive needs to survive, i.e., needing jobs, sustaining
health, needs for art.  I argue that art is needed for that healthy spirit you
spoke of.  It is through politicians that much of this is realized and when they
betray our needs, betray our trust, we need to make use of sane mechanisms
to correct the course, turning the wheel at the helm. But, we must determine
exactly what the betrayal is.

How to effect change without going ballistic, catastrophic, even in the face of a
terribly broken system is the prescription for a healthy life, I think.  The system
is still there but it has become fragmented and the dynamics underneath are
caused by forces counter to the integrity of the society. 

While Obama is the current titular head of this country, and we lay a most of
our social ills at his feet, not forgetting for a minute that he inherited all of
them, we who are conscious must also take responsibility to add positive
elements to our society, not tear it apart like a voracious animal.  I am always
reminded of Tolstoy’s advice in War and Peace, that it is not only one man who
creates the turmoil of a society, Napoleon was not alone in his campaigns.  Yet
he gets all the blame for the misery caused in the Russian excursion both for
the Russians and the French.  And by extension, it is not only one political
party who is to blame.  This has been admitted by the enlightened here.  There
is more on this to be discussed.

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By BR549, January 9, 2010 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, January 9 at 11:51 pm
“One must not forget that V while a paladin for freedom in a bizarre romantic
sense, meaning peculiarly daring or essentially recklessness to effect political
change, was also on a path of a violent and personal vendetta to repay in kind
the people who created his hideousness.”

You know, I had taken my two sons, then 15 and 11, and my dad, 72, to see
“The Matrix” when it first came out. While all my dad saw was, to quote him,
“guns, noise, and violence”, my eleven year old came out thinking that his
favorite part was Neo’s having to decide between the Red and Blue pill. Initially
I thought I probably should have bought the kid a box of “Good ‘n’ Plentys”, but,
no, he actually did grasp the crux of the movie ...... at age 11.

As for “V”, for me, it was the final scene, not the blowing up of the Parliament Building, which preceded it, but the people amassing non-violently for a common purpose.

Books and movies are able to relay crucial information to our culture, not all
that differently than sitting around a campfire 5,000 years ago after gnawing on
that last bear femur and having some elder recite generations old tales of
behavior and bravery. What we miss in the movies, today, however, is the
direct human contact with those of our own community and a chance to
interact with it and ask questions. Much of our culture, it would seem, has
become a victim of its own technology.

I agree with you about rising to a higher level of consciousness, however,
without some cogent anchor, the majority of people would just consider any
discussions like that as unattainable and pie-in-the-sky table chatter. I believe
that the reason we have so many people still engrossed in movie plots about
money, sex, and security is that, collectively, we are still dealing with a lot of
second chakra issues. I guess we haven’t transformed much past that point
because those three themes still seem to bring people lined up at the box
office, still trying to see if other people have come up with any solutions in how
to deal with those issues.

BTW, both of those flicks were by the Wachowski brothers.

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By Night-Gaunt, January 9, 2010 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

Yes I would agree that the film “V for Vendetta” certainly was done in the art mode and hardly real in any sense especially near the end when the soldiers didn’t open fire on the huge crowd marching on them. To me that was the least realistic of it all. But then I haven’t read the original material and the creator took his name off of it, just as with “The Sandmen” too. Those fickle artists! (Can’t think of his name.)

I sometimes use film examples as a short expression of what I want to say but only as one, not the full item I am speaking of. Also more likely to be significant to the person I am communicating with. Then delve deeper into the subject leaving it behind.

Such beings as ourselves are classified as metazoans and from time to time we incorporate DNA from viruses. Even the very cells in our bodies were originally separate parts till they joined in harmony eons ago. But the next logical question is what do we resist and what do we incorporate and when do we change to better survive and be in harmony with everything else?

Society is much like that and can only remain vigorous be keeping what still works best, discard what doesn’t and adopt what is new that also works. Unlike in a living body we can have much more internal variation and still retain overall coherence. (Much greater freedoms for individuals.) It is balance, just where we do it is the conundrum that needs to be answered. Some peoples tolerances of others doing things, non-criminal, but against their sensibilities, and they make criminal is our problem. Whether it is sexuality or philosophy or appearance the majority over rules the minority. We see it all the time. Prop 8 in California is one such example—-not good for a society. Inequality breeds and brings degradation of said people to the status of non-people and then they are attacked and run out of town or are murdered because the majority made them that way de facto.

Falling economies and harsher lives also brings this out including violence. We are teetering toward that right now. Too often the natural tendency is to form smaller groups and separate. When we need to stay together and not consider those others to be either prey or enemies. That will be the near end of society as we know it.

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By Shenonymous, January 9, 2010 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment

While I think it is supremely good to believe the world needs spiritual
transformation, I think there is a greater need to rise to an even higher
consciousness to see the world as it is and to be compassionate instruments of
change.  If there is any spirit involved it will be manifest in those implementing
that change.

A caution:  It is one thing to use an elegant analogy to understand a
complexity, it is another thing to take it too far and think it is the other thing. 
Running away with an idea takes one beyond the reality.  And the talk becomes
a verbal chimera that feeds on itself.  An Oroborus.

Too often one gets caught up in reality as if it were a dream then thinking the
dream is the reality.  This is called an anti-Cartesian delusion.  One must not
forget that V while a paladin for freedom in a bizarre romantic sense, meaning
peculiarly daring or essentially recklessness to effect political change, was also
on a path of a violent and personal vendetta to repay in kind the people who
created his hideousness.  The setting is almost the future, in a world opposite
to utopia.  But the fact is, it is a dramatically fictional world.  If there are any
confluences with the world in which we find ourselves and the film, it is
coincidence only and the dynamic that drive both must be scrutinized very
carefully before becoming wrapped up in the cinematic thinking it is reality.  It
is an artful construction completely unlike natural reality.

V thinks he will liberate the masses by blowing up Parliament on Guy Fawkes
Day.  The film is calculated to get the audience to root for a protagonist who
has stronger than strong anti-establishment sentiments.  Theatrical wake up
calls too often wakes up the fanatic rather than the general population. 
Totalitarianism is accosted by an anarchist.  Where is the mental growth there? 
What are the final consequences as the message of the film?  Too similar to the
Z for Zorro movies of violence with a purpose;, i.e., melodramatic action with a
goal, however he is a terrorist hero regardless of any Byronic hero tradition,
and that ought to in itself scare the shit out of any ethical thinking mind. 

V is much too remindful of suicide bombers of contemporary madness who do
not justify their actions in reality since their Qu’ran does not call for their
pathology, they are on a dreamy jaunt of their own.  I find it so incredible how
movies can so affect the psyche!  One ought to be shocked that a hypothetical
construction can direct one’s opinions, one’s actions.  That movies do affect
the psyche must have some dissertation in psychiatry value?  To think that a
movie script could possibly be a script for reality is
beyond intelligibility.  Certain lines in literature, and films are literature in a
roundabout way, do carry profound messages, as V speaks a truth that “people
ought not be afraid of their governments, indeed governments should be afraid
of the people.”  It sounds perfectly a truth at first glance.  one that everyone
can rally around.  Rah rah rah…But the truth is that people surrender their
power over their government by either their, their ignorance, their apathy, or
their refusal to take charge through the ethics of voting.

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By BR549, January 9, 2010 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

ThomasG, January 9 at 11:54

“However, the current situation in the United States is that we have invading
germs, fungi, and severe yeast infections that are not a part of the human body
that must be dealt with, the Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMISTS.”

The big issue is ..... if nature is any teacher, then having a group of individual
cells thinking that the whole body revolves around them, like the brain
forgetting that the cells of the rectum have the exact same DNA, sooner or
later the other cells in the body won’t be healthy enough to support the brain’s
own egocentric and sociopathic behavior. In this example, what those errant
brain cells don’t understand is that once the contract falls apart, every cell is
on equal turf and, put another way, I’ll bet it’s been a while since David
Rockefeller’s done his own laundry or tended a garden.

These sociopathic Bilderbergers rely on the big bluff; that we need money in
order to survive, when in reality, they need to control the money to keep
reminding us why we need them, when they are the parasites.

How mankind every lived through the Stone Age is beyond me.  Boink!

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By ThomasG, January 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

American Populace, Back Street America:

OzarkMichael was not smart enough to understand that my previous post terms “YOU” as the American Populace, Back Street America, to which my post was addressed, NOT OzarkMichael.

My previous post was directed to American Populace, Back Street America, and this post is also directed to “YOU” the American Populace, Back Street America.  OzarkMichael was apparently too mallet headed to figure this out in my previous post, perhaps he will figure it out in this post.

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By ThomasG, January 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

American Populace-Back Street America:

ThomasG’s statement: “BR549 is responding in his posts as if he is a Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST”,

BR549 responds to my post that said “as if”, as if I said “you are”—— I did not say “you are”

I agree that if the human body analogy is the controlling factor that the brain of the human body would have to exercise control or the human body would cease to function. However, the current situation in the United States is that we have invading germs, fungi, and severe yeast infections that are not a part of the human body that must be dealt with, the Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMISTS.

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By OzarkMichael, January 9, 2010 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

Martha/Thomas said: OzarkMichael’s foolish, prating prattle is characteristic of a dummy. 

YOU, the American Populace, Back Street America, ARE the Jews together with the Weimar Republic and all of the other victims of the Third Reich of Adolph Hitler.

Martha/Thomas, it was nice of you to include me alongside the American Populace, backstreet America, the Jews and the Weimar Republic. And we do have a Republic in America that I support.

But Martha/Thomas, what role do you play in this? You didnt mention it. Or did you?

Oh I get it, you added your role at the end of the sentence. Read it again…

You are the guy with the funny moustache who wants to change the system, who breathes horrible threats and is following Mein Kampf every step of the way.

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By BR549, January 9, 2010 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

ThomasG, January 9 at 5:21 pm

“BR549 is responding in his posts as if he is a Republican Right-Wing
Conservative EXTREMIST, but since he has hailed “V For Vendetta” as an epic, I
will cut him some slack with regard to his tendency to act out his frustration.”

Thank you for the crumb at the end, but that still does not make me a
“Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST”, as you put it. Had you
followed my human body analogy, you would have realized that the problem in
preventing cancers and disease is that our bodies are forced to live in toxic
filth and are denied vital nutrients and proper hydration. Those conditions exist
because the idiot at the helm is not abiding by the contract that the rest of the
cells in the body have been living by.

Looking at that from a political standpoint that means that as long as any
government denies its citizens the right to wander out and shoot wild game
and light campfires and grow crops wherever they like, it must then also make
up for those potential deficiencies it imposes on its population by providing
essential services like free health care, housing, trash removal and water, ...... if
it is still expecting those individuals to also perform specialized functions that
allow for the evolution of the country as a whole.

I know that was a mouthful but how you can ever come up with my being a
“Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST” is beyond me. My philosophy
has me already branded as a hard core liberal, which I do not consider myself
to be ....... at all. Does anyone know of any candidates running for the
“Common Sense Party?”

In 2000, Bush was just a burgeoning idiot, Kerry I didn’t trust, and in a heartbeat, I went for John Hagelin, whom I would hardly call a Right Wing Extremist. So, please put your glasses on when you are pretending to read my posts.

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By ThomasG, January 9, 2010 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

American Populace-Back Street America:

BR549 is responding in his posts as if he is a Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST, but since he has hailed “V For Vendetta” as an epic, I will cut him some slack with regard to his tendency to act out his frustration.

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By ThomasG, January 9, 2010 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

American Populace-Back Street America:

I agree with BR549 that “V for Vendetta” is epic.

I, also, see “V for Vendetta” as a representation of the Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Movement in the United States, and as a valid example of the cause and effect relationship of fascist totalitarian Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Governance imposed upon the American Populace, Back Street America.

The fact is that there is more people in prison in the United States than in CHINA as a result of U.S. Government enforcement authority of “fingermen” at all levels of governance: City, County, State and Federal, that has been following the American Populace, Back Street America, around with a truncheon and a black bag from the time of Goldwater through Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, and continues to do so at the present time, with regard to the enforcement of Legislated Law and Order that is NOT inclusive of the best interests of the American Populace, Back Street America, and enforced by the truncheon and the threat of the black bag on the American Populace, Back Street America ——— CHINA has a population of 1 BILLION more citizens than the 300 MILLION of the United States.

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By BR549, January 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

ThomasG, I do not understand why you keep having to repeat yourself OVER and
OVER again. No offense, but it would seem that either you aren’t even convinced
of your own argument and you have to keep repeating it to see when it will make
sense OR, at the very least, you haven’t figured out how to successfully get your
point across to others.

I mean, you keep Uppercasing and Bolding the same words OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER again. For God’s sake, someone please hand me the dramamine.

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By ThomasG, January 9, 2010 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

American Populace-Back Street America:

Shenonymous willfully mischaracterizes what I post by speaking for me as a Hitleresque sophist propagandist to accuse, condemn, denounce, and demonize me personally; rather than to respond to what I have presented as a witness and messenger as regards the Hitleresque activities of the Republican Party and the Republican Party’s Hitleresque Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Media Echo-Chamber from the time of Goldwater through Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, to the present time.

Shenonymous is trying to mislead the American Populace, Back Street America, with fulminating and equivocating Hitleresque sophistry and propaganda.  The American Populace is a 70% Majority Common Population of the United States that is a part of the American People as a whole.

What is the American People? ——the American People is made up of three component parts: the American Aristocracy, the Professional Middle Class and the American Populace.

The American Aristocracy as a class and culture constitutes a 10% minority of the total U.S. Population; the Professional Middle Class constitutes a 20% minority of the U.S. Population; and, the American Populace constitutes a 70% Majority of the U.S. Population.

The American Aristocracy as a class and culture is represented politically in the U.S. Government to make and enforce Legislated Law and Order in the best interest of the American Aristocracy by the Republican Party, the Democratic Party represents the Corporate Interests of the Professional Middle Class’ 20% Minority U.S. Population in the same manner, and the 70% Majority Common Population of the American Populace, Back Street America, is NOT Represented in the making and enforcing of Legislated Law and Order; this is why Single-Payer Health Care, a meaningful Public Option for Health Care or any other Legislated Law and Order that represents the best interests of the American Populace is NOT going to happen until the American Populace DEMAND and get an end to “Legislation without Representation” of the American Populace, Back Street America, with regard to the making and enforcing of Legislated Law and Order in the United States.

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By ThomasG, January 9, 2010 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

American Populace-Back Street America:

Shenonymous willfully mischaracterizes what I post by speaking for me as a Hitleresque sophist propagandist to accuse, condemn, denounce, and demonize me personally; rather than to respond to what I have presented as a witness and messenger as regards the <b>Hitleresque activities of the Republican Party and the Republican Party’s Hitleresque Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Media Echo-Chamber from the time of Goldwater through Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, to the present time.

Shenonymous is trying to mislead the American Populace, Back Street America, with fulminating and equivocating Hitleresque sophistry and propaganda.  The American Populace is a 70% Majority Common Population of the United States that is a part of the American People as a whole.

<b>What is the American People? ——the American People is made up of three component parts: the American Aristocracy, the Professional Middle Class and the American Populace.

The American Aristocracy as a class and culture constitutes a 10% minority of the total U.S. Population; the Professional Middle Class constitutes a 20% minority of the U.S. Population; and, the American Populace constitutes a 70% Majority of the U.S. Population.

The American Aristocracy as a class and culture is represented politically in the U.S. Government to make and enforce Legislated Law and Order in the best interest of the American Aristocracy by the Republican Party, the Democratic Party represents the Corporate Interests of the Professional Middle Class’ 20% Minority U.S. Population in the same manner, and the 70% Majority Common Population of the American Populace, Back Street America, is NOT Represented in the making and enforcing of Legislated Law and Order; this is why Single-Payer Health Care, a meaningful Public Option for Health Care or any other Legislated Law and Order that represents the best interests of the American Populace is NOT going to happen until the American Populace DEMAND and get an end to “Legislation without Representation” of the American Populace, Back Street America, with regard to the making and enforcing of Legislated Law and Order in the United States.

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By ThomasG, January 9, 2010 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

American Populace-Back Street America:

Shenonymous willfully mischaracterizes what I post by speaking for me as a Hitleresque sophist propagandist to accuse, condemn, denounce, and demonize me personally; rather than to respond to what I have presented as a witness and messenger as regards the Hitleresque activities of the Republican Party and the Republican Party’s Hitleresque Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Media Echo-Chamber from the time of Goldwater through Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, to the present time.

Shenonymous is trying to mislead the American Populace, Back Street America, with fulminating and equivocating Hitleresque sophistry and propaganda.  The American Populace is a 70% Majority Common Population of the United States that is a part of the American People as a whole.

<b>What is the American People? ——the American People is made up of three component parts: the American Aristocracy, the Professional Middle Class and the American Populace.

The American Aristocracy as a class and culture constitutes a 10% minority of the total U.S. Population; the Professional Middle Class constitutes a 20% minority of the U.S. Population; and, the American Populace constitutes a 70% Majority of the U.S. Population.

The American Aristocracy as a class and culture is represented politically in the U.S. Government to make and enforce Legislated Law and Order in the best interest of the American Aristocracy by the Republican Party, the Democratic Party represents the Corporate Interests of the Professional Middle Class’ 20% Minority U.S. Population in the same manner, and the 70% Majority Common Population of the American Populace, Back Street America, is NOT Represented in the making and enforcing of Legislated Law and Order; this is why Single-Payer Health Care, a meaningful Public Option for Health Care or any other Legislated Law and Order that represents the best interests of the American Populace is NOT going to happen until the American Populace DEMAND and get an end to “Legislation without Representation” of the American Populace, Back Street America, with regard to the making and enforcing of Legislated Law and Order in the United States.

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By ThomasG, January 9, 2010 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

American Populace-Back Street America:

Shenonymous willfully mischaracterizes what I post by speaking for me as a Hitleresque sophist propagandist to accuse, condemn, denounce, and demonize me personally; rather than to respond to what I have presented as a witness and messenger as regards the Hitleresque activities of the Republican Party and the Republican Party’s Hitleresque Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Media Echo-Chamber from the time of Goldwater through Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, to the present time.

Shenonymous is trying to mislead the American Populace, Back Street America, with fulminating and equivocating Hitleresque sophistry and propaganda.  The American Populace is a 70% Majority Common Population of the United States that is a part of the American People as a whole.

What is the American People? ——the American People is made up of three component parts: the American Aristocracy, the Professional Middle Class and the American Populace.

The American Aristocracy as a class and culture constitutes a 10% minority of the total U.S. Population; the Professional Middle Class constitutes a 20% minority of the U.S. Population; and, the American Populace constitutes a 70% Majority of the U.S. Population.

The American Aristocracy as a class and culture is represented politically in the U.S. Government to make and enforce Legislated Law and Order in the best interest of the American Aristocracy by the Republican Party, the Democratic Party represents the Corporate Interests of the Professional Middle Class’ 20% Minority U.S. Population in the same manner, and the 70% Majority Common Population of the American Populace, Back Street America, is NOT Represented in the making and enforcing of Legislated Law and Order; this is why Single-Payer Health Care, a meaningful Public Option for Health Care or any other Legislated Law and Order that represents the best interests of the American Populace is NOT going to happen until the American Populace DEMAND and get an end to “Legislation without Representation” of the American Populace, Back Street America, with regard to the making and enforcing of Legislated Law and Order in the United States.

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By BR549, January 9, 2010 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous, January 9 at 4:20 am

You said, “.... your point is that it comes in bits of creativity that builds on the last piece one piece at a time.”——-> From an almost Matrix perspective, there is so much information out there and we can only process small fragments at any one time. We have to integrate our last download and have it reset our paradigm in order to position ourselves to ask the next question. I don’t know if you’ve ever done any programming, but when people keep failing to recognize that small aspect, they get stuck in a similar “loop” and never position themselves to see the day to day chances for inspiration.

You said, “It seems that it might be linear but maybe just not continuously linear.” ——-> While we may see that line as being segmented, from a higher perspective, the line never lost continuity at all; all those seemingly missing segments were actually part of the path itself, not unlike looking at just the tops of the waves versus the entire dynamic of the water column beneath them.

Regarding spiritual maturity, might that be more about someone’s ability to accept things as they are; like knowing every day WHY we continue to keep taking the Red Pill?

We could go on, but I think in order to keep the conversation relevant, the idea is to keep showing how our individual and collective actions put forth the politicians we need to keep abusing us enough to finally change things. So, we are continually “healing” our collective by forcing all our fears to the surface. I mean, look where the hell we are now?

At the risk of over analogizing here, let me illustrate one more point before stating something. You’ve no doubt heard of homeopathy. Strengths in excess of 12C exceed Avagadro’s number (60.2 sexillion:1), so that one mole of preparation will not contain even one molecule of the desired substance .......
but it still works. Why? Because the body recognizes the “signature” of the plant or mineral compounds and still “believes” that it will work.

When Obama won the election in 2008, it was like everyone had received this huge hit of some homeopathic Ornithogalum flower to treat stress. Most people “believed” that we might actually have a chance to move forward once again and that optimism had spread all over the globe. Everyone was willing to get back to work and make a solution happen, but after Obama had pulled the rug out and put more troops into Afghanistan, paid off Wall Street, was virtually in bed with Israel, showed his true colors about the Trade Agreements, and refused to do anything about war crimes, we soon realized that we’d been had ..... again. In the analogy, those little worker-bee cells in the body would soon lose confidence and start taking care of their own needs. Is it any wonder then why gun and ammo sales have skyrocketed?

The government, in its infinite wisdom to counter any attempt to thwart its takeover, did hundreds of dastardly maneuvers. Feingold sponsored a bill to make any small agricultural mud puddle become federal property, while Rosa DeLauro of CT throws wording into the Food Safety bill to emphasize the
“known problems with subsistence farming”, i.e. backyard gardens are a health hazard. Interestingly, her attorney husband, Stanley Greenberg, just happens to have represented Monsanto.

Today, I was trying to connect the dots for this politically naive friend of mine and he could not see the relationship with the local increase in purse snatchings and home break-ins to all this. This is where we get to the meat. If the ruling portion of the body gives up on individual cells within that body, the individual cells start trying to take care of their own needs. Next comes the autoimmune response by the massive increase of police and federal troops directed at our own US civilians, and sooner than later, the diseased body winds up in the hospital, if not the morgue.

The very last scene in the movie, “V for Vendetta” is epic.

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By Shenonymous, January 9, 2010 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

You, Americans of Truthdig, are being accused of being stupid, of being dupes,
of not having a mind of your own, and if I were you, (and I am one of you) I
would be as pppppissssssed as hell! 

OzarkMichael, I don’t see the duopoly as brutal but as beastial.  A matter of
perspective, but not too big a difference.  Just zoological.  You are doing the
website a huge service. 

A bedtime story…
Once we were one, OzarkMichael.  Then we were two, OzarkMichael and
Shenonymous, then we were three, OzarkMichael, Night-Gaunt, and
Shenonymous, then we were four, OzarkMichael, Night-Gaunt, Shenonymous,
and Leefeller, now we are five, OzarkMichael, Night-Gaunt, Shenonymous,
Leefeller and BR549.  At that rate, the entire world will be in the Blah Boiler
Room.  Hahahahaha It is getting crowded but the warmth is cozy.  The Boiler
Room is magical.  It is ever-expanding just like the universe.

It is not a new strategy to take the most criticized feature of oneself and apply
it to a perceived opponent, uh…enemy.  It was the precise strategy of Hitler.

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, January 9, 2010 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

American Populace-Back Street America:

BR549 has a point, however, if the American Populace, Back Street America, is not defended while that point is established, the American Populace, Back Street America, will go the way of the Jews, the Weimar Republic, and all of the other victims of Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMISM of Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Germany as a result of the Neo-Fascist Totalitarian EXTREMISM of the Republican Right-Wing EXTREMIST Movement.

Cooperation and appeasement as proposed by BR549 did NOT work for Sir Neville Chamberlain to achieve “peace in our time” for Britain with the Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMISM of Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Germany and corporation and appeasement will NOT work to achieve “peace in our time” between the Hitleresque Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Movement that is the base of the Republican Party at the present time and the American Populace, Back Street America.

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ThomasG's avatar

By ThomasG, January 9, 2010 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

American Populace-Back Street America:

YOU, the Greater Audience, will notice that BR549, OzarkMichael, Shenonymous, Night-Gaunt and Leefeller have intentionally done all they can to flood Truthdig with their intentional prating foolishness in an effort to cover up and distract YOU, the American Populace, Back Street America, from legitimate political dialogue that is in YOUR best interest; this is a tactic of Republican Right-Wing Conservative Hitleresque EXTREMISTS meant to keep YOU, the American Populace, Back Street America, in the DARK, so that YOU are easily taken advantage of by Republican Right-Wing Conservative Hitleresque EXTREMISTS, so that they can use YOU and YOUR lack of awareness against YOU to VOTE them back into Political Power where they can then make Legislated Law and Order against YOU, so that YOU, the American Populace, can be criminalized and committed as prisoners to serve as commodities, as a part of the Privatized Prison Market and industry for benefit of Private Capital.

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