Skip to main content


Showing posts from July 26, 2011

Devastating Comparison of Bush and Obama Fiscal Records

The Chart That Should Accompany All Discussions of the Debt Ceiling - James Fallows - Politics - The Atlantic: "It's based on data from the Congressional Budget Office and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Its significance is not partisan (who's 'to blame' for the deficit) but intellectual. It demonstrates the utter incoherence of being very concerned about a structural federal deficit but ruling out of consideration the policy that was largest single contributor to that deficit, namely the Bush-era tax cuts."

Global Online Privacy

Dear Mr. President Thanks for The War on Drugs

Mexican Marijuana Kingpin Says: “Thanks for Marijuana Prohibition” to U.S. Leaders - Digg: " — Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, a Mexican Drug Cartel Leader worth over a billion dollars, wants to send his regards to our politicians in the U.S. It's not just Bush either, wants to thank 'Senor Obama' as well for continuing to wage a losing war against drugs."

Global Online Privacy

Norway killer is not apparently more than a casual Christian

n+1: Rebellion Against Pluralism: "Nor is Breivik, as media reports at first suggested, a religious fundamentalist. Though he at times donned the cloak of Christianity as an easy way to explain why Muslims should be driven out of Europe, he has also admitted to not being a very religious man"

This is a good example of a "fact" which becomes its own story and then becomes hard to dislodge. It shows the difficulty of believing what you first read. (Cap tip 3Quarks)

Global Online Privacy

Anxiety the Abba prescription

Anxiety can be allayedBut place your trust in AbbaWay and light and truth within yourselfYou are belovedYou are belovedThough all seems turned awayThought you feel lostThough up against a wallAbba is thereIn every caseTo sort things out with youAnd give you the deep breath That eases nervousnessAnd rests anxietyAnd helps you past all  twinges of self-doubt
Global Online Privacy

Transcript of an instructive Stokely Carmichael speech class recorded by Jane Stembridge

Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement -- Letters From the Field ~ Stokely's speech class.: "I don't want to make conclusions or proposals. I think Stokely's class can stand on its own. Not only that, I think it is better than anything I could say. Just two things: he spoke to where they were at, and they were at different places, and the places changed during the movement of the discussion. Second, he trusted them and he trusted himself ... and they trusted him."

Jane and I were students and friends at Union Theological Seminary in NYC. Both of us eventually participated in different areas of the Civil Rights movement. This text shows why she is something of a legend today. It would be nice to find her.

Global Online Privacy

Flying in bad weather will do that

Moroccan Plane Crash Kills 78 - The Daily Beast: "Morocco has suffered its worst plane crash since the 1970s. Seventy-eight people were killed when a C-130 military-transport plane struck a mountain during bad weather."
It is callous to be so blunt, but I am getting sick of things being attributed to bad weather. When a plane goes down in bad weather it is mainly because someone decided to fly in bad weather. Accounts should say so.

Global Online Privacy

I think Marcus Bachmann may turn out to be a smoking gun

Iowa reporters denied access after questioning Bachmann about ‘ex-gay’ therapy | The Washington Independent
Something tells me that Michelle Bachmann has a liability with the initials MB. I am trying to remember when I have felt this as strongly. Nothing is coming. Not Todd Palin or anyone else. In fact the political figures lately have been sinking themselves solo. Wiener for example. But in the case of Michelle, she is shaky anyway. I think her Waterloo may be the media-averse Marcus.

Global Online Privacy

The fuzzy thinking of Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges: Fundamentalism Kills - Chris Hedges' Columns - Truthdig

Chris Hedges is a weekly Truthdig columnist and a fellow at The Nation Institute. His newest book is “The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress.”

Instead of excerpting from his lengthy post, I have simply passed on Chris's bio at the end. That he wishes to take on progress explains why his thinking lacks nuance. With a broad brush he denotes whole societies as problematic and more or less buys the theory that we will allow our "chosen people" presumptions to roll along until the globe is nuclear ash. The fact of the matter is, as Peirce makes clear in a truthful philosophy  called pragmaticism, we do progress, fitfully, by experiment. The force that undergirds this, I believe, are the willed values of tolerance, helpfulness and democracy. All subject to the root value of non-idolatry. Chris finally concedes little chance that wiser heads can prevail in the long run. By taking his…

Fashion's love for destruction is its survival mechanism

Amy Winehouse Heroin Chic: Why Fashion Loves Beautiful Wreckage - The Daily Beast: "There was something weirdly defiant, admiring, and perhaps even envious in the way the fashion industry went agog over the retro singer. Robin Givhan on how Winehouse embodied fashion’s love for destruction."
Only by the continual destroying of what is fashionable is fashion even possible. Those of us who do not observe it have no truck with it. It is largely useless like many other things that command huge markets. The recession is partly people saying they are fed up with many of the trappings of commercial culture.

Global Online Privacy

This is why I believe everything will come back to the big plan Obama wanted in the first place

NOPE! Top House Conservatives Says Boehner Lacks Sufficient GOP Support To Raise Debt Limit | TPMDC: "One of the most influential conservatives in Congress says he's confident his own Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will lack the votes to pass his plan to raise the debt limit in the House of Representatives."
The only way anything will pass is to make the solution palatable to enough sane GOP Reps to create a House Majority. That is why the three or four trillion Obama plan or something at least that large has a good chance of being the winner when this is all over.

Global Online Privacy

Heaven is in the here and now

The Lord's Prayer states,Abba who art in heaven This identifies Abba with the force available to all people who evoke the values  lodged in us all. These include tolerance, democracy, helpfulness and non-idolatry.

Triadic Philosophy  is a simple, accessible way of life for this century and beyond. Please visit
Stephen's Remarkable Kindle Store 

A boost for the placebo effect

Study: For Asthma Patients, Placebos Feel Just as Good as the Drug – TIME Healthland: "Sometimes the mind provides the most powerful medicine of all. A new Harvard Medical School investigation in asthma patients shows that the 'placebo effect' — in which patients experience real benefits from sham treatments — can be as effective as standard medical therapy."

According to Charles Sanders Peirce, the mind proceeds in triads, the sign, the blunt truth and a third thing - an experimental rule to resolve the conflict, something  that could become a habit. If it works. This is the pragmatic process within us all. All the time. Peirce is a cure for nominalism. For exclusive reliance on binary thinking. I am sure this study buttresses the understanding Peirce came to well before the placebo effect was a common phrase.

Global Online Privacy

Progress in the battle to end FGM

Iraqi Kurdistan: Law Banning FGM a Positive Step | Human Rights Watch: "(Beirut) - A Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) law that bans female genital mutilation (FGM) is a crucial step in eradicating the practice, Human Rights Watch said today."

I have just finished Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone which is a graphic illustration of the circles of pain that female genital mutilation creates.

Global Online Privacy

The legitimate limit of tolerance

Norway Questions Its Tolerance Of Extremism : NPR

As a staunch advocate of tolerance as an active value which is central to our makeup, when we activate it, this story is a good place to pinpoint the limit that we may place on tolerance. It has precisely to do with the taking of life. And with any taking of life. Including in wars. Taking life, particularly when it is conscious or when there is awareness as in a drone attack, is evil. It cannot be countermanded by saying it is tit for tat save in war where the lex talionis eye for an eye is preferable to overreaching revenge. The Norwegian's action was and remains intolerable. He is personally fortunate to live in a country that does not practice the revenge of the death penalty. In time he may come to see and understand just how intolerable and against any valid understanding of what Jesus was about the evil of killing is.

Global Online Privacy

Trump is a real patrriot

Donald Trump recommends default to prevent Obama's re-election | McClatchy: "LOS ANGELES — Donald Trump has some advice for the Republican Party. The New York real estate tycoon went on 'Fox & Friends' Monday morning and told the hosts that if the GOP wants to ensure that President Barack Obama isn't re-elected, all it has to do is not make any deals with Democrats and default on Aug. 2."
Since he is also a loser, I will hope that he is taking the losing side on this one. No kidding I live in New York City and it is filled with Trump excrescences.

Global Online Privacy

A tiny morsel of truth for the Rick Warren followers

Hullabaloo: "It obviously doesn't bear repeating for the thousandth time that, in fact, poor people do pay all sorts of taxes: FICA, sales, social security and wide range of others. It is true that the federal income tax is progressive. But it is the exception rather than the rule. The poor and middle class in this country still pay a greater share of their overall income in taxes than do the wealthy, who pay a lower effective rate than the rest of us when all is said and done."
Apparently Rick thought better of tweeting his lie contradicting the above.

Global Online Privacy

My favorite from this incredible Mass (Video)

Charles Sanders Peirce saw values (ethics) emerging from the aesthetic

Charles Sanders Peirce saw values (ethics) emerging from the aesthetic. Kierkegaard saw them emanating from the ethical. I contend that a philosophy which is true will give certain values ontological primacy. Peirce was almost to this point by his acknowledgement of agape - self giving love - as the summum bonum and by his understandings of continuity and our tendency toward community. It is my contention that Jesus ranks as the prophet and manifestation of Abba's way and that its ultimate meaning is that Abba is incipiently within every human being. There can be no higher value.

Why we practice non-idolatry

We practice non-idolatry. A synonym for this is iconoclasm. We express our attitude toward values in general by saying that they are all trumped by Abba. What does this mean? From whence do we get any inkling of what it might mean to say Abba is the value above all others? The answer is that this is so because we know it to be so. It is like mathematics which is not made up by individuals but is rather the product of logic. Logic is the handmaiden of Abba. Logic is why persons like Einstein were fundamentally spiritual because of the reality they encountered as scientists. Science creates non-idolatrous iconoclasts. This is the first step toward realizing the human value system.

A guess about the world we actually live in

We live in a world in which the notion of no other gods before Abba is the very highest notion there is. We live in a world where values, all values, are willed, are standards for the conduct of life, but where only ontological values relate to a destiny that transcends the penumbra which envelops us. Thus the ontological value of Abba (or your name for the nameless One) is absolute. It trumps all other values.

When a value is ontological

When a value is ontological it is built into the very fabric of whatever destiny we deduce or infer the universe to have. Thus a realistic philosophy will - in my declension of it - assign being to the one we call by many names but who refused to give a name to Moses. Jesus's name for this one is Abba. And to say that a value is ontological is to argue that it's reality permeates the universe, and also that - because it is an ascription of worth and because we have an element of free will - we must activate this value within us for it to begin to take effect.
Global Online Privacy

What is a value when you are not talking car prices or stocks?

A value is an ascription of worth. Unfortunately when I try to write of values on the Internet the posts can easily be submerged by offerings that deal with stocks or homes or other things where the word value means only the financial worth of something. There are other value connections. Values are the lost element within philosophy. I would place them at the very apex where ontology and thought and signs reside.
Global Online Privacy

What does ontological mean?

Ontological means to me the starting point of all thought, all philosophy. It means the realm of being beyond whose surface we cannot see. Some call it being. Some logic. By any name it is the without-which-nothing. And it is also the one we cannot claim to comprehend fully. It is the penumbra around our immanent frame. And it is my contention that within this being lie values that are an inherent and universal aspect of what it means to be human.

How about 95 percent?

Amid Debt Battle, More Americans Say Economy Getting Worse: "PRINCETON, NJ -- Seventy-three percent of Americans in Gallup Daily tracking over the July 22-24 weekend say the U.S. economy is getting worse. This is up 11 percentage points from the three days ending July 6, and the worst level for this measure since the three days ending March 12, 2009."

If we could translate Gallup economy discontent into Democratic votes there would be no memory of Boehner of Cantor in two years or less.

Global Online Privacy

What is illegal is a country preventing free entry to anyone who has a legitimate reason to flee his or her own country

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill that will let students who entered the country illegally receive private financial aid at California's public colleges, even as debate continues over a more contentious bill that would allow access to public funding. via Law opens private aid to Illegal college students - Yahoo! News.
Global Online Privacy

A wing and a prayer

Daily Kos :: State of the Nation: "If these conservatives now defect — and some already were doing so Monday — Boehner risks real embarrassment when the measure comes to a vote, possibly as early as Wednesday."
Yes, I suppose we could hope that both Cantor and Boehner would be replaced by wiser GOP heads. I will say that is worth a devout prayer or two.

Global Online Privacy

I suppose this is good news

McDonald’s Adds Fruit to Happy Meals - The Daily Beast: "Would you like apple with that? McDonald’s will begin serving fruit or vegetables with all Happy Meals, according to the Los Angeles Times, as well as shrinking the size of the French fry portion to 1.1 ounces from 2.4."

But the happiest meals I have are the ones I cook up and into whatever I am having I drop some grapes, some cherries, some prunes and some carrots. I shouldn't knock the flagship of our Poverty Economy. A poverty economy is one where a weekend for the rich costs more than the annual income of a Black or Hispanic family. And where the rich take their kiddies to camp on private jets.

Global Online Privacy

Netflix needs to realize its customers are mainly poor and that it will get zapped if it caves to shareholder profit demands

Netflix Releases Slow Growth Forecast - The Daily Beast: "Despite exceeding expectations in its second-quarter earnings, Netflix Inc. issued on Monday a negative growth forecast due to its planned price hike. Since the company announced two weeks ago the change in subscription rates starting in September, Netflix’s shares have fallen by more than 10 percent."

Global Online Privacy

Gosh and someone had the nerve to tell us Jesus loves gays as much or more than straights

Teen Suicides Sweep Bachmann’s District - The Daily Beast: "An unsettling rash of suicides among teenagers in Rep. Michele Bachmann’s Minnesota district, particularly among both gay teens and bullied teens, is troubling residents and state public-health officials, and is leading critics to blame the Republican congresswoman and her antigay allies."
My gay friend says Marcus is, er, gay.

Global Online Privacy

Why the economic polarization is just the tip of the iceberg

It's because we made a silent compact when Nixon came in after the debacle of 1968. We said we will create a polarized sprawl to give the appearance of the American dream built around cars and houses. We will subject community to the crucifixion of putting everyone in separate automobiles. We will create tiers of quality so it appears the poorest are doing better compared to the wealthy. And we will run this all with an economy baswed on oil dominance and corporate control. And if anyone (read Obama) manages to break through our hold on things, we will do him in. Oil forever. Corporate profits forever. Let them eat TV. 
Global Online Privacy

Here is what really has been happening - the bald and terrible truth

Wealth gap widens between whites, minorities - Yahoo! News: "The median wealth of white U.S. households in 2009 was $113,149, compared with $6,325 for Hispanics and $5,677 for blacks, according to the analysis released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center."
And the income for whites is seen as just enough to get by because of the vast gap between that income and the incomes at the top. This is a sick, volatile, even revolutionary reality and it behooves us to put the GOP out of our misery by dis-electing them ASAP.

Global Online Privacy

Apposite Obama Quote

Debt Ceiling: Obama, Boehner, Democrats & Republicans’ Dueling Plans - The Daily Beast: "As he laid out the consequences of failure, Obama also explained his preference for getting a deal with a “balanced approach” to cut the deficit using both spending cuts and tax increases. He also denounced the GOP’s threats to let the government default if a debt-reduction package deal includes any tax increases at all. “That is no way to run the greatest country on earth,” Obama said. “It is a dangerous game we’ve never played before, and we can’t afford to play it now.”"

The tail has been wagging the dog. In the next days the dog (that would be us) will wag back. By the end, the Tea Party spoiled brats, ignorant of or oblivious to, the reality we face, will have either been muzzled or cut off, to maintain the image. Or we will have given governance over to the tail and begun to suffer the consequences. It will come down to the actual vote and the names attached on both sides. If th…

Yes we have been on this case for fifty years

The Scourge of 'Peak Oil' | Common Dreams: "Tom Whipple, an energy scholar, was a CIA analyst for 30 years - and believes we are likely at, or very near, a point in history when the maximum production capacity for oil is reached, a phenomenon often referred to as 'peak oil'"

During which community has gone to the dogs in the face of sprawl, the private car has ravaged the landscape and business as usual is blaring on every TV set hawking cars and lethal pills - excuse me every gadget - excuse me every entertainment center. What recession?

A few more posts on the end of oil

Global Online Privacy

Speaking of leaks (Video)

By all means, take your time.
Global Online Privacy

The finitude of politics

If voters regret what they did in 2010 then Obama will win and the "fair" option will prevail and he will prevail in 2012.
If votes feel their state and federal choices were apt in 2010, then the Republicans will finally have to govern the country, an obligation they have indicated with some relish they would like to take on.
In either case the pendulum will swing a good deal less than might be implied by the noise on all sides. The same unsolved problems will remain. And the finitude of politics will be confirmed.
Global Online Privacy

It's Alternet's reading that's flawed

The Utterly Wrong Beltway Myth Driving the Debt Ceiling Insanity | Economy | AlterNet: "An abiding belief that, rather than being confused about how we came to run today's high deficits, there exists a 'silent majority' of Americans who hate government, who want nothing more than an opportunity to support politicians who favor deep cuts to the public sector, and who are appalled at the lack of 'bipartisan cooperation' standing in the way."
Let's parse the words above. There is no silent majority that hates government and Obama understands that. There is an awakening majority that favors a fair approach. And it is dead on correct that most favor an end to the bickering.

Global Online Privacy

Our debt is spread all over the world

Who owns America? Hint: It's not China – Global Public Square - Blogs: "Here's a quick and fascinating breakdown by total amount held and percentage of total U.S. debt, according to Business Insider:

Hong Kong: $121.9 billion (0.9 percent)
Caribbean banking centers: $148.3 (1 percent)
Taiwan: $153.4 billion (1.1 percent)
Brazil: $211.4 billion (1.5 percent)
Oil exporting countries: $229.8 billion (1.6 percent)"
Click the link above for the whole kahuna.

Global Online Privacy

What's a domestic extremist? A FOX-sanitized right wing Christian terrorist from Norway

Fox News Refuses To Acknowledge Norway Shooter's Right-Wing Beliefs | Crooks and Liars: "By far, the most intellectually dishonest and insidious part of this report is the characterization of Anders Behring Breivik as a 'domestic extremist.' I defy anyone here to explain exactly what the hell a domestic extremist is. Seriously."
Scene in the FOX newsroom:
What can we do to mute the bad rap on us Christians?
Change the description.

Did Roger call?
Global Online Privacy

There are three sides to everything

Anti-gay marriage rallies as NY ceremonies begin - Topix: "Thousands of opponents of gay marriage took to the streets in loud and sometimes tense protests Sunday, the first day that legal same-sex weddings were performed.The National Organization for Marriage held rallies in New York City, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo."

The third side is the millions who stayed home and applied themselves to creating rules and habits to accommodate an enlargement of freedom on the planet. That is what Peirce called the Third. His alternative to a dyadic, binary, we-they, nominalist world of the sort we had for centuries when philosophy took a wrong turn.

Global Online Privacy

Self restraint would be lovely, but ...

Armenian man calls for Obama's assassination - Topix: "A La Mesa man who posted racial epithets and a call to 'shoot' Barack Obama on an Internet chat site was engaging in constitutionally protected free speech, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday in overturning his criminal conviction."
The Web is a crowded theater but maybe the judge doesn't go online. Lately the courts seem to have little restraint on anything that could lead to violence, repression, mayhem, etc. It is sad to think of who that makes happy.

Global Online Privacy