The Best Reason To Elect Romney He Is a Cipher

Well, check this out: At last week's Conservative Political Action Conference, GOP ringleader Grover Norquist talked about who he wants in the White House:

"All we have to do is replace Obama. ... We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don't need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Paul Ryan budget. ... We just need a president to sign this stuff."

They're not looking for a leader -- they're looking for someone to rubber stamp the Tea Party agenda coming out of Congress.

And Romney's their man.

We don't just have the presidency at stake. We have the Senate to keep, and the House to gain.

From an email.

Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Threes

Truth About Porn

I Blame The Patriarchy: "Pornography is the graphic representation, not just of violence against women, but of male supremacy. It degrades all women. It erodes the humanity of all women. Porn use fetishizes violence and supports male supremacy. Porn is the expression of patriarchy. Porn use is the practice of patriarchy."

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Since we are talking global revolution ...

Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Threes

I Blame The Patriarchy Too But I'm One of Them

I Blame The Patriarchy: "Convincing women that they are being unreasonable, that dudely porn use is natural, normal, and even necessary-for-his-health behavior, and therefore you should support his porn use, and by the way you’ll never even find a dude who doesn’t use porn — this is one of the most successful misogynist campaigns of the modern megatheocorporatocracy.

The truth is that if you’re with a guy who uses porn, you’re with a guy who at his core believes that women are subhuman fucktoilets.

Women never want to believe this, for about 386 reasons. "

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Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Threes

Inch by inch, mile by mile on the way to car-free.

"A new survey has revealed that a third of the UK population do not even know the names of the people living next door to them.

John Maguire went to Falmouth Road in Bristol where residents are making efforts to communicate with and help each other." GOOD VIDEO

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Inch by inch, mile by mile on the way to car-free.

Cap tip Alice

Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Threes

Icons are not the things themselves

Joseph Ransdell, "On Peirce's Conception of the Iconic Sign" at ARISBE: THE PEIRCE GATEWAY:

 "Icons are so completely substituted for their objects as hardly to be distinguished from them. Such are the diagrams of geometry. A diagram, indeed, so far as it has a general signification, is not a pure icon; but in the middle part of our reasonings we forget that abstractness in great measure, and the diagram is for us the very thing. So in contemplating a painting, there is a moment when we lose the consciousness that it is not the thing, the distinction of the real and the copy disappears, and it is for the moment a pure dream--not any particular existence, and yet not general. At that moment we are contemplating an icon. (Collected Papers, 3.362)"

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Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Threes

Charles Sanders Peirce on defective thinking

The Use and Abuse of the Immediate/Dynamical Object Distinction:

This is perhaps what Peirce himself was alluding to -- at least in part -- in that gnomic passage in "The Fixation of Belief" where he says:

"... the importance of what may be deduced from the assumptions involved in the logical question turns out to be greater than might be supposed, and this for reasons which it is difficult to exhibit at the outset. The only one which I shall here mention is, that conceptions which are really products of logical reflection, without being readily seen to be so, mingle with our ordinary thoughts, and are frequently the causes of great confusion. ... The truth is, that common-sense, or thought as it first emerges above the level of the narrowly practical, is deeply imbued with that bad logical quality to which the epithet metaphysical is commonly applied; and nothing can clear it up but a severe course of logic. (CP 5.369 or W3, 246, 1877)"

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Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Threes

We need a complete redefinition of war

This War Is Not Over Yet - NYTimes.com: "Mr. Obama is trying to have it both ways. Ending major conflicts in two countries helps him deliver on campaign promises. But his expansive definition of war leaves in place the executive power to detain without charges, and to exercise war powers in any region where Al Qaeda has a presence"

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These things are at least abductions (guesses):

Ground wars among nations are kaput
Wars that extend beyond national boundaries may be necessary
Wars fought with radical limits on human casualties are more and more common

BUT: Our current understanding of war is somewhere around the time of Woodrow Wilson
As with much else these days, we talk with no foundation, to recall Saroyan.

SO: The confusion revealed in a consideration of Iraq and Afghanistan relates to the obsolescence of our understanding of the dynamics of war
This calls for an urgent and public and transparent international (aka universal) definition of what constitutes war now and in the future - a definition which strives to limit and control the use of lethal force.
This in itself is a sign that we can do little until we reckon universally with the nuke issue

Credit Regulation One Small Step for Us

Collection and Credit Firms Facing Broad New Oversight - NYTimes.com: "“Our proposed rule would mean that those debt collectors and credit reporting agencies that qualify as larger participants are subject to the same supervision process that we apply to the banks,” Richard Cordray, the new director of the bureau, said in a statement.

The proposal now enters a 60-day comment period. The bureau expects to finalize the rule by July, the two-year anniversary of the agency’s creation."

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I think it's dandy if there is regulation of credit vampires. The assurance that the regulation will equal that of banks seems like a harbinger of doom. But we are approaching the moon in terms of degree of difficulty, given the recalcitrant GOP. So we should welcome this and hope for its promulgation ASAP. And vote out the permissive when it comes to fraud that benefits the one percent.

Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Threes

Interpretation is a presumption I am unwilling to make

A few words: Dylan's "Highlands":

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This is a good example of what I am coming to think of as the demon of interpretation. My rule for this is hopefully the following. When referring to someone else's creation, I assume that what is relevant is what it means to me irrespective of what it says about the source. I have no right to say what Highlands means to Dylan.Or what it should mean to you.  I have every right to take it as a text that can mean anything I want ... to me. So, for example, the comment that certain lines are weak violates my rule. It is in the eye of the beholder. I can say what something means to me period. At least if I wish to move past interpretation (futile) to self-revelation (what we are and do and say). There is a pass-it-on function which is neither interpretation or self-revelation. This is perhaps one of the best ways to deal with a great mind. I do this all the time with Peirce. Pass those nuggets with no comment at all. I shall continue to comment on Dylan but there will be no interpretation. Increasingly I view interpretation as a presumption I am unwilling to make.

Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Threes

Window on Jamaica

Catching up on my drafted posts. Updated 16 February 2012

|| Jamaican's For Justice ||:

Jamaica urged to bring to justice those guilty of gang operation killings | Amnesty International : "The Jamaican authorities must bring to justice those responsible for human rights violations, including the killing of 74 people in Kingston during a state of emergency imposed one year ago in an operation to arrest a suspected gang leader, Amnesty International today said in a new report."

Amnesty International is pressing Jamaica's government to act in the wake of massive abuses that resulted in the deaths of 74 last year.

This bumps up against the inadequacy if the investigations that Jamaica has undertaken so far. Once again the resolution calls for global attention. The link above will lead you to full accounts of the violations and to Amnesty recommendations. Spread the word.

Jamaica Justice Lags in The Wake of Lethal Human Rights Violations

Joplin Tornado Exemplified Need for Peircean Journalism

Updated February 16, 2012

Joplin Tornado: Shocking Photos & Videos of Destruction in Missouri - The Daily Beast : "A tornado set down in Joplin, Missouri, on Sunday, killing 90 people. The disastrous storm took a path that was a mile wide at some points, and emergencies have been declared on both the state and local level. According to the NOAA, the Joplin twister is the deadliest single tornado since 1953."

I think news just took a u-turn. People literally make the news now. People are cameras and sound. The money used to send a zillion reporters everywhere is wasted.

The job of reporting should make a u-turn into Peirce thirds. That is a kind of thinking. Moving past binary to looking for serious solutions based on 1. what happened and 2. what challenge it illuminates. 3. therefore we will experiment by ...

With video's like these there is no need for professionals on scene.

President Obama Has Miles To Go In Bahrain

Updated 16 February 2012

The Morung Express :: Nagaland News | Current News | Latest News | Breaking News - Bahrain: A Forgotten Arab Spring: "Bahrain continues to undergo an uprising against the extremely authoritarian monarchy that enduringly, and unenlightenedly continues to rule that country. It is an Arab Spring, that we probably shouldn’t forget about or negate"

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Somehow I forgot to post the following from some months back:

Today's Speech an Impressive Step Toward Rebuilding U.S. Relations with the Middle East | Human Rights First : "Human Rights First's Brian Dooley welcomed the specific references to Bahrain in the President's speech. "Having just returned from Bahrain, home of the United States' Fifth Fleet, I can tell you that the situation for human rights defenders there is dire. The President's remarks on the attacks on Shia mosques were encouragingly specific '" the United States needs to continue to be just as specific in criticizing the Bahraini government on other human rights violations, including mass detentions and torture."

President Obama appears to be moving in precisely the direction he has consistently signaled - becoming fully identified with the global democratic revolution which is at bottom an expression of the universal desire of individuals for a better life, more choice and freedom from abuse.

In Bahrain, the challenges remain huge. The mass detentions and torture need to be addressed as specifically as the attacks on the Shia mosques were. This is not a job for the president alone.

Words are more powerful than money

It's Official: Money Now Governs America | National Memo | Breaking News, Smart Politics: "The rich are different from you and me, but the really, really, really rich are also different from the merely rich.

For example, the rich can buy caviar and Champagne, but the Triple-R Rich can buy entire presidential campaigns."

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Even a lowly blog such as this has more power than money. This is because the word is essentially the most powerful thing there is. In the beginning was the word. This is why someone who uses words has a responsibility no less than that of a person who performs direct actions. If you also concede that we are our values - if that is the actual reality, the truth - then the revolutionary potential of words is given an anchor within each living being. The rich would like to live with no real knowledge of the rest of the world. Or to disparage it. But the sadness of wealth is precisely that its "owners" are no different than anyone else. They are their values. They must live with the consequences of their words and deeds. These thoughts lead inexorably t9o the need for a spiritual regimen that cleans the slate daily. Universal forgiveness in exchange for being forgiven and freed to proceed. This is why I have a reference to the Lord's Prayer on every page of this blog. It is universal. It is widely ignored though right in front of us.

Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Threes

Window on Tajikistan

Tajikistan: The Changing Insurgent Threats - International Crisis Group : "President Rakhmon denies that the North African scenario of popular unrest and revolt could happen in Tajikistan; despite the different circumstances, such confidence is questionable. Tajikistan is so vulnerable that a small, localised problem could quickly spiral into a threat to the regime's existence."

Though rarely noted in mass media, Tajikistan is a key player in the insurgency-drenched region where we are learning what we perhaps should have known before we undertook a ground war there.

The link above leads to a copious description of the complex insurgent threat there and also to recommendations for urgently needed human rights interventions. Think drugs, jihad, poverty and an historic aversion to interference from foreigners. Think also democratic revolution and and the possibility that Tajikistan's regime could suffer a fate similar to that of other governments that have recently fallen.

Tajikistan Is Hardly Immune To Insurgency

My Decisional Grid with Explanations

                             a                   b                 c  









Posit choices a b c d etc.

Rank each as what it means to you one to ten

Totals should indicate what you really can go with or suggest a compromise or some other solution.


a b and c etc. are possibilities or choices

Me etc. are the signs that you rate in terms of your impression of the effect of a choice

Sometimes the choice among options will be obvious just by creating the grid. Sometimes the totals for each option will result in a close set of results. Sometimes the process will reveal what you actually think but did not realize.

The first five terms are derived from the Ekistic Grid of C. A. Doxiadis. The remainder were added when I transferred this from being a mode of city planning to a mode of personal decision-making.


Choice of what to do this weekend.  A. Stay home B. See folks D. Get together with --

Rating each choice to each sign - Me might be  7  5  6
Each other sign would suggest various totals
Eventually a choice would emerge - whichever option had the highest total.

Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Threes

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Foreclosure irregularities have been rampant

California Audit Finds Broad Irregularities in Foreclosures - NYTimes.com: "Anecdotal evidence indicating foreclosure abuse has been plentiful since the mortgage boom turned to bust in 2008. But the detailed and comprehensive nature of the San Francisco findings suggest how pervasive foreclosure irregularities may be across the nation."

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The foreclosure mess has shown that a system that relies on a false conception of the American Dream is flawed and that the the blame does not lie as much with government as with the venal practices of private enterprise - the shabby marketing perfidy of banks and realty companies and developers. We need to build a new society based on people's actual wishes and choices regarding how and where they live and who they associate with.

Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Threes

I know what the Taliban want

Karzai Arrives in Pakistan to Discuss Afghan Peace Talks - NYTimes.com: "“There is willingness among the Taliban, they spoke with their leadership and got them to agree to talks in Qatar with the Afghan government,” Mr. Hotak said. He added that there was no date set for future meetings and that it was “too early to say what the Taliban want.”"

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The Taliban want control
The Taliban want the return of Shariah law
The Taliban want to interpret Islam in a hoary homophobic misogynist way
We have known that forever
It has not changed
We have fought for ten years because of Bush's idiotic response to 9/11
We will say anything to get out
It is another sad indication of our sclerotic and inadequate mode of operation in the world
The President understands this but cannot say it
So put the best face on it suck it up and get out

Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Threes

The real issue is that Santorum is a maniac

Mitt Romney's Thirst - NYTimes.com:

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Charles Blow spends a whole column stating the obvious
Mitt Romney is unable to convince anyone that he is really a conservative
But since this is obvious why are Blow and Maddow wasting our time on it
Better to look at Santorum for what he is and sound an alarm
We elected (?) a maniac in 2000
One maniac a century is more than enough

Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Threes

Same Sex Marriage Not A Lock with Dems

Maryland Gay Marriage Faces Black Skepticism - NYTimes.com: "The soul-searching in Maryland on same-sex marriage shows just how delicate the issue can be for Democrats around the country who count on strong African-American support at the polls.

It presents a tricky equation for President Obama, who cannot risk depressing turnout among blacks, as their votes will be critical in what is shaping up to be a closely fought campaign. Mr. Obama, who has in the past opposed same-sex marriage, has said his views are “evolving.” In July, he endorsed a bill to repeal the law that limits the legal definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman."

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Black ministers are hostile to gay bonds
The influence is strong and it gives pause
Nevertheless the march of time moves on
A universal vision bodes new laws

Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Threes

Let's Not Applaud Until the Deed Is Done

Panel Completes Last Details of Tax Cut Extension - NYTimes.com: "Under the agreement reached by House and Senate negotiators, the current reduction in the employee’s share of the Social Security payroll tax — to 4.2 percent of wages, from 6.2 percent — would be continued to the end of the year. Revenue lost to the Social Security trust fund would be fully replaced with money from the general fund of the Treasury.

For a worker with annual earnings of $50,000, the payroll tax holiday would increase take-home pay by $1,000 over the course of the year."

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Let's not applaud until the deed is done
There are outliers who would bring this down
Pray that the better angels will have won
Then wait for the result to come aroound

Sanctions only on Iran are dumb

Aggressive Acts by Iran Signal Pressure on Its Leadership - NYTimes.com: "WASHINGTON — A string of aggressive gestures by Iran this week — assassination attempts on Israelis living abroad that were attributed to Tehran, renewed posturing over its nuclear program and fresh threats of economic retaliation — suggest that Iranian leaders are responding frantically, and with increasing unpredictability, to the tightening of sanctions by the West."

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Sanctions only on Iran are dumb
Concede all nukes upon the globe must go
Sanctions only we know what will come
We're in no mood for one more dumb show

Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Threes

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