Old fogeys running for office

You know society is devolving when the only choices for Americans in the next presidential election is between two senile old fogeys each accusing each other of being senile old fogeys, and to have that as the dominant, animating theme in the political campaign so far.

It has come down to which fogey the American public would rather have in office. Would you rather have a fogey who can’t remember details about his son and goes off on tangents in his speeches, or one who is a truth-challenged, incoherent billionaire man-baby who throws ketchup at the television? Hard choice, I’d say. And it hardly helps that the man-baby candidate is staring down criminal charges in courtrooms all over the country, including federal.

If these were saner times, neither of these candidates would be suitable. But that gives me an idea. Presidential candidates should have “none of the above” on their ballots, with a rule stating that if “none of the above” wins the election, they have to throw out the slate of candidates and re-run the election with new candidates. Nevada did that with Nikki Haley. And they had a slate of candidates (sans Trump), including Tim Scott and Mike Pence: 7 candidates in all. They should do that again in South Carolina, Haley’s home state where Trump is choosing to run.

By the way, my imaginary way of running “none of the above” on a ballot is not how it is being used in reality in Nevada. Haley officially won the election in Nevada; but that “none of the above” received more votes was more of a political embarassment than anything. And I notice that embarassment doesn’t count for much in politics these days.

Visits: 172

Another Tet Offensive, at Another “Vietnam” (or: “How is that peace process going?”)

What became known as the Tet Offensive happened back in 1968 in North and South Vietnam, when on January 30, on the Vietnamese Lunar New Year (called Tết Nguyên Đán, or “Tet” by the Viet Cong), militants loyal to Ho Chi Minh launched surprise attacks throughout North and South Vietnam, co-ordinated to happen on the same day. The Tet Offensive was the greatest escalation of a war that since became unpopular by the American public, and triggered a drafting of another 200,000 US citizens to fight it. Mass anti-war protests in America and people burning their draft cards filled the news cycles in the years since the offensive. By the early 1970s, one of the last acts Nixon did before resigning, was to begin the complete withdrawal of troops, allowing the VietCong to rule in a now-united Vietnam (formerly North and South Vietnam), putting an end to what became the longest undeclared war in American history up to that time.

What struck many people was the fact that the Viet Cong were not nearly as militarily well-equipped as the Americans. The Americans had bombs, machine guns, napalm and Agent Orange, while the Viet Cong had much less firepower, and more bows and arrows, and other primitive devices.

Well, now here we are about 55 years later, where, on another part of the globe, where the Americans had helped Israel set up a secured border at a cost of over 1 billion dollars (monitored above and below ground around the clock), armed Israel to the hilt, providing it with advanced weaponry with training to match. But on October 7 of this year, Palestinian militants, who lack clean drinking water in their apartheid-style enclaves, easily crossed the billion-dollar border with hang gliders, motorcycles, tractors, speedboats and pickup trucks. And doing it all at once, they were able to launch its own version of a Tet Offensive. It even happened on a special day for the Middle East. It happened on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, where the war was between Israel, Syria and Egypt.

The Palestinian attacks starting last week claimed the most civilian Jewish lives since the end of the Holocaust. These included young partygoers, families, hospital patients and hospital medical staff. There is no denying that the attack was brutal, indiscriminate, and calculated to terrorize the Israeli population. But they did hit military targets, and among the hostages were military personnel.

This comes at a time when the ultra-conservative Israeli head of state Benjamin Netanyahu is still facing protests from his own people regarding his disempowering of the Supreme Court. In his latest draft of 100,000 Israelis to fight Hamas, only some who quit over the Supreme Court issue, accepted the draft.

The Israelis have also bombed Palestinean hospitals and residences in Gaza, and ordered a total blockade, depriving Palestinians of “electricity, food, water and fuel”, according to Netanyahu. Over the course of this week, we hear about Israel dropping leaflets by air over the northern part of Gaza, saying to the over 1 million people there that they must evacuate to the southern part of Gaza within 24 hours. This amounts to a forceable exodus of a population, which is a war crime against the Palestinians. Over the past few days, grass-roots protests in support of Palestine were seen world-wide, while support for Israel had its own demonstrators, and were supported by most politicians, especially conservative politicians.

Visits: 539

Facepalm Newsoids 29

Ann Coulter Facepalm

Road sign hijacking.

NSFW. May be offensive to some.

In the Montrose neighbourhood of Houston, Texas, an electronic road sign was “hijacked” to read: “Due to Weather Go Fuck Yourself”. The road sign does not belong to Houston Public Works, and the owner has not been found. It has since been turned off by a city inspector. (11 Sep)

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AI In the News. This week, former NBA player for the Orlando Magic, Brandon Hunter, died at age 42 on September 12 following a collapse during a fitness class. MSN used an AI bot to write his obituary, stating “Brandon Hunter useless at 42” in the headline. The rest of the article was even more unintelligible, referring to him as an NBA “participant”, and that he was “handed away” at the age of 42. The bot “reports” that in high school he “acheived vital success as a ahead (sic) of the Bobcats” school team. He also apparently performed in “67 video games” over two seasons. The article was deleted the next day after MSN received complaints. All of these AI problems come on the heels of MSN firing much of its staff of human journalists this past December, to replace them with AI bots. (Sep 14) This is a recurring topic.

Kicking out the ladder from underneath you. American billionaire tycoon and kid at the debating table vying for running mate to Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, has promised to “gut” the H-1B visa program, dismissing it as a form of “indentured servitude that only benefits the company”. This is after he, himself the child of immigrants, has used that same program 29 times to hire immigrants to enrich his own pharmaceutical company. He has been previously criticized for his restrictionist immigration views. (Sep 16)

Names for your baby. Australian journalist Kirsten Drysdale recently gave birth to a young boy, and named him “Methamphetamine Rules”. It was either that or “Nangs Rule”, she said to reporters. This was part of a stunt to test the naming regulations of the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages in her home province of New South Wales for an article on legal baby names which was aired by the Australian Broadcasting Company on September 20. The stunt backfired, since the name was actually approved, and she is now petitioning to have her son’s name changed into something more normal.  It appears as if the approval of the name was in error, saying that it “slipped through”, and is considered to be a “highly unusual event” that it was approved. Unfortunately, her son’s birth record will now permanently have his first-assigned name, as well as any subsequent name change. (19 Sep)

Wanting to get in on a good thing. After a successful legal battle which resulted in the overpaid Board of Directors of Tesla having to return $700 million in excess compensation to shareholders, the winning lawyers now want $10,ooo per hour in return for their legal services, for a total of $229 million in legal fees, which if appproved, would be the largest legal payout ever in a shareholder lawsuit. There will be a hearing in Deleware set in October to approve this new settlement. Corporate star attorneys typically request a maximum of $2000 per hour, by way of contrast. (21 Sep)

Fight for your right to eviction party. In Berkeley, California, the Property Owners Association (BPOA) there threw a cocktail party at Freehouse Bar, next to Berkeley university campus, in celibration of the end of the eviction moratorium in honor of landlords in the area. It drew protestors, which then resulted in fisticuffs on both sides. Protestors left the venue shortly after the fights broke out. The BPOA says that there were many that could have paid rent but chose not to during the moratorium. But if that were true, that would be fraudulent, and there were few or no convictions of tenants due to fraud to anyone’s knowledge. Berkeley and the surrounding San Francisco Bay area have suffered from high rents and property values for some decades. (13 Sep)

Fined and jailed for eating redneck food. Indonesian food influencer Lina Lutfiawati had garnered thousands of followers on Tik Tok, showcasing food of many  kinds from many cultures. But her most recent consuming of pork rinds on video was too much for the Indonesian Muslim clerics, and she was arrested. Touching pigs is taboo in Indonesian Muslim culture, and is in violation of blasphemy laws. Muslims make up almost 90% of the Indonesian population. (21 Sep)

Boebert steals the show, gets bad reviews.

NSFW. Has sexual content.

Republican congressperson Lauren Boebert, previously known for her verbal catfight in a ladies’ room with her fellow flaky colleague Marjorie Taylor-Greene, among other notable congressional lunacy, has recently been ejected from a theatre showing of the musical Beetlejuice in Denver with her date, a 46 year-old bar owner named Quinn Gallagher – 10 years her senior, for vaping, singing, using her phone to record the show, and mutual masturbation (over the clothes), all caught on surveillance camera, which also showed complaining nearby patrons. Their ejection from the theatre by threat of police being called was accompanied by such hubristic parlance as “Do you know who I am?” and “I’m going to contact the mayor!” Her most recent apology regarding this incident was for her “maybe overtly animated” behaviour at the theatre that day. Political pundit and occasional drama critic Ann Coulter gave the Boebert performance 1 star. (17 Sep)

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Visits: 537

OceanGate-Gate

OceanGate
Clicking on this image gets you to one version of the story. David Ryder/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by David Ryder / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

On the 18th of June, 2023, a submersible named Titan owned by the company OceanGate, disappeared in international waters in the North Atlantic, 400 nautical miles (740 km) south of St.John’s, Newfoundland, close to the wreck of the Titanic ocean liner which went down 1912. The United States Navy picked up a loud sound in the vicinity of Titan on their SOSUS (SOund SUrveillance System) as the multinational search was proceeding. But suspecting a problem with Titan, and not knowing much else, the search continued in a race against time, before Titan’s oxygen ran out. Yesterday, hopes were dashed as parts of Titan were found adrift on the ocean floor, signifying a catastrophic implosion of the pressure hull, which at 12,000 feet below sea level, must have instantly killed all on board.

An implosion of a 9′ diameter, 22′ long sub (about the size of a minivan) would have an energy about equal to a quarter ton of dynamite. It is likely that there may not even be bodies to recover, due to this magnitude of destructive force. At a depth of over 10,000 feet, the implosion would kill all on board in under 0.1 seconds due to the intense pressure at that depth. 0.1 seconds would not be enough time for anyone to comprehend their fate, nor for their nervous systems to react.

Among the 5 dead were vessel pilot Stockton Rush, age 61, CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, the owners of Titan. Others were tourists Hamish Harding (age 58), Shahzada Dawood (age 48) along with his 19 year-old son Suleman; and Paul-Henry Nargeolet (age 77). Suleman had initially not wanted to board the Titan, but decided that he would be in the capsule with his father Shahzada because it was just after Father’s day. Two of the 5 were billionaires.

The story has all the elements of tragedy if you choose as the tragic hero pilot and CEO Stockton Rush, whose hubris could fill volumes. He had a peculiar style of hubris, one of the innovative engineer, champion of free markets — that is, free of pesky regulations made to keep things like submarines, safe. In Stockton’s own words: “There hasn’t been an injury in the commercial sub industry in over 35 years,” according to Smithsonian magazine back in 2019. “It’s obscenely safe because they have all these regulations. But it also hasn’t innovated or grown — because they have all these regulations.” Stockton saw this as an obstacle to be overcome.

The four passengers signed a waiver before embarking on the trip. As part of their waiver they signed, the estates of the passengers would pay for any expenses for search and rescue, even in the event those efforts become fruitless. While for some that may be a warning, others would likely see it as an invitation to adventure.

Another way that this is a compelling story concerns the privelege of wealth. These expeditions cost $250,000US for each passenger. Only the rich could afford such luxuries.

The construction of the Titan appeared free of regulation. Apart from the dubious decision to make the pressure hull out of carbon fibre (a material that is not designed for that kind of stress), there was also no escape hatch, and no way to exit from within the vessel for any reason. Exiting would require someone from outside the vessel to undo bolts which fasten the exit hatch to the vessel body. This means that even if they would have successfully risen to the ocean surface, their oxygen can still run out unless there was someone outside the vessel waiting nearby with a socket wrench.

The Titan was controlled by a modified Logitech F710 Wireless Game Controller, which you could get at BestBuy in Canada for 40 bucks, and is similar to a GameBoy controller. While the carbon that make up much of its body is stronger than steel, it can be surprisingly brittle, and can shatter like an eggshell under the right conditions. OceanGate, makers of Titan claimed on their website, that the ship was “designed and engineered by OceanGate Inc. in collaboration [with] experts from NASA, Boeing, and the University of Washington“, all three of whom denied any association with OceanGate whatsoever.

Titan lacked an independent navigation system. The pilot relied on constant guidance from a support ship, which notified Titan’s position and direction information by text message. Its propulsion system lacked redundancy to guard against engine failures. It lacked a black box to record the operation of the vessel.

While 5 deaths of wealthy people have been decried as a tragedy and given wall-to-wall news coverage, other deaths of less wealthy people this week were treated as more of a statistic, and given much more marginal coverage.

The Adriana, carrying far too many passengers to be safe.

Earlier this week, we hear about a fishing boat called the Adriana, headed for Italy, which recently sank in the Mediterranean near Pylos, Greece, carrying 700 migrants including 100 children. They sought refuge from war, poverty and the effefcts of climate change with little more than the clothes on their back. According to Democracy Now!, they paid human traffickers the equivalent of thousands of dollars to ferry them from Libya. Many of these passengers originated from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria and Palestine. The small boat was critically overcrowded, and soon capsized causing many to fall into the sea, according to The New York Times, after making some erratic sharp turns. 104 were rescued, with 78 known dead, and the rest missing, presumed drowned in that part of the Mediterranean, which was 13,000 feet deep, beyond the reach of divers.

Most of the survivors were men, as women and children were held below deck, presumably to protect them from the elements. It is likely that none held below deck survived the capsizing, according to a report from Al Jazeera.

Both news sources – Democracy Now! and The New York TImes – offer conflicting explanations as to why the Greek Hellenic Coast Guard didn’t activate a rescue. According to Democracy Now!, coast guard authorities knew well ahead of the tragedy that the Adriana was in trouble, but chose not to initiate a rescue operation. The Times cite a statement from the Hellenic Coast Guard themselves, who said the boat’s crew declined their offers of assistance on at least two occasions. These statements can be considered suspect, given Greece’s tough stance on migration.

Overall, the UN International Organization on Migration says that in 2022, of 3879 migrant deaths just from the Middle East and North Africa regions, 92% of them are unidentified. And since official statistics are so lacking, the actual number of dead from these regions may be much higher.

Visits: 151

Florida Man Made an Announcement

The greatest headline ever, circled in red.

This is when some media have nailed it. The New York Post wrote a news article yesterday regarding a certain Florida retiree making an announcement. The headline is below the fold and cross-references you to turn to page 26 to see the actual article. When you turn there, you see the article referenced, this time with the headline “Been there, Don that” (sic).

This is New York Post publisher Rupert Murdoch doing the ultimate in damning someone with faint praise. The retiree referred to here is apparently an avid golfer and collector of classified documents. He is also senile and is known to throw ketchup at the television. The retiree, a certain Donald J. Trump, is saying he will run for president in 2024. The article, which was not much over 100 words in its entirety, was bylined by “Post staff”.

That day’s issue headlined the wounding of a 3 year-old and another about a crackdown on gangs as the day’s top stories, the usual fare in the Murdoch-owned tabloid daily.

The entire article from start to finish.

Visits: 120

Biting the hand that feeds you, then asking to be fed: A study of Ron DeSantis

In other Hurricane Ian news, there is also the one about Hurricane Ron. Florida governor Ron DeSantis, long an opponent of government relief for previous hurricane victims and advising flood victims in Puerto Rico and other states to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and not ask for government handouts, is now asking for government handouts from Joe Biden.

Sending that planeload of immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, the retirement home of many high luminaries in the Democratic Party as well as cottage country for the high class liberals now looks short-sighted and idiotic, to say nothing of DeSantis’s seeking every opportunity to thumb his nose at Democratic leaders. It is hard to tell how this begging Biden for funds will play out. DeSantis bites the hand that fed him, now he is asking to be fed.

But now the immigrants must feel relieved to be flown out of harm’s way. It illustrates how attempts to use immigrants as political pawns can backfire in so many ways. I get the feeling that he will bet on the short memory of the public, and try to say that he was actually doing them a favour.

Visits: 117

Blake Masters

It used to be easy to find primary source information on Blake Masters until he decided to run for senator in Arizona. Masters is a big follower of Peter Thiel, having written several blog articles of his lecture notes on computer company startups while Thiel was a lecturer at Stanford. The course CS183 yielded quite a lengthy blog posting and a book entitled Zero to One on Comptuer Startups, attributed to “Peter Thiel with Blake Masters”.

When Thiel left Stanford to start and run PayPal, Masters was taken on and worked closely with Thiel.  Thiel’s businesses grew to the point where he became influential in politics, and becoming influential in Donald Trump’s administration. However, apart from tax cuts and deregualtion, Trump didn’t accomplish much else. Masters was, until his entry into politics, Chief of Operations at Thiel Capital, an investment firm owned by Peter Thiel. He resigned from the Thiel group of companies to pursue his political career, with Thiel’s blessing, moving from California to Arizona, where the political climate is more favourable for a Trumpian like himself to be nominated for candidate for the GOP senate there.

Since his declaration to run for senator, searching for “Blake Masters” on Duck Duck Go yielded results that were overrun by recent aticles by news outlets and blogs about him and his Silocon Valley style of libertarianism, his designs for presidential candidacy, and his connections with Trump. His close connections with Thiel has benefitted him in his political ambitions, in that Thiel has contributed $10 million to a Super PAC toward his candidacy.

My impression of what has been written about Masters by recent press is that he is Trump with more character and discernment. The brains behind him, it appears, will always be Thiel. Masters has seemed to align his opinions and approach to white supremacy, and his opinions on second amendment rights to Alex Jones. However, he does this by questioning our agreed-upon assumptions about racial equality and gun control. He has said that “black people, frankly” are to blame for gun violence. He advocates against gun control even to the point of including “ghost guns” – home-made, untraceable firearms which are illegal in several states.

He also appears to be a fan of the writings of Ted Kaczynski, known as The Unabomber, listing his essay “Industrial Society and Its Future” as recommended reading.

All this to say if Masters is elected, what could possibly go wrong?

Visits: 1251

The 2021 Release of the last of the JFK documents

There has been a slow release of previously top-secret documents relating to the JFK assassination. The official telling of the story of the assassination, ranging from the “Magic Bullet” theory to the silencing or killing of anyone who could tell the truth, left a void for many different stories. Was there a conspiracy to kill the president, or wasn’t there? The unofficial line, outlined by Oliver Stone’s movie JFK, backed up by a substantial part of what was known by th early 1990s, appeared to make more sense, but because it was a theory that involves a conspiracy, it was dismissed by Magic Bullet supporters as a “conspiracy theory”.

The assassination happened the year I was born, and after the Warren Report, the documents, it was said, would not be released for another half century or more.

Since 2017, there has been a trove of documents released to The National Archives in Washington, with digitized versions placed on the internet. The most recent release has been in December of 2021. The planned release was delayed a few months due to covid. The National Archives states that they have released over 5 million pages of documents related to the assassination.

Visits: 57

The 2021 Federal Election: The Fringe Parties that ran

Fringe Parties are obscure, and many have been around for a very long time. Elections Canada has listed 22 of them running in the last election. Here is a list of 12 of them that were on ballots somewhere in Canada yesterday, with short comments.

Rhinoceros Party

Logo - neorhino.caThe “Rhinos” first ran as a joke in the ’60s. One of their promises currently is to make illiteracy Canada’s third official language, suggesting little has changed. It is a great way to spoil your ballot, and still say to people that you voted. Not on this list is a party called the “Absolutely Absurd Party”, a party who wrote into their platform (yes they had one), a motion to replace the Canadian Department of Defense with “a team of crack Rock-Paper-Scissors commandos.” The Absolutely Absurd party de-registered themselves for this election. The Rhinos did not, and ran 28 candidates nationwide yesterday in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.

Communist Party

Communist Party of Canada logoThe Communist Party has been around for a very long time. Currently, their website appears to give the impression that they have defined themselves in terms of their hatred of crappy right-wing policies. It is not clear as to whether they have any kind of platform, but they ran 28 candidates across all provinces except Newfoundland and PEI. Two candidates were elected as Members of Parliament back in 1943. They were banned for awhile and re-surfaced in the 1950s.

Marxist-Leninist Party

Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada logoWhat is the difference between the Communists and the Marxist-Leninists? Who knows? Both parties have been around for several generations, and the question reigns perennial. But their website indicates that they have run more than 25 candidates over several provinces this election. They show their expertise with social criticism and make some good points, but it falls far short of a platform.

Libertarian Party

Libertarian Party of Canada logoWe have registered parties ranging from the far left to the far right. The Libertarians have been around for some decades, and their definition of “libertarian” is to liberate capital and business with laissez-faire economic policies. So, this is considered far right. They ran 24 candidates.

Centrist Party

Centrist Party of CanadaSounds good, nice website, but despite the fact there are registered with Elections Canada, their website triggered virus detection on my PC, and messed up my Firefox browser. Thus, it was not clear as to whether they ran any candidates, or what their platform is. The information provided by Elections Canada suggests that nearly all of their activity appears to be confined to the Greater Toronto Area.

Canada’s Fourth Front

Canada's Fourth Front logoYou must admit, the name of the party sounds pretty dramatic, but as an anticlimax to this drama, the website is down. Would have been nice to write them up here, but alas, no-can-do. They are running a grand total of 7 candidates. Elections Canada has them as based in Toronto.

Veteran’s Coalition Party

Veterans Coalition Party of CanadaThe Nova Scotia and Alberta-based Veteran’s Coalition Party are a party promoting the abstract values of “truth, duty and honor”. However, I have trouble seeing that as a platform. They ran 25 candidates anyway.

Christian Heritage Party

Christian Heritage Party of Canada logoA party headquartered in Ottawa which CBC reports is running 15 candidates and is focused on social conservatism. They promote a Christian world view, which means they will fight a war against anything they see as contradicting it. Examples are defunding the CBC, and abolishing pro-choice.

Marijuana Party

Marijuana Party logoThis is, as the name suggests, a single-issue party, based in Montreal, aimed at greater access to marijuana. The fact that they see this as the single defining issue in the age of covid and global warming may not ring so true after they come down. They are running 4 candidates.

Animal Protection Party

Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada logoAnother single-issue party, this time aimed at protecting animals. I have said in another article, writing about a similar-themed party that we indeed live in an age where animal rights seems to be more of an animating issue than human rights these days. But I also stated in that article that Mother Nature does not run a democracy, and that we need animals and plants more than they need us. This Toronto-based party was running 39 candidates in yesterday’s election.

Maverick Party

Maverick PartyNothing spells Western alientation like a Bloc-style political party for Western Canada. The Alberta-based Mavericks are running 25 or so candidates, just in BC, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Parti Patriote

Parti PatrioteA Montreal-based party that pre-dates Canada’s existence. It was started in Lower Canada from  an assembly of Francophones and Irish Anglophones, both of whom distrusted the British. They are currently a right-wing party who stand for Quebec nationalism and sovereignty. The latest instance of this party was re-started by Donald Proulx in 2019. They are running two candidates, according to their French-only website.

Visits: 55

Life After Wokeness

Ideology is a specious way of relating to the world. It offers human beings the illusion of an identity, of dignity, and of morality, while making it easier for them to part with them.” — Vaclav Havel (1978) The Power of the Powerless. Saimizdat.

If I was Vaclav Havel’s Green Grocer, what sign would I hang on my shop, as the utopia of wokeness comes to power? Maybe some woke-sounding thing like “Love comes in all colours”, with perhaps the pride colours as part of the sign.

Similarly to Marx’s call to arms of yesteryear, a shopper may gloss over the slogan to see what I have on sale; or if they bother to notice, think that the message is heartwarming, something that all folks can agree with. On its own merit, “Love comes in all colours” doesn’t offend, and brings out the warm fuzzies. But cheifly, Green Grocer remains a person to do business with if the items on offer are appealing, and the price is right. The slogan is really not so much of a warm, fuzzy statement of the Green Grocer’s view of matters of gender and sexual orientation so much as a passive acceptance of those elites that are in power.

While the language of wokeness, a genuine language since its words suck the life and meaning out of every word it utters, purports to “celebrate” oppressed groups of all descriptions, its main proponents come from the most elite of prep schools, and educated at Ivy League universities. They work in high positions of the largest organizations and businesses. You might have noticed that the message of wokeness come from the top down.

The use of “Celebrate” is used in a way that deprives it of all life and meaning. Rather than a spontaneous show of our elation, “celebrate” is more of a command. Claims that I “celebrate” our diversity is a token of my social acceptance, and does not mean that I plan a party and send out invites.

It is worth “celebrating” when oppressed people make demands. But in this case, the demands are instead coming from the top down. Large organizations are the ones telling us to “acknowledge” the contributions of minories; to “celebrate” diversity. If taken on their face value, the words are not so much the problem. What poses a difficulty is who is calling the shots. Speaking truth to power is quite different from those in power telling us what to think and do, no matter how much they dress themselves in humanistic-sounding jargon.

Like most directives from on high, this “celebration” of our differences and cultures does not take on the open forum of a discussion. It is more like a lecture by those of purportedly superior knowledge to the rest of us purported know-nothings. The jargon used has the calculated effect of requiring a high barrier of intellectual entry for most people, thereby discouraging discussion. In that regard, it is no different from the attempt conservatives take to exact loyalty and conformity to their own groups’ way of thinking. It is telling that “antifa” has become the new “communism” in terms of politically taboo groups of people. Anti-fascism is the only true antidote to both of these tendencies, since both are fascist in nature; and it is the one tendency that strikes terror in both of these elite groups.

Visits: 68

The latest legal tome from the United States Supreme Court

The audacity of the Texas AG to sue other states is grandstanding writ large. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton should also sue his own State of Texas for the same reasons he is suing the four swing states. It is widely believed that the legal action was a ruse to distract Texans from the fact that he himself is being investigated by the FBI.

The latest Supreme Court unsigned court order regarding “stopping the steal” was in  late yesterday. While this was a very short judgement on a case involving seventeen republican states (as plaintiffs) spearheaded by the  Texas attorney-general, it is a veritable War And Peace novel compared with Tuesday’s one-sentence judgement against Mike Kelly’s challenge to the Pennsylvania vote. I think both rulings could have been further shortened to “WTF”. The rulings do come as a gift to ADD sufferers and to the general public.

I have always been on two minds about whether this is worthy of reporting in the major media. Is it the responsibility of reporters and news agencies to highlight every kooky development of these tinfoil-hat wearing nutbars, which accomplished nothing except wasting taxpayer’s money and the court’s time? This is to say nothing about addressing a pandemic where the very states these attorneys general represent see their citizens dying in record numbers.

Sometimes being dismissive is an appropriate reaction, as the Republicans and their propagandists (like Facebook, Twitter and Fox News) have given the rest of the world much to dismiss. They wouldn’t adhere to such potty ideas if they were not rewarded with so much attention from the major media.

The same goes for the protestors. Protestors have a right to protest, even it it’s based on a crazy theory such as the Democrats stealing the election. But the major media don’t have to report it. There are plenty of protests based on nutty ideas, and none of them get reported.

If someone wants to believe that the Democrats are part of a “satanic sex-trafficking ring which practices cannibalism”, I say let them. If news media no longer thinks it’s newsworthy, it will all die down at the grassroots level. After the number of proponents of these conspiracy theories decline, they will  instead just annoy their friends and relatives as before.

Visits: 66

Ayn Rand Institute on the Dole

Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand

Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum, or Ayn Rand, as you may or may not know, is an atheist responsible for extolling her invented philosophy called “objectivism”, as detailed in her doorstopper work of fiction called Atlas Shrugged. Her nonfiction works included titles such as “The Virtue of Selfishness” and “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal”. While objectivism never worked as a serious branch of philosophy, her philosophy of “what’s good for ‘me’ is good for mankind” resonated with those invested in capitalism. In recent decades many in American government saw it as a way of promoting themselves to say that they had read Ayn Rand. By far the most notable American politician who claims to have read any of her works is American congressman Paul Ryan, who claims it formed the basis of his entire political career, according to a speech he made to the Atlas Institute in 2005, the 100th anniversary of Ayn’s birth. Senator Rand Paul, contrary to rumors, wasn’t named after Ayn’s pen surname (his full name is actually Randal Paul, with one “l”), but is also another big fan of the late Ms. Rand since his teen years. Both elected officials extoll “free markets” and decry “socialism” in all of its forms, in the spirit of Ayn Rand. Another prominent supporter of Ayn Rand was Alan Greenspan, who chaired the Federal reserve between 1987 and 2006. None of these people have any significant background in philosophy.

Ayn was in the twilight years of her life ironically making use of medicare and social security after suffering from medical problems related to her smoking habit. She died in 1982 at age 77.

A week ago, Reuters reported that the Ayn Rand Institute was among those who applied for the American government’s Paycheck Protection Program, which under the current pandemic, gives it access to up to 1 million dollars of government money. It is indeed ironic that an institute dedicated to “ending the welfare state” would find it within their philosophy to actually embrace the welfare state as they do here. Oh, and they embrace this wholeheartedly, making it a “matter of moral principle”. The argument is roughly: because we pay taxes, we therefore must all apply for any handouts we can get our hands on as a form of restitution for the theft of taxation. On the other hand, those who support the welfare state have no right to claim such access to handouts, since they are in support of theft (taxation), and therefore lack any moral justification to be so compensated. This means that, according to the website, the fault lies in the contradictions of the welfare state, and not in the Ayn Rand institute, who merely claim what was taken from them.

It is very convenient that members of the Ayn Rand Institute do not feel the need for living up to their own convictions. The institute is not out to make a profit; indeed it is a right-wing think tank that receives private donations, and as such it is registered in Irvine, California as a nonprofit organization (under tax code 501(c)(3)), thus avoiding taxation altogether. It has no real moral claim to restitution of any such government thievery, since nothing was ever taken from them. Nope. They’re just sponging off the government.

Visits: 80

Two bullet point pieces on Trump

Sorry, but there will be a lack of attribution. This is not my own, but is lightly edited:

1. Trump description
  • The “billionaire” who hides his tax returns.
  • The “genius” who hides his college grades.
  • The “businessman” who bankrupted 3 casinos and lost over $1B in 10 years.
  • The “playboy” who pays for sex.
  • The “Christian” who doesn’t go to church.
  • The “philanthropist” who defrauds charity.
  • The “patriot” who dodged the draft. And attacks dead Veterans and their widows.
  • The “innocent man” who refuses to testify.
2. Trump Dictionary
  • Many People have told me = Voices in my head and fictional people have said to me
  • A lot of people don’t know = I just learned something most people already knew
  • Nobody knew = Everyone knew except me
  • Believe me = I just lied
  • In Fact = I’m about to lie
  • He’s a great guy = He is either a foreign dictator or a Klansman
  • MAGA = Making my pockets fatter off the American tax payers
  • Huge = Unimportant to most people except Trump
  • Loser = someone who makes me feel inferior due to their talent or accomplishments, often a government employee guilty of doing their job
  • Policy Briefing = Watching Fox and Friends
  • Liar = Someone telling the truth about me
  • Fake News = News which Trump finds inconvenient
  • Deep state = Gov’t people with experience whom I disagree with

Visits: 82

Why the Democratic race is a joke

The American people face the most serious time in their history. We are observing politicians submitting to a ruler who thinks he “is” the people. Not since the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings has such a mentality become the ideology of the day. To oppose this nonsense, you would think that the Democrats would put their differences aside and select a politician more committed to the rule of law than by fiat, and the contenders throw their support behind him or her.

What we are getting instead is the same style of nomination process that worked for Donald Trump, with the same thinking in mind: If Bernie Sanders is thought of as such a loony toon (I think he is fine but this is the wrong time for him), why don’t the others forget their ambitions and unite against him? Once again, like the Coronation of Trump, this is appearing to be a coronation of Sanders, which all but hands Trump his second term, and exacerbates any divisions in the country.

The reason it hands the victory to Trump, is because Sanders exactly fits the stereotype of the Democrats that Trump wants to attack. Trump and those in his party stereotype the Democrats as “socialists” and “extremists”, and so on. While none of that has been remotely true for over 50 years, and the Dems have been just as guilty of abandoning the working class over that time (half the reason Trump appealed to those same people in the Rust Belt), they open themselves to the worst attacks, nigtmare scenarios and conspiracy theories that the Republicans can throw at them.

Overall, I actually hope for a Sanders win, with control of the house and senate turned over to the Democrats. I just think that the dems are better off with a more moderate foil to Trump. But this lack of united front seems to be more helpful to Trump, since they thrive on division, and the choice of dems to divide themselves just makes the Republican’s job easier.

Visits: 93

End of the year in review: A review of New York Times reviews

It is because I subscribe to the Times that I have commented so much about them as of late. In my mind, I serve as the latter-day incarnation of LOOT magazine from the early 1990s. Lies Of Our Times was a critique of America’s newspaper of record, the New York Times. It had an unfortunate radical-sounding name. However, the critiques were scholarly, and it taught me, before I became influenced by FAIR magazine and Noam Chomsky, how to read newspapers or magazines in a way that revealed their subtext.

The end-of-year/end-of-decade reviews are not so much a way to remind us what had gone on in the past, as it is a way to show by way of a yardstick the success to which the propaganda system which is the major media, have made it possible for the Donald Trumps of the world to divide us and conquer us.

After a solid three years of anti-Trump vitriol, the New York Times now characterizes us as “divided”, “mistrustful”, and so on, in their opinion pieces. Of course, this would not be successful had it not been for Trump’s incessant tweeting, Trump’s rallies and Fox News. The Times probably blames Trump and the Republicans; Trump blames “the fake news”, of which the New York Times is one of several targets.

I know the media would say that Trump would say outrageous thing to “stay true to his base”, or to “play to his base”. It is never stated who “the base” are, exactly. Without doing much of a survey here, I would say it’s a solid guess that anyone who would benefit from his promises would be his base. Rich people obviously. But there are also the poor white people in the southern and midwestern states that the press likes to mention so often. And middle-aged white men. I think they mean bigots and people of low literacy. Yes, the people the paper of record mentions do happen to be largely working-class and have been abandoned by the Democrats for several decades now. They have become so desparate, that they now cling to a billionaire born with a silver spoon in his mouth — just the kind of person the working class would normally despise, just because he seems to rankle the Democrats, and speak of the working class in terms that raise them slightly above the level of a doormat.

As an asside, yes, the Democrats abandoned the working class. This leaves the Democrats with nothing really to stand for. The Republicans have now shown the Democrats up on this very point by showing us all that “the party of the rich” can also command support of the working class, whose needs they will promptly ignore but for advocacy at rallies and election speeches. It is hard to see for all of the fireworks, but the Republicans being against “anything Democrat”, paired with the Democrats now fighting over what their party stands for, now lays bare the idea that for the past 40 years or so the Dems have stood for nothing, but have only appeared to stand for the working class. As of late, the charade has been revealed in the Dems uneasiness with the Green New Deal and other enhancements to working class and minorities such as raising the minimum wage, championed by Ocasio-Cortez and her like. Since the mid-seventies, America has been pretty much a one-party state masquerading as a two-party state. All the Republicans are guilty of is revealing to all of us the truth about this reality. Republicans have waged an all-out war on the poor from the start. In recent years, they have tried to undermine or tear apart the Affordable Health Care Act; and have on several occasions sought to turn away refugees and immigrants, and sending children and toddlers of these immigrants to concentration camps. The border wall is the most visible example, though largely only symbolic. No one is a friend of the working class in any true sense, but both parties need their vote.

In this light, the major media’s job apparently, seems to have been to preside over assessing how successful divide and conquer has been to guarantee allegiance to parties that are really essentially alike. Expect a lot of this from the major media in the coming week or month, under the ruse of “reflecting us back to ourselves”. We know what that reflection will look like: we are divided. This is thanks to the efforts of Fox News to cheerlead the Republican party, and of CNN and the Times to cheerlead the Democrats. A discourse of basic facts counts for little these days, when we are disputing what the facts are.

Visits: 72

Electability

electabilityThere has been, in recent elections, a new word that adds to the rhetoric of the role of the media in telling us what to think and helping to shape the outcomes of elections, whether wittingly or unwittingly. “Electability” is a subjective term, taken, I suppose, to mean that the platform and views held by the candidate have what the media deems to be a dose of reality and pragmatism. So, no dreamers, no idealists, definitely no socialists, but no fascists either (although Trump comes close to the latter).

Isn’t the concept of “electability” just another way of deciding an election before the ballots are cast? Why do discussions like this even exist, if it were not for the promotion of one candidate over another? Not sure why Biden is being picked on, I am not partial to him, myself; but I think that some things need to be left to the minds of the voters, and not tell them what to think. I shouldn’t care about “electable”; I should only care if a candidate shares my views and supports policies that affect “me”.

Electability, in the context of the 2020 American elections, begins to sound too much like being careful not to upstage Trump and for the Democrats to return to the role of Greek Chorus to Trump’s every new outrageous distraction.

Visits: 1532

The indices of Harper’s Magazine

I have been a fan of Harper’s Magazine since the 1980s. In particular, I loved the Readings section, as well as the factoids list (with citations) known as Harper’s Index, near the front of each issue. Here are 100 factoids I’ve researched from over the years, dates not important, but they have been taken from issues since 2000. I have favoured factoids that are not dated, but that was difficult as many good ones with dates crept in. The URL for Harper’s magazine is http://harpers.org, and is available on some newsstands, but not as many these days as in days previous.

  • Cost to produce Safeguard, the only U.S. ground-based long-range missile shield ever deployed: $23,500,000,000
  • Number of days in the 1970s that the system was operational before it was abandoned as inadequate: 135
  • Pounds of fuel required to maintain this year’s 11,500 Olympic torches: 2,029
  • Ratio of the amount of energy generated by 1 gallon of ethanol to the amount of energy required to produce it : 1:0.9
  • Number of times Colin Powell said, “I don’t recall” or, “I can’t recall” during his 1987 Iran-Contra testimony: 56
  • Percentage of global economic activity accounted for by the world’s 200 largest corporations: 27.5
  • Percentage of the world’s population that these corporations employ: 0.8
  • Minimum number of mentally retarded Americans who have been executed by the justice system since 1976 : 35
  • Estimated chance that a U.S. prisoner is mentally retarded: 1 in 14
  • Days after Time named George W. Bush 2000’s man of the year that Russians named Vladimir Lenin man of the century: 4
  • Places by which Russia’s ranking in the U.N.’s Human Development Index of living standards has fallen since 1990 : 31
  • Rank of the United States and Britain among nations whose residents are most likely to be obese: 1,2
  • Rank of Hungary: 3
  • Ratio of the number of pardons George W. Bush has issued turkeys to those he has issued human beings: 2:1
  • Ratio of the average life span of a commercially bred turkey to that of a wild one: 1:7
  • Year in which Disney’s Mickey Mouse copyright will expire if the Supreme Court reverses a 1998 extension this winter (2002): 2003
  • Minutes that a Massachusetts surgeon left a patient with an open incision while he went to deposit a check: 35
  • Percentage change since 1990 (to 2003) in the number of U.S. schoolchildren labeled “disabled” : +37
  • Chances that a U.S. adult does not want to live to be 120 under any circumstances: 2 in 3
  • Chance that an American adult believes that “politics and government are too complicated to understand” : 1 in 3
  • Chance that an American who was home-schooled feels this way: 1 in 25
  • Acreage of a Christian nudist colony under development in Florida (in 2004): 240
  • Percentage of the 13,129 varieties of dirt in the United States that are endangered: 4
  • Years in prison to which two ex-Pentagon officials were sentenced last year for taking bribes of money and prostitutes: 24
  • Number of years a North Carolina man has been in prison for stealing a television: 33
  • Rank, on the Turkish bestseller list in March (2005), of a thriller depicting a U.S. invasion of Turkey: 1
  • Rank of Mein Kampf: 2
  • Average percentage by which the power of the male heart declines between the ages of 18 and 75 : 20
  • Average percentage by which the female heart does: 0
  • Amount a Chinese online gamer made last year (in 2004) by selling a virtual sword he had borrowed from a friend: $850
  • Months later that the friend retaliated by stabbing him to death with a real knife: 6
  • Number of beetles that right-wing entomologists have named after Bush Administration officials: 3
  • Number of times that Mary, Jesus’ mother, is referenced by name in the Bible and the Koran, respectively: 19,34
  • Number of “Wal-ocaust” T-shirts sold by a Georgia man before Wal-Mart ordered him to cease and desist: 1
  • Ratio, in the United States, of the number of Wal-Mart employees to the number of high school teachers: 1:1
  • Portion of states where the projected climate in 2100 will not be able to sustain their official tree or flower: 3/5
  • Number of words spoken by Clarence Thomas during Supreme Court oral arguments since February 2006 (until Aug 2007): 132
  • Number by Samuel Alito, the Justice who spoke the second-fewest words: 14,404
  • Percentage of single U.S. women in their twenties who are “very” or “extremely” willing to marry for money: 61
  • Percentage of women in their thirties who are : 74
  • Percentage change since 1985 (to 2009) in the number of U.S. newspapers with reporters covering Congress : –72
  • Percentage of six- to nine-year-old American girls (in 2009) who wear lipstick or lip gloss : 46
  • Number of poppyseed bagels that could be made with Afghanistan’s annual poppy harvest : 357,000,000
  • Percentage of British elementary-school students who think Isaac Newton discovered fire : 60
  • Number of U.S. states that have more pigs than people : 3
  • Minimum number of birds that die from crashing into New York City windows each year : 100,000
  • Number of Bentleys purchased in Russia in 2000 and in 2010, respectively : 0, 113
  • Estimated portion of registered voters in Zimbabwe who are dead : 1/4
  • Average minutes more exercise per week that a heavy drinker gets than a non-drinker : 21
  • Portion of the total U.S. corn crop that goes to make ethanol : 2/5
  • Projected worldwide surplus of low-skill workers by 2020 : 93,000,000
  • Projected worldwide deficit of high- and medium-skill workers by that time : 85,000,000
  • Rank of China among global beer producers by volume : 1
  • Rank of the United States : 2
  • Percentage change since 1988 (to 2012) in U.S. teen-pregnancy rates : –36
  • In abstinence rates among white teens : +31
  • Among black teens : +56
  • Portion of Americans who don’t walk for at least ten continuous minutes at any point in an average week : 2/5
  • Percentage of American cats that are overweight : 58
  • Percentage of men in dual-income marriages who said they struggled with work-family conflict in 1977 : 35
  • Who say they do today (2013): 60.
  • Average annual cost of detaining an inmate at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay : $900,000
  • At a supermax prison in the United States : $65,000
  • Portion of all online advertising that is never seen by a human being : 1/2
  • Percentage of U.S. children in 1960 who lived in households headed by heterosexuals in their first marriage : 73
  • Who do today (2015) : 46
  • Estimated minimum gallons of water used annually to produce Coca-Cola products : 8,000,000,000,000
  • Ratio of money spent by Britons on prostitution to that spent on hairdressing : 1:1
  • Years in prison to which a New Mexico man was sentenced last year (in 2015) for shooting children with a semen-filled squirt gun : 18
  • Estimated number of people who will be driven into extreme poverty by 2030 because of climate change : 100,000,000
  • Percentage of the world’s civilian-owned firearms that are owned by Americans : 48
  • Number of Americans aged 60 and older who have outstanding student loans : 2,800,000
  • Portion of those borrowers who have taken on debt to pay for a child or grandchild’s education : 3/4
  • Percentage of children’s toys available in Sweden that contain banned chemicals : 15
  • Of sex toys available in Sweden : 2
  • Average number of people who die in avalanches in the United States each year : 27
  • Number of FBI confidential informants (in 2017) who worked for Best Buy’s Geek Squad between 2008 and 2012 : 8
  • Rank of Nebraska among states with the least liked state flags : 1
  • Number of days in January that the flag at the state capitol flew upside down before anyone noticed : 7
  • Number of US states in which fluorescent pink is a legal color for hunting apparel : 6
  • Chance an American has taken an “active shooter” preparedness class : 1 in 10
  • Percentage of US “active shooters” from 2000 to 2016 who were killed by police : 21
  • Who were killed by armed civilians : 1
  • Number of universities in which half of all the US tenured and tenure-track history professors are trained : 8
  • Number of the twenty largest German companies that are headquartered in the former East Germany : 0
  • Rank of Germany in consumption of nonalcoholic beer : 2
  • Of Iran : 1
  • Portion of Hawaii’s drinking water that comes from underground wells : 9/10
  • Gallons of raw sewage that leak into the ground from Hawaii cesspools each day : 53,000,000
  • Percentage change since 2009 in reports of human waste on San Francisco streets (in 2018): +391
  • Chance that a given day is a public holiday in Cambodia : 1 in 13
  • Rank of Disneyland among the happiest places on earth, according to Disneyland : 1
  • Percentage of Disneyland employees who worry about being evicted from their homes : 56
  • Number of dead people Americans have elected to Congress : 6
  • Factor by which a millennial is more likely than a baby boomer to claim they have a food allergy : 2
  • Number of states that allow roadkill to be salvaged for food : 31
  • Rank of Arabic among France’s most spoken languages : 2
  • Factor by which graduate students are more likely to experience depression or anxiety than the general population : 6
  • Percentage of Americans aged 18 to 34 who say they’d like to live forever : 24
  • Of Americans over 55 : 13

Visits: 113

Coverage by the failing New York Times (and nearly everyone else)

While I sip on my Covfefe, I find that the New York Times has already declared that Trump will lose the 2020 race. To be sure, Trump’s popularity is tanking, but that’s also what the press said before the 2016 race. I don’t consider this fake news, just premature news.

Like in the 2016 election, I wonder if this prognostication of Trump’s 2020 demise, albeit based on very real unpopularity, is still premature. I notice that there are not a whole lot of Republican opportunists sensing a vacuum and denouncing Trump to take the leadership for themselves. Why is that happening? I am sensing that Republicans, despite some rumblings, are getting a different message, and are still throwing their support behind Trump despite, as the Times reports, the lowest polling for a sitting president in 70 years or so.

Also, why aren’t more notable opponents running for the leadership of the Democrats?

A whole lot of the media coverage smells funny surrounding Trump, according to an analysis by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). For example, has anyone read any media reports as to why the figure $5.7 billion is touted as being needed to build the wall/slats/barrier/whatchamacallit along the Tex-Mex border? Why that amount? How are they spending it? Where did that number come from, outside of Trump’s declaration-by-fiat that that is what it will cost? Why was that figure unchanged after Trump changed the material from concrete to steel slats? The media appears silent on all of this. These are not minor questions, these are at the heart of the reason for the longest government shutdown in American history.

For those of us who read this news, it would be a good question to ponder: how does this premature prognostication help the far right?

Exactly how valuable to the Republicans is this “base” they like to appeal to so much? Why is this “base” not being abandoned without a second thought?

Visits: 91

More political articles on the Silent Majority

I believe the third time anyone writes an article on the same creepy topic, it is time either to cease and desist, or to make this into an ongoing series, embracing the concept whole.

Twice before, I have written with a straight face about how the dead participate in all parts of the electoral process, being both the voters, and those being voted on. And I have written more than once, that dead people have often won elections against their living opponents. While all this sounds both creepy and hilarious, these stories are utterly true. And before you think this is a liberal or conservative conspiracy, I also reiterate, that the dead benefit both sides of American politics. Since there are more dead people than living, we call them the real Silent Majority in this blog. We ought to root for them, since many of these are hard-working dead people who have never committed crimes, and don’t bother anyone.

After paying $1.50 for this issue of The Sun yesterday, I find that the cover story is an opinion piece.

Just yesterday in The Toronto Sun, the front page — yes, the front page, in the biggest screaming headlines you have ever seen in your life, decried the Liberal practice of leaving dead people on the voter rolls. So, now the silent majority have invaded the Canadian Liberal party, according to The Sun. While I understand that the Sun takes every opportunity to attack the Liberals, and have never met a politician to the right of Atilla the Hun they didn’t like, I have to say, the dead are not a voting block. I am certain that the list contains conservatives and liberals in fairly equal numbers. Regardless, no one can control the voting preferences of the Silent Majority, since you can’t speak to them, and they can’t speak to you. Even if you could speak to them, the Silent Majority will just vote as they damn well please. Or, do anything else they damn well please. You may have your perceptions and illusions about the Silent Majority, but we can both agree that you can’t tell them who to vote for. They just won’t listen, and you can’t change that.

You can call me a leading authority on the voting behavior of the Silent Majority. I have been observing them for quite a while now. And a good many years from now, I too will some day go to the Majority. To be honest, it’s pretty boring watching them, because I never see them move. I guess that’s part of their mystique.

Visits: 109

Truth and Action

Pontius Pilate answered a life-and-death question with a question: “What is truth?” We recognize his response as a indecisiveness masking avoidance behaviour, since truth is well-defined, requiring evidence. Generally, even the answer to the question “What is truth?” needs argument and evidence.

But truth without evidence is undefinable. It can be anything we want it to be. “What is truth?”, asked as if truth were some abstraction, is a discussion that leads nowhere. Like watching shadows in a cave, we can never be sure what the substance of the shadow is doing if we don’t see it, but we can look to the shadow for evidence. True, we may get the wrong idea, but there’s a pretty good chance of getting most of it right. Our brains are wired to put such things together. And though our perceptions may be wrong sometimes, ignoring those perceptions and assimilations is normally seen as foolish and naive.

We can never see everything there is to see in life, but nevertheless, life expects us to make sense of the world around us given our limited perceptions and world view. And the critical decisions we make affecting our lives are almost never based on perfect information. But we often base decision on the degenerate data available, further informed by past experience, and often are expected to render such judgements, whether it is in our line of work, or our daily lives. More often than not, not deciding is often more damaging to one’s future than deciding. With a decision, at least you have a way to base a future plan for coping with any consequences. In life, there is no fence-sitting. Deciding not to decide is still a decision. And it is a decision with consequences.

 

Visits: 115