Home country: US
Current location: Minneapolis
Member since: Fri Mar 11, 2011, 02:20 PM
Number of posts: 20,581
Home country: US
Current location: Minneapolis
Member since: Fri Mar 11, 2011, 02:20 PM
Number of posts: 20,581
absent some unforeseeable event between now and election day - there is going to be a bloodbath in the Republican party.
The old Reagan coalition of plutocrats, religulously insane and white working/middle-class bigots is coming unglued. The plutocrats got too greedy at the expense of much of the working and middle classes and the religulously insane warped off into a bizarro universe of their own. The growth in numbers of the Ayn Rand disciples only adds to the chaos. There ain't enough duct tape in the world to patch it back together.
The fundamental divide in the Repuke party now is between the plutocrats and the lunatic masses of religiously batshit dominionists, Ayn Rand disciples, xenophobic bigots and old-school John Birch Society paranoid crazies. The plutocrats have the money but the loonies have the numbers. There is no longer anything holding these groups together.
My guess is that, yes, there will be an even sharper turn to the right on the part of the loonies. There is no real Repuke "establishment" anymore and this campaign proves it. Rmoney was a perfect example of the old school plutocratic Establishment Republican. The only way he was able to secure the nomination was by pandering to the followers of the varied psychos (Bachmann, Santorum) on the far-right fringes. So expect the loonies to reject any attempt by the plutocrats to foist off a Jeb Bush on them in 2016. Jeb is a Bush and an epic asshole (I am here being redundant) but he's not a man bent on political suicide by pulling a Willard. By 2016 Bachmann and Santorum will represent the left edge of the Republican party base. They will go whole-hog in on Santorum or someone even more batshit insane that him. And if the economy is in anything resembling a decent state they will get crushed Goldwater or Mondale style.
The interesting question is whether the Repukes will ever be able to come back after such a curb-stomping. The plutocracy invented and ginned-up the baggers in a gamble, hoping that these orcs would let them reclaim a majority of the electorate. After Grampy tapped Princess Dumbass for the veep spot all of the real orcs and ogres came boiling down out of the attic William F. Buckley locked them in almost fifty years ago. They are now in the middle of the Repig dinner party scaring the cat half to death, taking bites out of the dog and dropping boot-sized turds on the Persian rug and no one knows how to get rid of them. As happened to Doctor Frankenstein the monster they created has turned on them. The choices confronting the Repuke establishment at this point are mutually destructive. The only way to kill the monster is to blow up the castle that is the Repuke party but then they go down with it. If they don't, the monster will take over the castle and probably blow it up anyway. They are epically fked.
Posted by hifiguy | Thu Sep 27, 2012, 11:52 AM (2 replies)
There are two basic segments of the institutional (what an appropriate word) Repig party: (1) the Plutocracy with their Randian Social Darwinists and (2) the inbred bigot/religulously insane - dominionist/bagger/caveman contingent. The plutocrats have the money but the lunatics have the numbers.
Originally this marriage of convenience was arranged by Ronnie Raygun, but the plutocrats have been getting greedier and the lunatics crazier every year. There isn't enough duct tape in the world to stick this mess back together again.
These two groups psychopaths are driving the Repig klown kar over the cliff, yet have in many ways nothing in common. The plutocracy's only real interest is in swindling every dollar out of the middle class after which the vampire squids will start turning on each other. The lunatics' only real interest is in returning to the Dark Ages. Oil and water, anyone?
Furthermore, demographics are turning, and brutally, against the Repigs. Within one or two more presidential election cycles it may well be basically impossible for them to manufacture an electoral college majority.
Let the circular firing squads commence now. The carnage will be a beautiful thing to see.
Posted by hifiguy | Thu Sep 20, 2012, 11:17 AM (1 replies)
There are aspects of foreign policy that have been, since 11/22/63, and will seemingly always remain, in the hands of the Military-Intelligence complex. The last president who stood up to the MilInt complex was John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who after the Bay of Pigs fiasco famously stated that he wanted to "break the CIA into a thousand pieces."
JFK defused the Cuban Missile Crisis largely by standing up to the military brass, who wanted full scale war up to and including a nuclear exchange, and went on to open back channel diplomacy with Premier Krushchev of the USSR and even Cuba's Fidel Castro. On several occasions shortly before his death JFK told close associates (who have been quoted in numerous books - too numerous to mention here) that following his re-election in 1964 he intended to remove all US military advisers from South Vietnam.
His famous American University speech of June 10, 1963, titled "A Strategy For Peace" (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_University_speech) was almost certainly the final nail in his coffin. Kennedy proposed, in effect, his intention to radically de-escalate, if not end, the Cold War. There was no way on earth that the MilInt complex could allow JFK to live given the policies outlined in that speech and his intention to disengage from Vietnam. Far too much money and power was on the line for JFK to be allowed to go on, President of the United States or not.
To this day I suspect two things, the first being that the Vietnam War was extracted from Lyndon Johnson as the price for allowing LBJ to pursue his Great Society dreams, and secondly, that it has been "explained" to every Democrat elected to the presidency since that there are sharply circumscribed limits on his power to affect certain aspects of the foreign policy that the MilInt complex and other Powers That Be wish to pursue. And the example of what became of John Kennedy is used, whether obliquely or explicitly, to explain the price of defying those power centers. Unsurprisingly, Democratic presidents have caved in rather than be rubbed out as Kennedy was. Republicans don't need to be threatened. They've been in bed with these powers since the days of Nixon.
There are simply things even Presidents are not permitted by TPTB to do. Read James Douglass' "JFK and the Unspeakable" and your questions about the whys and wherefores will be answered.
Posted by hifiguy | Fri Sep 7, 2012, 04:03 PM (0 replies)
He was an old union guy and despised Nixon. I was a long-haired dope-smoking 17 year old and we both enjoyed seeing that weasel suffer. Dad had told me that he'd find a way to get me to Canada if there was any danger of my being drafted but it never came to that.
The Repukes have mutated into some horrifying, malevolent interplanetary virus like something out of Plan 9 From Outer Space or Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I can't believe that I have seen this kind of insanity in my lifetime. The assortment of kooks, psychopaths, fly-eating dingbats, racists and flat out lunatics that was the Repuke primary field left me boggled. Not a one of these people with the sole exception of Jon Huntsman - who seems like a civil and rational adult, and you saw what happened to him - would ever have been taken seriously as a candidate for park commissioner in a one-horse town only 25 years ago yet there they were.
McCain's disastrous pick of Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods seemed to unlock the door to the dungeon where all the even crazier people were locked up, and the flatulent, belching and wheezing orcs came boiling out of that dungeon like raw crude out of a broken oil pipe in the Gulf. Now they're in the middle of the dinner party, scaring the cat half to death, taking bites out of the dog and dropping boot-sized turds in the corner. And no one knows how to get rid of them. Their level of discourse, if such it can be called, sounds like Beethoven's Ninth if Ludwig van had composed it for an orchestra composed of jackhammers, rabid raccoons and the local insane asylum's kazoo and anvil band.
This collection of troglodytic mouth-breathers, duck-fuckers, greedheads, and evolutionary throwbacks, immune to facts or reason, have scared me badly, really badly and they cannot be permitted to get within a parsec of the White House. The late, great Hunter S. Thompson once said that when the going gets weird the weird turn pro. What has happened to this country would have sent him on a Wild Turkey and Ibogaine bender for six months.
I truly fear for the future of thie country. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are leading the charge, but we have to stand staunchly and forthrightly behind them with all our might.
Posted by hifiguy | Fri Sep 7, 2012, 01:39 AM (4 replies)
that would be most interesting if not exactly practical. There are peoples in the world who have had virtually no contact with the modern world. Examining their responses to the sorts of images/inputs used by the scientists in the study cited in the OP would at the very least provide an interesting control or baseline.
One either accepts the scientific method or one doesn't. If one does not accept the validity of the scientific method and its applicability to the investigation of phenomena in the universe, one is inhabiting the same intellectual (and I use that word loosely and advisedly) world as the cretins responsible for the creation museum.
No reputable scientist in any field starts with a conclusion, for this is antithetical to the scientific method and deductive logic. All real science starts with a hypothesis of the "Might there be a connection between X and Y, and if so, how might it operate?" Such a hypothesis fulfills the first, and most important principle of real science: Is the hypothesis falsifiable? If such a hypothesis is not shown to be false, it is then subject to further and deeper investigation. This is the basis for every advancement in knowledge humankind has made since at least the Renaissance in every field from physics and astronomy to medicine to psychology. Even something as abstract as philosophy is bound to the iron rules of logic and reason.
Lastly, while I have only a nodding acquaintance with evolutionary psychology and will argue neither for or against it, it seems entirely possible that certain pathways are hard-wired in to the human brain. Any reputable evolutionary biologist will tell anyone willing to listen that virtually everything about humans and their ancestors has changed, via the process of Darwinian natural selection, over many millennia. It does not seem at all far-fetched that certain behavior and perceptions patterns may be embedded in the depths of the brain, which neuroscience is only beginning to understand. To say that there is no case to be made, on what are essentially ideological grounds, for saying that certain behavior and perception patterns may not have contriuted to the process of human evolution seems to me to be short-sighted and close-minded. Further investigation is definitely merited. Let the chips fall where they may, but let science and its methods make that determination.
Science is what it is. It has rules, embodied in the timeless principles of the scientific method, the first of which is that nothing can be precluded unless it has been subject to experiment and falsified thereby. One either accepts and respects those rules or rejects them; however, they remain true whether or not one accepts them. As a matter of pure logic, that is simply the way it is.
Posted by hifiguy | Fri Jul 27, 2012, 12:12 AM (1 replies)
has always been the endgame for the plutocracy, going all the way back to the Gilded Age. In the US it has been given an especially nasty twist - in its American variant, feudalism imposes no responsibilities whatsoever on the "aristocracy" to protect any peasants, even their own.
In historical feudalism the lord of the manor had an obligation to protect "his" peasants from the depradations of rivals or maurauding bands on masterless knights. The same went for the antebellum south. If a plantation-owning slaveholder wanted to realize any profit from his plantation he had to at least keep his slaves fed and fit to work the fields lest the cotton rot.
It may go too far to say that the plutocracy has found a way to improve on feudalism or the antebellum "way" but it may not. The plutocracy wants all of the "advantages" of feudalism or the antebellum South with none of the reciprocal obligations, such as they were, to the lower classes.
The plutocracy wants a system where the unruly masses can be (1) culled; (2) virtually enslaved; (3) forced to procreate enough to keep enough serfs around to be exploited as labor and especially as cannon fodder so that the imperial goal of world domination can be realized, or at the least, attempted. Yet they do not want to spend even a penny to "care" for their slaves.
Great piece, Mr. S., as always.
Posted by hifiguy | Wed Jun 6, 2012, 06:07 PM (0 replies)
Not necessarily by funny business with voting machines, which I am sure exists and will continue to exist, especially in very close elections, but by money.
The fascist plutocrats are willing to spend however many billions it takes to catapult the lies and propaganda. Given the percentage of the electorate that is very low-information or just plain to-the-bone bigoted and/or stupid, it is, for the most part, easier to manipulate these sorry sheeple than to rig the mechanisms of voting themselves and lower risk. It is merely a cost of doing business, which will be handily recouped many times over once they have complete control and can finish their looting the 99%.
What can be done to reverse or stop this? As far as I can see at this moment, not one thing, for when money is speech, the rich can easily drown out everyone else and when there is such a significant uninvolved/imbecile segment of the electorate more than willing to be led to their own slaughter and resistant to any form of facts the tool of reason is a very small slingshot indeed.
Posted by hifiguy | Wed Jun 6, 2012, 12:31 PM (0 replies)
If it must be said, her "crew" included Seabeyond and redqueen most prominently. When any one of the three attacked another DUer, and I think of Neoma and La Lioness Priyanka as prime examples, the others were always there to immediately pile on. Read the history right here in the archives. Way beyond uncool.
Posted by hifiguy | Sat May 26, 2012, 10:52 PM (1 replies)
Some will say that words have no fixed meanings, and are therefore subject to infinite malleability. In a deeply epistomological sense may be true, just as quantum physicists say that matter as we commonly think of it has no meaning. But a quantum physicist will never deny that the laws of Newtonian physics govern the way we see, touch, and otherwise interact with the world. Newton's genius was in explaining how things we see and do every way work in terms of mathematical laws that expressed those everyday phenomena. People cannot observe quantum phenomena, so even if they are weirdly random, which they almost surely are, they don't affect everyday life in any detectable way. (I am not even going to try to get into string theory here.) Therefore Newtonian physics still govern the way humans see the world; any serious theoretical physicist will not only admit, but tell you that we live our daily lives in a Newtonian world no matter what is happening on the quantum level.
In language a similar paradigm exists. Unless we accept a basic premise that words have a meaning which is commonly intelligible amongst speakers of the language in which they are expressed, communication is impossible. When someone repeatedly attempts to redefine the commonly understood English word "dog" as representing an animal that looks like this
meaningful communcation about the nature and characteristics of dogs is no longer possible within the framework of the English language. There are people who attempt to do just that very thing in many areas of thought. It is not just a foolish exercise, it is a deeply disconnected and/or pointless exercise. Consider the way the reichwing/freepers attempt to words like "freedom" and "liberty" to mean something wholly unrecognizable to those with a normal understanding of those terms. There are self-identified "radical feminists" who play exactly the same sort of redefinition games as the freepers and reichwingers.
Deliberately removing yourself from the overarching paradigm governing discourse in a given language results only in the speaking of gibberish. When one chooses to absent oneself fromthat overarching paradigm can be valid if one is a linguist or a French philosopher, and in those contexts it is a valid thought experiment, much like spinning out string theory is for theoretical physicists and cosmologists. Trying to make a logical argument in everyday discourse while doing the same thing is doomed from the start as an exercise in failure. So there is really no point in arguing with those who do.
I had to slog through MacKinnon and Dworkin in my last year of law school because my senior paper was in part a deconstruction of their "philosophy," if such nonsense deserves that label, as it applied to constitutional law. (I got an A, BTW). I had to understand this crap, to the extent that it can be understood given its often insane redefinitions of common words and utter inability to come to terms with some very basic and primal aspects of human nature (i.e., sexual attraction), to be able to effectively critique it. It was horseshit then and it is horseshit now. In addition to distorting the English language in ways that resemble nothing so much as a funhouse mirror, their work is the worst English prose I have read this side of Ayn Rand, and is every bit as didactic, humorless and ultimately content-free.
In other words, when you throw away all the entirety of the framework of the operative paradigm, you no longer have anything meaningful to say to anyone who is within the paradigm - in this case that of language -to anyone else. And all anyone has to do to understand why is read Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions or some Michael Walzer.
Furthermore, to claim as Dworkin did (no I don't remember the specific article - I read it more than twenty years ago, though this claim stuck with me) that the way in which mammalian genitalia evolved through countless millennia has a causal relationship to the establishment and perpetuation of the patriarchy - which does exist, just look at the Abrahamic religions and their poisonous legacy - is to enter the realm of genuinely psychotic delusion. Had the evolution of mammalian genitalia followed some non-penetrative Dworkin-prescribed course, mammalian life presumably would have died out millennia ago and primates would never have evolved.
Dworkin was a desparately, profoundly mentally ill woman who mananged to pull off the remarkable trick of being mistaken by some delusional ax-grinders for a philosopher. If Andrea Dworkin was a philosopher, I am Gaius Julius Caesar. She was not, is not, and never will be someone any thinking person can take seriously.
Posted by hifiguy | Fri May 18, 2012, 12:28 PM (1 replies)