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Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Oranges

Fresh oranges upon a Mexican plate, combining memories from Cordoba 600 years ago to the present. It is priceless, yet no one need stampede and fight over them. Their beauty endures.
We endure as much as we participate in their iconic beauty.

Andy Cohen

Andy Cohen has such a great job.

I mean, his raw material is people acting stupid, and that is an ever-renewing resource. There is a lot of other work, but the inspiration for so much comes from those blasts of idiocy we read about in the news every day. The writers just have to flesh out some satire on the buffoonery of us all.

Andy has the dream job.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Debt, the Movie

The Debt

Open to Full Screen viewing; it takes 5 minutes and a bit to view.

Rupert Murdoch and Jud Süβ

The Jew Suss, Newspaper Lord

We do not hear much about Rupert Murdoch's strange Tweet-Tirade (Antisemitische Tischsprache mit 140 Worten) anymore since he apologized.
Merely scratch the surface of his news empire, and disclose some sordid and appalling infestation, whether it be in the UK, the USA, or any other land to which they have spread.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Climate Science For The Tea Party

We have had 14 weather events whose effects have cost over a billion dollars each in 2012.

The biggest problem understanding the science of historical climatology is the mere fact that most weather events studied in the ancient epochs of the Earth do not have a dollar value connected to them. For example, the Huron ice age of 2.4 billion years ago was quite a vast bit of business, but it has no dollar amount by which we may visualize it.

I mean, imagine trying to go to the movies without the TV news constantly blatting at you which film grossed how much over the past weekend; it would be quite impossible.

So too climate. All this chit-chat and blather about CO2 and acidification of the oceans and destruction of coral reefs, and the finger-wagging of scientists, going "Tsk, tsk! You'll be sorry!" is all well and good, but what we really need is how many sawbucks are flushed away in a flood... to coin a phrase.

Stop talking about increases of 2 degrees Celsius, and get down to brass tacks, shekels, and pesetas: it is not Climate Small Change, but Climate Big Bucks:  the climate is about to do its own capitalistic "creative destruction".

Golden Rule

A Sailboat Will Sail Whether It
Believes In The Ocean Or Not

What is Belief?

Is it merely a proposition, "I believe such-and-such", or is it more than that?
Is it merely a proposition tagged with emotions? Can I say that I believe in God and juxtapose a feeling of exaltation, and then be sure that I have, indeed, "believed"?

I doubt it.
Religious belief implies a whole new way of acting and living, not mere propositions and statements.

The implication of this is as follows:
If someone claims that they believe in a religious doctrine that urges us to care for the poor and sick, yet by their actions they neglect the poor and sick, then that someone does not believe. They have misled themselves and us.

Belief without actions - and we mean "all" actions - is an empty breath.

How does one regulate one's actions to the many religious statements in their scriptures? The Golden Rule seems admirably to be able to act as such a digest: do unto others as you would have others do to you.
At this point, we of the modern world have reached a crucial point, for we must now actually consider the effects of our actions upon a larger community. Furthermore, this larger community is all Humankind at least, for the Golden Rule does not set forth means by which we may pick and chose the cities, states, groups, or tribes of those whom we shall be in sympathy with.
It says "others", and by its non-exclusivity, we must understand "all others".

We are not at that point.
We do not do that.
We think Belief is an activity of the mind and spirit of one person, not mental and physical and spiritual acts networked to all mankind (not just the community of believers)!
We of the present would at least allow our politics to trump our religiosity, and we would say that the Golden Rule, applied in such a thoroughgoing manner is some sort of Socialism or Communism.. ., or some other "-ism" we have learned to let populate our nights full of boogeymen and monsters.

The Logic of the Golden Rule creates a Oneness of religious and moral intention within all Humankind that mirrors the Oneness of God. Even though we accept the oneness of God, we cannot deal with the oneness of mankind, except as some dreary science of "equality". (and where, friend, do you see "equality" today?)

The Golden Rule is a revolution hidden in scriptures. Its logic of taking consideration of the effect of all of one's actions upon all humanity - and possibly all Life! - will transform everything. Its essence is a Oneness of Moral Activity of Creation.

Now believe in the Golden Rule... or disbelieve. Choose.


Egypt and Democracy

If Democracy is under attack in Egypt by the Ikwan (the Brotherhood), and Egypt rejects democracy and any suggestion of modern secularism...


If so, then....

Then why are we messing around in Syria? If it is the fate of all such states in the Middle East to become Salafist and Wahhabi dictatorships, there is no reason for us to oppose Mr. Assad.

It breaks my heart.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Another Notch For Walmart

 Police Arresting Peaceful Demonstrators

Another person has died at a Walmart on a Thanksgiving weekend, killed in a parking lot by some of the store's employees yesterday.
The victim could have been a shoplifter, and I guess a posse of employees took the law into their own hands.

As much as I dislike Walmart, you have to admit it does provide some fun scenes of people shopping and acting worse than maddened face-eating chimpanzees. It is possibly the Retail Sector's most glorious moment.
And remember, this is how history will see us:
Police at various Walmarts on Friday arresting demonstrators, while yet another person is killed by a store which urges madness, yet refrains from training its staff how to adequately deal with it.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

What Do I Owe Mr. Obama?

Hey! He owes me for my vote, right?

What could I possibly owe him? Hmmm.
You know, in the upcoming negotiations over the federal deficit, if it were not for Mr. Obama, the budget would be balanced upon my back; Romney and Cantor and Mitch O'Connell and the Campaign To Fix The Debt staffed by rich CEOs would be loading straw after fiscal straw upon us until we broke... then they would add more straws - maybe a tax on straws that fell to the ground.

They would have destroyed us: some metaphorically, some literally - dead and gone with no insurance...

We owe Mr. Obama a lot.

The Attack on Families

I think the entire business of opening retail stores on holidays is a competitiveness which attacks the rituals of family life.

I have written about rituals before, in particular the posts about rituals considered as a bonsai willow:

Thanksgiving Dinner is a Ritual; just look at the Norman Rockwell icon of it:

The sunlight covers the elders with haloes, the food and life giving elders.

The rituals shared by families are the physical expression of the underlying emotions. The rituals shared by families are an expression of their deepest religious feelings. If we are irritated by stores forcing their employees to work on Thanksgiving and, thus, to miss the ritual of the dinner, we are angered at the attack on the religious feeling underlying it.
If we are not even the least bit angered, if we smile and congratulate our competitive society, then we are spiritually empty and we will applaud the attack on any value that suits us politically or economically.

To attack the rituals of families is an effort which erodes and destroys the complex matrix of being-together, sharing, speaking...

Without rituals, family members will wander the world aimlessly, and even though they will eventually gather by the River, they will not be able to see that it is Beautiful.

A Frightening Friendship

 Next Up: "Live From Gaza"

The problems in the Middle East have been going on since 1948, and they show no signs of lessening due to a decrease in murderous intentions nor due to a rise of intelligent leadership. Whether civilizations can find solutions for self-inflicted mortal problems is the real test of human society: whether we continue to be among the quick (the living and growing)... or the dead.

(In the USA we once again have the privilege of viewing our society on trial, as a self-inflicted "fiscal cliff" approaches, and we will see whether dead and intractable ideologies triumph over life.)

How mankind handles these challenges that have their genesis in mankind's own souls and minds and interactions and conversations - as opposed to and differing from challenges posed by nature, for example - is a measure of their true moral fiber.

In The Jerusalem Post, we read Ariel's Sharon's son:

...Why do our citizens have to live with rocket fire from Gaza while we fight with our hands tied? Why are the citizens of Gaza immune? If the Syrians were to open fire on our towns, would we not attack Damascus? If the Cubans were to fire at Miami, wouldn’t Havana suffer the consequences? That’s what’s called “deterrence” – if you shoot at me, I’ll shoot at you. There is no justification for the State of Gaza being able to shoot at our towns with impunity. We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.

There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they’d really call for a ceasefire...
By the time we reach that underlined sentence, it is time that we stop the flow of emotions and ponder what we have accomplished here since 1945.

It is time to look at ourselves and many of those who call us "Friend".

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My Boycott

I intend to boycott the stores involved in business on Thanksgiving when I shop for the Christmas season.

I shall pretend that they are not open.

Happy T-Day!

We are going to my parents for Thanksgiving dinner. We have not been there for two years for T-day, and we have been wondering how my mother is going to surprise us.

My mother imagines herself to be in a hurry most of the time, so she always puts the stove burners on HIGH,  intending to turn them down after a minute or so. The rest is very predictable. The last time we were there, she had poured some gravy from a jar into a saucepan, set it on the burner, and burned it. However, this did not deter her. She poured it into the antique gravy boat, a double-hulled monstrosity that needs a full one extra leaf of the holiday dining table to come about when being passed from one end of the table to the other.

The unwary diners poured the smoky liquid over their foodstuffs, eagerly anticipating the feast. My niece yelled out, "Something tastes burnt!"  The glistering lights dulled in the waiting eyes as we resisted this attack on our feast-beginning; our eyes slowly moved downwards to inspect our own heavily laden plates: mountains of mashed potatoes and stuffing and veritable cords of turkey meat, swimming in a gravy that made us recall British Petroleum with a sense of dreamy longing.

To be honest, though, if my mother had not used the gravy, she probably would have frozen it and served it to the unsuspecting diners the next Thanksgiving. Last year she served my father a piece of his birthday cake from the previous year, frozen full twelve months. It was reported to be "good".

Then there was the year she melted some butter, and then let it blaze up, causing consternation and smoke alarums. At the present time, the City Fire Department calls up each Thanksgiving morning to chat briefly, wish my parents a happy T-day, and politely drop a few reminders about safety in the kitchen.

This year I went shopping with her. There are only going to be five of us at dinner, so we were intent upon securing a smallish sized bird. There actually is a limit to the amount of left-overs one can deal with effectively. Bayesian analysis holds that a normal group of T-day toffers can handle left-overs equal to 40% of original bird and side dishes, with a .05 probability of error.
After wading through piles and piles of frozen 16 to 22 pounders, we discovered a bin of what seemed in retrospect to be some sort of miniature or dwarf turkeys, weighing in at 7 to 10 pounds, specially bred for the smaller enclaves of gluttons.

So we got a 9 3/4 pounder. Of course, in time we realized what we had bought was a large turkey breast, not an entire turkey: all white meat. Not all of us love white meat, but the gravy may add moisture... if we do not compromise it somehow.

Such things are common in the elderly: the small print on turkey bags is hard to read. That and forgetfulness and being dotty and whatnot.
However, when She-who-must-be-obeyed now tells the story of "The Enormous Turkey Breast" (and tell it she does, for within the short space of 3 days it has become a bit of the legendary), she embellishes it with the story of the time I was full 29 years old, it was my daughter's birthday, and I went to pick up the cake at the store that morning.

The saleslady got the cake, opened the box, I looked at it and remarked how lovely it was.

When I got home, She-who-etc. had a cake platter ready, and opened the box to get the cake and place it thereon.

There was a horrible silence... I mean, actually blood-chilling and breath-congealing ghastly silence - sort of the type of petrified  "Mums the word!"  that the victims of Medusa experienced as they felt their bodies turn to stone.
The tableau of icing on the cake was composed of the pleasures of a golf game, and was titled with "Happy Birthday, Dad".

The 10 pound turkey breast was a blessing, for it could have been worse.

Wonderful Russia!

Wonders never cease! Not all wonders of the recent past exist only in  Steampunk Museums! Film cameras exist where - Kodak having gone extinct - the old ways yet endure:   other regions of the globe, which are not quite so over-zealous to embrace the new.

From the BBC
It was a nervous time for film photography when digital cameras took off in the 1990s, and seemed set to take over entirely. But with some help from Vladimir Putin - then deputy mayor of St Petersburg - the little Lomo camera became a retro cult classic, and showed film had a bright future.
In 1991, a group of Austrian art students on a trip to nearby Prague found, in a photographic shop, a curious little camera.
Black, compact and heavy, the camera was rudimentary. The lens was protected by a sliding cover. Loading, focusing and rewinding were all done by hand.

This Lomo craze may have ended up helping save film photography from an untimely end.
In 1992, the students set up Lomographic Society International, exhibiting shots taken on unwanted Lomos they had bought up from all over Eastern Europe.
Then, in the mid-90s, having exhausted the supply of left-over Lomos gathering dust in Budapest, Bucharest or East Berlin, they went to the camera's manufacturers - still making optics in St Petersburg - and persuaded them to restart production. The negotiations were helped along by the support of the city's then deputy mayor, Vladimir Putin.
On Friday 23 November, Lomography is celebrating its 20th anniversary, by starting a series of parties in some of its 36 stores around the world...
Adopt the new, but keep a foot in the Ancient. Wonderful Rus!

Strange But True

A farmer in Thailand has discovered a tree that has grown in the shape of the face of the Lord Buddha!

Strange but True !!


Belief is a mental action.

It separates the believer from the object of belief.

A "belief system" is an unnatural way to treat The Holy in Life.

Fiscal Cliff

(1) the "cliff" is entirely a man-made phenom, which came about by the inability of the Congress to agree on how to deal with the budget, and

(2) Investors.Com gives us the figures:

Believe it or not, the federal deficit has fallen faster over the past three years than it has in any such stretch since demobilization from World War II.
In fact, outside of that post-WWII era, the only time the deficit has fallen faster was when the economy relapsed in 1937, turning the Great Depression into a decade-long affair.
If U.S. history offers any guide, we are already testing the speed limits of a fiscal consolidation that doesn't risk backfiring. That's why the best way to address the fiscal cliff likely is to postpone it...
Go and read. It is something the media pretty much over looked in their effort to "keep us informed".
This heads-up from:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rupert Murdoch's Weekend Tweet

"Why is Jewish owned press so consistently anti-Israel in every crisis?"

Strange coming from a man who is a Press Lord... unless Mr. Murdoch suddenly thinks that he himself is Jewish.

So who is he talking about? The only large and influential newspaper owned by a Jewish family is the New York Times, owned by the Sulzberger family.

I think Murdoch thinks there is not enough pro-Netanyahu slant in the news coverage of Gaza, and he is still smarting from the defeat of Netanyahu's friend, Romney, at the polls. Murdoch just let fly with his most ancient and most potent curse from long ago:  one of probably many anti-Semitic tirades he has stored away like baleful arrows in his quiver of hatred.

He later "explained" (?!) it as follows:
",Jewish owned press" have been sternly criticised, suggesting link to Jewish reporters. Don't see this, but apologise unreservedly.
I cannot make sense out of this. I think his toadies were pressuring him, and he finally gave in to making an apology, yet held firm on his belief in the power of the Jewish Press - or perhaps the Protocols of the Elders of the Printing Press.
It is also an egregious lie by a main player in the Right Wing Propaganda Media, whose intent is to create and maintain a fictive right wing reality - an effort sorely beset by their recent electoral defeat.

Apology not accepted. I know Anti-Semitism when I see it, especially when it parades itself so nakedly.

Tea Party Mixed Metaphors

Archconservatives: anger, denial but no acceptance of Obama's victory
By Tom Cohen, CNN

In a response to Phillips' post, one writer ranted about what he alleged were "the sexual perversions and drug use of the Obamas," the president's "forged birth certificate" and "voter fraud of biblical proportions."
"Why are we talking secession instead of removing the New York Times and supporting citizens' Grand Jury indicments against this unbelievable treason, felonies and usurpations raining down on us on a daily basis?" said the post attributed to Royce Latham of Penngrove, California.
The expression "of biblical proportions" does not in itself mean "great, much, a good deal, a largish amount".
Indeed, if we are meditating upon the story of the widow's mite, it may mean "small, miniscule, petty".

When we speak of rain, storms, and floods, we may say "of biblical propotions", because we are comparing a rain storm to the Deluge of Genesis. If we speak of hardships, we may similarly be making a comparison to Job; if we speak of droughts and plagues, we may have Egypt under Pharoah in mind; speaking of harvests, we may be thinking of Joseph's interpretation of Pharoah's dream, and the meaning may be positive - for seven fat years - or it may be negative - for seven lean years.

Some sins are considered of biblical proportions, but some sins in the Bible were themselves not actually "of biblical proportions".

Voter fraud cannot be "of biblical proportions"... unless the writer is referring to the free elections held by the Israelites when the Golden Calf ran against Jehovah. If I remember correctly, the pro-Golden Calf forces were "shell-shocked" when they found out they had lost.

The Stock Market Does Not Vote 2

One of the few crumbs - a last remaining Bubble of Delusion - available to the Conservative Propaganda Media effort to "imagine" reality instead of reporting on it has gone the way of all such hallucinations: the stock market has jumped up recently.

So the widely reported "illusion" that Wall Street was voting on Mr. Obama is either (1) false, or (2) indicates that Wall Street is now on board with Mr. Obama.
I may safely assume that option (2) will not be widely reported by Conservative propaganda machines.

In reading:

What Does Wall Street Know That Washington Insiders Fail To See?

it occurs to me that the secret Wall Street is aware of is that IF the cretins in D.C. cannot agree and we fall off the so-called fiscal cliff, there will be recall campaigns and marches on Washington and an impetus towards entirely new political parties such as rarely seen in our history.

Really.... if the "leaders" are fully cognizant of danger, yet let the nation receive serious injury, tell me what is the purpose of the political ideologies which are governing?

I defy anyone to explain the value of the politics of this combination of wretched excess and shameful insufficiency.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Marijuana, LLC

After discussing it with Baysage, I think that if marijuana were to be legalized in the US, it should be managed by some sort of non-profits.


Willard's Woes Continued

The idiocy continues from the Romney camp. What a disaster they would have been had he been elected!

The New York Times reports that in a "lengthy autopsy of their campaign," Romney's political advisers found that a large number of voters who were undecided toward the end wound up voting Obama, and many said Hurricane Sandy was a major factor in their decision. “Christie,” said a Romney adviser, “allowed Obama to be president, not a politician.”

Gov. Christie did not allow Mr. Obama to act like a president, hurricane Sandy did. Mr. Christie just happened to be in the path of the storm. It would have been the same for any state and on any coastline.

The fact is Republicans ignored climate issues and denied climate change. Incredibly, a campaign during which nothing was said about climate ended in a major climate disaster! That is rich irony. And people may have remembered Mr. Romney's blathering about FEMA; they may have remembered other Republican  idiocy, such as Eric Cantor's handling of the tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri:  they can have all the disaster relief they need... if we get some budget offsets for the money first!

An entire generation of Pernicious Idiots.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Comment Verification

I am thinking of turning off the Comment section verification business: that extra bit that is supposed to prove that one is not a robot and that we do not, after all, live in a computer simulation, or whatnot.

I can barely read the things. I mean, what's the point of trying to write a comment that approaches "intelligent sounding" and then have the whole thing go to a data sink somewhere, because one cannot make out the letters-run-together or the numbers-fuzzy-and-dim?

Broiled Rump of Failed Democracy

Gaza is the Rump Democracy (like the Rump Parliament of yore) of the Middle East as created by the West, wherein the Palestinians were led to the polls of an open and fair election, they voted for Hamas, and everyone discovered the inherent limits of our litanies to democracy and free elections: that is, if we do not like the result, have we not shot ourselves in the foot with the gun of our fondest and deepest truths?

What then?

Unwrite the vote, of course.
Now we have the Gaza Ghetto.

There are numerous ghettoes. There are some historic ones; the Warsaw Ghetto has its monument:

The Palestinian Ghetto has its own:

I do not argue with Israel's right to defend itself, nor do I argue that is not the proper venue for videos of drones killing people as long as they are members of Hamas. The time for arguing has past.

I say this not because this atrocious situation has endured for more than 64 years... although, truly, in its longevity and deadliness it does, indeed, put into relief the malaise of Western philosophy and morality.
At the expense of seeming even more eccentric than I already seem to you, I will share a small experience I had yesterday.

I was not even thinking about the Pillar of Cloud  (as it is termed in Hebrew, with a nice sense of Adonai's having already signed on for the duration) offensive against mighty Gaza; I was walking into the kitchen; I believe I was thinking about having some cheese: I had not eaten yet, and it was 1:30 in the PM, and I was beginning to act like an animal in a zoo when feeding time is postponed.

I did not "see" anything, nor did I "hear" anything. I was immersed in a sea of despair, not the profound sinkhole type of despair, but the despair of enduring day to day propped by a thoroughly mind-numbing ethos. (As I think of it now, I think it would be an intensification of the intrusion, disregard, contempt, and objectification felt by someone working at Walmart this Thanksgiving eve.)

It was spread like a bitter tapenade. Even though I supported President Obama, the sense was that he was powerless and remote, unable to respond. Strange as it sounds, I could "taste" the spirit of Netanyahu, and this was intensified by the spirit of his very good friend, Romney, who seemed to crystallize all obscurantist beliefs about Israel into his odd mentality. (I suppose they were together since Netanyahu had projected himself into the past election.) The mood was that of living in Orwell's 1984, and endless drudgery of life supported by the scaffolding of lies and deception and power without morality.
The Christian groups that believe in Jewish hegemony over Jerusalem were present as well as a toxic effluvia seeping into every corner, and there were paeans to power and compulsion: a Gregorian chant unheard; a chant of deepest bass in which all words were indistinct and hidden, yet the abyssal bass pounded its urgent message of blind obedience.
The life drained from everything, and we endured in a death-in-life with no chance of salvation. And there was no end, truly. This terrible continuity of the Furies laid heavy upon my senses.

Then it was gone. I do not know if this was a metaphor of Gaza or Iran or some other place and time. This fear-inspiring scenario had nothing to do with fear of the looming "fiscal cliff", for I do not fear that. When I met my present banker back in 2011, I told him that 2013 was going to be a very bad year, and I had some inverse Fibonacci time series to explain it... of course, he thought me odd, but since then, everyone has gotten on board with the danger of 2013. When you're that far ahead, you have extra time to deal with your fear.

I personally am beyond caring about the details anymore. That's why I won't argue: argument deals with details.

Gaza is the failure of democracy.
It is the failure of everything I was ever taught about our way of life.
Shall it remain a reminder of our emptiness and failure?
Or shall we let it burn...   (no question mark anymore, the time has gone for questions; after this we shall retire all punctuation, for punctuation implies an end at some point.)

We are in the garden of Forking Paths, and we are bidden to chose... soon

Romney: A Wretched Richie Rich

I retract every nice thing I ever said about Mitt Romney.
His talk about how Mr. Obama won the election by gifts to various minorities, while he ignored the gifts that he himself was promising to various groups, reveals him as the disgusting toff he is.

He apparently actually does believe that 47% of the populace are moochers.
He disgusts me almost as much as his Vice President's love of the atheist, Ayn Rand.

What an atrocious act by the Republican Party to put those two forward, and what a bullet we have ducked!

I hope this is the last time I ever mention that person.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Vampire

reprinted by massive ( 2 people, a guy and a doll ) demand:

“…the inadequacy of our plans,our contingencies, every missed train, the failed picnics, every lie to a child.”

John Malkovich as F.W.Murnau in The Shadow of the Vampire.

On Mothers’ Day we couldn’t go to my mother’s because of her dogs and my daughter’s allergy. Ditto Fathers’ Day.

We used to have picnics with our dearest friends on Fathers’ Day. The fathers would play tennis. The mothers minded the children and laid out the picnic.

We don’t do that anymore. We rarely see them. We’ve graduated to the one page enclosure within the Christmas card.

The failed picnics…and our contingencies...the shadows of the vampire.

The Private Sector as Canonized by Romney, and as It Really Is

The Republican Party emphasizes the sanctity of one institution more than any thing else. It is not the sanctity of marriage, rather it is the sanctity of Private Enterprise. They believe it should be canonized, since it does work miracles. Sometimes it does; sometimes it wreaks havoc.

Along with Private Enterprise, they concurrently idolize the return of various governmental responsibilities to the states. We have already written on Mr. Romney's ill-considered statement that the work of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) be returned to the control of the states. We pointed out that states would not be able to fund disaster relief on the scale of hurricane Sandy, and that is the end of such a proposal. Many people think the military should be actively involve in disaster relief, and it is because of the extremely large destruction and the need for trained individuals in large numbers to deal with it on short notice that they think of the military.
No state will be able to finance such a disaster relief effort. FEMA itself has run out of coverage for flood insurance:
...The National Flood Insurance Program, a FEMA subsidiary, has $2.9 billion in borrowing capacity but expects Sandy-related losses of $6 billion to $12 billion, Edward Connor, FEMA's deputy associate administrator for federal insurance, told a meeting of the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance...
Now let us consider the long term after-effects of the legalization of Marijuana in Washington and Colorado.

Would you like to see Marijuana manufacture and distribution be under the control of the Private Sector? Think about it. The control of Marijuana returned to the same people that gave us "nicotine delivery" systems?

Think of the futures contract on how long it would be before corruption and greed cause the whole project to be driven into catastrophe.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quantum Poetry

Poetry is Schrödinger's cat:

You will never know until you open the box and gaze within and see what you may see.

Meditation and Some Christians

A born again friend was feeling down, sort of long-term-down, and I suggested they try meditation. The friend demurred, saying that meditation as such did not enter into their religious experience, and that their church sort of thought of meditation as an entryway for Satan... as if idle minds are the devil's workshop. True enough, except that minds are not idle during meditation.

I asked, "Jesus withdrew to the desert for 40 days. What do you think he did out there? Take photographs? Work on his new  book?"

This took them by surprise. They mumbled about fasting. I said that fasting is not an activity like meditating or working; one does not eat much... that's fasting. You are not actively fasting in the sense that you are actively thinking about stuff.

Then there was something about 40 days and night and Noah and the Deluge... some stuff about the specialness of the number 40 and blah, blah, blah. "Oy vey!"  I said. " Now you blind me with Gematria ! " (magic and prophecy with numbers).
Blind me with Science... or blind me with Scripture; take your choice.

It was a vision quest at the beginning of the ministry.
It was the conception of the spiritual coming to the forefront, and the needs of the body becoming secondary.
Jesus did not "power down" every time there's a gap in scripture.

I said I was quite sure that Jesus - as well as 100% of other religious geniuses - meditated upon this profound change in their lives.

Ukrainian Art: Boris Mikhailov

Mr. Mikhailov was born in 1938.
I like his translucent veil between reality and fantasy...


Al Qaida Strikes Again

This morning at Hanaan's Diner, Hank Jacobowski said that the third woman in the Petraeus affair, Jill Kelley, is of Arab descent, and he thinks she has ties to Al Qaida. He said that General Allan, in charge of NATO in Afghanistan, has now been found by the FBI to have emailed her between 20,000 to 30,000 times in 2010 to 2012... and that wuz a lot of email!

He thinks that Al Qaida switched to a "Mata Hari" approach... not in those exact words, however.

He thinks it's working pretty good, so far.

Monday, November 12, 2012

St. Martin's Day

 Martin Dividing His Cloak

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Martinmas feast yesterday, November 11 - St. Martin's Day.

From Barnaby Googe, we read:

To belly cheer, yet once again,
    Does Martin more incline,
Whom all the people worship
    With roasted geese and wine. 

St. Martin was the guy who, while he was serving in the army on a cold day, confronted by a dirty and destitute - not to mention freezing - beggar, took his sword and cut his cloak into two pieces, and gave one piece to the beggar.

A real Santa Claus wannabe, as Rush Limbaugh would say.

We should make an effort to have more feasts. Turn off the radio and the sources of discord, and share the bounty of God.

Real Housewives of Vulcan

I was cringing under the onslaughts of The Real Housewives of Atlanta last night, and I was paying attention to what was being said. For most of the viewers, that is a big mistake, I know. Everyone is waiting for a cat fight to break out, but I was listening to what they were saying.
(My favorite show is that assemblage of domestic goodwifery  that has the Aged Parent, who had been critically - but not mortally - injured in a plastic surgeon drive-by and hit-and-run. I have no idea which coast they inhabit.)

I have determined that fully 5% of the dialogue consists of logical tautologies.

Example, last night one of the goodwives
had drawn aside towards the stage curtains, a lot like Hamlet launching into a soliloquy, and began to ponder her mortality... specifically her biological clock.

"The eggs that are there, are the eggs that are there...", she said finally.

A=A and, as Euclid would say, quod erat demonstrandum... Q.E.D.

Even I could write that. Since we are talking Logic stuff, it could be a Real Housewives of Vulcan.

Ironic, Ain't It?

The Piso Mojado Sign Gets Its Comeuppance

If anyone has read my posts on Irony and its place in the Universe of Creation, they will surely recognize the breathtaking reversal of fortune for the Republican elite last Tuesday night when the votes were finally counted.

In other words, the bigger they are - or believe themselves to be - the harder they fall!

Karl Rove fell so far from his imaginary pinnacle of the Temple that he pretty much destroyed any credibility he may have had as an independent political analyst. Only his continued success would have allowed him to bet millions upon a race, and then pretend to independently analyze it.

That's what's great about Irony. It is part of the warp and weft of Creation.
We think we can escape it; we think we are the Chosen People, or that we shall build a New Jerusalem in England, or somehow the Constitution will save us from evil, or Free Market ideology will work its magic...

The mighty are downcast, the meek shall inherit the earth.

Intelligent Predictor?

The uniformly execrable performance by conservative pundits' predictions of the election leads one to suspicion that the right-wing - in addition to having their own species of Female Biology and Physics ("The Big Bang  is straight from Hell!") and Intelligent-Designer-ology - may have their own, special pseudo-science of Statistics: perhaps something like Intelligent-Cruncher-of-Numbers-ology

This is an example of what passed for Predictive Science on the right:
Meredith Jessup, The Blaze. Her reasoning for giving Romney 295-243. New Hampshire's State Motto: "The state may be surrounded by northeastern liberals, but its motto is “Live Free or Die.”  I can’t believe such a pro-freedom state would side with Michael Bloomberg in favor of Obama."
Yes/ You read that correctly.

Ms. Jessup based her prognostications totally upon a State Motto printed on automobile license plates. 


Saturday, November 10, 2012

General Petraeus

 The good general always believed he could get away with it.

WASHINGTON, Jun 12 2011 (IPS) - During his intensive initial round of media interviews as commander in Afghanistan in August 2010, Gen. David Petraeus released figures to the news media that claimed spectacular success for raids by Special Operations Forces: in a 90-day period from May through July, SOF units had captured 1,355 rank and file Taliban, killed another 1,031, and killed or captured 365 middle or high-ranking Taliban.

The claims of huge numbers of Taliban captured and killed continued through the rest of 2010. In December, Petraeus’s command said a total of 4,100 Taliban rank and file had been captured in the previous six months and 2,000 had been killed.
Those figures were critical to creating a new media narrative hailing the success of SOF operations as reversing what had been a losing U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.
But it turns out that more than 80 percent of those called captured Taliban fighters were released within days of having been picked up, because they were found to have been innocent civilians, according to official U.S. military data.
Even more were later released from the main U.S. detention facility at Bagram airbase called the Detention Facility in Parwan after having their files reviewed by a panel of military officers.
The timing of Petraeus’s claim of Taliban fighters captured or killed, moreover, indicates that he knew that four out of five of those he was claiming as “captured Taliban rank and file” were not Taliban fighters at all...

Sad News

I guess Petraeus did - after all - betray somebody...

The Joy of the New

Bill O'Reilly of FOX News observed that the "white establishment is now in the minority."

An "establishment" in the sense of a leadership class or power elite is almost by defintion always in a minority.
So what Mr. O'Reilly wanted to say is "white folks are in the minority... white folks and their white plans and their white schemes and dreams."
He could not really say that, so he disguised it as a pseudo-political statement about an "establishment".

As one elderly white guy, I salute President Obama, I salute the new establishment whatever color Mr. O'Reilly believes it to be.

We did not fight in "Nam to protect the rights of the Rich alone, and reverse the work of the Lord who casts the mighty from their thrones, and raises the lowly.
Nor did we go to protect Racism and the Subjugation of Women.
We finally are able to see what it is we fought for.

Friday, November 09, 2012

The Stock Market Does Not Vote

I have read a number of right-wing articles on the decline of the stock market on Wednesday, November 7, 2012. In their usual incisive way, they see this as a referendum on Mr. Obama delivered by Wall Street.
Then somehow they get themselves to believe - and we understand now that they will believe anything that seems to support their dreams - that all business is going to heck in a hand basket just because Mr. Obama won an election.

First of all, Business: businesses have been laying off people and closing branches quite steadily. The is always Growth and Attrition. To remind Republicans of one of their favorite info-nibbles when Republicans are in power and people lose their jobs, our capitalistic system is a system of "Creative Destruction".
Of course, one may expect the Koch Brothers to be forced to lay people off, even though it pains them to do so, because they predicted that businesses would lay off thousands if their employees had the temerity to vote for Mr. Obama.
Whatever layoffs they had planned will now go through, and would have gone through if Mr. Romney had won. It would be good to lay those people off in about a month, just before Christmas. The extra pain would underscore the Republican ability to predict layoffs that they had already planned on before the election.

The stock market has been trending down for the past two weeks.
I fully expected a down day, because a number of right-wingers held onto their stocks, thinking Romney would win, and then suddenly everything would be cool again, and the P/E ratios would have nowhere to go but up.
Mr. Obama won: they dumped their stocks. It has happened before. Markets go up and down, for pity's sake; up and down. It is the nature of markets.
A 300+ point decline because some true-blue right-wingers held onto stocks, then dumped them so they could say "Told ya so!" is hardly comparable in quantity nor quality to the 500+ point decline in August 2, 2011 when the Republican Party and its Tea Party Obscurantists refused to deal with the budget.

I have a very strong suspicion that Republicans will learn nothing by 2016, except to be more devious in disguising their unusual beliefs about rape, incest, the Big Bang, Science, and the Anti-Christ.

First Time For Everything

This last election was the first time I ever, ever voted straight ticket.
I'm not going to say which party, but I was in with the roses and the winners.


And I supported Barry Goldwater in 1964, believe it or not.

Heard On The Street

"The only woman in the Republican Party who influences their ideology is Virginia."
"Virginia who?"
"Virginia Ultrasound."

thanks to the ancient joke "Virginia Pipalina" from Phil DiMambro.

Arming the Syrian Rebels

When the USSR was fighting in Afghanistan, we armed the rebels. One of these men was Osama bin Laden. Terrorists the world over learned to fight with US supplied arms in Afghanistan.

I do not see why we should not do it all over again.

The Moribund Faith of Political Pollsters

In the last weeks of the campaign, I was severely misled by polls which seemed to have distorted the statistics about who was in front and by how much. I remembering reading right-wing brainiacs talking about these polls. This was probably the inspiration of my post on "Deeper Truths", those objects of consciousness that have a sense of urgency so great that we mistake it for Truth.

I had looked at the American Media with a jaundiced eye, but I do not think I had ever experienced a situation in which an entire segment of the Media began acting like young nuns in Ken Russell's The Devils.
Along with Mr. Romney's sudden jerk to the center, I felt as if I myself were in a very odd place. I asked other people if they were experiencing the same feeling. We were sitting around like a night time crowd in Fellini's  8 1/2  waiting for the mind reading act to begin.

I usually ended by going to Brad De Long and being directed to Nate Silver to re-establish a firm footing in reality.

Then the "deeper truths" exploded in the faces of the true believers.

I do not know if I had mentioned that I had insulated myself from this donnybrook; I sought escape when 6:30 PM rolled around and the voice of Bryan Williams began to boom some more news about the election. I avoided most headlines like the plague, and I resisted reading partisan newspapers and blogs.

So I did not even know who Dick Morris, an example of FOX punditry, was until the day after when he was apparently explaining why he had been so egregiously wrong in his analysis and forecast. I notice Karl Rove did the same thing. I notice neither one of them merely said they were wrong, and they would do better next time; they had a whole lot of things to explain their futile endeavours, in order to secure their status as soothsayers and their claims to their large paychecks.
Which is good. Back in the old days, the shamed prognosticators that got it all wrong were not heard from for a few years. Now even their disastrous failures cannot shut them up.

Anyway, this Dick Morris toff  (a word I expropriated and adapted to apply to Dick-Morris-type people)

The key reason for my bum prediction is that I mistakenly believed that the 2008 surge in black, Latino, and young voter turnout would recede in 2012 to “normal” levels...
In 2012, 13% of the vote was cast by blacks. In 04, it was 11%. This year, 10% was Latino. In ’04 it was 8%. This time, 19% was cast by voters under 30 years of age. In ’04 it was 17%. Taken together, these results swelled the ranks of Obama’s three-tiered base by five to six points, accounting fully for his victory.
I derided the media polls for their assumption of what did, in fact happen: That blacks, Latinos, and young people would show up in the same numbers as they had in 2008. I was wrong. They did.
The key reason for my bum prediction is that I mistakenly believed that the 2008 surge in black, Latino, and young voter turnout would recede in 2012 to “normal” levels. Didn’t happen. These high levels of minority and young voter participation are here to stay. And, with them, a permanent reshaping of our nation’s politics.
But the more proximate cause of my error was that I did not take full account of the impact of hurricane Sandy and of Governor Chris Christie’s bipartisan march through New Jersey arm in arm with President Obama. Not to mention Christe's fawning promotion of Obama's presidential leadership.
It made all the difference.

I read this "analysis" as follows:
(1)  processes return to historical norms and averages; the swelling of ranks of Democratic supporters would return to historic trends.

Well, we can agree that trends do return to the norm, or regress back to the norm, but we do not necessarily know the timing in which it will occur. Only true believers know the timing.

(2)  climate events - hitherto totally ignored - would be put into brilliant focus by Hurricane Sandy, and Romney was on the denier side, while Obama was more centrist about climate.

Mr. Morris talks about this, and is oblivious to what he is talking about, because he is mad at the governor of New Jersey:

(3)  the governor of New Jersey should have denied FEMA   - Obama's FEMA, actually -   the right of entry into New Jersey, and when the president's airplane touched down, Christie should have been at the airport, hissing "You lie! You lie!..."

When I got to the word "fawning", I realized I was dealing with a hack. I had chosen articles by topic, not by source. I looked at the top of the web page and saw FOX on the left side. "Ah-ha!" I thought. "Everything has become clear."

Finally, Mr. Morris seems to live in a strangely undynamic and unchanging world, where things like sudden storms are not supposed to happen, and - by gum! - they don't happen! Especially if they will interfere with his "deeper truths".
It is the world of Moribund Faith in worldy powers and potentates.


Thursday, November 08, 2012

Climate Change or Photo Op
"A lot of people feel like Christie hurt, that we definitely lost four or five points between the storm and Chris Christie giving Obama a chance to be bigger than life,” said one of Romney’s biggest fundraisers, who requested anonymity to speak candidly.
So Hurricane Sandy was actually a photo op, and it was not an indication of the seriousness of changing climate. Fully 75% of Republicans will continue to still not get it... according to my independent poll, which is fully as good as those meretricious ones all over the place in the last weeks before November 6.

FEMA Back To The States

Mr. Romney will not get a chance to severely reduce the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and send the responsibility for the primary response to disasters back to the states, which, in his mind, are most able to direct such relief.

This ignores the business of the cost of such an agency in each and every state: will the states wish to burden themselves with the costs of being the primary responder to disasters of great magnitude?
 LIPA Long Island Power Authority) this year increased its budget for storms to the largest amount it has to date this year — in excess of $50 million. But Hervey noted major hurricanes open up entirely new cost centers of their own. “We don’t budget for hurricanes of this size,” he said.
It also ignores matters like Florida, which still cannot run an election nor count the votes.

Romney's Problem

 Janet Leigh and Charlton Heston in Touch Of Evil

Romney's core problem was best illustrated by the memorable moment of the 2012 Republican primary campaign, wherein Mr. Romney appeared on a forum on the Spanish language station Univision wearing too much Man-Tan (an old-timey product like a bronzing spray), and looking like an old-timey Marlon Brando in a bad make-up day during the filming of Viva Zapata!

Really... what was in their minds when they did that?

I can just see them plotting it, carrying it out, sliding the tanning dye on gently..., then discovering to their horror how bad it was! And it would not come off! So they tried to scrub it off, and producers kept popping into the dressing room, telling them that there were 15, 10, then 5 minutes until show time!
So they had to drag Senor Romney from la sala verde looking now like Charlton Heston in Touch Of Evil.


Planktonic Logic versus Biolfim Logic and Their Wars


Some of my doctors have never even heard of Biofilms. Since the term was coined in 1989 and only 23 years have passed - and 23 years is less than the generational 33 1/3 years - that is to be expected. However, if you have ever suffered from a chronic condition, such as sinusitis or ear infection, and spent years trying various treatments which did not work, there is a new day dawning with the understanding of bacterial biofilms.

Previously, science understood bacteria to move "planktonically", that floating and drifting in large numbers in some fluid medium.

Of course, we approached anti-bacterial warfare with this paradigm of planktonic bacteria in mind, and we fired off anti-bacterial "bombs" which would kill the bugs with their shrapnel of drugs.
We find ourselves at a anti-bacterial dead-end, as the bacteria mutate to resist our medicines and cleaners, and actually now seem to prefer to actively populate those "clean" areas we set aside for medicine: the hospitals and clinics.

Biolfilms are a type of microbiome, and they are a structure that depends upon a sophisticated networking of communication and activity; biofilms easily resist frontal attack; the efforts to build the bacterial colony has at least the benefit of a fortress-like protection.
And these biofilms are not new, they are not something that came into being due to our use of anti-bacterial drugs; dental plaque is a biofilm, and it has been around for millions of years.

What is new is the scientific understanding that bacteria may live as complex communities, not as free-floating plankton in the sea.
Therefore, the method of attack must be formulated according to the new logic of the biolfilm; we have to cease to rely on brute force frontal attack, and do things smarter, such as using chemicals which themselves are not antibiotics nor antibacterials, but which can interfere with the processes a biofilm uses to establish itself.

For example, certain chemicals will interfere with Quorum Sensing, which is the process by which the bacteria communicate to determine whether there exist enough bacteria in a given area - a "quorum" - to begin the establishment of a biofilm.
Using such chemistry is a better approach than using some anti-bacterial "bomb"!

Start your own research on biofilms. Myself, I use xylitol crystals, tumeric juice, cranberry juice (not "cranberry cocktail"! This is the bitter straight cranberry juice), and royal jelly for various complaints. I use a very mild surfactant - a product which makes water "wetter"; i.e., breaks down the attraction water molecules have for each other, letting the water be more fluid and intrusive into small areas.

I came up with these items not by looking at an online site about herbal medicines, but by merely researching biofilms, then researching which chemicals are known to inhibit their growth, and then by finding out common and everyday sources of the chemicals mentioned.
Since then, I have looked at sites that tout products for biofilms, and they have the same products - and more! - at hand.

Now the further point we wish to make pertains to problems in the world and how we go about attacking them. Or, is our strategy based on Planktonic imagery or that of Biofilms?

Take Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) such as genetically engineered crops.
In an article on the defeat of Prop.37 in California:

A GMO crop, in theory, is not something to be afraid of," said Laura Vandenberg, a biologist at Tufts University and co-author of an editorial published last week in favor of labeling efforts. "The problem is how they are actually used in the real world. It's like talking about guns vs. gun control. Guns don't hurt people, people hurt people."
Most GMO crops in use in the U.S. have been engineered to resist herbicides, which allows growers to spray the chemicals without concern about harming their corn, rice or soy harvest. But as The Huffington Post previously reported, growing resistance among weeds is leading farmers to apply larger quantities of chemicals to achieve the same level of control.
In fact, contrary to biotech industry claims of a reduction in the use of pesticides and herbicides, a recent study estimated that GMO crops have resulted in an additional 404 million pounds of toxic pesticides doused on U.S. fields between 1996 -- when they were first introduced as farm crops -- and 2011. That's about a 7 percent increase.
"This means we're being exposed to a lot more of these chemicals," Vandenberg said. "Some of these chemicals we know very little about in terms of safety. But there are ones we know are endocrine disruptors."

In a nutshell, industry is using a brute force frontal attack. The results are by now quite predictable: the insects and pests evolve resistance, and the crops themselves are compromised with potentially injurious chemistry.

We have to be smarter in everything we do. We have to understand the complex of the network that is causing us trouble, and we have to resolve our differences with measures that change the landscape into a form we find adequate for ourselves... and possibly adequate for those entities which caused our troubles.

Consider The Cold War as a case study.
The brute force approach was seen to be futile. It had received the name of Mutually Assured Destruction and it acronym MAD, and this nomenclature clearly demonstrated our understanding of the situation.
In the end, things other than military force changed the complex network against which we struggled, and the landscape changed mightily; we found ourselves at peace, Russia did also, and the world was a better place... for awhile, that is.
For as long as it took for us to find a better opponent to oppose with brute force and invasion.

I believe we shall learn and are not condemned to creating stronger enemies; rather we shall create friends.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

When You Think You've Seen Everything

Future Candidate

I have never in my life seen a candidate pull a switch like Mr. Romney did around the time of the first debate. I remember reading the news and wondering what the heck was happening: were the right-wing Republicans in agreement with what seemed to me to be an abandonment of their positions.

And it just went right on like that into the election.

Apparently, we can now say anything at anytime and change the story at will... and the people will still vote for us. It is ominously memorious of democratic debacles in Athens about the times of the Pelopennesian War.

That is a very cool intro to Dictatorship 101 in another generation.

The Election and The Tea Party and its Inglorious Inactivity

My wife woke me up to whisper that Mr. Obama had won.

Sleepily, I said "Thank God."

I sort of liked Mr. Romney, but I did not trust Mr. Ryan, nor did I have any confidence in the Tea Party element. I fully expect a number of the Tea Party Gangstas to treat the coming "fiscal cliff" with the same toxic, pernicious, and destructive indifference as they showed back in 2011 with the budget deal in July and August.
Michelle Bachmann uttered the opinion that the government defaulting on its obligations and debts was no "biggie".

Their inability to come to grips with their responsibilities caused the Dow to plummet 500 points the day after their inglorious inaction.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

The Gathering Clouds

In December of 1992, this advertisement ran in the magazine American Heritage. On the right is a picture of Dr. George Roche, President of Hillsdale College, an important man in the Republican hierarchy. I have written a good deal about Dr. Roche, an ardent supporter of the conservative philosophy of Ayn Rand.
...But government bureaucracy is growing, not shrinking. And it threatens to control our lives if we don't do something about it. We have allowed the "public sector" to grow in power and influence because we haven't defended the rights of the "private sector." We have forgotten that we are the private sector.
These were the truths of the conservative philosophy of Dr. George Roche, President of Hillsdale College.

About this time he was half way into a 15 year affair with his daughter-in-law, which ended before the end of the century when she shot and killed herself in the well-known Gazebo on campus.

They may have forgotten important things, but the "deeper truths" of politics were the important ones to them. These people had forgotten how to be human, a failing that had occurred numerous times in the 20th century. One would think that academics on a college campus would have been aware of the dangers of forgetting how to be human, the dangers of letting one's so-called philosophy blow up one's idea of self-importance to terrible proportions no longer amenable to traditional morality. The entire century was filled with such disasters.

They remained unaware until everything blew up in their faces, and their lives were destroyed.
May God preserve us all from similar folly.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Republican Jobs

Jack Welch, the ex-CEO of GE and the man who was an infamous blurt-out of a tweet that the Bureau of Labor Statistics quite possibly may have cooked the jobless figures of October, 2012, lost his own retirement jobs with Forbes and Bloomberg (I may be wrong about his having a job with Bloomberg). He says it was amicable and he wanted to go somewhere else to get "more traction", but it was obvious that whatever benefit he might have brought to the forum of discussion, his stupidity was obliterating it.

This was the same guy who back in 2010 or 2011 talked about how he handled job creation:

There was one company he had in mind that went into the Financial Crisis period with 28,000 employees, and they were restructuring and automating with a goal of being at 15,000 employees when things picked up again!
Almost 50% permanent loss of jobs.
It is small wonder profits have been up for many companies. That's where the jobs went.

Jack Welch suspected intrigue because Jack Welch himself has been actively destroying jobs for years. Of course, he has been doing it to improve the bottom line for companies, but nowhere do I see any creation of jobs due to his influence yet.

This is what is being totally ignored in the JOBS, JOBS, JOBS discussion - which of course is no discussion but rather a mantra that we chant and hope that some force will hear our prayers... possibly a higher power of jobs creation - the fact that job destruction and the displacement of industry has been pursued in this country for at least a quarter of a century.

The US Government used to target 4 % unemployment as a level to attain, and now Jack Welch and his Corporate Republicans are targeting 50% job destruction. So then 4% divided by 50% should equal the new level of unemployment, all things being equal.

4% divided by 50% = 8%

Surprising figure that 8% ! We have seen it for a while.

Friday, November 02, 2012

致命炎热导致赤道生态系统崩溃... Broken World


..., or "Mortal Hot Ecology Failure"as I stumble over it; a headline from China which is not about islands in the Pacific, nor is it about the change in the leadership of the Communist Party, nor about US debt and economic slowdowns-accelerations.
More intelligent and able translators get it as "Tropical Collapse Caused By Lethal Heat"

It is about climate.

To make sure I got everyone's attention, I was going to say that it was written on an ancient palimpsest of the Book of Changes discovered in a very secluded spot of the Tibetan Plateau, where there is an old monastery perched precariously in the mountains, overlooking a peaceful valley of green..., and its warning was an extremely aged prophetic warning to mankind that some in the valley say was given to them thousands of years ago by strange beings who traveled through the sky...

However, it is merely the result of research. As such, about one-third of the modern day American population can either ignore it or can find an alternative explanation in Scripture somewhere.

Nevertheless, it is an important story:
Release Date October 18, 2012

The end-Permian mass extinction, which occurred around 250 million years ago in the pre-dinosaur era, wiped out nearly all the world's species. Typically, a mass extinction is followed by a 'dead zone' during which new species are not seen for tens of thousands of years. In this case, the dead zone, during the Early Triassic period which followed, lasted for a perplexingly long period: five million years.
A study jointly led by the University of Leeds and China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), in collaboration with the University of Erlangen-Nurnburg (Germany), shows the cause of this lengthy devastation was a temperature rise to lethal levels in the tropics: around 50-60°C on land, and 40°C at the sea-surface.

Lead author Yadong Sun, who is based in Leeds while completing a joint PhD in geology, says: "Global warming has long been linked to the end-Permian mass extinction, but this study is the first to show extreme temperatures kept life from re-starting in Equatorial latitudes for millions of years."

It is also the first study to show water temperatures close to the ocean's surface can reach 40°C – a near-lethal value at which marine life dies and photosynthesis stops. Until now, climate modellers have assumed sea-surface temperatures cannot surpass 30°C. The findings may help us understand future climate change patterns.

The most interesting points that bear on future climate are underlined. I may assume that "Until now..." means "Until this paper's publication in October 2012..." and indicates that climate models may have to be revised in some ways.

Illustration of the Tropical Dead Zones around the equator:

Thursday, November 01, 2012

The Candidates

I guess both candidates think of the entire populace; no one cuts out 47% of the pop. except as a rhetorical device. Trouble is, to one political party, I am definitely no more than an afterthought.

Attributes of the Holy

We use Irony to describe how we live in Creation. We are not saying that God has a sense of irony when we hear "He casts the mighty from their thrones and raises the lowly." Rather, we understand the unfolding nature of things as ironic, and we tend to see Laws of Irony in the swings of history back and forth, just as we tend to see law-like universal Laws of Science.

Similarly for Justice. The justice of the Holy is far removed from anything we understand or live. If we say that God is just, we are not imputing to the Holy any attribute of the systems of justice we know. Rather, we understand Creation to somehow dimly and unclearly progress as if in a "just" manner, which dim understanding leaves us at a loss when things turn out in a way we consider "unjust".

(Kant held that the Human Understanding held Logic and Categories necessary for knowledge of any kind. Irony and Justice are mong the categories of a fully adumbrated critique of the human mind.)