Monday, October 18, 2010

Social psychosis..............

Quite an interesting post by Douglas LaBier. He argues that delusional thinking predominates in our culture in 4 areas.

1. Personal Values and Conduct.
2. Political/Economic Ideology
3. Public/Social Policy
4. Science/Factual Knowledge

For instance, concerning the delusions in the Science and Factual knowledge areas he writes:
The delusion here is that a society can progress -- or even hold it's own -- by embracing an anti-science position and glorifying ignorance. The delusion consists of the belief that denying scientific evidence or knowledge of facts in general is a good basis for making decisions that affect the public. Whether in the halls of Congress, in the media or on Boards of Education, the delusion of the anti-science/pro-ignorance crowd have increasing influence and impact, as polls indicate. It includes denial of evolution, rejection of the evidence  for human-created rise of carbon emissions that creates ongoing climate change, and a general embrace of ignorance as a virtue; that it trumps the usefulness of empirical facts.
Interesting although I would add that what seems to be mystifying about the area of factual knowledge is not so much the rejection of such knowledge as the overwhelming nature of the sheer volume and detail of such knowledge.  Sources for accurate and trustworthy summarization without distortion could perhaps serve to remedy knowledge rejection......this is as opposed to the "spin" practitioners who pick and choose bits of knowledge to support a position while deliberately ignoring both context and meaning.

I think what I am driving at is that too much information can be as ignorant making and delusion nurturing (in a different way perhaps) as not enough information. There is some sort of Goldilocks principle at work here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oklahoma, Native Americans and Columbus......

In Oklahoma today (10/11/2010) is officially noted as a celebration of Columbus and his "discovery". Only one state, South Dakota, has been enlightened enough to change this day to something honoring the victims of Columbus. In South Dakota, today is Native Americans Day.

Oklahoma, which proudly displays Native America on the state automobile license plate, continues to recognize this day as Columbus day even though, as the author of this article notes:
If Christopher Columbus were alive today, he would be put on trial for crimes against humanity. Columbus' reign of terror, as documented by noted historians, was so bloody, his legacy so unspeakably cruel, that Columbus makes a modern villain like Saddam Hussein look like a pale codfish.

Question: Why do we honor a man who, if he were alive today, would almost certainly be sitting on Death Row awaiting execution?
Oklahoma insults all Native Americans, and all beings that oppose and detest oppression, theft, murder and slavery by continuing the shameful "honoring" of this disgusting individual.

A further excerpt from the article:
Columbus wasn't a hero. When he set foot on that sandy beach in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492, Columbus discovered that the islands were inhabited by friendly, peaceful people called the Lucayans, Taínos and Arawaks. Writing in his diary, Columbus said they were a handsome, smart and kind people. He noted that the gentle Arawaks were remarkable for their hospitality. "They offered to share with anyone and when you ask for something, they never say no," he said. The Arawaks had no weapons; their society had neither criminals, prisons nor prisoners. They were so kind-hearted that Columbus noted in his diary that on the day the Santa Maria was shipwrecked, the Arawaks labored for hours to save his crew and cargo. The native people were so honest that not one thing was missing.
Columbus was so impressed with the hard work of these gentle islanders, that he immediately seized their land for Spain and enslaved them to work in his brutal gold mines. Within only two years, 125,000 (half of the population) of the original natives on the island were dead.
Columbus deserves no honor and Oklahoma dishonors itself by continuing this sham "holiday".

As long as we human animals continue to believe lies and misinformation, as long as we confuse historical or current myth with reality......we will continue to be oppressors and torturers and murders of the innocent.......and deniers of our behavior and our crimes.

I oppose and detest oppression, slavery, torture and matter what species the victim happens to be.

I deeply and sincerely apologize for this travesty of a holiday to all victims and all the ancestors of the victims of this monstrous being named Columbus. (this entry is crossposted on the veganelder blog)

Friday, October 8, 2010

On the tea party movement..........

The moaning and groaning of the tea party yokels has meant less than nothing since beginning. To take these folks seriously would have required them to have began their "protest" years before when George Bush was trashing the country. To rail against the inheritors of the lunacies of Bush is both grotesque and disingenuous. Matt Taibbi is often worth reading, his recent article on the t.p. movement notes:
Vast forests have already been sacrificed to the public debate about the Tea Party: what it is, what it means, where it's going. But after lengthy study of the phenomenon, I've concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They're full of shit. All of them................
The average Tea Partier is sincerely against government spending — with the exception of the money spent on them. In fact, their lack of embarrassment when it comes to collecting government largesse is key to understanding what this movement is all about —  ...................
After nearly a year of talking with Tea Party members from Nevada to New Jersey, I can count on one hand the key elements I expect to hear in nearly every interview. One: Every single one of them was that exceptional Republican who did protest the spending in the Bush years, and not one of them is the hypocrite who only took to the streets when a black Democratic president launched an emergency stimulus program. ("Not me — I was protesting!" is a common exclamation.) Two: Each and every one of them is the only person in America who has ever read the Constitution or watched Schoolhouse Rock. (Here they have guidance from Armey, who explains that the problem with "people who do not cherish America the way we do" is that "they did not read the Federalist Papers.") Three: They are all furious at the implication that race is a factor in their political views — despite the fact that they blame the financial crisis on poor black homeowners, spend months on end engrossed by reports about how the New Black Panthers want to kill "cracker babies," support politicians who think the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an overreach of government power, tried to enact South African-style immigration laws in Arizona and obsess over Charlie Rangel, ACORN and Barack Obama's birth certificate. Four: In fact, some of their best friends are black! (Reporters in Kentucky invented a game called "White Male Liberty Patriot Bingo," checking off a box every time a Tea Partier mentions a black friend.) And five: Everyone who disagrees with them is a radical leftist who hates America.
The serious problems faced by the country are nothing that will be cured by the half-baked notions promoted by these people. The oligarchy likes nothing better than to see this sort of circus occupying center stage. The spotlight there keeps it off of the wealthy and the corporate interests that are cheerfully looting the country.

Over at Harpers, Ken Silverstein is signing off as Washington editor, due to his exhaustion and numbness from dealing with DC politics. He notes:
The current GOP is truly a scary party, but if not for that it would be impossible to care about the midterm elections. When you’re reduced to rooting for soulless hacks like the current Senate majority leader—and he’s typical of today’s Democrats—you’ve lost something fundamental at the core of your humanity.
After watching Clinton dither around and not go after the wealthy and now to watch Obama avoid the same necessary steps needed to begin some sort of reversal from the decline........begun when the buffoonery of Reagan was confused with seriousness.....well, who can blame Silverstein for hanging up his spurs.