Saturday, February 27, 2016

The grandfathers of counterculture

I just watched a fascinating documentary about the Gore versus Buckley debates in 1968. If you want to understand the bifurcation in US politics' if you want to understand whom did Ronald Reagan get his political ideology from, then you need to watch this film.

It might be fair for me to posit that these two revered intellectuals were the grandfathers of political counterculture. They even have an unfiltered moment when their personal loathing spills over. But even that tension release took 9 outings to burst, a paragon of decorum few today could match.

Monday, February 22, 2016

The movie Deadpool is a perfect extended metaphor for Vancouver.

I watched the movie Deadpool last week, and I loved the movie on two levels.  It was a great anti-hero movie. It was a great extended metaphor for the city, Vancouver BC, itself because the place looks and smells and feels exactly like the movie.

Dirty, sarcastic, and wet.  That dome in the background is from the Expo 86 site and is now a science centre.  I went to the Number 5 Orange peeler bar on ping pong ball night. 

If you want to know what it's like. Watch Deadpool.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Republicans are the emotional manipulators of the public.

It took me a while to decide which US political party was the one that leveraged emotional tricks more than substance on policy, but the recent action points out the "Republican clown car"  of candidates are the ones to manipulate American patriotism, exceptionalism, dominism, and any other emotional belief and presumption of the average intelligence American voter over standing on a platform of FACTS.

They are talking nonsense on policy - and it doesn't even matter.  They can't possibly deliver all the vague promises like "ban all Muslims" but it doesn't matter. They can't carpet bomb ISIS without decimation of Syrians. They can't break trade pacts because they would get sued and lose in world trade courts.

Of course the worst of them is really a toss-up between these two.

But this isn't the first time direct appeals to cheap emotional tactics stirred enough voters to deliver a Republican back to the White House.

Remember this guy?

He was the one that warned you against those socialists that would allow gay marriage and make God cry.  After drowning the nation in an unnecessary war in Iraq and the problems that everyone could see he turned to " of course you have to keep the same course" and "a vote for a Democrat is a vote for homosexual rape gangs".  Right after getting away with there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  And Americans, fearing what they were told to fear, obeyed the people that descended upon them.

After people got to know there weren't evil people in homosexuals and the war was a lasting mistake they decided to take out their frustration and blame on the responsible person.  It's no small wonder no one wanted Bush III in the White House:

But the question is: will voters wake up to how that they arrived at a disaster candidate BEFORE it is too late?  I make it a personal policy to not vote for the party that uses the most emotional manipulation on the campaign trail.  You may not get the most extravagant policies but you don't get a terrible mistake either.

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Pope proves fallibility and overreach are his prerogative.

While Pope Francis exudes charm and grace, at the core he's still deluded by a sense of otherworldly grandeur.  His job description is the Vicar of Christ on Earth, so anything he does should be preconsidered against "what would Jesus do?" and not riffed with popular intent.

His latest attack at a temporal figure Donald J Trump, while seen as justified by faithful throngs, demonstrated just how far power goes to the head, even in an infallible and pious person like a Pope. The Pope knows that scoring on a pious politician - not excommunication but with satire - is unbecoming of the Vicar of Christ. It is playing to the mob like a political leader would.  I don't say Trump doesn't deserve rebuke for some of his many missteps.  But for the POPE to do it - not his bishops nor his cardinals - is unbecoming of the office. It is a human mistake for an "unfallible" person. This demonstrates just how wrong that reverence is.

Wars were fought for and by the insistence of Popes, a Reformation battled assumed pre-eminence, and still they do not understand that we don't want the interference in the temporal plane.

This demonstrates yet again they can't be trusted to butt out of politics and stay on the spiritual plane.

The only good news is that the fatihful are aging and no one else listens to him in any case; the greatest irony is those pious politicians are the first to reject what the Pope preaches when they feel like it in any case.

Update: The Pope has blinked. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Truth in belief: a critique of theist's proclamations...

I was cleaning up the basement and painting things and had the xbox / Youtube on with this Wilson / Hitchens debate; I thought Wilson was one of the best opponents that Hitchens faced.  While Mr. Wilson didn't score any knockout blows he did state cases that are hard to assail.  He did concede where he should and he had some rather bizzarre disconnects like he believed certain Christian miracles but he didn't believe in Muhammad's miracle. He was a reasonable debater with some problematic opinions.

All except the basic one I wanted to point out here in a reply.

Mr. Wilson makes the case that based on belief in the stories of certain apostles of Jesus that he believes that the resurrection miracle, for instance, is true.

What he did was state the truth of his belief.  He claimed that his belief is true because he believes it's true. Where is the fault in that? There is none.

If a religious person that believes something unprovable is true then it should be stated to make it clear that the truth is in the belief.

But, if a religious person states that a miracle IS true without any proof then it should be nothing more than a belief. It should not be taken as the same as a fact that can be proven.  Most ancient history is based on hearsay, so like anything else we can't demonstrate or prove it true.  It is intellectually dishonest to substitute a belief in a fact for a truth as if they are equivalent. They are not.

With religious fervor they tend to overstate the case without qualification. Be on guard for this deception.  They are proclaiming their faith and not apologizing.

When a religious person claims a fact is true without proof mistaken for a belief, it is fair game for the anti-theist to point out it doesn't have to be true. There is no proof so there is nothing holding up all other arguments.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

All Hail President Comeover / Combover

Senor Calderon, no wall can be stupid.

If Presidente Calderon wants to get Trump elected, then he should continue to attack Trump. From the story:

"Mexican people, we are not going to pay any single cent for such a stupid wall! And it's going to be completely useless," Calderon said.
"The first loser of such a policy would be the United States," he said. "If this guy pretends that closing the borders to anywhere either for trade (or) for people is going to provide prosperity to the United States, he is completely crazy."
Firstly, Senor Calderon, no wall can be stupid. While a wall may be poorly placed for a number of reasons, they cannot, in general, think.  You are projecting your ideas of Trump onto a proposed inanimate object.  Secondly, while you are talking to Mexicans for the purposes of local political objectives, what you are doing is in fact stoking up and justifying the rhetoric of Trumpian Logic which his voters find appealing.   Anytime someone attacks Trump's emotional ideas - emotional because they can't possibly be based in reason - you are attacking the emotional voters that are pro-Trump.  Even if you laid out a coherent argument to the effect of nullifying the wall. they would act irrationally and vote that he double his \$8billion US wall into \$16billion US.

So any reason will be met with antagonism from an angry and unhappy mob. In fact, by attacking him, you are legitimizing his positions and making his voters believe that Trump might be onto something despite its' total lack of coherence. Or cost benefit analysis. Or even justification. 

In other words, if foreigners want to elect Trump - go ahead and stick your neck in the noose and criticize him publicly. Even Obama falls short of directly criticizing Trump BECAUSE he understands the moods of these voters.

Friday, February 5, 2016

‘Turkey has a war trade with ISIS,’ making millions with oil – VA state ...

If you want to win a war, you need to do the things that make victory possible. This is all the evidence you need Obama isn't trying to win or even contain ISIS / da'esh because he has not strategy against Turkey.

Keiser Report: Tumbling, Fumbling Ruble (special Moscow series, E869)

If you want to change the financial situation, you can't keep giving all your money to the same people that lie to you. Max Keiser gets analysis that the ruble is 60% undervalued. If you put money where actual value is rather than Wall Street, then you get the value and other people like bankers don't.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Lie to Me in Academic form: Jim Duffy's Emotions: A Psychological Understanding

Does Hillary Laugh Off Anything She Doesn't Want to Talk About?

He may be onto to something: I think her deflection is contempt and not defusion.  Read this article that discusses contempt.

This reminds me of why I think Hillary is Mom from Mom's Old Fashioned Robots in Futurama.

TrusTED to paint himself into a corner.

Over the years I have gained more and more respect for Jimmy Carter. As a young man I was tainted but right wing media that there was something wrong with him. I didn't know then he was the engineer in charge of designing the first nuclear submarine. He had a chance to bomb the hell out of Iran and didn't give in.  His foundation has almost eradicated the Guinea worm that pains so many poor nations. He is a man to be respected for a lifetime of service. And now I'm finding a razor sharp intellect as well.

Listen to Carter assess Cruz and Trump.  This was a Cruz campaign ad but perhaps Cruz doesn't realize how corrosive this ad is for a general election. Sure Cruz is trying to win the right wing prize but this admission will doom him to lose in the general election.

What Cruz doesn't see is that accepting the mantle of religious moral idealogue means your support base will never go farther out than the party base. Anyone that thinks you couldn't compromise for the good of the nation won't waste their vote electing you. You are claiming the mantle of Bush II and few moderates want to go back to Bush era policies.  You're doomed to be a loser.

And remember this, President Carter acted just a decisively in his term as Trump could wish to be in his presidency.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

#BernieSanders could beat #HillaryClinton with one question.

If #BernieSanders wants to beat #HillaryClinton, then all he has to do is ask voters one question:

At the end of a Clinton presidency, do you see the middle class better off or worse?

Because if they are still hurting after the Obama term, and Hillary is an extension, then why would they vote for the same?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Jam a bastard in it, you crap!

This just reminds me so much of Hillary Clinton...

Republicans are going to obliterate the Democrats in the presidential election...

 There were over 180,000 Iowan Republican voters last night when the Democrats had on the order of 45,000 split in half.  That's the most shocking data from last night, not who won by a sliver. The media waste their time with minutiae.  The fact is the Democrats switched to percentage numbers to hide the disparity in voting.

If the rest of the race is a 3.5 to 1 ratio, the Republicans are going to   obliterate the Democrats in the election no matter whom they choose.