Archive for February, 2011

A small country of little importance: Tunisia

February 24, 2011

Journalists in the US so asinine. Zakaria,a perfectly decent human being, writing a perfectly decent article in Time goes;

“The year of the revolutions began in January in a small country of little importance…” (sob). Zakaria, Kristof and Coopie: you are grounded. Dickheads…

The Coke brothers

February 24, 2011

The Foxnews closed captioning keeps eructing stuff;

“The Coke brothers in WI did this, the Coke bros that..” They were the Koch brothers…
PS1: these guys are sinister. Corporation taxbreaks in xchange for killing collective bargaining? If true, head will roll, hopefully. The wrong ones typically.
PS2: Feb 28, several GOP governors cant clearly explain whats wrong with collective bning. The tea partiers think that household economics is equivalent to federal gov “management”. I suggest that the “White House” confounds their analysis.

Civilization and its discontents: Mourning.

February 23, 2011

Recuerde el alma dormida,
avive el seso y despierte
contemplando
cómo se pasa la vida,
cómo se viene la muerte 5
tan callando,
cuán presto se va el placer,
cómo, después de acordado,
da dolor;
cómo, a nuestro parecer, 10
cualquiera tiempo pasado
fue mejor.”

Jorge Manrique ca 1450, Coplas por la muerte de su padre

Sigmund Freud in 1929 in page 24 and later in C. III, wrote this elegant and eloquent summary of the human condition in “Das Unbehagen in der Kultur (“The Uneasiness in Culture”)” (Civilizations and its discontents).


“The three sources from which our suffering comes: the superior power of nature; the feebleness of our bodies and the inadequacy of the relationships which adjust the mutual relationships of human beings in the family, the state and society”.

Little else can be added to our condition beyond this statement. Siggies’ theme was the conflict between our biology and “civilization” (where the biology unfolds).

Wikipedia offers this modicum for the user: “In this seminal book, Sigmund Freud propounds his perspective by enumerating what he sees as the fundamental tensions between civilization and the individual. The primary friction, he asserts, stems from the individual’s quest for instinctual freedom and civilization’s contrary demand for conformity and instinctual repression. Many of humankind’s primitive instincts (for example, the desire to kill and the insatiable craving for sexual gratification) are clearly harmful to the well-being of a human community. As a result, civilization creates laws that prohibit killing, rape, and adultery, and it implements severe punishments if such rules are broken. This process, argues Freud, is an inherent quality of civilization that instills perpetual feelings of discontent in its citizens” Well, kinda wellput.

The point being that the discussion of our evolutionary fate-remember 2012 is next year- rests on a compassionate discussion of liberating, sensible, paths of behaviour leading to mitigation of suffering, pain, personally and socially. The mitigation of suffering is a good project. Maybe the only project. ( Opposite of being the cacophonic sophistai most are, including the cuasi-demential messianic claims of Kurzweil, which have more followers than several cults and go nowhere). (Somehow Kurzweil reminds me of Harris, the robot).

Dr Otto Dorr, a chilean psychiatrist, last book: The word and the music (La palabra y la musica) reflexiones on the poetry of Rainier Maria Rilke (the powerful german poet) braids poetry, psychiatry and some evolution in a beautiful, poignant argument: how mourning is “adaptive”. The book arrived via Steam Boat sent by a dear gracious ladyfriend through her son. Thank you M. One concern in Dr Dorrs’ work is the biological/psychological contexts of “mourning”-‘grief’. Mourning to deal with unmitigated suffering, with pain. Void. Angst. Mourning is easily grasped when we think of grieving a lost child, a lost-“naturally”-spouse, a dead parent (not euthanasic tricks involved). Building on previous work Don Otto adresses how the death of a child is a form of extreme bereavement, perhaps unbearable for some. Darwin reflected on mourning in his Expression of Emotions and Freud did too in “Mourning and melancholia”. It has been hard (for me at least) to trace the original observations in CD Expressions regarding mourning among the animals, nonetheless the idea that Darwin considered “grief and mourning” (not the same really) adaptive is clear. And clearly grief, impacted his work and life when he lost Annie. The impact in his work likely positive, as Dorr argues, with others, for an increase in mental acuity after loss, and his life, physical and animical, negatively, as he could not deal with the monstrosity of her childs death: life unmanifested. Unrealized natural process, unlike the death of parents, which are “natural”.

In: Normal Grief: Good or Bad? Health or Disease? ,Loretta M. Kopelman, Philosophy, Psychiatry, Psychology, Volume 1, Number 4, December 1994, pp. 209-223 argues:

“It might seem rather
easy to make the case that grief is instrumentally
bad or not useful, since it is associated with pain,
morbidity, mortality and loss of function. Yet
Darwin (1955 [1872]), Freud (1959 [1917]) and
Pollock (1978) argue that the capacity for normal
grief, overall, is useful and adaptive. The
good of normal grief generally outweighs the bad
when we consider its meaning in the life of a person
or animal. In describing the similarities in
how animals, adults, and infants react to grief,
Darwin suggests that grief reactions may be
instinctive, and the grieving process may have
evolved because it is adaptive for animals”.

Back to Dorr. Lucidly, Don Otto discusses how mourning, helps restructuring “personality” (psyche) to confront the weight of the loss of the loved ones. But this not always happens, especially in the case of extreme grief, i.e.: the loss of a child, or when facing the sucide of a loved one. It crossed my mind that CD never ‘recovered’ from the death of 10 year old Annie. He couldnt mourn her in a way to reach atonement. Although he wrote a ‘pious’ eulogy for his daughter there was always the underlying theme of unavoidable anger and wrath.

When confronted with the question of God, his argument from suffering defines his existencial pain as a father, without recourse facing the death of his child.
In a 1873 letter to N.D. Doedes,CD writes:
….” I am aware that if we admit a first cause, the mind still craves to know whence it came and how it arose. Nor can I overlook the difficulty from the immense amount of suffering through the world. I am, also, induced to defer to a certain extent to the judgment of the many able men who have fully believed in God; but here again I see how poor an argument this is”.

Dr Dorr makes a cogent review of pain/grief/mourning in the face of the death of a child, and he ‘disgresses’ into suicide with a fascinating overview of the pertinent psychiatry. Painful to read if it is a “close” subject.

Thus, CD, concern was inmense suffering (his own) as a landmark discussing the possibility of God, chained to his analysis of suffering. The point here is not his belief, but the fact that Annie’s loss threw him in an irreversible journey of pain and suffering, unmitigated by a divine hand or for that matter nobodys’. (or is it anybodys?).

PS: Today is year 1 of the 8.5 earthquake in Chile. Many testimonies were recorded. The testimonies of loosing children were unbereably painful.

The Cacophony of the Blogosophistai

February 21, 2011

The (new) sophistai of the blogosphere are the usual wise arsses dispensing wisdom, that is self serving wisdom, in all possible subjects, even in the possible adjacent subjects. Politics, world affairs,i.e.: telling the world what to do (today feb. 22 Roger Cohen in the NYT tells all Europe what to do, in passing, insulting almost every head of state and ministers), of course, ethics: telling each one of us what moral is, the LHC, string theory, UFOs, climate change, euthanasia (how to kill your sick spouse and get away with it), evolution or not (how to hide your obvious lack of scientific substance), creationism or not (how to claim eternal life without deserving it), the perfect duration of fellatio, the irrationality of rationalism, the sanitary advantages of anal sex, how to manage your assets (and go to jail)l free advice by a blond chick. Enfin, anything and everything: the best of this, the best of that. The worst of this is the best of that. The problem is that for any given subject there is an opposite given answer usually using the same evidence used to argue the opposite.

Case in point, for example: it has been argued that BOs budget would save something like a trillion bucks from the deficit. Reversely, the “bizarro pundits” argue that it will ADD 3 trillion to the deficit. How is this possible? Impossible right?. In a completely serious hilarious article Charles Krauthammer in the National Review online (who reads this crap anyways? I was informed a blog calls Mr K as Kraphammer) tell us that BOs’ budget is a Louis XV budget and he explains that rates of growth assumptions-as many others have indicated- are the key factor getting one answer or the other. Oh and he also compares, favourably, Reagan with Louis XV!! The few that read the NRO know who Louis XV was? or the deluge associated with him? or (apres moi, le deluge) reference?. Kraphammer is a particularly insidious cacophone (evil man) dispensing his short lived truths wrapped in fake scholarly veneer. But he is not alone, most dont mention fluctuating rates of growth when discussing the deficit ( a very dense concept anyways). Cacophony,

The real sophistai have been important actors in history, but not in the sense used here, which is the lesser meaning. Sophistai were wise, profesional pundits Nich Ostler argues. Going through Nicholas Ostler Empires of the word, I was reminded of the work of the sophistai and a reference to Thucydides (iii.38.4) quoting an orator in the Athenian assembly that accused his public of being:

‘spectators to speeches, listeners to events” meaning that they “paid more attention to what they are told and how it was said,rather than their own common sense.

Ol’Thuc nailed it. Until WI, the people of the USofA was paralyzed. By unemployment,taxes, teaparties, Palin, GOP, the inaudacity of hope, by the sophistai spreading fear, mongering their own selfish message, dispensing advice to the whole world. The whole freaking world. The whole freaking Universe.

and how much is a pint of milk?

February 19, 2011

Note Feb 26: WI lives!. I underestimated the cojones valence of the revolutionaries. Hope it ends well.

An action potential propagates through my tail watching the WI teachers and others taking on the governor and state troopers in the legislatures’ attempt to cut health benefits, raise contributions and curtail labor unions’ rights. Bravo! Dont let the newly elected bullies scare you. What a sight.

Maybe watching the fearless, more or less, revolters in squares across the arab countries, the wisconsonites get their cojones back. And so does the country. Maybe they will be spared volence and repression. Oh dear. Which leads me to hope that there is still hope for America? Praise the Lord. I mean the revolt, which is more like a revolt for dignity. I also hope the revolt of the unions moves through other states. Whats the problem with unions?; most people is so scared or despise them.

A revolt that may spread. For example, consider that WI is the second largest milk producer in the Union: how much is a pint of milk? Lots these days. And many want to cut federal (not sure about state) help for moms that breastfeed their babies. Despite obvious advantages, less than 50 % of babies are breast fed in the US. The milk factor may inspire WI moms to support their husbands, unions’ friends and breastfeed their babies anywhere and everywhere. On the spot!. How about that? Piggybacking on this basic rights movement (unions).

A peaceful revolt. Education and tities: the best of the world. (note: cow milk is NOT used to feed babies anyways)

But if good people like N Kristoff at the NYT keeps up their colonialist, bs as in (writing about Bahrain): “This kind of brutal repression is normally confined to remote and backward nations, but this is Bahrain. An international banking center. The home of an important American naval base, the Fifth Fleet. A wealthy and well-educated nation with a large middle class and cosmopolitan values”….

where in hell are the remote and backward nations? No nation is remote, the very idea is moronic, especially today.(at least geographically). It speaks awful of NKs’ idea of the rest of the world. He has often spoke of banana republics forgetting that US created them. No wonder people in the world dont like us. And dont like journalists. Nobody likes to hear shit about country, even if it is true. Bad diplomacy. A different thing is if they are enemies. Bahrain is an ally. And beat up reporters. And worst. You cant call someone you are a “backward remote” ah and not expect that person to punch you. I abhor violence, not all do.

FOXnews closed caption

February 17, 2011

One of my frequent delights, while I trot in the gym elliptical, is to read Fox news closed caption(s). They are notoriously funny during Ms M Kelly morning broadcast (not sure if has anything to do with her, cause she is funky fox blondie, a lawyer and somehow a more balanced foxie), e.g.

Yesterday the read told us that

“Berlusconi is accused of having sex with an underage prostate” (prostitute). I wonder if anyone has a compendium.

More than 3000 rapes a year and counting.

February 15, 2011

I watched NBC todays’ news. There was a report of a lawsuit against the Armed Forces, the Military, (are there bare armed forces?) Robert Gates and dicko Rumsfeld are the defendants. The case is that rampant rape against women in the US military continues unabated. Almost 3 per day!!!. Believably unbelievable. So tragic.

Where is the public outcry? Nowhere to be seen. All those that made careers of the Catholic Church cover up of child abuse should now be opening this brutality up. Why not? Oh no..too sensitive? too parochial? too close to home? As usual the american psyche hides beneath something else. The revolutions in the arab world? The budget? Berlusconi and prostitution? Case inpoint: the NYT rather focused on clitoral mutilation in Africa-as tragic as it is- for years rather than the mutilation of women (many of them girls) here in the homeland. Moral cowards.

Jesse Ellison at the Daily Beast, today:

“A landmark lawsuit filed Tuesday against Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, alleges that the military’s repeated failures to take action in rape cases created a culture where violence against women was tolerated, violating the plaintiffs’ Constitutional rights”. Good going Jes. Get the rats out of their holes.

Feb 25: it has vanished from the air…

SAN VALENTINe..tin tin

February 14, 2011

San Valentin’s celebration has slowly infiltrated the unconscious conscious of many, not here, obviously, but elsewhere. I have seen dirt misreable people in shanty towns all over central america exchanging valentin bs. Kinda ridiculous and very very tragic. Especially when considering that

There are 14 christian martyrs of that name…brrrr..

Seemingly somehow Chaucer invented this deal (according to some sauces).

San Valentin day massacre comes to mind. Epic.

I love to tick my atheists friends: why do you celebrate Valentin? No answer. Why dont Iranians celebrate San Valentin? Because it is outlawed. Seriously (There is a WSJ oped).

A propos of spirited idiots. Case(s) in point: Ms Jacoby and thereof.

February 13, 2011

At her The spirited atheist column, WP, Ms Jacoby writes in “Obama is pandering to religion” (Ms Althouse , in her own wall writes and adds to the pire, commenting Maher, and proofreading Cornell West….for real …(what a delicate bouquet of dickos). Urgent: At WEIT, Dr Coyne quotes Maher-Bill- and… Althouse to claim his claim that BO is some kind of atheist. Serenely, add a pinch of salt before throwing dick Coyne to the bonfire. And hez a scientist….that is a guarantee or not of rationality, logicality)

Goes Ms Jacoby,: “In Washington, the “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act” is designed to discourage insurance companies from covering abortion at all. Under the proposed law, introduced by New Jersey Republican Christopher Smith, people with tax-preferred medical savings accounts could not even use their own money to pay for an abortion without losing the tax break. The original language of this law would have narrowed exemptions for rape and incest by limiting any federal funding to oxymoronic cases of “forcible rape.” The provision was dropped after strong protests from women–including some Republican women. In a scathing episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, correspondent Kirsten Schaal distinguished between rape and assaults that are only “rapeish and “rape-esque.”
“By proposing this legislation,” Schaal said, “Republicans are finally closing the glaring rape loophole in our health care system. You’d be surprised how many drugged, underaged, or mentally handicapped young women have been gaming the system. Sorry, ladies, the free abortion ride is over.”

IT WAS A PARODY, A SKETCH, you retard.

Unbelievably believable.

Note added in proof. It gets better-actually worst: at Rationally Speaking, De Dora writes :”President Obama’s speech at the recent National Prayer Breakfast gives us a rare look into his religious beliefs. Susan Jacoby is not happy.” and Ms Jacoby cant tell what is true or not, you moron. She probably didnt even read or watch Stewarts’ show or his web broadcast. Lets wait till De Dora gets his PhD, nopefully, things may get better, for his discernment.

In the meantime the anti-retard SWAT team (from mediaite.com)

“For the record, the belief Maher apparently holds – that Obama isn’t actually a Christian, but merely pretends to be one to keep up appearances for the sake of his political career – strikes us as one of the most cynical things anyone could possibly believe about Obama. Is it possible? Well, yes – it wouldn’t make Obama the first politician to not be entirely upfront about everything regarding his true self. But for Maher to hold the view that Obama’s not actually a Christian – a viewpoint, of course, fundamental to the “Obama’s a Muslim” school of thought Maher mocks in the very same segment you’ll see below – well, it’s a little curious.” …and stupid.

Today, post Valentin day, at Salon : “Why shooting fish in a barrel is a bad political strategy ” by
Michael Lind argues for a break in the bashing of well, all , BOs, religion as well. The bashing of the bashers included?

Its official: the FGT Trinity saved Egypt (from?)…well, it seems it helped

February 13, 2011

The FGT Trinity: facebook, google and twitter saved the Egyptians….( Right…. ). Sullivan argues that precisely, the acitivity of FGT prepared the landscape for the “revolution”to happen. So condescending. I want to scream.Google advocacy is suspicious, another net bubble? you betcha!!! This time, revolution induced.

Oh and CNN, Anderson Cooper, were instrumental in getting the word out.(Right….) Note added in proof: Today (valentines’ day) many criticized Andersons’ journalistic style and content. I suggest Anderson only does what most reporters from the northern hemisphere do in the southern hemisphere do (or in banana republics): i.e.:patronize and dispense prescriptions for democracy, and for everything else and above all: freedom of press (meaning CNN, FOX, BBC so forth) sothey can have a job. If one is reporting a revolution you dont have guarantees of what can you ask for? Likely you will get beaten up, at best. Shot at worst, or best. This is what happened to Anderson, whom I like. He was roughened up. So why all the whining? You want rights in a war? Rights in a revolution? In a muslim mostly country? .

The egyptian people only through the social networks, achieved some dignity. The assertion is vox populi now. Anyone doesnt believe it is not with it……..f@#$%%#ing. The Trinity now oversees widespread rebellion in many arab countries.

Ok…Ill grant as Kristof points out that the “social network” “lubricated” the “revolution”. Clarence B.Jones writes in the HP about Egypt, Dr King, the social network and human dignity.

“There is nothing in all the world greater than freedom. It is worth paying for; it is worth losing a job; it is worth going to jail for. I would rather be a free pauper than a rich slave. I would rather die in abject poverty with my convictions than live in inordinate riches with the lack of self-respect. Once more every Negro-“every human”- must be able to cry out with his forefathers: Before I’ll be a slave, I’ll be buried in my grave and go home to my Lord to be free.” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, 1956, Montgomery, Alabama)

Mr Jones is realistic and inspirational. Freedom and dignity dont need the Trinity.