Monday, September 21, 2015

pyush bobby jindal offended by attacks on the sanctity of the individual...,

NYTimes |  This leads us to an important question about the Planned Parenthood debate: Are the people who want to put it out of business just opposed to the abortions (which don’t receive federal funds), or are they against family planning, period?

“I’m telling you, it’s family planning,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a phone interview. “They decided that was their target long ago.”

Let’s look at the even larger question: Can Congress really just move the Planned Parenthood money to other health care providers? Besides family planning services, Planned Parenthood offers everything from breast exams to screening for sexually transmitted infections. Many of its patients live in poor or rural areas without a lot of other options.

Another move-the-money presidential candidate is Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana — he’s the one issuing round-the-clock insults to Donald Trump in the desperate hope of attracting a little attention.

Jindal cut off $730,000 in Medicaid reimbursements to his state’s two Planned Parenthood clinics, even though neither offers abortion services. They do, however, provide thousands of women with health care, including screening for sexually transmitted infections — a terrible problem in some parts of the state.

No big deal. When the issue went to court, Jindal’s administration provided a list of more than 2,000 other places where Planned Parenthood’s patients could get care.

“It strikes me as extremely odd that you have a dermatologist, an audiologist, a dentist who are billing for family planning services,” responded the judge.

Whoops. It appeared that the list-makers had overestimated a tad, and the number of alternate providers was actually more like 29. None of which had the capacity to take on a flood of additional patients.

environmental stewardship dangerous to catholics and christians, why eternal lives are at stake!!!

townhall |  It is difficult to convey the excitement I first felt when it was revealed that His Holiness Pope Francis was invited to Washington D.C. to address the world from the floor of the House of Representatives. Many believed, like I did, that this was an opportunity for the Pope to be one of the world’s great religious advocates and address the current intolerance of religious freedom. An opportunity to urgently challenge governments to properly address the persecution and execution of Christians and religious minorities; to address the heinous and senseless murders committed by ISIS and other terrorist organizations. An opportunity to address the enslavement, belittlement, rape and desecration of Christian women and children; to address the condoned, subsidized, intentionally planned genocide of unborn children by Planned Parenthood and society; and finally, an opportunity for His Holiness to refocus our priorities on right from wrong.

Media reports indicate His Holiness instead intends to focus the brunt of his speech on climate change--a climate that has been changing since first created in Genesis. More troubling is the fact that this climate change talk has adopted all of the socialist talking points, wrapped false science and ideology into “climate justice” and is being presented to guilt people into leftist policies. If the Pope stuck to standard Christian theology, I would be the first in line. If the Pope spoke out with moral authority against violent Islam, I would be there cheering him on. If the Pope urged the Western nations to rescue persecuted Christians in the Middle East, I would back him wholeheartedly. But when the Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one. Artist and columnist Maureen Mullarkey effectively communicated this fallacy stating, “When papal preferences, masked in a Christian idiom, align themselves with ideological agendas (e.g. radical environmentalism) [they] impinge on democratic freedoms and the sanctity of the individual.”

Sunday, September 20, 2015

killer-ape neologisms: ecological panic

NYTimes |  Hitler spread ecological panic by claiming that only land would bring Germany security and by denying the science that promised alternatives to war. By polluting the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, the United States has done more than any other nation to bring about the next ecological panic, yet it is the only country where climate science is still resisted by certain political and business elites. These deniers tend to present the empirical findings of scientists as a conspiracy and question the validity of science — an intellectual stance that is uncomfortably close to Hitler’s.

The full consequences of climate change may reach America only decades after warming wreaks havoc in other regions. And by then it will be too late for climate science and energy technology to make any difference. Indeed, by the time the door is open to the demagogy of ecological panic in the United States, Americans will have spent years spreading climate disaster around the world.

THE European Union, by contrast, takes global warming very seriously, but its existence is under threat. As Africa and the Middle East continue to warm and wars rage, economic migrants and war refugees are making perilous journeys to flee to Europe. In response, European populists have called for the strict enforcement of national borders and the end of the union. Many of these populist parties are supported by Russia, which is openly pursuing a divide-and-conquer policy with the aim of bringing about European disintegration.

Russia’s 2014 intervention in Ukraine has already shattered the peaceful order that Europeans had come to take for granted. The Kremlin, which is economically dependent on the export of hydrocarbons to Europe, is now seeking to make gas deals with individual European states one by one in order to weaken European unity and expand its own influence. Meanwhile, President Vladimir V. Putin waxes nostalgic for the 1930s, while Russian nationalists blame gays, cosmopolitans and Jews for antiwar sentiment. None of this bodes well for Europe’s future — or Russia’s.

When mass killing is on the way, it won’t announce itself in the language we are familiar with. The Nazi scenario of 1941 will not reappear in precisely the same form, but several of its causal elements have already begun to assemble.

what exxon knew about climate change

newyorker |   Wednesday morning, journalists at InsideClimate News, a Web site that has won the Pulitzer Prize for its reporting on oil spills, published the first installment of a multi-part exposé that will be appearing over the next month. The documents they have compiled and the interviews they have conducted with retired employees and officials show that, as early as 1977, Exxon (now ExxonMobil, one of the world’s largest oil companies) knew that its main product would heat up the planet disastrously. This did not prevent the company from then spending decades helping to organize the campaigns of disinformation and denial that have slowed—perhaps fatally—the planet’s response to global warming.

There’s a sense, of course, in which one already assumed that this was the case. Everyone who’s been paying attention has known about climate change for decades now. But it turns out Exxon didn’t just “know” about climate change: it conducted some of the original research. In the nineteen-seventies and eighties, the company employed top scientists who worked side by side with university researchers and the Department of Energy, even outfitting one of the company’s tankers with special sensors and sending it on a cruise to gather CO2 readings over the ocean. By 1977, an Exxon senior scientist named James Black was, according to his own notes, able to tell the company’s management committee that there was “general scientific agreement” that what was then called the greenhouse effect was most likely caused by man-made CO2; a year later, speaking to an even wider audience inside the company, he said that research indicated that if we doubled the amount of carbon dioxide in the planet’s atmosphere, we would increase temperatures two to three degrees Celsius. That’s just about where the scientific consensus lies to this day. “Present thinking,” Black wrote in summary, “holds that man has a time window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical.”

Saturday, September 19, 2015

obamamandius' geopolitical grandmaster of the great game

tomdispatch |  In ways that have eluded Washington pundits and policymakers, President Barack Obama is deploying a subtle geopolitical strategy that, if successful, might give Washington a fighting chance to extend its global hegemony deep into the twenty-first century. After six years of silent, sometimes secret preparations, the Obama White House has recently unveiled some bold diplomatic initiatives whose sum is nothing less than a tri-continental strategy to check Beijing’s rise. As these moves unfold, Obama is revealing himself as one of those rare grandmasters who appear every generation or two with an ability to go beyond mere foreign policy and play that ruthless global game called geopolitics.

Since he took office in 2009, Obama has faced an unremitting chorus of criticism, left and right, domestic and foreign, dismissing him as hapless, even hopeless. “He's a poor ignoramus; he should read and study a little to understand reality," said Venezuela’s leftist president Hugo Chavez, just months after Obama’s inauguration. “I think he has projected a position of weakness and... a lack of leadership,” claimed Republican Senator John McCain in 2012. “After six years,” opined a commentator from the conservative Heritage Foundation last April, “he still displays a troubling misunderstanding of power and the leadership role the United States plays in the international system.” Even former Democratic President Jimmy Carter recently dismissed Obama’s foreign policy achievements as “minimal.”  Voicing the views of many Americans, Donald Trump derided his global vision this way: “We have a president who doesn’t have a clue.”

But let's give credit where it's due.  Without proclaiming a presumptuously labeled policy such as “triangulation,” “the Nixon Doctrine,” or even a “freedom agenda,” Obama has moved step-by-step to repair the damage caused by a plethora of Washington foreign policy debacles, old and new, and then maneuvered deftly to rebuild America’s fading global influence.

Viewed historically, Obama has set out to correct past foreign policy excesses and disasters, largely the product of imperial overreach, that can be traced to several generations of American leaders bent on the exercise of unilateral power. Within the spectrum of American state power, he has slowly shifted from the coercion of war, occupation, torture, and other forms of unilateral military action toward the more cooperative realm of trade, diplomacy, and mutual security -- all in search of a new version of American supremacy.

Obama first had to deal with the disasters of the post-9/11 years.  Looking through history’s rearview mirror, Bush-Cheney Republicans imagined the Middle East was the on-ramp to greater world power and burned up at least two trillion dollars and much of U.S. prestige in a misbegotten attempt to make that illusion a reality. Since the first day of his presidency, Obama has been trying to pull back from or ameliorate the resulting Bush-made miasmas in Afghanistan and Iraq (though with only modest success), while resisting constant Republican pressures to reengage fully in the permanent, pointless Middle Eastern war that they consider their own. Instead of Bush's endless occupations with 170,000 troops in Iraq and 101,000 in Afghanistan, Obama's military has adopted a more mobile Middle Eastern footprint of advisers, air strikes, drones, and special operations squads. On other matters, however, Obama has acted far more boldly.

chess, not checkers...,

Brzesinski with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan
wikipedia |  In his 1970 piece Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era, Brzezinski argued that a coordinated policy among developed nations was necessary in order to counter global instability erupting from increasing economic inequality. Out of this thesis, Brzezinski co-founded the Trilateral Commission with David Rockefeller, serving as director from 1973 to 1976. The Trilateral Commission is a group of prominent political and business leaders and academics primarily from the United States, Western Europe and Japan. Its purpose was to strengthen relations among the three most industrially advanced regions of the capitalist world. Brzezinski selected Georgia governor Jimmy Carter as a member.

Jimmy Carter announced his candidacy for the 1976 presidential campaign to a skeptical media and proclaimed himself an "eager student" of Brzezinski.[19] Brzezinski became Carter's principal foreign policy advisor by late 1975. He became an outspoken critic of the Nixon-Kissinger over-reliance on détente, a situation preferred by the Soviet Union, favoring the Helsinki process instead, which focused on human rights, international law and peaceful engagement in Eastern Europe. Brzezinski has been considered to be the Democrats' response to Republican Henry Kissinger.[20] Carter engaged Ford in foreign policy debates by contrasting the Trilateral vision with Ford's détente.[21]
After his victory in 1976, Carter made Brzezinski National Security Advisor. Earlier that year, major labor riots broke out in Poland, laying the foundations for Solidarity. Brzezinski began by emphasizing the "Basket III" human rights in the Helsinki Final Act, which inspired Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia shortly thereafter.[22]

Brzezinski had a hand in writing parts of Carter's inaugural address, and this served his purpose of sending a positive message to Soviet dissidents.[23] The Soviet Union and Western European leaders both complained that this kind of rhetoric ran against the "code of détente" that Nixon and Kissinger had established.[24][25] Brzezinski ran up against members of his own Democratic Party who disagreed with this interpretation of détente, including Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. Vance argued for less emphasis on human rights in order to gain Soviet agreement to Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), whereas Brzezinski favored doing both at the same time. Brzezinski then ordered Radio Free Europe transmitters to increase the power and area of their broadcasts, a provocative reversal of Nixon-Kissinger policies.[26] West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt objected to Brzezinski's agenda, even calling for the removal of Radio Free Europe from German soil.[27]
The State Department was alarmed by Brzezinski's support for East German dissidents and objected to his suggestion that Carter's first overseas visit be to Poland. He visited Warsaw, met with Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski (against the objection of the U.S. Ambassador to Poland), recognizing the Roman Catholic Church as the legitimate opposition to communist rule in Poland.[28]

By 1978, Brzezinski and Vance were more and more at odds over the direction of Carter's foreign policy. Vance sought to continue the style of détente engineered by Nixon-Kissinger, with a focus on arms control. Brzezinski believed that détente emboldened the Soviets in Angola and the Middle East, and so he argued for increased military strength and an emphasis on human rights. Vance, the State Department, and the media criticized Brzezinski publicly as seeking to revive the Cold War.
Brzezinski advised Carter in 1978 to engage the People's Republic of China and traveled to Beijing to lay the groundwork for the normalization of relations between the two countries. This also resulted in the severing of ties with the United States' longtime anti-Communist ally the Republic of China (Taiwan).

After the September 11 attacks in 2001, Brzezinski was criticized for his role in the formation of the Afghan mujahiddin network.[citation needed] He countered that blame ought to be laid at the feet of the Soviet Union's invasion, which radicalized the relatively stable Muslim society.[citation needed]
Brzezinski was a leading critic of the George W. Bush Administration's conduct of the War on Terror. In 2004, Brzezinski wrote The Choice, which expanded upon The Grand Chessboard but sharply criticized George W. Bush's foreign policy. He defended the book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy and was an outspoken critic of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[32]

In August 2007, Brzezinski endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. He stated that Obama "recognizes that the challenge is a new face, a new sense of direction, a new definition of America's role in the world."[33] – also saying, "What makes Obama attractive to me is that he understands that we live in a very different world where we have to relate to a variety of cultures and people."[34] In September 2007 during a speech on the Iraq war, Obama introduced Brzezinski as "one of our most outstanding thinkers," but some pro-Israel commentators questioned his criticism of the Israel lobby in the United States.[32] In a September 2009 interview with The Daily Beast,

Brzezinski replied to a question about how aggressive President Obama should be in insisting Israel not conduct an air strike on Iran, saying: "We are not exactly impotent little babies. They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?"[35] This was interpreted by some supporters of Israel as supporting the downing of Israeli jets by the United States in order to prevent an attack on Iran.[36][37] In 2011, Brzezinski supported the NATO intervention against the forces of Muammar Gaddafi in the Libyan Civil War, calling non-intervention "morally dubious" and "politically questionable".[38]

On 3 March 2014, between the 22 February ouster of Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich and the 16 March Crimean referendum, Brzenzinski authored an op-ed piece for The Washington Post entitled "What is to be done? Putin’s aggression in Ukraine needs a response"[39] He led with a link on Russian aggression; he compared Russian President Vladimir Putin's "thuggish tactics in seizing Crimea" and "thinly camouflaged invasion" to Adolf Hitler's occupation of the Sudetenland in 1938, and characterised Putin as a cartoon Benito Mussolini, but stopped well short of advocating that the U.S. go to war. Rather, he suggested that NATO should be put on high alert and recommended "to avert miscalculations". He explicitly stated that reassurances be given "Russia that it is not seeking to draw Ukraine into NATO."[39]

does the nobel panel now consider obama award a mistake?

washingtontimes |  The former director of Norway’s Nobel Institute revealed this week that he regrets the committee’s decision to give the 2009 Nobel Peace award to President Obama.

Geil Lundestad, director at the institute for 25 years, said in his just-published memoir that he and the committee had unanimously decided to grant the award to Mr. Obama just after his election in 2009 more in hopes of aiding the American president to achieve his goals on nuclear disarmament, rather than in recognition of what Mr. Obama had already accomplished.

Looking back over Mr. Obama’s presidency, Mr. Lundestad said, granting him the award did not fulfill the committee’s expectations.

“[We] thought it would strengthen Obama and it didn’t have this effect,” he told the Associated Press in an interview.

The award so early in his term appeared to take the Obama White House by surprise, and Mr. Lundestad said U.S. officials privately asked if a Nobel Prize-winner had ever skipped the awards ceremony.

Normally the Nobel committee’s decision regarding recipients remains private, and Mr. Lundestad’s frank and revealing remarks regarding internal decisions have caused a stir in Norway, detailing the politicking and compromises that have gone into determining the annual laureate.

Friday, September 18, 2015

the legacy effects of keystone individuals on collective behaviour

royalsociety |  The ability to execute effective collective behaviour is vital for social groups. The coordinated gliding of fish schools when evading predators or the emergent nest structures of social insects represent collective adaptations that afford groups advantages that are not achievable for solitary individuals [1]. Such collective traits have captured the imagination of scientists including ecologists [2,3], behaviourists [4,5], mathematicians [6] and engineers [7,8], perhaps, more than anything else, because these collective traits are thought to emerge without central control [9]. In classic models of collective behaviour [10,11], individuals are treated as functionally equivalent. Yet, a cursory glance at any group reveals that, even among clones, no two individuals behave in precisely the same way [12]. Only recently have models of collective behaviour begun to predict how such behavioural variation is expected to impact collective outcomes (e.g. [13,14]). We consider here an extreme case of how individual variation can impact collective behaviour, where the behavioural traits of just one or a few highly influential individuals shape the behaviour of entire societies.

We define individuals that exhibit a disproportionate large influence over collective behaviour as keystone individuals (or just ‘keystones’). Though one may reason that keystone individuals might be a relatively rare phenomenon, a recent literature review on the topic identified more than 80 case studies where just one or a few highly influential group members shape group behaviour and success [15]. Movement leaders [1619], knowledgeable tutors [2022], hyperaggressive males [23], catalytic individuals [24,25] and disease superspreaders [26] represent just some of the ways in which keystone phenotypes can influence group function.

The reliance of a group on one influential individual may reduce its robustness to perturbation. For instance, groups' ideal collective phenotype could be compromised if their keystone individuals leave or die [27]. Such groups might also be more susceptible to manipulation by predators or pathogens because the keystone may serve as a fulcrum by which an exploitative agent can manipulate the entire group [28,29]. A possible solution to this potential system fragility would be that keystone individuals impose long-lasting changes on the behaviour of other group members which, in turn, could maintain their influence over the group's collective phenotypes even after their departure. Although catalytic effects by keystone individuals have been suggested for some social systems [24,25,30], there are few experimentally verified examples of these effects being long lasting (but see: [31,32]), and even fewer studies have determined what factors control the duration of these effects. Determining what controls the onset and duration of behavioural changes induced by keystone individuals is important for understanding the robustness of collective systems.

always and everywhere remember yourself....,

semiophysics | "If a man could understand all the horror of the lives of ordinary people who are turning round in a circle of insignificant aims, if he could understand what they are losing, he would understand that there can only be one thing that is serious for him - to escape from the general law, to be free. What can be serious for a man in prison who is condemned to death? Only one thing: How to save himself, how to escape: nothing else is serious." - G.I. Gurdjieff

It was late in the morning or perhaps it was late in the afternoon and Moshe was concluding an interview with a writer for Psychology Today:

Writer: "It would seem that your ideas and your methods have much in common with the work of Milton Erickson."

Moshe: "Oh yes, that's true. I have a tremendous degree of respect for his work. And I met him. Margaret Mead introduced us. But, you know, while one can see similarities in my work to Milton Erickson's, the person I feel I have the most kinship with is (G.I.) Gurdjieff."

The interview was never published. The writer moved on to the NY Times. Maybe someone, say Franz Wurm, can shed light on Moshe's relationship to the Gurdjieff "Work" and the Gurdjieff community. Was it direct or indirect? Historical fact: Moshe met Ida Rolf at a conference put on by the noted student of Gurdjieff, J.G. Bennett.

moshe pinchas feldenkrais

wikipedia |  Feldenkrais was born in the Russian Empire (present-day Ukraine) city of Slavuta. In 1918, he left his family, then living in Baranovichi, Belarus, to emigrate to Palestine.[1] There he worked as a laborer before obtaining his high-school diploma in 1925. After graduation, he worked as a cartographer for the British survey office. During his time in Palestine he began his studies of self-defense, including Ju-Jitsu. A soccer injury in 1929 would later figure into the development of his method.[2]
During the 1930s, he lived in France where he earned his engineering degree from the École Spéciale des Travaux Publics, and later his Doctor of Science in engineeringat the Sorbonne where Marie Curie was one of his teachers. During this time he worked as a research assistant to nuclear chemist and Nobel Prize laureate Frédéric Joliot-Curie at the Radium Institute. In September 1933, he met Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo in Paris. Kano encouraged him to study Judo under Mikinosuke Kawaishi. Feldenkrais became a close friend of Kano and corresponded with him regularly.[3] Kano chose him to be one of the doors through which the East attempts to meet the West. In 1936, he earned a black belt in judo, and later gained his 2nd degree black belt in 1938. He was a co-founding member of the Ju-Jitsu Club de France, one of the oldest Judo clubs in Europe, which still exists today. Frédéric, Irène Joliot-Curie, and Bertrand Goldschmidt took Judo lessons from him during their time together at the institute.
Just as the Germans were about to arrive in Paris in 1940, Feldenkrais fled to Britain with a jar of "heavy water" and a sheaf of research material with instructions to deliver them to the British Admiralty War Office. Until 1946, he was a science officer in the Admiralty working on Anti-submarine weaponry in Fairlie, Scotland. His work on improving sonar led to several patents. He also taught self-defense techniques to his fellow servicemen. On slippery submarine decks, he re-aggravated an old soccer knee injury. Refusing an operation, he was prompted to intently explore and develop self-rehabilitation and awareness techniques through self-observation which later evolved into the method. His discoveries led him to begin sharing with others (including colleague J. D. Bernal) through lectures, experimental classes, and one-on-one work with a few.
After leaving the Admiralty, he lived and worked in private industry in London. His self-rehabilitation enabled him to continue his judo practice. From his position on the international Judo committee he began to study judo scientifically, incorporating the knowledge he gained through his self-rehabilitation. In 1949, he published the first book on the Feldenkrais method, Body and Mature Behavior: A Study of Anxiety, Sex, Gravitation and Learning. During this period he studied the work of G.I. Gurdjieff, F. Matthias Alexander, Elsa Gindler and William Bates. He also traveled to Switzerland to study with Heinrich Jacoby.
In 1951, he returned to the recently formed Israel. After directing the Israeli Army Department of Electronics for several years, in 1954 he settled in Tel Aviv where he began to teach his method full-time. He began training Mia Segal as his assistant and his first student in 1957.[4][5] In the same year, he gave lessons in the Feldenkrais method to David Ben-Gurion, the Prime Minister of Israel, enabling him to stand on his head in a yoga pose.
Throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and into the 1980s he presented the Feldenkrais method throughout Europe and in North America (including an Awareness Through Movement program for human potential trainers including at Esalen Institute in 1972). He also began to train teachers in the method so they could, in turn, present the work to others. He trained the first group of 13 teachers in the method from 1969–1971 in Tel Aviv. Over the course of four summers from 1975–1978, he trained 65 teachers in San Francisco at Lone Mountain College under the auspices of the Humanistic Psychology Institute. In 1980, 235 students began his summer teacher-training course at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. After becoming ill in the fall of 1981, after teaching two of the planned four summers, he stopped teaching publicly. He died on July 1, 1984. There are well over 2000 practitioners of his method teaching throughout the world today.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

an architect of failure on this scale is indistinguishable from a tool of the state....,

occupywallst | From the co-creator of the Occupy Wall Street movement, a refreshing manifesto that inaugurates the future of social activism and the end of protest as you know it. Intellectually ambitious and spiritually compelling, THE END OF PROTEST will be the most talked-about non-fiction book in 2016. 

Activism is broken. Recent years have witnessed the largest protests in human history. And yet, these mass mobilizations no longer change society. Now protest is at a crossroads: innovation or irrelevance. Drawing on his unique experience as a founder of Occupy Wall Street, in his first book, THE END OF PROTEST, Micah White explores the theory, tactics and principles of social change. Sweeping from contemporary uprisings to pre-modern paradigm shifts such as the conversion of Constantine that ushered in the Christianization of Western Civilization, THE END OF PROTEST is a far-reaching inquiry into the miraculous power of collective epiphanies. Despite the challenges facing humanity, White finds reason for optimism: the end of protest is the start of a new era of change. Occupy Wall Street was a constructive failure that exposed the limits of activism at the same time as it revealed a practical way forward. On the horizon are increasingly sophisticated global movements that will emerge in a bid to win power, govern cities and reorient the way we live.THE END OF PROTEST is an exhilarating vision of an all-encompassing revolution.

About the Author
MICAH WHITE, PhD is the influential social activist who co-created the Occupy Wall Street movement while an editor of Adbusters magazine. White has a twenty-year record of innovative activism, including conceiving the debt-forgiveness tactic used by the Rolling Jubilee and popularizing the critique of clicktivism. His essays and interviews on the future of activism have been published internationally in periodicals including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian Weekly and Folha de São Paulo. He has been profiled by The New Yorker, and Esquire recently named him one of the most influential young thinkers alive today. White directs Boutique Activist Consultancy—an activist think tank specializing in impossible campaigns. Dr. Micah White lives with his wife in Nehalem, a small town on the coast of Oregon.

reminisce about the ows/blm epic fails and the cathedral governance that shut them down...,

occuevolve |
Be it the rent
(which is TOO HIGH)
Be it the wages
( which are TOO LOW)
Be it the police
(who profile and/or brutalize us)
Be it the taxes we pay
(At higher rates than Wall Street)
Be it our buses and subways
(Service Bad yet fares always increasing)
Be it our environment
and genetically modified food
(Polluted and Unhealthy)
Be it politicians
(Who serve the rich but NOT the people!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

caitlyn milbank all up in her feelings about mr. miracle...,

WaPo | has some wisdom for CNN’s Jake Tapper, the moderator of Wednesday’s debate, when he (inevitably) encounters Trump’s bullying. “Intervene immediately. It is ok to get another adult to help. . . . Don’t think candidates can work it out without adult help.” 

And the targets of Trump’s bullying? “Look at the candidate bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off.”

Bystanders and other adults — in this case, let’s apply the term loosely to supporters, party officials and journalists — have a role, too: Because “those who bully are encouraged by the attention that they receive from bystanders,” those who witness bullying can “blatantly state that they don’t think bullying is entertaining or funny,” and perhaps even “create a distraction” to deny the bully attention. All of us can “commit to making it stop and consistently support the bullied candidate.”

I’m prepared to do my part. Note that I haven’t called Trump a bully but rather, as suggests, “the candidate who bullied.” To label him a bully is to “send the message that the candidate’s behavior cannot change.” And I’d like to believe that everybody has the capacity for growth — even Trump.

your jaw will drop when you finally realize what it means to observe and remember yourself...,

feldenkrais |  Relaxation: a concept that is often misunderstood
Let us look at the lower half of the jaw. Most people keep their mouths closed when they are not speaking, eating, or doing something else with it. What keeps the lower half of the jaw drawn up against the upper half? If the relaxation that has now become so fashionable were the correct condition, then the lower jaw would hang down freely and the mouth remain wide open. But this ultimate state of relaxation is found only among individuals born idiots, or in cases of paralyzing shocks.

It is important to understand how an essential part of the body such as the jaw can be in this permanent state of being held up, supported by muscles that work ceaselessly while we are awake; yet we do not sense that we are doing anything to hold up our jaw. In order to let our jaw drop freely we actually have to learn to inhibit the muscles involved. If you try to relax the lower jaw until its own weight opens the mouth fully you will find that it is not easy. When you have succeeded you will observe that there are also changes in the expression of the face and in the eyes. It is likely that you will discover at the end of this experiment that your jaw is normally shut too tightly.

Perhaps you will also discover the origin of this excessive tension. Watch for the return of the tension after the jaw has been relaxed, and you will at least discover how infinitely little man knows about his own powers and about himself in general.

The results of this small experiment can be important for a sensible person, more important even than attending to his business, because his ability to make a livelihood may improve when he discovers what is reducing the efficiency of most of his activities.

No awareness of action in antigravity muscles
The lower jaw is not the only part of the body that does not drop down as far as it can. The head itself does not drop forward. Its center of gravity is well in front of the point at which it is supported by the spine (it lies approximately between the ears), for the face and front part of the skull are heavier than the back of the head. Despite this structure the head does not fall forward, so obviously there must be some organization in the system that keeps it up.

If we relax the muscles at the back of the neck completely, then the head will drop to the lowest possible position, with the chin resting on the breastbone. Yet there is no consciousness of effort while these muscles at the back of the neck are contracted to hold up the head. If you finger the calf muscles (at the back of the leg, at about the middle) while standing, you will find them strongly contracted. If they were entirely relaxed the body would fall forward. In good posture the bones of the lower leg are at a small angle forward from the vertical, and the contraction of the muscles of the calves prevents the body from falling forward on its face.

We stand without knowing how
We are thus not aware of any effort or activity in the muscles that work against gravity. We become aware of the antigravity muscles only when we either interrupt or reinforce them, that is, when the voluntary change is made in clear awareness. The permanent contraction that is normally present before any intentional act is done is not registered by our senses. The electrical impulses, which derive from different sources within the nervous system, are involved. One group of these produces deliberate action; the other group causes contraction in the antigravity muscles until the work done by them exactly balances the pull of gravity.

honor culture conduces to both politeness and competence

feldenkrais | Improvement of ability 
The lessons are designed to improve ability, that is, to expand the boundaries of the possible: to turn the impossible into the possible, the difficult into the easy, and the easy into the pleasant. For only those activities that are easy and pleasant will become part of a man's habitual life and will serve him at all times. Actions that are hard to carry out, for which man must force himself to overcome his inner opposition, will never become part of his normal daily life; as he gets older he will lose his ability to carry them out at all.

It is rare, for instance, for a man over fifty to jump over a fence, even if it is quite low. He will look for the way around the fence, while a youth will jump over it without any difficulty. This does not mean that we should avoid everything that seems difficult and never use our will power to overcome obstacles, but that we should differentiate clearly between improvement of ability and sheer effort for its own sake. We shall do better to direct our will power to improving our ability so that in the end our actions will be carried out easily and with understanding.

Ability and will power
To the extent that ability increases, the need for conscious efforts of the will decreases. The effort required to increase ability provides sufficient and efficient exercise for our will power. If you consider the matter carefully you will discover that most people of strong will power (which they have trained for its own sake) are also people with relatively poor ability. People who know how to operate effectively do so without great preparation and without much fuss. Men of great will power tend to apply too much force instead of using moderate forces more effectively.

If you rely mainly on your will power, you will develop your ability to strain and become accustomed to applying an enormous amount of force to actions that can be carried out with much less energy, if it is properly directed and graduated.

Both these ways of operating usually achieve their objective, but the former may also cause considerable damage. Force that is not converted into movement does not simply disappear, but is dissipated into damage done to joints, muscles, and other sections of the body used to create the effort. Energy not converted into movement turns into heat within the system and causes changes that will require repair before the system can operate efficiently again.

Whatever we can do well does not seem difficult to us. We may even venture to say that movements we find difficult are not carried out correctly.

To understand movement we must feel, not strain
To learn we need time, attention, and discrimination; to discriminate we must sense. This means that in order to learn we must sharpen our powers of sensing, and if we try to do most things by sheer force we shall achieve precisely the opposite of what we need.

honor culture: the killer-ape solution for microaggressions on the deck of the Titanic...,

bloomberg |  We used to call this "rudeness," "slights" or "ignorant remarks." Mostly, people ignored them. The elevation of microaggressions into a social phenomenon with a specific name and increasingly public redress marks a dramatic social change, and two sociologists, Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning, have a fascinating paper exploring what this shift looks like, and what it means. (Jonathan Haidt has provided a very useful CliffsNotes version.)

Western society, they argue, has shifted from an honor culture -- in which slights are taken very seriously, and avenged by the one slighted -- to a dignity culture, in which personal revenge is discouraged, and justice is outsourced to third parties, primarily the law. The law being a cumbersome beast, people in dignity cultures are encouraged to ignore slights, or negotiate them privately by talking with the offender, rather than seeking some more punitive sanction.

Honor cultures frequently developed a lot of rituals to constrain the violence which otherwise would have degenerated into a blood-soaked war of all-against-all. If you look at the Burr-Hamilton duel, you see a tremendously elaborate process for what is basically two men deciding to duke it out over a nasty remark at a dinner. The seconds, the formalities, the extended opportunities for apology, raise the cost of fighting, lower the cost of not doing so, and thereby mitigate the appalling violence to which honor cultures are prone. Unless victim culture can find similar stopping mechanisms, it will collapse into the bloodless version of the endless blood-feuds that made us seek alternatives to honor cultures in the first place.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

ONLY mr. miracle could break the democratic stranglehold on the black vote

americanthinker |  Donald Trump has exposed the greatest fault line in the Democrat coalition: the conflict of interest between blacks and advocates of a borderless immigration policy.  The competition for jobs at the lower end of the education and experience spectrum pits those two groups against each other, with the outcome being depressed wages, a widening income gap, and disastrous levels of black unemployment among younger black males in particular.  Employers generally prefer Hispanic males over black males for perceived (fairly or unfairly) differences in work ethic and attitude toward authority. With millions of poorly educated Hispanics accustomed to low wages and a low standard of living streaming into America, you don't need a PhD in labor economics to sense the result. Notice also that TRump garners 41% of the Asian vote.

Trump also benefits among blacks and many other groups from what I would call the “BS factor.” There is a justifiably pervasive sense that our politicians and media do not play straight with us, for fear of being called politically incorrect, and for reasons of self advantage. Trump, whatever his own faults and evasions, is unafraid to speak hard truths, at least some of the time.

It is imperative that other members of the GOP field learn from Trump on these points. If the Democratic Party ever loses its vice-like grip on the black vote, it is in deep trouble. And the Party has been playing a two-faced game in uniting blacks and Hisapnics into a coalition of the aggrieved. That may work with the race hustler class of Sharptons, Jacksons, and Jealouses, but it does not work with even mildly cognizant members of the rank and file African–Americans. They know they are being sold out for the younger, up and coming minority group demanding patronage from the Democrats.

Keep in mind that Hispanics are a more diverse group than African-Americans. There are many, many legal residents and citizens of Hispanic descent who are negatively affected by the arrival of un-vetted millions of Hispanics, some of the criminals.  Breaking the stranglehold of the Democrats on blacks does not mean dissing all Hispanics. Trump gets 39% of the Hispanic vote here.

Even if you don’t like Trump, you have to give him credit for smashing the barrier restraining honest talk about immigration, a barrier that substantially benefits the Democrats.