Saturday, June 30, 2012

Maher on conservative froth over ACA

In Bill Maher's monlogue last night he made fun of the rabid conservative frothing over the SCOTUS decision. Some clips:

"They threw a tantrum, shit in their pants and threw their feces at the White House."

The Democrats finally grow some balls

With the recent SCOTUS decision upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) conservatives are frothing from all orifices. As usual they lie with obnoxious volume and money and must be counteracted with similar intensity and cash. Instead of their usual MO of cowtowing the Democrats have decided to stand and fight on the issue. The conservative echo chamber says the ACA penalty if you don't buy insurance will be a tax burden on the entire middle class. The White House says to call it what it is in no uncertain terms: Bullshit. And asks Dems to stand up and do so en masse. The facts provided by the White House:

Friday, June 29, 2012

Chris Hedges reviews The Righteous Mind

Some excerpts follow from Hedges' scathing review of Jonathan Haidt's book. (Compare with Rifkin's empathic evolutionary socio-economics.)

"He too repeatedly departs from legitimate science, including social science, into the simplification and corruption of science and scientific terms to promote a unified theory of human behavior that has no empirical basis. He is stunningly naive about power, especially corporate power, and often exhibits a disturbing indifference to the weak and oppressed. He is, in short, a Social Darwinian in analyst’s clothing.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

New facts in Fast & Furious expose conservative lies


I realize new facts (or any facts) won't mean much to the paranoid who don't deal in reality, but for the rest of us with smaller amygdalas and larger forebrains Ed Shultz reports that Issa has not been able to link AG Holder to any wrongdoing whatsoever, or even provide any evidence that he had any foreknowledge about the case.

Shultz brought in a new investigative report from Fortune magazine that said gun trafficking never happened the way conservatives have been spinning it. According to ATF agents involved in the case they never allowed guns to be run but seized them whenever they could. They were however stymied by weak laws and prosecutors at every turn. The problem was instead that buying a gun in the US was so easy, largely due to NRA-influenced legislation, that in AZ there is no waiting period to buy them, no permits are required and buyers can resell guns. NRA lobbying prevented the ATF from establishing a national database to track gun sales.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waxing pataphysical

I like Bryant's blog post on "remarks toward a theory of writing." A few juicy excerpts with my comments following:

"I have an imp of perversity in me.  I intentionally choose words that I know will provoke.  That provocation is not just a provocation towards whatever readers I might happen to have, but towards myself as well.  How can I manage to think?  How can I engender thought in myself?

"Lacanians don’t really interpret.... Rather, Lacanians instead interrupt. When they speak, they do so in a way that attends not to the conscious intentions of the analysand’s discourse, but to the polysemy, the homonyms, the equivocations, the gaps, the contradictions, etc., within that discourse.

Jon Stewart: conservative hypocricy on Fast & Furious

That conservatives are hypocrites on this issue is no surprise. But it is fun to catch them at it and no one does it better than Stewart. Last night he noted that because Obama asserted executive privilege then to conservatives it must mean he's not only hiding something, but that it's confirms their paranoid delusions that the operation was a plot to ban guns in America! And their echo chamber compared Obama's first executive privilege to Watergate? Stewart showed the absurdity of this by showing a clip of that brilliant statesman Rick Perry of Texas. When asked by a reporter what Obama's covering up he said: "I don't know." Exactly. They have no idea why he asserted the privilege so the conspiracy theories come out in force.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

SCOTUS further enables corporations, further disables Unions

John Nichols reports that the US Supreme Court's recent ruling on Montana expanded Citizens United to State and local elections. But it did quite a bit more that I have not heard reported anywhere. Corporations, without shareholder votes of approval, can spend however much money they want to back a candidate or cause. Yet the ruling said that Unions will require "that they get affirmative approval from workers they represent (but who may not at the moment be union members) before making special dues assessments to fund campaigns countering corporations.... The union will have to go through the laborious process of gaining permission from tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of workers. And even then, it will face additional reporting and structural barriers imposed by the Court." Yet corporations can just give vast sums with not only no shareholder approval, but no whiff of employee approval.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wall Street bid-rigging trial


Matt Taibbi reports on the financial corruption case against Carollo et al. I guess we're no longer surprised by this kind of huge corruption. Nor should we be that those guilty felt they could commit such crimes with impunity. I saw exactly this kind of activity when I worked in the insurance industry and was one reason I decided to retire early from its corrupt business practices. See for example the infamous insurance bid-rigging case Elliot Spitzer prosecuted back in '05, and why I left one agency representing the insurance carrier involved in that scam. This exact behavior is continuously ongoing in the industry to this day.

A few excerpts from the article:

The banks achieved this gigantic rip-off by secretly colluding to rig the public bids on municipal bonds, a business worth $3.7 trillion. By conspiring to lower the interest rates that towns earn on these investments, the banks systematically stole from schools, hospitals, libraries and nursing homes – from 'virtually every state, district and territory in the United States,' according to one settlement. And they did it so cleverly that the victims never even knew they were being ­cheated.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bill Maher: Conservatives are children

Maher's New Rules last night did a segment on conservative child stars. "If a 14 year-old can deliver you message it's not because he's gifted but it's because intellectually you're a child." He showed a video of a 14 year-old kid with a conservative talk radio show espousing gay hatred just like his 'adult' radio forebears. Maher is not slamming kids because we expect them to be that way; they are not all that intellectually or morally developed and just repeat what the hear from family, etc. His message to conservatives: "No wonder 14 year-old boys can do your act; you sound exactly like 14 year-old boys."

Friday, June 22, 2012

Colbert on Operation Fast & Furious

Continuing from the last post on this, Stephen Colbert mocked the Republicans for thinking this was a deliberate scheme by the Administration to create fear over gun sales in the US to thereby ban guns altogether. This is actually what drug-crazed Limbaugh said and has been echoed by Issa himself. Colbert accurately reported though that the program started in 2006 under the previous Administration, something not heard from the conservative echo chamber. And all of this "to gin up support for the draconian gun measures that Obama had never introduced." He goes on to note that it's likely "the fevered ramblings of a syphilitic brain." It's ironic that Issa and his cronies found Holder in contempt when most of the rest of us find Congress in contempt.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Republican witch hunt on the Attorney General

The US House oversight committee, chaired by witch-hunter Darrell Issa, voted to hold US Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for not providing information regarding the operation "Fast and Furious." This after Holder testified numerous times before the committee and released over 7,600 documents to them. Speaker Boehner said he'll bring the contempt vote before the full Congress next week. Holder said this is political theater that is not really interested in getting to the bottom of the issue. So why the witch-hunt now?

Bill Maher: Republicans are the problem

Maher's 6/18/12 blog post affirms that Republicans are the problem, using an article by that name from the Washington Post by Mann and Ornstein. He berates those who say there is equal criticism to go around between the two major parties. No, one is much worse than the other, though the Dems are no angels. Compromise is not feasible with a party that refuses to compromise. Maher: "How do you expect me to work on the 2+2=4 bill when their side believes math is a liberal plot to turn your kid queer?" 

The projective arc

Following is the IPS discussion to date of the Lanes' Integral World article by the above name.

Layman Pascal: The issue that leaps out at me is who exactly is doing the "letting pioneers be pioneers" and how is that "letting" accomplished?  Assuming we are not merely indulging in the passive intellectual game of having-at-look-at-a-subtle-process then we are proposing what kind of intervention?

It seems that the history of bio-energetic & altered consciousness experiences is filled with people who subscribe to the anticipated patterns of their group's discourse and those who don't -- as well as people who migrate from one to the other.  The ability to separate our interpretations from the phenomenology of our experiences is an ongoing process determined by all kinds of factors -- many of which undoubtedly reside in the early life of family and elementary schooling, others of which are determined by whether or not the individual has sufficient "surplus psychological energy" to grow new levels of self-understanding by challenging the local social orthodoxy in which their assumptions are embedded.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nuns against the Ryan budget

Tonight Ed Shultz interviewed sister Simone Campbell, who organized a bus tour to hit 9 States protesting the Ryan budget as immoral. Romney supports it. Ryan justifies cuts to the needy based on his Catholic faith. Campbell doesn't agree, noting that Ryan only talks about individual responsibility. She notes the fullness of faith also requires community and helping each other. "Because Congressman Ryan only has half the facts he's 100% wrong." She agrees with the US Congress of Catholic Bishops that Ryan's budget is immoral, as it cuts programs for the needy and gives that money to the well off. "It's not what Jesus would do and it's against all the social principles we hold dear." So far Ryan refuses to engage the sisters on this issue.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jon Stewart: The vagina ideologues

Jon Stewart reports on Michigan Democrat Lisa Brown's response to proposed Republican legislation on abortion. Brown remarks: "I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but no means no." Stewart noted it was a good vagina zinger, which "by the way is my favorite Celestial tea." In response the tight-assed, repressed Republicans barred her from speaking on the floor. Stewart asks what are they afraid of. "Vaginas aren't like Voldemort or Beetlejuice. Invoking the name 'vagina' doesn't make them suddenly appear. Believe me, if it did, high school would have been very different for me.... I don't know what MI is so uptight about; it's a State that is basically fisting the Great Lakes."

Fiona Apple is back

This article discusses her comeback after 7 years, getting good reviews. It also provide a sample video of the single "Every single night," below. Cthulhu plays a significant role.



Monday, June 18, 2012

What is democratic socialism anyway?

And just to clear up conservative misconceptions of what the term socialist means, the following is from the Democratic Socialists of America FAQ. Note the key adjective democratic, a concept grossly lacking in conservative policies. They oppose State-run social planning like Russia or Eastern Europe; instead they favor democratically owned and operated businesses within a market-based economy. This will not replace private business but it will strengthen public regulations and tax structures to hold them accountable. They list as examples of democratic socialist policies those of western Europe and Scandinavia, the latter of which leads the way in the world happiness index. In the US the political faction most aligned with their agenda is the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who authored the Budget for All (compare with the moral issues of Ryan's budget). And most importantly, they insist on wearing the term socialist as a badge of honor instead of running from the conservative framing. We must learn to frame this correctly based on the humane and people-centered morality that motivates its policies. And be proud the wear the term once correctly defined.

Are French socialist victories a bellwether?

Related to this previous post on President Hollande's French victory, this Reuters article reports on France's election results yesterday. Hollande's socialists won a "resounding parliamentary majority," securing 307 seats. "The leftward swing gives the Socialists more power than they have ever held as Hollande pushes for new tools to stimulate growth in the sickly euro zone and a European banking union that would protect depositors and states if banks fail." Now the social democrats will have the upper hand in fighting conservative austerity, implementing increased taxes on corporations and the rich, and investment in the public programs that help the 99%. It's about time that democratic socialists are back in vogue. I can only hope that this indicates a broader world trend that eventually filters back to the US, where democratic socialists like Senator Bernie Sanders have been leading the way back to a more just and equitable polity. Vive la France!

Lakoff: Romney beating Obama on economic framing

Last Wednesday both Obama and Romney had economic speeches. According to Lakoff and Wehling Romney won this round. How so? They insist framing should be foremost in moral terms, which Romney did. Obama focusing on specific policy issues, which are important but secondary and must flow from the moral vision. Obama then repeats Romney's framing, albeit in negative terms, but even so this reinforces the former. And Obama did not address the moral need for The Public, i.e., government, necessary for private enterprise to flourish. As one example, instead of calling it 'spending' as if its a waste of money use the term 'investment,' which every good businessperson understands. Romney successfully used conservative framing making government the villain with no credible counter from Obama.

Beyond corporate capitalism

Gar Alperovitz and Thomas Hanna have a recent article in The Nation called "Beyond corporate capitalism." Therein they discuss public ownership of some large businesses, and how it would boost the economy. Of course conservatives will cry socialism but they are not suggesting all (or even many) businesses be publicly run. And who really cares what conservatives say anyway? I say it's time to own the label under the moniker democratic socialism, and be proud of it. But that's me, not the authors.

One industry considered for public ownership is banking. Currently five giant banks own more that one-third of all deposits. They have thwarted every turn for tighter regulations due largely to their ownership of the banking committee (remember Dimon's blow job). They were responsible for the last meltdown and another is forthcoming due to still gambling with the same instruments. During the bailout we had an opportunity to make those banks publicly owned but blew it. Interesting enough, this argument was put forward by the conservative Chicago School of Economics. We already have three huge publicly-owned entities that are doing well: medicare, social security and the VA health system.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bill Maher on vacation time

Bill Maher's new rule on vacation time highlights some key facts. France gets a minimum of 30 paid vacation days, "which is why French men always look like they've just been blown." Sri Lanka gets 28 paid vacation days. Europeans during the work week take afternoon siestas. All of which emphasizes a key point: that life is about happiness and not just about making a huge profit for our task masters.

Many Americans get 2-week vacation but do they take it? Maher points out that many don't because they're afraid their job won't be there when they get back. We brag about our workers being the most productive but it's because of the fear that motivates them to work overtime, often because employers refuse to hire adequate workforce to match the workflow. So we end up working way more than 40 hours per week. And take vacation? How can we do that when we'll be so far behind when we get back and have to pay for it with 60+ work weeks for 3 months just to catch up to our usual 50+ hour work week.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Jon Stewart on Dimon's Republican blow job

JP Morgan CEO Jaime Dimon appeared before the Senate banking committee on the recent $2 billion + (estimates up to $7 billion) gambling loss with the very kind of financial instruments responsible for the last disaster. And Republicans couldn't have been more obsequious and submissive had they asked for Vaseline and bent over. Jon Stewart shows clips of Bob Corker and Jim DeMint basically jerking Dimon off in preparation for going all the way down. Mike Johanns says to Dimon: "You're just huge." Stewart responds, speaking as Johanns: "I don't mean to embarrass you, but staggering. Is there a Mrs. Dimon?"

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tarot card meditation game



A neologism for my neologisms

Since I tend to make up new words to describe my hybrid concepts I decided to name my neologisms theurjianism. At one time antidisestablishmentarianism was the longest word in the English language. It means "opposition to the withdrawal of state support or recognition from an established church, especially the Anglican Church in 19th-century England." I offer this as the new longest word: antidisestablishmentheurjianism. It means withdrawal of support or recognition of theurjianisms from the established and official church of kennilingus. This IPS thread discusses many of my theurjianisms.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Contemplating integral life practice

From a new IPS thread.

Given the recent posts on the art of living, I offer this preview of the book on ILP by Wilber, Patten, Leonard and Morelli, which is the first 2 chapters. The four core modules are body, mind, spirit and shadow, the idea being to pick at least one practice from each in designing your individual program. The spirit module includes meditation, prayer and integral inquiry (20), among others, with inquiry being a "gold star" practice. It is explained more fully starting on p. 243, not part of the preview. This Google book preview however shows that section.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Is Republican sabotage treasonous?

This is the question that Thom Hartmann asks in a recent broadcast. Why? Republicans have done nothing but sabotage the economy since day one of Obama's Presidency in the hopes of making him a one-term President. "Passing the Senate version of the highway bill would keep 1.9 million Americans on the job building our roads and bridges." But Senate Republicans refuse to act on it and Senator Harry Reid rightfully accused them intentionally trying to crash the economy to achieve their prime directive above. He referenced Michael Brendan Dougherty of Business Insider on Real Time saying he was told by a Republican Senator that they plan to block any legislation on the economy for this very purpose.

In defense of subtle parsing

In the near infinite IPS OOO discussion Dial again raises his perennial point on the 'art of living.' He says: "In looking for an answer to your question regarding the textual bodying found in Proust and Neitzsche I found this below. This tradition of writing about the ‘arts of living’ is where I imagined Integral thought should evolve to. It is, after all, where it began. As stimulating as the subtle parsing of ontologies that goes on here, might be, I hardly think it places everyday praxis at the center where it should be. To those who might say this thought is precisely about the decentering of self – anti-correlationism, fine, give me a sense of how you experience this making a cup of tea. Or, how you see it at work in the movement of clouds, or why you think one issue is criminal, while another is not,  and so on and so on. The decentering of self is not a flight from the body of being." (See the thread for the excerpted quote.)

I replied: Again I find this to be your personal preference rather than an indictment of "the subtle parsing of ontologies." Nahamas even admits an 'art of living' type endeavor is but one of many philosophical modes, and by no means best for all. We can grant it a place but it is not a replacement.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lessons from Nazi propaganda


The Nazis were infamous for their Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, headed by Joseph Goebbels. Quite a bit of money and organization were invested in this department. They knew its value and how to implement its enactment. At the time Goebbels said: “I consider radio to be the most modern and the most crucial instrument for influencing the masses.” Today this is TV and the internet.

Granted Naziism's core principles and inhumane behaviors were despicable but we can certainly learn from how they understood and effectively utilized propaganda. The conservatives learned this lesson well. And no, I'm not comparing US conservatives to Nazi ideology, just that they learned well its propaganda lessons. As can we.

You'll see some similarity to previous sources in the below, albeit with Hitler's delusional, dysfunctional, misanthropic and misogynist twist. Twist it back to humane, progressive morals and values and it works just as well. Hitler devoted two chapters to the topic in Mein Kampf. He writes in Chapter 6:

Lakoff on the lessons of Wisconsin

A recent theme is the materiality of communication and its propagation through media. Lakoff teams up with Wehling in offering this preview of their new e-book on how to communicate liberal ideas and counteract the conservative narrative. As noted earlier, liberals focus on policy issues, as if a rational argument's truth value were enough to affect the voting public. Whereas conservatives focus on their moral vision, which reaches deeper into our psyche based on emotion, as well as communication tactics and vehicles to reinforce their meme. Liberals need to learn from them and communicate and propagate their moral vision as effectively, while simultaneously exposing the truths hidden by the conservative version.

Prigogine, Is Future Given?

In the ongoing IPS discussion of complexity and pomo I provided these clips from Is Future Given? I also threw in a little Stengers, who co-authored Order Out of Chaos with Prigogine. One can draw many parallels with the OOOers, as well as the deconstructionists and the polydox crew.


"We have shown that the difficulties in the classical formulation come from a too narrow point of view concerning the fundamental laws of dynamics (classical or quantum)" (8).

"For classical physics and for quantum physics there is no privileged direction of time. Future and past play the same role.... The traditional description is deterministic, even in quantum theory....but the results obtained...contain certainly a large part of truth....[but] these descriptions are based on a too restricted form of dynamics" (10).

"It is remarkable that orthodox QM used classical integrable dynamical systems as a model.... For non-integrable systems the situation...is quite different....that is of systems for which we cannot construct a unitary transformation" (12-13).

"Integrable systems...refer in fact only to exceptional, ideal cases. We are living in a nature in which the rule is non-integrability" (16). That one has some serious implications reminiscent of ideal forms, etc.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The ecology of spreading ideas

Bryant's 6/10/12 post on rhetoric is hammering a theme I've also recently been focused upon, the materiality of ideas. Given that big money is now free to buy elections, this is part of how ideas are spread and reinforced. It matters not so much whether the ideas are right or better, since how much space/time they take up on tv ads is the strongest determinant and to which memes get elected. To wit, the witless Scott Walker getting re-elected. Bryant says:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bill Maher's new rule to Occupy Wall Street

On Real Time last night Maher laid into the OWS movement for not getting politically involved (starting around 53:10). While he agrees with the sentiment they must come up with a more effective form of protest besides camping. The message is right: "That America's wealth is increasingly in the hands of a tiny kleptocratic priesthood of finance cowboys and the politicians they buy, protected by a free firezone of rules they wrote themselves, feeding on the Republic from within like a transcontinental tapeworm the size of Route 66."

Fight Citizens United

Given the shining example of the Wisconsin recall election, and how money is buying elections, fight back against the Supreme Court decision that started it all, Citizens United. There is a concerted effort to get Congress to pass a Constitutional Amendment to counteract its disastrous effects. Below is information from People for the American Way, with a link to efforts underway in your area. Please check it out and get involved. If we don't fight back then kiss democracy bye bye. Thank you.

In January of 2010, the United States Supreme Court upended our political system with its decision in Citizens United v. FEC. The decision undermined more than a century of laws regulating the influence of corporations in elections, and was an unprecedented attack on the core democratic values of the Constitution.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

$ will buy (all?) future US elections

This Huff Post story discusses May fundraising for both the Republicans and the Democrats. The GOP raised $76.8 million, $17.6 million more than the Dems. As we saw in Wisconsin, money buys media time which buys more reinforcement of the message. It doesn't matter if the message is an outright lie or a sleight-of-hand spin (like the WI budget surplus). Repetition matters, especially with less informed voters who don't fact check their authoritarian puppet masters. And if the Dems don't match the money to spend on ads then they will more than likely lose.

Object oriented rhetoric


Continuing my recent inquiry into rhetoric, here are some excerpts on object-oriented rhetoric from around the internets:

From Bryant's 5/28/12 post on OO rhetoric:

"I’ve heard a lot of theories as to what object-oriented rhetoric (OOR) might be. One theory has it that object-oriented rhetoric is the investigation of the rhetoric of object-oriented ontology. This strikes me as a particularly stupid and uninteresting project as who cares about the rhetoric of object-oriented ontology? All this is, is an attempt to integrate the theses of OOO into a traditional correlationist framework and issues of persuasion through language. While I have no desire to dispense with the discoveries of figures like Burke and Aristotle, if OOR exists I think it’s up to something else. I don’t suggest that this post is exhaustive of what that 'something else' ought to be, but I do think that minimally if there is to be something like OOR, it will consist in breaking the bad habit of a focus on representation, persuasion, and identification, and will necessarily consist in drawing attention to the materiality of speech acts, communications, texts, and signifiers. It’s not that OOR, if it comes to exist, would give up on these things, but that it would become a little less representational, a little less 'decoding,' a little less interpretive, and far more material. It would become a little less focused on what things are about and the pathos, logos, and ethos that animates them, and a bit more focused on what texts are."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Peirce on semiotics and rhetoric

In our ongoing IPS OOO discussion Balder noted my recent ideas sounded similar to Peirce's semiotics and provided this essay. I also referenced Pierce's entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Some of my posts follows:

This section of the SEP entry is interesting:

"Peirce held that science suggests that the universe has evolved from a condition of maximum freedom and spontaneity into its present condition, in which it has taken on a number of habits, sometimes more entrenched habits and sometimes less entrenched ones. With pure freedom and spontaneity Peirce tended to associate mind, and with firmly entrenched habits he tended to associate matter (or, more generally, the physical). Matter he tended to regard as 'congealed' mind, and mind he tended to regard as 'effete' matter. Thus he tended to see the universe as the end-product-so-far of a process in which mind has acquired habits and has 'congealed' (this is the very word Peirce used) into matter.

Sad day for democracy in Wisconsin

Scott Walker survived the WI recall election and remains Governor. Yes, it was a democratic process that kept him, in that the majority of people voted for him. But there can be no doubt that majority was influenced by the millions of dollars that flooded the campaign ads they saw. Walker outspent his opponent 7.5 to 1, with 66% of his contributions coming from out of State, as opposed to 25% for Barrett. This was a record-setting campaign in terms of money spent, and a lot of that money came from the wealthy 1%, who realized their oligarchy was at stake.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Papers please

Continuing from the last post. Granted I disagree with MT when it comes to her interpretation of this material, where she says things like this: “The still controversial Copenhagen interpretation asserts that at the quantum level, the very act of observation is necessary to materialize that which is observed.” As if there is this consciousness per se, a metaphysical concept, at core creating the material. Whereas Bryant's object ontology defines it much more materially, where the material itself is both observer and observed. Again we see our shentong/rangtong debate. Still, I think MT, like Edwards, is getting at the interface, the media holons, in a way that perhaps others are not.

Yes boundary

The title is a play on Wilber's book No Boundary. Balder and Dial are having an interesting discussion on this page of the OOO thread and following so check it out. Though they are discussing different definitions of rhetoric than to what I'm referring with mhetaoric. My last post explains a bit more.

To reiterate a point made above, for humans mhetaoric is not only the embodied metaphor that is used to translate/transform our basic categories into concepts, it is the basic categories themselves. It is how an object defines its boundary with the world and also how this permeable boundary exchanges with the world. It is at this direct level of body/mind-environment interaction where the boundary-interaction is itself mhetaoric. These basic categories are not just human but an aspect of any object. The boundary is the menu (distinction) and the meal (communion).

I'm reminded of our discussion of Marks-Tarlow in this thread. Some of her opening comments:

Monday, June 4, 2012

The truth behind Republican voter suppression

Republicans are the only one moving legislation across the country to suppress the vote though voter ID laws and massive voter purges. Why is it we don't see this coming from any Democrats? And why is it that these tactics are focused on those that vote Democratic? The ostensible and specious rationale behind the legislation is that we must prevent people from voting who are not eligible, as if this is a significant problem affecting elections. But time and again evidence is to the contrary, that cases of actual voter fraud are so miniscule as to be thousandths of 1% in elections. So what is the real reason behind this agenda?

We already have a (failed) Republican economy

Paul Krugman once again deals a heavy and effective body blow to conservative nonsense about the US economy. While they whine and lie about slashing spending and cutting taxes what they fail to note is they've been getting exactly this under an Obama administration through their own refusal to participate in his policies. Krugman shows that total government spending "has recently been falling at a rate not seen since the demobilization that followed the Korean War" due mostly to Republican legislative obstructionism. As for tax cuts, Republican refusing to cut them one iota has resulted in "federal taxes as a share of G.D.P. are near historic lows — much lower, in particular, than at any point during Ronald Reagan’s presidency." We already see current Republican policies in place and the result on our flagging economic recovery.

+/- of social media

I found Bryant's recent blog post interesting on many levels. One is how SR/OOO is proliferating at such a rapid pace due to social media like blogs, discussions and open access publishing. It bypasses the traditional publishing route which maintains author as master narrator, as well as privileged access to information through generally inaccessible academic or professional journals for only those who can afford it. That is, it challenges many of the hierarchical privileges that grow knowledge in more staid environments that exclude the margins, as well as grow it much more slowly. Granted he also discusses the disadvantages of social media, and there are many.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

What's the Word?

Continuing my exploration from the last few posts, recall this post from the TOE v. TOA thread on Edwards. A few excerpts:



Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mhetaoric

Continuing from the last post, further dialogue with Balder:

Balder: I had asked what you mean by "more broadly construed."  Can you say more about that?  I don't think the main thrust of my argument in my previous post hinged on the assertion of a pristine acategorical state, but on forms of practice and experience which are not primarily spectativerational-analytic and/or linguistic.

I'm thinking I may be misunderstanding you, or vice versa, because I don't have an objection to the idea that rhetoric can be poetic, or have similar "effects" as poetry.  My point is that language or rhetoric alone cannot enact all modes of understanding available to human beings, even if language and rhetoric may 'infect' or inform the concomitant understanding that arises when we follow these various other (non-linguistic) injunctions.  Enactive cognition, as embodied, requires the involvement of the body in various exploratory modes, and this body-input cannot be reduced to linguistic input, nor can linguistic input entirely stand in for these other modes of intelligence and engagement.  (I don't imagine you would object to this, but I am emphasizing it because of how you appear to be reading my earlier expressions of reservation or qualification about the 'scope' of the power of rhetoric or rational-analytic cognition).

Friday, June 1, 2012

Radical dissolution of rational-analytic spectator awareness?

Continuing the IPS discussion on rhetoric:

theurj: In our discussion above you [Balder] said my use of rhetoric might border on "the absolutization of one's own preferred mode....since it, being porous, has 'access' to the enactions of all other injunctive modes." But is this not exactly the case for something like an integral, enactive meta-paradigm? So it's ok for the latter but not a rhetoric more broadly construed? Or someone like Bryant (or Varela, Lakoff, Derrida etc.), who incorporates and cross-coordinates various paradigms? (Aka a/crosscorporeal trans(en)actions.)

Florida voter purge

This has been a hot story in the US since the Republican FL Governor decided to purge 182,000 registered voters. Ed Shultz highlighted it again this evening. As you may have guessed, most of the purgees are registered Democrats. Coincidence? The purge is rationalized under a bogus pretense, that there is rampant voter fraud and this is necessary to preserve electoral integrity. But in the 2008 election there were about a 16 confirmed cases of voter fraud with over 8 million votes cast. And this is reason to disenfranchise 182,000 people? Granted not that many will likely be removed, but it is estimated that up to 35,000 eligible voters might be. Shultz gets at the real reason behind the FL purge. As current State poling stands, Romney cannot win the Presidency without winning FL's electoral votes.