Friday, June 30, 2017

On measuring interpretations of integral theory and practice

Continuing this post, this Mascolo article compares neo-Piagetian approaches. I like this from p. 6  discussing Fischer's dynamic skill theory:

"It follows that individuals never operate at any single level of development. Instead, they operate within a developmental range – a series of levels that vary with task,
domain, context, emotional state, and so forth. Given such dynamic variation, there can be no broad-based stages of development. It is thus not helpful to think of a person or a person’s abilities as being 'in a stage' of development. Development does not move through a series of fixed steps; development operates more like a constructive Web."

If so for an individual, how less so for an entire culture?

And this from p. 9, which reminds me there is no sky hook, even if it is a nebulous morphogenetic gradient. And that there is no predetermined way for everyone to develop along a single pathway or by following a single metatheoretical model. To paraphrase an old but accurate adage: the metamap is not the territory. Helpful, but when you walk it there will be ideosyncratic variations not seen the the map. And in the case of human development, just knowing the map doesn't substitute for, or help with, actually working the skill tasks.

"Psychological structures self-organize in both real and developmental time. To say that they self-organize implies that there is no single, fixed or isolated genetic, psychological or sociocultural plan that directs the course of development. The pathways of development are neither fixed nor predetermined. Instead, they emerge over time as a product of richly interactive person – environment interactions. Novel skills coevolve with the formation of novel forms of cultural life. Rather than thinking of development in terms of fixed pathways, it is better to think of developmental pathways themselves as emergent outcomes. That is, while we sometimes walk along pathways that have already been paved for us, in development, we typically forge our own unique paths as we walk."

Senator Warren on how the wealthcare bill kills people

She makes this bold but accurate statement:  "The rich will get richer and other people will die." And it's not in the least hyperbole. She presents facts. People without healthcare coverage are more likely to die that those with coverage. Then she lists the academic medical sources backing up that statement. One medical study said up to 45,000 uninsured lives are lost in just one year. Another medical study showed that children without health insurance are 60% more likely to die as a result. Yet another medical study compared those States covered under Medicaid expansion with those without this coverage. They found that in States without the expansion nearly 20 more in 100,000 died every year than in States with the coverage. See the video for more info. The medical stats don't lie. Her bold statement is true and the Repugnantan plan will literally kill people in order to give tax breaks to the rich. It is that simple and that true. And hospitals and medical associations agree with that.

Colbert on Tramp's recent insane Tweets

He thought he was used to these Tweets but this new one sets him off. He compares Tramp turning a bleeding Mika away from Mar-a-lago to the new wealthcare bill. I also appreciate his point to quit saying Tramp is the symptom of our system: Tramp is the disease.

Hawaii passes bill on universal basic income

Yep, HI is on the vanguard for this issue. And they passed in unanimously. Despite the regression in the US Congress and Blight House some States are moving us forward nevertheless.

Developmental cognitive neuroscience needs constructivist modeling

Continuing this post, here's a good article on how this field really needs a good constructivist developmental model in which to make sense of the findings. My limited research to date shows a lot of neuroscientific study but is sparse on contextualizing it in a developmental scheme. In particular, it looks at the neo-Piagetian models of Demetriou, Case, Pascual-Leone, Halford. Interesting that no mention of Commons or the model of hierarchical complexity. Perhaps it's because these theorists use the neuroscience data while the MHC does not?

Science Magazine: climate change effects on US economy

This article lays out just how climate change will move economic security away from the south and mid-west to the northeast and coasts. The sad (so sad) part of this is that the counties most affected by this economic shift are the ones that voted for Tramp. And they have no desire to understand such scientific facts about the real causes of their situation. I guess they'll just have to continue to blame the Mexicans and the Muslims, although how they are responsible for climate change of course makes no sense.

"Climate change will aggravate economic inequality in the United States, essentially transferring wealth from poor counties in the Southeast and the Midwest to well-off communities in the Northeast and on the coasts, according to the most detailed economic assessment of the phenomenon ever conducted. The study, published Thursday in Science, simulates the costs of global warming in excruciating detail, modeling every day of weather in every U.S. county during the 21st century. It finds enormous disparities in how rising temperatures will affect American communities: Texas, Florida, and the Deep South will bleed income in the broiling heat, while some chillier northern states gain moderate benefits."

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Shep Smith of Fox on Tramp's sexist cyber bullying

Smith is one of the good ones over at Fox who doesn't go along with the echo chamber on The Biggest Misogynist.

Lindsey Sterling, Hold My Heart featuring ZZ Ward

Two of my favorite female performers playing together.

ZZ Ward, 365 days

Good west coast swing song. And that voice...

Colbert on Tramp's ignorance on wealthcare bill

He pokes fun at Tramp's complete lack of knowledge on what the Senate is even proposing. Understandable, as they didn't put the bill on one page with bullet points and pictures of him. Unfortunately his ignorance extends to just about everything. Tramp is though the Biggest, Bestest Ignoramus in US Presidential history.

Alexis de Tocqueville on democracy in America

Boy did he get it right back in 1840:

“They owe nothing to any man, they expect nothing from any man; they acquire the habit of always considering themselves as standing alone, and they are apt to imagine that their whole destiny is in their own hands. Thus not only does democracy make every man forget his ancestors, but it hides his descendants and separates his contemporaries from him; it throws him back forever upon himself alone and threatens in the end to confine him entirely within the solitude of his own heart.”

Christian white America will never change

So quit accepting the BS that if only we could reach them it would change elections. It's a waste of time and energy that could be spent elsewhere on people that might actually change their votes back to progressives. Then we can implement policies that help our closed-minded brethren while still not agreeing with their regressive beliefs. See this excellent article from someone who grew up in that milieu and knows it inside out.  An excerpt:

"As the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump is still being sorted out, a common theme keeps cropping up from all sides: 'Democrats failed to understand white, working-class, fly-over America.' Trump supporters are saying this. Progressive pundits are saying this. Talking heads across all forms of the media are saying this. Even some Democratic leaders are saying this. It doesn’t matter how many people say it, it is complete bullshit. It is an intellectual/linguistic sleight of hand meant to throw attention away from the real problem. The real problem isn’t east coast elites who don’t understand or care about rural America. The real problem is rural America doesn’t understand the causes of their own situations and fears and they have shown no interest in finding out. They don’t want to know why they feel the way they do or why they are struggling because they don’t want to admit it is in large part because of choices they’ve made and horrible things they’ve allowed themselves to believe."

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Medicare for all

Reich discusses how this notion is starting to catch on. It provides healthcare for everyone at lower cost with better outcomes. This is a major issue in upcoming elections. You know, actually having someone care about your health instead of how they can make money off of it. Perhaps we should consider joining every other advanced nation on the issue? Polls repeatedly show the majority favor this program. It's an idea whose time has come, given the cruel and inhumane alternatives.

Colbert pokes more fun at Paltrow's Goop

And rightfully so, as it's New Age nonsense out to make a buck. Colbert is being relentless in spoofing this loopy, yet expensive, goop.

Colbert on the delayed wealthcare bill

He agrees it is a shit sandwich. The American Medical Association thinks it violates the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm. He pokes fun at Ryan's absurd rationalization of personal choice for the bill. Yeah, selfish people choose not to buy it, get sick and cost the rest of us in tax dollars to take care of them, giving us no choice about their bad choices.

Les Twins

Once again they get the highest score on WOD and win their duel.

You can't teach Repugnantans to care about people

Great article on the futility of trying to communicate basic human decency to what Repugnantans have become. It wasn't always this way. And there are still some decent Republicans left. But as a whole those who identify with the Party have become cruel and callous to anyone that doesn't see the world their way. The Party's weathcare bill and budget proposals are just two examples of glaring proof.

And I know what some of you are thinking, that I and liberals are the same way. No, we can disagree with others but still want to help them with better healthcare, better education, better assistance when needed, better tax codes, better infrastructure, better jobs and wages, etc. The progressive agenda has at its heart basic human values of care, empathy and decency missing from contemporary Repugnantans. Like I said, it wasn't always this way but it is now. And there's no way to get through to people that just don't care about anyone but themselves and their own little tribe.

5 Repugnantan brainwashing techniques

If it was truthful and authentic I might call it framing. But it is how the Repugnantans lie and manipulate their base, so it doesn't deserve that dignified description. This article provides the details of these 5 techniques; just the list follows.

1. They keep their talking points incredibly simple.
2. They cherry pick outliers to fear-monger against overwhelming truth.
3.  (Fake) Religion.
4. Fear is much easier to sell than hope.
5. They know how to stay on the offensive (by being offensive).

The pro-life movement is really just anti-sex

Great article. An excerpt:

"The reality is that so-called pro-life movement is not about saving babies. It’s about regulating sex. That’s why they oppose birth control. That’s why they want to ban abortion even though doing so will simply drive women to have dangerous back alley abortions. That’s why they want to penalize women who take public assistance and then dare to have sex, leaving an exemption for those who become pregnant from rape. It’s not about babies. If it were about babies, they would be making access to birth control widespread and free and creating a comprehensive social safety net so that no woman finds herself with a pregnancy she can’t afford. They would be raising money for research on why half of all zygotes fail to implant and working to prevent miscarriages. It’s not about babies. It’s about controlling women. It’s about making sure they have consequences for having unapproved sex."

Diana Pombo on WOD

Once again she blows everyone away with an incredible performance and wins her duel. This girl has a long career ahead of her as a diva. Maybe even the next JLo?

Oskar & Gaspar on AGT

Artists never before seen in public provide this incredible visual display using Heidi as the model. Fantastic.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Democratizing enlightenment

by Zak Stein and Marc Gafni in the new issue of Spanda Journal (p. 93).  

We do need a new worldview to transcend and replace neoliberal capitalism, which has reached the end of its dominance. If we don't, we might indeed face the literal end of mankind, not just a metaphorical paradigm shift.
I also appreciate the emphasis on developing human potential as a measure of collective enlightenment, not just external measures like GDP or material possessions. And that technology in itself is not the savior. But in this need to emphasize development of internal consciousness I'm leery of its 'esoteric,' mystical framing as if said consciousness is from a divine source. Aurobindo is given as an example where the "divine super-mind descends" to meet humanities rising evolutionary development (94-95).

As discussed in my and Michel's paper (p. 85), this is still a holdover of metaphysical thinking. Yes, we can still posit a virtual domain but it is no longer framed in these metaphysical world-systems, to use their term. Now they do acknowledge that there are other ways to frame this such as how we have done. But they're more interested in these esoteric ways where people "awaken en masse" through a metaphysical, miraculous agency (95) via the likes of Aurobindo or Teilhard. And they call that post postmodern. It sounds more a carryover from pre- and modern metaphysics to me.

Granted we need a massive shift in consciousness to effect a world system change, but it will come from us enacting it, not waiting on deus ex machina. Or worse, some avatar and guru proclaiming they have received the message from God or the future and is willing to impart it to us all for a low, low price and/or our obedience and loyalty. This shift will come from us collaborating and participating in its enaction without need of skyhooks or enlightened ones.

If we don't learn the lessons of history

We are doomed to repeat them. It's why we once again need the sort of progressive movement FDR initiated. Obviously it can't be exactly the same, given the difference in time and circumstances. But the basic program of progressive populism is the way to defeat the rise once again of the ugly, festering plague known as neoliberalism.

Senator Warren: "The next step is single payer."

She's right, of course and as usual. We can't just oppose wealthcare. And we can't go back to Obamacare, since that was a Repugnantan idea to begin with. Warren says we have to stand up and fight for a progressive agenda, one with which the majority of Americans support. And that includes fighting for single-payer healthcare as the best way to proceed on the issue. It must be a key component to any progressive platform in the coming elections. And if Dimocrats won't play ball, then vote them out in primaries.

Colbert returns from Russia

And fills us in on his trip. Tramp has consistently denied any Russian meddling in our election until it came out that Obama knew about it.

Joseph & Huwer

Very creative and well executed performance last night. They're going through to the academy.

Jesse Graff going back to city finals on ANW

Wonder Woman does it again and completes enough of the course to go back to the city finals. However she just couldn't make it through the Rolling Thunder.

Koine Iwasaki on SYTYCD

Excellent performance last night. The musicality, choreography, emotional content, technique all came together for this talented artist moving on to the Academy.

Senator Warren on the CBO wealthcare report

She breaks it down simply, concisely and accurately what the bill is all about. If this is your vision for America then you must be either rich or brainwashed beyond repair.

David Brooks on wealthcare

He discusses how intellectual conservatives have a positive vision of America and have plans on how to implement it. But the Repugnantan Party has long since abandoned such visions and its only goal is power and money. A Brook's excerpt follows. See the article for much more.

"Because Republicans have no national vision, they seem largely uninterested in the actual effects their legislation would have on the country at large. This Senate bill would be completely unworkable because anybody with half a brain would get insurance only when they got sick.

"Worse, this bill takes all of the devastating trends afflicting the middle and working classes — all the instability, all the struggle and pain — and it makes them worse. As the C.B.O. indicated, the Senate plan would throw 22 million people off the insurance rolls. It would send them to private insurance plans that they could not afford to buy. Under the Senate bill, deductibles for poor families would be more than half of their annual income. The plans are so incompetently and cruelly designed that as the C.B.O. put it, 'few low-income people would purchase any plan.' This is not a conservative vision of American society. It’s a vision rendered cruel by its obliviousness."

Stigmatize those who truly deserve it

Why I'm not a Dimocrat by a former Repugnantan

Good article by Bruce Bartlett, a former Repugnantan who was ostricized from the Party when he started to articulately and accurately criticize it. He says of that Party today:

"The Trump phenomenon is the culmination of everything I hated about the Bush-Gingrich era Republican Party that drove me out, especially the anti-intellectualism. The sum total of Trump’s agenda appears to begin and end with reversing whatever Obama did; I see no sign of a positive agenda even from a conservative point of view. The Republican Party appears to exist for the sole purpose of acquiring power in order to shower rewards on those who support the party, especially those who support it financially."

But he won't join the Dimocrats for reasons I've blogged about before:

Wall Street doesn't help people; it is a parasite

Good article on just what good does Wall Street do for us? Not much, if anything. The are vampires that extract wealth out of the economy and make things a lot worse for most of us.

"So, what does Wall Street do that benefits society? Doctors and nurses make patients healthier. Firefighters and EMTs save lives. Telecommunications companies and smart phone manufacturers permit people to communicate with each other at a distance. Automobile executives and airline pilots help people close that distance. Teachers and professors help students learn. Wall Street bankers help—mostly just themselves."

New issue of Spanda Journal w/my and Michel's article

The new issue is out which contains my and Michel's article "Collective enlightenment through postmetaphysical eyes." The contents are below. It is imperative that we recontextualize the notion of enlightenment, both east and west, as we move into the collaborative commons. Otherwise it could be an impediment to that transition with its literally metaphysical orientation. Not only did the western enlightenment claim dominion over the earth and hence lead us to climate change, so did the eastern enlightenment with its belief in metaphysical planes beyond this one and reincarnation. Hopefully this paper will help in that goal.

~ Editorial - Sahlan Momo, Benighted, Enlightened, and Delighted: V-IX.
~ Joanna Macy, Learning to See in the Darkness Amid Catastrophe: XI-XII.
~ Ervin László, The Evolution of our Consciousness Is the Enlightenment of Humanity: 1-3.
~ Duane Elgin, Humanity’s Journey Home: We are Learning to Live in a Living Universe: 5-13.
~ George Pór, On the Verge of Collective Awakening: 15-30.
~ Peter Russell, Blind Spot: The Unforeseen End of Accelerating Change: 31-42.
~ Deepak Chopra, A Critical Issue: What to do When Darkness Rises?: 43-44.
~ Tom Atlee – Rosa Zubizarreta, The Embodiment of Wholeness in our Social Order: Our Evolutionary Challenge as Humans: 45-55.
~ Terri O’Fallon, The Integration of Awareness with the Individual and the Collective: 57-62.
~ Allan Combs, Collective Enlightenment: 63-67.
~ Richard Barrett, The Ego-Soul Dynamics of Enlightenment: 69-74.
~ Thomas Hübl – Julie Jordan Avritt, Toward the Integration of Collective Trauma in a Time of Exponential Change: 75-83.
~ Michel Bauwens – Edward Berge, Collective Enlightenment through Postmetaphysical Eyes: 85-92.
~ Zachary Stein – Marc Gafni, The Apocalypse of the Modern World-System  & Related Possibilities for Democratizing Enlightenment: 93-101.
~ Mariya K. Karagyozova, Collective Enlightenment – The Ascent: 103-106.
~ John E. Stewart, Enlightenment and the Evolution of the Material World: 107-114.
~ Fred Master, My Process of De-veloping Awareness: From a Finite Understanding towards Glimpses of Infinity: 115-122.
~ Gregory Wilpert, Consciousness for the Post-Capitalist Commons: A Developmental Psychological Perspective: 123-130.
~ Roger D. Nelson, Shifting Global Consciousness to Global Awareness: 131-136.
~ Eric Reynolds, Next Stage Organizations: 137-145.
~ Alfonso Montuori, The Evolution of Creativity and the Creativity of Evolution: 147-158.
~ Geoff Fitch, Truthfulness and Collective Enlightenment: 159-163.
~ Charles Johnston, Bringing Wisdom to the Future – Creative Systems Theory’s Concept of “Cultural Maturity”: 165-174.
~ Jim Rough, The ToBe Project. How to Facilitate All of us to Come Together as We The People: 175-182.
~ Bruce H. Lipton, An Introduction to Conscious Evolution: a Theory we Can Thrive with: 183-192.
Abstracts: 193-199.

Monday, June 26, 2017

CBO score on Repugnantan wealthcare bill

It is as expected from what has already been released to date. 22 million will lose coverage, Medicaid will be phased out, it raises premiums on the elderly, it defunds Planned Parenthood, eliminates essential services and reduces credits for the needy to pay for it.  Oh, and all to give a $231 tax break to the wealth. You know, typical Repugnantan policy.

Evan Thompson: Buddhism and the brain

Update: Also see my review of his book Waking, Being, Dreaming at

Here's an interview with Thompson on Buddhism and the Brain. It starts with defining consciousness as awareness, its changing contents and how both then identify as a self in changing contexts. "Consciousness is something we live, not something we have."

I also like using the metaphor of dance for the process of self. Both are in the enaction of the process, not a thing apart from that process.

He also goes into how mindfulness in our culture has turned into McMindfulness, how we might learn to pay attention non-judgmentally but then fail to then judge how the work we do might be harming others and the environment. It's taken out of context with the entire Buddhist ethical framework.

There's more in the interview with an embedded link to the full interview.

Naomi Klein on her new book No is Not Enough

See this interview. One key topic of discussion is climate change denial. Repugnantans have to deny it because if it's true it destroys their entire worldview. To acknowledge means that their dream of a completely deregulated market is destroying the planet and must change. It means the government must intervene in the market to prevent environmental devastation, like moving away from fossil fuels into renewables.  And that is akin to the Devil taking your soul in their feeble perception.

She also goes after shallow Dimocrats that think simple things like recycling, driving a Hybrid or imposing a small carbon tax will solve the problem. They simply can't accept that a drastic intervention in the market is necessary because they too, the corporate Dims at least, benefit from the affluence a destructive market creates for their professional class.

See the interview for many more topics discussed from the book.

Senator Frankin on Limosine Dimocrats

In this interview Frankin is asked (around 7:10) about how to change working people's perceptions that the Dim Party are just elites that don't give a shit about them. Frankin then launches against the top tax bracket, whose tax breaks would in themselves pay for 700,000 people on Medicaid. He claims the New England Journal of Medicine claims that 1-2,000 people of those 700,000 cut from the program will die. So the wealthcare bill is willing to kill people to give tax breaks to the rich. So apparently his answer to the question is for progressives to fight against the cruelty of such legislation in no uncertain terms while promoting a compassionate healthcare system like Obamacare. Even Repugnantan Scarborough thinks both the House and Senate bills are cruel.

Default mode network and theory-theory

Continuing some recent posts (like this one), I appreciate this article from the Journal of DCN, how developmental psychology and social neuroscience can work together. Concerning theory-theory, it suggests that our "default mode network, a coordinated network that is activated by task-independent introspection or self-referential thought," might be critical to support it. It involves several brain regions connected in a cohesive network, which seems more like 'supramodal space,' although they didn't use that expression.

Former Dimocratic fundraisers are lobbying for Tramp's agenda

I know, no surprise given their penchant for the big money and to hell with the rest of us. This Intercept article details how some of them are lobbying for: telecoms to eliminate net neutrality;  private prisons; weakening financial regulations; gutting Obamacare. No wonder the Dimocratic Party, which feels it must get money from such donors, also feels it must quash progressive moves to undo all of those very things. The Dim Party is those things. The article provides details and names the culprits.

Is the universe conscious?

For all of you into panpsychist woo woo, this article if for you. It's about physicists that think consciousness pervades the universe, maybe even being the creator of it. It quotes the usual debunked physicists like Koch and Penrose and adds Matloff and Haisch. I had to control my gag reflex several times, and still a bit came up into my mouth.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ralph Nader on the Dimocratic Party

Yes, it's spelled that way on purpose. From this Intercept interview:

"There are some people who think the Democratic Party can be reformed from within by changing the personnel. I say good luck to that. What’s happened in the last twenty years? They’ve gotten more entrenched. Get rid of Pelosi, you get Steny Hoyer. You get rid of Harry Reid, you get [Charles] Schumer. Good luck. Unfortunately, to put it in one phrase, the Democrats are unable to defend the United States of America from the most vicious, ignorant, corporate-indentured, militaristic, anti-union, anti-consumer, anti-environment, anti-posterity [Republican Party] in history."


Continuing the last post, in Meltzoff's '99 paper he proposes his work supports theory-theory, described as "a combination of innate structure and qualitative reorganization in children's thought based on input from the people and things in their culture." And that this is accomplished at least in part through the supramodal representational system. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy has this to say about theory-theory:

"The Theory-Theory itself has a somewhat complicated origin story, with roots in a number of philosophical and psychological doctrines. One is the reaction against stage theories of cognitive development, particularly Piagetian and Vygotskian theories. Stage theories propose that children’s cognitive development follows a rigid and universal script, with a fixed order of transitions from one qualitatively distinct form of thought to another taking place across all domains on the same schedule. Each stage is characterized by a distinctive set of representations and processes. In Piaget’s theory, children move through sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational stages from birth to roughly 11 or 12 years old. Similarly, Vygotsky held that children move from a stage of representing categories in terms of sensory images of individual objects, through a stage of creating representations of objectively unified categories, and finally a stage of categories arranged around abstract, logical relationships.

Meltzoff on Piaget & the supramodal space

This prior post, and the earlier one linked therein, relate to my prior post on developmental cognitive neuroscience (DCN). Meltzoff, one of the pioneers of DCN, had this to say about Piaget:

"There has been a profound, even revolutionary, shift in our theory of developmental psychology. The revolution began with challenges to Piaget's theory of cognitive development, particularly his views of infancy. As everybody who has attended scientific conferences, read technical journals, or monitored the popular media knows, modern research has discovered that young children know more at earlier ages than had been predicted by classical theory. These new findings led to the gradual weakening, and finally the collapse of, classical Piagetian theory.

"There is now a furious search for a new framework. An analogy can be drawn to the early part of this century when classical Newtonian mechanics was overthrown and physicists were searching for a new model. In our field, we know that the classical framework of developmental psychology, which has reigned for almost 50 years, does not work; we have crucial experiments that have uncovered surprising facts; and we have great excitement in both the laboratories and in society at large, as competing views of early human development are being thrashed out."

Meltzoff relates to the earlier paper (first link above) on the supramodal space in this article. It seems the first linked paper from 2012 is a development of Meltzoff's earlier use of the supramodal space (2007).  He said:

Rick Perry is an idiot

There is no kind or PC way to express this truth. Senator Frankin makes a fool of him by having to explain the scientific method, and what it has irrefutably proved on climate change.

NY Times: Tramp's lies since taking office

The NY Times has documented many of them since taking office up to 6/21/17. There are many. The truth is after each lie. If there's one thing Tramp has been the best at is being by far the Biggest Liar Ever. Just a few to whet the appetite follow. See the link for many, many more. Warning: Swamp dwellers stay away; facts contained therein.

Jan. 23 “Between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused me to lose the popular vote.” (There's no evidence of illegal voting.)
Jan. 25 “Now, the audience was the biggest ever. But this crowd was massive. Look how far back it goes. This crowd was massive.” (Official aerial photos show Obama's 2009 inauguration was much more heavily attended.)
Jan. 25 “Take a look at the Pew reports (which show voter fraud.)” (The report never mentioned voter fraud.)

Consciousness is not a thing

Interesting article by Karl Friston, the Wellcome principal research fellow and scientific director at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging and professor of neurology at University College London.

"I’m compelled to treat consciousness as a process to be understood, not as a thing to be defined. Simply put, my argument is that consciousness is nothing more and nothing less than a natural process such as evolution or the weather. My favourite trick to illustrate the notion of consciousness as a process is to replace the word ‘consciousness’ with ‘evolution’ – and see if the question still makes sense. For example, the question What is consciousness for? becomes What is evolution for? Scientifically speaking, of course, we know that evolution is not for anything. It doesn’t perform a function or have reasons for doing what it does – it’s an unfolding process that can be understood only on its own terms. Since we are all the product of evolution, the same would seem to hold for consciousness and the self."

Right to carry gun states have increased violent crime rates

No surprise to those of us with a brain and knew this would happen. And it has. "Stanford Law School Professor John Donohue found that states that adopted right-to-carry laws have experienced a 13 to 15 percent increase in violent crime in the 10 years after enacting those laws." See the link for details.

Single-payer healthcare killed in California

By a Dimocrat no less, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. Why? He says it's on hold for "further discussion and debate." He's a liar and bought off by his big money donors who don't want it and that's that. The article has a link to those donors. Even Governor Brown has received these bribes and no surprise, is against the bill.

International west coast swing flashmob 2017

The video of the routine is below. Even it one doesn't want to participate in the flashmob there is a lot of good material to practice. Please circulate to your wcs lists.

Dumbocrats are still losers

0 for 4 in special elections. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, not political races. The clip below explains why. For one, Ossoff went the 'high' road and refused to get down and dirty, which is what is needed. As Maher said, he brought a covered dish to a gun fight. A progressive must stand strong on values and fight like hell. Ah, but Ossoff was not in the least a progressive, nor are the establishment Dums. We could also call them the Dimocrats. And they will continue to lose unless we the people replace the Dums and the Dims with strong, smart progressives.

Obama on the Senate wealthcare bill

From his FB post. And he's right, of course.

“The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely. Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family ― this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.”

Saturday, June 24, 2017



Palast on the rigged GA election

Hartmann interviews Palast on how Handel and the Repugnantans rigged the GA election. Thousands or registered voters were removed from voting roles but that isn't reported except for Palast.

Maher's New Rule on overpopulation

Excellent points. We unconsciously celebrate Mother's and Father's Day with nary a thought that just maybe we need to celebrate those who take responsibility for not overpopulating the earth and draining it of its resources. And yet single people without children are still considered societal pariahs? Fuck that. But with a condom, of course.

Maher: Make America sick again

His monologue from last night. He starts with Ossoff's loss and how Dumbocrats see that as positive. They like losing apparently. Of course he makes it funny. Then of course he jokes about the wealthcare bill.

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

I just discovered this Journal by the above name and it's open access. It's a relatively new emerging field that is rapidly expanding. The first issue of the Journal (2011) gives an overview. This Psychology Today article provides some interesting material. It provides 3 guiding principles for the transition to healthy adult development, topics previously discussed in this blog.

"The first guiding principle is that it is necessary to 'quiet the limbic system' (van der Kolk et al., 2005) to help emerging adults achieve a greater sense of safety. Quieting techniques facilitate attachments by promoting self-soothing and regulation. This is especially relevant when challenges are associated with trauma, anxiety disorders, and emotional/self-inhibitio­n. Emotional and cognitive learning cannot take place in a state of fear. This also includes protecting the brain from the neurotoxic effects of excess alcohol and substances, lack of sleep or nutrition, and the distorting effects of unteated psychiatric symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or psychosis.

"The second guiding principle is the belief that it is essential to support the psycho-neurobiological development of a coherent self, an organized self, and a self-regulated self (Schore, 2008; Siegel, 1999; Gedo & Goldberg, 1973). This principle puts an emphasis on the processes of self-informed agency, self-directed empowerment, and an adaptive balance of vulnerability, collaboration, and boundaries for self-protection. This second pillar emphasizes the self-actualizing and motivational patterns of the developing individual.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Major medical groups hate Senate wealthcare

The CEO of the American Heart Association said: “The Senate draft health care bill is literally heartless.” She is joined by "groups representing pediatricians, cancer specialists, heart doctors and family physicians." Why do they think so?

“BCRA [wealthcare] discriminates against providers of women’s health services, cutting funding for in the awarding of federal grant funds and/or Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program funding to women’s health clinics that are qualified under existing federal law for the provision of evidence‐based services including, but not limited to, provision of contraception, preventive health screenings, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, vaccines, counseling, rehabilitation, and referrals," said Dr. Jack Ende, president of the American College of Physicians.

“Senate leaders present their bill as providing states with flexibility. The reality is that it will put considerable pressure on states to limit their spending on health care, including for children," said Dr. Matthew Davis, a professor of pediatrics and of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Hartmann on the reality of the wealthcare bill

He starts by giving stats on Medicaid. Right now 2/3 of seniors in nursing homes or retired living get Medicaid. Half of all babies born in the US get coverage from Medicaid. 39% of all American children are covered by Medicaid. And the Repugnantans want to severely cut, and eventually get rid of, this program. They do not care that a lot of people, including children, will die as a direct result. And why? To give tax breaks to the wealthy. It is, as Senator Warren aptly calls it, blood money.

Lady Gaga as hermaphrodite

When it comes to balancing masculine and feminine I like the example of Lady Gaga. A few years back there was speculation that she might be a medical hermaphrodite. Let’s address her bisexuality and that rumor. She admits to the former in an interview with Barbara Walters and denies the latter. Of course this issue was addressed in the first minute of her video Telephone, where her clothing is stripped off and she gives a crotch shot to the camera in a see-through leotard. It is obvious she had no dick and one guard remarks to the other: “See, I told you she didn’t have a dick.”

The point is not so much that she is a medical hermaphrodite but that she has become a mythical or metaphorical hermaphrodite. The term comes from the offspring of Hermes and Aphrodite, Hermaphroditis. The latter is turned into a bi- or intersexual when Salmacis merges with him in a pool of water. Mythologically a hermaphrodite represents the union of male and female within any individual, mystically referred to as “the marriage of heaven and earth.” This also refers to the mystical marriage between an individual with God or deity. Some might contend that the former requires the latter, that we must balance the sexes within ourselves in preparation for the greater marriage of this balanced self with the divine. In modern mythology this story is played out in Peter Pan.

Effective framing

Continuing the last few posts, I'm also reminded of this excellent Lakoff blog post on framing. He not only analyzes how Tramp uses it effectively but how we can too and it's not nice. He recommends we call him accurate names like loser, corrupt, illegitimate, betrayer, as these emotionally hit home more effectively than using facts to refute him. In that sense it's more feminine but not in a nice way.

How Tramp uses Twitter

Chris Morris, based on Lakoff's framing:

Btw, Tramp is my new name for the Presidunce. It means, among other things: to tramp or walk heavily or steadily through or over. Pretty much what he's doing to our country.


There's a new integral FB group that was started in an attempt to avoid all the so-called nastiness that seems inherent to these discussion groups. However it seems cloyingly nice to me, everyone having to be on their best behavior as if that is the true measure of integrality. Which of course reminds me of Maher's New Rule in the vid below. I'm also reminded of Wilber's chapter on polemic in The Essential Ken Wilber. There's an appropriate use of it that seems missing in certain environments where "the abdication of discriminating wisdom and the loss or moral fiber to express it is too often equated with spirituality" (153). A good chapter to remember.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Early results of Finland's basic income experiment

As expected, and contradicting naysayers:

"Finland has been giving 2,000 of its citizens an unconditional income for the last five months and some are already seeing the benefits, reporting decreased stress, greater incentives to find work and more time to pursue business ideas."

More Warren on the wealthcare bill

This time she holds a copy and shows the sections that prove her points.

See the Repugnantan wealthcare bill

This link both summarizes what's in it and provides an enclosed copy of the Bill so far released. Some of the details:

  • What's in the bill: Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, which extended the program to those making 100% to 138% of the federal poverty limit, would be phased out over four years. 90% of the current federal funding would be provided in 2020 and it would decrease by 5% each year until 2023, after which it would be eliminated. People would not be allowed to join the expansion from 2020 onwards. The tax credits will be available to people that fall off the expansion.
  • What it means: While this would save the federal government money, it also means the millions of people that have gained access to Medicaid would be rolled off. These people would be able to fall back on the less generous tax credit and access coverage through the individual insurance market. 

  • What's in the bill: The Senate bill retains the House's per capita cap for federal Medicaid spending. After 2025, however, growth in spending would shift from the consumer price index for medical care to the CPI for all goods, a lower level of growth.
  • What it means: States would receive less funding each year from the federal government to help cover low-income Americans, and after 2025 the rate of growth would decline, leading to even deeper potential cuts for the program. 

Schumer on the wealthcare bill

Reiterating the previous two Senators while providing a lot of the details, including States eliminating essential health benefits. Pre-existing coverage will be prohibitively expensive if not outright eliminated. The Bill is heartless wolf who plans to devour everyone in its path to greedy accumulation of wealth. And it will only get 10 hours of debate, all before the CBO even scores it. He then goes on to humanize the consequences, a wise strategy.

Sanders on the wealthcare bill

Continuing the last post, Sanders weighs in. In addition, he emphasizes defunding Planned Parenthood, thereby take away the healthcare choice of millions. Also the inhumane rate hikes seniors will experience. Then there's the 23 million that will get thrown off coverage altogether. And why? To give that money to the wealthy, hence wealthcare. Government single-payer is the answer to this travesty.

Warren on the released Repugnantan wealthcare bill

It was finally released today and Warren is having none of it. The Bill is even meaner than the House version, as it rewards the wealthy and further hurts working families. How do they pay for all the wealthy class tax cuts? Cuts or elimination of programs like tax credits for health insurance. Letting States decide to drop benefits like maternity care, prescription drug coverage or mental health treatment. And they cut Medicaid even worse than the House version. Medicaid expansion eliminated altogether. The cuts to the program are so severe that States will have to cut much-needed services like disability insurance and nursing home coverage. She emphasizes that these cuts will kill people, so Repugnantans are literally trading our lives to give tax breaks to their rich buddies. See the clip for more detail.

Don't Kill My Vibe

Colbert on funny Goop

Colbert makes fun of Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop Summit, where she sells her health products. The vaginal stone exercise joke is LOL funny. Then Colbert spoofs it with a commercial of his own brand of heath products. Laughter truly is the best medicine.

Nina Turner: why Ossoff lost (and Dumbocrats continue to lose)

Yet another progressive analyzes the big Dumbocrat loss in Georgia. Obviously just throwing money at a campaign isn't enough, as Ossoff spent $23 million. Part of the problem is that his campaign ran as Repugnantan lite. Given the choice between that and a real Repugnantan conservatives will choose the latter every time. But that is the establishment Dumbocratic Party, and the very reason they continue to lose.

Now we can't really say that if a progressive ran in that district on that sort of agenda they would have won. The average income there is $84,000 and the majority are affluent whites. Sure, there are plenty of poor and middle-class families there too, but not enough to win an election. So instead of the Dumbocrats trying to kiss up to that demographic with a Repugnantan agenda, why not just focus on those districts where a progressive populist message resonates with a majority of working class families? Unfortunately the Dumbocratic Party still doesn't get that message.

Our attitudes about poor people

Many poor people work hard and they're still poor due to circumstances beyond their control. So it's not their attitude that makes them poor, contrary to Secretary of HUD Carson and the Repugnantan moral superiority complex. The latter blame the poor, saying it's their own fault because they're too lazy to work. Granted there is a small number in that category, but taken as a whole those living below the poverty line actually work. However the minimum wage just does not provide enough to live on. Hence the need for government assistance. Plus there aren't enough full-time minimum wage jobs to go around, so many end up working 2 or more minimum wage part-time jobs with no benefits. So indeed, there is a problem with attitudes about the poor, but it's not the poor who have it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

More on Ossoff's loss

In this clip another reason for the loss is that Dumbocrats bring a covered dish to a gun fight. You just don't play nice with the Repugnantans if you want to win. What's required is to fight and fight passionately for progressive values and policies, not just bitch and moan about the Swamp or keep up the same old losing strategy of playing the so-called middle ground. Instead of Dumbocrats criticizing Sanders and Warren maybe they should try learning from them? Nah, won't happen. How much more evidence do we need?

Why Ossoff lost

Granted there was a lot of voters kicked off the rolls by Handel using Interstate Cross-Check when she was Secretary of State. And plenty of other voter suppression techniques were used typical of Repugnantans hatred for voter choice. (Recall this recent report.) Even so, establishment Dumbocrats continue to use a losing strategy that has cost them the Presidency and over 1000 lost legislative seats nationwide.

Ossoff's loss is just another example that they continue to not get it. The Dums continue to think that throwing money at elections while maintaining they typical so-called centrist stance will magically change results. Ossoff rejected single-payer healthcare and refused to make the rich pay their fair share of taxes. What the electorate wanted is not only a populist vision but the guts to stand up for it, to defend it proudly, and to take down the real people messing with our lives, the 1%. But nooooo, the establishment Dums keep being dumb and dumber, not able to see why they keep losing.

Tom London

Great magic show last night on AGT.

Light Balance gets the golden buzzer on AGT

All I got for this act is FRICKEN' WOW! They already deserve a show in Vegas based on this performance.

Keone & Mari

They won the adult category on WOD last night. Great performance that told a pertinent and poignant contemporary story. Very moving and well executed.

Eva Igo on WOD

Once again she steals the show. I can only imagine this young lady continuing her development as an adult. She's going to be a famous world-class dancer soon. She is quite the phenom already.

Tax cuts lead to economic decline

Despite Repugnantan lies, the facts speak louder. The lies are of course to fool the ignorant because tax cuts only benefit the rich. There is no trickle down unless you consider that getting pissed on. This article provides the details. The graph is below.

Roundup of meditation criticism

See this site for the roundup. See the link for details. Sections include the following: The internal Buddhist critique; The exaggerated claims critique; The capitalist/neoliberal critique; The race/identity critique; The committed skeptic’s critique; Then why meditate?

Negative effects of meditation

Here's an extensive scientific study on some of the negative effects of mediation, including fear, involuntary body movements and panic. Of particular interest is that how we interpret both positive and negative effects depending on context.

"There are multiple, and sometimes conflicting, interpretative frameworks at play for Western Buddhist meditators. The values held by meditation practitioners are often heavily influenced by how the authorities of a Buddhist tradition—whether canonical texts, teachers, or members of a practice community—appraise a given meditation practice or experience."

This also and particularly applies to the so-called positive experiences.

"Certain nyams—in particular the triad of bliss, clarity or luminosity, and non-conceptuality are multivalent in that in some lineages of Tibetan Buddhism they are deliberately cultivated and framed as 'signs of progress,' and yet in other contexts can be dismissed as untrustworthy hindrances to genuine insight."

The abstract follows:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Repugnantans allow only 10 hours to read & amend wealthcare

That's all the Senate and the American people will get to find out what's in their giveaway to the rich at the expense of millions of our lives.

Daniel Gil on ANW

He has the fastest qualifying time last night in the San Antonio qualifer.

Dustin Payne on SYTYCD

Best performance last night.

Sanders compares Obamacare and T-Swamp wealthcare

He reiterates the information in the last post, how the Republicans are keeping theirs secret while Obamacare was thoroughly considered. The Repugnantans (intentional spelling) must be really ashamed of their bill, but given its contents we have to question whether they are capable of such an emotion.

Comparing Obamacare with T-Swamp(don't)care

The facts are that Obamacare 100 Senate hearings where Republicans proposed 161 amendments. T-Swamp(don't)care has had 0 Senate hearings and hence 0 Democratic proposed amendments, since they haven't even seen what's in it yet. So why isn't this a major media story?

Colbert on the T-Swamp investigation

He makes fun of T-Swamp's lawyer, who apparently also needs a lawyer.

Randy Bryce challenges Paul Ryan

A real American is challenging corporate crony Ryan for his seat in Congress. This ad highlights the difference between the two. Who do you think will represent you? This is how you frame a candidacy.

What Democratic Party 'unity' means

The Dem Party establishment really thinks it's the progressives that are the problem. They continually fail to see that no, it is they who have lost all those elections in the past decade. They claim they want Party unity when all that really means is that they want to continue down the same path they have during that decade, raising money from the wealth and then being beholden to them. Whereas the progressive wing is raising a stink about that very corruption and that makes the Party stronger, as it returns it to its roots in we the working people. And if the Party won't listen then it's time to take the party elsewhere.

The biggest freeloaders are at the top

The real freeloaders have convinced the average working person that it is the people on social welfare that are lazy and not worthy of respect. But you've been lied to about this, as those at the top of the economic heap are the real lazy ones that should be remonstrated. Wealth is created by working people, and those at the top devour it. We are the makers and they are the takers. Workers create the wealth and those at the top feed off of it by leveraging control of that work. Banks are the prime example of such vampire behavior. See the link for the details.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Supreme Corp will take up the WI gerrymandering case

They decided to take up the challenge, but no telling how's the conservatives on the Corp will vote. It involves a challenge to the Wisconsin gerrymandering that won them 60% of legislative seats while only getting a total of 48.6% of the votes. While recent appeals courts have overturned Republican gerrymandering on racial grounds, this case is based on legal "wasted votes" grounds. See the article for the details.

Sanders and Warren on GOP health(don't)care plan

Very good discussion that presents facts on what is known of the Senate bill, given it's secret with no debate to date. We do know exactly what was in the House bill and it wasn't good. And we do know the basic Republican agenda and worldview, which they'll explore, as the likely outcome of the bill. E.g., the Republicans like to frame it in terms of choice, and yet they will take away the choice of 2.5 million women that have chosen Planned Parenthood because they will defund it.. What they mean by choice is the choice of the insurance companies to once again not give much real coverage to anyone, let alone the 23 million currently insured that will be be without it altogether. Of course they'll still have the choice of suicide instead of dying the slow death of no healthcare. Thanks for the choices.

Fik-Shun's duel dance

The duels begin this week on World of Dance and here's Fik-Shun's battle cry. Fricken' WOW.

Hard Times

Nikki Glaser on Fallon

Good routine.

GOP leaks personal info of 200 million voters

Let's hear Republicans now talk about unsafe data breaches or leaking. Something tells me it will be the sound of crickets on a quiet night.  From the article. See it for much, much more.

"The Republican National Committee’s in-house big data team just got caught by a cyber security firm leaking the private information of 200 million Americans. California-based UpGuard found the RNC’s data file unprotected in a publicly available URL within Amazon Cloud Services and downloaded the information – equivalent to 10 billion pages of text – and reported it to federal authorities.

"The RNC’s leaked database includes all registered voters in the United States, with information from Democrats, independents, and presumably 3rd party voters. UpGuard’s report suggests that this may be the largest known political data leak to date, worldwide. [...] Republicans only secured the leaked information after it was reported to authorities."

11 indisputable facts about T-Swamp

From Robert Reich at this link:

1. He called Hillary Clinton a crook. You bought it. Then he paid $25 million to settle a fraud lawsuit. 

2. He said he’d release his tax returns, eventually. You bought it. He hasn’t, and says he never will.

3. He said he’d divest himself from his financial empire, to avoid any conflicts of interest. You bought it. He is still heavily involved in his businesses, manipulates the stock market on a daily basis, and has more conflicts of interest than can even be counted. 

4. He said Clinton was in the pockets of Goldman Sachs, and would do whatever they said. You bought it. He then proceeded to put half a dozen Goldman Sachs executives in positions of power in his administration. 

5. He said he’d surround himself with all the best and smartest people. You bought it. He nominated theocratic loon Mike Pence for Vice President. A white supremacist named Steve Bannon is his most trusted confidant. Dr. Ben Carson, the world’s greatest idiot savant brain surgeon, is in charge of HUD. Russian quisling Rex Tillerson is Secretary of State.”

6. He said he’d be his own man, beholden to no one. You bought it. He then appointed Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, whose only “qualifications” were the massive amounts of cash she donated to his campaign. 

Senate Republicans caught in a lie on health(don't)care

I know, big surprise. They are conducting secret meetings on their health(don't)care bill and Democrats have been excluded from the process. They claim that Democrats are welcome if they're willing to help so Democratic Senator Schumer wrote them a letter offering that help. Not that they haven't offered below and have been excluded nonetheless. So instead of accepting their help the Republicans replied that the Dems admitted that Obamacare is a failure, which of course one can plainly read the letter implied no such thing. It's just one more way to prevent the Dems from participating.

The ideal and the real 2

Continuing this post, the crux of the issue is that monofractals are symmetrically self-similar at each iteration. Multifractals are not. Multifractals weave 2 or more fractals which each iterate differently creating asymmetry. Which is indeed the case with natural phenomenon; there is no ideal hill that expresses a perfect, mono- or multifractal parabola. Also note this article: 

"Hierarchical organization is a corner stone of complexity and multifractality constitutes its central quantifying concept. For model uniform cascades the corresponding singularity spectrum are symmetrical while those extracted from empirical data are often asymmetric."

Explaining Christianity to Republicans

Very good article, copied below from this source:

1. Help the helpless, provide for the needy: While it’s popular within the Republican party and the conservative media to vilify the poor as lazy moochers looking for a handout, the majority of Americans who rely on government programs are actually children. Furthermore, the majority of households receiving some form of government assistance are headed by a working adult. While we should all do our best to address those who might abuse the programs we have to help the poorest among us, they are a small fraction of the people who actually receive these government benefits. To be more Christ-like you should ask yourself how can you help someone in need – not why.

2. Be kind to others and don’t judge those who are different from you: Considering that Jesus Christ literally said “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” I think it would be good practice to start doing that in our society. Instead of judging anyone and everyone who isn’t just like you – embrace and love them as you would yourself. If you encounter someone who is different from you, don’t reject who they are – seek them out and learn about them. It’s our ignorance of one another that seems to divide us the most.

3. Be hopeful: Republicans are nothing if not paranoid and afraid of damn near everything. From immigrants invading the United States, to Muslims enacting Sharia law to President Obama confiscating guns – I could spend hours dissecting how many conspiracies I’ve seen Republicans perpetuate over the years and how none of them actually came true. Besides, as people of faith, what’s there to be so scared of? If you truly have faith that God’s in control, shouldn’t your faith always be that blanket of hope that guides you through life? I’m not quite sure how someone can say they have the utmost faith in their God – while seemingly having no faith in that same God’s “plan.”

Sunday, June 18, 2017


As I approached, he bared his teeth and growled. I nearly pissed my pants right then and there. My olive drab green uniform shirt stuck to my flesh like a fly on shit in this sweltering, south Texas morning. It was our first day of training.

"Go on, get in there with him, Richards," Sergeant Baker said. "What the fuck are you anyway, a pussy?"
"Fucken-A right Sarge," I said. "This mother wants to eat me alive."
"Get out of the way," Corporal Boyle said and pushed past me. 
He just walked right in on Harvey. Boyle's got a set of balls on him, I'll give him that, but he ain't got much upstairs. The instant Boyle was within reach of his chain, Harvey lunged at him. Boyle tried to jump back, but he wasn't quick enough; Harvey bit into his highly polished right boot and jerked him off his feet, dragging him into his lair.
"Help me for Christ sake!" 
I grabbed Boyle's outstretched left arm and pulled. Me and Harvey were playing tug of war, and I swear I saw Harvey smile. The Sarge and Wilson ran over and it took about a minute before all three of us could wrestle Boyle away, but Harvey held fast to his boot, pulling it off. 
"That son of a bitch," Boyle said. "Look at him just chewing away at my good jump boot."
Harvey looked up, burped, then went back to ripping apart the boot. 
"You shouldn't have been so stupid as to wear your good boots to training," said Wilson.
"Fuck you," said Boyle.
"Ok, that's enough, men. Get back to your own dogs now," the Sarge ordered.
As we all lined up in front of our assigned dogs in the kennel, an orderly drove up in a jeep. He screeched to a halt and the dust that had been trailing him caught up and enveloped the vehicle. He started unpacking large, steel bowls full of a mix of dry and wet dog food. The dogs started barking like the hounds of hell.
"Grab a bowl and feed your dog," Sarge said. "After they've been eating a minute, walk in slowly while talking nice to them. Pet them if you can, but take it slow. We don't want nobody getting bitten the first morning. There'll be plenty of time for that in a couple a weeks during attack training." Sarge was the only one laughing at his own joke.
I took my bowl of food and approached Harvey. He had the sole of the boot completely tore off. He smelled the food and threw the boot over in front of his wooden house. He looked at me real peaceful like and I thought maybe now we'd be friends, so I bent down and pushed the bowl in toward him. He walked over to it and started to eat, paying me no attention.
I looked right and left to see how the others were making out with their dogs. Most all of the guys in our squad of eight were already petting theirs. I was still pretty scared from my first encounter, but I figured I'd better get moving or they'd think I was a real wuss. I stood and took a tentative step toward Harvey, who growled without looking up. 
Sarge came over and said, "You still ain't it with him yet? The other guys are doing ok. What's your problem, Richards?"
"You saw what he did to Boyle. He ain't like the other dogs here. This one is crazy. You go in and show me how, Sarge."
Sarge pulled out a pack of Lucky Strikes from his shirt pocket and lit one up with his Zippo lighter, an emblem of three chevrons on it indicating his rank. I smelled the lighter fluid as he clicked it shut and blew out a cloud of smoke."Fuck no, I ain't going in with that monster," he said. "That's your job, not mine."
"Why me?" I asked, lighting up one of my Marlboros with my own Zippo. My lighter had engraved on it: Yours is not to question why, yours is but to do or die. 
"Because you're the biggest one here Richards, so you get Harvey."
"You're bigger that me Sarge." He had me by at least two inches and thirty pounds.
"But I'm not assigned to Harvey, you are."
"Well what's the matter with him anyway. He should have been trained by now. How long has he been in the army?"
Sarge dropped his butt and stomped it out. He took out a fresh one and lit it up. "According to the Lieutenant, Harvey's seen four tours in Nam as a tracker, and now he's retired here to teach young peckerwoods like you how to survive in a war zone. He's killed more gooks single-handed than most Green Berets. Count yourself lucky you got him, cuz he'll teach you good for when you go over there."
I looked over at Harvey still wolfing down his chow.
"Now try it again," Sarge said.
I cautiously approached this massive, 110-pound German shepherd veteran of foreign war. He didn't seem to notice me, so I inched closer and closer until I was within arm's reach. I extended my right hand, closed in a fist like I was taught so I didn't lose any fingers, and just about laid it on his head when he leaped for my groin. I flew backwards and fell on my ass in a cloud of dust. Everybody looked up and laughed, Sarge the loudest.

Holm KOs Correia

Up to the point of the head kick with followup head punch the fight was one of the most boring ever. Both fighters just circled tentatively for 2 1/2 rounds. Does this mean Holm is now back in contention for another title fight? Not so fast. She did lose 3 in a row before this bout. She's going to new a few more fights to prove she's back to being a top contender.

T-Swamp's lawyer both confirms and denies investigation

A lively, contentious debate with Fox News host Wallace. As in typical lawyer double talk he says both then denies it. Wallace to his credit is having none of it.

Obamacare v. T-Swamp(don't)care

This photo should tell us something about how one's care for their own personal health might extend to caring for the health of a nation. Or even seeing it as a necessity, let alone a priority.

New environmental impact review at Standing Rock ordered

Well jeez, surprise, surprise, the US Army Corp of Engineers failed to do a proper environmental impact study on the pipeline. I just can't imagine... So a federal judge ordered a new one be done because the original “did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial.” President Obama agreed with that assessment but when T-Swamp took over he quickly overturned it and let the oil flow.

Fact Check: violence on the left and right

Now that Republicans were targeted in the recent DC shooting the right is saying that the left is equally to blame for violent attacks. Fact checking that proves it is wrong. Granted there are some violent groups on the left like Antifa, discussed in the article. And they too should be, and are, condemned for their methods. But the facts, according to J.J. McNabb, an expert on political extremism at George Washington University: "In the past 10 years when you look at murders committed by domestic extremists in the United States of all types, right-wing extremists are responsible for about 74 percent of those murders." So no, the left is not as bad as the right on this one, not even close.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Show Me

Another Samantha Fish performance. And they get this delicious sound from just a guitar, a bass and a set of drums. And, or course, that amazing voice.

Lay It Down, Samantha Fish

This is the kind of road house blues I grew up with and still adore. And Samantha Fish knows how to do it right.