Saturday, September 30, 2017

Last fuc*able day

Schumer and company in this funny skit on a woman's fuckability correlated with age.

Investor State Dispute Settlement

In the TPP and other so-called 'free trade' agreements. This graphic sums it up nicely and accurately.

The Sky is a Neighborhood

Maher's monologue

Topics include the NFL protesting Dump, OJ Simpson, Puerto Rico, the private jet scandal, the Alabama primary, homosexuality and Dump's tax plan.

Maher on the Kremlin Konnection

Maher's new rule explores the various connections involved while making us laugh.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Road Runner

Written in the Sand

Old Dominion performs on Kimmel.

The Emporor's new wall

A new bedtime story on Colbert last night.

Why is Dump not helping Puerto Rico?

Senator Warren on Repugnantan tax plan

From her FB post:

"The 'new' Republican tax plan is the same warmed-over, trickle-down plan they’ve been pushing for decades. It delivers massive tax cuts to millionaires and giant corporations and kicks working families to the curb. While the plan slashes the income tax rate for the highest earners, it actually increases the income tax rate that applies to many working families. The plan gets rid of the state and local tax deduction that millions of working families rely on, while repealing the estate tax that applies only to a handful of the wealthiest families in the country. And the plan will explode the deficit, which – I guarantee you – will lead Republicans to turn around and say we need to gut Medicaid, Medicare, and investments in infrastructure, research, and education. Not one penny in tax cuts for the wealthy and giant corporations – especially not on the backs of everyone else. We will fight back against this GOP tax plan."

James Corden trains for Magic Mike

Funny skit with Corden playing the fall guy.

Colbert on Dump's loser status

In his monologue last night he jokes about Dump's next big failure, this tax plan.Then he moves into Dump's loss in backing the wrong candidate in the AL Senate primary to a real nut case, Roy Moore. Moore has had a lifelong crusade against homosexuality, and even thinks 9/11 was God's way of punishing us for allowing sodomy.

Kimmel hammers Dump

Keep up the good work. Kimmel notes that Dump not only lost the weathcare battle, he didn't even know he didn't have the votes to pass it. Dump kept saying there was a Senator in the hospital but there wasn't. And Dump's endorsed candidate in the Alabama GOP Senate primary race lost badly. Dump is the Biggest Loser ever, recalling he also lost the popular vote by over 3 million.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

How to make Dump notice Puerto Rico

Sophia Vergara gives Colbert her underwear

Yes, she does. She pulls them out of her pants and hands them to him. Yes, a fluff piece but Colbert makes it funny.

Several Blight House officials used private emails for govt. business

Yes, not just Kushner but Bannon, Priebus, Cohn, Miller and Ivanka also did so. Lock them up? In this case, the emails are just the tip of their criminal iceberg. One or more of these gangsters will likely end up in jail for something. Noah goes on the joke about all the things these Dumpsters accused Hillary of doing they do themselves.

Cobert on the latest wealthcare fail

Those Repugnantans still can't repeal Obamacare, or govern more generally. Like a child in the terrible twos the only word they seem to know is NO.

Some more repugnantan hypocrisy

Remember when this woman was lionized when she protested gay marriage at work by refusing to  provide marriage licenses to gay couples? She refused to do her job. NFL protesters do their job after protesting during the national anthem. It is not their job to salute the flag.

Boycott the NFL now?

Some of the rabid regressives are now asking us to boycott the NFL because the players are protesting during the national anthem. Yet they didn't boycott it when these other revelations happened?

What integrates our selves?

Continuing this post, the article goes into the neuroscience of meditation, its main theme, to be explored later in a different thread. E.g., the article also "suggests that an integrative network supported by mindfulness may improve efficiency and guide changes in self-specific, affect-biased attention by integrating information from the three self-specific networks [... it] is uniquely situated to integrate information coming from the other three systems and facilitate global reorganization or plasticity amongst the networks."

The take-away point in the last post/article is that this integrative network is NOT self-related, hence not about developmental levels of the narrative self, or even the self-system more generally. Meditation (meta-awareness) though develops this integrative network. The authors speculate that this network "may effectively facilitate context-appropriate switching between anticorrelated networks," the latter meaning the EES and EPS v. the NS. Hence once again the different aspects of the self are at various levels depending on tasks appropriate to the context.

Which raises another point, the relationship between this integrative 'state' of meta-awareness and stages of any line, including the ego or cognitive lines. Recall it is this 'state' that does the integration between the different selves, not one of the selves including the ego system. This requires some further pondering.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Two aliens walk into a corporate bar

Even though I'm into participatory democracy this one gave me a wry smile.

Repugnantan's latest version of wealthcare fails again

Alleluia. The latest iteration goes down in flames because they once again did not have enough Repugnantan votes. There are a few of them left that have at least a smidgen of heart left. And we the people are grateful for them literally saving our lives.

Victoria & Val

Also a 24 last night. The brothers Chmerkovskiy and their partners are on top of the leader board.

Vanessa & Max on DWTS

High score last night of 24, really good this early in the season.

So You Think You Can Dance last night

It was the season finale and Lex won the competition. It was an exciting night of so many great performances. The new routine choreographed by Travis and danced by him and Lex was one of my favorites.

Celebrities read mean Tweets about themselves

The next installment in Kimmel's funny series. They saved the best one for last.

Kushner uses private email for government business

Yes, the Dump and Repugnantans had a fit over Clinton doing this. But now it has been revealed that senior Blight House Dumpster Kushner has been doing the same thing all along and not one word from the regressives. How about "lock him up!"

Kimmel continues his diatribe against wealthcare

Kimmel takes the credit Repugnantans are giving him for stopping the latest iteration of massive death and destruction in their wealthcare Bill. Kimmel has been fact checked by various, trusted and accurate checkers and all agree he has the facts on his side.

LeBron James tells Dump he's a stinking dump

Colbert jokes about James responding to Dump disinviting the NBA champs to the White House.

Noah on the NFL protest

He lays into Dump like an NFL linebacker committing a personal foul during a tackle. Only in this case Dump's brain damage came long before being tackled.

Colbert on Dump and the NFL

Colbert comments on Dump's insults and the HUUUUGE NFL player response over the weekend.

The neuroscience of the self

Continuing this post (and related, linked posts therein), here is another article on the neuroscience of the self. Like Damasio there are 3 selves: the experiential enactive self (EES, akin to Damasio's proto-self); the experiential phenomenal self (EPS, akin to the core self); and the narrative self (NS). These are roughly analogous to Wilber's anterior, proximal and distal selves, but not quite. The proximal or narrative self is where we get a stable sense of ourselves over time via memory and anticipation.

According to Wilber this is where we get self stages and this article seems to agree. However, within the narrative self "there may very well be distinct substrates across each domain as there is likely distinct forms of 'me-self' in as many social relationships as there are individuals who recognize each one uniquely." This again supports the MHC and Fischer's empirical findings, as the NS has different senses of itself in different domains and circumstances.
Plus there are competing senses of self with the EES and the EPS.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Government study on the economic benefit of refugees

Yes, the US Dept. of Health and Human Services did a study on this and concluded that refugees contributed an estimated $270 billion to all levels of government between 205 and 2014, with a net positive benefit of $63 billion over that period. So the Dumpsters are denying this report, instead lying that refugees are a drain on our economy. Once again, facts versus fiction.

Who is the problem here?

Even the Statue of Liberty is protesting

32 million would lose coverage in Repugnantan wealthcare

According to the Brookings Institute.  That would be over a 10-year period. In the next 2 years 15 million would lose coverage. And these are conservative estimates. That doesn't sound like healthcare for everyone to me. I guess Dump and his Dumpsters can't do math?

What is the collaborative commons in a nutshell?

See this short and sweet summary from Michel Bauwens at the P2P Foundation. I've just posted the graphic highlights below. See the link for more, noting he keeps it concise.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The national anthem is a celebration of slavery

So that's what all these unconscious white supremacists are upset about. It's the American heritage to celebrate slavery, and if you don't then you aren't American. This article shows the history of the anthem, as it's third verse is celebrating the killing of those black slaves who sided with the British in the war of 1812. Kaepernick, likely unaware of these origins, is protesting a country where black men can still be murdered with impunity. Same story, different era.

Dump invited Russian National Basketball team to Blight House

Borowitz lampoons Dump recently rescinding an invitation to the NBA champ Golden State Warriors when Steph Curry had doubts about going. So what does he do then?

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—One day after rescinding his invitation to the Golden State Warriors, Donald J. Trump invited the entire Russian national basketball team to celebrate with him at the White House. Trump said that he looked forward to welcoming the Russian team, calling them “much, much better basketball players than those Golden State losers.”

When reporters pointed out that the Russians had won only a bronze in the 2012 Olympics and failed to qualify for the 2016 event, Trump was dismissive, calling the Olympics “rigged.”

“You ask anyone who knows, Steph Curry is nowhere near as good as Vladimir Ivlev,” Trump said.

But Trump’s plan to replace the Warriors with the Russians hit a snag just hours after he issued the invitation, when the Russian team released an official statement declining the offer. “We feel that appearing with Donald Trump at this time would be bad for our brand,” the Russians’ statement read.

The NFL tells Dump to go f*ck himself

Dump's recent comments about NFL players who kneel during the national anthem inspired open revolt today. Many players and teams participated, either sitting, kneeling or locking arms during the anthem. See the link for specifics. I kneel with them in telling the Biggest Dump to go f*ck himself.

Polling Obama voters who switched to Dump

Interesting article on this demographic that decided the last election. It focuses on only those that previously voted for Obama and then switched to Dump, about 13%. And this group is more likely to now regret their Dump vote. Some portion of the demo voted more against Clinton than for Dump. Many of them are ambivalent about voting in the '18 mid-terms, so this could be an opportunity for progressives. That is, if they can get over their own internecine Party battles with the corporate lackeys.

Take a stand, or is that a kneel?

The choices in developmental psychology

Following up on this post (and related linked posts therein), it seems there is a choice in developmental explanations between empirical studies with quantitative, calibrated and internally consistent measurements, and quasi-religious, self-aggrandized, flagrant ideology. We see this choice playing out in this forum in a legitimization battle for what is integral. And please, spare me the false equivalence argument that it is an integration of equally valid and complementary perspectives.

"In this preliminary review, it also appears that contemporary uses of of sentence completion methods to measure ego-development are not justified by peer-reviewed and reliability studies. [...] It appears that the LAS [Lectical Assessment System] and HCSS [Hierarchical Complexity Scoring System] are the only metrics that have been calibrated using quantitative indexes on internal consistency. This means that the LAS and HCSS are the only ones that can be validly and reliably used to access individuals. They are the only calibrated metrics in the set; the rest are soft measures that should only be used for research purposes" (19).

Stein & Heikkinen (2009). "Models, metrics and measurement in development psychology." Integral Review, 5:1

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Flagrant ideology in integral theory

Continuing this post, Zak Stein said:

"The idea that a holistic assessment could tell us about the essence of a person is absurd and flagrantly ideological. Development assessments at their best can only paint pictures of the differential distribution of capabilities within persons. We can't assess people as a whole, we can only assess their performances along particular lines in particular contexts. And performances vary across contexts, which means that you may perform at one level in one context and at a very different level in another context" (11).

"Myth busting and metric making." Integral Leadership Review, 8:5, 2008

Fake Christians

Yes, this is but one of many issues where fake Christians fail the Christ test.

Reich interviews Sanders on Repugnantan wealthcare

And repugnant it is indeed. It is one of the steps of the big money (e.g. Kochs) agenda to roll back public services and steal that money because of the Ayn Randian notion that people that need such services are undeserving due to personal failings. If they can't afford healthcare if this travesty passes then it's their own damned fault and they don't deserve to live. It's not far fetched to compare it to the Nazi pogrom, only through 'legal' means bought and paid for by the Kochs.

Fact check: Repugnantan weathcare & pre-existing conditions

Just the facts ma'am. The new Bill will still maintain pre-existing condition coverage but it would allow States to price premiums based on those conditions, thereby making it unaffordable to those with said conditions. Granted States are also required to request a waiver to price higher for pre-existing conditions, and a condition of that waiver is that "it must ensure that those with preexisting conditions have affordable and adequate coverage [...] but it remains to be seen what would be considered adequate and affordable."

Knowing Repugnantans that could very well mean: "Well, this new plan would be affordable if you got off your lazy ass and got a job as CEO, because anyone can do that if they just had the gumption. And since you refuse to become a CEO with commensurate salary then it's you who are inadequate and therefore unaffordable for us to sell you health insurance." Come on, tell me that's not accurate.

What have you got to lose?

I hope at least a few of you Dumpsters are finally coming around to realizing this. Just a few is enough to end this reign of terror next time around.

Learn to Fly

Speaking of the Foo Fighters:

Carpool karaoke with Foo Fighters

Corden's latest edition of this series.

If you want us to quit calling you an idiot then quit being one

For example:

The Pope on moral obligation

Another good one from the Pontiff, the real deal versus that fake Repugnantan crap.

Altitude sickness

Given some recent posts below I recall this one from the archives, Mark Edwards on altitude sickness:

As with all lenses the altitude lens is subject to different kinds of truncations and reductionisms. I call these reductionisms the varieties of altitude sickness and, in a spirit of playful finger-pointing, I will briefly describe a few of these here:

1. Lens absolutism: This is the general problem of relying solely on one lens to explain vertical development.

2. Stagism: This is where all developmental capacity is thought to be function of the whole-of-system movement from one stage to another. This ignores the evidence that incremental learning and evolutionary process can result in transformative development.

3. Developmentalism: This is the view that transformative change is the result of changes in an individual's own structures rather than the structures that exist in their social and material surrounds.

4. Immediatism: This is the lack of awareness of the role of mediation in vertical development. For example relying on Piagetian models of structural change to the exclusion of Vygotskian ones.

5. Pigeon-hole(ism): This is the tendency for stage-based theorists to assume that those who are critical of stage-based models are relativists.

Vertical pursu-itis

Rob McNamara blog post:

"For those of us interested in adult development, too often we tend to focus on stages. [...] Implicit inside these assumptions about development is that we can be located at a specific stage of development. [...] The antidote to this ‘vertical pursu-itis’ is to look instead at what we call developmental range. This is different from our 'center of gravity, an abstracted normative range in which you (or others) tend to show up developmentally, but which moves us away from the specificity of our aliveness in any given moment. Developmental range instead steers us towards specific contexts, particular behaviors and distinct skills. Instead of generalized abstractions, developmental range focuses on the immediacy of our developmental complexity in response to environmental and contextual surrounds from moment to moment. The concept of developmental range focuses us on the dynamic, relational quality of our skills and behaviors."

A broad overview of developmental theory

Continuing this post, from Reams, J. (2014). "A brief overview of developmental theory." Integral Review, 10:1.

"What we can see upon first glance is that ego stage models tend towards describing a center of gravity, a structure of self-understanding and meaning making that is relatively stable with periodic transformations, and within which variability happens, but is harder to account for. Fischer’s dynamic skill theory, on the other hand, starts from two different sets of empirical findings. One is that variability is central to performance, understanding etc. and that this variability is both moment to moment within an individual and across individuals. Thus statistical norming or establishing a center of gravity is not in focus. The other is that the unit of analysis is the skill being performed and the hierarchical complexity of it, not an individual ego and its stage of development. Individuals are simply the means through which we can observe these structures" (126-27).

Maher's monologue

Including Kim Jong-Un accurately calling Dump a dotard. He also covers the latest Repugnantan monstrosity of a wealthcare bill, the Russia investigation and Russians trolling Facebook.

Maher: The city mouse and the country mouse

In this New Rule Maher goes into the difference between urban and rural worldviews. In the city there's culture, diversity, education; in the country not so much. And Dump is definitely city folk (though without the culture, diversity or education), not at all like the country bumpkins who think he is one of them. And Dump is playing his rural base for suckers, plain and simple. But they just don't know it. Foiled again by the fast talking city slicker.

Colbert goes after Kim Jong-Un

He mocks Kim Jong-Un criticizing his President while reserving the right to do so himself. It's more a prop to go after Dump some more.

The model of hierarchical complexity and 'center of gravity'

Continuing this post, the MHC assumes no such chimera:

"In mapping the mathematical orders of order of hierarchical complexity and of stage transition on to real world data, there are a number of considerations. Because the model does not call for global measures (e.g., of a person’s 'center of gravity'), it is possible to look at change trial by
trial, choice by choice, task action by task action. [...] By contrast, other stage theories have no such independent variable much less one that works as well as order of hierarchical complexity" (318).

Friday, September 22, 2017

Direct correlation between insurance payoff & single-payer support

What do you think?

A Muslim snaps back

Gotcha! See for example this report on white male terrorism compared to that of Muslims.

Graph of meetings between Dumpsters and Russians

The graph is below. See this story for the details.

Colbert updates the Russia investigation

Mueller is going for the kill. He's requested Blight House documents concerning the meeting with a Russian lawyer and Ambassador, the firing of James Comey and anything on Paul Manafort. While Manafort was Dump's campaign manager he agreed to give a Russian oligarch briefings on the campaign. Said oligarchic is one of Putin's most trusted confidantes. Thing is, Manafort, even if indicted and convicted, already knows there's a Dump pardon waiting in the wings, so he's not about to turn stool pigeon.

Kimmel is relentless

Great job Jimmy. We need relentless fighters against this atrocity that will literally kill tens of thousands of people each year. In this clip he expands on the realities of the Bill. Kimmel's critics say that he's not a doctor and Grassley, on of the authors the Bill, is. Sure, but the vast majority of doctors said the Bill sucks. It's like trying to say the 1% of climate change denying scientists carry the same weight of reality as the 99% that prove it.

Heron on relational spirituality

And from another angle, one of my favorite pieces by Heron on relational spirituality. The obsession with individual state experience passing as higher levels of spirituality is akin to the obsession with meta-complexity passing as higher levels of cognitive development. In both cases it has more to do with the relational space between prepositioning both states and stages. 

"On this account, the whole meme system collapses, with its claim to portray an evolutionary logic. The green meme description is superficial, and is itself green in the sense of callow, inexperienced and immature, because it cannot grasp the depths and the challenge of relational spirituality. The yellow and turquoise memes, as described, simply have no warrant or grounding in any kind of relational spirituality, and read like the conceits of self-appointed philosopher-kings. The edifice is doomed to an early demise, which is just as well, since, given its radical omissions and distortions, its use is bound to be counter-productive.

"I prefer to think of the spiritual development of human culture as rooted in degrees of relational, moral insight and not in an evolutionary logic. Evolution as a concept seems best left to natural processes. Otherwise intellectual bids to know what evolution is up to and what is coming next culturally, rapidly convert into hegemonic arrogance and attempts at social and intellectual control. The developing of the human spirit in cultural forms is a different category and is very close in my view to the way in which our realization of an extended doctrine of rights, in theory and practice, unfolds." 

Murray on prepositioning integral theory

And then there's postmetatheory as highlighted in the Introduction to "Metatheory in the 21st Century." I appreciate that Tom Murray's last chapter was valued for 'prepositioning' metatheory itself, something I've long harped on in the relationship of image schema to differance. Also how it anchors abstract metatheory in the body, for without that it's just more 'complex' but less 'real,' more metaphysical and less postmetaphysical. Of course if we use metatheory's usual definitions and assumptions then postmetatheory would transcend and include and thereby supersede metatheory, thereby outmeta-ing the meta. Poetic justice, that. E.g.:

"The final chapter of the volume is Tom Murray’s "Contributions of Embodied Philosophy to Ontological Questions in Critical Realism and Integral Theory”. This chapter takes a different approach than previous chapters in that it is less concerned with the relationship or possible synthesis between critical realism and integral theory. Instead, Murray draws on the field of embodied philosophy (a la Lakoff and Johnson’s position of embodied realism) to augment both CR and IT. He introduces a number of the core distinctions and findings of embodied realism and illustrates how these notions can ground integrative metatheories like CR and IT. He focuses on epistemological and ontological issues, which is quite useful given that it is within these contexts that most of the philosophical challenges and opportunities exist between these two approaches. In some respects this final chapter represents position 0 in that it foregrounds the process of integrative metatheorizing and helps establish the clearing of such metathinking and meta-practice" (28-9).

Gebser's structures of consciousness and somatic development

Great paper by the above name at the 2015 ITC conference. It reinforces what I've discussed at length in the Ning IPS fold thread. We need to fully integrate previous structures but we don't return to the original state in which they emerged. This is especially important since we entered the deficient rational stage which has unbalanced the earlier structures. A large part of that deficiency is to "due to the introduction and solidification of perspectivity. The practice of arranging individual elements along a sequential line skews one’s view on reality. Any language arising from the rational structure will naturally describe a perspectival world" (28).

The emerging integral consciousness is an "integration of all structures of consciousness [and] is not to be confused with an 'expansion of consciousness,' which would indicate a quantification of consciousness" (29). It is more of an intensification and coherence of all existing structures. "This shift away from linear perspective requires a sensate connection with life" (29). How do we do that? While the paper didn't go into detail on that, it die go into detail making the connections between structures of consciousness and the nervous system. The earliest archaic structure was related to the dorsal vagus complex. The magical structure is related to the sympathetic vagus complex. The mythic structure relates to the ventral vagus complex and the rational structure to the neo-cortex.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Repugnantan Jesus

Dawn of the Bill

Colbert parodies the return of the dead Repugnantan wealthcare Bill. Even when it dies it keeps getting resurrected like a never-ending horror show, otherwise know as the Repugnantan Party.

Kimmel strikes again

Continuing this post, Kimmel got a lot of shit from Repugnantans on his wealthcare comments. So he fights back even harder this time, telling those Repugnantans where to go. If only we could get Dimocraps, beside the usual fighters like Sanders and Warren, to grow some fortitude like this.

Lewis Black on healthcare

Sometimes the most obvious truth comes in the form of comedy.

Right from the horse's ass

The US has become a rogue nation because of this giant, stinking Dump. And he doesn't even have a clue about it.

Sanders has it right on Repugnantan budgets

Continuing this post, from Sanders' FB post today:

"At the exact same time as the president and many of my Republican colleagues want to substantially increase military spending, they want to throw 32 million Americans off of the health insurance they currently have because, supposedly, they are worried about the budget deficit. While greatly increasing military spending they also want to cut education, environmental protection and the needs of children and seniors. What Eisenhower said over 50 years ago is even more true today."

The dilemma with co-ops

I can give you some of my personal experience with food co-ops. When I lived in Tempe AZ there was Gentle Strength co-op, no defunct. One could work there to mitigate the higher cost of its food. As I recall, noting said recall might be inaccurate, If a member worked 2.5 hours per week they'd get a 7% discount. If one committed to working 20 to 32 hours per month there would be 25-30% discount. They lost money on the member discounts but made up for it in non-member sales. When the new kids came to town, like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, the co-op could no longer attract enough non-member customers, given those prices were lower than the co-ops. Hence they went under.

On the other hand there's La Montanita in Albuquerque. Their prices are well over the market competition like Trader Joe's, and even regular markets like Albertson's or Walmart that have organic or natural foods sections. And yet they remain viable. But how? There are no member discounts is exchange for working to mitigate prices. Hence a significant portion of us on lower budgets for whatever reason simply cannot afford to shop there. The co-op survives on rich college kids from the nearby university, as well as well off Yuppies with a social conscience.

What's behind climate science denial?

Not surprisingly, the Koch brothers and the failed ideology to which they subscribe. It's called 'public choice' and that is a main talking point of Repugnantans. It's based on the Ayn Randian notion that everything is motivated by self-interest. And of course that's how they deny climate change, by saying those scientists are only motivated by their self-interest of keeping their jobs so make this shit up. They cannot understand that some people are altruistic and humane and are doing their jobs to protect people and the environment, seeing this as some sort of rationalization. It is a sick and repugnant worldview that is not morally or factually equivalent to what they criticize. It is wrong, inhumane and destroying this planet and the people in it.

Undercover with the alt-right

Fascinating and informative article on the guy who went undercover in the alt-right. The alt-right is literally a Nazi movement that lionized Hitler. And they claim to have had an inside track with Dump through Bannon. The informant has made a documentary to be released soon, some clips inside the article. Also see the report by the group that sent the informant in. This is some seriously scary shit and if we don't get busy the Fourth Reich will be fast upon us. If it isn't already in the Blight House.

Doctors say NO to the new wealtcare Bill

The major healthcare organizations saying this Bill will harm us are:

"The American Medical Association (“Provisions violate longstanding AMA policy”), the American Psychiatric Association (“This bill harms our most vulnerable patients”), the American Public Health Association (“Graham-Cassidy would devastate the Medicaid program, increase out-of-pocket costs, and weaken or eliminate protections for people living with preexisting conditions”), the National Institute for Reproductive Health (“the Graham-Cassidy bill preys on underserved communities ... a clear and present danger”), and Federation of American Hospitals (“It could disrupt access to health care for millions of the more than 70 million Americans”). This is in addition to the American Academy of Pediatrics, Association of American Medical Colleges, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and many others."

See the link for even more and why they oppose it. And yet not one doctor has been consulted or testified on the new wealthcare bill.

Senate approves $700 billion military budget

All this talk about there not being enough money for social programs is a blatant lie. The Senate just approved a $700 billion military budget, with most Democrats voting for it. (Note those who did not vote for it in the link, including Sanders.) But will we hear any of those who complain about the cost of social programs complain about this cost? Of course not. This budget is even more than warhawk Dump asked for, an $80 billion increase. Just the increase alone would pay for free public college for everyone. And we do not need this sort of military budget to maintain our military prowess; it's just to feed the contractors who pay off Congress. Do not listen to what Congresspeople say; their laws tell us just who the are and where their bread is buttered.

Kimmel calls author of Repugnantan weathcare Bill a liar

In this clip Kimmel comments on Cassidy and Graham's Bill, which doesn't pass the Jimmy Kimmel Test. Cassidy earlier appeared on Kimmel's show and invented the "test" which says that any Bill he promoted would maintain pre-existing conditions coverage and remove lifetime caps on coverage. The new Bill does the opposite on both of those promises and Cassidy is a liar. Big surprise, I know.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Dimocrapic Party still won't listen to Thomas Frank

From a recent interview:

"Until the day the Democratic Party takes a long cold look in the mirror, and understands where they have gone wrong. [...] They got a vested interest in not seeing that. In never seeing that, exactly. In never taking that long look in the mirror. But the day they do, they will start to understand what they have done, and they will also start to understand how to defeat these guys."

"The string that the Democrats are playing out also goes back to that same period in the late '60s and early '70s when they decided they weren't going to be a party of working class people anymore, and they weren't going to be interested in the New Deal anymore. They were going to be a very different party. A party of the information economy, the postIndustrial economy. They made an incredible blunder at that time and they've never looked back. They've never questioned that blunder, and until the day they do."

And the Dim Party, being dimwits underneath their faux sophistication and education, still don't get it. 

We have the money; it's just priorities

And not our (we the people) priorities, which in fact could easily be paid for if Congress wasn't so corrupt as to give our money to the defense industry for unneeded weapons and wars instead of needed and productive healthcare and college education.

Confederate statues are really this bad

Immigration crackdown causing crops to rot

Great way to make America Great again: send all the important workers back to Mexico. Farmers in CA are reporting that they are finding it harder to find immigrant workers to harvest their crops so some of the harvest just rots on the vine. Which of course incurs huge costs to the farmers and increased prices to the consumer. Farmers are offering increased wages, paid time off and retirement plans to these workers but it's not enough, given their fear of instant deportation. Isn't Dump just doing a great job at making us great again?

The history and evolution of the Commons

Article by Michel Bauwens in Commons Transition. "The commons has been defined as a shared resource, which is co-owned and/or co-governed by its users and/or stakeholder communities, according to its rules and norms." He goes on to examine how the commons model operated in different historical periods, and how it is beginning to manifest today. One example is the knowledge commons, where via the internet we share information with each other directly. There is also the emergence of the urban commons for material production, the city of Ghent being a prime example.

Business leaders starting to support single-payer healthcare

So says Wendell Potter, former head of corporate communications for the global health insurance company Cigna. Recent polls show that 60% of Americans favor singly-payer government healthcare. And now business leaders are joining the bandwagon. E.g., Warren Buffet and his Republican vice-chair think it's better than insurance companies because it can effectively control rising costs. There's also a group of business leaders fighting for single-payer: Business Leaders Transforming Healthcare. They researched other countries with single-payer and discovered they all do a better job at controlling costs. Private insurers serve no useful purpose and just add costs to the system.

Some large employers are in fact by-passing insurance companies and negotiating bundled payments directly with healthcare providers. However small companies and individuals don't have that sort of bargaining power. Hence a government program bundles all of them under one umbrella, which saves costs just as in the large employer bundles. Hence single-payer is a viable solution for the rest of us.

Senator Warren on the lastest Repugnantan wealthcare proposal

Repugnant indeed. There is no public support for what they propose: eliminate Medicaid; cut tens of millions from heath insurance coverage; drastically increase premiums for the elderly; eliminate pre-existing conditions coverage, or; eliminating coverage for essential medical procedures. Once again doctors and medical groups said it is atrocious and unconscionable. It is cruel, heartless and shameless, just like the Repugnantans who proposed it. Wake up America and quit voting for the lies Repugnantans tell you and see what they actually do to you.

Meyers Closer Look at the political news

Topics include Dump's Rocket Man comment, the latest Repugnantan wealthcare debacle and Manafort being indicted.

Colbert's monologue on Dump's UN speech

Colbert is back from his week of to prepare to the Emmys. He catches up on the week's political news.

Colbert parodies Dump's Rocket Man comment

Yeah, the Dump called Kim Jung Un Rocket Man in front of the UN. So Colbert has North Korea's official response.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Lindsey & Mark on DWTS

From the season opener of DWTS last night. Lindsey is a natural dancer, as her videos attest. And she was top scorer last night. Her cha cha technique was not that good, but I know she's going to develop into an excellent ballroom dancer and should be in the finals. However aside from her YouTube fans she's not a big time celebrity like the others so who knows. The dance starts about 1:35 if you want to skip the bio.

Koine & Marko

So many great performances last night. Here's yet another one.

Koine & Taylor

The top two women perform together. H O T!

Taylor & Robert on SYTYCD

In the finals last night. Deeply moving while technically expert performance.

Joe Moravsky on ANW

Only 3 made it to stage 3 last night. Moravsky made it the farthest but came up short. No winner this year.

Senator Warren's red alert on wealthcare

Pay heed to our next US President:

Who disrespects our flag?

It ain't Kaepernick, that's for sure.

Clinton takes full responsiblity for her loss


More on the latest Repubnantan wealthcare bill

This is amazing, the crazed lengths Repugnantans will go to in their frenzy to repeal and replace a decent, humane healthcare plan, Obamacare. There will be no debates, no amendments, no CBO score, and only 2 minutes of discussion. And only the Bill's proposers (more like posers) will be allowed to testify to the Homeland Security Committee?! No other hearings will be held, no healthcare experts, no witnesses, no nothing. And it will harm blue States the most, cutting their federal funding significantly. Typical Repugnantan tactics.

Borowitz on the Mueller investigation

Another funny one from Borowitz:

Mueller Rents Giant Warehouse to Store Evidence Against Trump

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Robert Mueller is renting a massive warehouse facility in suburban Virginia to accommodate the approximately forty cubic tons of evidence against Donald Trump that the independent counsel’s investigation is generating on a daily basis.

Employing over two thousand workers in a warehouse the size of seven football fields, the Mueller investigation has become the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Working twelve-hour shifts, the members of Mueller’s evidence-storage team rarely leave the warehouse, where the punishing task of filing mountains of evidence against Trump proceeds around the clock.

“It’s like a city all its own,” one warehouse worker said. “There are people working in the Michael Flynn section who’ve never met the people working in the Paul Manafort section.”

Russia investigation update

Robert Reich reports on this story, copied below:

"Three big developments in the Mueller investigation. Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn appear to be in serious legal trouble:

1) Mueller's investigators have reportedly told Manafort to expect an indictment, according to the New York Times. The warning came after an early morning raid on his home over the summer, where documents and electronic files were seized.

2) A federal judge authorized the FBI to wiretap Manafort's communications with possible Russian operatives. The surveillance began before Manafort joined the Trump campaign while he was working for pro-Russian interests in Ukraine. Federal investigators again turned their focus on Manafort last summer when they began investigating possible collusion between the campaign and Russian agents to sway the election.

The latest Repugnantan wealthcare bill

Just as repugnant as those proposing it.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Colbert: Spicer should not be forgiven

At around 2:15 in this pre-Emmy interview Colbert doesn't think we should feel sorry for Spicer because the latter has yet to apologize for all the lies he's told. Since Spicer doesn't regret it then he is not to be forgiven. So go ahead and put him in the Emmys then?

Many not amused about Spicer's Emmy appearance

Near the end of Colbert's Emmy monologue, he wonders how we can measure the size of the audience for the show. Sean Spicer then rolls out on a podium a la Saturday Night Live and said: "This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period." Which of course is a paraphrase of one of Spicer's first lies and press secretary, saying the same of Dump's inauguration crowd. Many aren't amused because it normalizes this lying bastard, turning those lies into a joke and trivializing this liar for hire.

It would have been better if Melissa McCarthy was playing Spicer a la her SNL skits, since that would be mocking the the 2nd Biggest Liar in history. Dump of course being by far the Biggest and Bestest liar ever.

9 to 5 cast blast Dump at Emmys

In reminiscing about their landmark movie 9 to 5, Fonda said: "Back in 1980, in that movie, we refused to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot." Tomlin replied: "And in 2017 we still refuse to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot." They're just telling the truth and the facts.

Psychiatry's duty to warn us about Dump

Bill Moyers interviews renowned psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton on the Goldwater Rule: We have a duty to warn if someone may be dangerous to others. The rule prevents psychiatrists from analyzing public figures without firsthand therapeutic knowledge of said figure. But 27 psychiatrists came together to write a book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, because they felt the disastrous harm Dump could create was too great that they felt a duty to warn us about his debilitating state.

Lifton: "We argue that Trump’s difficult relationship to reality and his inability to respond in an evenhanded way to a crisis renders him unfit to be president, and we asked our elected representative to take steps to remove him from the presidency."

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Colbert's Emmy opening monologue

LOL funny at times. And of course he has to get in some Dump jokes. The video quality isn't good but will update it when better copies become available.

Dump called Sessions an idiot

In front of a lot of people. Why? This was back in May when AG Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation because Sessions had his own Russian ties. So Dump got pissed because Sessions was supposed to quash the Russian investigation altogether and went into a hissy fit on Sessions. So why are we hearing about it now? One of the hosts speculates that it was Bannon who leaked the story right after Dump met with Democrats on the Dreamers, because Bannon likes Sessions and they both hate Mexicans. Seems rather plausible.

Dump debates himself

Calling anything Dump says as a debate is being generous. This satire shows how he contradicts himself repeatedly, sometimes in the same sentence!

Warren exposes the greed of Anthem wealthcare

She questions a top executive at Anthem and shows how they are threatening to pull out of Obamacare because bottom line they are greedy. And no, it's not because they are losing money, as she points out just how much in profit they are making and it's a lot.

American voters are ill- and misinformed

The clip below discusses a "new poll from the University of Pennsylvania shows that American citizens are overwhelmingly uninformed about how this country actually works, and more importantly, who are elected leaders are. Most of them couldn’t name a Supreme Court justice, and nearly 33% couldn’t name a single branch of government." A democratic republic can only work if its citizenry are educated and informed. But that is the point, of course. By degenerating the educational system the oligarchy can lie to and misinform the already ignorant masses. Plus paying workers so poorly that they need 2 or more jobs to make ends meet prevents them from having the time to inform themselves. This is not at all by accident

Libertarian re-framing

They are the ones stealing from the profits produced by our labor, not paying labor's fair share of those profits in wages and benefits. And they're too cheap and greedy to pay their fair share of taxes to fund the infrastructure that enables their success, somehow thinking we the little people are supposed to fund that for them just because they create shit jobs for shit wages with little to no benefits. To hell with them!

Dump willing to negotiate Paris Accord?

It's just politics, meaning just for show and nothing else. Secretary of State Tillerson said the US might stay in the Accord "under the right conditions," also saying that the carbon emission standards on the US are too severe. Ahem, that's because next to China the US is the leading emitter of such climate change gases. We do need more strict emission standards if we are to meet the Accord's goals.

Basically it seems the "right conditions" are to curtail the standards set by the Accord, in effect neutralizing it altogether and sabotaging its goals. I hope the rest of the international community tells Dump to go fuck himself as they stick to the goals and standards already set, thereby making the US the international pariah it most obviously is.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Another reverse Robin Hood Repugnantan scheme

According to Robert Reich's factual reporting, the Repugnantans have "buried a provision in their budget proposal that would make it harder for working families to qualify for earned-income tax credits. New requirements would put those eligible through a lengthy and complicated IRS audit before they can receive a refund." They claim it's to reduce fraud but said fraud is virtually non-existent, just like voter fraud. Yet one more scheme in a never ending agenda to rob from the poor and working class to give to the rich.

Walk like an Egyptian

And since I'm already walking down memory lane:

These boots are made for walking

Something today triggered this old song from my youth.

The dark side of positive thinking

Every once in a while I see articles like this and I want to reinforce its message that positive thinking is a load of super stinking shit. Not your basic healthy positive thinking but this movement that imagines that by just thinking positive thoughts and imagining positive outcomes things will automatically manifest. From the link:

"What positive thinking actually does is teach you how to hypnotize yourself into ignoring your true feelings. It creates a kind of tunnel vision. You begin to lock your consciousness into a bubble in which you exist only as your 'higher self,' always smiling, full of love and happiness, magnetic and unstoppable. Living inside this bubble might feel good in the short-term, but in time the bubble will burst. That’s because every time you force yourself to be positive, negativity grows within. You can deny or repress the negative thoughts and emotions, but they don’t go away."

Kevin Bull in stage 2 of ANW finals

ANW released this preview of the Monday night season finale, I guess to show how difficult stage 2 is. Bull failed on the wingnuts.

25 things you don't know about Melania Trump

Very funny Maher segment.

New rule: liberal States' rights

Maher's commentary on States defying Dump and enacting progressive policies anyway. Like California entering into a climate agreement with China, or refusing to deport people, or refusing to contract with those who will build the border wall. So conservatives can't complain because doing such things is one of their biggest talking points: States' rights. Plus many LOL funny lines, as usual.

Maher's monologue

After the hurricanes we're back to just plain old shit storm Dump. Included is how Dump appears to have changed his mind on the Dreamers and his base shitting their pants over it.

Who am I: The conscious and unconscious self

"Who am I: the conscious and unconscious self." Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2017; 11: 126. Some excerpts:

"In this article we suggest the idea that the processing of self-referential stimuli in cortical midline structures (CMS) may represent an important part of the conscious self, which may be supplemented by an unconscious part of the self that has been called an 'embodied mind' (Varela et al., 1991), which relies on other brain structures."

"When we describe the self as structure and organization we understand it as a system. But the concept of the embodied self states that the self or cognition is not an activity of the mind alone, but is distributed across the entire situation including mind, body, environment (e.g., Beer, 1995), thereby pointing to an embodied and situated self."

"Furthermore, we argue that through embodiment the self is also embedded in the environment. This means that our self is not isolated but intrinsically social. [...] Hence, the self should not be understood as an entity located somewhere in the brain, isolated from both the body and the environment. In contrast, the self can be seen as a brain-based neurosocial structure and organization, always linked to the environment (or the social sphere) via embodiment and embeddedness."

Friday, September 15, 2017

Memes are like cognitive frames

Following up on this post and its predecessor, it occurred to me that memes are a lot like frames as Lakoff describes them. Lakoff has done extensive cognitive scientific work on schemas, metaphors and frames. Check out this lengthy article in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2014; 8: 958, "Mapping the brain's metaphor circuitry." Even though they don't relate this to the concept of memes, there are some striking similarities. E.g.: 

"Reddy had found that the abstract concepts of communication and ideas are understood via a conceptual metaphor: Ideas Are Objects; Language Is a Container for Idea-Objects; Communication Is Sending Idea-Objects in Language-Containers."

The facts of Medicare for All

Dr. Danielle Martin, a physician and professor at the University of Toronto, debunks the myths and provides the facts of the Canadian healthcare system and universal healthcare generally.

Some info on Medicare for All released

Read a chapter-by-chapter summary here or the executive summary here. See the funding options here.

How to pay for Medicare for All

Sanders said that the average employers pay to provide health insurance to their employees is about $12,000. So with that payment gone Sanders would impose a 7.5% tax, or 75% of what they were previously paying, whichever is higher. That means employers would still be paying less that what they were. He also add a wealth tax of 1% on wealth over $21 million. He also proposes adding higher income tax brackets, with income over $10 million at 52%.

Colbert joins Corden for "side effects may include"

Colbert is making the rounds on late night TV shows. He was also on Kimmel last night.

Can we measure memes?

Continuing this post, there has been hot and at times rancorous debates in the scientific community about the existence of cultural memes ever since Dawkins proposed them. And Dennett expands on them in his new book. But can we scientifically measure them? See what this article has to say: "Can we measure memes?" Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience, 25 May 2011. The abstract:

"Memes are the fundamental unit of cultural evolution and have been left upon the periphery of cognitive neuroscience due to their inexact definition and the consequent presumption that they are impossible to measure. Here it is argued that although a precise definition of memes is rather difficult it does not preclude highly controlled experiments studying the neural substrates of their initiation and replication. In this paper, memes are termed as either internally or externally represented (i-memes/e-memes) in relation to whether they are represented as a neural substrate within the central nervous system or in some other form within our environment. It is argued that neuroimaging technology is now sufficiently advanced to image the connectivity profiles of i-memes and critically, to measure changes to i-memes over time, i.e., as they evolve. It is argued that it is wrong to simply pass off memes as an alternative term for “stimulus” and “learnt associations” as it does not accurately account for the way in which natural stimuli may dynamically “evolve” as clearly observed in our cultural lives."

Clinton still against Sander's Medicare-for-All

Same story, different day for Clinton. She still has the same BS position as before: We have to take a slow, incremental approach by improving on Obamacare. Clinton thinks Sanders approach is "waving a magic wand." Just her rhetorical way of saying it can't be done, even though it has majority support of the people. She's still a corporate Dim that wants to eliminate the progressives from the corporate Dim Party because they are constant thorny reminders of how the Party is now in the pocket of Wall Street and the health insurance companies. If only Sanders and other progressives would take the hint and leave that corrupt Party and form a new one they would trounce not on the Dims in primaries but the Repugnantans in elections.

Jon Jones stripped of his UFC lightheavyweight title again

I just read that his B drug sample also came back positive for steroids and the UFC has stripped him of the title again and reinstated Cormier as champ. Jones could face up to a 4-year suspension this time. Seems his brilliant career is over this time for good.

Daniel Dennett on the evolution of the mind

Google talk on his new book, From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds. The blurb:

"How did we come to have minds? For centuries, this question has intrigued psychologists, physicists, poets, and philosophers, who have wondered how the human mind developed its unrivaled ability to create, imagine, and explain. Disciples of Darwin have long aspired to explain how consciousness, language, and culture could have appeared through natural selection, blazing promising trails that tend, however, to end in confusion and controversy. Even though our understanding of the inner workings of proteins, neurons, and DNA is deeper than ever before, the matter of how our minds came to be has largely remained a mystery. That is now changing, says Daniel C. Dennett. In From Bacteria to Bach and Back, his most comprehensive exploration of evolutionary thinking yet, he builds on ideas from computer science and biology to show how a comprehending mind could in fact have arisen from a mindless process of natural selection. Part philosophical whodunit, part bold scientific conjecture, this landmark work enlarges themes that have sustained Dennett’s legendary career at the forefront of philosophical thought."

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thompson responds to Garfield

Continuing this post, Thompson's response to Garfield is in this document starting on p. 991. Read the rest for the detailed, precise parsing. He said he was using the notion of a conventional self "in order to criticize contemporary views, such as Thomas Metzinger’s, that argue that there is no self in any sense because there is no substantially existent self. In my view and in Madhyamaka terms, such views, while avoiding the extreme of 'reification,' fall prey to the other extreme of 'nihilism.' So what was at stake for me in using Madhyamaka was to show why 'neuro-nihilism' is misguided, and how the Madhyamaka idea of the person as conventionally existent can be illuminated by a cognitive-science account of how the conventional self gets constituted."


Racist Dumpsters freak out over possible DACA deal

Dump met with Democrats to try to work out a deal to let the DACA Dreamers stay in this country. Dump even Tweeted the below.
And the Dumpsters are having a heart attack over it, even though no official agreement has been concluded. Just the mere suggestion is causing alarm. Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Breitbart all feel betrayed and are threatening to do something about it. And the racist Dumpsters responding to the Tweet are apoplectic. This is a most delicious schadenfreude.

Universal healthcare is not pie in the sky fantasy

Contrary to the Clinton that lost yet another Presidential election because she was a corporate lackey and not a people's representative. Sanders and like progressives support his new Medicare for All Bill because we in the US want to catch up to the rest of the developed world in our humanity and economic responsibility.

Fiddling while Rome, and the world, burns

Something to consider, how we idle away the time on what we think is important, while the world is literally burning up. Let's just play a nice, soothing song of God taking care of us as we destroy the world along with us in it.

Capitalism: urge, splurge, purge

The essence of capitalism according to Monbiot. This constant cycle of over consuming whatever we get the urge for is the necessary impetus for capitalism. Ever increasing economic growth is required to facilitate this destructive cycle. And the result is climate chaos. From the article:

"Continued economic growth depends on continued disposal: unless we rapidly junk the goods we buy, it fails. The growth economy and the throwaway society cannot be separated. Environmental destruction is not a byproduct of this system: it is a necessary element. The environmental crisis is an inevitable result not just of neoliberalism – the most extreme variety of capitalism – but of capitalism itself. Even the social democratic (Keynesian) kind depends on perpetual growth on a finite planet: a formula for eventual collapse. But the peculiar contribution of neoliberalism is to deny that action is necessary: to insist that the system, like Greenspan’s financial markets, is inherently self-regulating. The myth of the self-regulating market accelerates the destruction of the self-regulating Earth."

See this prior post for Monbiot's new story to replace capitalism.