Sunday, December 31, 2017

What other countries have banned net neutrality?

Once again Dump's America keeps bad company. Makes sense since Russia is running the show.

Wingsuit flyer lands on water without parachute

Amazing feat.

God Tweets Dump

God would know, after all.

Why Dump's speech slurs

Following up on the last post, Borowitz explains why Dump slurs his speech.

Trump’s Slurred Speech Tied to Low Battery in Putin’s Remote 

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J.Trump slurred his speech during his announcement about Jerusalem on Wednesday because of “low-battery issues” with Vladimir Putin’s remote, the White House said on Friday.

Speaking to the White House press corps, the press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said that Trump’s slurred speech was “a case of what happens when President Putin doesn’t change the batteries in his remote frequently enough.”

“President Trump makes public appearances several times a day,” Sanders said. “In the course of those appearances, President Putin’s remote can drain its battery very quickly.”

Calling Putin’s remote-control operation of Trump “far from glitch-free,” Sanders said that there have also been problems with the Russian leader’s attempts to control Trump’s thumbs when he tweets in the early-morning hours.

“Sometimes President Putin has tried to operate President Trump’s thumbs and there has been the same low-battery issue,” she said. “This has resulted in random capital letters, misspellings, and, in some cases, gibberish.”

Sanders scolded the press for speculating that Trump’s slurred speech was the result of problems with dentures or his brain. “We are working with tech support to resolve the issue,” she said.

Dump's best words in 2017

As compiled by The Daily Show.

Dump & ALEC love to 69

You know, that swamp shit that was supposed to be drained. All that is getting drained are our pockets for their illicit, pernicious, and mutual genital face time.

Satire from the archive

Here are some satires I did while in massage therapy school in San Diego during the mid 80s.* I just couldn't resist all the 'you create your own reality,' 'miracles of bodywork' and '(super)human potential' hype endemic to southern California back in the day. One of my favorite titles, critical of a local tai chi teacher promising to learn the art in 5 weeks, was "Learn tai chi, play the guitar and be a plumber is 5 short minutes."

*FYI, I completed the 1000-hour course which qualified me to be a licensed Holistic Health Practitioner in the State. Given the satires one can safely assume my practice was far more science- based without the woo woo claims and practices.

Recreational marijuana legal in CA January 1

Happy New Year California! Actually it was legal when Proposition 64 passed in November. But on January 1 sale for non-medical use is legal under the auspices of the Bureau of Marijuana Control. Light 'em up!

Dump the laziest Presidunce ever

Another category in which he's 'winning.'

The readiness potential is irrelevant to conscious volition

The RP has been erroneously used for a long time in claiming it demonstrates that we have no free will or executive control over our actions. This recent article challenges that view, excerpt below. (Search for 'free will,' 'Libet,' or 'readiness potential' in the search box for several other past posts on the topic.)

"The main new revelation is that the apparent build-up of this activity, up until about 200 ms pre-movement, may reflect the ebb and flow of background neuronal noise, rather than the outcome of a specific neural event corresponding to a ‘decision’ to initiate movement. [...] This account departs dramatically from the longstanding assumptions about the nature of the RP and so calls for a reevaluation and reinterpretation of a large body of prior work." 

What Repugnantans need to cut first

But nary a whisper about this useless expenditure.

The medical scorecard

Medical science is winning this one by a shutout.

Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams

Dickheads rejoice! Amazon Prime is starting a new series in 2018 based on his work. The blurb and video below.

"From the mind of the prolific sci-fi author, comes the new anthology series Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams. With 10 standalone episodes and a sweeping all-star cast, each epic story will explore fantasy, humanity, and a future we’ve only begun to imagine."

Earth overshoot day

This instructive short video shows how we are using more natural resources that can be naturally replenished. In 2017 we reached that point by August 7. Every day thereafter we have overused those resources and have created a natural debt. Unless we change our ways that debt will never be stopped, let alone repaid, with the consequence of natural collapse.

Only 2 progressives can beat Dump in 2020 without big money

And both of those, Senators Sanders and Warren, can do it on a majority of small donations while also pledging not to take big money. The latter is in fact how they'll do it, by fighting against the corrupt process of buying elections, the root of the rot in the US political machine. This article shows why the other possible candidates are part of the corrupt problem and therefore likely not winning prospects. Further, it implies correctly that the only way for a progressive Dem to win is by championing this issue, as by far most Americans see the big money buying of government as something that has got to go.

Dump is the Biggest Twit in history

And I'm not even talking about his loss by 3 million votes in the election, which was indeed the biggest loss ever. And I'm not even talking about his 1st year approval rating, which is also the lowest in Presidential history. Now its his incessant Twittering. He has only a 26% approval rating for his Tweets, making his the Biggest Twit in history. He certainly is winning at being the worst in so many categories.

Cyborg v. Holm

The judges scored the Cyborg win unanimously, 48-47, 48-47, 49-46. I really don't know what fight they were watching, as Cyborg decidedly won by far everyone round based on strikes. Cyborg rocked Holm several times and Holm's best strikes didn't faze Cyborg in the least. Holm's face by the end of the fight was a mess and Cyborg, while getting a bloody nose in the last round, was virtually unblemished.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Dem establishment in WA thwarts progressive candidate

Sure, Thom Hartmann, the Dimocrapic Party is listening to their progressive wing. Not! Here one more in a long line of example where the Party is thwarting a progressive candidate, Sarah Smith,  challenging the Dim incumbent in Washington's 9th District. The Party refused to provide access to the Voter Access Network citing a technicality in their by-laws. Yet when said by-laws were requested by several organizations supporting Smith all were denied access to the by-laws! How the f*ck can you 'reform' a Party that still refuses to allow progressive, competitive challenges?

Colbert's inimitable humor

In this quote he lays bare the idiotic climate chaos denial.

Dump removes protections for nursing home patients

Yes he did. He eliminated regulations that protect those patients by fining the homes for behavior that causes harm. Without the fines and punishments the homes are free to harm or even kill your grandmother. And that's not an exaggeration. See the link for details.

Impeach Dump

Consider signing this petition if you think the Biggest Dump in History should be history.

Polling the electoral races for 2018

538's aggregated, weighted polls have the Dems winning by 10-17 points in the upcoming '18 elections. I hope they are accurate this time.

Brilliant by comparison

The Dump coalition

If you're not one of these cretins, they why do you associate and vote with them? Birds of a feather, or rather, turds in a toilet.

Nestles: "Access to water is not a public right"

Can you fu*king believe they said that? You better, because they did. And in their warped worldview they actually think people do not have a right to water because it must be commodified for profit, their only real value in life. If you can't afford to buy it then it's your own damned fault and you should just go die of thirst quickly so that the deserving winners in this world can thrive.

Democracy is at stake

Good article citing irrefutable evidence that the oligarchs are eroding US democracy at an alarming rate. And the only solution is replacing oligarchic cronies in political offices at all levels with progressive populists. This includes replacing corporate Dems via primaries, then defeating Repugnantans in general elections. Law is the only way to overcome the oligarchs that have paid their way into the legislative process, and it is through that process we can restore democracy with legislators that favor democracy. It is a difficult war but one which requires that instead of giving up out of despair we need to incite our fight response and get busy on electing true representatives of the people. Democracy it truly at stake.

4 passengers, 3 parachutes

Good one.

Repugnantan idiocy on climate chaos

You know, like why are we have the coldest weather back east if there's global warming? 😕

Friday, December 29, 2017

Repugnantan Jesus

Jesus would have nothing to do with these fake Christians.

Steve Schmidt on Fox as State television

He joins the conversation below around 6:00 on Fox's campaign to not only destroy confidence in Mueller's investigation but to claim it is criminal. Schmidt is a Republican who finds such witch hunts the "propaganda of authoritarian countries" as he's absolutely right. It's aim is to weaken and ultimately destroy democratic institutions and hand over our country completely to the oligarchs.

Scarborough on a compliant Congress

Morning Joe Scarborough, a former Repugnantan, had to renounce his membership in a Party that has turned not just compliant, or even complicit, but downright colluding with Dump's treason. He said:

"While Trump’s eroding of U.S. prestige across the globe is disturbing, it is his administration’s undermining of democratic values that poses an even greater threat to our Constitution and country. Borrowing again from Churchill, America’s constitutional norms tremble in the balance as Trump unleashes furious attacks on First Amendment protections, independent counsels and law enforcement officers who refuse to be bullied. While the framers of the Constitution foresaw the possibility of a tyrannical president, they never let their imaginations be darkened by the possibility of a compliant Congress."

See his article for much more.

Solar highway opens in China

While the US infrastructure falls apart more by the day, China is developing solar power in innovative ways. They are scheduled to open their new solar highway shortly. It's base is solar panels topped with clear concrete. The energy generated will transfer to electric vehicles travelling on the road. It's interesting that other countries are leading the way to the emerging renewable energy economy while the US goes backward into fossil fuels.

2 Fox News hosts debunk their own network's Russia lies

Fox is infamous for their blatant attacks on the Mueller investigation as a witch hunt. So Shep Smith and Andrew Napolitano contradict that narrative with facts. Kushner, Dump Jr. and Dump himself are in the direct line of fire and likely facing indictments. This investigation is nowhere near over but just gearing up. The frothing Fox spinners can lie all they want but Mueller is going to get to the truth of the matter because truth still matters for justice.

279 in the magic number

If we want to enact legislation that the majority of the public supports we have to replace those who legislate. As it is now it has been well documented that the public's wishes are completely ignored when it comes to creating laws, which are virtually written entirely by rich special interests. So we must replace those lackeys with actual representatives of the people. So 279 means a majority of 218 progressives in the House, 60 in the Senate and 1 in the White House. And we all need to invest some time and energy in getting those progressives elected. This includes primary challenges to corporate Dems to get those lackeys out too.

Capitalism is an unstable system

Hartmann discusses this with Richard Wolff. Capitalism is based on speculation that has no basis in concrete reality. It invests in such ephemera with the sole intent of inflating its price to convince gullible investors to scarf it up with the inevitable result that it will crash and burn given no solid foundation. Meanwhile to insidious brokers of said speculations make a bundle and crash the economy leaving the public with a giant bailout bill. This is exactly what caused the '08 crash and we're headed there again.

Technocognition as cure for fake news

This story discusses a recent paper in The Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition. They propose technocognition to counter fake news, its definition being "the idea that we should use what we know about psychology to design technology in a way that minimizes the impact of misinformation. By improving how people communicate, they hope, we can improve the quality of the information shared." One proposal is to created a neutral international non-governmental organization that creates a rating system for misinformation. Then social media outlets like Facebook and Google could use the rating system in what appears in their feeds.

The problem is that those inclined to ideological misinformation would just consider any such rating system itself as fake news, like they do with current, reputable fact-checkers. This is especially true of politicians, who due to those who bribe them will curtail any factual information counter to their profitable agenda. And it is those representatives that continue to generate the false narratives that brainwash their followers into denying facts like human-caused climate change. So a prerequisite for the public to once again accept a neutral, non-partisan fact checker is to replace Congress and the Presidency with those who 1) accept reality and 2) will then influence people to also accept it.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Consciousness is not a journey upward but inward

Continuing this post, the clip below analyzes the season finale of Westworld, which explained many of its themes. One of those themes is that the hosts achieved consciousness and were superior to their human lords, so they set about destroying that humanity. This coup was foreshadowed all along with a Shakespearean quote in earlier episodes, that the abuse the hosts took would turn about.

Another is that it was Arnold's plan all along to have the hosts achieve consciousness, which Ford eventually accepts and works further to induce. Host Arnold figures out (5:25) that consciousness is not a pyramid like linear structure upward but one of folding inward. Hence the recurring symbol of the maze throughout the series, indicative of the hosts', and perhaps even humanity's, evolutionary process to achieving consciousness.

See this post for some of my ruminations on what 'folding in' entails for consciousness. Also see this previous post.

AT&T cutting 1500 jobs

This is exactly what these big corporations do with the new tax windfall they bought and paid for. AT&T claimed they'd give employees a $1000 bonus but I guess that if for their executive officers, since those that do the work are getting the boot.

AL Sec. of State debunks voter fraud claims

In the clip below a Moore spokesperson claims there was voter fraud which tainted the recent Alabama Senate election. So after showing the fraud claims to the Republican AL Secretary of State he said all such claims are being investigated. He provided examples of claims that had been investigated and were proven to be false. The rhetoric the Moore liar used indicates that its just a strategy to slow down the process of certifying the valid winner of the race, as well as creating fake news to cast doubt on the election results.

Consciousness does not exist

A scene from Westworld below. Hopkins, one of the creators of the robot 'hosts,' discusses consciousness with a host who newly discovers what he is.

Dump is the laziest Presidunce ever

See, Dump really is the best at something. He's taken more vacation days in his first year of the Presiduncy than any other President. And not only that, those vacations are at his owned properties, so the Secret Service and staff use up our tax dollars to pay for those vacations while Dump profits on them. So he's not only the laziest but also the greediest Presidunce ever.

The cudgel of Christ

Hartmann discusses with Scott Carter why Evangelicals are still supporting Dump. The mega-churches are all about consolidating their own power and have given up on the teachings of Christ. Instead they now use Christ as a cudgel to beat anyone not into their tribal power Hunger Games. Hence why they still support Dump, as he is at least mouthing support for their tribal lust for exclusive in-group power and dominance. They's turned compassionate and inclusive Christ into Repugnantan Jesus.

Why the earth is sick

Cheney created the Korean nuclear missile crisis

And all for military contracts to build our missile defense system. We still don't have such a fail-safe system and now North Korea is on the brink of a first strike. Well done you greedy bastards. From this article:

"The Trump administration has been telling people for months that the crisis with North Korea is the result of North Korea's relentless pursuit of a nuclear threat to the US homeland and past North Korean cheating on diplomatic agreements. However, North Korea reached agreements with both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations that could have averted that threat, had they been completed.
"Instead, a group of Bush administration officials led by then-Vice President Dick Cheney sabotaged both agreements, and Pyongyang went on to make rapid strides on both nuclear and missile development, leading ultimately to the successful late November 2017 North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test.

Fox News staffers admit it's a propaganda tool

The video below reports on a Politico expose right out of the mouths of Fox News staffers. They say the network has "gone full Breitbart" in making up stories positive to Dump while promoting paranoid conspiracy theories about Clinton and liberals. And Fox is, or course, Dump's main source of this sick propaganda, so no wonder he is such a paranoid lunatic. And with his finger on the nuclear button!

Self-compassion is better than self-confidence

See this article for some psychological studies on the topic.

Self-confidence can easily slide into over-confidence because it tends to ignore our faults while building a huge ego from overestimating our strengths. It cannot admit mistakes and blames others when things go wrong. And it certainly cannot accept helpful feedback, perceived as coming from an inferior source, or worse, being paranoid that others are out to get one. The prime example in today's US is Presidunce Dump.

Self-compassion, by comparison, helps us to see ourselves more objectively. We admit our flaws while treating them with a kind and caring attitude. This leads us to not just accept but to work on said faults to make improvements. We can more easily accept feedback from others, and evaluate it more objectively. It helps to replace that incessant self-critic in our heads that is always on the attack, telling us how inadequate we are. And it also leads to us extending that compassion to others.


Article on how solarpunk is a reaction to cyberpunk. Both address a oligarchic society hell bent on destroying people and the environment for their greedy benefit. But the former sees a hopeful future where we the people organize and fight back for a humane and sustainable socio-economic system, whereas the latter just sees death and destruction where humanity regresses to cave-dwellers. Also see this link for more on the solarpunk movement.

New polls on Dump

Did Dump keep his campaign promises? 5% of Dems, 18% of independents and 49% of Repugs said yes. If the US headed in the right direction? 28% yes, 71% no. Is the US better of since Dump? 25% yes, 21% same, 52% no. This panel discusses these results.

Nationalize the internet

Good article on the need to do just that. The ISPs are notorious for doling out service to areas where they can make a profit (killing) and the rest can dwell in caves. Some cities have successfully formed public broadband networks but that only addresses their local communities. Too many communities and rural areas do not have access at all and never will given the current situation. Nationalizing the internet as public good and utility seems the most prudent move to provide affordable access to everyone and make the greedy giant ISPs compete with that. Or course they will lose that competition and go bankrupt, but hey, that market forces for you.

The Wikileaks Deep State document dump hoax

Snopes proves it was a hoax, so you paranoid conspiracy nuts can go find something else to fixate on. Or I'm guessing not, since facts never stopped you before.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Russia-Dump timeline

Morning Joe lays out the timeline that seems more likely by the day to lead to the inevitable conclusion of collusion with a foreign government, aka treason. No wonder the Dumpsters are frantic in trying to delegitimze the Mueller investigation.

Where markets don't belong

A short TED talk from Michael Sandel on the topic. He argues that extending market values to all aspects of life devalues those aspects that are for the common good. Some things have a higher, moral purpose beyond their market value and should evaluated by different standards. It's a clarion call against the commodification of society, which in fact undermines democracy itself.

Dump supporters are the spasms of a dying Party

So said Repugnantan Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona. Hell will welcome them with open pitchforks.

Dump's paranoid attacks on everyone

Colbert put together this montage of a Presidunce who claims to get along with everyone.

Dump admits the tax heist is for the rich

Of course he did it by bragging to his rich buddies at Mar-a-Lago when he said: "You all just got a lot richer." And this after he swore the tax heist would not benefit him or the rich. Just another lie is a never ending series of lies because he is a pathological liar.

Some more Republicans support Mueller

Richard Painter, who served as President George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer, along with former Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Mickey Edwards (R-OK) wrote a letter that said in part:

"As Republicans and/or conservatives, including those who have served in elected and appointed positions, we reject recent efforts to discredit [Mueller]. These efforts undermine the institutions that protect the rule of law and so our nation. Mueller must be allowed to complete his investigation without interference."

See the letter and other signatories here.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

How self-organization and collective intelligence works

Excellent article at Evonomics. The Intro:

"The organization of thought as a series of nested loops, each encompassing the others, is a general phenomenon. It can be found in the ways in which intelligence is organized in our bodies and within the groups we’re part of. The efficient deployment of energy to intelligence depends on a similar logical hierarchy that takes us from the automatic and mindless (which require little energy) to the intensely mindful (which require a lot). With each step up from raw data, through information to knowledge, judgment, and wisdom, quantity is more integrated with qualitative judgment, intelligence becomes less routine and harder to automate, and crucially, the nature of thought becomes less universal and more context bound. With each step up the ladder, more energy and labor are required."

The CFPB gets a new Dump mission statement

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) previous mission statement had to do with exactly what its title explicitly states. Not any more under Dump's new CFPB chief. Now it's number one mission is "hunting down outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations." You know, burdensome regulations like consumer financial protection.

A personal dilemma

A dilemma I often have about this blog:

Lakoff introduces FrameLab

He introduces it in this FB post, copied below. The first podcast can be found here.

"By popular demand, it's the FrameLab Podcast -- a podcast about politics, language, and your brain.
In Episode 1, [I] discuss the conservative moral hierarchy and how Republicans really think. And I answer some of the questions you submitted via Facebook and Twitter.
This is a fight for freedom.
Conservatives want to take the words 'freedom' and 'liberty' and say that they mean that you're free to take advantage of anybody else. But that's not the case. You may be free to walk down the street, but you're not free to knock down other people and keep them from walking down the street. You are only free to the extent that you do not impose of the freedom of others.
This tax bill is imposing on the freedom of most people in the country. Ninety-nine percent of the people in this country are not going to get any benefits of this tax bill. Over 83% of the $1.5 trillion is going to the top 1%. Where’s it coming from? It’s coming from the bottom 99%.
Ninety-nine percent of the people of this country are paying to increase the freedom of the top 1% and giving up their own freedom. Their freedoms are being taken away from them because their power – through wealth – is going to the top 1%."

Consciousness in the universe is scale invariant

And implies an event horizon of the human brain. There's a mouthful, a new title in NeuroQuantology (15:3, September 2017). The abstract follows, also a brainful. This will take some reading and digesting, provided I have the requisite capacity to understand it (which remains to be seen).

"Our brain is not a 'stand alone' information processing organ: it acts as a central part of our integral nervous system with recurrent information exchange with the entire organism and the cosmos. In this study, the brain is conceived to be embedded in a holographic structured field that interacts with resonant sensitive structures in the various cell types in our body. In order to explain earlier reported ultra-rapid brain responses and effective operation of the meta-stable neural system, a field-receptive mental workspace is proposed to be communicating with the brain. Our integral nervous system is seen as a dedicated neural transmission and multi-cavity network that, in a non-dual manner, interacts with the proposed supervening meta-cognitive domain. Among others, it is integrating discrete patterns of eigen-frequencies of photonic/solitonic waves, thereby continuously updating a time-symmetric global memory space of the individual. Its toroidal organization allows the coupling of gravitational, dark energy, zero-point energy field (ZPE) as well as earth magnetic fields energies and transmits wave information into brain tissue, that thereby is instrumental in high speed conscious and sub-conscious information processing. We propose that the supposed field-receptive workspace, in a mutual interaction with the whole nervous system, generates self-consciousness and is conceived as operating from a 4th spatial dimension (hyper-sphere). Its functional structure is adequately defined by the geometry of the torus, that is envisioned as a basic unit (operator) of space-time. The latter is instrumental in collecting the pattern of discrete soliton frequencies that provided an algorithm for coherent life processes, as earlier identified by us. It is postulated that consciousness in the entire universe arises through, scale invariant, nested toroidal coupling of various energy fields, that may include quantum error correction. In the brain of the human species, this takes the form of the proposed holographic workspace, that collects active information in a 'brain event horizon,' representing an internal and fully integral model of the self. This brain-supervening workspace is equipped to convert integrated coherent wave energies into attractor type/standing waves that guide the related cortical template to a higher coordination of reflection and action as well as network synchronicity, as required for conscious states. In relation to its scale-invariant global character, we find support for a universal information matrix, that was extensively described earlier, as a supposed implicate order as well as in a spectrum of space-time theories in current physics. The presence of a field-receptive resonant workspace, associated with, but not reducible to, our brain, may provide an interpretation framework for widely reported, but poorly understood transpersonal conscious states and algorithmic origin of life. It also points out the deep connection of mankind with the cosmos and our major responsibility for the future of our planet."

The cost of Dump's golf trips

Dump has his priorities, after all. And it ain't you and me.

The CBO breaks down the tax heist

That is, the Congressional Budget Office, the non-partisan government organization that scores all budgetary legislation. This graph makes plain who the winners and losers are, and for exactly how much.

Tax cuts for the rich are so stupid

As explained by billionaire Tom Steyer. He proves that Repubnantas are lying about trickle-down, which has never worked and never will. The only thing it does is give a bigger and bigger piece of the economic pie to the rich, who then buy ever more and more of Congress to keep the greedy, unsustainable process going. He shows the real way to grow an economy for everyone, to actually make America Great againwhich has proven successful everywhere it's been tried, including the US in times past.

The Commons Transition Primer

From the P2P Foundation. An excerpt below. See the link for much more.

"‘Commons Transition’ describes proposals for action that prioritize civil society’s needs, towards a more democratic and environmentally conscious culture. Constant economic growth produces negative impacts and the capture (enclosure) of scarce physical resources for private financial gain while abundant resources, such as information and culture, are made artificially scarce through legal limitations. A Commons Transition recommends P2P practices and networks for sharing what’s abundant, and protecting what’s scarce. Peer decision-making at many scales, and the emergence of municipalist political movements, are part of this transition."

Blue States pay for Red States in the tax heist

Part of the Repugnantan tax heist is to steal from the liberal States and give to the conservative States. They do this by repealing the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction. By taking SALT deductions away from those successful people who live in liberal States like California and New York they will have to pay more in taxes to give tax breaks elsewhere. These liberal States also tend to be the ones the are the most productive and financially successful so pay the brunt of US taxes anyway.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Dave Chappelle on poor white Dump voters

A short clip from his upcoming Netflix special.

TYT on the alt-right response to The Last Jedi

Continuing this post, the video below discusses how alt-right trolls hate this movie because it's too liberal, with feminism, diversity, democracy and all that sort of crap antagonistic to white male supremacy.

How Long - Charlie Puth

It's only had 181 million views on YouTube so far.

A Fox-addicted mother-in-law

This liberal decided to finally broach politics with his Fox addicted mother-in-law. Some of his conclusions are below, conclusions I came to a long time ago. We can only regain Congress and the Presidency by not wasting time on those who can't be reached but by investing in those sensible few in the margins who can be won back. A few excerpts:

"It also pinpointed in my mind the total waste of time to try and speak with those so far gone or to try and reason with them or discuss in an intelligent way. My learned message to those who say we have to coddle the Republicans and try and win them over, for a large segment they are too far gone and trying to do so is both a waste of time and resources.

"I am no longer willing to coddle or ignore these dangerous and disgusting thoughts. Society needs to spend less time trying to bring these people along and instead unmask them with the door open to return if they wake up.
"It is impossible to reason, discuss or make sense with someone whose thought processes have no basis in reality and we as a country are wrong to coddle them in the hope they will wake up, they will not. 
"I am an avowed liberal and I will no longer hide in the corner and not speak out to keep the peace, instead I will speak out at every opportunity. The survival of the country rests on invigorating the silent masses and totally steamrolling the 25%-35% who are crazy."

The Last Jedi as progressive parable?

This review thinks so. The reviewer finds it ironic that this capitalistic blockbuster gives a blatant anti-capitalistic message. He uses the casino scene of just one example of the utter greed inherent to that system. It also debunks the hero myth, that a special one must save the day. Instead all of us can and must work together to effect change.

Jokes Seth can't tell

The latest installment in this segment, which due to political correctness doesn't allow Seth as a white man to tell black or lesbian jokes. So he has a black and lesbian writer for the show tell them.

How much does Dump lie?

According to the NY Times Dump lied 6 times more in his first 10 months that Obama did in 8 years. He is in fact the Biggest Liar ever to live in the Blight House, so Dump is the best at something.

DNC's expensive but ineffective consultants

Donna Brazile talks about the corrupt process of hiring no-bid, exorbitantly paid consultants that come up with a 'narrative' that has failed miserably. Have they changed that practice? I'm guessing not.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sanders today on the tax heist

He admits that working families will get a tax break in this heist. But that will be minimal compared to what corporations and the rich will get. And the deficit created by this heist will lead to cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, so that the $2000 workers might get in a tax cut up front will be more than eaten away with increased health insurance premiums due to 13 million leaving Obamacare. And cutting money to Medicare and Medicaid will mean a lot more people without any health coverage and they will literally just get sick and die. These are facts, not rhetoric or biased spin.

Historical evidence against trickle-down

It doesn't work, never has, never will. And yet Repugnantans keep chasing a fantasy of their own ideology. Once again Reich gives us a quick video presentation of the facts which clearly prove that trickle-down economics is nothing more than a complete and utter failure.

Ben & Jerry's message to Dump

They break down the tax heist using Orioles to illustrate the robbery of the needy to pay off the greedy. And of course they use facts directly from the Bill, so reality supports their robbery metaphor and explicitly denounces the complete lack of morality and compassion inherent to Dump and the Repugnantans during this season about just those things. Merry Christmas billionaires and the Grinch who Stole Christmas for the rest of us.

SLAPP lawsuits: Another US fascist tactic

Reich informs us on Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, lawsuits filed specifically to financially burden public interest groups into silence. Two such lawsuits were filed by Michael Bowe, who is on Dump's personal legal team. It's a fascist tactic to prevent facts from entering the public debate, facts that amply demonstrate the true goals of giant corporations which are far from the public interest. Just one more tool in the oligarchic playbook to destroy our democracy.

How we got into this mess

And how we get out of it, by Robert Reich. When we take care of everyone, everyone benefits. When we don't and a few hoard most everything, then obviously only they benefit and the rest of us suffer. To fix it we need to restore policies that worked for everyone, like higher taxes on corporations and the rich to pay their fair share for social programs, since it is we the people via our labor and government that made them rich. They'd still be rich by paying their fair share, just not to the point of screwing everyone else.

We also need to bring back the power of labor unions to enact this society equity. We workings have no say in anything by ourselves but we do when we organize together to collectively bargain. It's exactly why the greedy rich have decimated them, because unions have kept that balance of shared benefits to all. We need a union resurgence to once again restore that balance.

See Reich's short video below for a fuller account of the problem and the fixes. The stark choice is between an ever increasing oligarchy or a better democracy.

Congressional Progressive Caucus

Speaking of positive, progressive visions for our country, visit the CPC website. From a better vision on taxes to defending net neutrality, from budgets promoting benefits for everyone to a sensible public infrastructure plan, the CPC is truly a moral public service agenda  in service to all the people in this country, not just the wealthy few.

Sanders and Warren: Progressive priorities

I said progressive and not Democratic, as in the title, because there are too many corporate Dims that do not support these things. Still, it's a positive vision to move us to being a more humane society via policy. Some key points: universal child care; student loan forgiveness via public service; mental health treatment and support; multi-employer pensions; the security of social security; veterans services; rural infrastructure; national parks investment. Our future President Warren and VP Sanders explain below.

A Christmas message from the Pope

Even though the Pope doesn't reference Christmas, what he says here applies to the season when it's more about spending money on junk than about Christ. And I'm not even Christian, just "truly human."

Saturday, December 23, 2017

700 people have quit the EPA under Dump

Including 200 scientists. A key factor easy to surmise is because the agency designed to protect the environment is now determined to destroy it. And the EPA is not replacing the scientists because, well, you know, science is fake news and all.

Veterans Affairs Secretary ends homeless vet program

Of course Dump promised to take care of homeless veterans, so 2 days later the VA Secretary is ending a program to do exactly that. The $460 million that went into the program is to be redirected to VA hospitals to use as they please as long as they provide 'evidence' of addressing homelessness. Which of course could mean just about anything while not coming close to directly addressing the problem as did the cut program. No matter what Dump says we can rest assured that the exact opposite is on the way.

Dump's Fox viewer support loses 32 points since June

In this clip Cousins discusses the poll as reported in National Review, a conservative magazine. In June Dump had 90% of Fox viewer support, now it's 58%, a 32 point decline. Even a significant % of Fox viewers are starting to wake up to the lying, stinking vomit their favorite channel is spewing at a never ending pace. A good sign for the '18 mid-term elections and even better for the '20 Presidential race. And we owe it all to Dump himself for being the incredible asshole that he is. Thank you Mr. Presidunce.

Repugnantan values

Succinct and to the point:

George Lakoff's call to arms

Again, he says it best in this FB post, copied below. This truly is a war of weaponized information for the heart of American values, and we have to clearly and strongly define and defend them. Lakoff:

"This is a battle over how we define freedom and how we govern our nation.
We must:
-Frame the debate around morality and values, not policy
-Emphasize the role of the Public, and the Public Good
-Understand the operative metaphors and use them
-Learn from past victories/defeats
To quote President Franklin D. Roosevelt: "This is more than a political campaign. This is a call to arms."
The Trump era reminds us that we must never take the blessings of democracy for granted. The preservation of freedom and justice has always required the active engagement of citizens.
Abraham Lincoln called this “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Every generation of Americans is called to defend it. Organizing and mobilizing voters is crucial. Yet this is largely a war of what Republican strategists call "weaponized information."

Mueller meets Dump

This Simpsons parody is not far off. Except in real life Dump will fire Mueller if he doesn't pledge allegiance and/or accept the bribe.

UN reports on the US tax heist

See Democracy Now discuss a UN investigation and report on it here. Some excerpts on how Dump is making America great again, for billionaires. The rest of us not at all.

"The Republican tax bill would transfer vast amounts of wealth to the richest earners while making life harder for the 41 million Americans living in poverty."

"What I see in the United States now is not just a tax reform bill, but a very clear indication by government officials with whom I met, by the Treasury, in their analysis, that this is going to be funded in part by cuts to welfare, to Medicare, Medicaid. And so what you’ve got is a huge effort to enrich the richest and to impoverish the poorest. That is going to have very dramatic consequences."

"Whether it’s child mortality rates, whether it’s the longevity of adults, whether it’s the degree of adequacy of healthcare, the U.S. is very close to the bottom on all of these… they’ve got a trillion or a trillion and a half to give to the very rich, but they also don’t have any of the money to provide a basic lifestyle that is humane for 40 million Americans."

EPA to expand use of a proven toxin on crops

The Environmental Destruction Agency's own scientific research has proven that thiamethoxam is "known to have both acute and chronic effects on aquatic invertebrates, honeybees, birds, butterflies and other pollinator species; they are a major factor in overall pollinator declines. These systemic insecticides cause entire plants, including pollen and fruit, to become toxic to pollinators; ; they are also slow to break down and therefore build up in the environment." And yet they have taken no action to ban this substance. To the contrary and in true Dump fashion, they are now considering expanding its use. Isn't this just great America?

Q&A on American infrastructure

Asked and answered, plain and simple, factually true.

Robert Reich on the oligarchy that controls our government

He says it best so here are his own words, copied below. And Dump is just fine with it, as this is just what he means by making America great again.

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Morning Joe commentary on Dump's UN extortion

That's pretty much what it was. A mob boss tells the UN that if they don't go along with the Boss then they get their legs broken. Our country has descended into The Sopranos and it's horrifying. It's encouraging though that the rest of world recognized it for what it is and confidently expressed its disapproval despite the overt threats.

Universal basic income

Robert Reich explains it in this brief video. As automation increasingly replaces labor, how will people afford to buy anything? UBI is one solution that is again gaining traction. He provides studies that giving UBI to people with no strings attached leads them to keep working and use the UBI to increase their paltry minimal earnings doled out stingily by the corporate overlords. UBI will become critical though when there are little to no jobs left due to automation.

The EPA's protection racket

TYT does a story on how the Environmental Destruction Agency hired an opposition research firm to dig up dirt on EPA employees and scientists that expose the destructive agenda of the EPA. Imagine that, a protection racket within the US government. Easy to imagine now that we are run by the Biggest Crime Family in History.

Dump with benefit YUUUGELY from the tax heist

This clip shows Dump and his cronies lying repeatedly that he will not benefit from the heist. And now that the Bill is passed they finally had to admit it. Joy Reid shows just how much the Dump family and Cabinet will indeed raid the Treasury at our expense. So yeah, we peons will get a few crumbs up front on our tax forms to placate us temporarily, but the caviar will once again go to the rich.

Oh, and those crumbs will be taken away in 8 years and our taxes with then go up. And coming soon the decimation of public programs like Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps and the Child Health Insurance Program to pay for these golden toilets.

Sycophantic Repugnantans suck Dump's...ego

Just to get Dump to sign their tax heist the Repugs had to virtually suck his nether parts in public yet again yesterday. It's amazing the degree of humiliation to which these supposed bastions of public representation have to go to just to get this criminal Bill enacted. We know they've lost all self-respect along with any semblance of humanity given the contents of the Heist, but they also have to bow down and pay homage to a treasonous piece of Dump, saying shit like he's "exquisite" or the "greatest" Presidunce ever. This is disgraceful and an affront to a government that purports to be a democracy when if fact it's much more like a fascist regime.

The Democracy Index

The US dropped in the 2016 Democracy Index from a full democracy to a flawed democracy. This was before Dump and due to several factors, one of which was the corporate takeover of our country. I'm guessing that now with The Dumpsters and the colluding Repugnantans we're going to see the US drop even further down the list, maybe even into a hybrid regime bordering on authoritarianism, if not dropping all the way into an authoritarian regime. Note that Russia, Dump's role model, was dropped to an authoritarian regime from a hybrid in 2016.

Dumpster has temper tantrum over UN rejecting bullying

Yes, Ambassador Haley reacted like a true immature bully to the UN rejecting Dump's proposal to move the capital of Israel to Jerusalem. The UN voted 128 - 9 to null and void Dump's idiotic, incendiary proposal, even after Haley threatened that the US would withhold money from the UN. The entire world rejects the Biggest Dump in History. Now if only Repugnantans in the US Congress could grow their patriotic spine.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Kasparov warns US is becoming like Russia

That's what the former world chess champ said. He's seen the same kind of tactics used in Russia that Dump is now using: Lying constantly to the public while accusing anyone who challenges those lies as fake. That is especially fascist when respected media source, endowed with the responsibility to report the truth, are targets for such lies. But not surprising, given Putin and Russia are Dump's heroes so he's making Russia the model for making America hate again.

Senator Warner on Repug obstruction of Mueller investigation

He details the lying spin they're using to discredit a legitimate investigation that appears will end in treason charges. It's a base attempt that proves these Repugs are not in the least patriots but rather co-conspirators in crimes against our country.

Repugs forming committee to investigate the DOJ & FBI

Yes, Rep. Nunes, the disgraced Dump lackey that finally had to recuse himself from the Russia collusion investigation, is now forming an investigation claiming the DOJ and FBI are colluding against Dump. It's a ruse, attempting to discredit the Russia investigation with the goal of firing Mueller and ending his investigation. And especially since that investigation is getting increasing evidence by the day of not only collusion but treason. Colluding in treason, quite a legacy.

Sanders on the biggest tax heist in history

I know, Dump always uses hyperbole on everything. But we know it's just a sales gimmick. However the above is reality. The Repugs keep lying, saying the tax heist will stimulate and grow the economy via trickle down. But I don't think even they believe this blatant lie anymore since it has always failed. It's just a flimsy excuse for paying back their wealthy benefactors, who in turn will pay them back with a cushy, well paid lobbying job when their Congressional collusion is done. And next on their agenda: cutting social security, Medicaid and Medicare to pay for this tax heist.

FCC being sued by 17 States over net neutrality

New York Attorney General Schneiderman initiated a lawsuit to stop the FCC from implementing its repeal of net neutrality, and since then 16 other States have joined in the lawsuit. Another way of stopping this telecom heist is to call Congress and demand they use the Congressional Review Act to overturn the repeal. A vote will be forced in the Senate to do just that. But don't be fooled by Repugnantan Marsh Blackburn's Bill, which purports to preserve net neutrality but is a fake Bill that actually supports it. Even if we lose in Congress we can parade the Repug vote for supporting the ISP heist in the '18 elections. Also push for public broadband in your municipality.

The morality of genetic human enhancement

The blurb for the video:

Author Jeremy Lent discusses the moral complexities arising from the possibilities of human genetic enhancement, in this talk given to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Sonoma State University, September 26, 2017. The affluent echelons of society will soon have the capability to use genetic engineering to enhance their offspring. What are the moral implications? Lent discusses topics from his writings to explore this question. In The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity, he discusses the possibility of TechnoSplit—humanity splitting into two separate species. In his sci-fi novel, Requiem of the Human Soul, he offers a future scenario of the next 150 years where this actually happens. "Shifting Baseline Syndrome" describes how, from one generation to the next, the baseline that people take as norms shifts imperceptibly, but profoundly. In this talk, Lent takes us on a journey into a future of a bifurcated human species, recognizing that the ethical perspectives are complex and moral judgements are not always easy to make.

Repugnantan purge of the middle class

This Onion satire exaggerates only a little bit. Granted Repugs are not literally slitting throats up front. No, they're just starving people to death slowly, and/or letting them die of long-term chronic illnesses. There's actually a whole lot more suffering the way they're doing it. But heh, these enjoy killing people to enrich themselves and the rich. We deserve our fate, so they say. And we do if we just give up and accept their gleeful murder. Get off your asses people and fight back.

From the Onion:

"WASHINGTON—Grinning proudly as blood gushed from his victim’s windpipe, House Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly slit an auto mechanic’s throat Wednesday to kick off the GOP purge of the working class. “With our tax reform bill giving us the mandate we have long desired, there’s nothing stopping us now—commence the bloodletting!” said Ryan, holding up the lifeless body of the local blue-collar worker as blood from his severed arteries sprayed reporters gathered at the press conference. “Now we can finally experience the sweet release of all our pent-up hatred of the parasitic working class without fear of punishment or retribution. The blood of the filthy proletariat will flow in the streets, and the families of truck drivers, nurses, and retail employees all over the nation will know our wrath. No one making under $50,000 a year is safe. Today, the American economy will be put back on the right track, and the liquidation begins!” At press time, blood-drenched Republican senators Bob Corker and Lisa Murkowski were seen sprinting into a Baltimore Walmart wielding machetes."

Modern feudalism

Feudalism has been going on a long time, and continues under the flimsy guise of democracy.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Warren: Tax Bill is a heist

The good Senator goes into the details of the tax heist that the Repugs passed. This is exactly how progressives must frame it, over and over again. It's not only an effective frame, it's based in reality and the facts, something Repug framing (aka lying) avoids at all cost. This woman must be our next President.

Savannah Guthrie calls Speaker Ryan on his lies

Ryan just keeps reiterating his lies and Guthrie keeps challenging him with facts. For example, Ryan keeps saying corporate money is 'trapped' overseas. No, corps intentionally put it there to avoid paying any taxes in this country. Ryan keeps saying the corp tax rate is the highest in the developed world, but the effective tax rate after loopholes is actually one of the lowest. Ryan keeps saying now with the new low corp rate they will invest in infrastructure and hire workers but Guthrie provides facts that this is simply not in the least true.

We know by now that facts have no impact whatsoever on Repugnantan ideology. The latter also know if they just keep repeating their lies over and over they a going to fool at least enough people to vote for them repeatedly. But the facts remain: This is a scam for corps and the rich. And we the people need to keep informed on the details and continue to frame it repeatedly that it is a scam that steals from workers and gives to the rich.

Santa's real workshop

Adults don't just promote the myth of Santa and his elves for their kids. They also sell it to keep from admitting who the real elves are, and where all those gifts they give come from.

"Santa’s workshop is not at the North Pole. It’s in China. And his elves are desperately poor migrant workers, whose repressive government has given them no choice but to sell themselves into indentured servitude to corporations that make cheap, plastic goodies for white children. [...] They work literally around the clock in sweltering heat and toxic fumes, performing the same repetitive, monotonous task for 14 to 20 hours straight. If they are lucky enough to make it 'home' to their factory dormatories, where they are packed in 12-20 workers per room, they might catch a couple of hours of sleep before they do it all over again the next day, seven days a week."

Just remember what your consumer dollars are literally supporting when you say Merry Christmas. The least you can do is thank the poor souls that are making your presents so you can live in a privileged fantasy world. See the story for the factual details if you have the stomach to face your hypocrisy.

Taking back 'freedom' from the Repugnantans

The Repugs are constantly harping on freedom as if they own the concept. They define it as individual choice and merit within a free market totally unfettered by evil government. But freedom means so much more that this limited, selfish definition. This article quotes FDR who said:

"The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are: equality of opportunity for youth and for others. Jobs for those who can work. Security for those who need it. The ending of special privilege for the few. The preservation of civil liberties for all. The enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living. [W]e look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way. The third is freedom from want. The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments."

The article expands on this with these freedoms: 

Corps admit they'll pocket their tax windfall

And Repugnantans are ignoring it. Or rather, they know it's true but it doesn't fit the lying spin they are trying to feed the public. Corps will buy back their own stock to inflate its price which generates even more money for its CEO, Board and shareholders. They'll also use it for hostile takeovers of other companies, known euphemistically as mergers and acquisitions, explicitly to even further erode competition and increase their oligarchic market share.

Academia in a nutshell

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Wish I didn't love you

Update: She won The Voice last night.

Chloe Kohanski's original song for The Voice last night. She has a far from perfect voice but that's part of her charm: A distinctive, original talent destined for stardom. And great lyrics.

Evangelical hypocrisy

Good question that has no reasonable answer. Ooops, I said the dirty word "reason," which God himself detests. And yes, God is a Big Man.

Self-organization in Commons based peer production

It is the title of a Ph.D. thesis by David Rosas. The abstract:

“Commons-Based Peer Production (CBPP) is a new model of socio-economic production in which groups of individuals cooperate with each other without a traditional hierarchical organisation to produce common and public goods, such as Wikipedia or GNU/Linux. There is a need to understand how these communities govern and organise themselves as they grow in size and complexity. Following an ethnographic approach, this thesis explores the emergence of and changes in the organisational structures and processes of Drupal: a large and global CBBP community which, over the past fifteen years, has coordinated the work of hundreds of thousands of participants to develop a technology which currently powers more than 2% of websites worldwide. Firstly, this thesis questions and studies the notion of contribution in CBPP communities, arguing that contribution should be understood as a set of meanings which are under constant negotiation between the participants according to their own internal logics of value. Following a constructivist approach, it shows the relevance played by less visible contribution activities such as the organisation of events. Secondly, this thesis explores the emergence and inner workings of the sociotechnical systems which surround contributions related to the development of projects and the organisation of events. Two intertwined organisational dynamics were identified: formalisation in the organisational processes and decentralisation in decision-making. Finally, this thesis brings together the empirical data from this exploration of socio-technical systems with previous literature on self-organisation and organisation studies, to offer an account of how the organisational changes resulted in the emergence of a polycentric model of governance, in which different forms of organisation varying in their degree of organicity co-exist and influence each other.”