Under Eric Holder, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms was deputized to change the nation’s gun laws by putting into place a shadowy operation designed to prove a falsehood: that weapons sold by US gun shops, especially “assault weapons”, are the cause of Mexico’s drug violence.
HILLARY MAY HAVE BRAIN DAMAGE
“WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?”
The First Amendment Hinders The Planned Fairness Of US Democracy
Yes, you read that headline correctly, and if you are a “progressive”, you just might proclaim it factual, rather than offensively absurd.
The guarantee of freedom of speech does frustrate the virulently authoritarian US “Left”, and no one is more sensitive to that than Charles Schumer, a senator from the state of New York.
You might recall this fellow from his attempt to impose “fairness” on talk radio. He wanted to ration programming so that partisans like Rush Limbaugh were “balanced” by their political opposites. It was egregious nonsense, of course, and could only be interpreted as the licensing of electronic journalism. Fortunately the transparently censorious proposal died, having been more ignored than exposed and denounced.
Churlish Chucky’s back, however, and this time he wants to amend the federal constitution in order to “…once and for all allow Congress to make laws to regulate our system…”. Once and for all. He’s deadly serious.
Chucky’s fear and hatred of Liberty inspire him to propose that corporations and unions must be prevented from donating as they see fit to independent political groups. The rules don’t permit that degree of authoritarianism, though some regulations on political contributions are already in place. Then in 2010, the US federal supreme court rendered a decision (Citizens United) Schumer considers wrong-headed. The court came down basically — not totally — in support of the philosophy behind the Bill of Rights.
Now as an enthusiastic “progressive”, Schumer opposes, to varying degrees, a number of participants in the political process. They include large corporations (Chucky implies they are “robber barons”), mouthy “wingnuts”, the pestiferous Tea Party, medium-sized corporations, and wealthy individuals who are wrong about politics. He doesn’t want to shut anybody up — he just wants the government to control how much people and organizations say, and when they can say it. He also wants the federal authorities to determine how much money those folks will be allowed to spend on spreading their views.
Like Obama, Schumer wants everybody to be free to have a say — up to a point.
It’s probably reasonable to put Schumer in the same camp with Elizabeth Warren, the faux squaw who is the new senator from Massachusetts. Warren seems to put more emphasis on collecting taxes from corporations, while Schumer is more intent on limiting and controlling how corporations and the rich spend money to say things.
The fundamentals of Schumer’s view might be summarized thus: both the big corporations and the rich have more speech than the common people do — because speech is for sale, and most of the populace can’t afford to buy much of it. Generally, the rich have more money than they deserve. They probably got where they are by nefarious means such as connections, payoffs, bullying and buying out weaker competitors, and so on. The nation has an intrinsically unfair economic structure. Government is supposed to prepare and preserve an equal playing field for everybody, which means the rich need to be prevented from using their money to buy advantages.
To put it very succinctly: Chucky hates the Koch brothers.
It would be interesting to hear what Schumer the would-be despot has to say about Obamoid cronyism, but he probably would deny it even exists.
Then too, Schumer assumes that money spent on political advertising will necessarily corrupt the electoral process. The notions that individuals can be critical thinkers or will be repulsed by a flood of propaganda have never occurred to him. Schumer’s conception of the national electorate is an ideologue’s fantasy; he thinks many if not most voters are stupid and gullible.
So far, Chucky has not argued that because corporations are not people, the first amendment does not apply to them. That’s probably because he knows that sophistry would never work.
So he’s shoved the balls to the wall: everybody must have his freedom of political expression limited by government regulation. If that’s not done, the wrong people will be saying the wrong things to a public that is so dim-witted that it will probably be taken in by the expensive propaganda, and the nation will be turned over to “wingnuts”.
He’s right when he says the only way to control what people say and how they spend their money saying it is to amend that categorical first amendment in the Bill of Rights.
Clearly, Schumer is an extremist egalitarian. That makes him an enemy of Liberty. To put it precisely, he is a genuine fascist.
Mistakes In Western Policy
Anyone expressing outrage about Nigeria should remember that the U.S. has made a conscious decision to ignore crimes just as bad in Syria and have set in motion a train of events that may lead to even worse in Afghanistan. Source.
What, then, is lacking, and what is wrong?
Those are questions that should be asked of Obama and Kerry. Unfortunately both men would respond with vague, rambling orations constructed of “talking points”. Whether either is capable of understanding or expressing any eternal verities is impossible to determine.
This newsletter suggests that a reasonably informed US citizen might respond as follows:
As to what is lacking — well, there is no summary of ethics, and no brief statement of facts. The ethical aspects must endorse the US constitution and a desire to defend the nation, rather than work for world peace. Freedom of religion would be upheld by remarking that the USA will not ignore the Koranic commandment that puts all true Muslims forever at war with the non-Muslim world. Facts would include the explicit recognition that the non-Muslim world faces continued violence, and must act to frustrate Islamist would-be murderers. An intent to strengthen ties to Israel would be strongly expressed.
Of course it would be helpful to add that not just the USA but all of Western Civilization is targeted, and that this is just part of a historical pattern of rising and falling violence that proceeds from Islamic groups. “We have faced it before, and we shall drive it back” would be a welcome statement of resolve.
An explicit statement would note that the words “outreach” and “dialog” and “engagement” are junk terminology. To that would be added a mention that honest descriptive language has been lacking, but will be employed henceforth.
What is wrong is to be discerned from the motives of Team Obama. Those can be determined by recognizing the de facto goals of the administration.
The first motive/goal is the economic and social transformation of the USA into an egalitarian Utopia that responds obediently to centralized authority. This demands the end of free markets and the imposition of limitations on the economic choices of the populace. Fairness and true equality are the claimed goals.
The second motive for taking power, if expressed candidly, would express intent to reduce the arrogant and exploitative posture of the USA. American exceptionalism is a vile conceit. It makes no sense for this declining nation to lead a world that it considers racially, culturally, intellectually, and emotionally inferior. The White Man’s Burden must be put down, and resources currently held by a minority must be shared. The world can only benefit as the USA is reduced.
Well, that said, this newsletter invites you to view a cheeky cartoon that takes bites out of its targets.
Science Progresses When Accepted Ideas Are Refuted
A revolution in cosmogony is unfolding — and it could rival the enlightenment initiated by Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo. Hidebound and mythic astrophysics has produced a stream of increasingly bizarre pronouncements; those claims are now encountering a serious challenge led by scientists and engineers, several of whom were Nobel Prize winning pioneers. The upstarts are offering simpler, verifiable explanations about the makeup and mechanics of the cosmos. Their new ideas are revivifying the discourse in astrophysics.
You can continue reading about this shattering reform here.
Policing The USA
There is no way of knowing whether events like this are common, but perhaps a summary of trends in law enforcement could suggest a partial answer. One might, therefore, recall the documented increasingmilitarization of the police, a practice that far too frequently turns police interaction with the populace into nightmarish, needlessly lethal confrontations. On a more trivial (but still potentially tragic) level, some police forces improperly demand personal identification (here’s a chart of US states that permit that practice). Many officers angrily demand that their activities not be recorded on video, while others — many too many others — beat suspects who have been secured and are literally harmless.
To this newsletter, there does seem to be increasing unwarranted police frustration and anger with the citizenry. Of course that perception could be mistaken, but…could it be that the authoritarianism of Team Obama is an exemplary inspiration to all who are (1) aware of what should be, (2) prefer the tranquility of conformity, and (3), fear social deviants? Yes, that’s Utopianism: the imposition by an elite of “fairness”.
If you worry that law enforcement in the USA is lurching off the rails, do speculate that (at least) two specific causes might be involved: first, there’s the stupid “war on drugs”, and second, sheer greed could play a role. Some would argue that, faced with difficulties that cannot possibly be resolved, the police on every level of government are resorting to unethical tactics. Then perhaps the off-the-leash activities of the USA’s National Security Agency exemplify a culturally broad mindset. After all, fascism is stereotypical: if it can’t impose order by demanding “Papers!” it will depend on informers and eavesdropping.
The nation would be wise to deal with its law enforcement establishment on a case-by-case basis, whilehammering the villains when they are identified. Yes, making examples is effective.
A Consideration Not Yet Noted
The following account and commentary have been provided anonymously.
My problemA few years ago, I had to have a botched root canal surgically corrected. I requested a general anesthetic, and was told that could be provided, but the professor of dental surgery at the university hospital said something that led me to ask more questions. I reported that I had been knocked out for the extractions of all four “wisdom” teeth when I was a teenager, and the recovery from the chemical was slow and difficult; would I, as an elderly patient with a heart condition, have any concerns? The response was that I would not have any problems, as I would not be put into an unconscious state. The professor assumed that I simply did not recall what was actually done many years before. I assured her that she was wrong, that I had been very groggy and hardly able to walk on waking up, and that I spent the rest of the day in bed recovering from the anesthetic. “We don’t do that any more,” she said. “You won’t remember anything, and you will be just fine when the procedure is over.”
As my main concern was the possible side effects of the anesthetic, I agreed to the surgery. Little did I know what the implications would be.
SurgeryFirst let me say that all went well. The necessary procedure was successful, and my recovery from the anesthetic was very quick and easy. No complaints. But that is not what is of real interest.
Second, please allow me to describe the procedure as I remember it, and then we can get to what matters.
I was in the chair, a needle was placed in a vein in my hand (if I recall correctly), and — nothing happened. I was alone in the cubicle, and I found myself simply looking at the light poised above and in front of me. Then I noticed that the light had moved perhaps a half inch to the right, but I had not seen it move. I reached up to my jaw and found it totally numb. Clearly, having fallen asleep, I awoke in the same position as when I dropped off; the operation was over. I felt slightly weak, but otherwise just fine. A nurse appeared, ushered me into an adjacent room and had me lie down for perhaps five minutes. How did I feel? “Good, thanks; now I’ll go home”. My girlfriend joined me, I paid for the surgery, and we strolled out of the hospital. A short distance down the street we found a cafe, where we enjoyed a good meal. I felt normal.
The wound healed, and one can only pronounce the surgery a perfect solution to my problem.
However….Wonderful, you say? No, not entirely, for the experience has troubled me profoundly.
On a subsequent visit, I asked the professor whether she had conversed with me as the operation proceeded. “Oh, yes,” she said. And did I respond? “Certainly.” Those answers were, I am sure, truthful.
Note that I was not anesthetized by the medication injected into my vein. The only anesthesia was local — at the site of the operation. I needed that, for even though I was under the influence of a very strong drug, I could feel pain.
I must have been uncomfortable, even apprehensive, as the operation proceeded. The fact that I can recall no such emotions does not mean they were not present. I was not “under” and incapable of sensing pain, reacting emotionally, or behaving rationally.
Now that may be fine from one point of view, but consider that when dealing with a patient under those circumstances, the dental surgeon need feel no obligation to be gentle, kind, polite, or even civil. Mistakes made — instruments dropped on the floor and then immediately poked into an open wound, say — will not be recalled, and so may be considered inconsequential. One can get away with bloody hell.
Yes: a person under the influence of this drug could be abused horribly, and as long as no objective, physical evidence of the abuse existed, absolutely nothing could be done by the victim to bring the villain(s) to account.
What it all means todayIt’s called anterograde amnesia; here’s how to pronounce it (turn your sound on, and click on the hyperlink so the web page comes up in a separate tab of your browser), and you can read about it here. That is not to say you will read all about it anywhere, however.
Several contemporary realities must be taken into account if this commentary is to be rational. They include the political situation, military activities, the operations of intelligence agencies, and an understanding of issues in what is usually called human rights.
Further, it must be emphasized that drug-induced anterograde amnesia is today absolutely controllable (though as far as I know, lost memory can not be restored). The medication, which is actually a sedative, can be administered so that the resulting amnesia neither prevents recall of events that took place before the drug was injected nor interferes with memory of events happening after the patient “wakes up”.
We are all aware of issues regarding the struggle to cope with what is (improperly) called “terrorism”. That raises the subject of the interrogation of suspects, detainees, and witnesses — and of course we must mention “enhanced” techniques and torture.
Obviously the intelligence agencies of the world are aware of sedative-induced anterograde amnesia.
Blocked memories mean torturers are free to work, as long as they leave no marks. Electric shock would be particularly suitable. Then too, an interrogator can bring a relative of the detainee into the room and torture that person while the sedated individual watches — and listens.
A suspect could be interrogated over a period of weeks and then released to inform his comrades that he had revealed none of their secrets. He would be telling the truth, as far as he could possibly know.
Q: What news do we have of induced anterograde amnesia in the “war on terror”?A: None that I know of. Try Googling the subject; here’s a link for Propofol.
The proper question, in my view, is not whether we need to worry about this, but how in the world we can possibly determine who has used and/or is using anterograde amnesia unethically.
An Afterthought On The World Trade Center Disaster
Have you ever noticed that folks who believe the September 11, 2001 Islamist attack on the USA was actually the work of the US government (or the Mossad, or the Jewish owner of the buildings, or Halliburton, or whomever) almost always use the words “free fall” sooner or later?
Well, they do. “Free fall” is practically a mantra for 9/11 nutcases. The idea is to prove that when the towers came down, that collapse was not hindered by the frame of the building, but took place just as quickly as a rock would fall. The implication: a series of bombs, planted in the buildings, literally blew apart the frame so everything fell as fast as gravity makes any falling object fall.
The claim that the towers collapsed in “free fall” is not true. Watch this; at three minutes into the video, you can see very clearly that debris outside the building falls faster than the building can collapse.
How did that material get outside the tower? As each story collapsed on the one below it, the air in the room was violently compressed, and the windows blew out explosively. When the piles of debris were excavated, remains from higher floors were found underneath material from lower floors.
Fire did not collapse the towers; fire started the collapse. When the first connections holding a floor to the frame of the building were weakened by heat, the weight of several floors above the fracture point pushed down with irresistible force on the floor below — which gave way after a very brief pause. The building collapsed in a staccato series of small collapses. The debris hit the ground first because it was in free fall — but the building was not.
Of course no true conspiracy nut will look at the video linked above and admit that the debris is falling faster than the tower collapses.
Loyal reader JY suggests a look at this: it’s a list that fairly takes one’s breath away….
It is possible to feel some sympathy for the decent folks in the news industry when a veteran like Eleanor Clift emphatically states, “I would like to point out that Ambassador Stevens was not ‘murdered’ in Benghazi. He died of smoke inhalation in a safe room in that CIA installation.” Yes, she meant what she said. Why did she say it? It’s reasonable to assume that this was yet another case of Clift doing simply all she can — including stretching the truth far past its breaking point — in order to support Hillary. Clift is, in fact, one of the least objective and most overtly, amateurishly partisan people in the news business. She appears to be desperately hoping to be named Hillary’s press secretary. (A hat tip goes to reader JY for helping NTG get this appalling item correct.)
This looks interesting: it’s a “course” — a series of instructive explications set up along the lines of a traditional college class, including an end-of-semester exam — on Iran and the (presumably nuclear) bomb. It appears to present an excellent opportunity to be exposed to solid information and humane proposals for policy.
In the event you are interested in science in general, you must watch this video. Highly recommended.
The Centers for Disease Control (a US government instrumentality) report that “Self-defense can be an important crime deterrent.” That’s nothing new, and it’s a shame the federal establishment had to waste money looking into the known facts. Here are two places on the internet where the truth could have been discerned and reported to be hiding: One, and Two. Then there’s a link to a tragic tale the media hate to report. Notice how often the talking heads try to drown out and halt the lady as she explains why her parents are dead; here’s an example of the practice. It’s obvious that she can explain herself rapidly, rationally, and clearly, yet she is repeatedly interrupted. This misbehavior is not due to error — it’s a clumsy attempt to soften the impact of her account, and it’s just an amateur’s attempt to “spin” the story.
Profound thanks go to a subscriber who shall remain totally anonymous for this link to an article on Thailand’s excruciating political situation. Suffice it to say that the road to principled governance is particularly steep and rocky in Southeast Asia. The linked report is very highly recommended, but those who are in Thailand might find it impossible to access the text.
Denial can be fatal. It might just kill Team Obama’s hopes of reforming US society. A hat tip goes to JY for pointing to this devastating commentary.
Watch the first one minute and forty-two seconds of this video. More information is available here, and you can survey the reactions of scientists around the world if you enter the term lennart bengtsson in a good search engine.
Common sense on crime rates in the USA; a hat tip to reader JY for the link. A specific psychological basis for criminality has been identified. What can be done and what should be done turn out to involve political reform — and Obamites won’t like that one bit. Recommended.
The IRS, the Obama administration, and the press: it’s less a conspiracy than a natural community of interests, but that does not make the alliance ethical or justifiable. A similar natural community of interests exists between “wingnuts” and anthropogenic global warming “deniers”. “Deniers” are not politically motivated — they simply recognize the bad science as what it is. “Wingnuts” note the politicians’ power-hunger, and side with the “deniers” in order to limit the growth of government. The parallel: the press is not interested in expanding the authority of the IRS, but it hopes to weaken political opponents of Utopian collectivism; that explains its participation in what appears to be a conspiracy.
Catching up with Thailand: thanks go to the Dean of NTG subscribers for providing a timetable. This is where you start if you want to know how a nation can go to war with itself. (This newsletter suggests three fundamental causes for Thailand’s agony: a profound cultural pattern of pandemic corruption; economic development distorted by ethnic bigotry; and a failure of ethics that makes it impossible to identify, understand, and meet the responsibilities of a parliamentary monarchy. None of these causes will submit to political remedies. Every nation in Asia suffers from these causes to some degree (yes, even Singapore, which colluded with Thailand’s former leader, Thaksin, when Singapore’s government purchased Shin Corporation in a transaction that was illegal under the Thai constitution); China, for example, is dangerous not because it is communist, but because it is fundamentally unethical. Virtually no one in Asia understands capitalism, though many do understand business.)
The right attitude is second nature — to most folks.
Hillary Clinton, president? Poppycock. Her lack of common sense (Benghazi, Nigeria) disqualifies her for a job as a baby-sitter.
Here’s a discussion of global warming provided by a retired associate professor of engineering. While you are visiting his website, do note its contents. Their author is what is properly called a polymath.
Related: Nixon was warned about AGW in 1969. The predictions were alarming, of course.
Freedom of the press: what a good idea! It’s wonderful… as long as…. Honestly, now, Pilgrims: are youthe least bit surprised?
Politico is a web-based news outfit that is more Obamoid than “wingnutty”. Here’s their take on the GOP’s attempts to sink Hillary before she is nominated.
Vaguely related: do you remember this?
Correcting John Kerry’s bigoted babble: a brief clarification of the inferior legal status of Arabs living in the disputed territory called “the West Bank”. Highly recommended.
Folks in the USA are probably not alone in having this problem. So what’s to be done? For openers, all law officers should know that they face firing and prison if they object to anyone making videos of police performing their duties. The citizenry needs an effective defense against bad law enforcement. (See Nr.341 on the killing of Kelly Thomas.)