My idea of supporting liberty of conscience and the rights of citizens is that of supporting those rights in other people, for if a man supports only his own rights for his own sake, he does no moral duty.
The War On Drugs
For some time, this newsletter has insisted that the (stupidly named) “war on drugs” is a huge mistake because it costs too much, brutalizes people, fosters intractable corruption in politics and law enforcement, rewards crime, and does not grant the individual the right to choose his vices. Exactly why drugs and behaviors could be addicting — however that word “addicting” might be defined — was not considered here. The mechanism and process of addiction were taken to be so peripheral as to be irrelevant.
There is a new argument against the insanity of criminalizing both recreational drug use and addiction. According to this view, drugs and behaviors (such as gambling) are not in themselves addicting. They are said to be the favored responses of people who have become social isolates.
To this newsletter, that seems a narrow view. It appears to be the case that people who use chemicals recreationally (or as relief from emotional distress) do tend to band together, forming social groups of varying types and effectiveness. Drunks often learn and perfect their alcoholism in social circumstances, don’t they? Were Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor isolates? And how are such complex behaviors as heroin use taught and promoted, if not by groups of people?
The response to these admittedly superficial observations is that social isolation can be a cause of unhappiness, and unhappiness is the real driver of addiction. The best evidence for this seems to be the behavior of US troops in Vietnam. Though the warriors did have strong links to each other and operated as groups, they used heroin frequently and enthusiastically. Evidently the drug-induced relief of psychic pain is more fundamental and powerful than is social integration.
Additional understanding might be facilitated by a consideration of the reasons for voluntary solitude. As a spiritual practice and the choice of individuals who find the company of other humans a hindrance to one’s personal development, social isolation does not seem to be particularly dangerous. Absent the misery it can cause some persons, severe social isolation seems irrelevant to drug addiction.
This line of reasoning suggests — but does not prove — that there might be individuals who get neither pleasure nor solace from the company of others, and remain discontented (that is, in psychic pain) in all environments. Those (genetic?) unfortunates would always and everywhere be prone to addiction — as well as highly resistant to the blandishments of reformers and “healers”.
While the new concept of the cause of addiction probably includes some oversimplifications and flaws, overall it can be welcomed as supportive of the effort to end fascist governance. After all, if drugs are not inherently addicting, laws that prohibit their use are unjust restrictions of the Liberty of the individual.
The Greenhouse Effect
1. Here’s the link. Now read it, and understand that the atmosphere does not get hotter because you add more and more insulation. It gets hotter because the sun dumps more and more energy into the total environment — land, sea, and air.
2. This excellent talk is about three years old. To see it, go to this link.
3. The claim is that carbon dioxide in the air heats up the oceans and does nothing to the land and air. That allows the Gore-Hansen cult to preach that AGW is real and will wreck civilization if we don’t do something. Well, “the claim of unabated anthropogenic warming of the oceans from greenhouse gases since 2006 is unwarranted”. The thermodynamic mechanism postulated by this claim is a fake. For details, read this. (As you can see, the hard science of climatology is getting increasingly difficult for the layman to understand. That works to the advantage of the cult.)
4. Related: devastating commentary on the mischief promoted by the IPCC. Highest possible recommendation.
It is now possible to prove that some temperature records were changed to fabricate evidence of global warming. There’s an introduction to the topic here, and the truth of the matter can be seen here and here. The problem with presenting the truth to the public is that it takes folks a little time and some effort to read the facts and understand what they mean. It’s much easier to recite an article of faith…which is a relevant observation because…
…this newsletter has from the first maintained that anthropogenic global warming is a cultic concept. Its claims and mandates are strongly redolent of the theology of sin, retribution, and penance as a ritual of absolution. Faith is the only effective counter to reason, and it can justify literally any irrationalities or fabrications. So…
…of course counterfeit evidence is to be expected from the warmers! Recall Al Gore’s misrepresentation of the sequence of temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and don’t forget Jim Hansen’s lunatic demand that mankind stop producing any carbon dioxide (a feat that was to be followed by the sequestering of as much CO2 as mankind had been producing).
If those bizarre deceits do not convince you that fraud is a prime imperative for the warmer cult, read The Hockey Stick Illusion. The current counterfeiting of data is entirely in character.
Nixon’s Secrets, by Roger Stone with Mike Colapietro, ISBN 978-1-62914-603-4.
Nixon attracted the passionate attention of virtually everyone who was interested in US politics. Loathed, respected, admired, targeted, ridiculed, he personifies one of the most painful periods of the presidency in the twentieth century. Roger Stone was in a position to know a good deal about Nixon’s activities, and his account might and should have been informative, if not revelatory.
It’s a mess.
How so, you ask? Well, it is the worst-edited volume this reviewer has ever seen. Parts of it are so jumbled that one can only guess at what the words are supposed to mean. It shows no evidence of even having been proofread. The disorder and lack of respect for the reader suggest a profound irresponsibility that extends to facts and commentary.
The topics are standard enough: Watergate, compulsive ambition, jockeying for position in the brutal world of politics, dirty tricks, illegal tactics, deceit, the unethical/illegal activities of the FBI and CIA, and much more that reeks of scandal and sin. Add the fact that Fidel Castro has always outfoxed every US administration, and you have a tale that boils with intrigue, passion, and skulduggery. The spectacle is irresistible. Stone and Colapietro were so impressed that they ignored the need to address their subject authoritatively.
It will come as no surprise, therefore, that Stone is the author of a book accusing Lyndon Johnson of being John Kennedy’s murderer. As bad as Johnson was — he was corrupt, deceitful, and disgracefully unprincipled — whether he ordered the assassination remains at least debatable. Posing and answering irrational questions is the specialty of conspiracy theorists, and those peripheral parasites have created a huge industry out of the JFK murder. The classically paranoid atmosphere of the resulting turmoil has contaminated much of what today’s electorate believes about US politics. Tellingly, the book under review glories in the feverish JFK fantasies like a dog rolling in roadkill. Consider this uncharacteristically mild quote:
Using Al Haig as his agent, Nixon let Ford know that he would expose the CIA’s involvement in the JFK assassination and (eventual president Gerald) Ford’s role in altering the autopsy records if he (Nixon) went to trial in the Watergate scandal. Thus Nixon would use this information to avoid prosecution and jail to blackmail Gerald Ford for a full, free, and unconditional pardon.
In sum: yes, it is possible that Stone and Colapietro might be frequently on target. Perhaps the best government in the world is as zany and immoral as they say. If so, what is needed is the rationality of a forensic analyst, not the pandering of a carny barker. Unfortunately Nixon’s Secrets is so technically primitive that it is madding to read, and its exposés are as credible as the promises of a cocaine-inspired pimp.
Therefore: never mind the details, the damning accusations, the almost parodic portrayals of moral degenerates, plotters, vile sycophants, amoral power brokers, plots, insatiable power-hunger…never mind all of that lurid babble. The authors will never convince you of their veracity and ethics. Remember: only insiders could know what these two men claim to know, and insiders are, as the authors exhaustively describe them, utterly untrustworthy scoundrels.
It could all be true, or it could all be an opium dream.
Jonah Goldberg’s seminal Liberal Fascism (Amazon has it, and no, this newsletter does not get a cent of what you will pay for the book) was reviewed here (in Nr. 273), and gets recent attention from a weblogger who points out that Hitler was not a right-wing monster, but a left-wing monster. The evidence of history is clear: twentieth century fascism is predominantly a manifestation of Utopian socialist collectivism. The right’s instinctive distrust of the cult of the leader’s personality, along with the “wingnuts'” fractious reverence for Liberty, militates strongly against fascism.
Reconsider, in other words. The “Occupy” protesters acted out a slow motion, latter-day version of the Nazi Kristallnacht, not a Boston Tea Party. It was not the “wingnuts” that gave the USA its Ruby Ridge horror, the utterly unconscionable Branch Davidian slaughter, and the lunatic “Fast and Furious” travesty; all those lethal outrages were fascism exemplified. Why is the punitive enforcement of Obamacare in the hands of the Internal Revenue Service? Why did The One Leader declare the necessity of a national civilian security force as well-funded as the US military?
Links Courtesy Of The Tramp Abroad
The final battle against ISIS? In reality, it is best that the West let the Arabs destroy ISIS.
Diseases you can get only if you are German.
This is exactly what I have been telling everyone for the last couple of months.
Putin warns the West that he will lay Berlin and Washington in ashes, if…
Uh – oh. I hope they don’t run out of fuel and bullets.
Actually, those Umlauts — two dots that are sometimes found over some, but not all, vowels — are important. Read Warum Umläute eigentlich wichtig sind why here.
This is a bit higher than the tallest tower I’ve ever climbed.
No matter what your stand on this controversial topic, you should read this article.
Which languages are hard, and which are easy? Here are some interesting comparisons.
Are GOP senators nucking futs?
Now, this girl is a real fighter! When you think that all odds are against you, think again…. (Ed.: highest possible recommendation!)
You need the best possible advice for coping with the current absurdity.
Here’s a news tidbit that The One Leader has never addressed, and never will. Moreover, the NY Times and many, many other giants in the news media will not touch it. Unfortunately, the various Tea Party groups probably won’t say anything about it, either.
The One Leader might be heaven-sent, or even genetically destined to take the helm, but he steers a careless course. Some things are just too, too important to be ignored, and this inexplicable oversight is damning.
Here’s the ISIS video of the Jordanian pilot being burned. It played unevenly on this newsletter’s computer, so you might have some trouble viewing it. A surprise: the video itself shows sophisticated production values. It’s probable that viewing here was herky-jerky because of glitches in the connection to the server. — ISIS itself is well funded and technically sophisticated. And ISIS has plans for you, wherever you are. Meanwhile, if you have questions, you might address them to Obama — who will doubtless tell you, explicitly or implicitly, that ISIS is not Islamic, is not an instance of Islamic extremism, and is opposed by all Muslims. When will he finally admit that Islam is and always has been fragmented and at war with itself, at war with all other faiths, and at war with unbelievers…because it derives its violent nature from the demands of the Koran? Answer: never. Next question: why ever is that?
As bad as The One Leader’s domestic policy has been, his foreign policy has been far worse. The current situation is simply appalling.
Newt Gingrich (remember him?) is upset again, and with good reason. His latest complaints could probably fit into the Fascism Revisited item above.
There is a lot to be said for the USA’s public educational system, but one of the claims made for it is false: it is not “free”. In fact it is expensive, and many people feel it gives poor value. A court decision is about to be handed down in Colorado that might send shock waves through the other states’ educational bureaucracies and galvanize teachers. Unfortunately the underlying question, which is whether people under the age of eighteen can properly be institutionalized to any extent by the government, will not be addressed. Home schooling is grossly impractical for most families, so it is not a genuine option — nor can it be used to evade the moral implications of the imposition of government-designed instruction on the young. Worse, there is considerable evidence that over time, the states’ educational accomplishments have declined sharply in quality. Perhaps the entire system needs to be replaced. Why should any teachers be civil servants?
How good is the USA’s federal government? That depends on which part of it you want to rate. The Internal Revenue Service is extremely important to the citizenry, and especially so since the IRS has a big role in Obamacare. Then there is the Department of Justice, whose current head should have been tossed out years ago. For specifics, read this commentary.
In past years, this newsletter hammered violently on press deceit, censorship, bias, and lack of ethics. It did no good. And howling about this current instance (more here) won’t reform the Fourth Estate, either. Bias and lies are endemic institutional problems for the press.
What? The US federal government is using sophisticated and expensive videos to promote itself? Of course it is! What did you expect? — Never mind. Hey, Sharyl, how about we talk this over? Say have a little dinner at a nice continental eatery not far from here, discuss the socio-political and economic ramifications of media in twenty-first century governance, and so on? I have some thoughts on the unrecognized Hegelian influence on contemporary reinterpretations of McLuhan’s conceptions of media. Later you could see my Churchill watercolors in my Georgetown digs….
It’s a safe bet that not even one reader of this newsletter knows all these facts about the political structure of the USA.
If this were not on video, you would never believe it is possible.
Fail, and fail again: the bean-counters won’t save money, and they won’t get their money’s worth. The new, very costly plane simply can’t do what the Warthog can.
Imagine the worst, most evil people in the world. Now imagine how they will react to this, and realize why they will have that reaction.
Here’s an interview of Richard Stallman that everyone who uses computers should see. The concepts introduced are seminal. Unfortunately the interviewer is a braying ass, but Stallman manages to make his points anyway. Recommended.
The folks at Coyote Blog fuss about the fact that the NY Times spins some economic data in order to make a “progressive” point. Yes, the criticism is trenchant, and you should look into it for a minute or two. Meanwhile the coyote should be reminded that data is a plural noun, and that the subjunctive mood is required when one starts off, “God forbid that the newspaper ever (verb goes here — for example, make, definitely not “makes”)”. Nobody’s perfect, as the errors made by this newsletter continually demonstrate.
Can this guy put Hillary back on her leash?
Here’s a comprehensive interview of a scholar who has studied climate for years. Highly recommended.
A tale of war. Recommended.
A brave state governor in the USA rides out to do battle with a fire-breathing dragon.