Monthly Archives: June 2018

Today’s news from social media (6/25/2018)

On social media Glenn Beck just walked off CNN interview, and then did a turn and “kind of” apologized to Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz on twitter today. Though a preliminary check of Rational Wiki revealed that he spent many years going crazy with conspiracy theories and partisan bullshit, when he had a program on Fox news, and as the owner of “the Blaze,” (a conservative news aggregator.) He was also a rodeo clown and is still a Mormon. So I’m not sure if it’s an act as he tries to associate himself with the “intellectual dark web,” or if he has seen some error in his needlessly incendiary ways in the era of Trump, and has decided he wants to moderate himself a little better. Judging by his one-sided incendiary Twitter attacks on liberals,  I think he’s lying again like a sociopath trying to save his popularity and his failing company.

Anyway it’s strange to read his twitter and see the right is demanding civility even though they voted for a guy who used so many nicknames you can’t even screen cap it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nicknames_used_by_Donald_Trump

Meanwhile on Fox news, Trump’s campaign manager told a black man “You’re out of your cotton picking mind!” If that isn’t a racist dog whistle then I don’t know what is, but somehow the Trumpers will defend this even though so many of the people he employs are low class bigots. (And in defending it, they’ll show they’re comfortable with racism and racist epithets, which is fortunate as it makes it easy for liberals to identify our worst enemies.)

More importantly, Sam Harris had an influential debate with Jordan Peterson, on an important panel that I look forward to seeing. His term, “The intellectual dark web” is catchy and promises to reverberate for years. Perhaps it’ll be even more significant than the new atheism label has been, as a term that encourages rationality, openminededness and debate.

 

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Good cafes for Sarah Huckabee

Here’s a list of restaurants Sarah can go to:

  • Pizza Gate Hut
  • Chili’s – “I want my baby back baby back baby back, no my actual baby back.”
  • Whites Only Castle
  • Ben and Gerrymandering’s
  • Wendy’s Kids Gonna Be Reunited?
  • Traitor Joe’s
  • The Russian Tearoom, of course
  • Irrational House of Propaganda
  • Drama Queen
  • Birther King, Home of the Whopper
  • The No One With Olive Skin Garden
  • Red Mobster
  • Woolworths Lunch Counter
    Selma, Alabama
    Circa 1963
  • WhataboutObamaburger

Source: Dale Pickard’s comment on whyevolutionistrue.com

Yes, I know liberals think we should always play fair and stick with our principles of equality, and not act like a certain breed of leftists. They think we should never give ammo to the right, and that this will be cited someday, because when the Republicans do it they’ll claim liberals did it first, but honestly it’s still cathartic. How much bullshit can we collectively take from the populist right, before we give up the high road and fight back with the same petty tactics? I imagine a lot of disgruntled liberals and Mexicans worked in the kitchen at that restaurant, and can’t really blame the employer for letting them snub such a prominent public figure. It’s only human.

In ordinary times, if it were an ordinary Republican who cared about telling the truth as much as any politician is able, then it would be a disproportionate reaction and wouldn’t be acceptable. Professionalism would matter, but you can’t say this administration even tries to be professional.

These aren’t ordinary times, and refusing service has become an act of political speech. If you’re a politician and say that you won’t treat people with dignity, then don’t expect it to be handed to you in your every day life? Isn’t this a form of resistance, or defiance? Isn’t it a great wake up call when ordinary people hate you that muchContinue reading Good cafes for Sarah Huckabee

Why do republicans like pollution?

As you may know, a hurricane hit Texas not that long ago. Last year I linked my family to an article warning them about all the leaking Superfund sites. Yes, Texas is a big business friendly state, and everyone there thought it would be fine to leave Superfund sites all around a populated metropolitan area like Houston just because it was cheaper and more convenient for business. (There was no hurry to clean up the mess either–and now an “act of God” has done it washed the mess out for them, and the mess is on the streets of Houston. All those toxic chemicals are now in peoples’ backyards, on their patios, and in the park playgrounds.) Here’s a summary of the problem:


https://grist.org/briefly/yikes-13-o…during-harvey/

As Republicans my family of course still don’t think government should get more involved, and hope businesses will come up with better technology to prevent this in the future. Madness. Republicans are mad. These are the same people who learned no lessons about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Why do Republicans like pollution? I mean, why do Republicans not care about safety or reigning in big business so this shit doesn’t occur? Republican states refuse to even tax heavy polluters so that they will have enough money to clean up the superfund sites once the exhausts the resources of the land, and the companies never have the money stored up to pay for it. (They often declare bankruptcy to refuse to pay for anything, if you really pressure them to fully clean up their mess.)

Picher, Oklahoma is a great example of insufficient cleanup. Once upon a time it was an open pit lead and zinc mining town. Today the whole town is covered in lead pilings and zinc and the particles just blow into the city. Many kids have lead poisoning, and many people have chosen to move out because the Republican government does nothing. (They’re a Republican state.)

Because there was no money in reserve to clean up the Superfund site, a couple decades later a tornado blew near town and spread the toxic chemicals even further which caused mass retardation. The only plausible explanation I can think of for doing nothing, is that Republicans are just tapping their fingers and waiting for God to come back and blow away the rest of the mess. But the cynic living in me wonders if the Republicans just want the toxic metals to spread because they know that when retarded kids grow up they will definitely vote Republican.

Now I wonder what can we do to hold these companies accountable and to restore the land to a safe condition? Under a benevolent socialist government the public land would only be leased to polluters while they were responsible with it, and so polluting the commons probably wouldn’t be allowed. Capitalistic governments are irresponsible (and don’t seem to do enough to prevent the problem, or to clean up the problems, and they instead seem to like kicking the can down the road so that future generations can deal with the pollution instead.)

Frozen Texan family defrosted by Global Warming Hoax?

I have family from Texas and I can’t stand talking to them about current affairs. They’re regressive anachronisms from the 1940’s or earlier, possibly the late Neanderthal era. One day some of the stupidest of my tribe wouldn’t believe that shouting all the time could cause an avalanche, until when their constant state of outrage and hollering triggered a landslide. Snow and ice covered their bodies and preserved it, sealing away the evil, for many years. So it was until the day of the great global warming hoax. When Al Gore won an an academy award for producing “An Inconvenient Truth,” the ice couldn’t keep them locked up any longer.

Quivering with anger about “liberal lies,” they defrosted and crawled out of their graves, and walked to Texas to fight for lower taxes on the oil industry and more fire. They were half naked hairy savages who carried arms and believed in shamans, but Texans couldn’t notice any difference and embraced them as their own.

Anyway, they’re typical conservatives who just hate too many people to ever be happy. (I blame 12 years of homeschooling, religion, “scientific racism,” and the toxic conceitedness of conservative culture for priming that irrational hatred.)

Texans really have a world-wide reputation for hoarding guns. I met a Mongolian and he told me his Texan boss was from Texas, loved President George Bush, had collected over a hundred guns, and used to shop for more guns during work. He said it frightened him, and asked me what the fuck he was planning to do with so many guns? How am I supposed to answer that when I don’t get it either? I think his boss was a nutcase and an Armageddonist, par the course for Texas.

Fucking Texas, their millionaires are extracting Mongolia’s mineral wealth too. I don’t trust Texan intentions, and I want them to leave Mongolia alone. We really need to stop sending the worst of us abroad to be little ambassadors.

It isn’t all fake news

I think we should we share the names of trusted periodicals which are trustworthy sources rather than fake news.

Back when I was studying business some respected sources of authority were the Wall Street Journal, (and its cousin the Financial Times if you live in the UK), and the Harvard Business Review. It’s not fake news and there’s a major new corporate scandal or two every week, which might turn you away from the deregulation consensus. Or more likely, it might turn you into a selfish sociopath, but at least it’s not full of fake news.

(Just ignore the op-eds because that part can be as biased as Fox News or the Economist, and you might end up blaming Obama for everything that has gone wrong in the past 9 years. To confirm that for yourself, I invite you to get an online subscription and check what 98% of the other subscribers are saying when they leave partisan and moronic comments on those op-eds. I do think if you don’t have critical thinking and read those op-eds every day and associate with sociopaths every day, then you will become a brainwashed deregulation zombie or a sociopath. Of course not all business owners and managers are that way though a lot of them are!)

I started this thread because I might have found an equivalent source of authority in politics.

Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy are both US magazines that don’t focus on news so much as argument and analysis of US foreign policy. I look at the names and I see editorials from people with credentials like Jack Sullivan (the former NSA adviser to vice president Joe Biden.) They contain a diversity of opinions by elites from the political realm, and should not be dismissed as biased political rags. I wouldn’t call anything I’ve read uninformed or fake news.

For daily news you can avoid most of the bullshit ans partisan bias at the cost of losing some of the story by reading Reuters of the Associated Press which are the source of most reporting anyway.
(Since I think liberals are more right than wrong, I am also thinking of eventually subscribing to the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Atlantic, except there’s no hurry because the public library shares these for free.)

Of course, remember that most of these papers are owned by billionaires and neo-liberalism is definitely the voice of the establishment. If you have some little contrarian socialist magazine or a rationalist/philosophy magazine that is an authority in its field you can share it here, but mark it as what it is. (I.e. Reason.com is libertarian think tank propaganda.) I hope this thread might help people who try to understand things outside of their area of study, or who never were taught in school about where to find trusted sources. Uneducated people have a tendency to accidentally mislabel everything as fake news like sophists.

My reading list

Reading-around-the-world-time-spend-with-a-book.jpg

(Number of hours spent reading per week around the world by country.)

I’m trying to read more books per year than the average American does (about 5) for the rest of my life, although I know the quality of the books I read matters, and it might be more important to reread books than to just shoot for a numerical count. (It’s not worth trying to beat women if they’re just reading romance and mystery novels!) I know CEOs are avid readers that read about 4-5 books a month, or at least Bill Gates reads about 50 a year now, but hey, I’m reading because I’m curious about things. (Not because I want to talk to CEOs or to know how to manipulate people.) I don’t think I have the personality to be a CEO, although maybe reading books is what tends to change that? Maybe if I read enough books I’ll develop egotistical delusions and be persuaded to become a CEO that can change the world. Continue reading My reading list

Why can American CEOs own fighter jets?

This is addressed to the people who oppose any gun control, and who argue that we shouldn’t ban bump stocks. Their argument goes that these accessories they just make guns inaccurate and therefore won’t kill many people in mass shootings.

You people strike me as the type who haven’t paid attention to how the bump stock was used to murder more people at the Las Vegas shooting. When you’re firing at a dense crowd you don’t have to make every shot count. You can be inaccurate–it’s more important to just spray as many bullets as you can because you’re pretty sure a bullet that misses one guy will hit someone else. That’s why we need to ban the bump stocks–they have no utility outside of massacring crowds. It’s the same reason your Average Joe next door shouldn’t be allowed to own a mini-gun or mount one on his pick-up truck, or to collect grenades and studded pipe bombs in his garage.

Alaska was stupid enough that it let a millionaire buy 54 million dollars worth of Czech fighter jets (and other equipment) in under 6 months–some of them were soviet era military fighter jets with the rocket tubes still intact. Said millionaire defended his airstrip with a double set of walls, and by hiring snipers to stand in the specially constructed sniper tower. He had delusions about somehow acquiring explosive rockets for his jet planes so he could do “black ops” in the Middle East like a rich Bruce Wayne or James Bond in a Tom Clancy novel. (He was also a criminal who embezzled from a philanthropy trust fund.)

I thought Americans were generally opposed to a double standard where the rich get to flaunt the rules. Until I watched that episode of American Greed, I thought you weren’t allowed to own fighter jets–but in Alaska if your name is Mark Avery and you have 54 million dollars to spend, as long as you pay for the right to call yourself a CEO and promise to fill their tax revenues,you can legally come pretty fucking close to funding your own military and air-force! It’s like half of the country is insane and dreams of anarchy, and desires the legal right to sleep with an RPG launcher tucked under their pillow. These people advocate for arming teachers rather than talking about how to shrink magazine sizes and to reduce the amount of firepower and weapons of mass destruction that are available for most civilians.

Why do so many Americans want to live in the Grand Theft Auto universe? Are your lives life so boring that you want to increase the danger of suddenly dying at any moment?

Thr splc admits guilt

https://www.skepticink.com/avant-garde/2017/07/22/kpfa-dawkins/#comments

First of all I’d like to share this. This is old but it’s relevant and still a good summary of the dishonest smear attacks regressive leftists have been using against the New atheists.
Anyway the SPLC has just admitted guilt and settled the lawsuit by giving 3.7 million to the progressive Muslim reformer who they defamed for being Islamphobic:
https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress…lim-extremist/

 

All progressive movements are essentially critique movements that attempt to push for change. For instance, a Professor that thinks of herself as a Marxist will be a master at finding systemic problems in our economic, political and social systems. She’ll be able to explain why exactly the last recession happened, who it primarily effected and why it will happen again. What she’ll have a hard time doing is explaining what to do about it, perhaps by trying to organize her colleagues in her union, or maybe by protesting. Progressives are well versed at finding problems, but very bad at finding solutions, or at least good solutions that actually change things on a systematic level. The problem is that those problems have become systemic only because there is really no easy, better alternative.

It makes more sense if you look at it like that. Progressives tend to be young and naive, so when they’re taught about some of our systemic problems having to do with race and gender at the moment, they immediately want to go out and try and “fix” those problems, not really understanding that all they’re armed with is a critique and no good tools to actually change anything. If it was easy to fix our natural tendency to favor the our own group and feel xenophobic towards outsiders, then racism would have already have been fixed long ago. Lots of groups are working hard to do what they can though, doing things like opening up women’s shelters and food shelves. Doing good takes a lot of effort like that.

The SPLC is a special case though, I think. They represent progressive movements in the same way that the Ku Klux Klan represents President Trump supporters. From what I’ve read in the sources in your main post, it looks like more morally sound progressives are vocally distancing themselves from the SPLC.

Though I still like how progressives can ackowledge certain problems whereas many conservatives are are unable or unwilling to see the problems exist or when their own actions are part of a system of actions that harm others, (and they aren’t merely compromising or being pragmatic. ) Right now I am listening to an audio book by Steven Linker titled Enlightenment Now and he seems to be a neoliberal pragmatist. It’s hard to get the details though when it’s an audio book since dense facts often wash over you when it’s hard to rewind.

Do people return lost property?

How likely are you to recover lost personal belongings where you live? I won’t generalize about America, but where I live the odds are pretty good.

Every time I’ve ever lost a wallet or a cellphone has fallen out of a pocket and I’ve returned and found someone just put it next to the seat, or turned it into a lost and found–even on a bus in a bad neighborhood once. The same thing for Pokemon cartridge and I’ve been fortunate.

I don’t think it’s due to religion at all. Rather I think there might be enough desire to adhere to the Golden Rule combined with enough wealth equality and affluence that people don’t care enough to play “Finder’s Keepers” and keep a couple hundred dollars worth of personal property which are of more value to someone else. I’ve often turned or left stuff I’ve found myself. I’ve also had lost personal property returned to me in Japan as well.

On the other hand in China, I passed through a metal detector once and it went off and the cops surrounded me. As I was ordered to fish out my stuff, some random civilian was walking by and opportunistically grabbed my bag of potato chips right after I put it on on the counter while the cops were facing me with their backs turned to the potato chips–I saw it happen, but I didn’t bother to complain because about 6-8 cops were shouting at me in Chinese. I’ve never seen someone that desperate for potato chips in my life.

I was also in another nearby country when my camera fell out at a beach, and someone immediately found it and kept it for themselves. (That was also the same country where someone slashed a girl’s purse and took her wallet, but that hardly counts as “lost property.”)

So how honest are people where you live when they find lost property?