Saturday, September 29, 2012

Yes, there's voter fraud, by the GOP

The regressives have created the false narrative, i.e., a story with no proof, that there is rampant voter fraud so therefore it is necessary to create stringent voter ID requirements. And the smoke screen is so that they can deliberately disenfranchise those most likely to vote Democrat. They really don't care about democracy but about supporting their ideology. Ed Shultz continues to report on this. With Obama pulling away in the polls cheating is the only way regressives have a chance and they know it. And ironically they are the ones committing voter fraud.

Metaphysics and hegemony

Balder started an IPS thread on his recent JITP paper. Therein he's posting his discussions of the paper with some folks at Integral Life. One section is on inclusivism in religious traditions, how they can make room for sub-schools within their own tradition as well as other traditions, but always while subsuming them to a lower order within their own. As on example Balder mentioned Wilber's Vedanta-influenced ranking and I responded:

As to which forms of Buddhism Kennilingam favors as more ‘developed,’ I’ve assiduously explored this in numerous threads and argued as to which is truly more enlightened. This post in the Batchelor thread, which rehashes some of my previous sources and arguments, shows his bias toward the Murti interpretation, which is reiterated by Thakchoe in this post of the same thread.

Re-reading pp. 1-2 of the Batchelor thread, providing context for the above references as well as excerpts to and commentary on Kennilingam,  I came upon this post.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Thoughts as elements or suobjects?

Continuing from this post, see part 2 of Michael's post and the commentary.

Balder: From this view*, of course, states of consciousness would be endo-relations of objects (sentient beings) -- meaning, states of consciousness would be regarded as having ontological weight (being real) but would not be substances or "objects" in themselves.  This differs (also of course) from mystical views, many of which tend to regard at least some states as ontological substrata (hyper-objects?)...

* With "this view," I was referencing a bit earlier in the discussion, not your more recent post.

theurj: Consciousness is one of the aggregates. Still not clear on making connections between the aggregates and endo-relational structure. The aggs seem more like the usual developmental ladder: body-perception-emotion-mind-consciousness. They are 'real' in a sense, the Buddhist 'problem' being getting attached to or identifying with them, not in their conditional and impermanent reality per se. All of the aggs can be recontextualized as nested 'levels' to the actual, smaller and substantial part-suobjects in a larger suobject. But not their structural relations per se, which do not enter into local manifestation as body, emotion or thought. Very sticky wicket.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Why Romney is losing

Robert Reich's post today evaluates two explanations for Romeny's dropping poll numbers. One is that Romney is just a bad candidate, makes continual gaffs, cannot express his real values and policies and is just plain incompetent. I don't argue with any of those, being accurate as far as they go. But Reich thinks there is a more significant reason being avoided by the regressives and with which I agree. Inept as Romney is, he is just playing out the current GOP ideology and agenda to the letter. And that is why he is falling behind, since the majority of Americans just don't like regressive ideas anymore.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Onticological substances and Buddhist aggregates

Continuing a series of posts (last one here), and the enduring autopoietic substance of the OOO thread (starting here).

This Archive Fire blog post of 9/19/12 touches on our recent theme. An excerpt:

"I’m not at all comfortable with the notion that ideas are objects. Ideas seem to me more like something actors do, as expressions of objects, than things or actors as such.... Therefore ideas are actually private imaginings and recombinations of public (social) referents. Such private imaginings are fleeting and ephemeral products without substantial properties of their own, and only ever arising from and instantiated by specific assemblages of bodies, brains, codes, concepts, memories, habits and communications. Ideas are not objects, anymore than digestion or emotions are."

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Maher's new rule on undecided voters

He calls it like he sees it on those few that have yet to make up their "minds" about the upcoming election. I put "minds" in scare quotes because these are people whose distinctive quality lies in the fact that they do not exhibit any demonstrable thinking process. Maher dispenses with the myth that the undecided "are somehow more noble and discerning that the rest of us." He gives the Octomom and Kim Kardashian as examples of this elite group. They are not the cream but more like the dregs of the crop intellectually. They are what political scientists call "low information voters, otherwise known as dipshits."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jon Stewart rips regressives a new one on the 47%

In this clip Stewart sets the record straight about this 47% of slackers Romney despises. He observes that this includes the elderly, veterans, the working poor and much of the middle class. This triggered panic at Romney campaign headquarter, aka Faux Snooze. Or as Stewart calls it, "chaos on bullshit mountain." Their first complaint was it was put out by a left-wing magazine, Mother Jones. Then they tried to spin it that his words don't matter, for what he meant was that opportunity show be open for everyone. Wow, that's some leap. "It's like Romney jazz; it's the words you don't hear." Their next specious excuse is that it is the truth. Stewart sums up the argument so far: "This inartfully stated, dirty little liberal smear is a truthful expression of Mitt Romney's political philosophy and it is a winner."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Colbert on Romney's 47%

Colbert comments that after one aid said Romney's campaign has been shaken to say the least: "Vomiting blood, to say the most." As far as those irresponsible ones who expect a handout: "What do they think, that food grows on trees?" And "there's no such thing as a free lunch; lunch is $50,000 a plate." He also noted that some of those not paying income tax are soldiers receiving combat pay. "See, Romney mentioned the troops in a speech." Naturally the Democrats went after Romney "like a poor person going after a basic need."Since Romney thereafter said that while his may have inelegantly phrased it, he stands by the sentiment. So Colbert then does a bit dressed up as a rich guy elegantly saying the same thing. Quite funny.

Who are the 47%?

Ezra Klein provides the facts on Romney's claim. While it's true that that amount don't pay income tax it's not true that they don't pay taxes. Or that they are deadbeats without personal responsibility. 54% pay income taxes. Of the remaining 46%, 28% pay payroll taxes, 10% are the elderly, 7% are the non-elderly making income under $20,000. And that leaves only 1% left over. Those paying payroll taxes average paying a higher % of their income than does Romney. The elderly likely were productive workers when younger and are now enjoying retirement and the social security they earned. And those with income under $20,000 are also working so they are not deadbeats. Fortunately the government doesn't charge them income or payroll taxes because they barely scrape by on what little income they have. All of them don't take responsibility, are deadbeats? And even that 1% with no job, no social security etc. likely did have work at some point but due to our economy are down on their luck and deserve some help.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Call of Cthulhu

Thanks to Balder for directing me to this video. Just the prose alone is art incarnate. Combined with his masterful storytelling and evocation of the darkest recesses Lovecraft is the consummate connoisseur of the uncanny. June's voice and cadence are perfect for this too. Enjoy.

Romney caught admitting he doesn't care about half of America

This breaking story is huge. In a closed fund raiser or wealthy donors Romney was caught on tape saying that 47% of Americans are lazy,  pay no taxes, expect a handout and are just whining victims. First off it's a lie that 47% pay no taxes, but lying is standard procedure for regressives. Not only that, if he were President he wouldn't give one damn about them. He said: "My job is not to worry about those people." He wants to be President of the winners only and to hell with half of the country. Which is being generous, as it's more like he'll represent the mere 1% of wealth like himself. The rest of us will be kicked to the curb when all safety nets are shredded for us lazy bastards so we just go off and die a slow, horrible death from starvation.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The macro/microcosmic Assholon

We've all heard of traditions that see the human body as a microcosm to the macrocosm, an "as above so below" metaphor that posits a metaphysical everything (One) that our bodies fully represent on the material plane (a special One). See for example this section of The Secret Teachings of All Ages. This is often depicted with da Vinci's famous drawing, below:

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wisconsin judge rules anti-union bill unconstitutional

Per this report Dane County circuit judge Juan Colas ruled yesterday that the union busting law WI passed violates both its state and the federal constitutions and is therefore null and void. Of course WI Governor Walker says this will be appealed, and as of the reporting it is unclear whether the law will remain in effect during the appeal. The good news is that the draconian law must now pass constitutional muster. The bad news is that both the WI state and the federal supreme courts have regressive majorities likely to uphold the law. Another reason why the coming election is very important in replacing these vestigial holdovers from a bygone era (i.e. cavemen and women), not just on the federal but perhaps more importantly on the state and local levels.

Maher on god and money

In his New Rules segment last night his special comments were devoted to god and money, since in the US our god is money. In noting that god should not be on money: "Because one is a supreme, all powerful entity that Americans worship above all else. And the other is god." In explaining why the Democrats left god out of their platform: "Perhaps because it's a platform and not a spell." In response Fox news pretended Christianity was under attack "to get old people hard." Romney responded that "I will not take god off of coins." To which Maher responded: "Taking a bold and unwavering stance against something no one has ever asked anyone to do."

Strange mereology indeed

Continuing from my last two posts, and the ongoing, autopoietic substance of the IPS OOO thread:

The answer to my conundrum is addressed in Chapter 5 of TDOO. In 5.2 he discusses the intensional and extensional relations of Badiou's set theory. In the former elements of the set are ordered in a particular way, whereas in the latter the elements can be related in multiple ways. I.e., elements in the latter are not defined by their relations whereas they are in the former. He relates this to his exo- and endo-relations respectively. So a particular suobject can be composed of smaller parts with their own substances, but their relations to the larger suobject are exo-relations. Whereas the organization of the endo-relations between those smaller parts is what is undecomposable in the larger suobject, what is particular to that suobject's substance. Hence the endo-relations themselves are not another suobject with substance but what make the larger suobject unique. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Of holons and substances

Continuing from my last post, in trying to relate the notions of holons (Wilber) and substances (Bryant), I post some of the comments below to the ongoing IPS discussion of OOO.

theurj: Now one question I have--I have several but for now this one--can the elements of a suobject's substance, which themselves do not have substance, be considered holons? If we define something as an autonomous suobject, whether sentient or insentient, whether individual or social, and elements as defined by Bryant are without such autonomous substance, can they nevertheless be holons? In a way it seems Bryant is also distinguishing between legitimate and illegitimate singularities based on their powers of organization. Edwards sees these organizational powers as the defining characteristic of holons. Bryant see substanceless elements as the organizational structure of endo-relations.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Of dominant monads and dominant gonads

Continuing from this post I’ll include the last comment and proceed.

Recall the following from TDOO, chapter 4.1, where Bryant qualifies the above. It is similar to Wilber's comments about this in Excerpt C * but there are differences. More on that later.

"To illustrate Luhmann's thesis, I turn to the simple example of a humble dialogue. For the last few years I have been fortunate to have the friendship of my colleague Carlton Clark, a rhetorician at the institution where I teach. Within a Luhmannian framework, this dialogue is not a communication
between two systems (Clark and myself), but rather is a system in its own right. In this respect, Clark and I belong not to the system of this dialogue, but to the environment of this dialogue.... The dialogue is an entity itself that constitutes its own elements (the communication events that take place within it) and that is something Clark and I are bound up in without being parts or elements within the dialogue."

* See p. 50 and following. He even goes into a similar discussion about Luhmann on 60 and following.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

IPS forum is a being with a life of its own

As is this blog, but that's another story for another day. Balder started a thread at IPS forum on his recent JITP paper. The ensuing responses to it led me to post the following:

As always you are a patient, compassionate educator Balder. If Joe had only joined our community of the adequate here he would have groked all that by now. We have all grown here through this forum, which as Bryant says is an object* in itself with a life of its own. And it is continually teaching all of us some new things and sloughing off some old things like the very in and out-breaths of any life. The forum is not in any quadrant but a full-fledged holon (suobject) with 4 quadrants, not just reduced to being an object in the old sense of being in a right-hand quadrant. Or something that can be looked at as a quadrivium. This is part of the problem with the little boxes of AQAL.

Want fact checkers at the debates?

Given the blatant lies we've seen recently in GOP politics wouldn't you like to see fact checkers at the debates? This petition drive is exactly for this purpose. I've copied-and-pasted below. Consider signing if you'd like the lies exposed real-time at the debates.

To be delivered to: Commission on Presidential Debates and the major TV networks
Have unbiased fact checkers at the presidential and vice presidential debates so that voters can base their decisions on facts rather than rhetoric. Voters must know what is true before they can make decisions that are in their own best interest and that of our country. It would be best if the fact checking is done during the commercials and then before the next round of debates, the fact-checkers' findings could be read without comment. This would be much more powerful than reading about it in the newspapers the next day.

Michael Moore on the upcoming election

Moore thinks progressives should not be overconfident, that if they are not vigilant and active Romney just might pull this off. This is partly due to many disgruntled auto workers in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio where the polls are pretty much even. But didn't the bailout save the auto industry? Per Moore it saved Chrysler and GM corporations. To do so thousands of their workers had to be laid off with pensions and benefits reduced for those that stayed. And these people are really pissed off.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Maher's monlologue this week

His opening jokes this week were as usual funny and accurate. A few of my favorites:

On the Democrat convention: "Usually when liberals are this fired up it's because Republicans said something stupid about vaginas." Comparing Romney's speech with the President, First Lady and Clinton's speech: "It's like watching an armless guy painting with his ass." On Clinton's speech and how it devastated the GOP lies he quipped that Todd Aiken said "it qualified as legitimate rape." The GOP were so upset they countered: "No fair, not everyone has an ex-President who can speak." On Clinton pointing out arithmetic being beyond the GOP he said that was not fair to Sarah Palin, since "one thing that family can do is multiply." On John Kerry criticizing Palin, Palin ignorantly and humorously insulted herself by responding: "I think he diminished himself by even mentioning my name."

New issue of Speculations

The new issue of Speculations is out. The table of contents follows. In addition to Bryant's article I'm interested in the articles on Derrida and Badiou, post-theological thought and magical Marxism. There's also a review of TDOO, and here's Bryant's blog response to it.


Friday, September 7, 2012

The President's convention speech

As usual he nailed it (transcript here). He's right that the election is about a clear and distinct choice between two radically different visions of America. His vision is one of opportunity for everyone versus one of enrichment and power for the few. It really is that simple. American values used to be about equal opportunity (not equal outcome), equal responsibility, fairness and justice. It hasn't been that way for a long time and although we want to move forward we want to maintain such values. I cannot say it or even summarize it any better than the President delivered it, so please read the transcript or see a video of his speech. All I can say is that despite my differences with some of Obama's policies this really is a very clear choice between better and far worse. And I choose the better by far.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Clinton's convention speech kills regressive lies

Damn, Bill Clinton is good. Despite vehemently disagreeing with a number of his policies he is still one of the very best speech givers and motivators around, right up there with the current President. And like the President he is authentic and genuine to his values and beliefs, which include character and truth-telling. Hence it was gratifying to see him lay bare the blatant lies of the regressive convention and agenda. In his speech he responded to all the the major GOP charges and made mincemeat of them. His winning focus was on something the regressives cannot abide: math (and science and facts). Or as Clinton puts the economic solution in one word, "arithmetic."

In the last 52 years of governance 66 million private sector jobs were created. The score: Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 million. Why the disparity?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Deval Patrick's convention speech

MA Governor Deval Patrick's speech last night at the convention was by far the best, even better than the First Lady's, which was quite good in itself.  Patrick not only showed why the regressive agenda is no good but why the progressive agenda is, and what values motivate that agenda.Truly inspiring and emotional speech, filled with facts and specific policy too. This is what an effective progressive speech looks like. I especially appreciated when he said if we want to see this agenda enacted they we must grow a spine and be proud about our values and policies, as follows:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

We ARE better off: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!

This was VP Biden's chant recently. And he's right in that like regressives we need to have short, to the point catch phrases like this that need to be repeated over and over again to not only frame but program in a stimulus-response. Yes, we must use propaganda techniques like the opposition, but as I've said before we can maintain the value of truth-telling while doing so, unlike their lies. Please repeat this often and with emotion, not only to yourself but to any who will listen:

We ARE better off: Osama bin Laden is dead and GM is alive!

And per this article the facts of which we should be proud:

Eichenwald on why Romney/Ryan must be defeated

This IPS thread turned me on to Kurt Eichenwald and his new blog post. I'll let him speak for himself, as he does so eloquently:

"The GOP must be stopped in 2012. The future of America’s ideals of democracy – and of the Republican Party itself – could well be at stake. Contrary to how it might seem, I am not a partisan bomb thrower. Throughout most of my adulthood, I have been just as likely to vote for a Republican as for a Democrat – in local, state and national contests. I have cast my ballot in presidential races for both Republicans and Democrats. But in the last four years, the GOP has transmogrified into something ugly and vicious and, more important, something wedded to the politics of fantasy and ignorance. It has rushed so far from its moorings that I cannot conceive of voting for members of this party until, hopefully, they pull themselves back from the precipice of self-destruction, paranoia and delusion.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Bryant on art

I enjoyed Bryant's post on art, and the linked article on art. One line reminded me of my old article, "Who decides what Wilber means?":

"The artist herself is an interpreter of her own work, not the authority of her work."

I also like his focus on the art as material medium. Often when enjoyed a work of art, say a painting, I don't look for a meaning or interpretation but rather just appreciate the brush or knife strokes, the texture, the color scheme, etc.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Krugman on Medicare

Paul Krugman appeared on Rachel Maddow's show Friday night and set the record straight on the Obama versus regressive Medicare program. Obama is proposing cost-saving measures while preserving the program as it is. No benefits are cut, only reduced payments to insurance companies and hospitals. And it's only over-payments to insurance companies for programs like Medicare Advantage, which has low benefits for a huge taxpayer cost. So no more subsidy for that. On the hospital side they have agreed to the cuts to payments because given the increased insurance pool with Obama's program they will make up for the small reductions in individual payments. This will also reduce the amount of patients that show up in emergency rooms without insurance, thereby having to treat them on the taxpayer's dime.

An integral postmetaphysical definition of states of consciousness

I was re-reading this IPS thread this morning, to which we often return in the forum. States of consciousness seem to be one of those keys around which an integral frame revolves. I've excerpted a few of my initial posts below to refresh the memory and revive these recurrent issues. I also delve into Mark Edwards' critique of kennilingus on states and then criticize his critique in some regards. See the thread for much more.

Here are some excerpts from New Developments in Consciousness Research by Vincent Fallio (Nova, 2007). For me it indicates that so-called “spiritual” states of consciousness probably arise in very early levels of consciousness and associated brain structures. Hence there is a very real sense in which “primordial” awareness is ancient, in that it arises from these early brain structures. But it is not timeless or absolute; it is grounded in our psychoneurophysiology.

"On a lower level can be found the state of alertness or of being conscious, which refers to a basic level of consciousness or matrix as a generalized state in which the system is receptive to information. This aspect of consciousness is clearly related to the concept of tonic attention, and is also related to neural mechanisms in the stimulatory reticular system, the thalamus, the limbic system, basal ganglia, and the prefrontal cortex" (81).

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bill Maher's New Rule on GOP amnesia

Last night his special comment on New Rules was about the GOP convention purposely avoiding their recent past. It seems they've completely forgotten who was their last President. Not only was he not invited to the convention, neither was Cheney, Rumsfield or Powell. He says if you can't invite them "you're not a political convention, you're the witness protection program." They might as well "just wave one of those Men in Black eraser wands." On not inviting Sarah Palin: "Even if conceiving here was a mistake, aren't you morally obligated to at least bring her to term?" According to the convention their history began with the Founding Fathers (who got the Constituion directly from Jesus), went straight to Lincoln and then to Reagan, and that's it.