Sunday, October 25, 2015

Comments on the newest violence in Palestine/Israel

I do not believe Israel is sustainable long term w/o imperial backing.*  Jews in the BDS movement feel similarly.  Zionists claim otherwise, but you can feel the fear.  And this is of course why they want to be surrounded by all friendly clients, as Egypt has become.  Not by friends but clients.  Friends may have concerns, Clients will move along.  That project isn't looking good (or maybe it is--for awhile).  (*I mean as a continuing Jewish Supremacy Colonial State continuing as it is--to the horror of all.)

Anyway it isn't going to have Imperial backing forever.  Eventually the winds will change in one way or another.  And many clients may flip to friends or even something else.

Changing those winds ought to be the hinge point for the peace movement in USA--the USA itself is behind this whole mess and continues to support it with resources and cover.  Second, and I realize this is fantasy now, but talking Zionists down out of the tree by talking sense about it.*  It is of course destroying Judiasm and Western credibility generally.  This has been our number one security issue since at least 1991, cost us Trillions so far.

(*Here is how I might put it.  The wrong path has been followed from the beginning.  Letting thugs instead of ambassadors do the work.  As the most educated and intelligent Americans and Europeans, Jews could have built a model multi-ethnic state, putting the USA to shame.  The end result of taking the low road is that the reputation of Judaism is destroyed in the long run.  Depending on how this works out, centuries to come Jews could be too embarrassed to admit they were Jews.  That is the likely long run outcome of a militaristic approach that endlessly grinds away at the indigenous population.  There is still time to turn back and do things the right way, following Jewish principles--treating their neighbor as best friend.  The USA did grant full citizenship to indigenous peoples in 1905.  Territories have been mostly stable (though some mining encroachment which has been awful).  Israel could do the same thing, and much more.)

So really what both sides should do, IMHO, is nothing.  Just wait it out.  Gradually work on the politics if possible in a positive way.  Or at least keyboard clicks instead of bullets.

For the Zionists this works like this: the cooler they are, the longer their Imperial backing will last.  And more perhaps is on the line than that, as I said above, the identity itself is at stake.

For Palestinians, job 1 is survival.  Intifada doesn't help that.

That's my chicken dove kitchen table opinion anyway, which I'm sure nobody will follow.  But otherwise, my feelings are not so "balanced" as this article.*  I believe that Palestinians have a right to defend themselves within their entire original territories, whose dispensation they never agreed to except in one agreement which was fraudulent (Camp David).  Meanwhile, until they withdraw from occupied territories and remove all settlements there and all blockades against Gaza, Israelis do not have a right to claim self defense as a justification for any violence they use.  They are an invading army/settler-colonial-state, and they have the right to peace only upon withdrawal and cessation of war activities including occupation and blockade at least to current international agreements (which were unfairly decided in their direction in the first place).  Or just give up the whole idea of a Jewish Supremacy State, that's now looking like the easier approach.  But meanwhile Israel kills far more Palestinians.

(*to be linked soon.  Typical mainstream both sides do it.  Or that was mainstream long ago.  Then it was those damn arab terrorists.  Now Israel itself is coming into mainstream US consciousness, more and more, not in a good way.  We've passed through both sides do it, and beyond perhaps.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Critique of Alinsky Method

I like this critique of the Alinsky Method.

I've always thought that it must go that way, and Staughton Lynd describes from his own experiences as an Alinsky teacher.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Troll vs Contrarian

A Contrarian takes a position.  Specifically a position contrary to the other's (or the mainstream's) position.  Therefore a contrarian is subject to rhetorical attack both for their criticism and for their contrarian position.

A religious skeptic, for example, isn't just skeptical of religion, they adopt atheism.  That makes religious skepticism not trolling.

A concern troll need not take a position, though what they sometimes simply do is adopt the mainstream position, or the position of the group they are mingling with, without argument or defense.  Instead they focus all their rhetorical energy in attacking that very position indirectly by showing all the nuances that must be maintained in arguing about it, thereby constraining the argument ultimately to the advantage of an opposing position.

All arguments are deliberate falsehoods, in the sense of limiting the information to a particular set of ideas among a universe of others. Not the whole truth is an important aspect of truthiness, some sentences capture the whole truth better than others, but none can capture very much of it.  So we should not be surprised when all arguments can be in some ways shown to be false.  But there is no need to belabor the point.  The heart of an argument as an argument is primarily in it's capturing the primary essence, which if accepted means it becomes the most subject to qualification, not the least.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Gunther Witzany has an interesting philosophy of biology outlined in this book from 2000.

I like many things he says very much.  He is deeply concerned about the Ecological Crisis of our times, what this means, how it came about, and how we need to change in order to save ourselves and our biosphere.  I believe his is absolutely correct that the now globalized ideas that originated from Western society need to be changed and fundamentally.

His ideas that living nature is structured in a communicative nature, I am finding interesting, perhaps not totally compelling yet.  I would think of this as one facet of living nature, not the whole ball of wax.  Further it seems to me that his path to the correct values and behaviors to save the biosphere need not necessarily come from his formulation, and therefore his formulation may not be foundational in that sense.  I thought, and still believe, I was already there, even in my Westernized and nature-detached POV.

This reminds me of arguments I once had with a fellow Sierra Club member who argued that to preserve nature, one had to "appreciate it" basically by spending lots of time in the wilderness.  This has always seemed wrong to me.  It has always seemed to me that many people who spend far more time in the wilderness than I do (for example, Dick Cheney) are still flooring their SUV's straight into the Ecological Crisis, and me, sitting alone in front of my computer screen, I can see quite clearly that it's wrong to overpopulate and over carbonize when many of those wilderness people don't.  I'm not quite sure how I got to the values I have via communication with nature except via the nature that exists, somehow, inside my own mind and may have been there for quite some time.  I think my ideas come from some other basic ideas, such as what it means to be a good person.  To be a good person is to do good for all.  Allism was the word I coined in High School.  To do good simply for a particular idea is wrong, and likewise to do good only for other humans at a cost to other species, etc.  Somehow this was intuitively obvious to me without having spent a life communicating with nature.

Anyway, he writes: "Today we find ourselves confronted with an ecological crisis. … No longer is merely the survival of mankind at stake, but the survival of most higher forms of life."

Actually…the potential threat is greater than that, the ultimate threat is to all life, though many discourage talking about the possible Venusification of earth.

He says this crisis is basically the result of a 100-year-long cultural development, which has escalated in the last 40 years (1960-2000).  Actually, anthropocentric cultures go back to the first Sky Gods, well over 2000 years ago, and even that probably wasn't the beginning of anthropocentrism.

He writes: "…As opposed to cosmo- or biocentrically oriented cultural traditions, Western civilization adopted a world view that made humans the focal point and undisputed beneficiary of the nature around us.  … Within western civilization, and particularly in its modern form, i.e., scientific-technically oriented industrial society, non-human nature was degraded to a mere resource."  He then further describes that our civilization similarly reduces humans to a mere resource in the same way.

He goes on "This anthropocentric approach to nature, which is first exported and subsequently internalized by the affected cultures, pushes both the reproductive capacity of these societies as well as the capacity of the exploited natural resources to their limits."

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Why does capital not deserve moral respect? Because all property is theft!

I imagine many readers (actually, I don't have many readers) being offended by my attitude toward debt in my axiom "Default Early and Often!"

These angry readers may say things like: People should be responsible!  People shouldn't sponge off of others!  Etc!  Essentially taking moral outrage at bankruptcy.

They're making it too hard.  There is no reason to believe that following the rules of Capital (i.e. Property…and as now constituted not including slaves in-the-traditional-sense) represents morality or immorality.

It fundamentally can't because the origin of property itself is theft!  Original land property, and many other kinds, was simply taken from the commons.  It's continued existence and trading is the continuation of an original crime.  It is not cleansed of immorality by successive generations who may have actually "contributed" to the general welfare in the process of earning their share.  Stolen property is stolen property regardless of whether you paid good money for it.  Furthermore the biggest share has always gone, all along, to the biggest crooks, liers, and slavers.  The notion that we're supposed to have moral respect for this, who owns what and can therefore tell us what to do in order to survive, is positively laughable.

Now if you want an easy life, or even a tolerable life, going along is the way to get along.  Living in the context of an original and continuing Grand Theft of Everything it's most often easiest to follow the rules, and be square with the devil of who owns what and how much.

But when you have the clear opportunity, and nothing to lose except your fake sense of morality…

It doesn't take them more than a second to discharge one fraction of their their debt to society, through limited liability or other legal means, bribery, or other means, or even to acknowledge it exists.  And these are the ones we ultimately obey as rent is paid to the original theft.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Polyamory? Good Luck! Polygamy? Well, no.

I've taken a kind of libertarian position, uneasily, regarding polygamy.  But this fascinating blog blows all my thinking about this away.

Polyamory is fine, assuming real polyamory among roughly free equals and not sex slavery.

Polygamy, multiple marriage, is something different.  It involves a contract, explicit state sanction and support, and has a long history of being associated with the abuse of young women.  I would now agree agree it is not a good idea to allow such legal associations.

Now because of its history, Utah has set a very tough standard against polygamy.  No state in the US permits multiple marriage contracts.  But Utah considers single marriages with multiple related childbearing cohabitants to be common law polygamy, and prohibits that as well.

That goes right at the heart of freedom of association, and many other rights.  But I don't even have to be a civil libertarian not to like it.  A Federal Court has ruled that Utah's prosecution of such associations is against federal law.  Utah has appealed the latest US court judgement in September 2014.

Now back to polyamory.  I don't think I'm just speaking for myself when I say that sexual relationships are hard, hard, hard.  I have never been in a polyamorous relationship, but I have spoken with some who are, and they say it gets harder still with multiple parters.  The negotiation of everything exponentially more complex.

Polyamorous relations are far more common among LGBT than straight.

Polyamorous associations possibly haven't done much, however, for a social difficulty which may be at the root of much crime and social dysfunction.  I don't think it's done more for lone wolf hetero males, since polyamorous associations which involve any women are likely to more women than men

That's not a reason to prohibit polyamory, it a reason for new, different, and restored institutions to actually replace traditional society rather than just denigrate it.

One institution which does soothe the pain felt by lone wolf males is legal prostitution.

I am anything but a champion of the market idea for solving everything, especially wrt allocation of social resources.  I more take the position that markets may be useful in some circumstances and should be used only in those circumstances, and be appropriately regulated.  Prostitution is one of those places where a well regulated market is especially useful.

Should make marajuana centric "coffee shops" also, another social institution that supports lone wolves and brings them into new associations.