Friday, July 31, 2020

Dialogue With Fred Maske About "Conspiracy Theories That Have Changed History"

Pax on both houses: Carl Sagan On Mystery: Why Common Sense Blinds ...
To begin with a statement of fact... 
In order to be anti-fascist right now, one must be anti-Trump - and actively anti-Trump. 

And to be meaningfully anti-Trump right now, one must be actively pro-Biden.


I agree that The Bay of Tonkin was a significant revelation of what had been hidden, and that the obfuscation of what occurred (and did not occur) in the Bay of Tonkin is accurately described as "conspiratorial."

But I don't think any of your cited examples have "changed the course of history." 

Vaccines changed the course of history. 

Antibiotics changed the course of history. 

The discovery of microbes and consequent advances in hygiene changed the course of history. 

Computer science changed the course history. 

The invention of lenses changed the course of history.

The Copernican world view changed the course of history. 

The European Enlightenment (which can also be considered the foundation of Liberal Democracy) changed the course history. 

Karl Marx changed the course of history.

Christianity changed history.

Islam changed history.

Judaism changed history.

Buddhism changed history.

Hinduism changed history.

Ashoka changed history. 

The Greek philosophers changed history. 

Medieval scholastics changed history. 

The artistic-cultural upwelling of the Renaissance changed history.

Settled agriculture changed history.

Civilization (i.e. division of labor in urban settlements whose agricultural hinterlands produced enough surplus food to sustain a population of urban "specialists"who needn't be dedicated to food production) changed history. 

The toppling of monarchical governance by the nascent aspirations of democrats changed history. 

Movable type changed history. 

The foundation of universities changed history. (The first university was founded in 9th century Morocco by an Islamic woman.)

"Universal" electrification changed history. 

The light bulb changed history. 

Macadam roadways changed history. 

Canals - including irrigation canals - changed history. 

Terraced agriculture changed history.  

Telegraphy (which marked the first time communication took place faster than the "real time" movement of people, horses and vessels) changed history. 

Subsequent acceleration of telecommunications changed history.

Relatively speaking, the instances you mention -- including the Bay of Tonkin -- are of minor, not epochal, importance.

"Operation Northwoods" did not change history.

Contaminated polio vaccines did not change history. 

The government's poisoning of alcohol during Prohibition did not change history.

And truth be told -- in the big scheme of world history -- the Gulf of Tonkin "incident," while important in United States history and Vietnamese history did not change the course of History.

As for the revelation of tobacco company racketeering in August, 2006, the rate of cigarette use among American adults increased from 2006 until 2008, and then resumed the downward trend which began long before racketeering revelations. 

It would be fairer to say that the racketeering revelations were accompanied by a paradoxical rise in per capita cigarette smoking.

Tobacco Use Rates:  

The 2006 tobacco industry racketeering conviction:

Notably, a disproportionate number of The Big Changes in human history have been scientific in nature - not political. (I should have mentioned that "The Scientific Method changed the course of history.")

Just as notably, this generation of fascists are anti-Science, and at this particular moment in time, Trump cult fascists are not only opposed to vaccines, but opposed to wearing masks - a behavior that "signs off" on the clear-and-present danger of perping "negligent homicide."

Three times in the last 24 hours I have had opportunity to make the following comment about those Americans who are most likely to subscribe to conspiracy theories: "It's as if these people go out of their way to be assholes."

If you interpret this as "just my opinion," I want you to know that it's an informed, measured opinion and I stand by it.

Even more importantly, all the historical events you mention were revealed by investigative journalists (or - in the case of tobacco company malfeasance - by members of Congress) -- people who never resorted to "conspiracy thinking" but went about the plodding work of research and discovery.

To the extent that we frame the events you mention as "conspiracies" rather than cover-ups (and I realize that, on the surface, this is a fine line) we contribute to the inherent swamp of conspiracy thinking which wreaks epistemological havoc by turning people loose to believe any goddamn thing they want.

Take a look at Wikipedia's article on "9/11 Conspiracy Theories." 

Lamentably it remains true that but conspiracists most notable achievement is the enhancement-and-consolidation of the fundamental and Enduring Right-Wing Conspiracy - i.e., the plutocratically-promoted belief  that concentration of wealth in the hands of The Moneyed Class is the summum bonum from which all "trickle down" goods derive. 

I cannot overemphasize this point: Divide-and-conquer has been the ever-successful strategy ever since money became "the coin of the realm." 

Here is the crux of the matter.

The endless ramifications of miasmic and metastatic conspiracy theories (even admitting that conspiracies DO take place sometimes) is fundamentally a distraction that ends... well... actually it never ends... with the creation of innumerable self-satisfying conspiracy theories so that everyone can proclaim victory in his-or-her "Republic of Me."


At best every competing, highly-individualized conspiracy theory "wins a personal battle" while insuring, as night follows day, that the moneyed classes will win the war.

In The Big Picture, you are the wrong side of liberation from oppression. 

And if Trump wins in November -- and your conspiracism contributes mightily to the real possibility of The Mobster's victory -- then the moneyed classes whom Un-Potty-Trained-74-Year-Old represents will cross a corporatist threshold that locks fascism into place so that Orwell's prediction will come true: 

“There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always— do not forget this, Winston— always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever. ”

Note well: "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever."

Trump would have his henchmen stamp on people's faces and he would be gleeful at the carnage.

On the other hand, Joe Biden's victory will at least buy time to forfend Trump's inevitable stomping and tromping. 

And in that "space," even Joe (who is hurtling toward "the left") may cross a threshold where the course of history actually changes, actually turns its back on the pre-ordained plutocratic matrix. 

What's more, Joe would have a real shot at putting in place the foundation of a new American "order" virtually identical to the world you so ardently promoted as a Bernie supporter.  

Sadly, I fear you can not even conceive the possibility of Joe providing a hopeful alternative to Trump's iron-clad, hobnailed fascism, supersaturated with cruelty and malice for anyone who does not genuflect at his altar.

Anyone who does not suck his ____ and lick his ___.

And to the extent that you cannot even conceive the categorical difference between Trump and Biden, you will remain, by default, a Trump promoter.

If that psycho-spiritual wreck of a "man" -- the only living human able to "put on a clinic" for Satan himself -- pulls off a victory in November, you need to know that the nightmare will be on you.

"In an avalanche, no single snowflake accepts responsibility."

Daniel Webster Prompts A Review Of Conspiracism And Its Destructive Role In American Politics

Pax on both houses: Mark Twain, Carl Sagan And Isaac Asimov: It Is ...

Postscript: If the carcinogenic properties of tobacco were being litigated for the first time in our current political and judicial climate, all the sonsobitches on the right side of the aisle would make a persuasive case that any nay-saying was "fake news" and "alternative facts" generated by "The Deep State" to harm American industry which, "by God, does what it does best when left totally alone - totally unregulated - so that 'The Invisible Hand Of The Marketplace' can work its preternatural magic." 

And I see you leading THAT charge.

You have been bamboozled my friend.

Image result for asimov cult of ignorance

A Deep Look At Joe Biden And His Appeal With Working Class Whites

Online Discussion About "Personal Responsibility"

Victor Hugo: "Who Is Responsible?" |  “If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed. 
The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, 
but the one who causes the darkness." 
Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables" | image tagged in victor hugo,moral responsbility,mary trump book epigram | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

In response to my meme above, a correspondent named Dr. Sarcasm replied with this meme:

Alan: In turn, I replied with the following comment:

I am not against personal responsibility. I encourage it.

However, the belief that everyone is capable of exercising personal autonomy and personal responsibility is often an attempt to justify one's own irresponsibility - specifically, an attempt by conservatives to insure they need not be generous, kind or forgiving since "the invisible hand of the marketplace" "takes care of everything," with no need for human intervention.

Furthermore, conservatives claim to believe the fairy tale that "the invisible hand of the marketplace" (and the consequent obligation NOT to intervene in any way) even though the Federal Reserve (and other Trump administration agencies) are currently intervening in markets in totally unprecedented ways and with unprecedentedly extensive and unprecedently forceful manipulation of markets in an attempt to prevent the next Depression.

It is a fact -- plain as potatoes -- that adverse circumstances degrade people to such an extent that they do crazy things or commit crimes for which they are not fully responsible.

If you are unfamiliar with Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" (recently made into the hit musical "Les Mis") here is the pertinent part of the plot line - "the life and times of Jean Valjean"... and his nemesis, Paris police chief, Inspector Javert.

It is a fact of life that psycho-social damage arising from personal and social abuse is widespread.

Notably, Trump's father, Frederick Trump, damaged Donald in just this way. 

Mary Trump's Quotes Victor Hugo's "Les Misérables" In Her Memoir, "Too Much And Never Enough: How My Family Created The World's Most Dangerous Man"

As a result of Fred Trump's adverse impact on Donald's stunted development -- Trump has unconsciously abandoned his moral compass in order to seek -- above ALL  -- personal approval, personal adulation, and - to the extent possible - personal adoration.

In this regard, Trump is a damaged individual with a broken psyche who is not fully responsible for his actions.

I am posting several links below in order to explain how these degratory influences work, even if you deny their operation.

After all, the mainenance of your "white privilege" depends on ongoing ignorance and denial that people are routinely degraded to such depths that they no longer "know what is right and wrong," just as Trump and his cultists no longer understand (and are probably incapable of understanding) that family separation is abusive behavior that causes chronic injury.

Many kinds of sustained degradation condition people -- with Pavlovian certainty -- to live "reflexively reactive lives" based on crippling fear -- and not infrequently -- on paranoid delusions.

These delusions may not manifest with clinical intensity but, even so, they warp people's judgment and behavior just as anyone can warp the growth of a tree by forcing it to grow askew. 

If you care to respond to my comment, I'm interested to know whether you think Boko Haram boys and girls are personally responsible.

Terror Group Turns Boys and Girls Into Bombers, Spies, Executioners

Incredible story of the 19th Century French socialite who vanished for 25 years... only to be discovered locked in her mother's unlit, excrementally encrusted attic because of her scandalous sex life

And finally, there is no shortage of psychotic and schizophrenic people who "act out" deranged biochemical compulsions; people who commit crimes with little -- and sometimes no -- understanding of what they've done. 

I understand you will be tempted to deny this (because, above all, you must keep your belief system intact... or risk "losing your religion") but -- by God -- "crazy people" are "out there."

Insights On Why People "Snap" And Kill

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Promotional Ad For Trump's New Hydroxychloroquine Doctor

Image may contain: one or more people, text that says 'Do you suffer from astral plane sex with demons? Ask your "Doctor" if Hydroxychloroquine is right for you.'
Trump Promotes A New Doctor. Watch What She Said About Demons

Meet The Don Quixote Of The Anti-Francis "Resistance"

Meet the Don Quixote of the anti-Francis ‘resistance’

Meet the Don Quixote of the anti-Francis ‘resistance’

ROME – In Cervantes’ famed novel Don Quixote, the lead character is a deluded noble who imagines himself a knight and lives in a chivalric world of his own imagination. The story has proved so popular it’s even given us a word, “quixotic,” to mean someone who’s unrealistic, impractical, driven by unattainable ideals.
If Cervantes were alive today and living in Italy, he wouldn’t need to dream up such a figure. All he’d probably need to do is to follow around Father Alessandro Maria Minutella.
Minutella, who’ll turn 47 in September, is a Sicilian priest who was declared excommunicated latae santentiae by Cardinal Corrado Lorefice of Palermo in 2017, for the crimes of “heresy and schism.” He’s a fierce traditionalist who now aspires to lead what he calls the “Catholic resistance,” forming a “small remnant” who spurn the “false Bergoglian church” (a reference to Pope Francis’s given name) and declare their allegiance to Pope Benedict XVI (who, of course, has never solicited such a following.)
“I’m just an instrument, a simple donkey of Mary,” Minutella has said of his position. “I am not afraid of Bergoglian contempt and the shame it merits, in order to make those souls who wish to be saved aware of the anti-Christian nature of this absurd messianism.”
Here’s his ten-point indictment of Francis.
  1. Permitting communion for the divorced and remarried in Amoris Laetitia
  2. Indifference to Marian dogmas
  3. Stressing mercy to the exclusion of judgment
  4. A document on human fraternity signed by Francis in Abu Dhabi, which he asserts reflects “religious syncretism”
  5. Neglect of mission (in the sense of making converts to Christianity)
  6. Neo-Arianism, effectively denying the divinity of Christ
  7. Rehabilitating Martin Luther and Judas Iscariot
  8. “Nebulous” eschatology
  9. Calling clerical celibacy into question through the Amazon synod
  10. Idolatry of the “Pachamama,” an Amazonian fertility figure, during the synod
This past Sunday, Minutella brought his act to Rome.
Under a tree along a street named for one of the early popes, Minutella spent four and a half hours celebrating the old Mass, delivering catechesis, offering a homily and leading prayers and the singing of psalms. He drew a crowd described by one sympathetic observer as in the hundreds, including people “of all ages and social classes, all wearing masks and practicing social distancing,” drawn by word-of-mouth in traditionalist Catholic circles.
The Rome event was part of a barnstorming tour of Italy that will also take Minutella to the regions of Veneto, Piedmont, the Marches and Tuscany.
To be clear, Minutella is nobody’s fool. He holds a doctorate in the history of Christian dogma from Rome’s Jesuit-run Gregorian University, having written his dissertation on the eschatology of famed Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar. When it was published in book form, it was even reviewed favorably by L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper.
However, Minutella’s inspiration isn’t restricted to the theological classics. He also claims to receive private revelations, which initially caused the Archdiocese of Palermo to order him to silence in 2015. It didn’t really take hold, as Minutella went on to publicly accuse Pope Francis of heresy in the wake of Amoris Laetitia.
In 2017 he was removed as pastor of his parish, leading to the excommunication decree a year later, at a time when Minutella was advising his followers – 43,000 on his Facebook page – not even to enter churches where pastors remain loyal to Francis, in order to avoid doubts about the validity of the sacraments. To those who object that they don’t have access to priests such as Minutella but still want to go to Mass, he’s unyielding.
“The Mass is very important, but it’s even more important to conserve the faith in its integrity,” he said.
However, Minutella’s revolution is mostly virtual, since it’s really only archconservative media and sites in Italy that are paying any attention. The powerful Italian bishops’ conference, CEI, hasn’t even bothered issuing a public statement about it, probably because even assuming all 43,000 people who follow Minutella on Facebook are in lockstep with him – and some likely follow him just out of curiosity, others for something akin to opposition research – that’s still only about .08 percent of Italy’s total Catholic population.
Granted, there’s a swath of Catholics who would share at least some of Minutella’s diagnosis. A few are admirers of Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who’s probably closest to Minutella’s position, having not only called for Francis’s resignation but also recently appearing to reject the Second Vatican Council. A much larger and more diverse cluster of conservative opinion would take issue with this or that decision made by Francis, while likely also finding things to appreciate.
All of that, however, is a world away from embracing open revolt and rushing for the barricades.
Yet while Minutella may be tilting at windmills, he shows no signs of abandoning his quest. Recently, he issued an open challenge to theologians, academics and even bishops sympathetic to the pope to join him  in a roundtable discussion, on the condition that a neutral moderator be found to guide the discussion.
How productive such an exchange might be is open to question, but there’s no doubt it would be entertaining — another instance, perhaps, of life imitating art, in this case with Cervantes as the one who probably ought to be flattered.
Follow John Allen on Twitter at @JohnLAllenJr.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The End Of Democracy: Trump's Love For "The Poorly Educated," And Opinion Trumping Truth

 Trump "Loves The Poorly Educated" Because Ill-Informed, Ignorant People Vote For Him. 
And They Vote For Him Because They See Themselves Reflected In Him | made w/ Imgflip meme maker
Compendium Of Best "Pax" Posts On The Cornerstone Necessity Of Education

Karl Popper Reveals The Essential Horror Of Ruggedly Individualistic Trump Cult

"How Do You Tell 40% Of Americans They Should Care About Other People?"

It Has Come To This: How Do Intelligent Citizens Deal With The Irredeemably Stupid, Ignorant And Self-Pithed People Who Have Taken Over? The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers Is Now Reality


"Conservative" "Christianity" Is Neither: It's A Shameless Ruse Perped By Religious Maniacs


John Pavlovitz: "The Miserable People" And "The Kind Of Christian I Refuse To Be"

Christianity: A Compendium Of "What Went Wrong" And Current Worship Of The Wrongness

Christian Ministers Have A Moral Obligation To Call Bullshit On Trump Cultists Spreading Lies

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Genuflection, Kneeling And Trump Cult Twistedeness

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane" - painting by Heinrich Hofmann ...

The two traditional positions of reverence are genuflection and kneeling.
Something is profoundly twisted in the psyche of white nationalists, white supremacists and other Trump cultists who cannot see this rudimentary fact.
Giants And Dodgers Players Take A Knee During National Anthem ...
Giants And Dodgers Players Take A Knee During National Anthem' Mookie Betts takes a knee during national anthem - Los ...

The Exoneration Project: The Case Of Clarence Moses - El Caso Del Sr. Clarence Moses

Llegó el día como cualquier otro día, pero en este día se lo llevaron para la prisión donde pasó 28 años, 
porque una mujer, después de una noche de copas, tuvo un sueño. 

 Queridos compañeros,

Les animo que lean el siguiente artículo que profundiza el caso del Sr. Clarence Moses del cual nos enteramos ayer en la reunión Zoom.

Para mayor información sobre el caso del malaventurado Clarence véanse The Exoneration Project: 

Aquí tienen mi comentario sobre el caso.

Es común escuchar que mucha gente blanca dice que el "Privilegio Blanco" no existe. Ellos mismos niegan que jamás lo han encontrado.

He pensado mucho en esta observación, y poco a poco se me ha esclarecido el hecho de que el mayor beneficio otorgado a los blancos privilegiados es que no tienen que sufrir -- todos los días, y múltiples veces al día -- el desdén de los blancos, la condenación de los blancos, la crítica de los blancos, el desprecio de los blancos, el menosprecio de los blancos, los prejuicios de los blancos, la sospecha de los blancos, el odio de los blancos, y el cierre de muchísimas oportunidades que para la gente blanca quedan totalmente abiertas.

Y una vez que que un moreno tiene un expediente criminal aunque no sea justo que lo tenga, es netamente difícil aprovechar de oportunidades que no sean criminales porque ya todas las puertas se han cerrado con más fuerza que las puertas de la prisión.

En muchos casos, el privilegio blanco de hoy día no es tanto algo positivo, sino es la ausencia de lo negativo.

Como decía el presidente Barack Obama, si tú eres un empleador y tiene un puesto abierto, a quien se le va a dar el empleo entre dos candidatos igualmente calificados, a James, o a Jamal.

Tocante a la encarcelación de las personas, es tres veces mas probable que los negros se encarcelen que los blancos que están arrestados por el mismo delito. 

No sé cuáles son las estadísticas de los casos excepcionales como el trato abominable de Clarence Moses, pero no me sorprendería si tales barbaridades también afligen tres veces más a la gente de color. 

Bueno compas, gracias por escuchar mi punto de vista. 

Con entusiasmo espero nuestra próxima reunión en Zoom la noche del jueves!

Con cariño y agradecimiento, 


PD Si yo fuera un moreno convicto de un crimen trivial como posesión de marijuana y me dieron una sentencia por delito mayor yo no aguantaría con la gracia y paciencia de tanta gente de color. En cambio, me pondría enojadísimo y quién sabe en qué locura iba a terminar. Pero sería feo. Bien feo.

Brilliant Video History: The Key Difference Between "Income" And "Wealth" For U.S. Blacks
"The Truth About The Confederacy In United States History"
A Video Presentation

When We Finally "Cop" To Slavery, Jim Crow, Separate-But-Equal, Mass Imprisonment And Genocidal Rip-Off