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About this blog

Between the void and the invalid, Reason!

Entries in this blog

Placeholder for GW/CC 'How I got here' thread

Placeholder for GW/CC 'How I got here' thread

[Edited January 2 2019 -- to remove or replace dead visual-links] Long ago Jonathan and I got some good traction out of a tangle of issues related to Global Warming slash Climate Change.  I think we are slated to renew or refresh our earlier exchanges.  I am going to poke in links to some he-said/he-saids from a few different threads at different times. One feature of the updated software is an automated 'sampling' of a link posted raw.  See below.  So this blog entry will be kind of a
"In the matter of Q"

"In the matter of Q"

I'd like to open a field of discussion for the QAnon phenomena.  Here is where I will post in already existing material presented at OL by members.  I'll take direction from comments and from poll answers.  What is Q / QAnon? Why should anyone on OL pay attention? Is skepticism justified? What are the main questions readers have in mind to guide discussion? No special rules or guidelines for this thread; the OL guidelines are good enough and will apply here. . 

william.scherk

william.scherk

Reading: "Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories"

Reading: "Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories"

I want to recommend a book I just started reading last night: "Suspicious Minds," by Rob Brotherton. As is usual, I read first the chapter that stuck out -- Chapter 5, The Paranoid Fringe. It takes a useful critical look at the seminal article by Richard Hofstadter -- "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" -- and also runs to ground a plausible origin of 'tinfoil hats.'  The book is written in a wry conversational tone, and is not on the surface a ''scholarly" read thick with endless foo

william.scherk

william.scherk

What to learn about Russian goals when you don't really care [updated]

What to learn about Russian goals when you don't really care [updated]

One of the items I fish out of the general Russia Russia Russia hoopla is geopolitical strategy. In other words, setting aside the unproven allegations of the Trump-Russia 'collusion' grab-bag, and putting to one side the actual details of the "Russia hack" of the 2016 US presidential election -- leaving the residual "what is this administration's larger strategy with regard to Russia, its hopes and fears, its ambitions." This is no easy task. The election campaign revealed just a few rules

william.scherk

william.scherk

Why did Donald Trump lose the 2016 election?

Why did Donald Trump lose the 2016 election?

This is no longer a placeholder.  Some 'on the record' wild guesses are already out -- notably our Bob Kolker -- so  I too am going to publish a prediction/analysis, knowing full well I might be picking through bird bones on November 9.  I think Donald Trump will lose the election on November 8th. I have some definite reasons why. I thought to post the reasons here, even if I am shown to be gawdawfully wrong later on. How 'off' will my analytic take be? Only time will tell.  Reaso

william.scherk

william.scherk

Sessions, leaks, security, Manafort and 'false news.'

Sessions, leaks, security, Manafort and 'false news.'

Six fun (sad/awful/false/infuriating) stories emerged from the swamp in the last couple of days. Peter Taylor noted elsewhere on the site some vows made by Attorney-General Jeff Sessions on the issue of "leaks."  Some of the usual suspects have pretended that this is a "Threat" against the noble profession of prostitution journalism. The strongest or least-false coverage of this issue from that point of view may be from font of evul Politico ... in a story called Jeff Sessions' Attack on th

william.scherk

william.scherk

Test Bed -- brainstorming Weather Gods, or, a thrillah about the world's weather system and its manipulators

Test Bed -- brainstorming Weather Gods, or, a thrillah about the world's weather system and its manipulators

I thought Caroljane and Michael had some interesting  brainstorm results, laid out below. I also had some storms of creativity ... which I will add once I finish furiously scribbling notes on a break by the river. We have secretly kept everything green behind our fencing, despite the water-restrictions. I hate when Israel steals our clouds all summer. My basic notion is weather weapons, weapons of war, that is what the protagonists come to be up against, discovering and destroying the milit

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

23 Reasons Objectivists (Might) Love Roy Moore [Updated]

Elsewhere on Objectivist-Trumpism Living, the Republican run-off between Luther Strange and Roy Moore was highlighted.  ... It made me wonder just what qualities and policies an Objectivish person might celebrate in the Republican candidate for the December 12 special Senate election. I have narrowed it down to 24 attributes exemplified in direct quotes from the man ... "Homosexual conduct should be illegal" “We have blacks and whites fighting, r

william.scherk

william.scherk

Reading:  Freud, the Making of an Illusion

Reading: Freud, the Making of an Illusion

I've mentioned the author Frederick Crews a few times on OL** ... and now I am ploughing steadily through his book "Freud, the Making of an Illusion."   It's the kind of book people reserve the word 'magisterial' for, so far.  The subject is Freud's story-telling, in essence, and the divergence from the actualities. Crew is the first to exploit the new availability of previously censored or suppressed materials.  He has previously rubbished mythic Freud in some earlier work referred to by the

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

"Inside Robert Mueller's Army"

The work history of the folks in the Robert Mueller team is reported on by the Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff.  For those unspooked by a relatively quiet news front on the special counsel's activities, and for those who are curious about credible/non-credible implications of the activities. And maybe for those who use "Muh Russia" unironically ... (& for those who may have forgotten the details of the inquiry's frame of reference: the Rosenstein order establishing his authority) The DB ar

william.scherk

william.scherk

2018 Midterm Congressional Elections: 300 days of excitement

2018 Midterm Congressional Elections: 300 days of excitement

There are times when I miss the Objectivist Living stalwart "Adam Selene." I am definitely going to miss his wonkish, passionate opinions on the coming mid-terms. I put this blog entry up to have a place for OLers who are interested in tracking the campaigns, the shoddy and unconvincing polls, and the final night of returns.  With the disbanding of President Trump's "voter fraud" commission** we will have no executive guidance on where or how various states are vulnerable to rigging or other hin

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

The Arab Tyrants Manual (podcast)

Readers will have seen this week one tyrant near the end of his reign -- Mugabe in Zimbabwe, who will likely be impeached next month -- and may have speculated on what the ruckus in Saudia Arabia portends for the family autocracy there (setting aside humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen). I've been following the activist Iyad el-Baghdadi for quite a while on Twitter. He was jailed and expelled from Saudi Arabia and found refuge in Norway, after having become a stinging thorn in the side of aut

william.scherk

william.scherk

All Polls Are Wrong

All Polls Are Wrong

The phrase "all polls are wrong" was a cool hinge-point of argument last year, as the Trump train rolled on ... Yesterday a Democrat penned an interesting article at The Hill. It didn't say that "all polls are wrong," but that surveys of President Trump's popularity in the USA are flawed and in no way indicative. In other words ... Why the polls are still wrong.  Here's a few excerpts from the article: The Penn article also received some pushback, in this instance from Philip Bump o
Cult Warning Signs

Cult Warning Signs

From Rick Ross's Cult Education Institute -- Getting Started: See also the fascinating Objectivist Living topic, "Secret Objectivist Cult," a funny and intriguing thread started by Dear Leader seven years ago:  I am a big fan of Tony Ortega's blog The Underground Bunker. Tony is former editor of the Village Voice, where he began his decade-long examination of Scientology. Some readers here may have seen him on various episodes of the Leah Remini cable series "Scientology and the Aft

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

The Trump-Russia File [updated]

A weird story that will probably continue to simmer for the remaining months of the 2106 2016 Presidential election:  what are Donald J Trump's ties to Russian interests?  How can the purported ties be established in fact? Is there any record that can be examined?  Would Trump tax returns show something hinky or surprising in this regard? The biggest headline is that experts named and un-named have found the fingerprints of the Russian state on the Wikileaked DNC emails.  That the supposedl

william.scherk

william.scherk

Impeachment thread corral

Impeachment thread corral

No one knows at the moment how the impeachment process will end up, though OL members will generally have in memory the Nixon and Clinton impeachment efforts for use in comparing and contrasting.  At the present moment, nose-counting wonks have counted noses,  providing spreadsheets of current House members who have indicated they support an impeachment inquiry. There is enough to agree articles of impeachment at last count -- if the process gets that far (see also the Politico breakdown of impe

william.scherk

william.scherk

Mixed Martial Arts:  Tucker Carlson vs Amy Peikoff

Mixed Martial Arts: Tucker Carlson vs Amy Peikoff

Peter Taylor left a crumb trail to an entertaining video from FoxNews' ratings juggernaut Tucker Carlson's show.  Featuring the Objectivist lawyer and scholar Amy Peikoff.  Veddy interesting ... "I must say, you seem like a logical atheist ..." sez the man with the Beatles haircut. [ ...] [... see below for the video missing above: Atheist and Haircut] From the "Friendly Atheist" ...  

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Civil war .... Domestic Terrorism [updated]

A few perspectives on the white nationalist "road rage" incident in Charlottesville, Virginia.  US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions called the vehicular homicide a clear case of "domestic terrorism." Youtube sensation Mike Cernovich: "Civil War is here! #Charlottesville." Townhall columnist takes a swing at Presidential equivocation: "The Charlottesville Dystopia: Dark Souls, Tested Principles, and Presidential Weakness." Cernovich again: "President Trump Delivers a Statem

william.scherk

william.scherk

489 Days of Excitement (Democratic Party Presidential Candidates)

489 Days of Excitement (Democratic Party Presidential Candidates)

Three hundred and twenty-five days until the first chance Democratic electors have to select a candidate (beginning with the Iowa caucuses), plus the time between that caucus and the end of the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee Wisconsin on July 16 2020. I'll be using this topic thread to note various peaks of excitement between now and then.  I don't think there will be much excitement on the Republican side -- since barring unforeseen circumstances, President Trump is assured th
Top Twitter feeds

Top Twitter feeds

A Twitter List by wsscherk is my compilation of accounts our dear Leader follows. This post originally was a summer test of embedding such a thing on a page, which I did later do with both the Salon and anti-Salon lists elsewhere.  Sorry if Michael felt his privacy invaded -- this post was put on a "Publish later" schedule and forgotten about until it popped up.  In any case, Twitter Lists are a means to narrowly focus and sample tweets from interest groups, subject areas, kooks and cr

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

In search of sense

No. Yes. Trump is working from a self-limited palette.  I guess you people hear lots of different things.  "Why did he do it?" is psychologizing?  It sounds like your people are incurious.   If there are others just like this killer,  laying in wait ...  This is weird.  Your 'holier-than-thou liberal secularists here' -- do they have names?  Is it possible to lift up their awful comments and show them relevant? No? Hardly relevant, IMO.  And not recently. Sente

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Las Vegas massacre byproducts

A glimpse of the worst kind of 'reporting' ... from the Gateway Pundit, determined to put something out there to agitate and draw clicks, regardless of truth: Then there are those who go with the first thing on their minds (a sample): -- and of course, the "news" from good old 'Baxter Dmitry' ... spinning hard, and adding a "false flag" note drawn from his asshole. Helpfully, the ghouls at Infowars are busting a gut to lay blame ... Alex Jones

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Dinesh D'Souza sez Hitler was not anti-gay

Twitter is a phenomenon indeed. Yesterday Dinesh D'Souza let off the mental equivalent of a wet fart ... and reaped a whirlwind of reaction, as they say: Is he stupid, misinformed, caught in a mental litter-box, or is he all three? In other "integrity in reporting" news, Milo Yiannopoulos and Breitbart were subjects of a 'bombshell' report at Buzzfeed that has been in the works for a few months, based on a trove of emails (presumably hacked by 'muh Russians' ...). It is the equiva

william.scherk

william.scherk

How to disagree without being disagreeable

How to disagree without being disagreeable

I was thinking about some of the life-learning and wisdom of Nathaniel Branden, half-convinced in my mind that I was remembering a quote accurately, that Nathaniel Branden had written "disagree" and "disagreeable" much like I thought in the title of this entry. I did find a phrase, something like I remembered and put it in fuller context at bottrom. But first some thoughts from the departed. The natural inclination of a child is to take pleasure in the use of the mind no less than of t

william.scherk

william.scherk