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Between the void and the invalid, Reason!

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"Atheist Terrorism" in small-town Texas

Another repulsive mass-murder in America. Another 'type' of and motive for killing, this time a "creepy" and militant atheism -- at least according to some media outlets. Our old pal Baxter Dmitry adds a bit of fey canoes ...  Texas church shooting – Facebook rants of ‘creepy’ gunman Devin Kelley, 26, who preached about atheism before killing 26 churchgoers Devin Kelley, 26, who carried out the worst mass shooting in Texas' history, ranted on Facebook about churchgoers being 'stupid

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

The "Paradise Papers"

Remember the Panama Papers -- the leaking of millions of financial documents, some of which showed the lengths some big players will go to in evading taxes and financial supervision?  There is a new tranche of unveiled financial documents in town. An investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has turned up a wide range of financial hanky panky. Here's a brief video: The Paradise Papers – Secrets Of The Global Elite Although a story featured el

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

25 Not Salon-Approved Conservatives Worth Following on Twitter

Mike LaChance is a contributor to the website "Legal Insurrection." His article "25 Not Salon-Approved Conservatives Worth Following on Twitter" wryly comments on an article at boo-hiss Salon. So I made a Twitter list. -- both LaChance and Salon writer Taylor Link address the point of 'the bubble,'' AKA 'information silos,' a tendency to consume news and commentary drawn only from a pool of like-minded people. One of the things I bear in mind as a Twitter consumer. Extend my purview, a

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Annotating Regi Firehammer's essay on Evolution

I am intrigued by Regi Firehammer's article on Evolution, which is published at USAbig.com. With his permission, I have re-published it at my website with my annotations, suggestions and notes. I will keep this blog entry locked until I have finished the first set of notes. Below is the essay as it stands. -- here is my annotated version as published. My work is incomplete now mostly complete, although the frame will 'update' if the work proceeds and I revise the file. Thanks, Regi, f

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Gaseous burbles from "the swamp"

Former President George W Bush doesn't usually make much news, but a speech he gave at his Presidential Center has the usual suspects dragging out portions of his speech for crimes against Trump.  The theme of the conflab at the Bush Center was "The Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In the World." Here is the full speech, and below I add in the full text. Some  folks think it was an unfair attack on the current President (or his perfect policies and actions). You listen, you read, you decide

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Ayn Rand sightings

Two long and involved articles that touch -- if only briefly -- on Randian ideas in culture.  The first features Arthur Robinson (of interest to our intrepid Brant Gaede) and the second drags its hooks through 'right wing' science-fiction. Although I am familiar with some of Arthur Robinson's activities, the article on him has dug up a lot of detail, and is fairly well-written -- despite its bias. The 'right-wing' science fiction article has a case of over-reach, but as with the Robinson ar

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

 

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

 

Introducing Jagmeet Singh

The two major national parties in Canada are the Liberals and the Conservatives. The third national party is called "The New Democratic Party" or NDP.  The party has just selected this guy, Jagmeet Singh as their leader ... Jagmeet Singh wins NDP leadership race on first ballot He will become the first Sikh to lead a national party. Singh attracted some national and international attention for how he dealt with a finger-wagging heckler at one of his leadership campaign meetings la

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

It's Flag Day in Puerto Rico

There is at least one American territory where the stand-up-when-the-President-tells-you-to brouhaha is not pertinent, the island of Puerto Rico.  Apparently, some storm lashed the island and left a bit of a mess. The President is probably demanding flag-obedience before unleashing any aid.  Speaking of aid, here is a mental aid in the form of visual imagery. Back to your regular programming, where dissent is cancer.

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Schumer-Pelosi-Trump & undeDACAmenting aliens

I can't make complete sense of the deal/no-deal, amnesty/no amnesty hoopla engorging the members of the media today.  I think that the President wants to allow work permits continuing to be given to DACA folk, on the same two-year re-application schedule.  But the hoopla machinery is at full screaming intensity today. From Memeorandum this moment: Whew!  

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Shock Therapy

Could be interpreted as meaning the US is 'considering' stopping all trade with Russia, China, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and a list of other countries of lesser note.  If you interpret it as a threat of consequence, it could  have been designed to merely send a message to the biggest two-way trade partner, the People's Republic: Uncle Sam envisions extreme measures short of war, targeted at enabler nations. From another angle, the "all trade" is blufftrump, while the biggest offender s

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

"The Five Types of Trump Voters"

The folks at the Voter Study Group have an article from June, in which some 'types' of Trump voters have been discerned. The title and subtitle -- The Five Types of Trump Voters: Who They Are and What They Believe. It is worth a read, if only to explore the path of belief ... The five 'types' are said to be: Staunch Conservatives Free Marketeers American Preservationists Anti-Elites The Disengaged

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

 

Falsifying Video: "Real-time Face Capture and Reenactment"

The world of video hoaxing has a relatively new tool. Technology is used to insert facial expression into a video of a person speaking, re-rendering the video to reflect a ''real time" actor's expressions ... ka-reepy implications. See also an alarmist Business Insider article, "AI and CGI will transform information warfare, boost hoaxes, and escalate revenge porn."  

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

"Emotions are tools of cognition."

The topic of emotion in Randland has always interested me. My very first point of contact with Objectivish things online was the place of emotion in cognition. It is interesting to find myself in rough agreement with Michael all these years later.  In the midst of a very intriguing conversation with my favourite South African Randian, this by MSK: It's not really fair to truncquote this bit, but readers can plunge back into the front porch thread to gain the flow of discussion, and t

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

 

What do you know about psychopathy?

[Edit: this topic was "blocked" -- which I usually do when I haven't finished a topic opener, to prevent a response to a last-draft-but one. I just unblocked it, after adding my own comment below] I was thinking today about Objectivist/ish conceptions of mind, volition and 'determinism.' The context is a 2014 book called "The Psychopath Whisperer." I am about half-way through giving it a thorough read, and want to recommend it to OLers interested in the intersection of law, punishment, phil

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Presidential Tweets Today

Some folks have penned breathless stories about President Trump's new Chief of Staff General Kelly -- suggesting that he will try to intercede between the president and the Twitter 'send' button.  Eg,  Yeah, well, if Kelly is with the President in New Bedford during the away-days from West Wing renovations, it looks like the ''reining in" is not actually what some folks hoped for:                     So ... what are those "ph

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

How Canada became an education superpower

An interesting story from August 1 at the BBC: How Canada became an education superpower -- for those who followed today's Presidential unveiling of an immigration reform, the story has a few explanations of how Canada can place high on international education ranking -- while dealing with large amounts of immigrants. Without getting into the weeds, Canada's immigration policies are more like the reforms suggested for the USA -- a "points-based" system -- except for the family-class newcome

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Rich, Seth, Russians, The

Another unsavoury emission from the hoopla turbines. It looks like Sean Spicer may have been 'in the loop' when FoxNews got in trouble with an unwarranted story they published -- while deeper intrigue is found in the form of a lawsuit filing. A dumptruck of details arranged in a narrative of wrong-doing, true or not. The plaintiff feels FoxNews fucked him over and escaped accountability. To set the scene (with light editing and bolded items): I had earlier taken issue with the root o

william.scherk

william.scherk