Leaderboard


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/12/2019 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-milkyway-over-beaverhill-county-jestephotography-ltd.html Something a lil different than my Wildlife photography. Nikon Z7 mirrorless with a Sigma 14-24mm f2.8 Art series lens for Astrophotography.
  2. 3 points
    Ted (in) Lieu (of fill in the blank) pulled out his cell phone and on the Congressional record called Candace Owens a ****er lover. I saw it !
  3. 2 points
    The editor of The Objective Standard, a magazine affiliated with the Ayn Rand Institute, has finally responded to the revelations in ARI Watch’s exposé “Who is Carl Barney?" about ARI’s largest donor. ARI Watch reviews that response in a new article Barney Tells His Story. You can understand it by itself because it quotes the TOS article.
  4. 2 points
    The Real Roots of the Internet and Social Media The following video from Corbett is quite an education. You can get the transcript and sources here: Episode 359 – The Secrets of Silicon Valley: What Big Tech Doesn’t Want You to Know If you want to know why the claim is bogus that big tech companies are private companies, therefore they should be able to freely censor whoever they please over political preference, take a look at this video. Would one ever make political preference a condition for civil service or joining the armed forces? Of course not. There is a fact that is becoming clearer and clearer to the public as time goes on. Big Tech is Big Government in the guise of private companies. But the big tech companies were and still are funded in great part by the government. And they never strayed from their real purpose, covert surveillance and influence of people in foreign lands--and ditto for American citizens. From that lens, a hell of a lot of mysterious happenings start making sense. Michael
  5. 2 points
    The Perfect Storm for a VACCINE HOLOCAUST is Now Here video, 36 minutes -- Mike Adams https://www.brighteon.com/8879b5af-59b3-4ed3-98e6-f9037f22ade5
  6. 2 points
    Michael, What you say about Q is along the lines I've been thinking, too. Sometimes Q is right, sometimes wrong, but always Q gets people questioning and poking and prying. William's supercilious negativity was what first aroused my interest. William's effective as a reverse indicator. Ellen
  7. 2 points
    I haven't read the article , so I don't know who is shilling for whom. But whenever I hear about conspiracy theories relating to tech companies becoming seemingly tech behemoths it makes me wonder whether the behemothing was orchestrated by other than market forces. Especially things tech/social/media. I get there can be tons of money chasing info /data the sellers can take advantage of for marketing and such. It would be hard to direct all that spending toward mining that data if it were spread out far and wide, fortunately the behemoths aggregate a lot of it and fortunately since a large majority of everyone uses the behemoths we are pretty comfortable using them . It's odd there is Coke and Pepsi but no Google and .., or YouTube and .., no? I get Carnegie built US Steel , but he acquired and built his way to that, bought other independent companies , integrated supply chains ect. US internet behemoths feel like they sprang from nothing to everything , did Facebook ever experience a lack of servers that limited their capacity ? Or YouTube? Did they acquire others' capacities ? How much investment is/was needed for the hardware ? I am completely ignorant of the cost structure for the industry , but I assume the price of raw computing power has decreased in at least the last decade, though I doubt Mom or Pop would be able to out compete the existing titans just on the hardware costs alone. But as I said I'm ignorant of the cost structure and perhaps that just feeds my bias toward sympathy for the idea that Big Brother helped to make sure all the lovely data and control bottlenecks seem to be limited to a few players.
  8. 2 points
    She knows shit about predators. --Brant been there, done that, smack, smack, smack if humans weren't predators, we'd have eyes on the sides of our heads
  9. 2 points
    Sunny Lohmann hosts a podcast featuring Ed Powell and Ed Mazlish: youtube.com/watch?v=995Riq8JdUo
  10. 2 points
    Well, I think you deserve a lot more than a pork chop. Just to let you know: I might not be able to be responding to anything further for a couple days. I have a dental operation scheduled for early tomorrow. Oh, such fun. Ellen
  11. 2 points
    I have begun to wonder if Obama is running the Deep State behind the scenes. He might be an Acting President, everyone in the Federal civil service working hard to oust Trump. Sort of makes sense. Obama lives in Washington. Be interesting to have NSA metadata on who he talked to last week, and whether he personally directed Lynch and Comey to bury the Hillary evidence. Anything is possible.The caravans were a stroke of genius. Motor voter registration and driver licenses for illegals. Yep. Recent history has Obama's fingerprints all over it. Rush Limbaugh speculated that NATO diplomats agitated for an FBI counterintelligence putsch to smear candidate Trump. No way. It was an Obama White House op, start to finish.
  12. 2 points
    Jon, tks, tsk. You are a naughty child. Might be? You said, "Might Be?" So you don't know. But you are just fine saying things without any proof. How do you know Richard Branson? How do you Richard knew NXIVM? People lie all the time, and they can EVEN lie under oath or they can fool a lie detector. You lack credibility.
  13. 2 points
    That guy is a Christian Nazi. He should stay away from the holy smoke if he wants to be a rational holder of public office. I despise people who want to wed their religion to public law. Even with a powerful Episcopalian entity in England, there was some separation of church and state going back to earlier times, which was reinforced in the U.S. Constitution. Back then, you couldn't be an atheist without being lynched or booed in the mid to late 1700's but you could be a Deist. And the more intelligent of the West's leaders and intelligentsia called themselves Deists.
  14. 2 points
    So does William discuss? No, he posts a link: Slide, slip, slither, avoid - and then whine if you're called dishonest And what the linked-to list is about, as Michael points out, isn't how to have a discussion but how to indoctrinate. Ellen
  15. 2 points
    Many of them sincerely believe, it’s just that they want you to die, first. They want your home burned down and turned back to prairie. Then they can enjoy earth with a smaller, sustainable population. How many who oppose pipelines have turned off their pipeline? None. That would be suicide.
  16. 2 points
    Ayn Rand would never agree to open immigration from today's context, which is war. --Brant
  17. 2 points
    Makes sense. I wasn't thinking in terms of strategy and financial benefit re Japan. Jon, an issue I've raised before in your accounts is the "total control" bit. Can't be acquired. Brainwashing, blackmail, bribery, whatever - no method turns a human into a complete automaton with no power of choice. And regarding Iran, are you indicating that the Ayatollahs aren't in fact Islamic fanatics? Ellen
  18. 2 points
    Sad life? One that is someone else's fault? If only they would get out of your way... But, alas, you are doomed to constant punishment for virtues lesser souls can't even dream about as you rant, "The bastards! The bastards! The bastards!" in impotent solitude... (How am I doing so far? I can do this with my hands tied behind my back because I've been there. Never produced a goddam thing when I was in that state. Heroism is not only fighting others, it's fighting your own self-destructive urges that are seasoned with self-pity and a growing taste for laziness--and actually producing something. That's not psychobabble. Suicide is a dangerous idea to cultivate. It eventually transmutes on its own from idea to reality. It starts with a shrug...) Reality is wonderful, even with idiots in it. Brush them aside and build. Besides, how can you win a world you haven't produced? What have you actually won by pretending? A feeling? You can't lose what you don't have. Most of all, stop looking down at others. Paraphrasing Nietzsche, when you look into the abyss, the abyss looks back into your soul. You become what you gaze upon. Michael
  19. 2 points
    Heh. That's a "TANTRUM"? And that's a "real" interviewer with "difficult" questions? Mr. Shapiro, I've selectively misinterpreted some fragments of your past statements to mean what I want them to mean. I gotcha. Defend yourself against my accusations. Pro Boss Real Interviewer right there. Is he the male Cathy Newman? J
  20. 2 points
    I haven't looked at the article yet, but the statement made in the title strikes me right off as false. The globalist elitists are parasitical. They require people who aren't like them to feed on. Consider a comparison to thieves. If everyone were a thief, who would be producing the goods for thieves to rob? Ellen
  21. 2 points
    Brant, Yes they do. That's what you are not seeing. They are using the Matt Drudge model of journalism: presenting headlines of news articles in a certain order and including only those that tweak their agenda. Notice that Drudge shows predominantly pro-progressive headlines one day, headlines that are chosen to get people riled up (threats, offensive things, etc.), then he presents the conservative knockout headlines the next day, including lots of headlines that put conservatives on the moral high ground. That's just one form of doing that. The tech giants learned it and added a gazillion others, especially through micro-targeting. Take a good look at their news feeds some day. Or the items they say are "trending." Or take a look at the same ads that keep showing up everywhere you go on the Internet. This is called "retargeting" and is mostly commercial stuff, but pay attention to the political things. You will see mostly easily debunked fringe things when conservative issues show up in these retargeted ads, and plenty of uplifting-like message ads from Dem establishment people like Kamala Harris. btw - Just for people to know, retargeting happens when a pixel of an image is placed on your harddrive with instructions embedded in it. You don't give permission for the pixel to be placed there. It just happens when you visit certain sites and interact with something on them. My joy and hope stem from the current stupidity of the social media giants. Instead of keeping to their covert stuff, they have gone full-on authoritarian and think they will persuade by persecuting certain individuals at a cartel level (notice Alex Jones was eliminated from a bunch of places all within the same 24 hour period). You can do that and be persuasive in a dictatorship where people will show up in the middle of the night, drag your ass out of bed and either put you in a political prison or kill you. You persuade thus by fear. But when you do that to Americans, they get really pissed and some strange alliances pop up to stand up to the bullies. Look at this authoritarian urge showing its ugly face with the midnight raid on Roger Stone by a large number of law enforcement people armed to the teeth. The fake news media was right there covering it all in real time. And the news feeds showed nothing but that for a time. They want nightime arrests of political opponents. They want their political opponents silenced and punished by the state with jail or worse. They salivate at the image and take joy in it. These people are enemies of individual rights, not victims of the state when they are restricted from doing harm to the individuals they wish to target for political differences. This is the press, you say? Not social media? The truth is, they are in bed with social media giants right now, sharing the same advertising sponsors. That is their leverage. Social media giants and the fake news media know what each other is doing. They are colluding. Michael
  22. 2 points
    Brant. It is exactly the contrary. There is a lot under the hood and I think you don't believe much in it because it's new and you aren't familiar with the extents and proofs. Look at it this way for just one angle. The NYT is constantly struggling to stay alive financially. And without Bezos, WaPo would have folded. The amount of money these companies generate and need to operate is very small compared to the financial world of the social media giants. It's the elephant and mouse thing. What's worse, but more of an indication of the influence of these giant Internet companies, they made their billions and billions in the last ten years or so from practically nothing. That's not much time at all. Besides, neither NYT nor WaPo convince anyone of anything these days. They don't change hearts and minds. They sing to a small diminishing (but loyal) choir while resting on their reputations from years past. The social media giants are based on behavioral science at the root. Once you learn what they do, how they do it, and see the results according to split testing, you really get creeped out. (Look up growth hacking sometime if you are curious.) The only reason traditional media is still relevant financially is because of old connections with old advertising models. Once the ad world wakes up, they will leave traditional media and chase bigger payoffs for their clients elsewhere. This is already starting to happen. I could go into a lot of detail, but I don't have time. I believe Obama started the deep corruption of the tech giants. He (and his COBS people) helped them engineer the Arab Spring and they began to believe they could partner with political power to topple dictatorships and remold the world. These are nerds and that kind of power went to their heads. Once tasted, that kind of power is more addictive to nerds than their algorithms. Obama also put lots of his folks into Google while putting lots of Google folks into the government. I could go on and on about all this. Michael
  23. 2 points
    Brant, Nah... Ignoring the problem--and what caused it--is the back door to fascism. Principles operate in contexts. For example, the principle of private property was practically useless when the Titanic was sinking. As were all the principles of good seamanship. And those are great principles. The problem was the ship was going down. Once there are no people and no ship, principles mean what? Nothing, that's what. Would you have fought the different Communist takeovers of the different countries last century with syllogisms and principles? Many people did and look what it got them. What about that big pile of bodies, millions and millions of them, from Communist purges? Do dead people use syllogisms? In today's world, allowing government protected communication cartels to skew the next election toward an authoritarian elite because of a principle that doesn't work with government protected cartels is playing with that kind of fire and, frankly, it is a foolish way to enforce individual rights against a hightech cartel (one that is protected by the government) that is starting to run amok. Go on and let fascists win by cheating, then see how they act. Hell, just look what they did when they didn't win by cheating. For over two years they tried to ram a big fat lie down the public's throat that could have started WWIII had it worked and grown in the wrong direction, and they misused the intelligence forces and legal system to do it. (Not to mention all that blackmail due to pedophilia and other misbehavior of powerful insiders). In other words, we will not drift into fascism by recognizing a commons where private Internet companies can operate, but includes the protection of individual rights on that commons. The current social media giants are already practicing fascism there. Most people don't realize how much money and resources they received from the government and the extent of the secret contracts they have with the government, including massive surveillance contracts, facial recognition contracts, and so on. There is another issue. These Internet companies want to have the legal protections of private platforms, but want to act like publishers in operating their platforms. You see, publishers can choose the slant of their content. They can choose who they publish or not. But they are also legally liable for what they publish. Platforms are not legally liable for what is published on them. They want the powers of publishers, but the legal situation of platforms. This is a question of the law not catching up to technology while mixing in a lot of government money and legal cartel-oriented protections. Note: these companies are not de facto private companies. They have the shells of private companies, but they have the substance of something more like the Federal Reserve. They are intertwined with the government on many, many different levels. And now they are going fascistic. This problem of fascism is not something in the future to avoid. It is something in the present and we have to deal with it now, especially since it is still at a size we can deal with it. After it grows to a tipping point, we will no longer be able to deal with it through peace and law. Look at what they are doing--what they are doing right now and right here--and see if growth of that to a dictatorship by technocrats that will have no use for individual rights can be ignored. I, for one, have no intention to ignore it while cautioning about virtual back doors. I mean, who needs to worry about a back door when the fascists have already come in through the front door? Michael
  24. 2 points
    I’m not knowledgeable or passionate about art but I have followed many of your conversations with interest. When you point out the inconsistency that music doesn’t fit her criteria but she called it art anyway, they break into gibberish or avoid the issue, it’s comical, I’m always entertained by it. I also don’t get the either–or rigidity regarding whether this or that discipline is art, say, architecture. Keeping water out is utility not art, but a textured roof that looks like waves of wind over tall grass and costs three times a traditional roof and raises the cost of the home by 8% is art because it was done for contemplation and aesthetic consideration, the essential characteristic of art. Insisting on the absence of utility strikes me as definition by exclusion. We can make distinctions, we can call it fine art or pure art when there is no utility at all. But if someone’s favorite sculpture turns out, unbeknownst to them, to be a personal aircraft — you press this button here and wings fold out and you can fly away in the thing — then now they have to pick a new favorite sculpture because this one isn’t art anymore? Seems like definition by non–essentials to me.
  25. 2 points
    President Trump Prime Minister Trump King Trump 2020 , and let’s get 2024 for Ivanka !!!!! God bless POTUS
  26. 2 points
    Ellen, I see some. The Notre Dame Cathedral is definitely a human species thing. It was not built by one man or woman. It was a group effort over generations--the best of mankind--from the 1100's (with history continuing to be added over the centuries). The ancient building was in a form--a concrete, not abstract, form--anyone could walk into today. Walking into it (before the fire) was not like looking at artifacts from an archaeological dig, but was walking into a fully functional building in use in today's society. When you do that, all you can do is marvel about the human species (and about God for the religious) that it was built about 900 years or so ago. Knowing that things like that exist gives most people comfort on a deep "I came from that" level. That's what I feel. I think that is a species-related emotion although I don't recall Bloom talking about this particular emotion. But, to me, seeing that building go up in flames left me feeling like my great grandfather, who was in perfect health yesterday, just died. (That's a hypothetical to demonstrate the emotion.) The comfort of belonging to a historical lineage is something so much a part of me and underground in my mind, I never verbalized it properly. And hanging around Rand-world drove it further underground except as banter about coming from hillbillies and things like that. Now, one physical proof of my inner certainty of belonging to a long line of humans who strive for greatness has gone away. No wonder it's bothersome. It makes me sad and melancholy and really pissed off when I think it may have been arson. As an aside, Bloom says people who wither away and die of depression are suffering from a species emotion (my paraphrase since I'm going by memory--I think his words were different, but the concept is the same). Super-depressed people don't feel like they are worth anything to the species, to anyone else, or even to themselves anymore. Bloom says this self-destructive shutting-down emotion is built into all of us, meaning it can manifest under the right conditions in anyone, so the species can be culled of useless members like cells of a body organ die. The dead get replaced by the new. I find this thought fascinating and--for now at least--it sure seems like this mental mechanism (including for other emotions as well) is one of the core components of human values. For a fiction writer, this opens up a whole world of compelling nuance in big picture events and character motivations--nuance that will resonate universally in others as it does in me. Like I said, I don't believe this species thinking is either-or with individualism. Humans are both individuals and members of the human species. Good and evil exist for both the individual and the species. Ditto for illness and health. If some of Rand's scope excesses can be reduced to a size where their validation can be checked by observation of anyone, and room made for the stuff pertaining to individual human nature she left out, I think this kind of species thinking aligns perfectly with her kind of thinking. At least, I intend to pursue this path until it leads somewhere good or bad (or both ) in my writing and my own thinking. Michael
  27. 2 points
    You've probably heard of the concept "man cold" or "man flu." I've heard it mentioned in pop culture for a few years now, and have been observing it with interest. And I just experienced it firsthand for the first time. I'm not talking about the cold, but about certain women's reactions to it. The glee. The superiority. I have a cold. I'm still up and about. I've taken the standard over the counter remedies, but I'm coughing and sneezing, my nose is running, and my voice is a bit rough. Despite going about my life as normal, I've been ridiculed by a few women whom I barely even know. They're very excited about mocking me for having a "man cold," even though I'm not actually displaying the behavior that defines it (staying in bed, doing nothing, moaning -- in other words, being affected by it, where women with colds are said to not be affected, or are strong enough to not allow colds to affect them). It's very psychologically fulfilling to them to verbally kick men when they are experiencing illness or weakness, and to derive a sense of superiority from doing so. There's no accompanying interest in science or comparing symptoms and ailments. It's just pure psychological thrill of belittling the enemy. Anyway, it reminded me of this thread, and the excitement that Billy seems to experience in focusing on right-wing conspiracy believers, but not so much left-wing conspiracy believers. Seems to have a lot of similarities to the "man cold" relishers. J
  28. 2 points
    Her white nationalism is settled consensus.
  29. 2 points
    Yeah, but I've heard that she loves Hitler. They say that she's a black white-nationalist, and was caught on tape admitting that she wants another holocaust. Why would they say stuff like that if it wasn't true? Huh?
  30. 2 points
    Second that. Partly second that. Jon's form of trash talk doesn't bother me in the circumstances in which he's using it. He doesn't use it indiscriminately. I'd use a different metaphor for William. Insidious poison. Slithery. Never quite coming out with a thing. Insinuating. I've seen that for some while. Ellen
  31. 2 points
    One of the general differences between those on the left and right is that the right understands the left's views... You can see this with their parody and satire. Leftist characters are portrayed accurately, and sometimes, right-wing media creators can even explain the left's views better than actual leftists. The parody and satire created by leftists, though, is consistently egregious--like the description of Jussie Smollett's attackers, for example (pretty much every right leaning person knew it was bullshit immediately). Again, it's a generalization. Obviously not all right-wingers understand the left's talking points, but for the most part, they get it... while for the left, the opposite is true. They can't even conceive of what they are arguing against. So what you end up with is ignorant, and possibly stupid, people who the right is gently trying to point out as ignorant and stupid... which reaffirms the leftist's belief that people on the right are immoral (mean). Obviously accusing someone of being immoral is worse than accusing someone of being stupid... so it's insane. This is pretty much just venting... but it's really annoying that this is the case. Politics has become a chore where people with good ideas have to hold the hands of their attackers to help them see what they're missing.
  32. 2 points
  33. 1 point
    “We are not really in the business of asking for the share of that power. We are in the business of trying to grab that power and return it to the people.” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) Link. Of course, "return it to the people" is a transparent cover for giving immense powers to Omar and a few like-minded with her to satisfy their power lust.
  34. 1 point
    Thank you. And right back at you. J
  35. 1 point
    Oh, goodie. The symbolism that goes all the way back to Babylonia. (It does go all the way back at least that far.) Ellen
  36. 1 point
    Jonathan, Maybe. But do we have it coming? After all, Rand can't read anything anymore. Michael
  37. 1 point
    T, You can say that again. But I'll let you dig into the government-corporation lovemaking on your own. There's plenty of stuff around. Let's just say that without government protections, funding and resources like satellites and subsidized power (in addition to way too much stuff to list here), Google would not be the Google behemoth it is today. Here's a 2018 book for ya': Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy by George Gilder. Gilder is the guy who correctly predicted a bunch of important stuff about big tech and even the Internet back during the television years. And he's been right over and over since. You might be interested to know that the view of human nature of the Google folks is essentially Marxist (and, by extension, this applies to other big tech folks as well, but not as much as with Google). I'm going to push the bounds of fair use and provide some relevant quotes from Gilder's book. Gilder continues in the quote below. The reason I separated the passage (it continues from the previous one) is that, although it does not deal specifically with Marx, it shows how the Marxist model inevitably leads to "walled gardens" and "company stores" with arbitrary market practices, both of which need a massive security system in place for protection. He also shows the bait and switch of "free" software in this Marxist model. The free not only serves as the bait, it isolates Google from complying with many legal business requirements. The help on the way that Gilder talks about is blockchain and cryptocurrency. In the next chapter, Gilder gives an explanation of the "free" as it pertains to both philosophy and practice. Marx is not mentioned, but the mechanistic view of human nature (people as robots that can be programmed) inherent in Marxism is clear. Don't forget, whenever we talk about Marx, we already know the fundamental issue is power over the individual (collectivism). If you want to know all about the data centers, the subsidized electrical power Google uses (the Dalles Dam between Klickitat, Washington, and Wasco, Oregon) and so on, this book will give you all the information you need. For a relatively quick and general overview of Gilder's thinking about Google, I can't recommend highly enough the following video. If you watch it, in less than one hour you will know vastly more about Google than most of the "experts" around you. He even goes into the Marxist thing (from a different and more limited view, but still he covers it). Gilder doesn't cover Google's Darpa and Pentagon stuff, Google's incestuous relationship with the former Obama administration (a crapload of Google's employees got hired by Obama and a crapload of Obama folks got hired by Google--all at the same time), and so on, but I think Gilder's perspective for the long run is more important than Google's icky politics. Just because I am against the way Google wants to rule over everyone, that doesn't mean those Google dudes are stupid. On the contrary, they are brilliant. Imagine if, one day, they ever became committed--for real--to not being evil... Michael
  38. 1 point
    Wow, you have been on a roll Jon. No prob, Ive been told worse.
  39. 1 point
    Just when I think he has "understood" the rules of civilized banter he proves me wrong, Jules. Though his last few forays in big game hunting have been better. At some point Michael may even think we will be laughing together, though still "Friars Club roasting" each other. Who knows? Now back to me being his father figure . . .
  40. 1 point
    And you know this from what source? Come on Jon. You are thinking things and those things become truths to you, and then you present them as obvious and call anyone who wants proof of your assertions an idiot or worse.
  41. 1 point
    “Wales attended George Soros's birthday.“ This is much like attending Hitler’s birthday and suggests he could well be a fully made member of The Gang.
  42. 1 point
    Don't interpret, using your bias. Read what the Koreans and Japanese think.
  43. 1 point
    Oh my god, there's no time to waste? There's no planet B? Oh, no! Well, then, we had better forget all about the questions that I've asked which remain unanswered, and instead focus on action. We have to act now. It's an emerergency. Extreme measures need to be taken. And Billy is going volunteer to be the first. Thank you for your sacrifice, Billy, and for leading by example. J
  44. 1 point
    Jon, Because you don't win culture wars with bans. I'm playing the long game. You seem to prefer short term gratification. I won't be doing any podcasts with any leftie authoritarians, though. They went for the short term gratification and bans (social media and elsewhere). Now they're losing the culture war big time as they sell out to crony corporations just to stay relevant and they are too hate-filled to see it. Once their idiocy stops making money and/or power for the elitist establishment, they will go the way of Avenatti. Slower than him, granted, but the path is the same. Michael
  45. 1 point
    Brant, My point was that I was not discussing Rand right or wrong. In fact, no matter what gets discussed when the name Rand comes up, no matter what the nuance or insight or even folly is on the table, someone always takes the issue back to whether Rand was right or wrong, then people start discussing that instead of the issue. Then they start fighting over whether she was right or wrong. The issue becomes secondary when not forgotten. In AA when I was going to meetings way back when, it was a common occurrence to see a person punctuate his personal tragedies and attempts to figure out how to stop drinking and destroying his life with a call for everyone to obey the program (the 12 steps). Then he would emphasize that, start preaching and that would become his point, no longer his own witnessing about his experiences or his successes and failures to stay sober. In other words, AA is right and those who question it are playing with fire. Those who say it is wrong are damned. And if you don't believe it, he will talk about it until you get it. (Many of the people like that I knew had Homeric relapses. Sporadic relapses with few and far in between, but Homeric when they hit... ) Michael
  46. 1 point
    Be still my heart .... Conspiracy Theorists Will Have a Field Day With a Redacted Mueller Report. History shows that skeptics seize on redacted information to fuel their theories. By Brendan Nyhan ... reading the article to this song from the Glory Days, Sylvester.
  47. 1 point
    NOTICE Starting tomorrow, April 8, 2019, OL will be down for a couple of days or so. Nothing to worry about. Backroom issue. Sorry for the inconvenience. Michael
  48. 1 point
    Peter, We can go all the way in public the other way, too. Would a group hug help? You rock. I mean it. I love your happy-go-lucky manner Your postings of old archives are treasures you keep serving up. They are like special unexpected presents from the past, a pure delight. If you and Jon were in the military, I would see you in provisioning and Jon as a front-line warrior. To do both jobs well, different temperaments are needed. I doubt many people in these two positions in actual military situations find the same jokes funny, get angry about the same things, hang out, get drunk together, etc. But they all fight for the same side. When he trash-talks you, I see it mostly as misunderstanding where you are coming from, what you have actually read, etc. Sometimes I see him attribute you with positions I know are not yours. But you've been pretty good at clarifying over time. I don't know if the following will help, but here goes. I'm reading a fascinating book right now called The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History by Howard Bloom. Here is a quote I find pertinent. If we understand these four archetypes, alpha male, bully, joker and nerd to be tendencies that can mix and match with each other and can mix with other archetypes, meaning they are not all-encompassing delimiters, we can see them in almost all ensemble stories from TV shows like NCIS on up to superhero movies, soap operas, even love stories. Your tendency on OL is to be a good-natured joker sidekick who provides a ton of value. Jon's tendency is to be a fiercely loyal bully--and his greatest loyalty is to his principles. William went from joker keeping people honest to nerd. Everybody kicks him around nowadays. And he earned it. As to Ellen, oddly enough, I see a dose of alpha male as her animus mixed with some archetypes that are not in these four like rebel and, believe it or not, mother-figure. I'm not going to keep going, though, because I'm going to end up pissing off everybody. Michael
  49. 1 point
    People used to call Monsanto critics cranks and conspiracy theorists. Mockery with tin foil hats and so forth... Where did the smug superiority go all of a sudden? Michael
  50. 1 point
    Subject: Educating the Educator in how to Educate--The Power of Story I was going to post this on the "my job" thread, but since a new thread opened up specifically about Phil, I'll do it here. When I saw the following post from over there, I cringed. I kinda knew what was coming. After all, I'm no stranger to this stuff. I am going to presume that this was not presented with malice, but with an intent to bring truth (as Phil sees it) to the eyes of the people he cited. I do not agree with these observations as stated, and I definitely know that Jonathan is not malicious (he apparently has a carbon-copy of my own BS meter and even more intolerance for hypocrisy than I have), but I don't want to discuss defending or attacking right now. I want to discuss persuasion. Agree or disagree, the Truth According to Coates is in his post. I think it is reasonable to assume that he believes it as he said it and he wanted to convey this truth--with good intent--to those he mentioned. That given, and with the reader's permission, I will tell a story (my version) from ancient Jewish culture. There was a beautiful maiden named Truth who wandered throughout a city greeting all people she passed. No one greeted her back and few looked at her for more than an instant. As she walked on, she became lonely and frustrated, so she tried to speak louder, but to no avail. People would not listen. She stood right in front of them and they walked around her. In a moment of inspiration, she thought, "I know what will make people notice me." So she disrobed and walked the entire city nude. She was stunning to look at. What a sight! But not only did people act as before, they started to shy away from her with intent. Some folks crossed the street to avoid walking on the same side she was on. Those in houses closed their windows so they would not have to gaze upon her. She was shunned. As Truth walked along dejectedly, a stranger came up and told her he had been observing her plight and could make people notice her. She asked what he wanted, and he replied, "Nothing. Merely that you cover your nakedness with this cloak. It is called Story." So Truth vested the cloak of Story and forged on. The very first person she encountered said, "How beautiful you are!" Others started gathering and praising her. Soon there was a crowd of people following her footsteps. Those in houses opened their windows and doors and invited her in. Truth was finally welcome in the city. This ties in well with the purpose of this forum (people thinking for themselves). Story is one of the main keys. Nobody likes to be ordered what to think, even if it is right, but especially if it is wrong. Each person needs to decide for himself. Story is the most effective manner to get into a person's thoughts during the choosing. A good story will not necessarily convince a person of anything, but it echoes unbidden in the person's mind whenever he ponders the problem it addresses. Story is a context that thrusts itself into a person's thinking as an alternative way of looking at something. Story is an influential handmaiden of volition. People have a choice about what they decide. But most of the time, they do not have a choice about remembering a story they heard when it is walking right alongside that choice. If you force a person to agree with you, say through intimidation or ridicule, he might say he agrees but he will not. If the person chooses to agree with you because of a story you told, you left the choice up to him. He will mull the issue over in the light of the story and come to his own conclusion. Thus, when he agrees, you will have no stronger advocate than him. Now look what Phil did. Instead of getting agreement from the very people he apparently wanted to "command to rise" (to use Rand's term), he pissed them off. Even should they agree with something he said, they will tend to close their minds to the message, simply because of his presentation. People call Phil a "schoolmarm"? Marm, maybe, but I don't see the school part. I say a good educator educates by getting through to the student. He tells stories and talks about the meaning of them. He guides a student to a choice. He doesn't ram ideas and agreement down where they are unwelcome. I want to tell another story, because this one is so appropriate to the present situation. I got it from an author named Annette Simmons, but it is my paraphrase. A person came upon a construction site. He walked up to a worker who was obviously toiling very hard and asked, "What are you doing?" The worker replied, "I am laying bricks." He went to another worker, one who looked busier, and asked the same thing. The other worker said, "I am building a wall." He saw a third worker whistling and apparently having a great time. He asked, "Why are you so happy?" This guy looked at him and smiled. He said, "Because I am building a cathedral." Taking this to Phil, I now ask him, which approach and vision do you think will make people change to suit your idea? Inviting them to build a cathedral with you or fussing at them for pissing on the bricks? You are an educator, Phil. So educate, if that is your heart's desire. May I suggest a good story once in a while? (After all, if it was good enough for Ayn Rand...) Michael