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8 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

Iran fell under the control of The Gang decades ago, as had North Korea. And as with NK this is not a real war but a liberation. The Gang used Iran for its purposes, fear, terror, war. After liberation this great civilization will rejoin the family of nations in peace.

I can see some advantage to The Gang in propping up the Ayatollah regime.  But North Korea?  Why?  What Gang advantage is there in a country with a mad man at the helm and a nuclear button within his reach and the West Coast of the US within range?

Ellen

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There was a line recently on the show "Chicago Med" that went like this: "A shrink always gotta make a meal out of everything."

 

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12 hours ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

 

Heh. Um, Pup, confirming my accusation of your predictability and profileability isn't a good way of refuting it.

J

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On 5/25/2019 at 12:38 AM, Ellen Stuttle said:

I can see some advantage to The Gang in propping up the Ayatollah regime.  But North Korea?  Why?  What Gang advantage is there in a country with a mad man at the helm and a nuclear button within his reach and the West Coast of the US within range?

Ellen

Who wrote the following, deep, deep, and/or, funny, funny two lines? I closed it up and tried to get rid of the quirks in the lines. Peter

1)“In any variant of a belief in 'Determinism', there is no 'heroic being'; there is no 'glory'; there is no 'honesty' (other than a rock rolling downhill); there is no 'dignity'; there is no 'performing' (apart from 'responding'); there is no 'great'; there is no 'discovering'; there is no 'creating'; there is no...'joy'.

2) I'm sometimes reminded by these ATL debates of  a scene from Bertold Brecht's play about Galileo (I think I have the right play) where the Inquisitors stand to one side debating whether heavenly bodies CAN move while refusing to look through the telescope to see whether in fact heavenly bodies DO move.”

From: Ellen Stuttle To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Re: Changing the subject Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2001 03:20:46 0500. Gayle, In your reply to my earlier post with this heading, you quoted Leonard Peikoff at some length. I'm going to repeat a post I sent earlier [see below], and please also read my "The Possibility of Knowledge," sent today (or rather yesterday, by the clock). Fact is, I don't care what "Objectivists" would tell you, or what Leonard Peikoff would tell you, except to point out, as I have several times pointed out before, that people who debate "the Objectivist" theory of volition often don't agree with each other as to what that theory is. My interest is in what really does happen, and I have never argued for a choice "ab initio."  I've never observed such a thing in my own consciousness. I'm sometimes reminded by these ATL debates of  a scene from Bertold Brecht's play about Galileo (I think I have the right play) where the Inquisitors stand to one side debating whether heavenly bodies CAN move while refusing to look through the telescope to see whether in fact heavenly bodies DO move.

I'm not arguing in favor of "the Objectivist" viewpoint, and I doubt very much if there's anything arbitrary in the operations of human consciousness.  I suspect that if we had a "God's eye" view, we could know in advance the course of what our minds will do.  But we do not experience our minds from an outside perspective; we experience them in vivo, in process.  And even Bill doesn't disagree that we experience making choices. Do YOU disagree that you experience being able to direct (within limits) the amount of attention you pay to particular issues? ES

orig. post >__From: Ellen Stuttle <egould To: atlantis Subject: ATL: "Shutting Down" the Mind  A Factual Point Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2001 21:52:14 0500

Barbara wrote (in a post titled "The mind is NOT boring!") about Nathaniel Branden's views: I think [Bill has] made an error about Nathaniel's view. It is  precisely the thinking process  although not the convictions  which result from it  which [is] under our control, in that  at every step of that process we are able to raise or lower  the level of our focus or to shut down our minds.

A slight factual correction on the issue of "shutting down" our minds:  Although the description makes sense if taken as a metaphor, it doesn't apply if taken literally, as it isn't possible literally to "shut down" the mind if by that is meant to empty it of contents.

Even in deep meditative states, there's content.  The only physiological states where evidently there's no content are Phase IV sleep, heavy anesthesia, and coma and there's even been content reported with some forms of coma.  Thus the sense in which a person shuts down the mind when evading is that of performing maneuvers to keep thoughts away from particular areas. Ellen S.

From: Ellen Stuttle < To: atlantis Subject: ATL: NB on Volition (was The mind is NOT boring!) Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001 04:11:46 0500

Bill quotes NB as writing: >Well, here is what Nathaniel says in his book, _The Psychology of Self Esteem_, "[Free will] is not an issue ~of the degree of man's  >intelligence or knowledge~.  Nor is it an issue ~of the productiveness or success of any particular thinking process~." (p. 39) (My emphasis) "The choice to think (not the ~process~ of thinking, but the ~choice~ to think) and the process of focusing his mind are an indivisible action of which man is the causal agent." (HIS emphasis) (p. 41)

And then says: >But if man is not the causal agent of his ~thinking processes~  if he does not have volitional control over the soundness or success of those processes  then how can he consider them a reliable guide to knowledge?  Doesn't the Objectivist view of free will succumb to the very criticism that it levies against determinism?  And if not, then how can determinism be said to succumb to it?

Bill, Although I don't like the way Nathaniel worded the last sentence of the quote (I think he says it better later on than he did in *The Psychology of Self Esteem*), I nonetheless think that what he's talking about is on the track of "volition" as I described it in an earlier post, that is, the ability to oversee what one's attention is doing.  And you have acknowledged that you yourself have this ability.  (Remember, I asked if you could notice when your thoughts were drifting from a problem and if you could bring attention back to the problem.  Yes, you said.)

My claim is that it's this overseeing ability which gives one the means of being objective, because it enables one to be sure one is sticking with a problem as long as is needed to check all information available to you relevant to the problem.  If you didn't have this means of overseeing, then you couldn't be sure if you'd stopped thinking about a problem too soon.  But with this ability, even if you stop too soon because you've gotten tired of a problem, you can *know* you've stopped too soon.

This is why I say that "volition," defined as the ability for self aware overseeing of what your attention is doing, IS necessary to enable you to call the results of your processing "knowledge." Ellen S.

From: "Morganis Chamlo" <phyrm_x To: Atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: Volition and Determinism Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001 09:48:27 0000

>From: BBfromM To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Volition and Determinism Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2001 15:55:47 EST >I am in agreement with Steve Reed's statement that the determinists  in this list are dropping context, that <<Wants, desires, motives, choices are being considered as primary (mental) existents, while disregarding the active consciousness that is creating them.>> There seems no way to persuade determinists to consider the primary definition of volition: the ability to raise or lower the activities of consciousness.

>The following is not intended as an argument for volition, but as an observation. Determinism in all its forms compatabilism, hard determinism, soft determinism  denies that possibility that, in Ayn Rand's words, "man is a heroic being" (by which she meant that man has the potential to be a heroic being). What glory can there be in living a life of honesty and dignity, of performing great deeds, of discovering new knowledge or creating new products that add to the joy of human life  if one was determined to do so? Determinism would make man into a robot, no more impressive, no more capable of greatness, than the fact that one's computer performs awesome tasks. Barbara

In any variant of a belief in 'Determinism', there is no 'heroic being'; there is no 'glory'; there is no 'honesty' (other than a rock rolling downhill); there is no 'dignity'; there is no 'performing' (apart from 'responding'); there is no 'great'; there is no 'discovering'; there is no 'creating'; there is no...'joy'.

There is only 'time filling', with illusory perceptions of what there is not, and pretensions that they're not illusions; 'time filling'...like, _Waiting For Godot_ A belief in 'Determinism' is a belief that all one does is a Destiny of a forced path, which one, on their own, cannot escape.

For some, I have no doubt, this is quite true...given their beliefs. But only for some. For the rest of us, to some degree or another, such Destiny Determinism is something that can claim any of us until and unless we *think* about what to do...next. That's when 'determinism' is what We MAKE it to be...rather than allowing it to make us. (If I'm getting too theatrical here, lemme know.)

From: Ellen Stuttle To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Re: Focusing on the question Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001 19:46:37 0500

Response to Gayle:  >Ellen Stuttle wrote: Fact is, I don't care what "Objectivists" would tell you, or what Leonard Peikoff would tell you, except to point out, as I have several times pointed out before, that people who debate "the Objectivist" theory of volition often don't agree with each other as to what that theory is.

 > I'm not sure the precise differences in (Peikoff/Rand/O'ists)views really matter that much, here.  They all assume that volition is proven by introspection.  But, as I've said, I don't think it matters whether "choosing to focus" is all or nothing, or only partial.  It is the whole concept, which I think is faulty, for the reason that it implies that one is making the all important "choice to focus" while in an unfocused or diminished state of focus.

[skipping part of the post; excerpted part is answered below]

 > Now will you please answer the question I posed?  The only person who has answered it so far is John Howard.  So, here it is again.

 > >Is the "choice to focus" made either, while one is unfocussed or in a state of "diminished" focus?

Gayle, I really don't understand what you're trying to say here. You do imply, don't you, that you're speaking of some single, unitary "choice to focus," some decision which has to be made before any thinking process can start?  This does seem to be what Leonard Peikoff says exists.  And there are places in Rand's wording where she seems to say this depending on how one reads her).  But I do not think that this notion of "choice to focus" makes any sense.  I don't think there is any such thing. Thus I can't answer with a "yes" or "no" answer about something which I don't think exists.  (Larry gave me an analogy which I think is good:  he said it's like being asked to choose between two causes of why the earth is flat; since the earth isn't flat, I can't say which is the correct cause; neither is.)

As I've said before, in a note which I repeated in my previous reply, the directing of attention happens *within* an ongoing thinking process.  It makes sense to say that at one moment a person isn't directing attention to a particular issue, and then the person does direct attention to the issue.  But I wouldn't call the previous state "unfocussed"; it's a state where the person isn't focusing ON subject X.  (I myself don't use the word "focusing" but instead "attending to.")

There are four senses in which I think speaking of being "unfocussed" does have meaning.  One is being in a fuzzy state for whatever reason  when I first wake up, e.g.  The second is the characteristic state of a person who is generally disinclined to exert mental effort. The third is being in a state which isn't appropriate to the circumstances, for example, too keyed up to concentrate on a task. The fourth is a state where due to psychological defenses, the person is blocking available information.

But I don't think these are the meanings you mean by "unfocussed."

 >>And even Bill doesn't disagree that we experience making choices.

 >Oh, great argument :)

My point in making that comment was that no one except you (if I understand you correctly) denies the experience of choice. I have trouble believing you really mean the denial, so maybe the problem is word meanings.

I asked:  >> Do YOU disagree that you experience being able to direct within limits) the amount of attention you pay to particular issues?

You answered: Well, I disagree if you mean that there is some sort of conscious volitional choice to do so.  I have said on several occasions that I do not experience a decision to *choose to think* or to raise or lower my *level* of focus.

Are you saying it never happens that you decide, e.g., that now you're going to concentrate on paying your bills and you then do so and keep your attention on the task? Are you saying it never happens that you concentrate VERY INTENTLY on something? Are you saying it never happens that you experience having to make an effort to grasp something? Ellen S.

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I searched for old letters using the word, “Stuttle” and found about a gazillion references. So, I will print these few from famous people and stop. Peter

From: Ellen Stuttle To: atlantis Subject: ATL: A Word on "Choice to Focus" Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 18:07:35 -0500; A term which I think is much better than "choice to focus" is "commitment to being aware."  I think this is more accurate phenomenologically, as it includes the fact that awareness has to be *sustained* and *directed*, and that this sustaining and directing is continuous.

From: Ellen Stuttle To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Re: General Comment on Volition Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 22:45:16 -0500. I just thought of this way of putting it, which I hereby copyright: Consciousness is a stream which we're constantly shaping. Volition is the process of shaping. Ellen S.

From: Ellen Stuttle To: atlantis Subject: ATL: volition for humans only Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 15:33:32 -0500. OK, here's a perfect example of something which I think leaves us going round in circles.

>Jens wrote: "What is a 'volitional choice'? Please clarify for me the difference between a chimpanzee's 'choice' and a human's. Consider the following standard example. I dangle a banana  high above a hungry chimp. The chimpanzee will build a tower out of nearby boxes and seize the banana....."

To which George replies: >Adler discusses this and similar examples in considerable detail. I personally don't pretend to know what is going on in a chimpanzee's mind, but I do believe that the development of a symbolic language is the best *external* evidence we have of conceptual ability. Indeed, concept formation cannot proceed very far without it. Can animals create, use, and understand abstract symbols? I certainly don't see any indication of this among the animals I have personally observed, but I have also seen reports that this is possible for some of the more highly developed animals. This is a scientific issue, however, and I'm not familiar with the research literature. I used the phrase "volitional choice" only because some determinists seem to think the phrase "determined choice" makes sense. I disagree, however, so I merely used the qualifier "volitional" for the sake of emphasis. It is technically redundant expression, so far as I am concerned.

George, Is what you're saying, then, that *choice* is only possible if an animal has "conceptual ability"?  That, for instance, a squirrel pausing at the bottom of a tree, standing on its hind legs, looking around, listening, before venturing from the safety of the nearby tree, isn't making a choice?  And are you equating "conceptual ability" with having "abstract symbols"?  If so, what term do you use for an animal's ability to recognize *categories* of objects? Or do you question that animals have such an ability?

From: NRoarkofConn To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: General Comment on Volition Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 12:45:01 EST. Ellen Stuttle wrote: What I think would be the most sensible approach is to go back to the drawing board and start over again. Forget "the Objectivist" theory, and ask what really happens.  I suspect that we'd get further with this approach than we're getting with endless arguing over details of exegesis.

Excellent point. The truth about volition and the truth about what Ayn Rand et al ~said~ about volition are not necessarily the same, and it would help enormously to approach the former with a fresh perspective. By which I mean one that pays respectful attention to the ~facts~ about human consciousness and not just various people's ~theories~ and ~interpretations~ of what Ayn Rand said.

The two most empirical things I have heard/read Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff say about volition indicate that, whether or not volition is "free", it does not manifest in a human form until a child is 18 months to 2 years old. Rand referred to "primitive volition" in the appendix to ITOE, but this deliberate focusing of perception seen in newborn children is not distinguishable from the deliberate focusing of perception in other newborn mammals. Peikoff traced the development of various implicit Objectivist metaphysical concepts in the mind of a young child and didn't even get to volition until the 7th or 8th step, well after the child's first birthday. (In his "Objectivism, the State of the Art" lectures.)

From this, I conclude that the focusing that children do, whether or not it is ever of the "could have done otherwise" variety, does not qualitatively differ from the focusing that young animals do, until the child reaches the conceptual level of functioning.

Ellen Moore has referred to volition as a primary action of consciousness. I think that, to whatever extent this is an accurate description of newborn human focusing, it is also an accurate description of the focusing of other newborn mammals. A creature is self-directing its awareness. But only at the conceptual level does the issue of "what should I do with my awareness?" and "what should I do with my life?" arise. That is why other animals are not held morally accountable, and why humans are -- and why animals do not have rights, and why humans do. It's only when that "primary action of consciousness" has a ~conceptual~ content that we are observing volition of a distinctively human kind. Best to all, Roger Bissell

From: Nathaniel Branden Reply-To: branden To: atlantis Subject: ATL: volition Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 12:49:05 -0800. A few more words on the dispute re free will or volition: In an earlier post I mentioned that in recent years I described free will a little differently than in my previous writings; not in any way contradicting what I had said before but perhaps achieving greater precision.

This process is natural, I might mention.  For example, compare Rand's definition of reason in ATLAS SHRUGGED with the definition provided in her later nonfiction writings.   You will see greater precision and therefore greater clarification.

Without disparaging the formulations given by me in THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SELF-ESTEEM (1969), I urge interested readers to check my discussions of volition in TAKING RESPOSIBILITY (1996) & THE ART OF LIVING CONSCIOUSLY (1997).  In the latter works I do not say anything about volition that an "orthodox" Objectivist could object to, to the best of my knowledge.

I think both George and Ellen make important points, but I leaned toward George because his statements concerning the relationship of "to focus" and "to think" seemed closer to the viewpoint written about by Rand and myself.  More specifically, in the case of Ellen, what troubled me especially was her statement that "to think" is a "secondary choice."

Rand (or Branden) would never go along with that, as I think a careful reading of the texts make clear. I got around these whole issue, in my later writings, be talking about "raising or lowering the level of awareness,) a description that "absorbs" both focusing and thinking.

However, what is important in the earlier writing, and not discussed in the later, is that the "primary" choice of shifting to a high awareness, or sustaining higher awareness, was different from any and all other choices we might make, such the choice of what to wear today.  The latter choice is not "determined" (in the sense a philosopher would mean by "determined") but neither is it an act of pure free will.  I think this is spelt our pretty clearly in THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SELF-ESTEEM.

As for fidelity to Rand, it's worth remembering that she never in her life wrote more than a few sentences about free will--she never offered a developed theory on the subject--and the closest thing to that we have is my long essay in "The Objectivist," subsequently published, re-edited, in PSYCHOLOGY OF SELF-ESTEEM.  One can safely assume that anything printed in "The Objectivist" had Rand's full approval. I am quite confident, however, that she would have appreciated the refinements introduced in my later writings. I hope somewhere here George and Ellen might find a benevolent meeting-ground.

From: Ellen Stuttle To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Mind/Body - to Roger et. al. (was Re: ~physical~ evidence...) Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 14:47:12 -0500. Roger, I join those who applaud your recent posts.  As you know, I'm having trouble keeping up because of multiple other things happening in my life, so I'm lagging behind here, but I hope eventually to comment on some of the many interesting issues you raise. As you also know (or at least I think you know this), I'm "with you" on the entity ->action model, though sometimes I slip in my language (Western thought on mind/body has been so dominated by dualism, it's hard not to talk of consciousness as if it were an entity). But a question I have for you is whether or not you realize that hard determinism is itself a product of mind/body dualistic thinking, and that hard determinism rests on the action ->action model.

Another question: You do realize, yes, that adopting the entity ->action model, though it clarifies our thinking, still doesn't tell us how certain types of organisms evolved as conscious organisms?

And a detail: You wrote, addressing Barbara: [A] premise to check, in other words, is the idea that our introspective reports can be taken at face value, as if our consciousness is a ~thing~ that causes things to happen. Actually, I think that if we're careful in introspecting (certainly, if *I'm* careful in introspecting) we don't experience our consciousness as if it were a "thing."  I think that we've talked ourselves into a "thing" mode of reporting on what we do experience, which is process not "thingness." Ellen S.

From: RogerEBissell To: egouldd atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: Mind/Body - to Roger et. al. (was Re: ~physical~ evidence...) Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 14:54:49 EST. Ellen Stuttle wrote: I join those who applaud your recent posts.  As you know, I'm having trouble keeping up because of multiple other things happening in my life, so I'm lagging behind here, but I hope eventually to comment on some of the many interesting issues you raise.

Well, you've made a good start below. 🙂

>As you also know (or at least I think you know this), I'm "with you" on the entity ->action model, though sometimes I slip in my language (Western thought on mind/body has been so dominated by dualism, it's hard not to talk of consciousness as if it were an entity).

Sure, but as long as we realize that our consciousness IS us, and that we are entities, then there is no problem. It's only when we get into talking as if our consciousness causes us to do things that I object. Nothing causes me to do things. ~I~ consciously cause myself to do them.

>But a question I have for you is whether or not you realize that hard determinism is itself a product of mind/body dualistic thinking, and that hard determinism rests on the action ->action model.

Well, at least ~some~ hard determinism does. Maybe all of it does. But since I'm not a hard determinist (just a hard-headed ~soft~ determinist :-), and I reject the action-->action model, it's not part of my direct concern.

But consider another aspect of our discussion. We are concerned not only with causality being entity-->action, but also with causal ~interaction~, which as I see it has to be:

Entity1--->action/effect--->Entity2

Entity1<---effect/action<---Entity2

Just as causality is the "relationship between an entity and its actions," causal interaction is the relationship between the actions and effects of one entity on another and the reciprocal actions and effects of the second entity on the first. That is why I keep saying that there is no interaction between mind and body, but only between one part of the human entity in which one's mental powers being used to do something and another part of the human entity in which those mental powers are not in evidence.

>Another question:  You do realize, yes, that adopting the entity ->action model, though it clarifies our thinking, still doesn't tell us how certain types of organisms evolved as conscious organisms?

Yes. That is a matter not for metaphysics, but for science. Metaphysics can examine and evaluate claims that science makes and can "veto" them if they are illogical and at variance with the fundamental working premises of the science (including the Laws of Identity and Causality). But such examinations and evaluations are often also or instead made by philosophers of science (closet metaphysicians? :-). Makes no matter to me, so long as the ~specific~ facts are explored by ~scientific~ methods.

>And a detail: You wrote, addressing Barbara:[A] premise to check, in other words, is the idea that our introspective reports can be taken at face value, as if our consciousness is a ~thing~ that causes things to happen. Actually, I think that if we're careful in introspecting (certainly, if *I'm* careful in introspecting) we don't experience our consciousness as if it were a "thing."  I think that we've talked ourselves into a "thing" mode of reporting on what we do experience, which is process not "thingness." I agree. Care in introspection is the key. We can certainly take on a state of detachment, in which we observe what we are doing. But it is ~us~ who are consciously doing things to ourselves and the rest of reality, not our consciousness that is doing things.

Thanks for your thoughts, and I look forward to more when you have time. Best, Roger

From: Ellen Stuttle To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Mind/Body - to Roger et. al. (was Re: ~physical~ evidence...) Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 16:25:56 -0500

A further point: I suspect that if we adopt the entity ->action model, then the "conservation-of-energy" problem which has bedeviled scientific thinking on mind/body disappears.  Those knowledgeable about physics are prone to ask:  But how could consciousness put energy into the system?  Where does the energy come from?  I suspect that the answer is that no new energy is put into the system, that the energy involved in our conscious activities is the energy which is already there.  The energy is channeled, directed, but not created.  Does this make sense? Ellen S.

From: RogerEBissell To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: Mind/Body - to Roger et. al. (was Re: ~physical~ evidence...) Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2001 04:57:16 EST

A pile of dirt, a moving mass of snow or soil, a moving body of water, a moving mass of air are ~all~ coherent physical entities. Rand wanted to argue that unless they were "welded" together so that you could lift any part of them, and the rest would come along with it, they weren't entities. But that is a prejudice that comes from "reifying" one particular state of matter over the others -- namely, solid vs. liquid or gas. Rand tended to view grains of sand or dirt, or rivers, clouds, etc. as not being entities, because they flowed and separated, rather than sticking together.

In metaphysics, one is concerned with what is true of ~all~ entities, not just those that are ~solid~, or those that have ~volition~. 🙂  It is the special sciences that focus on what is true of entities in virtue of the specific ~kind~ of entity that they are.

Further details and irritating remarks to follow in my forthcoming essay, "What is a Metaphysician to Do?"  🙂 Best to all, Roger Bissell

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Oh heck one more, simply because it is no longer PC since 2000 AD. Not BC, oh ye fans of Rand. And no. I am not, maybe, trying to embarrass Ellen. Pedro

From: Ellen Stuttle To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Of Blacks and Whites (was: Of Dogs and Men) Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 22:43:54 -0500. Possibly this example might help in clarifying the dispute between Barbara and Will: Suppose I'm a restaurant owner and I'm prejudiced against blacks.  Do I have a right not to serve blacks? Certainly. Am I acting in accordance with an objective value system which squares with the rational requirements of human life? Hell no. Ellen S.

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On 5/24/2019 at 10:38 PM, Ellen Stuttle said:

I can see some advantage to The Gang in propping up the Ayatollah regime.  But North Korea?  Why?  What Gang advantage is there in a country with a mad man at the helm and a nuclear button within his reach and the West Coast of the US within range?

Ellen

“No one enjoys seeing missiles, possibly nuclear–armed, flying overhead, Sensei. That is why we Americans must maintain fifty thousand troops on your soil, and have done so since the 1940s; to keep Japan safe from that fat, mass–murder–fetishizing imbecilic neighbor of yours. That is why we have had to keep thirty or so thousand US troops in Korea for the past sixty plus years. Sensei, you can be allied with us and be safe thanks to US technology, or you can be slaves to a murderous psychopath. You need missile defense, you need the latest avionics, you need more F–35s. The bottom line for you must be the safety of the Japanese people. We trust you to do the right thing every bit as much as your people do, that’s why we always seek your counsel and help you stay in your position.”

“What is the right thing?”

“It is that course that you know will ensure the safety of your people. What? Just now? Another missile over your territory? How many more F–35s will it be?

 

I am not suggesting they merely prop up the Iranian regime, but rather that they totally control it and make it act recklessly and violently.

Likewise for NK. Kim is none of the things we’ve been told. They have had total control over him and have made sure he appears crazy.

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Why is it that the CIA can and did coup every South and Central American country in the 20th century, some many times — dozens upon dozens of successful coups — yet they can’t seem to coup a fat imbecile who can’t keep the lights on and whose people are said to be starving? And how is it exactly that operative, reliable missile and nuclear tech are so difficult for the rest of the world yet we are told that said imbecile accomplished both?

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19 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

"No one one enjoys seeing missiles,  possibly nuclear – armed, flying overhead, Sensei.  That is why we Americans [...]."

Makes sense.  I wasn't thinking in terms of strategy and financial benefit re Japan.

 

19 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

I am not suggesting they merely prop up the Iranian regime, but rather that they totally control it and make it act recklessly and violently.

Likewise for NK. Kim is none of the things we’ve been told. They have had total control over him and have made sure he appears crazy.

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

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8 hours ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

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

Total control is possible, with no power of choice. You can torture and murder young girls in front of a man and his wife and young girls and achieve his total attention, if not perfect control. Look into Saddam Hussein and his methods, beginning in the ‘50s. He achieved and maintained total control of a  large, wealthy, powerful middle eastern country. Those on whom his methods did not work were murdered and those on whom his methods did work came to power. Fifty thousand troops in Japan for seventy plus years, 30,000 – 40,000 troops in Korea for sixty plus years, imagine the depth of control afforded.

I assume they are sincere fanatics. This made them a good choice of puppets to install, post Shah removal (who had been placed in power by the CIA, after their removal of, etc, ... ) My suggestion that it was the CIA, again, who placed the next Iranian ruler, the Islamic Revolution, isn’t all that speculative or  “out there,” considering they had been not merely meddling, but choosing and installing successive rulers for Iran, for decades.

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I have lived in Japan and Korea. Our troops had no dominion over the Japanese or South Korean people. And just as importantly, they did not view us as having dominion, nor did they “feel” they were ruled by us. Both countries have a free press. They do not hesitate in criticizing Americans, though the Japanese have a “built in cultural niceness” that does make them polite. The people from the Island of Okinawa HAVE protested our presence, specifically our Marine base, if I remember correctly.  So I won’t say the tolerance is universal. I have always felt the South Korean people are most like Americans, though the people of Hong Kong are also very western in their thinking. When President Trump brought up the issue of phased withdrawals from South Korea and Japan . . . it did not happen, because they did not want it to happen. Peter    

Notes. Officially I was stationed in South Korea at Headquarters and headquarters battery, seventh infantry division artillery. The Colonel’s name was . . . what else?. . . Kim. From: "Peter Taylor" To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Re: Ross and Debbie on War Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 19:23:24 +0000 . . . . The reasons for keeping American troops in South Korea are not debatable by anyone with first-hand knowledge of the region. If we withdrew from there tomorrow, South Korea would be at grave risk, though it has a powerful army to counter the North. I am friends with a former South Korean Colonel who was in charge of the "homeland defense" around my base in Korea, (in military slang nicknamed "Divarty.") South Koreans know the truth. When they were invaded by the North, terrible atrocities were committed by the Communists. Each new generation does not listen to the previous. Elders are viewed as alarmists. Humans need to discover the truth for themselves, and this holds true in South Korea at this time. Debbie, when I was there, a “peace group” of farmers resettled land owned by their families for generations just a few hundred meters south of the DMZ. These people were well publicized pacifists. North Korean Spetsnatz commandos snuck across the border, killed all the farmers and every family member. Then they skinned them. Pictures of the atrocities were at every telephone pole and bus stop in South Korea when I was stationed there.

From Wikipedia. Japan Status of Forces Agreement (formally, the "Agreement under Article VI of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States of America, Regarding Facilities and Areas and the Status of United States Armed Forces in Japan") is an agreement between Japan and the United States signed on 19 January 1960 in Washington, the same day as the revised U.S.-Japan Security Treaty. It is a status of forces agreement (SOFA) as stipulated in article VI of that treaty, which referred to "a separate agreement" governing the "use of [...] facilities and areas [granted to the U.S.] as well as the status of United States armed forces in Japan". It replaced the earlier "U.S.-Japan Administrative Agreement" that governed such issues under the original 1951 security treaty.

The SOFA has become a major political issue following instances of violent crimes allegedly committed by service members. Although the Japanese court system has jurisdiction for most crimes committed by American service members in Japan, there are exceptions if the American was "acting in official duty," or if the victim was another American. In those cases the American system has jurisdiction, unless it is voluntarily waived.
Additionally, some idiosyncrasies of the agreement create areas of perceived privilege for American service members. For instance, because the SOFA exempts most U.S. military members from Japanese visa and passport laws, past incidents occurred in which U.S. military members were transferred back to the U.S. before facing charges in Japanese courts. Furthermore, the agreement requires that if a U.S. service member is suspected of a crime but is not captured outside of a base by the Japanese authorities, the U.S. authorities are to retain custody until the service member is formally indicted by the Japanese. Although the agreement also requires U.S. cooperation with Japanese authorities with investigations, th…

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I just took a look at The Japan Times and The Korean Times in English and I recommend anyone interested do the same to learn first hand what they think and are interested in.

One other thing, I wanted to mention was that South Koreans are very leery of Japan since the occupation that went on until the Second World War. However at the same time, many if not all South Koreans speak or "know" Japanese and follow Japanese news, pop groups, etc.  

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13 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

Total control is possible, with no power of choice.

A person couldn't so much as get out of bed with no power of choice, or walk, talk, eat or any other voluntary activity.

 

13 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

Look into Saddam Hussein and his methods, beginning in the ‘50s. He achieved and maintained total control over a large, wealthy, powerful middle eastern country.

Way I heard tell about Saddam Hussein - inaccurately? - is that he changed where he slept each night as a precautionary measure trying to keep one or another of the puppet populace from managing to kill him.

Ellen

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Kim of Korea may change his sleeping places too, and murder anyone who looks askance or less than fawning. So, what does a subhuman monster who is “in charge” do to have fun? And I am not talking about “Game of Thrones,” King Joffrey. One report from a few years ago had Kim personally shooting a general with an artillery weapon.  Peter

From The Chosunilbo, South Korea’s top newspaper, at least according to them.

May 31, 2019 13:03 A sweeping purge of senior North Korean negotiators since the failed Hanoi summit with the U.S. in February has brought talks with the regime to a grinding halt. An intelligence source said Thursday that the purge is probably the reason the North has been so quiet in talks with South Korea. It has severely thinned out the ranks of the departments tasked with negotiating with the U.S. and South Korea. That means denuclearization talks between the U.S. and the North will probably be put on hold for some time until halfway competent replacements for the purged officials have been found.

Several key officials appear to have been punished. Among them is Kim Yong-chol, Kim Jong-un's erstwhile right-hand man who oversaw preparations for the summit and has been sent to a labor camp. A worse fate befell Kim Hyok-chol, the top negotiator who was reportedly executed by firing squad. Kim Song-hye from the United Front Department was also sent to a prison camp. Ri Son-gwon, the chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, who had been the main contact point with South Korea since last year, is also rumored to have been purged. Although Ri was not involved in the failed Hanoi summit, he had been a close aide to Kim Yong-chol for years.

One North Korean defector who used to be a senior official in the North said, "The purges targeting high-ranking officials are likely to result in changes in the regime's South Korea policy. There'll be no significant inter-Korean dialogue until we see an outline of the changes." The South Korean government has been pushing for another cross-border summit, but there has been no response from the North. No meetings have taken place at the new liaison office in the North Korean border town of Kaesong since the Hanoi summit. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said in a speech last month that he expects talks with the U.S. to resume at the end of this year. Pundits believe that means he wants to give himself time to put another negotiating team together.

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Yeah, they love us and love all our troops. They can’t be bossed about by nuclear subs and aircfafft carriers and thousands of US troops on their soil. Free press, free people. Now then, where’d my fluoride–kool–aid cocktail go?!?

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Japanese population 130 million

US Population 330 million

 

So 50,000 US troops in Japan is like  (50,000 * 330/130  =  130,000 Japanese troops in the USA.

 

Japanese sq mi = 146,000 sq mi

US sq mi = 3,800,000 sq mi

 

So 50,000 US troops in Japan is like  (50,000 * 3.8/0.146. =  1,300,000 Japanese troops in the USA.

 

And that could persist for two generations and we would still be free as birdies. It’s only an occupation if there is no fat, incredibly dangerous  imbecile nearby to justify it, explain it, make it something else.

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Ooops! While it is a shithole, despotically ruled by a Dung beetle, the reports of North Korea’s spy chief’s demise were grossly exaggerated which is good for him, but I am not sure if it is good for anyone else. If James Bond’s spy chief was M and his secretary was Moneypenny then Kim’s spy chief could be K and his secretary could be Wonton.    

SEOUL — A senior official who was reported last week as being the victim of a purge in North Korea has reappeared in public sitting not far from the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un. The reemergence of Kim Yong Chol, a powerful, hard-line former spy chief and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s counterpart in talks with the United States, underlines how opaque the North Korean regime remains to the outside world. It also is a reminder of how little outsiders know about how Kim Jong Un reacted to the breakdown of his recent summit with President Trump. Rumors of Kim Yong Chol’s demotion have circulated since last month, when he did not accompany Kim Jong Un to Vladivostok to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, an unusual occurrence for a man who is normally not far from his leader’s side on international trips. 

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But how could an element of US government surreptitiously take control of North Korea, Japan or Iran — wouldn’t that require massive resources? It’s not like they have their own Air Force, their own Navy, their own funding or the gall to pursue their separate goals, right?

This is Japanese–American US Senator Daniel K. Inouye, about twenty years ago:

“There exists a shadowy Government with it’s own Air Force, it’s own Navy, it’s own fundraising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own ideas of the national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself”

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Sorry, not about twenty years ago, he said that thirty two years ago.

In what setting did he say that? The Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition (Iran-Contra hearings) (1987)

It never did make sense that the Mullahs of Iran would enjoy American military assistance under Reagan’s watch, did it? The explanation was that he just wanted to assist in Nicaragua and his boys decided that arms sales and a laundry trip through Iran was the best route to assist fighters in Nicaragua. Not a very credible, plausible explanation is it? But, if you have to get loads of US equipment into Iran to take over the place, then you have to have some explanation if it be exposed. In this near disaster for The Gang, they learned that the public will digest any explanation and will not snap out of the media hypnosis.

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6 hours ago, Jon Letendre said:

Sorry, not about twenty years ago, he said that thirty two years ago.

In what setting did he say that? The Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition (Iran-Contra hearings) (1987)

It never did make sense that the Mullahs of Iran would enjoy American military assistance under Reagan’s watch, did it? The explanation was that he just wanted to assist in Nicaragua and his boys decided that arms sales and a laundry trip through Iran was the best route to assist fighters in Nicaragua. Not a very credible, plausible explanation is it? But, if you have to get loads of US equipment into Iran to take over the place, then you have to have some explanation if it be exposed. In this near disaster for The Gang, they learned that the public will digest any explanation and will not snap out of the media hypnosis.

Darn. Yur smart. At some point during his second term, Reagan became an old man sitting in his rocking chair, and his "administration" began to "Act" for him.  

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In the Iran Deal Obama made, several planeloads of cash were flown to the Iranians.

Airplanes, filled with cash. Several of them.

In what universe — in what fucking universe?

Obama and The Gang run the place, so that event was simply a very sophisticated theft, not hidden in the least but performed right out in the open in front of the whole world.

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A step Kim Jong Un took toward freeing himself and his country from a certain powerful entity? Or taken out by that entity before he could testify to Trump’s DOJ?

“Kim Jong Nam, the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and who was assassinated at an airport in Malaysia in 2017, was an informant for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, according to a news report.

“The Wall Street Journal, citing a person knowledgeable about the matter, reported on Monday evening that Kim Jong Nam had meetings with CIA operatives on several occasions.”

https://bnonews.com/index.php/2019/06/kim-jong-uns-half-brother-was-cia-informant-wsj/

 

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