29 January 2012

Alan Keyes on Marriage

Alan Keyes explains the definition of marriage in principle.

Stuart Meets Kermit

Stuart Davis interviews Kermit the Frog on Sex, God, Rock 'n Roll! They talk about movies, spirituality, and spawning. It's a really cool way to spend three and a half minutes.

Apparently there are some problems with HDnet, the site that hosts the show, and Integral Naked wants me to share some videos with you.

There's some pretty funny stuff that explores and exemplifies the side of spirituality that's above mere reverence, exploding out into the pure humour of duality that is the play of form and emptiness all over your Original Face. Check it out.

27 January 2012

Charlie Sheen EPIC

Charlie Sheen talks about what it's like to smoke seven grams of crack.

Charlie Sheen tells the secret of winning after talking about how pain is all in your mind.

22 January 2012

Why "The Walking Dead" Can't Happen

UPDATE: Everyone's infected! Problem solved. (18 March 2012)

Let's get it out first that this will be dealing only with the television series, not the comic book. The comic book nicely avoids this problem all together by having everyone who dies for any reason except brain injury reanimate.

Aside from the first half of season two being about two episodes stretched out to seven and not getting anywhere for no apparent reason (money?), and the improbable aiming skills the characters have (try making a head-shot every single time while both you and your target are moving top speed - bet you can't!)*, and the glaring inconsistencies with how the zombies work**, the whole business of zombification would render the story completely impossible from the start.

In the TV series "The Walking Dead" the only way someone becomes a zombie is to be bitten by a zombie, escape, die, and then reanimate. It doesn't help to be bitten and then devoured because there's nothing left to reanimate. You have to kill the zombie (kill, they're already dead!) or run away, and then go croak somewhere because a zombie bite is always fatal. Then when you die you have to be far enough away from the zombies to not have your body eaten, because reanimation isn't instantaneous. Dr. Jenner stated that it takes a few minutes to a few hours before the brainstem starts up again, so if you're eaten within that window you won't zombify.

Anyone who dies but is not bitten will not zombify, as the mess of bodies in the traffic pile up attest to. This leads one to wonder if the process of zombification takes so long and requires a bite from a creature that certainly won't say "he's dead, I'll attack a living now and leave his body to zombify," you're going to have a hard time reaching plague proportions. Consider next the fighting abilities of humans and zombies. Zombie to human kills are at least eight to one. Anyone with a gun will kill as many zombies as they have bullets, guaranteed. Unless a minimum of eight zombies attacks any person, no matter how big or strong or fast or smart or well armed, that person will survive. When we combine these two problems there is absolutely no way we can have a global zombie pandemic with only a handful of humans left. The mathematics just doesn't work. If zombies are so damn difficult to make and so damn easy to kill there is absolutely no way to get a zombie apocalypse going. Maybe a couple towns will be caught off guard, but not an entire country, and certainly not the whole planet.

Don't say that maybe one zombie bit ten or twenty people before being put down. They don't do that. A zombie will keep attacking someone until they eat the person or are destroyed. They are not smart enough to sacrifice themselves by biting several people to spread the plague before being killed. Zombiism doesn't spread fast enough for a zombie to bite someone, have them turn, and then move on to someone new. Unless we eliminate one or both of the above facts - the dificulty of zombification or the kill disparity - there is no way "The Walking Dead" can happen. That's what you get when you try to have dead zombies who spread like living zombies.

*Andrea is the only one that has ever missed, and only because missing was relevant to advance the story, and she still very nearly killed Daryl (with a head shot, as if I needed to mention it) at 200+ yards, from an unsupported prone position, facing the sun, with an unknown number of head winds, with five friendlies just feet away from Daryl, on the second time she's ever fired a gun. Damn! Now that's beginner's luck! Her stupidity could easily have killed one or more of six people. Even if there was a zombie there's no way a thinking person would have attempted a shot like that.

**Sometimes they hunt by smell, other times they don't; sometimes loud sounds like gunfire will attract them, other times you can teach people how to shoot all afternoon and attract no attention at all; whatever reanimates them only restartes the brainstem but people can hit them anywhere in the head and still bring them down, going so far as to have Daryl shoot one with his crossbow up through the jaw and hard palate into the nasal cavity and kill it after it started gnawing on his boot even though the bolt would have only gone through the frontal lobes, which were explicitly stated to not restart with zombification.

21 January 2012


This is the day bronies have been waiting for since episode 1, Derpy is now an official character!

17 January 2012

Balking Hawking Part 3: In The Beginning

Ever since the idea of the Big Bang was conceived cosmologists who hated God looked for a way around creation. The universe couldn't have a beginning; it would ruin the perfect harmony of an eternal universe. No beginning, no need for an explanation, right? To celebrate Hawking's 70th birthday here is a third installment in the series on him, his cosmology, and his theology.

See Also Balking Hawking Part 1, Part 2, and Georg Cantor's Infinities Part 2.

From NewScientist:

"Many physicists have been fighting a rearguard action against [the Big Bang] for decades, largely because of its theological overtones. If you have an instant of creation, don't you need a creator?

Cosmologists thought they had a workaround. Over the years, they have tried on several different models of the universe that dodge the need for a beginning while still requiring a big bang. But recent research has shot them full of holes (see "Why physicists can't avoid a creation event"). It now seems certain that the universe did have a beginning."

Lawrence Krauss in his new book A Universe From Nothing tries to deal a knock-out blow to the deity by replacing one metaphysical system with another. God is given up for the multiverse, a cacophony of quantum randomness belching out universes like Our Idiot Brother.

It is in vogue now to redefine "nothing" to mean "the quantum vacuum that has always existed," but in an interview on Coast to Coast AM, Krauss does his fellow metaphysicists one better. He admitted that you don't even need a quantum vacuum or quantum laws, as NewScientist explains:

"However, the laws of physics can't be conjured from nothing. In the end, the best answer is that they arise from our existence within a multiverse, where all the universes have their own laws - ours being just so for no particular reason.

Krauss contends that the multiverse makes the question of what determined our laws of nature "less significant". Truthfully, it just puts the question beyond science - for now, at least. That (together with the frustratingly opaque origins of a multiverse) means Krauss can't quite knock out those who think there must ultimately be a prime mover. Not that this matters too much: the juvenile asides that litter the first third of the book (for example, "I am tempted to retort here that theologians are expert at nothing") mean that, by the time we get to the fascinating core of his argument, Krauss will be preaching only to the converted."
[emphasis mine]

The multiverse: the great unknown and unknowable. A meta-space that is beyond our space-time and thus forever beyond our ability to test it. Being untestable the multiverse must surrender its claim to the title "science" and accept that it is now, and forever, metaphysics. To do away with the idea of a creation, an absolute beginning of the universe, Krauss throws science away and invents an untestable story. Even the Bible contains historical details that can be tested, the multiverse is just "bullshit metaphysics".

Metaphysicists have tried to propose systems where the universe (or multiverse) is eternal into the past, but Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University has shot holes in all of them (even though he still believes in the multiverse, it had to have a beginning in the finite past).

Eternal inflation, the idea that the inflation that sped up the expansion of the early universe didnt' stop, it still continues in other regions of space beyond our cosmic horizon, spawning new bubble universes forever, was the first to go. Some thought inflation was eternal into the past too, but in 2003 Vilenkin and Alan Guth ran the calculations on Hubble's Constant and found that it doesn't work. Inflation may continue forever into the future, but it had to have a beginning in the past.

Next came the big bounce, the idea that after a long time, a trillion years or so, expansion slows and stops, eventually reversing until everything flys back into a single point called the Big Crunch. Then the shock of impact of everything on everything starts a new Big Bang, and the cycle continues forever. Unfortunately, disorder increases with time, so each new universe must be more disordered than the one that birthed it. If the cycle had been going on forever disorder would be infinite and the universe would be completely featureless. Since there's stuff in the universe the cycles couldn't have gone on forever. Some people then suggested that the universe just gets bigger with each bounce, so the disorder spreads out more so no one notices it (like in the M-Brane ekpyrotic model and possibly whatever the hell Penrose's new idea is - no one seems to understand his Aeons of time model, within the physics community or anywhere). But if the whole thing is getting bigger it had to start somewhere really really small, maximally small, and that means a finite beginning.

There's also an idea from the 1930s called the cosmic egg or primeval atom, where yes, there was a Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago, but the thing that banged was an uber-dense subatomic thing that existed forever until it got tired of existing as a tiny little particle and exploded. However, Vilenkin and a graduate student Audrey Mithani showed that quantum instability would have led to the egg's collapse after a finite time. The crack (the Big Bang) had to happen before the egg collapsed into oblivion so it couldn't have existed forever, even if it existed for a really, really long time before the Big Bang.

Vilenkin concludes[:] "All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning."

V.J. Torley of UD comments on the implications of a universe requiring a beginning. He reasons (muses, really), in line with William Lane Craig, that the cause of the universe, which cannot be within the universe itself, must be personal. Scientific and mathematic laws are just descriptions of observations. They are not Platonic furniture of reality, and they are causally inert. Only a person, an agent, can bring about the creation of the universe, acting for some reason. The evidence from fine tuning (not only of the universe, but if you read Georg Cantor's Infinities Part 2 and other links provided in the UD article, you'll see that the multiverse too must be fine tuned) is suggestive of a highly mathematical and aesthetic mind behind the constants of the universe.

There you have it, a birthday present, albeit a very bad one, from Alexander Vilenkin to Stephen Hawking: a universe with a definite beginning in the finite past.

14 January 2012

Pissgate, King of Bain, & Obama's Dirty Little Secret


Remember the LiveLeak (very appropriate) video of four Marines pissing on dead Taliban? Here's the video in case you don't (contains real dead bodies):

Representative Allen West (a combat veteran) commented on the incident:

"I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah."

"The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment)..."

"As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell."

(follow the link for his full statement)

Obama's Dirty Little Secret

A new book out by Rolling Stone editor Michael Hastings, The Operators, talks about how Hastings was disappointed and disgusted by Zero's behaviour in Baghdad:

After the talk, out of earshot from the soldiers and diplomats, he starts to complain. He starts to act very un-Obamalike, according to a U.S. embassy official who helped organize the trip in Baghdad.

He’s asked to go out to take a few more pictures with soldiers and embassy staffers. He’s asked to sign copies of his book. “He didn’t want to take pictures with any more soldiers; he was complaining about it,” a State Department official tells me. “Look, I was excited to meet him. I wanted to like him. Let’s just say the scales fell from my eyes after I did. These are people over here who’ve been fighting the war, or working every day for the war effort, and he didn’t want to take fucking pictures with them?"

King of Bain

Newton Gingrich might be right about Israel, but his super PAC (Political Action Committee) Winning Our Future is Republicans for Obama. They produced a video called "King of Bain" about Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital, a company that acquired other companies on the verge of bankruptcy and turned them around (and a few went under, which happens, and isn't all that bad considering just how many successes Bain had). The King of Bain video is the worst, most lie-filled, dirty, underhanded, scathing attack against capitalism since the "Story of Crap" put out by the Tides Foundation (run by New World Order top leader George Soros) and hosted by some fat ugly woman. The Obama campaign couldn't come up with anything worse than this.

The short video portrays greedy Wall Street "corporate raiders" smoking huge stogies in star chambers and plotting the downfall of the world while their faces rot away from an outbreak of liver spots and ground down teeth. Of course no mention is made that Fannie and Freddie were behind it all and the government allowed and even encouraged the greed of Wall Street similar to how someone might throw a child to a lion and then turn around and blame the lion for eating the child when eating children is the lion's nature and it was the human who threw the child over the fence in the first place!

Did you know that when Mitt Romney became CEO of Bain Capital his primary objective was to make money for the company!? He's evil! Companies don't exist to make money! He fired people, cut benefits, and sold assets!

Hold on, didn't I learn in econ class that that's what companies do? Don't all companies exist to make money? Isn't firing employees and selling assets part of taking the necessary steps to keep a firm from going bankrupt?

Bain acquired risky start ups and companies that were going to fail and lose all their jobs anyway, so when a handful turn south and jobs are lost that's not Bain's fault, that's harvesting*. The video was so vile that Newt himself scolded Winning Our Future, telling them to remove all the lies.

If the Pubs are going to act like this they might as well just hand the reelection over to Zero.

*The harvesting effect is a theory in epidemiology. From UD: "It occurs when an agent causes death in an individual who would die or enter a hospital in any case within a few days of exposure to the agent. The idea is that the agent - the assigned determining factor in death - is irrelevant. Had the patient been generally healthier they would not have succumbed to the agent. Again, had they not been exposed to the agent they would have been dead anyway within a short time. Therefore, assigning the agent as the cause of death is not truly correct."

Someone who was going to die anyway gets a disease (say Swine Flu) and dies. People falsly attribute the person's death to Swine Flu and create a public scare even though the person would have died even if they didn't get sick. The same is true of Bain Capital. Those jobs would have been lost anyway. The companies would definitely have gone under had Bain not acquired them, but Bain was not some magic wand that could solve all their problems, it was a gamble, and gambles don't always pay off, and when they don't that doesn't mean that Bain was to blame.

11 January 2012

An Exercise In Debunking Documentaries

A program called "5th Dimension" does an hour show on debunking reincarnation. It includes a case study of Shanti Devi, a girl born in India in 1926 who was tested by Gandhi and Ian Stevenson and became a media sensation in her time. Next is a segment with Stevenson's research, followed by a story from Pueblo, USA, of Bridey Murphy. It ends with a segment about the Dalai Lama.

Of course people like the head of the Indian (ir-)Rationalist Association Sanal Edamaruku like to say it's all fake (he actually does say that). He says that belief in reincarnation was created to explain the caste system, and, by extension, "takes away the sense of enterprise in people." Does it? Untouchable (Dalit) K. R. Narayana became President of India, and fellow untouchable K. G. Balakrishnan became Chief Justice of India. That's about as far from having their sense of enterprise taken away as you can get. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the highest level Brahmin, strove to destroy the caste system, as did Gandhi, another Brahmin. If the lowest of the low and the highest of the high can work together, both achieving great things, how is it that belief in reincarnation destroys their desire to strive and better their lives? In light of that it is safe to say that Edamaruku's criticism falls apart.

As a side note, the term "rationalist" means someone who believes true knowledge cannot be attained through the senses, only through the rational mind. This is in sharp contrast with people like Edamaruku who believes that the mind doesn't exist, that everything is dead matter, and that knowledge can only come from the senses. Fundamaterialist skep-dick debunkers like to hijack the word "rationalist" and "rational" to mean its opposite, just like they like to hijack the word "nothing" to mean "the quantum vacuum that has existed forever into the past".

There's also Prof. Phillip Sharp (or Shar or something, the narrator has a thick accent and no spelling is given and none of the people interviewed are acknowledged in the credits!), a white guy who uses a version of Bob Couttie's argument against Devi's case (see page 14 in my Forbidden Knowledge). Couttie said that just because a record of a chemical plant's bad safety existed somewhere several hours before the plant exploded (the report was filed on the same day it exploded) coupled with fear of chemical plants that a housewife some distance away having a premonition of the explosion can be explained away by cryptamnesia of her hearing about this report. Even though there's no evidence that the housewife or indeed anyone in the town in which she lived or anyone she knew had any knowledge of this report, and no evidence that even existence of this report got out before the accident, Couttie says that the mere existence of the report justifies the extreme likelihood of a Rube Goldberg nonpsychic explanation for how the housewife had the premonition. Similarly Prof. Sharp says that just because Devi's husband in a former life visited her neighborhood in Delhi to do business means that Devi likely overheard the man and that's how she got the idea of her past life, and correctly identified people she never met, and made a great deal of correct statements of a city she never went to. For skep-dicks as long as a non-psychic explanation is not impossible that means there is at least a 99.999% chance that the non-psychic explanation is the correct one. Actual scientists, on the other hand, like Ian Stevenson, conduct huge amounts of actual research to produce cases suggestive of reincarnation.

Archskep-dick Chris French chimes in, saying children with past life memories are all cultural dependent, which conveniently ignores children with past life memories who come from cultures that are neutral or hostile to belief in reincarnation. If pressed he would come up with some bullshit response.

Overall if a student gave me this to grade I would give it a D+, maybe a C- but only because of the stuff at the end with the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman. This should serve as an example of how NOT to do a documentary.

10 January 2012

God, The Devil, and Tim Tebow (TEMP)

This post will be officially written Tuesday or Wednesday (depending on how much else I have to type). It will look into issues such as prayer, miracles, suffering, and Denver Bronco's star QB Tim Tebow. Not only will it delve into theological and philosophical issues, but psychological and sociological issues related to who likes Tebow (lots of ordinary people), who hates him (the media and the Bronc's head staff), and why.

I've been wanting to do this for a while now but the tipping point was this post from The Blaze (a non-mainstream news site I subscribe to to get updates in politics and technology mostly).

By the way, the title is based off of a very short lived TV series called God, The Devil, and Bob, which was basically the book of Job adapted to modern times (and yes, Job plays a huge part in my analysis of the Tebow story). Some church lobby didn't like it so it was pulled. That was ten years ago. Now no church has the power to pull things from television, except the "Church" of Scientology which pulled that South Park episode.

09 January 2012

An Adult Discussion On Gay Marriage

What is their superior logical realisation that makes gay marriage proponents, one of the smallest minorities of all time, right and polygamy proponents, the largest majority of all time, wrong?

There are some things you dare not say. Like what? Oh, I dare not say it.

ANY response to legalising gay marriage other than "yes, immediately" is one of those things that dare not be spoken, and presidential hopeful Rick Santorum (the one from Iowa who appeared out of nowhere and very very nearly beat Mitt Romney) found that out a few days ago.

I could have just as easily opened with "you know someone has lost the argument when they refuse to listen to anyone else's point of view," or "you know someone has no logical reason for their belief when they refuse to listen to anyone else's point of view."

Now, I've debated people on just about everything, and I can tell you that part of a debate involves listening to what the other person has to say. You can completely disagree but you at least have to listen and provide a reasoned response otherwise you're an asshole and you don't want to convince anyone that you're right, you just want to bully them into shutting up and stepping in line. That's the same with EVERYONE that I have ever heard* who has ever voiced the opinion that gay marriage should be legal. Watch this two minute segment below:

What is the first thing you noticed wrong with the questioner's argument? I'll give you a hint: it appears at 6 seconds in. She says "all men are created equal" (no argument there) and "have a right to happiness." If you look at the founding documents, none say that we have a right to happiness. The Declaration of Independence says we have a right to "life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness," and the Constitution say that the government cannot deny us our rights to "life, liberty, or property without due process," but neither says we have the right to happiness. Persuing happiness is way different from happiness just like persuing the Loch Ness Monster is way different to finding the Loch Ness Monster. You don't ever have to be happy, but you have to at least be able to try to be happy, even if you fail. That's the difference.

Saying everyone has the right to happiness is something that is impossible to legislate because then we would have to first define what happiness is is a way that everyone would agree to (which is probably impossible, as most people can't even define happiness for themselves), then find some way to regulate thought so everyone could have this single definition of happiness. One scenario, in which you have the right to persue happiness, gives you maximum freedom, and the other, where you have the right to happiness, makes you a thought slave to some necessarily omniscient government body.

Let's give this off-camera person the benefit of the doubt and say she misspoke. She meant to say "persuit" but just forgot. Okay. I forget things all the time.

Santorum then goes on with a Socratean approach, asking questions to find out the limits of his interlocutor's argument and see if any problems arise. He first asks "are we saying that everyone should have the right to marry?" The audience cheers so we can assume they agree. He then asks "so anyone can marry anyone else?" and the audience agrees again.

Right here we can see a problem in the audience's position. "Anyone can marry anyone else." So a 60 year old can marry an 8 year old? Under the condition "anyone can marry anyone else" the answer is "yes." If the audience disagrees then the followup of "why?" should be asked, because if they disagree then they don't believe that "anyone can marry anyone else," or else they are defining marriage to mean something that excludes certain classes of people, such as 8 year olds. This is how the Socratic method works, but you won't get the audience to follow any of their beliefs through to their conclusions because this is not about reason.

Santorum could have gone the route that I just went but he presented another completely valid followup question "so anyone can marry several people?" And it's not just me saying it is a perfectly valid question, one Ron Paul supporter tryptala (and you know my stance on Ron Paul supporters) posted the following:

His point about polygamy is perfectly valid. Why is my desire to have multiple wives different from a man wanting to marry a man? They are both non-normal forms of marriage in our particular culture. One does not have more justification than the other. The problem is, as Ron Paul knows, the state does not belong in the marriage business. It is a religious institution and the state should get out of the authority to define marriage of any kind. It's just federal overextension of power.

My position tends to migrate slightly. While I often say that it is not the business of the state to deal with marriage at all, it is self-evident that legislating marriage in such a way as to maximise the birthing and raising of children is in the state's best interest, as has Sweden and the Roman Empire realised.

Valid a point though it may be the audience will have none of it. They shoot him down. Remember, they are not looking for a logical, adult discussion, they are looking to bully. The off-camera personality shouts back "that's not what I'm asking," as if she doesn't know how a logical, adult debate works. She will stick to this line throughout the rest of the video because she has no answer to Santorum's question. She has no way to justify her belief so she doesn't try to justify it. That's not to say that there is no way to justify her belief, just that she personally has not thought out a way to do so. Not only that, she never corrects him on her belief that everyone has a right to be happy, meaning that it was either not a misstatement, as I ventured above, and she really is stupid, or she's so ignorant of how to debate someone she becomes frozen in a flash of emotion and can't be thawed until her emotion is reciprocated or her interlocutor shuts up and cowers away.

Which brings us to the question "why is it alright for two people to marry but not three?" The Quran says a man can take up to four wives. Right there you have the holy book of one billion people, one seventh of the world's population, stating that a valid marriage can include up to five people. Are one billion people wrong, and if so why? Can fifty million Elvis fans be wrong? Yes. Are they wrong? In Nepal it is common for one woman to marry several brothers, five or six, at a time. Historically polygamy has been the norm for the overwhelming majority of humanity. The norm, meaning it has been accepted, not that it has been practically engaged by the majority of humanity, but that it has been accepted. Why is the overwhelming majority of everyone who has ever lived wrong about marriage and yet the smallest of all minorities right? What is their superior logical realisation that makes gay marriage proponents, one of the smallest minorities of all time, right and polygamy proponents, the largest majority of all time, wrong? Answer me this and you've solved the conundrum that has plagued political discourse for the past couple of decades. Answer me this and you will have for the first time presented me with a logical, adult discussion on gay marriage and not an emotion driven bully exercise.

*There may be gay marriage proponents who take part in adult discussions, but every single person that I have personally encountered just wants to bully. This makes them more intollerant than the 9/11 truthers, Islamists, anti-Israel people, and anti-religion secular humanists, all whom I have actually been able to get adult discussions out of despite vehemently disagreeing with.

08 January 2012

Plutarch On Love (Repost - 15 February 2008)

I was reading Plutarch's Dialogue on Love when I got to thinking. Daphnaeus, who plays the part of Plutarch, seems to have some very good things to say about sexuality, responsibility, and self-satisfaction.

The modern notions of human sexuality would be completely alien to the ancient Greeks as their notions are alien to people living today. People from Greece, today, complained about Oliver Stone's movie Alexander for portraying Alexander the Great as a homosexual, yet not only does the film not portray Alexander as homosexual (even considering the one minute deleted scene where Alexander and Bagoas are getting ready to have sex) but the concept didn't exist in his time that exists today. What happened between a man and a woman, or a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, or a woman and a woman and a man (I don't need to go through all the combinations) was a seperate sphere of society as what happened at home to keep your duty to the state. People persued sexual liasons outside the home, with members of the same sex and the opposite sex and at the end of the day went home and (at least tried) to be good spouses and to have children and raise them right. Sex could be about individual physical pleasure but it also was a show of power and authority one person held over a subordinate. How would you show you are someone's superior -- through sexual acts.

The ancient Greeks made it clear: you are free to express yourself sexually any way you want, but society runs by order and every member of that society has a duty to fulfill (a dharma) to keep that order in place and assure everybody is happy and safe. And what is one of the primary duties a Greek citizen has to uphold the order? That would be to create and maintain a good home and to have children. What you do at home is for the children, not for you; what you do outside the home is for you, but at home you have a duty to your children because they are the future of the state and maintaining the order of the state is your duty. When you put it like that notions of homosexuals and heterosexuals seem unimportant. Marriage isn't about love, it's about children; it's about admitting there's something bigger and more important than your petty self-endulgence and your personal enjoyment. I think in our culture ruled by materialism we have forgotten this.

And what did Plutarch say? Protogenes is going on for hours about how women are incapable of feeling love and that the only true love that can exist is betwen two men (actually between a man and a boy), and that it is only begrudgingly he fulfills the lawful requirement of having kids with his wife. After courteously letting him talk for a long time Daphnaeus chuckles and retorts something to the effect of "well, Protogenes, you say that you cannot know love except the love that exists between two men but we all know what happens between you and your wife when you get home, and you certainly don't seem to be reluctant or antipathetic about it."

07 January 2012

US Navy Rescues Persian Fishermen

The Persians want to close the Strait of Hormuz, from which 35% of the world's oil flows (other wiki's numbers). They want all US ships out of the area and are making threats. The President has enacted legislation that he can punish anyone doing business witht he Persians. Tensions are high, but in spite of everything the crew of the USS Kidd, one of the ships the Persians wants out of their waters, rescued 13 Persian fishermen from Somali pirates the other day. The Navy released about 20 seconds of grainy video of the situation.

03 January 2012

The Hawkeye Cauci and The Most Dangerous Man in the World

After Mitt Romney spent more money than humanly possible to completely destroy Newt Gingrich he removed from the race in Iowa everyone else except the most dangerous man in the world: Ron Paul. First some history.

Iowa is a little state, kind of like a little country really. It is really, really empty. Iowa's biggest "city" is Des Moines, which is actually pronounced "Day Moyn" but you would never guess it, is pretty much the only place where people actually live with vast, empty land stretching out for hundreds of miles in every direction. Their crown jewel is a place called Hawkeye Point, a 40 foot hill which is the flattest "highest" elevation on any part of the planet. The site is marked by a grain silo. Nobody knows what happens here, what they produce, or what their culture is. The biggest thing to happen in Iowa is the famous Hawkeye Cauci, that happens every four years. People from all over the country descend upon tiny tiny Iowa to watch presidential hopefuls duke it out then leave the state to its own devices for another four years. Since nobody ever gives Iowa anything they were allowed to have their presidential caucuses before every other state, all the way in January, dragging the presidential campaigns out to ten damn months.

Since 1979 the winner of the Hawkeye Cauci has gone on to win the party nomination roughly 50% of the time, meaning that for all the hype the Hawkeye Cauci is no better than a coin toss at predicting anything.

From the AP: With 100% of precincts reporting, relative unknown Rick Santorum has taken first place in the Hawkeye Cauci with 29,908 votes, or 24.6%. Mitt Romney is in very close second with 29,874 votes, or 24.5%. Ron Paul came in third with 26,097 votes, or 21.4%, and Newt Gingrich, the defeated, got 16,161 votes, or 13.3%. It is now safe to say that Rick Santorum, whoever he is, now has a 50-50 chance of winning the Republican presidential nomination for 2012.

The AP's report as of 2 am was inaccurate. Romney won with 30,015 votes and Santorum came in second with 30,007.

Enough of that, now on to why Ron Paul is the most dangerous man in the world. For the sake of the world it may be better to let Obama have a second term to put Ron Paul into office, should he become the Republican nominee. Let's look at some facts.

Ron Paul had no idea what the content of his own newsletter was.
Now being a doctor is hard work, and Mr. Paul has had a long career in doctoring and bringing babies into the world, so he knows a thing or two about accountability. Unfortunately he let "ghostwriters" insert loads of racist crap into his newsletters under his nose for years with his only defense being "I didn't know it was there and I don't endorse it." I didn't know employees were running an illegal international organ trafficking ring in my shipping company, and I don't endorse it, so I shouldn't be held responsible for being an accessory to their crimes.* No one is questioning Paul's sincerity in stating his ignorance and rejection of the racist crap people were doing under his name, but the United States is a much larger enterprise than a tiny newsletter. If Ron Paul doesn't know and doesn't endorse what's going on behind his back in his own publication how can he be expected to handle the most powerful office in the world?

Ron Paul is dangerously isolationist.
Many a Ron Paul robot has attacked me for saying the simple truth that their candidate is an isolationist. There is no shame in isolationism. There is no need to hide behind fictional categorisations of being "non-interventionist" when the truth is, Ron Paul was against the US action in Afghanistan following the attacks of 9/11. The very same attacks that provoked near unanimous approval in both houses of Congress to authorise reprisal** against al Qaeda and the Taliban (among other entities) [only California Representative Barbara Lee (D.) voted against the resolution in 2001]. Ron Paul insiders reveal that the only reason Paul voted in favour of the resolution is because his entire staff threatened to resign and he knew he could never win re-election anywhere ever if he did.
Ron Paul believes that the United States should not have gotten involved in fighting Germany in the Second World War, even though they declaired war on the US after Pearl Harbor. He firmly believes that it was not the job of the US to save the Jews from Hitler's death camps and that FDR knew about the Pearl Harbor attacks before they happened and used them as a pretext for war. If saving millions of people from Hitler isn't worth fighting for nothing is.
As bad as Obama's foreign policy is it absolutely pales in comparison to Ron Paul's psychopathic complacency toward genocide.
Ron Paul certainly would let North Korea invade South Korea, starting the Third World War and killing tens, if not hundreds, of millions of people and perhaps permanantly destroying the global economy.
Ron Paul certainly would let Persia get nuclear weapons, and let them disseminate those weapons to every terror group and rogue state on the planet, and use those nuclear weapons to attack Israel. In so doing Ron Paul is perfectly unmoved by the thought that anyone should have the capability to kill everyone by initiating an all out nuclear war.

Ron Paul is a 9/11 "truther".
As you know, 9/11 "truth" is the biggest load of bullshit ever. Former Ron Paul staffer Eric Dondaro states: "He immediately stated to us staffers, me in particular, that Bush/Cheney were going to use the attacks as a precursor for ‘invading’ Iraq. He engaged in conspiracy theories including perhaps the attacks were coordinated with the CIA, and that the Bush administration might have known about the attacks ahead of time. He expressed no sympathies whatsoever for those who died on 9/11."

Ron Paul is anti-Israel
Ron Paul sides with a completely fictional group of people who have no history and were invented for political reasons in the early 20th century, wants to abolish the state of Israel, which was created by the British as a result of a legitimate peace treaty that gave them legitimate power to do so after defeating the Ottomans in a legitimate war, and give everything to the Arabs "from the river to the sea." As if being perfectly content with Hitler murdering millions of Jews he now wants to kick them out of their country that has been their legitimate home for the past 3200 years.

Does this not disgust you? If the imminent threat of hundreds of millions of people being killed in nuclear war or complacency with genocide is what you want then you can vote for Ron Paul and then go straight to Hell.

*Neither Ron Paul or myself has taken part in illegal organ trafficking. This is merely a rhetorical device.

**Reprisal is a limited military action, in violation of international law, taken against another sovereign entity that has already broken international law in attacking another sovereign entity. It is not the same thing as a war. The Afghan people live in a culture that accepts revenge and they were in full acceptance of limited actions against al Qaeda and the Taliban, whom they hated greatly. Nobody knew those limited actions would last a decade and cost half a trillion dollars, even if bin Laden was killed and the Taliban decapitated.

02 January 2012

Transpersonal Psychology: A Brief Definition (300th Post!)

Here's a nice video on transpersonal psychology, transpersonal events, mysticism, Ken Wilber, and some other stuff. Runs 12:12 (perfect for 2012).