If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies,
to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence. Justice Louis Brandeis, 1917

News — Views — Musings

view from space

Links to Ukraine crisis

 Wherein we find the party line being espoused by the Obamite offices along the Potomac is so much tide pool water. NYT reporters C. J. Chivers And Noah Sneider reporting on May 3, 2014 found no active Russian troops in the area they visited.

Links to Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapping

Links to USA liberalism archives

Chicken little
Professor Peabody and his boy Sherman
Occasionally the wayback machine has to be cranked up to travel back in time for perspective on the news.
“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore, “and freezing . . .However,” he said brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”
For the last ten years or so, music has become a distinct object of study in the field of cognitive psychology. There has been an explosion in research activity This productivity has been stimulated by the idea that music offers a unique opportunity to understand the human mind. Indeed, like speech, music is complex and uniquely human. Since music data are systematic, relatively clear and accessible, it is theoretically and methodologically advantageous to study music as a way to study the mind. In other words, music may serve as a model of the human mind.
Isabelle Peretz and Jose Morais
Music and Modularity

Gulls at Rondeau Provincial Park
Click on the image to open a full sized version

Musings from Southfield, Michigan

my mind is
a big hunk of irrevocable nothing which touch and taste and smell
and hearing and sight keep hitting and chipping with sharp fatal
in an agony of sensual chisels i perform squirms of Chrome and execute strides of cobalt
nevertheless i
feel that i cleverly am being altered that i slightly am becoming
something a little different, in fact
Herupon helpless i utter lilac shreiks of scarlet bellowings.

e e cummings ~Portraits XXV

Random findings, musings on those random findings and how its all connected.

Giant Zombie Vampire Squid Banks

October 10, 2014 20:53 We can prop up banks that are shells of paper, steel and glass while the country crumbles around us. We can allow the Too Big To Fail behemoths to be supported in new schemes; these plans will ensare billions of dollars from consumers. Not satisfied with the havoc wrecked on us earlier, The Vampires are back to suck more blood from us.

Loss of democratic form of government

Do We know What Democracy Is?

Can We Miss That which we knew nothing of?

An interesting study-this is empirical evidence- shows that we do not have a form of government that is remotely close to democracy. Emphasis is mine from a study “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens” by Martin Gilens Princeton University, and Benjamin I. Page Northwestern University


Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics – which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic Elite Domination, and two types of interest group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism – offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented.
   A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. This paper reports on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues. Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.


Saturday, May 24, 2014-20:03:16

U. S. backs terrorist group by maintaining “frenemy” relationships with Islamabad and Algiers.

Both countries have secret police agencies (the  Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate or ISI in Pakistan and in Algeria the Department of Intelligence and Security (DRS)) on a par with the KGB and perhaps more terryifying. Read all about it here. Isalmabad keeps India and other countries in Central and South Asia in a state of turmoil as it builds blinds in front of Islamic extrmeist groups in an attempt to deflect Western journalists and others from finding the truth-and I’m not referring to Al Qaeda. The Pakistani government, essentially, is a coverup for Islamic extremists:

The Pakistani government, under President Pervez Musharraf and his intelligence chief, Lt. Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, was maintaining and protecting the Taliban, both to control the many groups of militants now lodged in the country and to use them as a proxy force to gain leverage over and eventually dominate Afghanistan. The dynamic has played out in ways that can be hard to grasp from the outside, but the strategy that has evolved in Pakistan has been to make a show of cooperation with the American fight against terrorism while covertly abetting and even coordinating Taliban, Kashmiri and foreign Qaeda-linked militants. The linchpin in this two-pronged and at times apparently oppositional strategy is the ISI. It’s through that agency that Pakistan’s true relationship to militant extremism can be discerned — a fact that the United States was slow to appreciate, and later refused to face directly, for fear of setting off a greater confrontation with a powerful Muslim nation. 

[The writer describes the safe house wheire bin Laden hid for six years; my emphasis} People knew that the house was strange, and one local rumor had it that it was a place where wounded Taliban from Waziristan recuperated. I was told this by Musharraf’s former civilian intelligence chief, who had himself been accused of having a hand in hiding Bin Laden in Abbottabad. He denied any involvement, but he did not absolve local intelligence agents, who would have checked the house. All over the country, Pakistan’s various intelligence agencies — the ISI, the Intelligence Bureau and Military Intelligence — keep safe houses for undercover operations. They use residential houses, often in quiet, secure neighborhoods, where they lodge people for interrogation or simply enforced seclusion. Detainees have been questioned by American interrogators in such places and sometimes held for months. Leaders of banned militant groups are often placed in protective custody in this way. Others, including Taliban leaders who took refuge in Pakistan after their fall in Afghanistan in 2001, lived under a looser arrangement, with their own guards but also known to their Pakistani handlers, former Pakistani officials told me. Because of Pakistan’s long practice of covertly supporting militant groups, police officers — who have been warned off or even demoted for getting in the way of ISI operations — have learned to leave such safe houses alone.