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Posts posted by STP

  1. The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complains of my gab

    and my loitering.


    I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,

    I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.


    The last scud of day holds back for me,

    It flings my likeness after the rest and true as any on the shadow'd wilds,

    It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk.


    I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,

    I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.


    I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,

    If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.


    You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,

    But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,

    And filter and fibre your blood.


    Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,

    Missing me one place search another,

    I stop somewhere waiting for you.


    Damn! That would make one hell of an elegy. Leave it to the poet to compose a meditation on death, that though the body perishes, the "essence" (or whatever the hell you want to call it) lives on in endless repetition of permutations.


    "If you should see a man walking down a crowded street talking aloud to himself, don't run in the opposite direction, but run towards him, because he's a poet. You have nothing to fear from the poet - but the truth."

    --Ted Joans, "Jazz Is My Religion"


  2. Guy’s talking out his ass. Check out the Wikipedia entry for ThePirateBay to see info concerning funding. Also do a search on Slashdot and read the current stories regarding legal prosecution. The “protesters” probably bought ad space on the site so the assumption that it’s a front site has no merit.


    It’s interesting to see the blurb on Scientology. Critics of Scientology such as ‘Anonymous’( Anonymous_(group) have been targeted by Scientologists in their effort to shut down negative publicity. So, the Scientologists are against the use of anonymizing proxies to mask the IP address of critics. Interesting also that the German government dislikes Scientology due to the latter’s cult-like status and I believe the interior ministers of that government are moving to ban the ideology in Germany.


    As far as TOR (the onion router) as much of technology, yes it can be used for illegal purposes and yes it can be used to foster free flow of information to support noble causes. If TOR or other anonymizing programs were outlawed, it would have a chilling effect on the free flow of information over the Internet.


    You also might find this article provocative:

    High-Traffic Colluding Tor Routers in Washington, D.C., and the Ugly Truth About Online Anonymity


  3. Regarding self-immolation, as Bill Ayers Ted Kaczynski states in Fugitive Days "Industrial Society and Its Future," "You could not be a moral person with the means to act, and stand still. [...] To stand still was to choose indifference. Indifference was the opposite of moral."


    Well, that’s just one statement by Ayers that, in principle, one could agree with although it does not justify his particular course of action of criminality. But the real question is what is more criminal?


    Now, I condemn violence as the solution because most commonly there is a corresponding backlash that does not address the aggrieving condition but instead serves to perpetuate it. Governments have been accused of actually inviting these actions as an excuse to clamp down; something called the “strategy of tension”.


    I do, however, question the assumption that only legal, non-violent means are necessary in all cases involving liberal societies where essential liberties are publicly proclaimed. Sometimes society requires a nudge in a particular direction. For instance, civil disobedience requires breaking the law to show others the injustice of a particular societal framework.


    Now also, what is violent depends to some extent on who is making that determination. If the authority structure is threatened by direct action then most likely that action will be defined as violent, therefore, it is aberrant and pathological. Paradoxically though, sickness can be a way to a higher health. But you’re right; the common man should stick to the tried and true ways of seeking and maintaining a virtuous society.

  4. similiar? sure. the same? hardly. quang duc sacrificied his life, this kid at most his liberty for a few weeks. the cause of pot legalization, though near n' dear to my heart, is hardly as august and respectable as quang's either.


    Regarding self-immolation, as Bill Ayers states in Fugitive Days, "You could not be a moral person with the means to act, and stand still. [...] To stand still was to choose indifference. Indifference was the opposite of moral."

  5. Newsweek editor Evan Thomas brought adulation over President Obama’s Cairo speech to a whole new level on Friday, declaring on MSNBC: "I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God."




    Ya, didn't Hegel view Napoleon in the same light as being the representation of the "world-soul"?

  6. So, the BBC banned three songs from the album citing drug references in each song. These songs are Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, A Day in the Life, and Being For the Benefit of Mr Kite. They didn't ban With a Little Help from my Friends ("I get high with a little help from my friends") or even Lovely Rita ("when are you free to take some T with me") though McCartney being British was most likely talking about drinking tea.


    Drug references? Judge for yourself:




  7. Or maybe they WERE actually terrorists (such as in this case) and despite 'enhanced interrogation' (laughable techniques in Jordan) they managed to lie to, and fool trained investigators. Then were released back, and now are managing networks that are killing persons you SHOULD consider allies instead of letting the liberal mainstream media sway your mind with falsehoods and mindless incoherent civility.




    Most likely it's both. There is no question MANY are our enemies. Some are innocent and some are guilty. Sorting that out is a hard row to hoe no doubt. Assuming MOST of these yahoos are guilty and are our enemies, then what? Are they imprisoned for life with no trial? Are those who are innocent then also imprisoned for life?


    It ain't the American way.


    Should that question of innocence be couched in legal terms fit for a domestic courtroom where we speak of a crime committed and the weight of evidence against an alleged perpetrator? Are we not talking about someone plucked from a battlefield involved in an act of aggression or planned aggression?


    Now, what I do have reservations with is when that battlefield is not well-defined and when it merges into what we normally don't consider to be a war zone. Now, that disturbs my domestic tranquility.


    But to get back to that question of innocence, it may never be fully answered. So, what then? I suppose that in the search for solutions you have to strive to understand your cognitive biases. There’s an online book that outlines how to approach this and available here: ( Psychology of Intelligence Analysis by Richards J. Heuer, Jr. ). Concerning cognitive bias, it states “…one can only generalize about the tendencies of groups of people, not make statements about how any specific individual will think.” So I take that to mean that it is not a foregone conclusion that all of the former prisoners will become future insurgents regardless of whether any already were. One only need to research findings concerning the Stockholm syndrome to realize this. In all possibility, what appears to be an insurgent is something altogether different.


    Can you ever fully know the mind of a man?


  8. Ya, that's that libertarian spirit embodied by John Perry Barlow (co-founder Electronic Frontier Foundation = acidhead) though Barlow doesn't seem as cavalier as Nothaus regarding drug use. Different drugs of course but to Barlow it's more like a sacrament ( Liberty & LSD). Then again, the irreverence beckons to the Discordian genius of Robert Anton Wilson.


    Hit it, again... [video:youtube]Ye3ecDYxOkg ( though I do prefer the Brewer & Shipley original.)

  9. When you speak of “stupid” Americans are you referring to those useful idiots who serve as apologists for their particular flavor of politics, those same stooges who are more concerned about window dressing rather than the price of the items advertised to be purchased?


    While Obama campaigned on the mantra of change, necessity has shown that many of the changes he stated will not be implemented with the exception of some changes that were publicly proclaimed as evidence of his noble intentions. Of course, political reality dictates that the tools put into place by the Bush administration largely remain, as long as the threat of insurgency exists.


    So, we have Obama speaking a kind of Aesopian language, not in the sense of a dissident voice but rather of one utilizing ‘oblique speak” or double talk, where he telegraphs his intention of preserving and in some cases expanding the unitary executive powers. With “prolonged detention” Obama seeks to erect a legal framework to legitimize this extraordinary authority. Why be concerned? Well, it highlights the difference between a “liberal” democracy and the potential emergence of a “totalitarian” democracy.

  10. Some aspects of the German experiment for rising out of the debt crisis circa 1920's/30's appear intriguing. For instance, they launched a massive public works campaign by issuing Labor Treasury Certificates and with the campaign the unemployment problem was solved within two years. The Germans also restored foreign trade by establishing a barter system independent of the private banking cartel.


    Inflation is a consideration but only if supply and demand do not increase in synch. TIME TO GET OUT THE WHEELBARROWS?



    I read elsewhere that the Weimar hyperinflation was preceded by creditors calling the loans incurred as a result of WWI, thus leading to a liquidity crisis which in turn led to measures that caused the initial hyperinflationary conditions.

  11. The current troubles do not account for the budgetary crisis encountered during the Gray Davis era and prior. Yes, a drop in tax revenue could account for both crises but state spending appears to be the greater factor. If spending were restrained and monies set aside for downturns, then perhaps they wouldn't be forced to take draconian measures to balance the budget.


    On the other hand, perhaps North Dakota's example ( How the Nation’s Only State-Owned Bank Became the Envy of Wall Street ) of setting up a state bank would be worth examining.

  12. Ya, and the lives of his family members and possibly to distant relatives but only if they hadn't already reproduced. Besides, if his fault is genetic you can't rightly hold him responsible, for example, if he has a congenital defect. Maybe the Darwin Award should be called the Social Darwinism Award.

  13. So, can you explain why Obama as a constitutional law professor and his administration have backed off from prosecuting members of the Bush administration for allegedly breaking the laws?