Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Impure Reason

We didn't watch last evening's State of the Union speech by His Nibs President Trump - husband put in a suggestion, early on, that we should cease and desist - so we did. I haven't yet read anything about what was said, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the word 'codswallop' hasn't been intoned by someone somewhere! So...apropos of nothing but that:

A few examples from Jayj Jacob's
Codswallop Detector & Critique of Impure Reason.
These are his personal indicators of codswallop (also known as nonsense), found sometimes in astrology but more often elsewhere - I've chosen some of the more universal ones from the list.

The author forms "an objective assessment of faults, logical mistakes and spurious reasoning most apparent and seemingly inherent in astrology and astro-logic. By no means are these mental preconceptions limited to astrology or metaphysics; they are pandemic in western culture."

(Notes in blue strips, below each item, are my own by the way.)

Authoritism: The dual beliefs that if it's in print it is true & that famous people are always right ('authors' are de facto 'famous'). The more famouser the more righter. "If I haven't already read, or heard of them, they are nobody, and know nothing."
NOTE: I used to believe this, but well over a decade and a half online has opened my eyes - very clarifying it has been!

Conspiritorialism: The conviction that the truth is being deliberately withheld from 'us' by 'them'. The fewer people that know it, or believe it, the truer it is. Denial is always evidence for, rather than against.
NOTE: Sometimes a conspiracy is just a conspiracy, sometimes it ain't!

Cosmenology: The belief that whatever makes the universe seem pretty, kind, caring, etc., is correct. "Beauty is Truth." [reference Robert Pante, "If you look good, and dress well, you don't need to have a purpose in life."]
NOTE: True that!

Audiblation: The assumption that volume makes right. The louder (and meaner) you say it, the truer it is. Capitalization Convinces.
NOTE: capitalization gets you roundly scolded by all and sundry, so this one is a tad iffy. I suspect most people have grown wise to "audiblation".

Spuriousism: The assumption that if you can make it seem to work for you once, it does indeed work - and must be used by everyone.
NOTE: Yes, this one can be applied to astrology, right enough - also to things like slimming (or other) diet ideas, recipes, political campaigning, themes and plots for film and TV shows.


LB said...

Hi Twilight ~ I didn't watch it either, but I did just read a piece on Consortium News by Caitlin Johnstone in response to Bernie Sanders' video about last night's State of the Union.

Just to forewarn you ~and though she's more forgiving of Sanders' record than I am (as you know)~ the article, "Responding to Bernie’s Promotion of the New Cold War" begins with these words:

"In an otherwise fine video response to Tuesday night’s vapid, flag-waving State of the Union address, Bernie Sanders once again promoted the neocon think tank-generated and unproven claim that Russia interfered in America’s 2016 elections via “cyberwarfare,” and repeated the completely baseless insinuation that they colluded with Trump to do so."

In related news, I just learned Consortium News founder, Robert Parry, has died. Didn't know much about him until now. Sad.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Hi here! Yes, I saw something mentioned at Naked Capitalism this morning about Bernie's speech after SOTU. I think what either Yves or Lambert (who run the site) speculated was, that they think Bernie might be considering running in 2020 and wants to keep on the right side of the DNC, by supporting their opinions on the Russia thing. I don't know, LB. Personally, I doubt he'll run again, but in spite of his flaws, he's still the best politician (for ordinary people) we've got, other than Dennis Kucinich, who is unlikely ever to run for Prez again. :-)

LB said...

I know you already know all this, Twilight, but for the benefit of anyone else out there who may not be aware, there's this from the 2015 Counterpunch article, "Bernie Out of the Closet: Sanders' Longstanding Deal with the Democrats" by Paul Street.

The first two paragraphs are quotes the author included from a 1999 essay by Will Miller (linked to in main article):

“After being safely elected in November of 1990, Bernie continued to support the buildup while seeking membership in the Democratic Congressional Caucus – with the enthusiastic support of the Vermont Democratic Party leadership. But, the national Democratic Party blew him off, so he finally voted against the war and returned home – and as the war began – belatedly claimed to be the leader of the anti-war movement in Vermont.”

"“Since 1991 the Democrats have given Bernie membership in their Congressional Caucus. Reciprocally, Bernie has become an ardent imperialist. Sanders endorsed Clinton in 1992 and 1996. In 1992 he described Clinton as the ‘lesser of evils,’ (a justification he used to denounce when he was what the local press called an ‘avowed socialist’). By 1996 he gave Clinton an unqualified endorsement. He has been a consistent ‘Friend of Bill’s’ from since 1992. One student I know worked on the Clinton Campaign in 1996 and all across Vermont, Bernie was on the stage with the rest of the Vermont Democratic Party Leadership, while the unauthorized Democratic candidate for his Congressional seat was kept out in the audience.”

During the 1990s, the not-so “independent” Congressman Sanders voted for and/or otherwise supported:

* Economic sanctions that killed more than a million Iraqi civilians

* Every U.S. bombing of Iraq from 1992 on

* The sending of U.S. military units to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to threaten Iraq because “we cannot tolerate aggression”

* The objectively racist and mass-incarcerationist Federal Crime bill.

* Every US intervention since elected to Congress–Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Liberia, Zaire (Congo), Albania, Sudan, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia.

Many of Sanders’ liberal fans might be surprised to learn that he voted for a National Rifle Association (NRA)-supported bill to restrict lawsuits against gun manufacturers and against the Brady Bill.

The “leftist” Congressman Sanders liked to send out mailings sends out mailings to veterans that supported the US having “the strongest military in the world” and praised soldiers as sacrificing “for the freedom of Americans.” Sanders repeatedly failed to invite antiwar veterans’ groups to his many veterans events in the state."

All this is relevant because Bernie continues to back both parties (Democrats and Republicans) in his support of empire, endless war and militarism, among other things.

What you call "best" means death and oppression for many others. It's disturbing how accepting we've become.

Twilight said...

LB ~ But, LB - there is no "better". There has been no "better" choice available - even among those politicians who haven't run for office. It's not really helpful to look for perfection on this. Bringing Bernie down in the estimation of those who support him is not going to benefit anybody, anywhere - and will not help those being killed and maimed in other lands by the US military. He is not president, and if the DNC has anything to do with it, he will never be president. That is something I accept.

I do not accept much of what's been going on for years in US politics, but I am a relative newcomer here and have to often wonder what everyone in this land has been thinking, over past decades, to allow the country to descend to this level. They are the ones who have been accepting! We are now living the result.

Wisewebwoman said...

Love your response T. I keep bringing this up. Trump is not the problem.Hes the culmination of everything rotten in the State. There is no 'Great Again" There never was to begin with.
And democracy? What was that again? The electoral college insures there's no such thing.



LB said...

The truth is the truth, whether we want to know or acknowledge the horror or not.

None of us are *forced* to vote for the murder of innocents, not yet anyway. It sounds as if you're making the argument that it's okay to vote for someone who supports endless war and U.S. imperialism, the bombing deaths of innocent brown-skinned men, women and babies, since all of the other candidates do too.

Would you voluntarily vote for a particular mayoral candidate if you knew that person would order the illegal and relentless bombing of certain neighborhoods in your town (maybe even your own), resulting in the destruction of homes and families, the loss of innocent lives? And then justify your vote by saying all of the other mayoral candidates would do the same?

What if Bernie and other candidates were bombing England?

We might feel differently if it was closer to home and/or if we witnessed the bloody consequences of our decisions.

"Violence, always violence. From infancy, Americans are conditioned to enjoy violence, then lured or pressured to support it at every stage of life. Merely by voting, Americans sanction carnage against foreigners, and to have a healthy stock portfolio, one should also invest in mass murder." Linh Dinh

Not voting can be a form of protest. Even if 'they' don't care or notice our non-participation, we know and are consciously choosing not to be complicit while we still have a choice about whether or not to vote. Things will change when we change as individuals.

LB said...

I hope you know I'm not blaming you for the ills of the world, Twilight.

I do think it's important though for us to support and encourage one another in thinking differently, more inclusively and compassionately, and with discernment, without ignoring the reality of our choices.

My main point, as always when it comes to US politics, is that sometimes the world offers us false dilemmas, and not choosing represents the wise and moral choice.

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ Yes, it's something that has been in the making for decades. :(

Twilight said...

LB ~ I appreciate your point of view, LB. However, simply not voting solves not a thing, and could potentially make things worse at home while not helping those being attacked abroad at all, perhaps even making things worse for them.

While I sympathise with your feelings, it's difficult to see the practical logic in simply not voting. "What if Bernie and other candidates were bombing England? You ask." I'm sorry but that pre-supposes that I support the bombing and attacks by US military abroad, because I find Bernie to be a politician worth supporting. Bernie was not a candidate in the General don't forget, only in the primaries, and his focus has always been on domestic policies which are sadly lacking here.

Voting for Bernie in the primaries and supporting his stances re Medicare for All hardly makes me a monster because his foreign policy appear to be faulty. I doubt there has ever been a candidate in the USA's history who could boast having all boxes ticked - and when one who I considered to be as near perfect as there's ever likely to be, Dennis Kucinich, dared to run - all he got was ridicule or being ignored - and I do not forgive the USA for that!

LB said...

Though we try not to (and I'm constantly trying to figure out how to do without), *occasionally* we purchase items we need but can't find locally through Amazon. When we do feed that particular monster, I don't kid myself that I've done anything to help make the world a better place.

I also know NOT buying from Amazon (and other online providers) WOULD help brick and mortar, small business owners and their employees to survive and that in choosing to buy from Amazon I've contributed to the death of these small, non-corporate owned businesses and the communities they serve. I've also contributed to the dehumanizing way Amazon chooses to treat its employees. And WORSE.

I'm sorry if you misunderstood my point and were offended, Twilight. While I don't think you're a monster, I do think you, and I, and everyone else has blind spots that feed our personal and collective monster(s).

What I pre-supposed in my earlier comment, was that political leaders who've supported our capitalistic, imperialistic, militaristic system in the past, will continue to support it in the future, which means more violence and oppression.

There's no such thing as a good leader in a monstrous system, no one who will bring peace and justice for all. Right now the monster that is us would never recognize or accept such a candidate. It's not how the monster works.

Good people get taken in and become confused, forget what it means to be good, forget what matters, forget how to treat others with the same compassion and kindness with which they'd hope to be treated. I used the hypothetical example of our government and one of its leaders deciding to bomb the town you and your husband live in hoping it would make it easier to empathize with those on the receiving end of the monster.

Not voting is such a small thing, it costs me nothing. The promise of gaining universal health care (something I support), or more jobs, isn't enough to entice me to support a candidate who'll support the monster in other terrible ways.

Twilight said...

LB ~ I'll not comment further on the Bernie question. On the topic of Amazon though, something I found out just today is of interest (Sunday):

I ordered some hair product, which is being discontinued, via e-bay, where I shop often to avoid Amazon. I was very surprised when today (Sunday, remember) USPS delivery - usually not working on Sundays, brought my 2 small items, in two separate boxes, way too large for the items inside, which would have fitted easily into one, with space left over. The boxes were Amazon boxes, sealed with Amazon tape, yet the e-bay advert where the items were listed as a set of 2 (last available), mentioned nothing about Amazon - the seller was stated as "e-....." something or other - I forget now. So Amazon is now playing incognito, craftily overcoming the plan of people like me to shop at e-bay instead of at Amazon. Also they must have an arrangement with USPS to work Sundays. :-/

LB said...

I'm not surprised. And now Amazon is getting into the so-called "healthcare" business, this from the company that, in 2011, is reported to have had ambulances waiting outside to treat overheated workers instead of providing air conditioning inside their warehouses ~ something they've since corrected (I think.)

There's also this, "Jeff Bezos' Fortune Grows by 2.8 Billion in One Day:

Twilight said...

LB ~ Dang! I used to be so impressed with Amazon too, way back when I first bought a home computer in England - around 2001/2. On-line shopping had been unknown to us, and Amazon seemed to have honed its skills in this sphere so fast and efficiently. How did that work out for us?....Groan! It's like one of those sci-fi monsters with tentacles everywhere, strangling anything in its wake.