Category Archives: another perspective

CNN’s apple ad to counter “fake news”

Well, it is accurate that what is pictured is not a banana. But, what that demonstrates is that the negative (what something is not) can be proved. On the other hand, what is pictured may be an apple, ein Apfel, une pomme or mela, if we are sticking to just European designations. Whether it is an apple is questionable. It is not possible to prove that it is an apple, only that it is not a banana. Which means that the negative has a higher degree of certainty, which is probably why it appeals to people who want guarantees.
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Lots of Premature Deaths

Are the dead in Las Vegas sacrifices to the culture of obedience? Remember that culture is by definition irrational and unnatural. How convenient the occasional unexpected mayhem. Did I already not hear praise for the cops who accessed the hotel after near an hour of shooting? They were so brave.

When the Center Does Not Hold

It’s a mistake to give corporations, which have no moral center, the benefit of the doubt. We cannot presume that they mean to do good. Similarly, it is a mistake to give an individual who’s missing a moral center the benefit of the doubt. If there is no moral center to prompt self-restraint, restraint needs to be imposed from outside.

Centered but not sensed.

How does it happen that a person is self-centered but has no sense of self and is person-centered, but doesn’t give a fig for the persons s/he observes. Is it habitual behavior which has that effect? Sort of like a dog lifting a leg on the fire plug? Does habit compensate for a lack of engagement or replace/substitute for it?

The missing ‘I’

If there is no ‘I’, can there be a lie?
Similarly, we know that every action has a beginning, middle and end. It’s a regular sequence of events. But, if a person has no sense of sequence, can he act? What if all his behaviors are just in response to random prompts?
“non compos mentis” The Latin phrase suggests that the brain is not well composed, put together or ordered. Or, in other words, it doesn’t direct sequential acts. Being out of order is the result.
From the perspective of the personal responsibility crowd, a person that responds to prompts, like a remote-controlled TV, may well be considered ideal.


Dear Mr. President:

Reproach and censure in the strongest possible terms are necessary following your support of the hate groups and terrorists who killed and injured fellow Americans in Charlottesville. The false equivalences you push cannot stand. The Administrations refusal to quickly and unequivocally condemn the cancer of hatred only further emboldens those who wish America ill. We cannot sit idly by, the way your West Wing advisors have, without speaking out against your words and actions. We are members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH). The Committee was created in 1982 under President Ronald Reagan to advise the White House on cultural issues. We were hopeful that continuing to serve in the PCAH would allow us to focus on the important work the committee does with your federal partners and the private sector to address, initiate, and support key policies and programs in the arts and humanities for all Americans. Effective immediately, please accept our resignation from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

Elevating any group that threatens and discriminates on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, disability, orientation, background, or identity is un-American. We have fought slavery, segregation, and internment. We must learn from our rich and painful history. The unified fabric of America is made by patriotic individuals from backgrounds as vast as the nation is strong. In our service to the American people, we have experienced this first-hand as we traveled and build the Turnaround Arts education program, now in many urban and rural schools across the country from Florida to Wisconsin.

Speaking truth to power is never easy, Mr. President. But it is our role as commissioners on the PCAH to do so. Art is about inclusion. The Humanities include a vibrant free press. You have attacked both. You released a budget which eliminates arts and culture agencies. You have threatened nuclear war while gutting diplomacy funding. The administration pulled out of the Paris agreement, filed an amicus brief undermining the Civil Rights Action, and attacked our brave trans service members. You have subverted equal protections, and are committed to banning Muslims and refugee women & children from our great country. This does not unify the nation we love. We know the importance of open and free dialogue through our work in the cultural diplomacy realm, most recently with the first-ever US Government arts and cultural delegation to Cuba, a country without the same First Amendment protections we enjoy here. Your words and actions push us all further away from the freedoms we are guaranteed.

Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions. We took a patriotic oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Supremacy, discrimination, and vitriol are not American values. Your values are not American values. We must be better than this. We are better than this. If this is not clear to you, then we call on you to resign your office, too.

Thank you,

Letter of resignation sent by the Arts and Humanities Council. I might note, in passing, that the U.S. never deigned to refer to the Iraqi Resistance, as they wished to be called.
Now we’ve got the Resistance at home as a follow-up to Occupy Wall Street.

Legalizing Vehicular Terror

There is an op-ed in the Washington Post.

The car as weapon is a touchy subject because, of course, before the invasion of Iraq, when the U.S. was still trying to use persuasion to get
Saddam Hussein to hand over some land for military bases (like the ones we have in Japan and South Korea), the local opposition to Saddam’s regime was assisted by the U.S. in their efforts to “de-stabilize” his rule by having the CIA teach them how to make car bombs. Yes, the U.S. introduced car bombs to the Middle East. Where did they get the cars? According to some serial numbers recovered from engine parts, the cars had been stolen in southern California.

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Permits for Charlottesville?

Yes, “the issuance of a permit is not a matter of grace.” So says Justice Kennedy and I agree. Permits are issued for legal activities. The purpose of the permitting process is to alert public servants to the possibility that a greater level of service may be required because, as in this case, for example, a crowd of people may become unruly. So, yes, the city of Charlottesville did not prepare adequately for the presence of a large number of pedestrians. In part that’s because car culture doesn’t like pedestrians much anyway. It is not a coincidence that a person in a car ran down some pedestrians. The number of people killed by cars while walking has been increasing steadily. Bicyclists too. One suspects that people ensconced in metal cages with wheels perceive themselves to be challenged by people perambulating on their own two feet. It may be a subconscious “how dare they step out of line?” response.
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