Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.
|Monday, 9 July 2018 at 13h 44m 22s|
Hunter S Thompson back in 1972
“The main problem in any democracy is that crowd-pleasers are generally brainless swine who can go
out on a stage & whup their supporters into an orgiastic frenzy—then go back to the office & sell
every one of the poor bastards down the tube for a nickel apiece.”
~Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72
|Monday, 2 July 2018 at 14h 56m 51s|
The US Chamber of Commerce puts out an interactive info graph
The US Chamber of Commerce interactive
map shows how each state will be affected by tariffs.
Louisiana will have 5.9 Billion in sales threatened : Click here for a pdf.
|Sunday, 1 July 2018 at 18h 12m 12s|
Alienated Dysfunctional Society
What is an alienated dysfunctional society? Good question. Let’s look at each of those three words
separately, one by one.
Alienated. Alienation occurs when individuals feel no connection or relation towards other people
or institutions. Sometimes the sentiment is such that there is a largely negative, fearful
connotation. As a result, avoiding connections becomes a preferable option, resulting in a lack of
communication and feedback, magnifying the feeling of alienation, often warping their views about
individuals and institutions that can be drastically different from any bearing on reality.
Dysfunctional. Dysfunctional literally means “against the function”, or not serving to benefit the
purpose of the function. Dysfunctional behavior involves doing things that are actually harmful or
not helpful. Irrational behavior or irrational thinking can be a symptom of some central
dysfunctionalism. So you might encounter people who have a certain phobia that justify said phobia
with illogical thoughts, and develop extensive behaviors in order to avoid instigating the phobia
involved. For instance : my mom used to be so afraid of bridges that she would make me drive her 15
miles out of the way to use a dangerous unregulated 30 year old (often crowded) river barge, instead
of traveling 2 miles across the river on the modern 3 year old four lane bridge that had very
Society. An organization of people who collectively perform activities that sustain the overall
existence of its members.
So an alienated dysfunctional society is a group of people who are harboring irrational attitudes,
having negative and/or fearful sentiments about other members of the society, and organized in a
manner that might be beneficial for some of the members, but is not beneficial for society as a
We have a society now in which large sub-groups are incubated into group-think outlets reacting
to and manipulated by vague inaccurate portraits of events. The overall structure now of society is
one of wealth extraction, not wealth distribution, and the ongoing relentless extraction of such
wealth from the resources of the earth is ignoring the inherent balance of our planet’s ecosystem,
acting as if resources are infinite and endless. Large economic entities owned by very small
numbers of people insist on making more and more profit, even while more and more people struggle
with a basic means of existence. Granted a little struggle is inherent in life, but that is quite
different than a large monolithic weave of corporate ownership structures narrowing down and
limiting pathways for all of those individuals not lucky enough to be born into prosperity.
In the days before the rise of merchants and the modern middle class, servants and peasant children
sometimes found their way into a life style that was above the vast majority of everyone who was not
an aristocrat, but that’s not the same thing as working hard and rising up the social ladder based
upon merit. The forces of acquisition forget about the concomitant feedback loop of economic
distribution that sustains a functioning social order. Machines cannot buy the products that the
machines produce, and shrinking the accumulation of wealth to a smaller number of people cannot
support a large sprawling market system unless the uber-wealthy replace the economic distribution
created by large numbers of smaller wealthy individuals by putting everyone else on their payroll.
However, instead, the uber-wealthy prefer to fund think tanks promoting ideology, buying media
outlets to control information, funneling money to compliant politicians who pass the laws they
want, and spend their money excessively on costly extravagance for leisure and carnival solipsism.
Or do you think an economy can run on private jets, private yachts, gold bathtubs, and million
dollar sales of paintings and sculptures?
The non-wealthy are pushed to the edge in an alienated dysfunctional society. The rewards of the
efficient production system largely accrue to the owners and stock holders, with very little
trickling down to the lower classes that do the actual work of the production system. Marginalized
and struggling, the mental day to day pressures of managing to find meaning in life is very
difficult for even those who have strong instincts and mental acuity. Not everyone manages to stay
sane, and some of those who lose the balance turn violent. This is what it means by statistics when
the percentages of a subgroup are much larger than that of another subgroup. It’s not an indictment
but a statement of an expected rate of increase due to the circumstances the alienated dysfunctional
society places upon some subgroups in the society.
However, rather than become self-introspective, those who benefit from this alienated dysfunctional
society chose blame or comforting biased explanations. Hence, black people are said to be more
violent, liberals or socialists are just lazy people looking for a handout, and the homeless are
just losers who cannot cut it in the modern world. Victimization is the glue that holds the fragile
belief system together when the abundance of evidence cries bunkum.
Meanwhile those who benefit from the alienated dysfunctional society dabble in peddling
nationalistic narcissistic racism in order to divide and conquer the minds of the beleaguered, who
must be convinced that the alienated dysfunctional society is innocent of the designs by human
actors. For some of the beneficiaries, it is difficult to be willing to admit that there is some
responsibility on their part to reform the alienated dysfunctional society. So they ignore feedback
loops and bottom up management systems, because it is too easy to believe in facile natural solutions
that don’t actually address the underlying factors that create the alienated dysfunctional society.
It is too easy to hide behind easy philosophies which remove the human from the precepts of the
philosophy and presume unrealistic human behavior, because the end result must lay blame and
personal responsibility on the individuals within the subgroups in order to justify the accruing of
benefits to the other subgroups. Those who have advantages will explain these advantages are due
to their own strengths and find weaknesses in others who lack such advantages. They will focus upon
superficial individual characteristics and ignore the macroscopic systemic reality.
As a result, all human progress is an inevitable struggle, which is why war and revolution are
periodic hallmarks of the human species.
|Tuesday, 26 June 2018 at 23h 18m 5s|
Lyndon B Johnson understands racial politics
If you can convince the poorest white man that he is better than the negro, then you can pick his
pocket all day long
~~ Lyndon B. Johnson
|Saturday, 23 June 2018 at 17h 59m 46s|
A fortune cookie aphorism
Semi-regularly (lately once a week) I get a twice-cooked pork dish with no rice from a Chinese
restaurant around the block on Clement and 32nd. I love the fortune cookie sayings that come on the
little pieces of paper after you crack open the cookie, getting some lucky number combinations and a
free Chinese word too. Sometimes the pithy aphorism really hits home. That was the case yesterday.
Here is the quote:
Your dream must be bigger than your fear.
|Friday, 22 June 2018 at 9h 39m 10s|
The Majority of all voters have a favorable view of immigration
Here is the latest Gallup Poll
[SOURCE: Megan Brenan | Gallup Poll | 21
|Thursday, 14 June 2018 at 15h 32m 8s|
Today I spoke with a fellow who is a neighbor to a fellow teacher whom I have worked with for 20
years. His name was Steve. He said he was from Chicago. He said he joined the military in the
1960’s and served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He lives around the corner from my favorite San
Francisco cafe. I have seen him before — even perhaps spoken with him before — but we don’t usually
connect except when I am on Summer sabbatical, spending my free time reading books in the morning at
my favorite San Francisco cafe. Steve is now retired, and has served on the board and as President
of a local Waldorf school.
He is a typical San Francisco “conservative” in that he isn’t Republican, is open minded to reason,
is not blatantly judgmental or overly racist, tends to be parochial, and is staunchly supportive of a
local view of property rights. Like every typical San Franciscan who intends to live here for the
long haul — as opposed to being a temporary station in life — Steve is engaged with his
fellow neighborhood citizens, which is why we strike up a conversation most of the time we are in the
same vicinity. I mean, how else do you explain a guy pushing (or beyond) 70 years talking to a 49
long haired hippie who looks like Frank Zappa vintage 1972.
Our city recently elected London Breed mayor of San Francisco. She is a mainstream darling funded by
large real estate interests, developers, internet and big-tech moguls, and is backed by financial
such as Save and Affordable San Francisco slurring opposition candidates with 3 million
dollars over the last 3 weeks before the election date -- conveniently registered out of Sacramento in
order to not have to immediately file or disclose for the city ethics board. Steve called her a
politician. Then Steve
commented on our common district supervisor Sandra Fewer. He was upset with our district supervisor
because of an instance a few years back when she was on the school board and voted against
continuing the JROTC programs — apparently because our district supervisor has a gay son and she was
upset about don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy of the military.
We got into a conversation about education, partly because I mentioned that I am a high school math
teacher. He mentioned about how the United States was behind. I cut in and mentioned that if
you look at the International PISA scores you are looking at an average, which is quite different
than the median, and that furthermore, if you remove all the schools which have more than 20% school
free lunch students (a good proxy for poverty) American students rank anywhere from number 1 to
number 3. The real issue is not addressing the underlying needs of a large segment of the students
in our public schools -- single parents, drug addiction, alcoholism, constant moving because of
shifting job markets, unstable and unhealthy community environments, low nutrition. Steve agreed.
He went back to the JROTC matter as a means of giving kids
structure and leadership opportunities. I was not in disagreement, although I think those same
goals can be achieved without the military being involved. But we agreed on the same principles.
Which is my goal when I converse with other people. I want to learn how they feel and how they
think and discover what we have in common. I have no agenda or delusion that I can convince anyone
of anything. Every encounter with another human being is either an exchange or it’s just an
exercise in egotistical banter, the latter of which is a waste of time if you are a sentient being.
Whereas, for the insentient and inobservant, egotistical banter is perhaps a necessity. The view
of self cannot be separated from the engagement with others because any engagement with others must
support the view of self.
|Sunday, 10 June 2018 at 21h 3m 15s|
Headline: In 500 days Trump has said 1655 falsehoods.
Source: The Toronto Star
|Wednesday, 6 June 2018 at 12h 55m 0s|
My recent lunch
This is what I ate the last 3 days. OMG it's delicious. It takes 5 minutes once you have the
boiled eggs. I also like to steam the broccoli for 5 minutes.
The spices are important btw. Turmeric in particular has a compound called curcumin that stimulates
the enzyme production in the liver that increases metabolism of the fats that build up in the liver.
This salad also has 235 mg of Vitamin C, the same as 2 cups of raw orange juice without the 40 grams
of sugar that you get with orange juice, about 10 to 15 grams of which is fructose. Whereas this
salad only has 15 grams of sugar, only 4.5 grams of which is fructose.
For those of you who care about Calories .. this is about 1100.
Kale mixed greens olive broccoli feta tomato pecan chia seed salad
1 cup or handful kale
1 cup or handful mixed spring greens
4 hard boiled eggs (or 4oz Smoked Salmon)
½ cup crumbled pecans
10 cherry tomatoes, sliced into halves
1 cup of broccoli florets
8 large olives with pimentos, sliced into thirds
⅓ cup of feta cheese, cut and slightly crumbled
(optional) 2 medium peperoncini peppers
1 teas chia seeds
(optional) ½ T apple cider vinegar
2 T hemp oil (or olive oil)
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 teas paprika
1 teas turmeric
¼ teas coriander
(optional) pinch of cayenne pepper
Soak paprika, turmeric, cayenne and coriander in the oil and balsamic, and just enough water to make
it a little runny. Let it sit for 5 minutes, stirring before and after.
Cut the eggs in half. Mix all the other ingredients together, then mix in the oil-vinegar spice
mixture. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
Eat your greens y'all !!!!!!
|Tuesday, 15 May 2018 at 21h 29m 40s|
California's Common Core Mistake
From the Hoover Institute ...
California's Common Core Mistake
Yep. Trying to solve underlying issues with a top-down mismanagement schema system that might work
when you have a relatively homogenous society like Japan or China; or a society like Finland where
the ancillary social support system diminishes the issues and factors exogenous to the school
Mathematics and numbers are unique, in that they are completely dependent upon the environment and
culture from which humans arrive. Tribes cannot contemplate numbers greater than five, and often
have no conception of linearity or division, because it doesn't come up in their environment. We in
the West however expect young people to automatically have some innate capacity for mathematically
ability, completely ignoring the concomitant background environment that is critical for success in
mathematics. I still have seniors in statistics who get confused about the decimal point and
percentages, even though that is a 7th grade math concept. Why is that? We must realize that there
are various and different capacities for mathematics that exist in students and that there is not a
one size fits all. Otherwise we don't address the misconceptions and weaknesses in the large
sub-group of students who have weak mathematical conceptions.
Expecting children to ramp up and "struggle to solve hard problems" can be an immense
challenge for students who are 3 grades behind, living in stressful social situations, poorly
nourished by eating processed food and high sugar diets, and being largely raised by devices that
are eroding their focus and memory retention. It would be one thing if these other more relevant
issues were addressed, but they aren't being addressed at all -- and maybe cannot be addressed by
the school systems but are the result of a larger social/government policy environment.
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