We act against our well being

Listening to a “This American Life” episode this morning, focusing on global warming. This addresses two of my favorite interests: humility and denial.

I was seven when I began to grasp some of the issues that have always concerned that small band of unhappy few who actually care to use more than 5% of their on-board computers; issues such as suffering, war, disease and as of the last 50 years, global warming.

For now, I’ll just cut to the chase. My father relentlessly abused my mother and me from the time I was six, and almost always behind closed doors. It was probably a lot earlier than that for Mom, but that’s when it started for me. Bottom line is that it was some combination of sociopathy, PTSD brought on by childhood and adult trauma, OCD and male Jewish anger. I only saw a relatively normal father in the last two years of his life. At that time he was put on a daily dose of an antipsychotic starting the very first day that he was admitted to a nursing home.

My point is that David (Dad) was convinced that my mother and I were deficient in various ways that necessitated regular exposures to his dictates and wisdom. He even went so far as to take us together to a venerable psychiatrist ( as I recall, a classic Viennese old-school Freudian) to get an evaluation of us two. We only went once and D made it clear that it was we two who were to be scrutinized, not him.

I won’t have time to finish this this morning so I will tie this all together this weekend, inchallah, but for now my point is that, in general, pride and denial rule human affairs, and now they rule our global environment. Most of us never seem to be able to make the tiny mental leap from witnessing the sheer craziness all around us to understanding that we can all easily fall prey to the illusion that everyone else may be fallible but we ourselves are the soul of sanity and realistic thinking.

(To be continued)

Google Facebook Yahoo and others form Internet super-lobby.

“The two companies join an All-Star team of tech giants to throw their collective weight around in D.C. — which could be a boon for internet freedom.

The tech world is used to seeing Google, Facebook, and Yahoo duke it out in an increasingly bloody battle for online advertising dollars. But this week, the companies showed their cooperative side, joining Amazon, LinkedIn, Monster, Zynga, and eBay to form the country’s first lobbying group dedicated solely to the interests of internet companies. The who’s who of tech luminaries is blandly called the Internet Association, but with its pool of big bucks, the group is sure to make an impact on Congress. Here’s what you should know:

Don’t tech companies already lobby Congress?
Yes, but only as individual corporations or in colloboration with groups that don’t focus exclusively on internet issues. Google has led the way, spending some $9 million in lobbying in the first half of 2012, up from $3.5 million during the same period in 2011.

Why are they joining forces now?
The companies received a wake-up call last year, when members of Congress tried to pass two bills — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) — that were designed to curb internet piracy. Internet companies, however, feared that the bills “would block or punish their sites for containing pirated movies, books, and songs,” says Cecilia King at The Washington Post. The battle pitted the companies against established lobbying groups for Hollywood and the music industry, convincing the tech sector to get serious about lobbying. The bills were ultimately defeated after protests from prominent sites and advocates for internet freedom.

What does the group propose to do?
The Internet Association says it will focus on the issues of piracy, copyright, privacy, and cybersecurity. The group also pledges to keep the internet as free as possible. “It is the internet’s decentralized and open model that has unleash unprecedented entrepreneurialism,” says President Michael Beckerman. “Policymakers must understand that the preservation of that freedom is essential to the vitality of the internet itself and the resulting economic prosperity.”

Is this a positive development for web users?
Perhaps. Some believe that the Internet Association will be a key force in preserving internet liberties, which means that it’s not “just another lobby representing the 1 percent,” says David Kravets at Wired. However, “as with any lobby, the Internet Association formed to protect its own interests,” says Natasha Lennard at Salon. The group will almost certainly oppose, for example, “certain privacy regulation intended to protect consumer information.”

Sources: The Hill, National Journal, Reuters, Salon, The Washington Post, Wired”

“Too Much Magic” by James Howard Kunstler: why technology will not dig us out of our hole.

On my reading list         Shortlink: http://wp.me/p4njL-bg “The nationally best-selling author of The Long Emergency expands on his alarming argument that our oil-addicted, technology-dependent society is on the brink of collapse—that the long emergency has already begun…”

Meltdown in Spain and the Spanish Inquisition

ImageThis just occurred to me, and I know it’s mean, but in regards to the financial meltdown in Spain… to paraphrase Tricky Dick (a notorious anti-semite who loved kissing her, look it up kids), this time “you don’t have the jews and muslims to kick around and rip off anymore.”

Who knows, maybe Spain would be better today, by keeping her nasty mitts off of her jews and muslims huh? Ditto Russia, Poland etc….

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Inquisition


It is unknown exactly how much wealth was confiscated from converted Jews and others tried by the Inquisition. Wealth confiscated in one year of persecution in the small town of Guadaloupe paid the costs of building a royal residence.[80] There are numerous records of the opinion of ordinary Spaniards of the time that “the Inquisition was devised simply to rob people. “They were burnt only for the money they had,’ a resident of Cuenca averred. “They burn only the well-off,” said another. In 1504 an accused stated, “only the rich were burnt.” …In 1484…Catalina de Zamora was accused of asserting that “this Inquisition that the fathers are carrying out is as much for taking property from the conversos as for defending the faith. “It is the goods that are the heretics.” This saying passed into common usage in Spain. In 1524 a treasurer informed Charles V that his predessor had received ten million ducats from the conversos, but the figure is unverified. In 1592 an inquisitor admitted that most of the fifty women he arrested were rich. In 1676, the Suprema claimed it had confiscated over 700,000 ducats for the royal treasury (which was paid money only after the Inquisition’s own budget, amounting in one known case to only 5%). The property on Mallorca alone in 1678 was worth ‘well over 2,500,000 ducats.”[81]”

See also: https://www.google.com/search?q=jews%20expulsion%20reasons%20inquisition

BTW, I’m speaking as an atheist jew, who lived in Spain as a teenager… and loved every minute of it. A wonderful country with wonderful people.