German villagers and Black South Africans share bad logic?

libya-refugeesRecently I was listening to a black-community radio station, which is on the left politically, and a guest was being asked about the attacks against immigrants in South Africa. The guest evaded that topic, and instead talked about the growing knowledge among average South Africans that Wall Street owned the nation’s wealth. A few days later, I was surprised to read of the same logic in Germany. I read that a small rural German town was being flooded with refugees from the great movement across the Mediterranean to Europe of Arabs and Africans fleeing war and poverty. The people of that town (Grillenberg) were naturally upset. In that town, an anonymous flyer landed in local mailboxes: a plan hatched by “international high finance,” it warned, was placing refugees deliberately in the countryside to destroy “our culture’s last areas of retreat.”

I actually feel sympathetic to all sides in both stories. I can understand why immigrants come to South Africa, and I can understand why poor and unemployed South Africans make the mistake of blaming these people for their own poverty. I can understand why refugees from war and poverty want to escape to the green shores of Europe, and I can understand the Europeans not wanting to be inundated.

However, I think the two news-items I mentioned do show a fallacy in how people think. They attribute too much “purpose” to events that happen for many different reasons, and then they assign that purpose to the Jews (or more diplomatically “International Finance” or “Wall Street”.)

And I have to ask myself – since I live only 30 miles away from Wall Street, and read the Wall Street Journal, and often read matters of Jewish interest – why have I completely missed the projects of International Finance to steal the wealth of South Africa, and destroy the last holdouts of German culture?

There is bad logic and unsupported assumptions here – both in the mind of at least one person in that town in Germany, and in South Africa. In South Africa immigrants are getting murdered because of a lack of understanding in the minds of the murderers of how wealth is created – and of course some nastier human traits are involved as well.
Whoever wrote that flyer in Grillenberg probably thought that the Jews want to avenge themselves on Germany, or harm German culture, and so are getting revenge by somehow controlling the German government so that it distributes foreigners to their town.
Sometimes paranoid thinking is encouraged for ulterior motives – as with a “documentary” broadcast repeatedly on Turkish TV claiming a Jewish plot to destroy Turkey, with one of the Jewish masterminds of this plot being Charles Darwin (Darwin was a Christian who in later life became an agnostic). Supposedly the Jews use Darwin’s theory to assert that everyone evolved from Apes, except them, who were created by God. (In reality, religious people, including Jews, often have problems with evolution, though not always. And the bible says that all humanity descended from Adam, so that would seem to contradict the assertion as well).

Leaving Turkey for Christian Europe, I find that there are also ideas in Hungary that foreign Jews are meddling in their lives. Apart from the dull depressed feeling this gives me (being Jewish), there seems to be a basic flaw in the logic here somewhere.

Sources:
http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3279225/posts (on Turkey)
http://www.wsj.com/articles/refugee-surge-in-germany-puts-pressure-on-small-towns-1429706294 (on Germany)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What America doesn’t know CAN hurt it (A Statistical Blog Post)

ignorance2I was told by a receptionist at a nearby hospital that they were facing a big shortage of nurses. I asked her – why the mismatch? -we have so much unemployment, and yet these well-paid jobs go begging for applicants. She said that nursing is a difficult job, with long hours.
But what she did not say, but probably also relevant is this:
More than 600,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs sit vacant because there aren’t enough qualified candidates to fill them. (Thirty percent of high-school graduates can’t pass the U.S. military entrance exam, which is focused on basic reading and math skills.)
In 35 US states it pays more to accept welfare than for a college graduate to work an entry-level job. This surprising fact is based on a study done by the Cato Institute titled the “The Work vs. Welfare Trade-Off” For instance, Pennsylvania has citizens pulling in almost $30,000 before taxes in public assistance. The article states that, “Welfare pays and pays well” since in most states recipients end up making more than retail clerks and fast food employees.
In addition, I read elsewhere that the average age of an American farmer is over fifty.
If we put this together, then there are several troubling implications. The large welfare population will vote for the candidate that keeps welfare going. And so there will be no incentive to go into manufacturing or farming or hard manual jobs until we sink under the burden of trillions of dollars of debt.
It could be that much of the American population is just too dumb to get a good job.
For instance, 70 percent of Americans do not know what the “Constitution” is, according to an article in the UK Daily Mail (see sources).
In another survey, just 74 percent of Americans said that the Earth revolves around the sun.
The younger you are, the less you know. For instance: just 19% of those under 30 can correctly identify Benjamin Netanyahu as the current Prime Minister of Israel. I wonder if the other 81% even know who heads the UK, or France, or Italy, or Russia.
And maybe the lack of engagement in a dynamic job market explains the following for the youth cohort:
A Pew poll found that while Americans overall tend to oppose socialism by a strong margin…socialism has more fans than opponents among the 18-29 crowd. Forty-nine percent of people in that age bracket say they have a positive view of socialism; only 43 percent say they have a negative view.
The effects of ignorance can be profound. I would bet most Americans haven’t heard of Pakistan, or at least could not place it on a map but: in 2011, a senior U.S. congressional official who works on nuclear issues told Newsweek that intelligence estimates suggest Pakistan has already developed enough fissile material to produce more than 100 warheads and manufacture between eight and 20 weapons a year. “There’s no question,” the official says, “it’s the fastest-growing program in the world.”
We could say: So what?
Does it really affect the average person if the earth goes around the sun or not? Or whether some far off Muslim country has a more active nuclear program than perhaps we ourselves do? Or whether some socialism is mixed into the economy or not? Or what hard to pronounce name the PM of Israel has? Or what some old piece of paper called the Constitution says?

I believe the answer is a resounding YES.

I would think that ignorant people would be more likely to follow charismatic demagogues, and would vote for policies that are destructive, and basically are more likely to stampede like lemmings off a cliff, taking the rest of us with them.
And if they don’t do that, they will not understand the ideological forces that are gathering outside our borders. What you don’t know can hurt you. We found that out 14 years ago when out of the sky, planes flew into our skyscrapers, and people were left wondering “who did this, and why do they hate us?”

Just saying, as I do here, that you are for “education” is hardly controversial.  So since I am allergic to not being controversial, I will add this: we should remember another statistic: that about 40% of the current crop of US babies are born to a single mother, and so home-life problems will likely interfere with their education, and also, that education is not everything.   Karl Marx himself spent much time in a British library researching to build his Marxist theory. Also the Nazi leadership was intelligent and educated.   Hitler wrote a book that is still popular in parts of the world and I was stunned, a minute ago, while looking up a source to back this assertion up, that two digital editions of the book (“Mein Kampf”) have risen from 12th and 15th to 3rd and 4th as of this writing, among books in iTunes “Politics and Current Events” rankings.  Some viewers of that article see the popularity as just curiosity, but one  viewer of that article laments that:

It’s pretty simple. After 5 years of a divisive president in America, class warfare on the rise in America and around the globe, Marxism and Socialism on the rise and racist Muslim countries expanding their borders and influence, it’s only natural that the old racist views are finding homes in the minds of the uneducated and easily led masses.

I weep for our world and those who will be killed in the turmoil to come.

I hope he is wrong, and admittedly, the other commenters do have other opinions as to why Mein Kampf is flying off the digital shelves.
If I were a teacher, I would try to show my students several opinions on a topic, including the most extreme, as well as the most mainstream.   That is a good way to teach critical thinking.  Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.

Sources:
http://www.people-press.org/2014/10/02/from-isis-to-unemployment-what-do-americans-know/
http://www.pewresearch.org/topics/public-knowledge/pages/2/
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1368482/How-ignorant-Americans-An-alarming-number-U-S-citizens-dont-know-basic-facts-country.html
http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/02/what-americans-dont-know-about-science/283864/
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2011/0517/Why-does-Pakistan-have-world-s-fastest-growing-nuclear-program
http://www.wnd.com/2015/04/education-disaster-no-accident-expert-warns/#POc4RyZPP35G9hMx.99
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/29/young-people-socialism_n_1175218.html

http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2014/01/09/why-is-hitlers-mein-kampf-rising-to-the-top-of-book-charts/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Drowned by compassion, crushed by justice

If you live in New York city, you have a mayor (Bill De Blasio) who traveled to Nicaragua as a leftist activist in 1988, around the time the CIA was helping rebels trying to overthrow the socialist Sandinista government. You have a left-wing hierarchy of government from top to bottom that your fellow New Yorkers have elected, and of course at the very top is President Obama who, in his autobiography, talks of his efforts to associate with radicals in college.

I believe that the left makes the average person less safe. For instance, de Blasio disbanded a special unit tasked with conducting surveillance of mosques and Muslim groups suspected of radical ties. He was ending “some of the most effective programs in the country in the NYPD counter-terrorism unit,” according to John Lehman, a former member of the 9/11 Commission (a commission formed to make recommendations in the aftermath of Jihadists flying airlines into our skyscrapers).

injusticeNone of us like being spied on of course, but Michael Mukasey, who served as U.S. attorney general from 2007 to 2009, said: “They (the NYPD) weren’t simply conducting surveillance of mosques and Muslims. They were mapping communities, figuring out where someone from Lebanon or Yemen or any of the other hot spots would go if they wanted to come to this country and find refuge.”

“At mosques that had particularly militant imams, they did have people who would tip them off to what other people were doing or saying. To the extent they’ve curtailed that, I think we’re all less safe,” he added.

De Blasio also curtailed the police department’s stop-and-frisk program, which authorizes officers to stop, question and pat down people they suspect of criminal conduct. As these stops have declined, shootings in some communities, such as Brownsville in Brooklyn, have increased, according to the New York Daily News.

Lehman said the changed policy will dissuade officers from stopping a person who might appear to be wearing an explosive vest or carrying a suspicious package.

“If you see someone with a package or a bulky vest, you are taking a great risk if you stop and frisk them.”

Lets assume that De Blasio is not pandering for votes, but rather simply has compassion – compassion for people being spied on for being Muslim, or and a sense of the unfairness of being stopped and searched for being black.

What else is he doing:

The 9/11 Commission also had recommended strict IDs (a computerized system called Real ID) to identify foreigners. Instead the mayor approved a program to issue municipal IDs of lower standards. They were intended to serve undocumented immigrants and other residents who have difficulty obtaining regular state IDs.

Mukasey said weak ID standards combined with the “porous” Southern border put the nation at greater risk for attack.

“You need a reliable way of identifying people. You don’t simply issue ID cards willy nilly to anybody who wants them and shows up and has his picture taken and tells you what his name is,” he said.

Lets give the mayor the benefit of the doubt. He feels for the plight of undocumented migrants, who do need services, and perhaps those cards can get them services.

In NY a progressive judge named Shira Scheindlin wishes to bar cops from enforcing laws against loitering in lobbies, corridors and elevators in housing projects.
The theory, stripped to bare metal, is that cops don’t have a big presence in doorman buildings and the like, where relatively few poor blacks and Hispanics live, and so it’s discriminatory for them to target the projects.
It’s down-the-rabbit-hole reasoning, to be sure: The projects are where the crime is. That is, where the victims are.

Lets give Shira the benefit of the doubt. She really cares. She cares about the young unemployed men and women who might want to socialize in a lobby or a corridor. She cares about injustice so you can be comforted that, if you live in these projects and get robbed in a stairway, that it happened in the name of compassion.

Now let’s go to Obama, a man whose compassion even outdoes De Blasio’s. In fact he got a Nobel peace prize just for being elected.

Lets start with deadly diseases.
Ebola, an incurable and usually deadly disease, has create a hot zone through parts of Africa, and Obama is offering to convert any tourist visa from a hot zone country into a permanent residence visa. I need not mention the downside.

Likewise, when 70,000 children from Central American countries illegally entered the U.S. they were not sent back, but were sent to live in cities across the U.S. Enteroviruses were found in a significant number of children in those countries, and subsequently there was an outbreak here. It resulted in 11 deaths, and 70 cases of polio-like paralysis, with lesions in the spinal cord. The paralysis is sometimes permanent, as are breathing difficulties.

But what could any decent person do – send the children back to their original homes? And it’s not proven that those children brought the disease, though we do know that other diseases from south of the border are spreading (Chagas disease, dengue, etc.) Obama plans to allow 100,000 Haitians into the U.S. without visas, by executive order, though Haiti has been very hard hit with a very painful tropical viral disease, transmittable by a mosquito that ranges from New York to Texas. What could go wrong?

Obama had an expensive fundraiser at the luxurious Austin home of filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, a man who was indignant at the American vigilantes – the “minutemen” who non-violently help the border patrol. Robert directed a movie about them. This movie, named Machete was incredibly violent and ends with illegal aliens massacring the fictional version of the Minutemen.
“Machete” in the words of the character meant to be our evolving conscience, Jessica Alba’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Sartana, is about how those who believe in only LEGAL immigration “deserve to be cut down.” (and they do get cut down)

But I can empathize. Those xenophobes deserve what they get.

Obama also cares about refugees.

With Muslim immigrants streaming into the United States at a rate of 100,000 per year, some of the communities targeted for new arrivals are seeking information on their new neighbors, only to be frustrated by federal bureaucrats and their hired contractors.
When an agency like World Relief opens an office in a city, it means refugees will be arriving soon. There are no public hearings or announcements in local media. Typically a story will appear in the local newspaper just before or after the first arrivals appear in town.

In St. Cloud, Minnesota, residents have also inquired about how many more Somali refugees will be arriving …dozens of other Somalis have either left the country to fight for al-Shabab or ISIS while others have been charged and convicted with sending material support to overseas terrorist organizations.

Some cities complain “We are struggling with our own homeless, our own mentally ill and poorly educated. Why do we need to take in other countries’ problems?”

In Lewiston Maine, where many Somalis were settled, we read this warning  to other cities from a man (Paul Spellman) who lived there:

You should plan to increase your police budgets as well as adding additional police in your schools. The Somali and Bantu tribes are a latter-day version of the Hatfields and McCoys. There have been numerous physical altercations between the two tribes as well as gang activity. Lewiston Deputy Police Chief James Minkowsky stated “we haven’t seen that it’s been fueled by drugs or alcohol but in some cases they seem to do it for the thrill of it. We’re not seeing the colors or the monikers but it’s still a gang mentality”. Prior to these attacks group robberies were almost unheard of according to police.

Those against refugee relocation should be prepared for broad accusations of being racist. In October of 2002 then Mayor Laurier Raymond wrote a letter to the Somali leaders asking them to hold off bringing more to Lewiston as the city could no longer afford the crippling financial burden. National media quickly picked up on the story labeling him a racist for simply doing what he was elected to do, govern the city.

So to sum up so far, if your child starts having trouble breathing due to a tropical disease, or you get mugged in your housing project, or a Jihadist bomb goes off in your mall, or if bullets whiz over your head between two conflicting tribes, you can at least thank your elites for being compassionate.

Recently the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission signaled that it would begin to crack down on employers who use the criminal histories of job applicants to discriminate against them illegally.
Myself I can see their point – if I were a criminal, I would want a second chance. On the other hand, if the plumber in your house has a prior history of kidnapping little girls, it might have to take you some time to appreciate the wisdom of the EEOC, after your little girl disappears.
But I’m sure you would come around to the idea that for the sake of justice, it was worth repairing the sink.

While walking with the French president at Monticello, President Obama was heard saying, “That’s the good thing about being president: I can do anything I want.” It was a joke, but let’s be glad he can do so much, because he is so compassionate.

In case you are one of those angry middle-aged men who lack a heart, you could vote for libertarian Rand Paul, but Rand Paul said this: “I see an America where criminal justice is applied equally and any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is repealed.”  But…though only 13 per cent of Americans are black, according to the latest estimates from the US Census Bureau. the unpleasant reality according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics is that black offenders committed 52 per cent of homicides recorded in the data between 1980 and 2008. Mostly these black offenders are killing blacks, and most whites are killed by other whites.  What we need is colorblind application of the law, and if we stick to that principle, we end up protecting black victims more than if we let black perpetrators go in the name of fairness.

Real compassion requires looking at the big picture.

Sources:
http://thehill.com/homenews/news/217628-de-blasio-under-fire-amid-new-threat-from-isis
Doctors For Disaster Preparedness Newsletter: November 2014
http://www.wnd.com/2015/04/u-s-cities-secretly-selected-for-muslim-immigration/#k5COhB3aWfGQHzdK.99
https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/tag/lewiston-maine/
http://time.com/3773964/rand-paul-presidential-campaign-launch-speech-transcript/
http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-black-americans-commit-crime/19439
http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/dgreenfield/obama-to-fundraise-wracist-mexican-director-who-promoted-the-murder-of-opponents-of-illegal-immigration/

compassion

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is Abortion Evil?

Two generations ago, my Jewish forebears were religious, though they didn’t wear “black hats” or costumes dating back hundreds of years, like the Hasidim do. Two generations later, I showed up, and I myself was too lazy to be religious, since Judaism is a lot of work, in fact more, on a daily basis, than Christianity. Later I became a skeptic on religious matters.  Politically I was conservative, but the issue of abortion seemed to be a religious issue and not really my business.

For abortion

For abortion

Anti-Abortion

Anti-Abortion

Given that the big divide in the West right now is between a coercive collectivism and individualism, if you lean to the latter point of view, it may seem coercive to tell people what to do with their private lives.

But there is a genuine problem here. When pro-Choice folks say that they have a right to do what they want with their own body, the fact is that someone else’s body is growing within them.

The following horror tale managed to unite both pro-choice and pro-life factions in condemnation:

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies who authorities say were delivered alive and then killed with scissors at his grimy clinic, in a case that became a flashpoint in the nation’s debate over abortion.

Former clinic employees testified that Gosnell routinely performed illegal late-term abortions past Pennsylvania’s 24-week limit, that he delivered babies who were still moving, whimpering or breathing, and that he and his assistants “snipped” the newborns’ spines, as he referred to it.

“Are you human?” prosecutor Ed Cameron snarled during closing arguments as Gosnell sat calmly at the defense table. “To med these women up and stick knives in the backs of babies?”

…Authorities said the clinic was a foul-smelling “house of horrors” with bags and bottles of stored fetuses, including jars of severed feet, along with bloodstained furniture, dirty medical instruments, and cats roaming the premises.

Both sides of the abortion divide seized on the case. Abortion foes said it exposed the true nature of abortion in all its disturbing detail. Abortion rights activists warned that Gosnell’s rogue practice foreshadows what poor and desperate young women could face if abortion is driven underground with more restrictive laws.

“Kermit Gosnell was convicted of murder for severing the necks of just-born babies, but those babies would have died just as painfully if he had killed them inside the womb, as most late-term abortionists do,” National Right to Life President Carol Tobias said. “The result is the same for the baby whether it meets its end in a shabby clinic like Gosnell’s or a brand new Planned Parenthood facility — a painful death.”

This last statement, by Carol Tobias, does ring true to me. If a fetus is inconvenient, and a burden at one week, it will be the same at 8.5 months as well. So any law that in theory limits abortion to perhaps the first trimester will still permit thresholds to be crossed that should not be crossed.

If you believe a soul is divorced from the brain – that it is immortal and lives with you in some way but that is not associated with the “enchanted loom” of chaotic patterns that form and dissolve in that three-pound universe, then you will believe, as religious people often do, that even taking a pill the morning after sex is murder.

I tend to the belief that the soul and the brain are two aspects of the same thing, and that gives some leeway to a woman wanting to get rid of an inconvenient living creature growing inside her.  In other words, in the first few weeks, the soul has not materialized.

At one extreme, we have ancient Sparta (part of Greece) where when deformed or retarded children were born, they were often put on hills where they would die untended, or even thrown off a cliff because Sparta itself only wanted strong people in their city, and did not look kindly on weakness.

At another, we have examples of mothers who know their child will be born with a disability such as “Downs Syndrome” but decide not to abort it, for religious or humanitarian reasons.

There are women who make gruesome jokes about abortion, and in contrast there are women who spend much time picketing abortion clinics.

There have been murders of physicians and staff at abortion clinics by people who obviously see them as murderers of children. In the case of Kermit Gosnell, that description would fit, but (maybe) abortion clinic staff do not believe that they are killing children, rather they are killing an unthinking fetus of a low level of consciousness, and they are relieving a woman of a burden that would derail her life.

Of course these women did engage in behavior that often leads to children, and responsibility has to start somewhere.

It has been said that “dead men don’t talk” and the same goes for unborn children. In the U.S. though, the “right to choose” has won the debate, and those children who are not aborted but instead are put up for adoption are usually offspring of a mentally ill mother.

In my view, there should be awareness that there is more to the issue than “the right to choose.”

Sources:
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/05/13/jury-split-on-2-counts-in-trial-abortion-doctor-kermit-gosnell/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On killing people to remove cognitive dissonance

Slave women of ISIS

Slave women of ISIS

We have a view of the world that we try to make consistent. There may be inconsistencies that we do not see, or if we do see them, we strive to get rid of them. Getting rid of them be actually mean murdering them, as neuro-scientist Kathleen Taylor suggests. (I quote her below)..
If you look at ISIS, you may wonder how people who strongly believe their womenfolk must be loyal and pure, and not have “relations” with any other man, will also believe that having sex slaves is perfectly fine. You may see an inconsistency. Why would a person who values modesty in his own 4 wives then turn around and rape other women who simply do not belong to his religion?
Mohammad and his early followers would attack towns, kill the men, and take the women as slaves, and since Mohammad was the perfect man, and the prophet of Allah, that is good enough for ISIS.
To me this is interesting. They have a “fixed point” around which everything bends to fit. The fixed point is that Mohammad is the prophet of Allah, and all that is good and just comes from Islam, and they do their reasoning from that fixed point. If it was not such a fixed point, and if revulsion to making women suffer was a strong emotional point, they might question their religion, and modify or even discard it.

Leon Festinger

Leon Festinger

Cognitive dissonance was first investigated by Leon Festinger (1957), arising out of a participant observation study of a cult which believed that the earth was going to be destroyed by a flood, and what happened to its members — particularly the really committed ones who had given up their homes and jobs to work for the cult — when the flood did not happen.

While fringe members were more inclined to recognize that they had made fools of themselves and to “put it down to experience”, committed members were more likely to re-interpret the evidence to show that they were right all along (the earth was not destroyed because of the faithfulness of the cult members).

Based on work by V.S Ramachandran and others, it seems that the right hemisphere of the brain has a “discrepancy detector” and when the right hemisphere is damaged, the left hemisphere has no brake on coming up with fanciful explanations to explain contradictions. Ramachandran sees a need to balance stable theories about the world with anomalies we sometimes encounter that might overthrow them. To take a personal example, I once heard that a Rabbi who I respected and seemed principled had many pre-marital girlfriends. I dismissed it as a rumor, but I didn’t make an effort to find out who was saying it, and on what basis. I did not take this piece of evidence and suddenly decide that the man was a hypocrite, and that all I had believed about him was false. And in general, we have to achieve a balance.
This raises a question to me about normal, non-brain-damaged persons.
What if people vary in the strength of their discrepancy detector? What if some people are more likely than others to embrace an anomaly? What would be the characteristics of such people? Would we call them open-minded? Would they be more tolerant of ambiguity? Would be they be more tolerant of different opinions? Would women, whose brains are somewhat different from men (for instance, the thick fiber of neurons connecting the hemispheres is thicker in women) react differently to contradictions and ambiguity on the average than men do?

Perhaps there are people who react violently when their world view is threatened.
consider the following:
I spoke with an old Italian woman who told me that a Nazi soldier shot her mother, who had been sheltering Jews. He had tried to argue with the mother and her mother made the mistake of arguing back that Jesus was Jewish.
Another example was in a book by neuroscientist Kathleen Taylor where she recounts the story of a Nazi who demanded a baby from its Jewish mother, and when the mother refused, he seized the baby and tore it apart.
Says Taylor “Faced with inputs that would force less committed others to adjust or abandon their ideas, a strong believer may find it less painful to adjust (or sometimes abandon) that bit of the world which gave rise to the offending inputs. World-shaping may lead to abhorrent cruelty, self-protective for the perpetrators.”

So here, she is saying that for some people, if they find the idea of you or me outrageous, or humiliating, or impinging on the way they think the world is, or should be, they may attack you or me. Actually she is saying more than this – if you simply threaten the coherence of their world view, they may attack.

We could ask another question at this point. Is intelligence correlated with the ability to see contradictions? I think it must be. An active mind that understands concepts on a deeper level than most is also more likely to spot contradictions.

That doesn’t mean that you should always overthrow a worldview when you hit a contradiction.  And it doesn’t mean that if you attempt to explain the contradiction while preserving your worldview that you are guilty of a “rationalization”  or a “defense mechanism.”

There are belief systems where even to question any of the tenets makes you a traitor.  I remember one Pakistani Muslim describing another who converted to Christianity as a traitor. If you come from outside a community and try to change certain principles, you can be regarded as a slimy corrupting influence.

I saw a video on Muslim children learning to “liberate” their land from the “Jewish Filth”. They were training with guns in Hamas territory. There were comments under the video, and one was from an Arab woman who cheered on those indoctrinated youths. I replied that the Koran says that “Israel is the Land of the Jews” (I had been surprised to find this out, but it does say that), and she replied that Jews are known to twisting words. Is this a rational response? The next day I saw another video, of Shiite Muslims in a Mosque being told to destroy America and Israel, and that curses should come upon the Jews. Then, in the midst of this hate-sermon, a Sunni Muslim suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest in the crowd. And it occurred to me the irony – these Shiites want to hate America, which just wants to leave them alone, and their real enemy suddenly hits unexpectedly. And I wondered how people can get to such a height of illusion where they hate the innocent more than the guilty, and see enemies in people who would rather be friends..
Conservative personality Jamie Glazov argues with Muslims, and he says that they tell him that Islam is a religion of peace, and when he quotes some Surahs showing its violent side, they get very angry and threaten him. There seems to be a missing awareness of contradiction between what they said about the religion of peace, and the threats that they then utter.

From my experience, jealousy or just a sense of outrage makes some people want to pull others down, to reduce the dissonance between the way they think things should be, and the way things really are. This can happen even if the target did not actually hurt them.

Our worldviews have to be susceptible to revision, when facts or logic require it. Better to have your feelings hurt than to spend your life being wrong. And better to be exposed to many ideas, than to be saturated with one idea all your life – so that any threat to the validity of what you believe elicits a violent response.

Sources:

A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance – Leon Festinger (1957)

Ramachandran tells you some of the biological evidence in a YouTube video:

Shiites chant “death to America” interrupted when a Sunni suicide bomber blows them up:

The Koran says this about Israel: “Pharaoh sought to scare them [the Israelites] out of the land [of Israel]: but We [Allah] drowned him together with all who were with him.  Then We said to the Israelites: ‘Dwell in this land [the Land of Israel].  When the promised of the hereafter comes to be fulfilled, We shall assemble you all together [in the Land of Israel].” Qu’ran, “Night Journey,” chapter 17:100-104.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How do such flawed people become our leaders and heroes?

The date was April 5, 1968. Just twelve hours after an assassin murdered civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, a young  follower named Jesse Jackson announced on the NBC Today Show that King had died in his arms. He had cradled King’s head and was the last person on earth to whom King had spoken. He had stains on his sweater that he said was the blood of Dr. King.

Jesse Jackson, Joan Baez, and Martin Luther King

Jesse Jackson, Joan Baez, and Martin Luther King

It wasn’t until 7 years later that a black reporter, Barbara Reynolds, tracked down other members of Dr. King’s entourage, who all denied the story. “The only person who cradled Dr. King was [the Reverend Ralph] Abernathy,” said Hosea Williams, a top deputy to Dr. King at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). “It’s a helluva thing to capitalize on a man’s death, especially one you professed to love.” Hosea had been present during the shooting, and so had Ralph Abernathy, while a musician named Ben Branch was with Jackson at the time in the courtyard of the motel. He also says that Jesse did not touch MLK. By all accounts, Jesse was indeed in the motel, but he went away from, not toward, the victim.

barbaraReynoldsBook

Then Barbara Reynolds published her book Jesse Jackson: The Man, The Movement, The Myth, which mercilessly exposed this lie, among others. Jackson hit back. In an interview he said “…Remember what happened to that black female Tribune reporter [Angela Parker] who busted up our organization? Her drive to gain the world was so strong that she did not know what it meant to lose her soul…Today she can’t hold her head up in her own community…”

Barbara was gradually ostracized, then vilified, and finally “became the subject of “personal attacks on my life,” following the publication of her book.

Her book, which had been a best seller, disappeared from book stores. Since Jackson had friends in street gangs, she needed protection. She claims that she “received death threats from anonymous callers.”

Angela Parker had been a reporter for the Chicago Tribune who exposed Jackson’s financial dealings to Abernathy. When he was speaking to a group of reporters, including Angela, he said to directly about her: “The issue is that last Friday a black woman reporter left Chicago with her mission being to separate great black men….Now you know who your enemy is.”

He talked on about the “treachery of black women.” and even compared her to a woman who stabbed Dr. King in the early 60s, a comparison that produced thunderous applause from the audience.

Parker eventually had to go underground, because of the demonstrations, death threats, and attempts to destroy her career.

With this past, you would think that Jesse would NOT be hailed as a great civil rights leader, or the representative of black aspirations.

But he was.

In an interview, biographer Ken Timmerman says: ‘What I discovered doing “Shakedown” is that Jesse Jackson is there to help himself first. It’s called “Me-first Jackson” in Chicago. Then he helps his family – beer distributorships for his sons. Then he helps his close entourage, the black-elite friends. And these are a dozen, two dozen people around him who have become hundred-million dollar millionaires.’

Hurley Green worked for Jackson, writing a weekly column under Jackson’s name. He quit when he learned that Jackson was being paid a fee for the column, and pocketing the money for himself. Says Green: “Jesse uses people like a lemon. He squeezes all the juice out, then gets another lemon. I’ve seen him go through lots of people like that.”

Jesse half-brother, Noah Robinson, said of him: “Jesse does have all the prerequisites for success. He has intelligence, drive, ruthlessness and vindictiveness.”

Jackson started an organization for inner city school kids called PUSH. The idea was to promote reading, writing and attendance. Students were asked to sign a moral contract where they would avoid “decadence” and their parents were supposed to pledge to spend time with their children. He flew in first class airline seats from school to school, making speeches to the students. The US government was impressed, and gave millions to his causes. But not all blacks were impressed. A former vice president of PUSH, Thomas Todd, called it a “public relations stunt based on rhetoric and nothing more.” Clarence Page (also black) wrote that “The benevolence [i.e. money donations] persists, even though almost no one can explain what PUSH-Excel really is.”

Jesse Jackson said that blacks had all the rights whites had, but that was not enough. His attitude was that if a white owned supermarket operated in an area that was 20 percent black, then 20 percent of its staff should be black as well. The fear of boycotts or of bad publicity had corporations parting with cash that went to Jackson or black-owned companies. It didn’t hurt that he had help from “El Rukn”, a black gang as organized as any Mafia. He used them in one case to back up his demands on a grocery store. The gang members formed a line outside, with their red berets and black trousers with military style stripes down the side, and scared away the customers. So the store owner wrote Jesse a $5,000 check to go away.

We can question the value of mandated minority set-asides. Should a company be forced by the government or by fear of boycotts to search for a minority company to supply it, for instance? Is America so racist that black companies could not survive otherwise?  In the 1980’s a US Census Bureau survey showed that the black business sector was booming. There was a large increase in the number of businesses, and gross receipts had reached 12.4 billion by 1982.

The St. Louis Sentinel, a black newspaper, accused Jackson of taking a “kick-back approach” to civil rights activism. It continued, saying that he had a “million dollar commitment to himself” and raised an argument that only the wealthy blacks benefited from Jackson’s approach.

Jesse then decided to become a national leader, and even ran for president. It is interesting to compare him with Obama:

1. They both ran for president

2. They both had support from Muslim associations

3. They both had communist friends: Jesse had Hunter Pitts “Jack” O’Dell. Obama had Frank Marshall Davis and Bill Ayres.

4. They also uttered untruths on occasion. Jesse told a squatter community in South Africa that he had grown up in a shack, which must have been embarrassing to his middle-class step-father, who prided himself on providing for his family. Jackson made a similar remark when he visited a Palestinian refugee camp outside Jerusalem, where he lapsed into his country preacher drawl and said: “I know this camp. When I smell the stench of the open sewers, this is nothing new to me. This is where I grew up.”

As for Obama, he tells untruths, for instance he told us that we could keep our insurance, which certainly turned out to be untrue (but maybe he didn’t know?) and he told us that the siege in Benghazi, where our ambassador died at the hands of Al Qaeda, was due to a video, and that was certainly not true. As for his past, some of it is closed to us, such as his college records.

5. Jackson’s presidential platform called for an initial 25 percent across-the-board cut in defense spending, income redistribution, and accommodation of the Soviet Union. A leader of his “brain trust” was Robert Borosage of the “Institute for Policy Studies” (IPS). The IPS was a hard-left think-tank. Borosage traveled repeatedly to Nicaragua in the early 1980s to support the pro-Soviet Sandinistas. Borosage and IPS are very enthusiastic about Barack Obama.

Jackson and Farrakhan

Jackson and Farrakhan

6. Jackson was associated with Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Black Muslims in the US, who said to the Jews “If you harm this brother [Jesse], it will be the last one you harm.” Obama was initially supported by Farrakhan as well, but after Obama waged war on Gadhafi, Louis said in a speech directed at Obama “you can’t order him to step down and get out, who the hell do you think you are?”

7. In a trip to Cuba, Jackson greeted a crowd in Havana with “Long live Fidel Castro! Long live Che Guevara!” At the University of Havana, he punched the air with his fist clenched in the Communist Party salute. In 1984, he called for normalization of diplomatic, economic, and cultural relations with Cuba – which Obama has now implemented. He also wanted a pledge by the US of no first use of nuclear weapons, and Obama has actually reduced our nuclear arsenal drastically and wants to reduce it some more.

When Bill Clinton left office as president of the USA, he signed 177 pardons (and commutations) for prisoners. Three of these were requested by Jackson:

1. Dorothy Rivers, a social activist who had defrauded the homeless of 5 million dollars in grants. With her ill-gotten gains, she bought a Mercedes, a $3,500 dress, business investments for her sons, etc. After she was pardoned, Jackson put her on the board of directors of Rainbow/PUSH.

2. Mel Reynolds, a former congressman convicted of soliciting sex with a minor. Once released, Jackson hired him as a consultant on prison reform. Deroy Murdock, a black syndicated columnist, told Timmerman “This is a first in American politics. An ex-congressman who had sex with a subordinate won clemency from a president who had sex with a subordinate, then was hired by a clergyman who had sex with a subordinate.”

So again, we can ask: how do we get such “great leaders”? At least in the case of North Korea, its leadership was imposed on it by the Soviets and others. But here, in our democracy, we had Jesse, and then later his successor Al Sharpton, who meets often with both Barack Obama and Bill De Blasio (mayor of New York).

And how did Sharpton start?

In November 1987, Tawana Brawley, a 15-year-old black girl from Wappingers Falls, New York, knew she was in trouble. Although she had been grounded, she had gone out with her older boyfriend anyway and had been gone for four days. She knew from past experience that when she went home she could expect a beating from her mother’s live-in boyfriend, a violent ex-con and alcoholic who had served time for murder. To avoid Tawana and Al Sharptonthose consequences she concocted a lurid story that ended up being transformed — once Sharpton got ahold of it — into a racially polarizing incident at the national (and then global) level.

Tawana claimed that she had been abducted, raped, and abused by a group of white men, who smeared her with feces and wrote “B****,” “KKK,” and “N*****” on her clothes and body. If true, this would have been a horrendous crime. But Sharpton turned this hoax of a troubled teen into a malicious cause célèbre to advance his own career. Sharpton and his fellow activists, attorneys C. Vernon Mason and Alton Maddox, turned the case into a three-ring media circus that ran for months in 1988, capturing the top headlines of many of the MSM daily news cycles.

Under Sharpton’s tutelage, two of Miss Brawley’s four anonymous white men developed names: local police officer Harry Crist, Jr. and local prosecutor Steven Pagones.

You look at this and wonder. We are in a democracy. And yet who rises to the top? Who leads us? Take Greece: democratic elections in Greece have brought to power a party whose emblem is the Communist hammer and sickle.  Or take Venezuela: democratic elections brought in a dictatorship to Venezuela, and that dictatorship is being reinforced now by Iranian power. Venezuela even has Iranian missiles pointed at us, missiles that can certainly reach Florida. Democratic elections did the same in Bolivia, and consider the following letter to the Wall Street Journal:

“My family immigrated from Argentina in the mid-’60s…Once in the top five in the world for standard of living, Argentina now has become a bottom feeder third-world nation. The husband and wife Kirchner governments have created a completely dependent population which is controlled by throwing them the usual nationalist bones such as ..anti-American and anti-success rhetoric against productive nations…It is too late to cry for Argentina. Lets act now so we won’t have to cry for the U.S.

The Kirchners of Argentina

The Kirchners of Argentina

When choosing leaders first impressions are not enough. Stanton Samenow, a criminologist, says to avoid trusting the wrong people, we have to get to know them, because only over time will we see their personality unfold. There are many people now who regret voting for Hugo Chavez, for example. And the joke is not only on them. Its on us.

Sources:

Shakedown – by Kenneth R. Timmerman (2002)

The paragraph on Sharpton:

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/item/15653-al-sharpton-a-lucrative-career-built-on-hate-and-racial-conflagration

The WSJ letter on Argentina is here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10000872396390443991704577579371727133672

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Compromised by a movie – and what I did about it

Suppose you found out that there was a, shall we say ‘regrettable’, movie loose of a part of your past that you would rather forget.
What would you do?
I was in that situation, as have been several other people.
One such person, Tyler Clementi, jumped off a bridge to his death (the George Washington Bridge between Manhattan and New Jersey).
Another person, a woman sued the fraternity who had secretly filmed her and won a million dollars.
But what did I do about it?
I ran away.  Specifically, I ran from Boston, where the movie first was shown.  I’m not totally clear on the original motive for showing it, but I had been threatened by a very angry girlfriend.
A few years later, I went to work in New Haven, a town about 140 miles from Boston. It was also a student town (Yale, SCSU, New Haven Tech, etc) and the movie eventually hit. I was jeered at, called names, and so forth.
I realized the movie was not going away, and went on a publicity rampage of my own, trying to defend myself against the movie by distributing flyers, tape cassettes, etc.
rectangleShameBy this time, you might realize that I’m not a normal person.
Assuming the movie was real, no normal person would react that way.
But then again, a movie that would attract this kind of attention would not be made of a normal person.

But wait a minute – how could I possibly know there was a movie? Did anyone give me a copy? The answer to that is NO.
I did encounter hostility, amusement, disgust, and people said things to each other such as “Its terrible what they did to him – but he was SO disgusting!” and other people did mention a movie in sentences such as “she saw the movie, and she says he is messed up for life!” (I substituted tamer words for the expletives here).
I was called “subhuman”, “Hebe”, and heard jokes about “bondage” and was told I was “so gay!” and a “faggot” (I am not homosexual) and so forth. One woman accurately described me as a “slob” and another woman said “after seeing him, now I understand the Holocaust!”
So how does a person defend himself against something like this? I remember my behavior of the movie-period vaguely, (I suppress the memory to some extent, because it is painful) and I know that it is VERY hard to fight graphic and sickening pictures with mere words.

So in my message-campaign I said that I had heard of all sorts of shenanigans going on in society that didn’t arouse this kind of universal disgust but should get at least as much attention as I was getting. And that was true. I did not have to go far afield for examples.  For example, the police chief of New Haven was found to have been patronizing a prostitute, (his wife divorced him after he gave an interview to the local paper trying to limit the damage).  Also a work colleague told me that at his former job, some of his colleagues visited “ladies of the night”, or perhaps “ladies of the lunch break”.  And in a flyer, I mentioned the State University of New Paltz, NY, where a visiting troupe of feminists made a scandalous show for the students.

So my punchline was – “why don’t you folks care at all about this other stuff! Why just me!”

In retrospect, I think the best argument I could have made was not given, which was, that the movie wasn’t exactly what it looked like (but how do explain a bizarre desire to dance weirdly in front of your mirror?), and I had a prior history of compulsions, depression, eating disorders, extreme stress, and so forth.  I was not the typical “Hebe”, any more than I was the typical Caucasian, though I have never seen such conviction as when people uttered that word (Hebe) at me.  And, I could have pointed out that most of my life had been decent enough.
But now that I have set up the situation here, lets assume that I am currently a normal person, trying to lead a normal life, but with this unfortunate past grafted onto me.
What happens next?
Evil is what happens.
First of all, the movie spread. It spread from sea to shining sea. It spread to other countries, and I would meet foreign students who would make comments, in one case in a foreign language that I understood (Hebrew).
Then the Mafia struck.
I call it the Mafia, but that is because it is an organization that uses illegal methods to target people. From their point of view, they may have been partially a vigilante organization, taking their own form of justice against “the Hebe”, or against someone who symbolized everything they didn’t like.
I didn’t know I was being attacked at first. I was feeling sick, and most strangely, my “reproductive urges” were increasing,  going up, and up, and up. I didn’t like this at all. But I didn’t give in to the urges. I had a history that made me even more determined than the usual person not to sink into the slime, and I held onto the cliff of decency by my fingernails.
This continued for a year. Then I had an idea.

The idea was to change my lifestyle.

It started with not eating at home.
This was not because I suspected anything. I just remembered my bicycling days, when I would eat only twice a day, on long multi-day jaunts through the American countryside. So now, when work was over, I’d cycle back, out of New Haven, into the hills of Woodbridge, and buy something to eat on the way.
It worked.
The “urges” went away. The sick feeling went away.  I was reviving.
But I suspected nothing.
Then one day, I purchased a bottle of spring water. I drank some of it. I put the rest of the refrigerator. I went to sleep.
That night, someone entered my apartment. Someone bad. He headed straight for the water in the refrigerator. I did not see this person.
The next morning, I got up, eager to go to work, where my neural net project was picking up steam. But first, I drank the water.
This was a mistake.
In a few seconds, the sex urges came back. They came back like a ton of bricks. I felt like punching the walls. It was truly unbelievable.
Finally, I understood.
I staggered down Whalley avenue (historical note: Edward Whalley hid in 1661 in a cave  on top of West Rock in New Haven – he had signed the death warrant for Charles I, right under Oliver Cromwell’s signature). But here I was, 333 years later than Edward the regicide, and I was in my own predicament saturated with some new kind of drug that was latching on with ferocity to receptors in my brain that had to do with reproduction. In wonderment, I noticed how ordinary middle-aged women on the avenue looked like sexually alluring seductresses.
Now lets stop here, the story is way too long for this blog, but we can speculate on a few things.
First of all, let us assume that I’m not deranged, or a liar, and that I’m reporting to you something new and ugly in your environment.
What kind of people would develop (and use) drugs such as these?
Why would I be targeted? Was I being targeted for my “holier than thou” attitude? For my accusations of “hypocrisy” to the society at large, in my pamphlets and handouts and cassettes? Was I being targeted for my behavior in the movie? And if I was targeted for all three, why would people who were disgusted at my behavior then try to plunge me even deeper into the slime?
If it makes no sense to you, it also made no sense to policemen, private detectives, and others who I told the story to.
Since then, I’ve been drugged and sexually assaulted.  More than once.

In true Mafia fashion, a message was given. A dead bird was dropped on my porch, right under my mailbox.

The Mafia is known to dump dead animals on target porches, but to me, this message had something to do with clipping my wings.

When I would go cycling, strange things would happen. I would start a cycle trip and a beautiful dead red bird would be in my path, and when I returned, a beautiful (dead) blue bird would be in my path. I would go into an isolated tavern in the countryside for directions, come out, and find out that sticky goo had been smeared on my handle bars. I would wipe my hands clean, but they had absorbed the chemical, and my heart would suddenly start pounding as if it were going to explode, and I would have to lie down for an hour on the grass and then force myself to get back on the bike.
On one trip, I cycled with my water bottle, but did not drink it, for reasons I cannot explain. I finally reached my destination, drank the bottle, and within seconds it felt as if a barrage of pins had penetrated my heart. The next few days I could barely walk.

Note however, that none of this could be proven.

You might ask -me well, if there was really was a movie, wouldn’t someone tell you about it? And if there really was a Mafia, wouldn’t a disgruntled member defect and tell all to the police? And even Mafiosi must have better things to do that follow you around the landscape just to make you “feel bad”. And as for “dead birds” – well, haven’t you heard of “roadkill”? And sure, if you bike a lot you will get heart pains. And if there was a movie – wouldn’t it be on the internet? How come I haven’t heard of this movie?  And why would people care about such a movie – they would just think of you as pathetic and leave you alone. And finally – you say you had urges? Well, men are pigs.

I lack room here to refute any of this, and in some cases I don’t know the answer. But I will say this. The movie came full circle. All of a sudden, I was trying to warn my fellow citizens that there was a powerful, extensive threat to their liberties, of a nature they had never encountered or conceived. They could be knocked out with a whiff of a drug, perhaps sprayed at them in a train seat, or even from a car.

Once knocked out, their keys could be copied, their possessions stolen.

Their very urges could be amplified and perhaps even their behavior changed.
They could be made sick at a time they had to be strong, they could be disoriented when they had to be vigilant  and they would have no clue that a malicious organization was behind it. They could have their secrets stolen, their personal, local, and national defenses penetrated.
Knowing all this, you would think I should be debriefed by the FBI, police, and so forth.
I tried. I really tried to get the message out. For various reasons, I failed.
I’ll leave this post with the lyrics of a new song by Carrie Underwood:

He said, “I’ve been where you’ve been before.
Down every hallway’s a slamming door.
No way out, no one to come and save me.
Wasting a life that the Good Lord gave me.

There must’ve been something in the water
Oh, there must’ve been something in the water

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment