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What I find striking is the many ways that Americans are conditioned like Nazi Germans. On the one hand, in their discourse, they insist on following the law (and by “law”, they mean American laws!). So much so that when there is a law that would prevent American secret agencies from breaking laws regarding American citizens, that is, the national sphere of laws, these agencies must find a way to break the law secretely or to bypass the law through justifications, or to take advantage of legal loopholes, for example, all these secret courts and decisions for mass surveillance. In other words, they allege to the populace that they are “following the law” while behaving in a criminal way. But they must pretend to follow the “rule of law”.
On the other hand, Americans clearly state that they will break all laws in every other country if they want, for purposes of “national security”, “spying”, etc. In other words, the attitude is that they can disregard the rule of law completely once the sphere moves from internal to external. Yes, they justify acting in a criminal way internationally by pretending it’s to “catch bad guys”, but still they believe they are entitled to be criminals as they please. Internally they must pretend to be “following the law”, externally, no pretense is necessary.
It’s very Nazi.
See this article from National Review for a clear example:
Isn’t it funny when you are walking down the street or just sitting at home, doing nothing special, and a thought that you had come across a long time ago, or even repeatedly at different points in your life, but that you didn’t think too much about simply hits you like lightening and creates a searing awareness?
Well, a few days ago I had just one such experience. I was reading an article about bitcoin and this image materialized with such force in my thinking. Not only bitcoin money but most of our money today is nothing but little bits, little electronic signals that someone has fed into a big machine. It can light up on your screen and this glitzy machine can say that you have X amount of money, but in the end, all that is is a little light signal, completely immaterial. Should someone turn the machine off, poof! There goes all your “money.” And it’s not that this wasn’t just as true for currency bills, because as it often happened at certain chaotic times in history, bundles of what were valuable bills turned into worthless pieces of paper from one day to the next.
This is the thought that really struck home to me: money can only function on the basis of a profound convention between all involved. Should one party say “All you have is a bunch of little papers or electronic signals,” the other party is really left with nothing.
I remember watching a Galbraith documentary on money eons ago, sitting in our living room where he discussed the history of money. And I remember finding it quite interesting. But then it just subsided among so many others things to think about. I can’t remember today what he said then although I am pretty sure he did talk about how money came into existence, first bartering, then finding a common substitute that symbolized bartered goods. And I can still see the image in my mind of us sitting around the living room watching this most interesting documentary on the history of money (having more than one part?).
And now, so many moons later, this thought about the frailty of the concept of money and the whole system just struck me with such force. It’s all based on a very intriguing way to establish a convention that many people don’t think about at all or give very little thought.
Disqus needs an “export comments” function (for past X number of days). It would be so easy to implement! Just pick the number of days and it would export all your comments in that date range to a neat little file.
Piece of cake. Why isn’t everyone as smart as I am? Now write me telling me it already exists and I didn’t know about it.
As promised (to something like two people!), I have opened a Twitter account: @Alessandra_Ref
I do not look forward to being swallowed by the social media vortex, but it is almost inevitable. Who knows? Maybe something good will come out of it!
I already started following Sebastian Maniscalco 😉
And one of my first tweets:
Just a few quick notes since I’m quite busy at the moment. (Added later: In retrospect, I should have divided this post into three separate ones, too late now).
Another sexual orientation change study
I haven’t had time to read the study below (on my list), but it looks like another hole in the wall of the narrative. And more proof that people who believe that homosexuality is inborn are clearly ignorant about psychology and sociology. Theirs (the “born this way” crowd) is nothing more than the kind of barbaric early 20th-century Eugenics theories applied to sexuality.
I’ll write more when I have more time.
First Things has an article by Peter Sprigg:
Why Science Doesn’t Support Orientation-Change Bans
September 4, 2013
[Gov.] Christie’s press release reductively declared that “people are born gay.” Yet there is no firm scientific basis for this conclusion. The three studies in the early 1990’s which were hailed by the media as providing evidence for a “gay gene” (or at least for an innate and biological cause for homosexuality) have long since been discredited by the failure of any other researchers to be able to replicate those early results.
In fact, the American Psychological Association itself has actually moved away from asserting certainty about the origins of homosexuality, declaring in their most recent statement on this question that: “There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. . . . Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles.”
If even the American Psychological Association says “there is no consensus among scientists” about the origin of homosexuality, then it seems presumptuous of politicians to act as though there is in order to stifle conservative viewpoints on the issue. And if “nurture” plays any role in the development of homosexuality, then it cannot be said that “people are born gay.” Indeed, researchers from Columbia and Yale found that evidence supports “the hypothesis that less gendered socialization in early childhood and preadolescence shapes subsequent same-sex romantic preferences.”
Evidence that sexual orientation can be fluid rather than fixed is particularly strong with respect to young people—the very people whose freedom to seek change has been crushed by the New Jersey law. Ritch Savin-Williams, who is the nation’s leading expert on homosexual teenagers, wrote in Current Directions in Psychological Science:
“In the data set of the longitudinal Add Health study, of the Wave I boys who indicated that they had exclusive same-sex romantic attraction, only 11 percent reported exclusive same-sex attraction one year later; 48 percent reported only opposite-sex attraction, 35 percent reported no attraction to either sex, and six percent reported attraction to both sexes.”
This means, according to Savin-Williams’ cited source in the Journal of Biosocial Science, “the Wave I boys who indicated that they had exclusive same-sex romantic attraction” consisted of “69 boys [who] indicated that yes, they had ever had a romantic attraction to the same sex, and no, they had never had an attraction to the opposite sex.”
Not only did those who were exclusively homosexual not all remain so, but only 11 percent did. Some measure of change in sexual orientation—which many homosexual activists say is impossible, and never happens to anyone—is not only possible, but it is the norm for adolescents with same-sex attractions, having been experienced by 89 percent of the respondents only one year later.
Reflections on the fundamental link between privacy and democracy
I had come across a brilliant comment (where to find it now!) on an article regarding the Snowden saga or related issues that clearly laid out something I had never thought of before: democracy is impossible without a certain level of privacy. As much as I am in favor of the government being able to violate privacy to identify sexual and child abusers (and other kinds of criminals), I never realized until now how much harm can be done when “citizens” (heh!) no longer have a right to any privacy. I’m not talking about this obvious fact in a repressive, violent dictatorship. It had never occurred to me that this complete lack of privacy could occur in our societies, laughably called “democracies” and non-repressive. You are effectively no longer a citizen in a Big Brother kind of society, and that goes for “democracies” as well. And yet, I still believe law enforcement should have the power to investigate (including by violation of privacy) and find out who are the people who are torturing children and bring them to justice. As for the “terrorism” threat as a justification of destroying any semblance of privacy/democracy, nothing could be more preposterous and ludicrous.
I had not previously realized just how fundamental the importance of privacy is until it became clear to me how fragile the state of this right is today (thanks to Snowden’s revelations). It is like what has happened to heterosexuality culturally speaking. Until the unabashed attack on heterosexuality that people with a homosexuality agenda began to carry out a few decades ago, I had never realized how precious and sacred it was, simply because it had not been a target of destruction before. It is not possible to understand how deeply important certain things are until someone (or an entire demented group of people) start to viciously attack it (“heteronormative” et al). It simply was how things were. The same with privacy. It’s not a question of taking it for granted, but not having a reason to think of how many profoundly interwoven ripples of consequences there are when such precious things begin to be destroyed.
The Navajo Nation on Friday outlawed same-sex marriages on its reservation. The Tribal Council voted unanimously in favor of legislation that restricts a recognized union to that between a man and a woman, and prohibits plural marriages as well as marriages between close relatives. “Men and women have been created in a sacred manner. We need to honor this,” said Del. Harriet Becenti.
My thoughts exactly. Sacred, and unless honored, desecrated.
Be insulted and shut up or you’re being insolent – says man with a transsexual problem to me!
Lastly, another unpleasant but revealing interaction with a shamelessly unethical liberal (with a major transsexual problem to boot!), who came onto my blog to spill a sanctimonious, twisted rant against me. Click on the link and read the interaction in the comments, if you’re interested.
I will have more to comment on the interaction, but for now I just wanted to note that when this guy says LGBTs just want a “peaceful co-existence” with social conservatives and then vomits his bile and ad hominem attacks at me (and everyone else who questions his agenda), he displays the true colors of the LGBT crowd. They remind me of the “peaceful co-existence” that Germany offered France in the 1930s.
As Stacy McCain so beautifully wrote recently (Lubricating the Slippery Slope: The Intellectual Astroglide of the Elite):
Basically, the enemy got inside the perimeter. The bombardment of liberal propaganda convinced both the Republican Party elite and leading figures of the conservative intelligentsia that all those hillbilly Bible-thumpers were, on balance, a detriment to the GOP’s political prospects, so shut up, Sarah Palin, shut up Michele Bachmann, shut up Rick Santorum and anyone else who doesn’t applaud gay marriage as enthusiastically as Rachel Maddow and Andrew Sullivan.
Way to go, Republican elite! You saved your reputation as sophisticated, tolerant, enlightened intellectuals and you are . . . Doomed.
The revolutionary turning point is now in your rear-view mirror, and you’re all Vichy Republicans, negotiating with the radical Left the terms of your collaboration with their progressive agenda. In November 2008, I explained where we were heading:
The Lawrence ruling was the culmination of what Justice Antonin Scalia called “a 17-year crusade” to overturn the 1986 Bowers v. Hardwick decision (which had upheld Georgia’s sodomy statute) and, as Scalia noted in his dissent, the Court’s “emerging awareness” argument was a disingenuous way to avoid actually declaring a “fundamental right” to sodomy. The legal effect was the same, however, and Lawrence was repeatedly cited in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s decision five months later mandating the legalization of gay marriage in that state. . . .
Gay activists do not construe their “rights” in terms of liberty, but in terms of radical and absolute equality. They insist that same-sex relationships are identical to — entirely analogous to and fungible with — traditional marriage.
Common sense resists this assertion, perceiving something fundamentally false in the gay marriage argument. Yet it seems common-sense resistance can only be justified by resort to religious faith, through the understanding that men are “endowed by their Creator” with rights. Eliminate the Creator from discussion, and it becomes impossible to refute the activists’ indignant demand for equality. . . .
You could read the whole thing — if you’re an ignorant hillbilly Bible-thumper like Justice Antonin Scalia.
The Lawrence decision stopped just short of declaring a “fundamental right” to sodomy, but they might as well have gone all the way (if you’ll pardon the phrase) because we see how Justice Kennedy struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act as though no law prior to the “emerging awareness” had any validity at all. In 2003, the Supreme Court decreed that Texas had no authority to prohibit sodomy. Ten years later, the Supreme Court decreed that Congress itself could not deny recognition to same-sex marriage, and anyone shocked by the hasty destruction of what Chief Justice Warren Burger called “millennia of moral teaching” — well, shut up, haters.
McCain’s post is a must read!
Getting back to the stupid transsexual who landed on my “About” page, aside from all the insults he spewed there, I found it telling and amusing how he berated me for being… insolent!
Insolent for questioning his delusional sexuality agenda! Now if that doesn’t clinch how petty and tyrannical this LGBT idiot is, nothing else does. And what image came to mind? The Catholic Church hierarchy in the Middle Ages who was enraged any time anyone questioned its ideology (or its practice). Le plus ça change…
This twisted transsexual has not yet realized that nothing gives me more pleasure than being “insolent” to such stupid people (that is, criticizing their harmful and destructive liberal ideology on sexuality and relationships).
For another “lovely” example of the kind of “peaceful co-existence” that LGBTs and their agenda supporters want to have with socons, see this:
At least in theory and in pretty media pronouncements, tech and web giant Google has finally announced a serious commitment to combat child porn on the Web.
The search giant Google has now decided to wipe out child pornography from the Web. It has an elaborate plan to finally eradicate it from internet.
Google has decided to work in association with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to remove photos and videos of child porn on the web. It is a massive step to eradicate the increasing number of child porn pics and video and their misuse on various porn sites and others. A recent survey by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, photo and video of child pornography has been increasing at an alarming rate over the past several years.
Google has officially announced its plan to be a part of the effort to get rid of the growing number of child porn pics and video. Well, the company wants to completely wipe out child porn from the Internet. “Behind these images are real, vulnerable kids who are sexually victimized and victimized further through the distribution of their images,” said Google Giving director Jacquelline Fuller.
Here’s hoping that they will do more than just talk about it. And that, second, nothing can come out of this if all guilty parties are not 1) brought to justice, and 2) convicted as they should. That is where a lot of attention needs to permanently be focused on. I have serious questions about how effective the justice system is in such cases.
An excellent article on Huff Post (of all places), maybe drawing up on key points already pointed out elsewhere. I’ve been following with great interest the Edward Snowden saga and all the issues it raises concerning civil rights, freedom of speech, and technology.
To me, so far, here is the point that Snowden’s saga brings to the forefront:
(The Terror Con – by Robert Scheer)
As The New York Times reported Saturday: “When the United Arab Emirates wanted to create its own version of the National Security Agency, it turned to Booz Allen Hamilton to replicate the world’s largest and most powerful spy agency in the sands of Abu Dhabi. It was a natural choice: The chief architect of Booz Allen’s cyber strategy is Mike McConnell, who once led the NSA and pushed the United States into a new era of big data espionage. It was Mr. McConnell who won the blessing of the American intelligence agencies to bolster the Persian Gulf sheikdom, which helps track the Iranians.”
Tracking the Iranians, you say? But they’re not the enemies who attacked us on 9/11, and indeed they are Shiites, who were implacably hostile to the Sunni fanatics of al-Qaida. The reasoning makes sense only if you follow the money that the UAE can pay. “They are teaching everything,” one Arab official told The New York Times about Booz Allen’s staffers. “Data mining, web surveillance, all sorts of digital intelligence collection.”
How great. Now, it’s not just the government we elect but also those everywhere, even in desert emirates, that can mine our data.
“The NSA data mining,” Keller assures us, “is part of something much larger. On many fronts, we are adjusting to life in a surveillance state, relinquishing bits of privacy in exchange for the promise of other rewards.”
This is the point: ALL or MOST governments, especially the most ruthless ones, will want to spy on everyone, or on anyone they want to target. It takes a lot of naiveness to believe that groups greedy for power or who have power already will only “mine” data (and metadata at that!) and not look at the content, if they have the technology to do both!
And this won’t only be a desire of “governments,” as an organized body of faceless individuals holding the same nationality. There will always be individuals or groups who want this kind of power, independently of the laws or of their government and who will infiltrate the organizations who do the surveillance. And it makes most local or intra-national laws worthless, if groups, individuals, or governments around the globe can breach these laws through technology whenever they please and for any objective they might have.
Lastly, obviously the greatest mistake above is to pretend that the correct verb tense was the one used, the future, and not the somewhat recent past. All of this is already in motion.
Until this last week, it had never really dawned on me how much we were sadly on our way to a 1984 scenario. And how truly awful the world will become when human beings once again show that they will massively use these new technologies for evil and to eliminate freedom, to persecute those who fight against oppression, and to destroy healthy dynamics in societies, instead of its opposite.
I don’t want to veer too much away from the point above, which is so enormous. But… very à propos then that, by coincidence, a new movie on Hannah Arendt has just come out.
And we can once again express our admiration for George Orwell, who once worked as a dishwasher in a hotel. However, as I was just reading this morning, the question remains if it was partially by choice, in order to gather writing material and to more deeply reflect upon social injustice from a real-lived experienced, or by need. Maybe an uncanny mixture of both. Which reminds me that I have never read all or even most of his works. What have I been missing?
I found this to be a very keen observation. And it does not bode well for the future. (best point in article related to the media coverage of the marathon bombings:)
Media, old and new, takes heat for Boston coverage
Marcus Messner, a communications professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, said the rash of mainstream media errors stemmed at least in part from pressure to compete with fast-flowing social media.
“If you look at Twitter, the news snippets on the events are a lot more advanced than what you’re seeing on websites or even what you’re seeing on the air,” Messner said. “Twitter, especially, has put a lot more pressure on news organization to get it out fast.”
In other words, old media already functioned in a careless way when any crisis erupted, to take advantage of the public’s short but heightened attention span; now they will move into even faster gear to compete with the Internet para-media commentary and articles (blogs, facebook, etc.) and other forms of instant communication like Twitter. This faster mode will certainly mean they will try to make up stories out of nothing concrete in a much more intense way. Which then just gives them more fodder to go back and correct everything they said wrong in the first place, as “updates.”