A number of readers were very concerned about yesterday’s column in which I offered a couple of links which a few folks didn’t quite follow. I had suggested that when it comes to all the 30-day war talk in the Middle East (Iran) that a prescient look ahead could be found on the following two web site.
One was a link to Chihuly glass while the other was a link to Fungi Perfecti.
No, we weren’t hacked…this was a lesson in associative/symbolic and connective thinking.
The art of generalizing is one of the most important of human learning skills. We begin learning it at a very young age, too. For example, when our parents teach us “Don’t put your hands on a hot stove” we invariably will try it with all kinds of different stoves in order to assure ourselves that such admonishments are in fact general rather than specific.
Here from the vantage point of 63-years, with maybe 59 of those as a sentient being, I can remember testing the warning on:
The old GE in the kitchen in the house I grew up in. Several burners there, in fact.
The fireplace in the old family house. Yup, it burned, too.
So did the old wood-burning heater in the basement, a pot-belly affair who we’d named “Oscar.”
There was the fireplace in the back yard, too. My dad had put in a 1/4″ hunk of plate steel which we used a few times as a griddle to make pancakes on. (The place we bought the steel from – Stack Steel – had a bankruptcy filing back in 1983…but they were great folks who could supply damn near anything in steel or iron back in the day when America made things.)
And since, I’ve burned myself on every camp stove, a few times on the sun oven, and even the gimbaled stove on the sailboat I lived on for almost 11-years.
See how we go through life reconfirming admonitions? I’m still learning things about stoves, even in my 60′s, although I’ve graduated from “Hot!” to “Don’t put your weight on a ceramic cooktop or your knee will go through it…” but that was a few years ago.
That’s how humans work: Screw up, draw and inference, and learn. The trick, of course is to skip the screw up part and get right to inferring and learning without the cost and pain of the screw-up.
Which is why the Chihuly link and Fungi Perfecti links were there. To fill in the concept more completely, here’s what I was saying:
Oh my, the Israelis are saying that a war with Iran could last as long as 30-days.
Click here (Chihuly creates molten glass, right? And what kind of devices make molten glass….) or here (mushrooms, as in clouds from the portable, droppable, instant heating molten glass making devices, OK?) for hints as to how that mini-war could go wrong.
I know some really smart people and one of the difficulties that unfamiliar readers have is that the writing used is often two, three, or even four levels deep. Occasionally, multi-level writing sneaks in around here. but don’t let it put you off. If you run into it, just think of that day’s column as a puzzle which occasionally (and quite accidentally) they are.
Even I am puzzled by them, in fact.
Ure “Equal Opportunity” Offender
Thursday was a most confusicating day for ya’ll’s Ures truly: I had two readers write in and say they were so offended by our biased coverage here that they were leaving and would never be back.
“OK, what’s the problem?” you may be asking, since everyone is free to come and go as they please, since this is not an airport, bus station, and the closest thing to a Viper team we’ve got is a few copperheads on the back 12.
Well, it’s their stated reasons:
One departed claiming we were writing things so obviously pro-Obama that he could no longer stand to be around for the odd bits of humor.
The other declared he wouldn’t be back because our coverage was “supporting the fascists in the Romney camp” blatantly and constantly.
Here’s the ugly fact of the matter, which I hope you remember:
I do not support EITHER of the put-up party candidates. As I have stated before: The Presidency is no longer an election. It’s an auction and I’m going to vote for whoever shows up on the ballot, regardless of party, who has collected the least money. Hopefully Ron Paul.
BOTH big-checkbook picks are being less than forthcoming: Where is Romney’s income tax returns and where’s Obama’s missing docs? Neither is “putting it out there.”
Since I am working at the moment on a system of news and marketing analysis that uses, at its core, word frequently analysis in new and novel ways, I have been particularly sensitive to single-word and short-phrase word use by both put-up[ party (corporate) shills. I won't use names, but single word searches will show how the first two of the words/phrases come from the candidates while the third was broadcast by a corporate media outlet:
I've included links to this distasteful bullshit, since it's only a half-step in marketing from the old Bushista "You're with us or against us" simplistica.
The fact is that there is no essential difference between the so-called corporate-sponsored "choices" couldn't be more clear than a list of 40-points compared in a Michael Snyder piece at The American Dream this week. Among his 40-points in common?
"1. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney both supported TARP.
2. Mitt Romney supported Barack Obama's "economic stimulus" packages.
3. Mitt Romney says that Barack Obama's bailout of the auto industry was actually his idea.
4. Neither candidate supports immediately balancing the federal budget.
6. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney both fully support the Federal Reserve.
7. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are both on record as saying that the
president should not question the "independence" of the Federal Reserve.
8. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have both said that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke did a good job during the last financial crisis.
You owe it to yourself to click over here and read his whole column. The list goes on and on...
Minus the two readers that left in a huff this week because of our supposed support for both candidates, I'll ask you (possibly our sole remaining reader) to consider what we have said before: The is so much corporate and ultra-rich money pouring in (and let's not let the K Street mafia off the hook here) that we have reduced the Office of the President to soap marketing techniques.
To my way of thinking, there hasn't been much change from George Bush to Barack Obama (except sales at gun shows and ammo buys for federal agencies. We're still occupying roughly the same number of countries, still exporting jobs, still giving tax breaks to crooks and say, how come Jon Corzine isn't on trial?
There is only one party in America: It's the corporate party and the rules are simple:
You can screw the 99-percent six ways to Sunday, but if you are good and raise funds for the 1 percent, it's a get out of jail free card.
Stupid advertising, or worse, advertising to reinvents racial tensions and base emotional responses while it reinforces "us versus them" thinking is fine, so long as it works.
And, above all, you gots to have money (or connections) to be in the game.
This is demonstrated in a note overnight from our Winnipeg news analyst who explains more of the heresy and logic-defying conduct of American politics quire nicely. Be sure and read his links:
"Dear Mr. Ure,
Here is an article by News Corporation's "New York Post". A former congressman has secured comfortable accommodations for a growing family. The future requires nurturing to descend from the past, does it not? Prior federal administration from the other side may not have been a stranger to the benefactors, but one must look elsewhere for that.
I close with mention from The White House regarding the recently celebrated Iftar Dinner that marked the end of Ramadan. Bon-appétit and in God we trust."
Uh...right. But just to make sure folks are "getting it" let's see if we can update what in marketing terms would be our collateral. For example, how does this sound?
"I pledge allegiance to the corpgov
and to the cash flows for which it stands,
one nation totally marketable,
with tax breaks and bailouts for all."
FEMA Face-Off, III
So the phone rings yesterday while I'm in town at the hardware store. Elaine takes a message. It's a well-informed and trusted source. So I call him back and I'll paraphrase his report:
"Here's what's going on at FEMA. Word is Region 6 is that there is a serious moving coming to replace all the FEMA Regional Directors - who are now presidential appointees - with professional administrators - career bureaucrats."
Well, this is an interesting development which could be argued either way. On the one hand, it could be that presidential appointments result in clusterf***'s since they do not have the depth of knowledge in disaster operations that career people do.
But wait! FEMA is, at the same time, as we reported earlier this week, laying off experienced volunteers with (in at least one case) 10-years of experience working disasters.
Could this be the "shadow government" (that's the administrative law side which is really cozy with the K Street mafia, since agency "professionals" often end up as "captive regulators" once out?
I mean we've seen this at the FDA with ex-officials getting huge "jobs" in Big Pharma.....so why not put such a deal in place for FEMA? Besides, with less free-thinking regular humans in the administrative chain, the Commander in Chief would be much more free to rule by decree....
So watch for it, coming to a federal emergency management outfit near you.
More unelected bureaucrats, less citizen control, more decree-driven government.
No Kritstallnacht in America, nossiree. We're us a having a 50-year twilight...kind of like Rome.
President Eisenhower called it right....although he missed Big Pharma and the entitlements..but there's the outline.
I'm sure something I've written here this morning will offend someone. But in case not, please do visit again Monday morning when we'll once again peer through the fog to get the very first view of the rocks this great ship of state seems destined to hit. It's a Titanic adventure.
Radio Act Day
Speaking of which, this is Radio Act Day - for the signing into law of the 1912 Act by president Taft. From Wikipedia:
"Part of the impetus for the act's passage was the sinking of the RMS Titanic. The Titanic had sent out a distress call over its wireless telegraph, which was received by the RMS Carpathia. Although Carpathia came to the assistance of the Titanic at the greatest speed possible, it arrived too late to save the majority of the passengers and crew. It was later learned that another ship, the SS Californian, was closer to the Titanic than the Carpathia, but it did not receive the distress call because its sole wireless operator was not on duty. Thus, one aspect of the Act was to mandate that vessels had the continuing capability to receive messages on two wavelengths: 300 meters and 600 meters (500 kHz). This meant that vessels would need to have an operator on duty at all times.
“Another factor was an ongoing conflict between amateur radio operators and the U.S. Navy and private corporations, that included amateurs forging naval messages and issuing fake distress calls. The Wireless Ship Act of 1910 was seen as too weak to address the problems. The United States Congress considered six different proposals for replacing it in the period between 1910 and 1912, eventually enacting the 1912 Act.
To combat the issue with amateur radio operators, the Act provided for a system of licensing all radio stations in the US, including amateur radio operators. Further, it prohibited those amateurs from transmitting over the main commercial and military wavelengths. Amateurs were limited to transmitting signals that were below a wavelength of 200 meters (1.5 MHz). Besides being limited by wavelength, amateurs were also limited to location and operating hours.”
So it is, on this day just 100-years ago, government effectively seized the airwaves and later expanded its authority in the radio acts of 1927 and 1934.
Hat tip to the American Radio Relay League’s fine monthly ham radio magazine for pointing out the date to us.
(Us being AC7X and KG4YHV, of course)
Coming up – for the deeper thinkers, Peoplenomics in the morning…otherwise drop by Monday for another rip-around the blender as we try to sort out of crooks from the good guys, although here lately, sorting sand on the beach seems like it might be more productive.
I was wrong, points out reader Nelson down in Florida. Nothing wrong with the Army testing their 302-foot long spy blimp in Florida. But “South Beach!” he explained in answer to my “Why not Malibu?” question.
Write when you break even…
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Now on www.peoplenomics.com:
FEMA Face-Off and Grassroots Anger
(Deming, NM) After a couple of months of trying to get a decent story/response out of FEMA (camps and coffins) – and trying to get them to answer some pointed questions, my colleague Gaye and I have finally given up on trying to get a candid conversation going about what it is they fear. Also, a few comments on the growing grassroots anger of people – spied Friday at 11 AM in downtown Deming, New Mexico of all places. But first, as is our custom around here, we will serve up a few headlines and head-scratchers before we slog our way Eastward this morning from the high desert.
Safer Computing: Swearing Off Cookies
It has been a while since I roared the praises of the Maxa Cookie Manager which you can download and install for a free test drive by clicking here.
To upgrade from the demo to full working is still less than $30 (During their Spring Sale) and one heck of a bargain at that, if I do say so.
“Live on $10,000″ A Year
Having a hard time making ends meet? (Like who isn’t, right?) A good starting point to better match up income with outgo is our $10 e-book “How to Live on $10,000 a Year…or less!”
It’s an automatic download. . Click here for the index and details.
Tell Your Friends about UrbanSurvival
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