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Why all the B&D/S&M environmentalism?

Why do environmentalists always push the idea of doing the right thing by our living world as an unpleasant penance we all "must" pay if our world -- and we ourselves, as well as our civilization and hope for the future -- are to survive? "We all need to sacrifice!" Oh, do we?

Last night I wrote a letter to Donald Trump that has a higher than average chance of being read by him and also pitches an idea that would save Americans one hell of a lot of money per year, make money for American automakers and oil companies, and, just incidentally, be good for the environment. Why don't the environmentalists push that sort of idea rather than presenting the need to care for the environment as a matter of wearing sackcloth and hair shirts and doing without? LOTS of doing without.

Here's the letter I wrote and put out in the mail:

Dear President Trump:

I am delighted that you are our new President. I hope very much that you will be our President through 2024. Whatever the poles may say, poles can and frequently are slanted to give results those creating and conducting the poll think are good, regardless of whether they are actually true or not. An awful lot of Americans, including me, are happy you were elected our President, and we ignore the polls, as they are mostly the creations of the mainstream media, which have a strong leftward bias and are not honest.

I know that you are very concerned about the American economy, and about the financial hardships that so many of us have endured since Barrack Obama was first elected President in 2008. Well, there is one way that really could help Americans, at least those who drive, and that is electric cars that can be recharged on energy from the Sun. In fact, Germany already makes such cars – very satisfactory ones – and solar energy collectors that can be placed in parking lots and on private property to provide electricity transformed from sunlight for charging the cars. If more Americans had such cars, they would save large amounts of money each year that would otherwise have been spent on gasoline. In turn, petroleum (oil) that would otherwise have been used for internal combustion could be used to make plastics and medicines, as they are today. The oil deposits would last much longer that way, cars running on electricity generated by the Sun would emit minimal pollution, and American consumers would be in far better financial shape than now. And buses, monorails, and other forms of mass transit could also made that would use energy from the Sun to power themselves.

American automakers could be given incentives to make lines of such electric cars along with their lines of cars using internal combustion, and the free market would be the ultimate determinator of which lines of vehicles would be most successful: solar-powered electric cars, gasoline-fueled vehicles using internal combustion engines, or both.

Would you give this idea consideration? It sure would lift a serious financial burden from the average American, and could also stimulate both the American automakers and the oil companies to develop new goods and ways of using resources that could also boost the American economy .considerably.

G-d bless you and keep you and make His face to smile upon you, President Trump.

Always, sincerely,
Are there really people who deny that the Holocaust, in which around six million Jews were deliberately murdered by the Nazis, never happened? If so, who are they, and why do they say it?

In Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It, authors Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman take an in-depth look at those who deny that the Holocaust -- called "The Holohoax" and other derogatory terms -- never happened, and provide profound insights into the deniers' psychology. While most authentic historians dismiss the deniers' claims about the Holocaust as antisemitic neo-Nazis who don't deserve a response, social scientist Michael Shermer and historian Alex Grobman have immersed themselves in the minds and culture of members of the Holocaust denial movement. The authors go much deeper than ever before not only in gaining and understanding of the motives of Holocaust deniers, but also in refuting the claims of the latter one by one. In the process, they show how we can be certain that the Holocaust happened as it did, and how we can confirm any historical event.

Shermer and Grobman investigate the free speech issues surrounding Holocaust denial and place them in the larger context of pseudohistory. They give an enthralling summary of the of the major personalities and organizations involved in Holocaust denial, revealing their personalities and motives. In their discussion of extremists, neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other fringe groups, the authors explore why people join such groups in the first place, examining the context in which Holocaust denial arises.

I've actually met some holocaust deniers in my time. Both from such interactions and in reading about that movement, including this book and several others, I've noticed several behavioral and psychological traits that stand out among them. First, there is a sort of emulation of the hyper-testosterone culture and psychology of the Nazis themselves that inspires those who embrace it to ridicule and even lash out in dangerous ways at any vestige of kindness, compassion, empathy, understanding, and true thoughtfulness among others. That is the sort of posture that often suckers adolescent males into getting involved in gangs that end up terrorizing people, a "looking for a fuehrer drive to find someone to look up to and emulate as some sort of superman. Second, they strongly tend to malignant narcissism, tuning out harm they inflict on others and practicing "blame the victim: attacks on real individual victims as well as victimized populations. Third, they lie a lot, both by omission and commission. I find all of that offensive as hell. Shermer and Grobman are much kinder than I would be to their subjects, or, at least, more civilized in their analyses and discussion of them. Their book would be an outstanding addition to the library of any social scientist, historian, or anyone else who really wants to learn about the horror of the Holocaust of the Jews, which burned an abyssal black hole in the heart of Europe that even now hasn't been healed, and the impact of that hellish phenomenon on all the history that has come after it.
Now for something a little different: Denver Nicks's Hot Sauce Nation: America's Burning Obsession, a delight to read and a serious discussion of all things chili. In what is below, anything in square brackets is Yrs Truly's (a.k.a. Polaris93's) handiwork.

Philosophers have often looked for the defining feature of humans -- language [ravens and cats have language], rationality [hah!], culture [birds, rats (ask me sometime about rat priests, I dare you), dogs, cats, other primates, even Tyrannosaurus rex had and have it], and so on. I'd stick with this: Man is the only animal that likes Tabasco sauce. [Right. My literary partner in crime, Rich Ransdell, has informed me that there are bears that like the incendiary stuff].
-- Dr. Paul Bloom, [as quoted on page ix of the book]

Actually, this may go some way to explaining that humans are the only animal life-forms to have tamed fire. Not to mention setting fires for the sheer, ecstatic joy of it. Or is that the other way around?Read more...Collapse )
I just watched Hillary's America and the Secret History of the Democratic Party by Dinesh D'Souza, an utterly damning indictment of Hillary Clinton in particular and the Democratic party in general. The history of the Democratic party is not well-known now; many today think it was founded by Franklin D. Roosevelt, when in fact it came into existence in the early 1800s, years before the American Civil War. Nor do they know that Abraham Lincoln, who is adored by those enamored of Progressivism, Socialism, and Leftist politics in general, was the founder of the Republican Party. There is also plenty of dirt on Hillary Clinton that the Democrats have been trying to sweep under the rug. This film is a most important document on the political history of America by a man of impeccable honor, profound wisdom, and honesty. Everyone should see this, and then further check out what D'Souza has to say here and elsewhere. Don't take my word for it. Please watch this film!
Free tax help! Visit http/:www.MyFreeTaxes.com where you can quickly and easily file your taxes for free, using H&R Block FREE online software.

I just did. It took me about two and a half hours to do that, and most of that was in correcting a couple of stupid mistakes I made using Quicken to get my profit-and-loss for 2016.

Enjoy! :-D

Dream: Cyclopean skyline and gelatin seas

This morning I had one of the strangest and most powerful dreams I've ever had. I was inside a huge building where lots of other people were. Some of them and myself wanted to leave the building and quickly determined that the only way was on the ground floor. So we walked and walked and walked through the building, following endless stairs, passing eateries and other establishments within the building as we tried to go downstairs and out.

We soon realized that at the bottom of some stairways were other stairs going up again, and sometimes no stairs at all. We would then have to backtrack and go back to the previous landing and look for another way out. On the way, many times we passed long stretches on the western side of the building that were open to the air and the sky with lots of ornamental plants on the low walls between the edges of these open ways and the sky -- and the ocean. Looking up, in places where the walls of the building above the roofs over these open ways were stepped well back from the roof, we could endless vistas of tall Cyclopean towers and stretches of apartments and shops thrusting high into the sky, all part of this same building. The building's walls were adobe plastered with adobe-colored material, and the roofs were made of those red curved tiles that make up the roofs of buildings made from Spanish-style architecture. And behind that awesome eastern skyline of towers upon towers upon towers reaching well over 200 stories in the air there were far higher mountains, some much higher than Everest, in spite of the glorious late spring day so dark they seemed to swallow the light, black as anthracite coal. And above them stars twinkled in that otherwise gorgeous midmorning sky.

The ocean beside the western edge of the building was so deep and rich a blue it seemed almost black. It comprised huge heaving waves, some of them hundreds of feet behind the next large waves. The hot, bright Sun was high in the sky, and its light danced off those waves in radiant clusters of photonic pearls and glints and rivers of silver and gold. But there were no whitecaps, and the ocean's waves moved almost sluggishly, as if that ocean were made of dilute gelatin. There was a high wall many stories tall that separated the waters of the ocean from the building; high as they were, they seemed disturbingly inadequate because of the height of those slowly moving waves, some of which were as much as an eighth of a kilometer across the base and up to twice that height from the average height of the ocean. We could have jumped into that ocean and swum over to the land and gotten out that way, but there was a genera reluctance about doing so -- those waters looked so strange, the slow-moving waves so powerful, and anything could have been lurking in those oceanic waters.

And so down and down we went, knowing there was a parking lot just outside the bottom floor, where the cars of visitors to it were parked. If we could reach that, we could escape for good. Most of us had, after originally entering the building, gotten so taken up with sightseeing that we never thought of taking note of the ways we entered the building or where we had gone within it. So we had to deduce how to get out and undergo a torturously long journey to arrive there.

Finally we did. We went through that last door out onto the brightly sunlit parking lot and looked around to see where we were. What we saw was a road stretching die-straight due east from the parking lot, passing through a high-arched, open stone gateway and on out due east as far as we could see. The road lay between two ranges of rather high hills covered with the sort of plants common as landscaping by Southern California freeways. When I awoke, I wondered whether, if I had slept longer, the dream would have segued into one of those dreams in which I and a number of other people were endlessly walking along the verge of freeways, sometimes braving the possibility of being creamed by a vehicle as we tried to use underpasses to go from one freeway to another or to reach places where we could find off ramps that would get us into the suburbs, where we could ret and maybe get something to eat.

But the dream as it was was nightmarish enough. No monsters but imagined ones, no dangerous people, just endless walking in a building as large as a city, trying to find a way out.The sky was a brilliant turquoise, the day was brightly lit by the Sun high in the sky, nothing attacked us, BUT. Somehow it reminded me of H. P. Lovecraft's Dreamlands, beautiful and strange and hitting at hidden menaces . . .

On name-calling

A word about ad hominem arguments:

Calling someone "ugly" or otherwise denigrating their appearance -- especially when the claim isn't true -- says nothing about the target's character, honor, integrity, or behavior, but it sure speaks volumes about the character of the one calling names.

Example: Frequently I have seen posts on Facebook and other media referring to Barrack Obama as "queer" and Michelle Obama as "an ugly tranny." Often such posts include graphics showing Barrack Obama as effeminate or camping around and/or Michelle Obama as overmuscled as Arnold Schwarzenegger and as unfeminine as a piece of bark.

In point of truth, both the Obamas are comely enough, and what their sexual preferences are their business, not the public's, as long as they don't engage in sexual assault, especially on children, the physically infirm, the mentally ill, or the otherwise vulnerable -- which, as far as I know, neither of them has. The graphics are fake, the mud-slinging is vile, and nit's as pointless as accusing someone of vandalism on the planet Neptune.

It is true that the politics of the Obamas are heinous and that their behavior, especially that having to do with the governance of this country and its relationships with our long-time allies, is often downright evil. But falsely accusing them of having idiosyncratic sexual preferences and posting libelously altered graphics of them has nothing to do with that. So why do that at all?

BTW, I think calling Muslims "MuSLIMES" is one of the most childishly nasty terms used by anyone. I don't like them, either, but calling someone a "Muslime" says a great deal more about the one one doing the name-calling than anything or anyone else.
Anatomy of Malice: The Enigma of the Nazi War CriminalsAnatomy of Malice: The Enigma of the Nazi War Criminals by Joel E. Dimsdale

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


What is evil?

Hannah Arendt, a witness to the trial of Adolph Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1961, discussed what she called "the banality of evil," i.e., the actions of Adolph Eichmann, a bureaucrat presiding over various aspects of the vast machinery responsible for 11 million deaths of Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, Christians during Hitler's Third Reich, whom she described as little more than a small cog in that gigantic machine. But she mentioned nothing about his vitriolic hatred of Jews, and didn't bring a professional psychiatrist's or clinical psychologist's expertise in her analysis of Eichmann or evil in general. Nor did she really bring out the true horror of what the Nazis did to their victims, including honest German citizens who themselves were horrified at what their government was doing, and said so.

In actuality, evil always has a core of the truly alien for those of us who have not embraced it. As author Joel Dimsdale himself says in Anatomy of Malice: The Enigma of the Nazi War Criminals, the analysis of the German war criminals at Nuremberg by psychologists and psychiatrists at the time if the Nuremberg trials was highly controversial and, ultimately, unsatisfying. What could have made so many people commit such devastating crimes against humanity in the thankfully short, 12-year term of Das Tausend-Jahre Reich? To date, that questions still has not been satisfactorily answered, and may never be. Evil has always been with us, wily as the metaphorical fox, and will be until we are no longer human or have become extinct.

A brilliant analysis of that seminal moment in modern history by psychiatrist Joel Dimsdale, this book is must reading for anyone interested in learning why modern history has gone as it has, and wants to understand something of the reality and presence in evil in human affairs.



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Review: Art Spiegelman, THE COMPLETE MAUS



Called "the first masterpiece in comic book history" (the New Yorker), a winner of a Pulitzer prize, this is one of the most moving books I've ever read.

"An epic story told in tiny pictures" (the New Yorker), Maus tells the story of Vladik Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father's story. Vladek's harrowing narrative is woven into the author's account of his relationship with his aging father. Combining two books in one volume -- My Father Bleeds History and And Here My Troubles Began, it illuminates not only the impact of the Holocaust on survivors, but also the ways it has affected the children of such survivors. It also reveals a harrowing statistic: in countless cases, a survivor was the only member of his or her family, often a large, extended family, to survive the Holocaust.

The comic strips in the book represent different populations in animal form. The Jews are mice, reflecting the Nazis' view of them as "vermin," while Germans, especially Nazis, are cats, i.e., state=sponsored "exterminators" of the "vermin." (And the representation of Jews as tiny mice also reflects the persecutions and pogroms they have suffered down the ages at the hands of much larger groups directed by powerful, wealthy special interests. The Poles are pigs, Americans are dogs, and so on. (None of these animals conform to the kosher food laws, by the way, but neither do human beings, so this is no insult to mice).

I remember seeing excerpts from this work in the comix I loved so much, the ones that also included the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Fat Freddy's cat, and all the rest. But never before had I read the whole work. Doing so now, I wept over it many times, seeing the soul of a man laid bare by his son, who in turn bares his own soul, both souls wounded by the Holocaust in two different ways. If a reader doesn't weep while reading this, he or she has no heart, no empathy, no conscience.

The author deals with his material in a totally honest, simple way, laying bare one history's greatest horrors so that the generations to come will never, ever forget, and always be aware that true evil is a reality which psychology and psychiatry both find nearly impenetrable. Dos Passos said that those who forget history are doomed to repeat. And don't think it only happens to Jews: Hitler's Germany also murdered many Christians, Slavs, and Gypsies -- not to mention Germans with a conscience who tried to stand up to the Nazis and met their deaths in the horror-shows that were the cell's in the Gestapo's dungeons.
There's a thing most people alive today in this country don't remember: during the presidential administrations of John F Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson, the US economy was thriving -- so much so that we had an economic surplus. That's right: two Democratic administrations brought about enormous prosperity for this country's citizens, and paid off the national debt -- and then some. How? Because of the space program and the race to the Moon.

-- And then, when Richard M. Nixon took office as President, he killed the Mars Program and most of the rest of the space program, and this nation's economy slid into the crapper, thus proving that one of the very best ways to bring about real prosperity in this country is to get humans into space, onto other worlds, and make bases and settlements on large moons and planets such as Mars -- and that killing the space program is one sure way to kill the U.S.'s economy.

Not only did the glory days of the space program create endless well-paying jobs and support countless businesses and corporations producing the materials and hiring people who could in turn support the space program, but also, from the research and development needed to meet the technological needs of the space program, they produced innovative, brand-new and very effective means of treating all sorts of medical conditions. Engineers were inspired to design computers far better than the ones then currently in use, something that helped give rise to today's computers and the information revolution. Materials scientists and technicians envisioned and implemented cutting-edge solutions to problems in industries of all kinds. And Joe F. and Adrienne Consumer were happy to spend their money on the new products and services that were spin-offs of these industries and the space program itself -- money they were earning thanks to the boost in well-paying employment by those industries and the space program itself.

If Richard Nixon hadn't murdered the Mars and Moon programs, our economy would have continued to accelerate, virtually every nations on Earth would be benefiting from the creation of their own space programs, we'd have moved factories out into space that used material available at large throughout the Solar System to create products needed on Earth, and would have built space elevators to bring those products safely down to Earth and ferry passengers between Earth and the Moon. By now, we -- the whole world -- would be embarking on a Golden Age of prosperity, new hope, and the building of bridges to the stars.

Instead . . . well, look at the economy now.

If I were Donald Trump, one of the first things I'd do as President would be to re-initiate the space program as it was back in the 1960s, which would quickly make vast improvements in the economy. Today's Democrats wouldn't -- you can't control people once they've gone off-planet and making lives for themselves out there. So any of you who read this, email whoever your chosen candidate for President is and ask him/her to ratchet up the space program and get us heading for the stars. The one that says and does "Yesss!" to that is the one you should vote for.

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