Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Day, March for Science, and the Stickiness of Alternative Facts







After years of the intellectual contingency of the far left beating the drum to the sound of “Science is just White Man’s mythology used to oppress the masses,” all of a sudden science seems to matter to progressives. These are ironic times indeed....

I listen to the news while I am working in the studio until the news depresses me too much and I switch to jazz.  This past Friday leading to a weekend of protests for science all over the world, the news was full of reports about it.  It was interesting to listen to and to find out about the different flavors the international marches were going to come in.  

I listen to the news on National Public Radio which is progressively bent, and so it was doubly interesting to listen to them interview a Nigerian organizer who was telling the reporter that in Nigeria they were marching for GMO’s.  Yes, I said FOR GMO’s. Usually on NPR one only hears about the ill effects of GMO’s on food production and how the E.U bans such products in their sphere of influence; and if NPR listeners hear about a protest, it is usually anti-GMO.  Well, here was a person from a developing nation clamoring for GMO’s, or what in Europe is known as "white man’s tools of oppression".  Weeelllll, it seems like scientific fact might actually be local (-;

I have a friend who used to do some landscaping for us and his father worked in the AG School at the university in town.  He told me we would never be able to feed the world population had we not engineered food and used all the chemistry we have done…  These are scientific facts, that is, facts supported by data that progressives don’t usually like to hear.  Honestly, I like my food organic and grass fed, but "facts be facts"… or are they?  

Today, facts be damned, let’s march for science no matter what's what!


Thursday, April 13, 2017

The kind of Political Discourse I love

One in which my representative actually agrees with me!!! hah hah

By way of context: 

When Nikki Haley left the helm of this state after Trump made her an offer she could not refuse on her climb to seeking her party's nomination for the presidency of this mess of a nation, I thought that at least the State of SC might finally pave a few of its crumbled (note, they are no longer crumbling, they are way beyond that) roads. Unfortunately Governor McMaster is in the same pockets she was in, and we are left with one more governor willing to sink this state for the profit of a few.  It's "bidness" as usual in the state of South Carolina. Heck, I bet his street and those of his puppet masters have new pavement....




Dear Senator Alexander, Representative Clary, and Governor McMaster (I address all three since you ostensibly represent me),

It is hard for me to believe that you guys are still dickering over how to get money to pay for our urgent infrastructure needs.  That being said, you don’t seem any more dysfunctional than the rest of what has become an embarrassment of a nation; and this is not a compliment. 

Let me ask you this: when you want a TV, or say, an internet plan, what do you do?  Do you issue a bond in order to get funds to pay for these things, or do you go out to Wal-Mart and get one; or in the case of digital connectivity, call an internet provider and pay a monthly fee to get on that digital highway in order to surf for cute pictures of cats?  Buying infrastructure should be no different than buying internet time; the people getting the benefit of using roads should pay for them, and they should do so in the form of present day taxes since it is a public good they want to be using privately.
I understand one might call this a regressive tax, but I sure as heck know that is not why people of the republican persuasion don’t want to pass it.  And regressive or not, everyone should pay for road reconstruction and maintenance regardless: you use it, you pay for it.  And at this juncture I might add that this is the real conservative way of looking at things. 

I know republicans, and apparently Americans, are allergic to the word “taxes”, but it is high time we change that attitude; the status quo is no longer working.  As a state (and as a country) we need to start paying, as a group, for what we want to consume, not consume and then defer the costs of that consumption for future groups to pay.  If we don’t start taking responsibility for our expenditures, we will cease to be a nation.  I understand that it is complicated and that some debt is a good thing; but debt does not mean never ever paying for anything.

We, as a people, need to live up to our fiscal responsibilities, not continue to be a debtor nation, which only enriches the banks (and the people who run them).  We saw how well that turned out in 2008.  We cannot continue passing ALL costs to future generations.  In fact, as concerns infrastructure, that model has failed completely.  I travel to other countries and, as pointed out by our very own president, this one is truly an embarrassment.  Moreover, and as concerns this letter, it is infuriating for me that I can tell, with closed eyes, just by the way my car rides on the pavement, when I have entered South Carolina from either Georgia or North Carolina, themselves not the states with great roads.

We, the people of South Carolina, should pay for our needs as we go, not borrow more money we will then have future generations find a way to default on.  This state can’t even live up to its current future obligations, i.e. The State Pension Plan, why incur more debt?  You need to start simplifying things, cleaning house, not complicating them and letting the state crumble more than it already has.
Please, if this applies to you, stop being in the pockets of the special interests that are insisting that you keep from levying a tax, a tiny tiny tax on gas, whose prices are some of the lowest in the nation, so that we can start rebuilding that which we urgently need.  Let’s start acting like responsible adults for once; in the long run that can only benefit the state as a whole. 

… And I know I should apologize for being curt, but I am so steamed at this point…

Sincerely,

Katya Cohen 


Ms. Cohen,

Thank you for reaching out to me regarding South Carolina’s infrastructure issues and how to address them.  I am proud to be a sponsor of H. 3516, the Roads, Bridges and Infrastructure bill.  This bill passed the House of Representatives on March by a vote of 97-18 and I was proud to cast my vote for this important legislation.  This bill resides in the Senate, and you have correctly addressed this issue to Senator Thomas Alexander.  I remain hopeful the Senate will pass this bill.  Of course, Governor McMaster has pledged to veto any gas tax increase, and I hope I have the opportunity to override his veto.

You are absolutely correct that outside influences and groups are attempting to influence the vote of our General Assembly.  Fortunately, the House did not succumb to these tactics, and I have the Senate has the intestinal fortitude to do the same.

I am honored and privileged to represent you and House District 3 in Columbia.  Again, thank you for sharing your views with me, and please feel free to reach out to me at any time.

Regards,

Gary

A few more shots taken in a walk of less that a 1/4 mile on one of the state roads:








Monday, April 10, 2017

Hah as in Aha

On March 6th I wrote A Funny- not hah hah- Thing About Alternative Facts

Today, April 10th, I read the following in Artforum, one of those journals whose text and texture I had to master along my "art journey" as described on the A Funny....  It comes from an interview by Michele Kuo, the magazine's editor, with Adam Szymczyk, director of this year's Documenta 14.  I take it out of context, but it definitely echoes what I said on my blog entry.  ....Though I might think it is more funny, as in hah hah, than she does (-;


MK: Absolutely. And I think one of the most ironic or shocking developments we’ve witnessed in the past two decades is the way that some of these strategies have been so handily appropriated by the Right. For example, the jettisoning of master narratives and the critique of empiricism have now been globalized and deployed in all these reactionary ways. The denial of climate change is an obvious case in point. But we face a real dilemma, because even though we need to resist the resurgence of “alternative facts,” we can’t go back to a naive conception of truth and objectivity.



still 
ugh


Sunday, April 2, 2017

small thought for the day

Freud Ache

Reaching that euphemism: middle age, or what used to be the end of life in most cases before modern medicine, is indeed a strange thing. Other than noticing that your body really, really, reeeally has changed and will not unchange no matter how much more physically fit you are now than you were when young (or not, as the case might be), you also realize that the life you lived is nothing like the life you thought you would live... ...or so it must be for most people, and the why for that other euphemism: the mid-life crisis.  The trick sometimes is to look back and be kind with oneself.


Monday, March 6, 2017

A Funny- not hah hah funny- Thing About Alternative Facts...


I want to preface this with the fact (no pun intended) that I absolutely despise the administration currently parked at the White House.  But this morning, while taking my cardboard boxes to the recycling center, I was musing on its use of the words "alternative facts" to describe bold face lying; and I was wondering how come, even though the words made a small splash, there wasn't a greater sustained outcry, and how maybe the Left is actually complicit in all this.

The funny thing about the "theory of alternative facts" is that the Liberal Left has been preaching about it since, oh I feel like saying the 80's, but that's just when I became aware of the theory of "alternative narratives" because I needed to internalize the main bullet points of Continental Theory in order to understand the conversation around the Postmodern art being made then, as well as, some of the art being made since.  So it seems that the defense of "alternative facts" from the Far Left has probably been with us since at least the Frankfurt School in the 30's (the 1930's)... 

Although Continental Theory, by its own nature (and theory (-:) absolutely refuses to state anything unconditionally or definitively or precisely or scientifically or logically, science and logic being "mere narratives of the ruling (white male) class", its de facto logical conclusion is absolute relativism; and apparently the Ultra-Right has internalized that decades old drumbeat.


ugh  






Friday, February 24, 2017

beyond the pale...

The fact that Trump constantly makes it sound like the USA is an aggrieved party in the world stage is beyond the pale.  GOOD gOD!

The USA: a superpower that has imposed its will and might, welcome or not, all over the world for decades; a power that has shaped the world with its policies and treaties, and that has been instrumental in molding the planet to look exactly like it looks like right now...

To cry out that "Mexico (or any other country for that matter) has not treated us fairly" is so ridiculous, it is beyond unbelievable!

It is really the end of the world that I, the product of a freedom loving American education, once envisioned and hoped to grow old in.  GOOD gOD!  The man is textbook bully!


Alternative fact:


Friday, February 17, 2017

A well oiled machine, I tell you...

Image result for ceased rusty motor

Who out there still believes in the alternative facts?  Good god, what does it take...