the day european genocide in the new world started, eerie monoliths, gnarled old tree wallpaper

On Oct. 12, 1492, Columbus landed in the Bahamas. He sent an account of his voyage to Spanish sovereigns.

After his first transatlantic voyage, Christopher Columbus sent an account of his encounters in the Americas to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. Several copies of his manuscript were made for court officials, and a transcription was published in April 1493. This Latin translation was published the same year. In reporting on his trip to his sovereigns, Columbus wrote:

There I found very many islands, filled with innumerable people, and I have taken possession of them all for their Highnesses, done by proclamation and with the royal standard unfurled, and no opposition was offered to me.

)I’m fine with calling Columbus, after the Vikings, as the first contact f the Old World with the New. Though to excuse the things he did n light of the way a lot of Old World elite acted is stretching the most generous of moral judgments. “No opposition”? He proceed to murder and enslave the natives he encountered. If it was not genocide it was very close. What natives were left in the Caribbean islands where he governed, appointing himself ruler, were killed off by diseases (a native tribe called the Arawaks) brought by Europeans. Leave it to Randians to state that this was all how things were destined to be, Columbus’s Genocide

There are many historians who do not agree with the revisionist view of Columbus.  Many people believe that Columbus should be glorified as a hero.  As Michael Berliner puts it, “The critics do not want to bestow such honor, because their real goal is to denigrate the values of Western civilization and to glorify primitivism” (Ayn Rand Institute).  As a critic of the way Columbus is remembered and celebrated, I do not agree with this accusation.  The problem with the way we teach about Columbus is the same problem with most of our history.  History is written by the conquerors, and rarely are there any accounts of the conquered.  It is more important to view history from every angle possible than to use historical figures, such as Columbus, to enhance nationalism.

Other historians who may recognize the devastation that Columbus and the Spaniards caused, try to give them justification.  In the history textbook, The American Promise, the author tells the reader to view Columbus through the standards of his time and to disregard the importance of his treatment of the Indians (Roark 27).  Yet surely Columbus and others of his time knew that murder was wrong (Yewell 12).  To understand the present is the main reason to study history.  If we look at history only through the eyes of the past we are doomed to repeat its mistakes.  Emphasizing the heroics of Columbus and those who came after him and to downplay their genocide, serves to justify what was done (Zinn 9)

“East oblique of missile site control building, with better view of exhaust (the taller columns) and intake shafts, – Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard Complex, Missile Site Control Building.” These struturs were built during the 1970s. They play a major part in Cold War history,

It is believed that the plans for deployment and initiation of construction of this facility were instrumental in obtaining Soviet agreement to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and a subsequent decline in Cold War hostilities between the Superpowers. This structure was nuclear hardened, that is, designed to withstand a nearby nuclear blast. Both the MSR with its data processing center and its power plant were nuclear hardened. The MSR was designed to be self-contained in case of attack.

I find monolithic structures like this eerie without knowing their history. There are everyday structures that look similar – power stations, water pump stations – and even those look foreboding.

Even a lot of liberal-progressive commentators dance around what is wrong with some politicians. They bend over backwards to be fair when the other side has no real concept of fairness. Certainly no broadcast commenter enjoying a six figure salary is going to jeopardize their gig by giving someone like Romney or Ryan, a more than deserved slamming. It is not about stumping to their level, it is about calling it like it is. So a big thanks to Charles P. Pierce,  VP Debate 2012: The Real Paul Ryan Is Bad for America

Biden laughed at him? Of course, he did. The profound ignorance Ryan displayed was so terrifying that it calls into question Romney’s judgment for putting this unqualified greenhorn on the ticket at all.

For the second time in as many presidential elections, Joseph Biden got to debate a young, attractive Republican candidate who was demonstrably less qualified to to be president than I am to be chairman of the World Bank. Joseph Biden is a very lucky man. The Great Political Matchmaker in the Sky keeps handing him people who are trying — and failing — to fight above their weight class, and he keeps blowing through what can now legitimately be called the Bum of the Quadrennium Club.

There is a deeply held Beltway myth of Paul Ryan, Man of Big Ideas, and it dies hard. But, if there is a just god in the universe, on Thursday night, it died a bloody death, was hurled into a pit, doused with quicklime, buried without ceremony, and the ground above it salted and strewn with garlic so that it never rises again.

gnarled old tree wallpaper

Smile from Misko Iho on Vimeo. Worth a watch just for the Nate King Cole song.


nature-nurture and impulse control, Allard J2 Roadster, congratulations to ly’in ryan

In a recent post the subject of nature versus nurture came up in regards human being social animals by nature. This new version of an old study by the U. of Rochester, Nature, nurture both affect kids’ self-control  shows how kids, by nature have delayed rewards or control issues.

“This study is an example of both nature and nurture playing a role,” says Richard Aslin, professor of brain and cognitive sciences. “We know that to some extent, temperament is clearly inherited, because infants differ in their behaviors from birth. But this experiment provides robust evidence that young children’s action are also based on rational decisions about their environment.”

The experiment is fairly simple. If the kids in one group are offered a delayed reward, in this case a big tray of art supplies to use. In that first group the tester returns and apologizes for not having the promised big tray of art supplies. Those children now know that this person makes promises and does not keep them. So when they are told they can have more marshmallows if they do not eat the one on the table, they have poor impulse control. Eating the one marshmallow because hey, they let me down with the art supplies. Kids in the other group got the art supplies as promised if they did not use the one jar of markers. When they were told they would get more marshmallows to eat if they would wait and not eat the one left on the table, they were conditioned to think that the tester did keep their promises, so their impulse control was three times longer. The kids, as all two to four year olds are, are cute and their moms at seen later in the video reacting to how their child behaved.

“Being able to delay gratification—in this case to wait 15 difficult minutes to earn a second marshmallow—not only reflects a child’s capacity for self-control, it also reflects their belief about the practicality of waiting,” says Kidd.

“Delaying gratification is only the rational choice if the child believes a second marshmallow is likely to be delivered after a reasonably short delay.”

The findings provide an important reminder about the complexity of human behavior, adds coauthor Richard Aslin, professor of brain and cognitive sciences.

“This study is an example of both nature and nurture playing a role,” he says. “We know that to some extent, temperament is clearly inherited, because infants differ in their behaviors from birth. But this experiment provides robust evidence that young children’s action are also based on rational decisions about their environment.

The research builds on a long series of marshmallow-related studies that began at Stanford University in the late 1960s. Walter Mischel and other researchers famously showed that individual differences in the ability to delay gratification on this simple task correlated strongly with success in later life.

We all probably have impulse control issues about certain things or at certain times, but clearly some adults have huge issues with such control. That ripples out into social behavior and consequences for society. Sometimes it is shown by way of greed, sometimes in the regular manipulation of others to get things or power, sometimes in substance abuse and scholastic achievement, among other behaviors.

Allard J2 Roadster ‘1949–54 wallpaper

The Allard could be called the first international car. It used mostly Detroit built 8 cylinder engines, but was manufactured in England by a company started by Sydney Allard. If I have any car buff readers you probably know how legendary the original Shelby Cobra was. Well Carrol Shelby drove an Allard before he made the Cobra. The appearance of the Cobra was no coincidence. The Allard in turn was originally inspired by Bugatti designed cars. The Allard and the Cobra built for one reason, to go fast, of 313 documented starts in major races in the 9 years between 1949 and 1957, J2’s compiled a list of 40 1st place finishes.

If your guy takes a severe pummeling on the facts, the only way to distract from that is to accuse the guy that did the pummeling of being rude. At The Vice Presidential Debate: Ryan Told 24 Myths In 40 Minutes. Maybe not the best, but my favorite one line summation of the debate was from Jamelle Bouie at The American Prospect, “This is like the Avengers, when the Hulk grabbed Loki and smashed him on the floor.”

biden ryan space taxes corporations lies