the economic superiority complex, wealth is considerably more heritable than genes

Police Dogs Attack Demonstrators, Birmingham, Alabama Protests]

Police Dogs Attack Demonstrators, Birmingham, Alabama Protests, 1963. Charles Moore, photographer.

Nozick: Libertarians are “filled…with resentment at other freer ways of being”

The Reactionary Mind:

Neither is conservatism a makeshift fusion of capitalists, Christians, and warriors, for that fusion is impelled by a more elemental force—the opposition to the liberation of men and women from the fetters of their superiors, particularly in the private sphere. Such a view might seem miles away from the libertarian defense of the free market, with its celebration of the atomistic and autonomous individual. But it is not.

One of the most insightful and concise definitions I’ve read of of what conservatism and con-libertarians are about. Things like religion do play a role. Regardless of what else it says in the Christian Bible about business and taxes, certainly Jesus Sermon on the Mount would take precedence. So conservative leaders twist what is in the Bible and deflect form the issue by claiming to know that their invisible friend really likes that Wal-mart pays less than a living wage and it is his will that business be run this way. Those conservatives that see any for’ners as a threat, are always inventing new threats and making existing ones much larger than they are. The far Right interpretation of religion and the pandering to paranoid minds both coalesce under what they see as their rightful place as everyone’s superior. The far Right has had this tendency in culture and economics since before the Civil War – Slave Capitalism.

Bread line at kitchen

Bread line at kitchen, 4th and Jefferson [streets], Feb. 1934. And related – Low Wages Cost Taxpayers A Quarter-Trillion Dollars Every Year.

Over the last couple years research suggests that genes alone are not destiny. How one – thus their genes interacts with the environment tends to have a large role. So may be it should not be that be a surprise that one’s economic status has much more to do with how well one’s life goes than genes, Wealth is considerably more heritable than genes. Policymakers who misuse genetics to argue a child’s fate is preordained are deliberately ignoring the effects of inequality

In his latest book, The Serpent’s Promise, Jones examines how nurture and nature are inseparably intertwined. The human genome project was for a while the modern version of eugenics, but Jones says it has disappointed those who thought it would reveal the destiny of physical traits, let alone psychological ones. “The more we learn about genes, the more important the environment appears to be.” Plomin spent years scanning top children for success genes, but never found them, says Jones. In life, “success and failure depend far more on the economic than the genetic accidents of birth”. Wealth is considerably more heritable than genes. The most equal nations with the best Gini ratings score the highest average intelligence.

Milburn’s report will pull no punches about unequal Britain. With destiny all but set by five years old, he wants redoubled investment in early years, targeting extra money at low-earning families: 500 Sure Starts have closed, many more are hollowed out, and a third of nurseries in poor areas are low quality….

…Teacher quality and status matter: in Finland, the leader of international league tables, teaching is first choice for the top 10% of graduates. Our top 20% of pupils do well, but our bottom 20% drag down UK results, as the shocking OECD report on basic literacy and numeracy shows.

If someone is lucky enough to be born into an upper middle-class family, even if they have slight below medium level intelligence, there is a built in safety net that makes sure they do not fail  – or at least not pay the way others do for failing. I remember a lot of the discussion about George W. Bush’s record in 1999. His supporters claimed he was a successful businessman. Not true in the least. He lead three business ventures into the ground. His family and their connections rescued him every time. yet many of these lucky people believe they are entitled to what they have regardless of the great advantages they started with. That lack of humility might be one of the biggest personality factors in public policy right now certainly, but for the last fifty years.

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alien world with possiblity of life, secede and show us mortals how it is done

Electrotower, Coney Island. c.1903.

Electrotower, Coney Island. c.1903.

An alien world dripping with water? Scientists see possibility of life

Scientists have found the shredded remains of a large, water-rich asteroid raining down on the embers of a dead star, 170 light-years from Earth.

It is the first time that scientists have found a mix of rock and water in a solar system that is not our own. The discovery also suggests that hundreds of millions of years ago, this distant solar system could have been conducive to life as we know it.

“What we know is that this system had the main ingredients to build planets like the Earth,” said Boris Gänsicke of the University of Warwick in England, who coauthored a paper about the discovery.

Finding life, especially something advanced as say a plant, would be a starling discovery just in terms of pure science. Though it would also create, not some theological and philosophical problems, but even more than we already have. While Wikipedia is not the last word on every detail of a subject, they do a fair job of introducing one into the shear number of creation myths that exists, without taking extraterrestrial life into account. Just a sample: Creation from chaos: Sumerian creation myth,  Greek cosmogonical myth; Emergence myths: Hopi creation myth; Ex nihilo (out of nothing):  Islamic creation myth, Genesis creation myth (Christianity and Judaism); World Parent: Heliopolis creation myth, Hiranyagarbha creation myth; Central Asian: Mongolian creation myth.

For Every Fighter a Woman Worker

For Every Fighter a Woman Worker/ United War Work Campaign/ Care for Her through the YWCA. Designed by Adolph Treidler, 1918.

Pat Buchanan: Is Red State America Seceding?

In the last decade of the 20th century, as the Soviet Empire disintegrated, so, too, did that prison house of nations, the USSR.

Out of the decomposing carcass came Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Moldova, all in Europe; Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Caucasus; and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in Central Asia.

The spirit of secession, the desire of peoples to sever ties to nations to which they have belonged for generations, sometimes for centuries, and to seek out their own kind, is a spreading phenomenon.

What are the forces pulling nations apart? Ethnicity, culture, history and language – but now also economics. And separatist and secessionist movements are cropping up here in the United States.

Conservatives have been flirting with secession as far back as i can remember – certainly during the Clinton administration and have read stuff from the 1950s by the old John Birch Society conservatives advocating secession. While some libertarians have also joined in, they generally stick with some nebulous ideas about creating some utopian state of their own. There are many decent, moderate minded Americans living in every state where these secessionist’s yearnings are loudest ( Texas, Arizona, Alaska and North Carolina come to mind) so I’m not in favor of punishing those moderate Americans with the spiteful cravings of a vocal minority. Though I do wonder about what seems to be holding up the secessionist and the utopian crowd. Where are the candidates  running on a secession platform. Why haven’t the conservatives and libertarians who have all the answers and are more perfect than the rest of us used their fortunes and skills to create a new nation. They’d finally be able to have some solid proof, a living example of how anything and everything should be done in their pure societies. Back in middle-school we had a saying, put up or shut-up.

treating the commons like brats gone wild

Head of a Young Girl, c1740s - 1750s. Oil on canvas. By Francois Boucher

Head of a Young Girl, c1740s – 1750s. Oil on canvas. By Francois Boucher

 The Travesty of the Anti-Commons

In his 1968 essay “The tragedy of the commons,” Garrett Hardin argued that unrestricted access to resources held in common, and, likewise, unrestricted ability to dump waste, inexorably leads to the destruction of the commons. At the time, he may not have suspected that the term would become a formidable propaganda weapon in the hands of those who would do exactly what he was arguing against—used to sing the virtues of unrestrained self-interest while destroying the ecosystems on which we, along with all life, depend for our survival.

Later on Hardin said that perhaps he should have called it “The Tragedy of the Unregulated Commons,” because in his article he presented another concept—that of negative commons, now better known as externalities, of which air and water pollution are prime examples. Since the Earth’s atmosphere and the oceans are rather difficult to privatize, this poses a general moral challenge to society. If everyone concerns themselves only with their own interests (taking while the taking is good, not expending effort on collective efforts since they are a waste of one’s precious time, and so on) one cannot avoid the tragedy of the commons.

The full essay is at the link. I must not be a complete cynic yet since I am a little surprised that we’re still having this debate in the U.S. and Europe, and increasingly in Asia. Even those who do not have children remember being a child. We had to have some limits on our behavior because it could be damaging to people and property, and endangered ourselves. Sure strictly speaking our adult caregivers were taking away freedom, but they did so for obviously good reason. The same code of behavior applies writ large to coal companies, oil companies and manufacturers. Given complete freedom or the license to run wild, they will, and have done, even with regulation, considerable damage and wasted tremendous amounts of resources. Such behavior is beyond irresponsible it borders on nihilism. They seem to operate on the assumption that either there is no future to worry about, or screw future generations. Conservatives and libertarians who think this way – and there are millions who do – can make many claims about their behavior, be moral is not one of them.

blue hyacinth wallpaper, the brain prion from hell, no right to be obnoxious

blue hyacinth wallpaper

blue hyacinth wallpaper

Prions are kinds of proteins. Organic compounds that we ordinarily think of as harmless. After all they’re not bacteria or fungi. Not so with the prions that cause Mad Cow disease or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. N.H. patients possibly exposed to fatal brain disease

Eight patients at a New Hampshire hospital may have been exposed to a rare, fatal brain disease from surgery equipment that was used on a patient who likely had the incurable disease, state health officials said Wednesday.

The patients underwent brain surgery at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester between May and August and have been notified of their potential exposure, the officials said during a news conference.

The equipment, rented from Minneapolis-based Medtronic, may also have been used on five patients in unnamed other states before health officials realized the instruments were possibly contaminated with tissue from the initial patient. That person had undergone surgery in May, but only last month was it discovered that the patient had symptoms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Standard methods for sterilizing surgical equipment before every operation do not protect against the rare disease, specialists said.

And they’re understating the case when they say the standard methods for cleaning surgical instruments do not kill all the prions. using these steaming hot high pressure autoclaves, the usual sterilizing detergents do not kill them all. A researcher at National Institutes of Health said that some of them can even survive incineration. These specific prions are rare and the people who are mentioned in the article are not positively going to be infected. Though if anyone is, there is no cure.

Saducismus triumphatus

Saducismus triumphatus: or, Full and plain evidence concerning witches and apparitions. In two parts. The first treating of their possiblity. The second of their real existence. By Joseph Glanvil 1636-1680., late Chaplain in Ordinary to His Majesty, and fellow of the Royal Society. The second edition. With two authentick, but wonderful stories of certain Swedish witches; done into English by Anth. Horneck D.D. 1682. Of course they have proof and it must be true since this an old book written by a chaplain. 

Fiona Apple and Dave Chappelle: Are Artists Obligated to Appease Disrespectful Audiences?

Last week, Fiona Apple performed at a Louis Vuitton-sponsored show in Tokyo, one that paid tribute to women like Kate Moss, Sofia Coppola, and Catherine Deneuve (the event was called “Timeless Muses”). As you may expect at this type of event, people were chatty and less interested in the music being performed onstage for their entertainment. Annoyed with the noise coming from the crowd, Apple allegedly cursed at the audience stormed off stage following her set. Her behavior, of course, was labeled as “a meltdown,” and the seemingly unstable Apple — whose public acknowledgement of mental illness has never particularly worked in her favor — was yet again portrayed as a loon.

Apple’s performance at the Louis Vuitton show took place the same day that news broke online of comedian Dave Chappelle’s disastrous stand-up set at Funny or Die’s The Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival in Hartford, Connecticut. In response to visibly and audibly drunk audience members who yelled to the stage to get his attention, Chappelle responded in a way that probably isn’t too surprising: he told them to shut up. When the audience booed and continued to heckle him, he sat on stage until his time was up. Obviously, the media reported that he, too, had a meltdown.

I’m not buying the argument that since someone bought a ticket they are entitled to any kind of obnoxious behavior. Other people paid for their tickets as well. Most of these artists understand that there is going to be some chatter during their performance; one of the reason the amplifiers at concerts are so loud. But purposely disrupting them is not. No one bought the right, along with that ticket to put on their own little show. The performers have every right to be upset, and being upset is no more a meltdown than when the rowdy members of the crowd were upset when they were harassed at work or school. I think this tendency to describe female performers this way is mostly the gossip press, whose sole purpose in life is to get some rise out of people one way or the other. They don’t care as long as readers are agitated for and against what they wrote.

forest greens wallpaper, light and space, holier than thou rushrush

forest greens wallpaper

forest greens wallpaper

 

Meteor Pieces Hammered Into Iron Jewelry In Egypt 5,000 Years Ago. Ancient craftsmen would make rolls of the metal extracted from meteorites, than take small pieces and roll them into a shape that could be strung on a necklace.

Light and Space

Light and Space, 1946 by Carlotta M. Corpron. Silver gelatin print.

 7 Idiotic and Dangerous Statements From Right-Wing Nut-Jobs Just Last Week

4. Rush Limbaugh bullies listeners into choosing between God and science.

One mark of a borderline personality, we’re told, is seeing the word in black-and-white terms — either/or — no nuance allowed. An armchair diagnosis of Rush Limbaugh suggests that syndrome may apply to him. Another diagnosis: intellectual (using the word loosely) bullying.

And so it was this week when Limbaugh made it plain to his listeners that they could not simultaneously believe in God and in climate change science. Take your pick, he said, ‘cause you can’t have both. His comments were occasioned by Secretary of State John Kerry having the audacity to say in a speech to the Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives that climate change was “a challenge to our responsibilities as the guardians — safe guarders of God’s creation.”

Here’s how Limbaugh put listeners between a rock and hard place:

“See, in my humble opinion, folks, if you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in manmade global warming … You must be either agnostic or atheistic to believe that man controls something that he can’t create.”

Black or white. See? Simple.

There seem to be some Christians who disagree, ” Christians for Environmental Stewardship is dedicated to reaching the Evangelical and Conservative Christian churches with a scriptural message of environmental stewardship. We measure our stewardship by healthy ecosystems and sustainable, responsible consumption. We are calling on all Christians to search the scriptures to better understand the heart of God in relation to His creation. The Bible says that God expects, even demands, that we be stewards of His creation. Scripture is undisputable. God created the different species of plants and animals, blessed them, protected them and made a covenant with them.

Every time we, as humans, drive a species to extinction, we are stating that what God created, we can destroy. There is no scripture to support that view. Every time a species goes extinct, we are defaulting on the account that God has called us to manage. We are at the crossroads, able to choose to save or to destroy. It is our choice. The Bible is clear that creation expresses Gods wisdom and power. Christians are called to be stewards, to nurture, to protect, to preserve His creation. ” I’m not in agreement with some of the details of their thinking either, but at least they seem to get the big picture, humans must take care of the earth. There is no escape plan, no other planet to fly to – in the near future, should we continue pushing this one to the point of being uninhabitable. Limbaugh is on marriage number four, avoided being drafted to serve in the military during the Vietnam era by claiming his anal cyst was too painful, has been a drug addict, made his maid doctor shop for him to maintain his drug supply, vacations in $5,000 a day hotels in London whee he drinks French champagne, buys his illegal in the U.S. Cuban cigars, has called women every derogatory epitaph under the sun,  and leads a generally decadent lifestyle. Now he is the expert, the last word, the go-to guy on what constitutes being a good Christian. And some Christians leaders wonder why the U.S. is becoming a more and more secular country.

the feudal serfdom of hobby lobby, a possible remedy for muscle wasting

summer wheat wallpaper

summer wheat wallpaper

 

Imagine a country where within that country there is a feudal city with a castle and a great wall surrounding it. The city, castle, ruling family and the residents are  part of a country. The country has a set of rules, like say a democratic republic constitution. Oh, and many of the residents of the feudal castle are there because economic circumstances are such there is not many other choices available. The feudal lords of the castle say they do not have to follow the rules that the country has established to protect the rights of all serfs citizens because those rules are offensive to the beliefs of the ruling family. They claim this option to disregard the rights of individuals is perfectly in line with a constitutional right to worship as they please. They’re claiming that their rights supersede the rights of the serfs that serve them, clean the castle, produce the food; actually the serfs produce the wealth that makes it possible for the castle to exist. This true life tale of modern feudal lords is being acted out by a large corporation known as Hobby Lobby and book store chain, Mardel. The remarkable thing about their court successes thus far is that the kingdom of Hobby Lobby is making it easier for someone else to start their own kingdom where they might have prayer rugs and all the employees are required to face Mecca or not let employees have deodorant because their messiah likes human body odor. So lots of fun stuff to look forward thanks to Hobby Lobby.

 

 

 Motorola’s new combination TV and Stereo Record playing models

August 31, 1949.  New York. Georgia Lee (l) of San Antonio, TX and Lois Langley (r) of Pasadena, CA, try out the newest and one of the most expensive of Motorola’s new combination TV and Stereo Record playing models, the Gainsborough, which retails for $795. Maybe some day they’ll make something that plays music, media, connects to a world wide network of information and makes phone calls that is small enough to fit in your pocket.

A “smart” way of using testosterone to prevent muscle wasting

New Australian research suggests that a small dose of testosterone directed solely to the liver stimulates protein synthesis, likely preventing muscle loss and wasting, and potentially promoting muscle growth. The researchers believe they have developed a safe and effective treatment for men and women, that could prevent the muscle wasting associated with many chronic diseases and with ageing.

Dr Vita Birzniece and Professor Ken Ho, from Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, showed in healthy postmenopausal women that a small dose of the male hormone testosterone prevented protein wasting. The pure crystalline testosterone, taken orally, went straight to the liver, and the dose (40mg/day) was small enough to ensure it was contained there, with no spillover to the bloodstream and other organs. The findings are now published online in the European Journal of Endocrinology.

This new approach allows people to benefit from testosterone’s ability to stimulate muscle growth and increase muscle strength. At the same time, it sidesteps the side effects of testosterone when given in the usual way – administered in much larger doses by injection, gel or patch through the skin.

When testosterone is injected, it goes directly to peripheral tissues and major organs, including the brain. This can cause unwanted side effects, including aggressive behaviour and heightened libido. It can also cause heart damage, and in women induce facial hair and a deeper voice.

When taken orally in a small dose, it is absorbed through the gut and goes straight to and acts on the liver, where it is also broken down, so that no other tissue or organ is exposed.

As humans age their muscles tend t waste. It also does not help that on average people become more sedentary as they get older. So they do not do the  muscle strengthening exercises which they should be doing to counter the wasting. Just taking a tablet would be nice.

stones and ocean wallpaper

stones and sea wallpaper

stones and sea wallpaper

Dubai sentences Norwegian woman who reported rape. She received a 6-month prison sentence for having extramarital sex, drinking alcohol, and perjury. Her alleged attacker received a 13-month sentence for extra-marital sex and alcohol consumption. In order for her rape charge to stand up – likely the reason she was charged with perjury – because women are assumed to be lying – is that for the charge of rape to be officially recognized four men must testify that they saw the rape. Perhaps the U.S., Norway and Dubai could have a trade. Norway and the U.S. will take all the rational reasonable citizens of Dubai and in exchange they can have some conservatives who have pretty much the same attitudes as the malevolent clowns that enacted those rape laws: some conservatives we could send to Dubai include Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia Republican and gubernatorial hopeful, Paul Ryan (R-WI),  Lou Dobbs, Erick Erickson and American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer. And throw in Liz Cheney as a bonus – she loves torturing people so she’ll fit right in culturally.  These six conservatives have nothing but contempt for American ideals of justice, fairness and the rule of law. Those things are simply alphabet soup as far as they’re concerned. Which, conveniently is much like the rulers of Dubai feel about those ideals.

Alexander Calder with his circus. Paris, 1929. Andre Kertesz.

Alexander Calder with his circus. Paris, 1929. By photographer Andre Kertesz.

Things Wall Street Financiers Say Off the Record About Their Bloated, Corrupt Industry. Someone at Bloomberg claims the survey is not valid because he does not consider it scientific. Bloomberg does have some good reporters so let’s not let this one person deflect from that. Though I’m not going to excerpt the survey results, just what we actually know about business and finance, and how those sectors of the economy are run by the powers that be,

Given the attitudes of our financial elites, you would expect bad things to happen. The list of high crimes and misdemeanors is mind boggling, and growing every day.

Design mortgage related securities so that they will fail in order to bet against them. (See How to Make a Million Dollars an Hour [5] for all the gory details.)

Unlawfully foreclose [6] on 700 military families.

Money launder [7] for drug cartels.

Collude with illegal payday loan sharks.

Fail to live up to settlement [9] to provide mortgage revisions.

Sell billions of dollars worth of bogus insurance policies that are supposed to provide payment protection for ill or unemployed mortgage holders, but actually provide no coverage at all [10].

Let the London Whale gamble with federally insured money and then lose $6 billion, and then refuse to provide documentation to regulators. [11]

Lie to your colleagues in the media in order to move markets your way. (Jim Cramer’s confession.) [12]

Illegally trade on insider information. (71 hedge fund traders plead guilty or are convicted [13] in the last two years.)

Hedge funds spread false rumors [14] about European banks to cause runs.

High frequency traders milk investors [15].

Collude to manipulate basic interest rates [16] (LIBOR) that effect trillions of dollars of debt.

Engage in predatory lending [17] to rip off cities, towns and school systems.

Rating agencies turn tricks for cash by giving out thousands of bogus AAA ratings [18].

maybe the percentages of corruption and corrupt attitudes in the survey are off – too high or too low, when you have so many financial and business corruption, one is surely delusional to think there is not a problem. After reading about just some of the bigger scandals, the recent commercials being run by the Koch brothers claiming that one of America’s problems is over regulation, just seems all that more bizarre.