Sunday, July 22, 2012

Emancipation Draft of Sorts

In National Review on July 20, 2012 Allen C. Guelzo burned the midnight oil to post, at 4:00 A.M. Emancipation: The Un-Holiday
Lincoln himself thought the proclamation “the great event of the nineteenth century."

He informed us that today, 22 July 2012, is the 150th anniversary of the reveal to Lincoln's cabinet of the proclamation, and then he layers on the usual fiction that Lincoln was just trying to be properly legal by freeing only the slaves in the parts of the world that were no longer party of the Union.  I have always found it curious that Lincoln never bothered with staying legal in other areas that were inconvenient for his quelling of a widespread rebellion, like suspending habeas corpus without so much as asking the Congress.

He asked for, and got, a progressive income tax from the Congress, that was properly thrown out as soon as the US Supreme Court got to hear the case.  You see, the Congress passed and Lincoln signed that piece of work knowing full well that it was illegal under the Constitution to directly tax income of individuals.  Yet, Honest Abe could not see it in his fiber to waive his top hat and free all of the slaves.

You were aware that Lincoln did not free any slaves in Union loyal areas, like New Orleans, Louisiana and Kentucky, right?  If not just set your favorite search engine to find the Emancipation Proclamation and read the whole thing.  The world of racial bigotry history, at least the version taught to people who pay good money expecting to learn, is full of the fiction we all heard that flies in the face of the two paragraphs preceding this one.

Here is another one, from over one hundred years after the American Civil War: Communists eliminated racism in Cuba.  Due to the fiction spread from their own fellow travelers, Eldridge Cleaver and Earl Andrew Ferrell, jumped parole and fled to Cuba.  Much to their surprise, they discovered White Communists ran everything in in Cuba!  After being released from Cuban prison, they hung around a few months and "moved" to Algiers.  Cleaver returned to the USA in 1975.
See the article in the Google archive
When Cleaver returned to the USA in 1975, CBS covered the news thusly:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Obama vs. the Ice Cream Cone, Plus Erotic Mermaids

From: The Nobody Listens to NPR Department
Something quite interesting, it seems that nobody, Left or Right, listens to National Public Radio (NPR).  If the Left listened, they would be yelling about "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!" just like they yell about Sean Hannity.  If the Right listened, they would be applauding, while standing by their principles to end public funding of NPR, PBS, and the rest.

In this episode, the Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me gang discusses and jokes about President Barack Hussein Obama eating ice cream from a waffle cone with a spoon.  In the second half, they discuss the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency's (NOAA) report that mermaids have not been found, yet.

Images and additional video added by me, includes James Carville eating ice cream.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Loving Asimov

True confession: Isaac Asimov is my favorite scientific writer ever.  No, I don't agree with every blessed thing he ever wrote, especially when the topic touches on religion, most especially when he created his creationistic straw men to slay by pen.  That last bit may be the only "problem" I ever had with his scientific writings.

Even when I was fully secular I never bought the notion that most religious folk believed in an unchanging, static universe, nor that they believed that science was in disagreement with the Bible.  Certainly one could find those folk if one looked hard enough, indeed all I had to do was speak with my grandfather to find one.  Finding another one was pretty difficult, even in Church.  All of that can wait for another post and I need to find a way to work it into the new book.

So, by the time I graduated high school in the very early 1980s, I had read every non-fiction essay Asimov had written.  In my private paperback collection neatly stacked in my cheap roll-top desk, I had all of his essays as printed by Doubleday.

One I recall by content, sadly not by title, began (I think) with Asimov responding to some criticism of a SciFi story set on the planet Venus.  When he wrote the story the "smart science" had one concept of the conditions on the surface, but in a few years improved technology revealed Venus as the hot-as-hell, crushingly high pressure surface that we know is true today.  If I recall correctly, someone wrote him a letter complaining about how "wrong" he was about the planet conditions and Asimov responded that scientists keep changing their minds about certain details of our universe.

As I write, I have logged about four hours on 'The Google' looking for that essay and cannot find it.  Of course, if I still had my Doubleday paperback collection the search would have been over hours ago.  Same same if I had taken the drive to the big city down the pike and looked in the big university library.

All is not lost, I did find this: The Relativity of Wrong, Isaac Asimov - The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 14 No. 1, Fall 1989.  I encourage all to click through for a good read.  Something else I like about Asimov's writing is the ease at which he "recycled" themes and ideas in his essays.  I do not recall reading this particular essay before today, it was published long before I knew of The Skeptical Inquirer, and it was a few years after I stopped actively seeking out his essays.

In this one, Asimov brings back the "Bartlett Pear dangling in space" earth shape that he made great fun of decades earlier in some other nonfiction essay.  He closed that one with "why am I the only one laughing?"  Several other items jogged my memory of other essays, but neither this one nor the others were on the scale of self-plagiarism, he never approached that, in my opinion.  He just had this fantastic way of dropping in themes that interrelated the topic at hand to other topics that he covered, much like the way everything in our universe is interrelated.

The whole point to my looking for the other essay, and wasting half-a-day of writing time, was to support the point that science is never settled.  If I never find the other article I can still use this one because the relativity of wrong is indeed also important and can work instead of what I had in mind to begin with.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The SDS All Over Again

If all of this #Occupy claptrap, as well as the modern Democrat Party, sound familiar, it is because it is recycled crap from the 1960s.
Click to enlarge, or look at the archive of the Students for a Democratic Society newsletter, New Left Notes, Volume 4, Number 22, 18 June 1969 (PDF) in full.

Some choice bits:
What is now a classic line, from near the top of column two (bolding mine):
The crisis in imperialism has meant triple taxes (really strange to hear Leftists complain about taxes), cutbacks in safety (which ironically allowed terrorist groups like the SDS to flourish), speed-up, falling wages, and death on the front lines to working people.  Black and brown workers have been hit the hardest . . .

Update: this is the oldest use of the "minorities hardest hit" gag that I can find.

(middle of column four)
Up until now, a lack of international solidarity on the part of US white workers has meant that they were objectively scabbing on the rest of the word proletariat.

One of the ways in which we build this solidarity is by attacking white supremacy.  We should see that white supremacy and national chauvinism are key factors in the war in Vietnam and that the war is a white supremacist war.  By attacks on white supremacy, we can also connect the war in Vietnam to the war in the black colony in the minds of the people.

The big demands for what they wanted, and when they wanted it (column five):
  • Immediate withdraw from Vietnam
  • Immediate release of Huey Newton and all political prisoners
  • No more surtax
  • Independence for Puerto Rico
  • Support for GI's rights and GI rebellions
The article closes with an ironic quote from the murder most grand, Mao Zedong:
Mao says that "all reactionaries attempt to stamp out revolution by mass murder, and they think that the more people they massacre, the weaker the revolutionary will become.  But contrary to this wishful thinking of reaction, the facts are that the more people the reactionaries massacre, the greater the strength of the revolution becomes, the nearer the reactionaries are to their doom.  This is an irresistible law.

The bombings conducted by the Students for a Democratic Society began a few months later, on 7 October 1969, at the Chicago memorial statue to police officers murdered at the Haymarket riot of 1886.  After the statue was replaced, they blew it up again almost one year later to the day.  The SDS blew up more things and people over the coming years during their armed struggle.