About Me

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Deep South, United States
Consultant, inventor, mentor, chess coach,. Current projects involve No Till Farming and staving off blindness due to cataracts among other projects. I also do confidential ghost writing (without taking any published credit. My current blindness makes me put this on hold for a while. I should have one eye working again in about four months. Fact, fiction, all subjects considered. I have heard My daughter Jennifer is alive. I would love it if she were to contact me here. I understand she would like to know me. I have sent a message by circuitous route. I can only hope. My posted Email works as well. We have four decades to catch up on.
EUREKA IDEAS UNLIMITED

This blog has been up for more than a year. The intent was to generate dialogues about serious problems and ideas. It has been almost exclusively a monologue. I have not been looking for large numbers of participants.

I would be quite happy with a few dozen imaginative, creative, thoughtful and inventive people who wish to address serious problems and issues. If anyone has any ideas about how to attract such a talented group I will certainly pay attention. I am not as computer conversant as I would wish. Anyone who could help in this regard would find me receptive to sharing my skills in other areas.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Preemptive Censorship Part One

A couple of years ago I ran across a forum which dealt with a problem I had been coping with, some assorted skin problems on hands and arms. Nothing serious enough to require a physician. Just some itching, scaling, drying, flaking, bleeding from small lesions. Since the rest of my health was robust, I had decided to just keep it under observation without doing much at all.

I was getting pretty tired of wearing long sleeved burgundy shirts to de-emphasise the blood stains. Now, the forum did not help me in the sense of supplying me with the answers to fix my skin. But reading the various posts did make several things much more clear to me. That the typical individual is fairly clueless about such things as skin problems.

Oh, there was good advice fairly frequently, but more often than not, it was mixed with other materials of dubious distinction. I suppose one of the main virtues, perhaps the only real virtue of the place, was that there where were others with assorted chronic skin conditions to share feelings and frustrations with with.

An incredible number of posts were nothing more than simple greetings and smiley faces and jabber of one kind or another. And even when information was imparted, it was often in link form or anecdotal or speculative in nature. Opinions rather than real, experimentally demonstrable curative actions. What was most singularly absent was authoritative, responsible, reliable, practical advice which was not mixed with all these other adulterants. Never once did a doctor ever show up and say anything useful. Someone claiming to be a Portuguese doctor showed up, but sadly, his English was not sufficient to demonstrate his skills.

So I was often both charmed and exasperated, and did my utmost to make the best of it and make the place as useful as I could. While I was at it, I learned a great deal, by many examples, about what not to do to my skin. I used the mistakes I saw to trigger my creativity. In this, some of the forum members were extremely helpful.

There were even a few people obsessively and compulsively hurting themselves who could not face the situation even when it was demonstrated with crystal clarity. Simple tests were suggested which would demonstrate the facts and set them on the sometimes hard road to recovery.

In these few cases, I was the sole voice saying that they ought to look at the possibility that they were dealing with a serious compulsive problem. A chorus of voices angrily enabled the compulsive people in denial. I pretty much stuck to my position. Those others were the "enablers." The forum has quite a lot of them.

I liken this situation to the lovely and notable famous singer who starved herself to death with anorexia, while everyone made excuses for her behavior and expected that she would get over it. She did, permanently. While under the care of physicians and hospitalized for starvation, which was entirely self-induced, she died.

Another controversy was when a new member recommended that people ingest liquids containing colloidal silver. The advice was given to a woman who was about midterm in a pregnancy. I could not in good conscience let such dangerous advice go unchallenged. In spite of the flak, the enablers who said a lot of people were doing it, and this is all a matter of personal opinion and who am I to make such pronouncements, and what could it hurt? You can buy these colloidal mineral products in the "health" food stores. Therefore they have to be alright.

So we wound up having a little seminar about the dangers of silver poisoning. Let me sum it up. If you ingest colloidal silver on a daily basis in normal dosages and do it for long enough, your skin will eventually turn a grayish blue. The worst of it is, this change is not reversible. It will not fade. It will remain for life.

No one but me was aware of this, on a forum which gets hundreds of hits a day and has thousands of members. Mine was the sole voice for this perspective.

As it happens, yesterday there was a national news story about an aficionado of ingesting colloidal silver, who refused to stop even after he began to turn blue. The before and after photographs of this fellow were absolutely shocking. True, this was an unusually extreme case.

Closely analogous to this are the many people who drink carrot juice incessantly in large amounts, because if carrot juice is so good for you (and it is) a lot of it must be even better. (It depends on what is meant by "a lot.") While I have not personally seen one of the blue people I have known several of the orange people. I am not much concerned by the orange people. If they stop drinking carrot juice in substantial quantities, They will return to their previous skin color in a few months. I do think it is better not to have gone overboard in the first place.

But getting back to the theme, censorship. On December 13, a recent arrival to the forum with a substantial amount of empty space in her cranium started a new thread in General Health which she titled "Hi Anthropositor!"

I decided to try to turn this situation into something positive if at all possible. She had somehow taken the notion that I was the leader of the pack. This is what I said:

Actually Nick is the Alpha Leader who keeps my muzzle on his bureau. If you want to spar, or for that matter, work collaboratively on some important issue, Eureka Ideas Unlimited could be a good venue.
eurekaideasunlimited.blogspot.com
(This next portion is my diplomatic way of discouraging the saccharine use of Blessings to end each of her posts, although she is a self-professed pagan. I go on:)
Uh, over there we sort of try to mix the blessings right into the ideas themselves. Otherwise it's sort of like putting powdered sugar on a lollipop.

Of course the Chri... uh... well it is the multi-religious holiday season. In view of that, (and now I close with a little agnostic invocation) May Peace be upon us all. And may we have the skills and strength to bless ourselves and one another with effective solutions to the survival dilemmas we all face, and may we get to it without delay, with energy and all the skill we can muster.

(Now she comes on, referring to me for some inexplicable reason as Der. Hoping she did not mean Dear, a disarming and friendly term I use myself, I said nothing. Now a handful of empty c(s)hitchat posts in which I did not participate). Then I see something about posts and links and I say:

I quote very sparingly, use links even less. If I do use a link, I am usually pretty careful that I would be prepared to argue in favor of the central points of view within that link. Or I will do it to preface my vigorous disagreement.

To do otherwise is often to be advertising nonsense or misinformation. I dismiss fairly rapidly, any site that supports the value of reiki or homeopathy or $1500 d0llar water ionizers or dead sea mud or palmistry or astrology (this in response to a previous mention by this almost entirely vacuous individual about astrology and some other assorted mental misadventures seen on the forum. This rather opened the floodgates which I was trying to close). ...or fortune cookies or the tooth fairy.

(So you can track what the others have decided to say I will put all the comments of others in sort of a fungal green).


that Hurts Anthro!
I prefer to use astrology not for fortunetelling, but to analyze interpersonal relationships. It's a point of reference for me, but I still make my own decisions about what I'm going to do. I'm still a student but do believe it has potential for insight into people. There is alot of truth in the charts I've been exposed to.Most of the time, they seem about 70% accurate. Free will and environment can affect the psychology of people as well.
Blessings,
maureen
I responded,
On numerous occasions in my life I have given several people who were deeply committed true believers in astrology, the chance to guess my sign, based only on the traits and characteristics that I had exhibited.

No one has EVER guessed my sign on the first guess. More than once, my sign was the LAST sign remaining after all the other signs had been tried. The usual was four or five signs before mine was guessed. We can no longer validly perform this test because the Blogger people in their minuscule wisdom, automatically put it on my profile and I have been unable to remove it.

I would sooner be a Reform Druid, or something even more far-fetched, a Republican, than expend the tiniest quantum particle of my belief on astrology.
(It is worthy of note here, that there was not a single scintilla of curiosity from anyone about what a Reform Druid might be).

Hey der,
That wouldn't work anyway. Need birth time/date/place to learn about a person. Newspaper horoscopes are definitely crap. Millions have same sun sign. Doesn't mean much. Your ascendant is a better read than your sun sign. I do agree tho' that I can't get into palmistry, or other forms of fortunetelling. Numerology means nothing to me, but I'm sure someone knows how to use these properly. I've been interested in Astrology since my June Cleaver mom took the study up in the 70's. It's very interesting when done properly Like I said before 70% is pretty standard for a chart. More for some less for some, but an average.
blessings
maureen

(Now I am just beginning to simmer. Another regular member comes on who as you will see, also likes to end her posts with saccharine platitudes.)

Okay, who the heck is "Der"? I am going to guess here. You are calling Anthropositor "Der" ? Hey, Der, when did you take that nickname on?
Have fun,and as always,best wishes for your good fortune, good health and happiness

(When I am starting to steam I try to lighten everything up, so I make a little joke).

Well that surprised me too! Many years ago I lived in a nieghborhood populated by a small colony of German emegres. Although we differred in our political reasoning (my politics was informed by thought, theirs by fanatical wishful thinking) they were very cordial and even honored me with a German nickname. Soon because of the frequency with which they referred to me or addressed me, It got shortenned to the single syllable Der. Of course since I don't voluntarily speak any language which requires sentence-long words, I never did find out what the whole word "Dermudderfugger" meant in English. Anybody know German?

Several chuckling comments deleted. Then it went back to astrology. I am now at a low boil. But I hide it well by remaining mute for now.

Anthro, as my first guess, could you possibly be Scorpio? Answer truthfully now!Maureen, I have studied astrology a bit, and I do think you can see traits in people's characters of their sign. It is very interesting , and I fully agree that the time place etc of birth is required for accuracy. Was it blue-sky who posted with a link, which asked questions on this, and mine was bang on! I had friends in for coffee that day and they all agreed it was exactly me! Linda Goodman did an excellent series of books on the subject, very in depth and very interesting.
bunnie

(...and one of the moderators...)

One of my favorite undergrad classes was phychology 101... the teacher was new and didn't yet realize that 99% of her students weren't going to be up to college material. (There were 4 people who passed the midterm. One of them was me. I got a 96.)The teacher did a fascinating demonstration on astorology. She asked everyone in the class to raise their hands if they ever read the horoscope just for fun. My hand went up, I'll admit it. Then she gave us all a little quiz to see how close we were to our sun sign. Everyone who read the horoscope just for fun was dead on to the "typical" sun sign description. Everyone who didn't was not. People who only did on occasion were close. The correlations were crazy. Yes, I'm as typical a Pices as you can get! Just for fun, I'm going to say that Antrho was born Mar. 1, making him a pices, too.
No Bunny! No Bama! We aren't going to go through all the signs I hope. Astrology is like stale traditional German pastry or political thought. flaky, hard to digest and fattening of the head.

My mother was able to incorporate, fairly seamlessly, Christianity, astrology, the occult and several other odd beliefs. I never discussed such matters seriously with her. I loved her and knew she needed what few toys she had.But I am a firm believer that even in spite of the prevalence of nonsense, people can, and sometimes do, add substantially to their mental skills. As an example, Maureen after only three hints, has stopped with the mantra Blessings. Now that IS a blessing. (Whereupon she immediately went back to it without letup.)
Remember, Isaac Newton was more of an alchemist than a scientist. and he kept several of his beliefs quite confidential. They could have made things extremely difficult for him. And then there was Kellogg, a man who changed breakfast forever. Success never eluded him no matter how skillfully he tried to outrun it. Did you know that he even advocated corn flake enemas? Idiocy, wealth and power are not mutually exclusive. Look at Howard Hughes. Look at George... oh nevermind. I need not enumerate the shrubs. (Note how even handed I am).

Capricorn.

totalfolly (This from a moderater who was in an excellent position to sense the growing storm. She didn't).

Hmmm......If memory serves, Mr. Positor once described himself as an "old goat" on his blog...Capricorn

Matt (This from yet another moderator. Now we have the following interminable piece of utterly useless garbage, even including links. She is still in hopes of roping me into this asinine game, totally regardless of any hints at all).

Astrological birth signs are a lot of fun and great for entertainment purposes, but it doesn't really describe me and I really do not fit into my zodiac sign.I think the
Quote from: bunnie on Sunday December 16, 2007, 04:54:11 AM
Anthro, as my first guess, could you possibly be Scorpio? Answer truthfully now!Moeim, I have studied astrology a bit, and I do think you can see traits in people's characters of their sign. It is very interesting , and I fully agree that the time place etc of birth is required for accuracy. Was it blue-sky who posted with a link, which asked questions on this, and mine was bang on! I had friends in for coffee that day and they all agreed it was exactly me! Linda Goodman did an excellent series of books on the subject, very in depth and very interesting. bunnieis more accurate, at least it was for me. Yes, Bunnie it was me, good memory, I went and found the post.Everyone should try this site out, and see if they are described accuratelyby giving their year, time and place of birth. You might be surprised at what you discover, especially, you, Anthropositor. Let me know what you think.I once had my natology report done. The natology report includes not only your date of birth, but also the longitude and latitude of your birthplace. What is a natal chart? In astrology, your natal chart (sometimes called birth chart) is a graph that shows the positions of the planets and astrological houses in the sky at the moment of your birth. How is my natal chart different from my horoscope? Your natal chart is much more detailed and accurate than your horoscope. A popular horoscope considers only the position of the Sun, whereas your natal chart includes hundreds of pieces of dataI have to admit, the natology report was very introspective and interesting, and I did find my own characteristics to be true to the natal or birth chart reading.Has anyone else done a natal/birth chart reading? I think you will find it to be surprisingly accurate and enjoyably fun.Here is a website I just found, go try it and see for your self:
http://alabe.com/freechart/With hopes for everyone's well being and happiness

(It is time for sterner stuff, obviously. My words fall on totally deaf ears. Even so, I remain restrained).



I want to thank the clever TotalFolly for going to my Blogger Profile, microfilming the evidence of my (burp, gag, barf) astrological (urp) heritage, bringing it back here, and trying to stop this maddening cacophony of nonsense.

Candy can be so much fun. It rots your teeth so slowly, so insidiously that soon you are losing your teeth. Add fun, well mixed with superstition, and you have a kind of candy for the intellect, slowly bursting gaping caverns in the mind; little improvised explosive devices popping like party favors in the cerebral cortex. Little cherry bombs wrapped festively like pinatas or party poppers.

Just remember, every time you pop a popper, your brain smells more and more like dirty socks and becomes less and less capable of coherent thought. Before you know it, you are addicted to what only seemed a harmless game, and the fungal growth of nonsense sends tendrils of mycelium into every little bud of reason which tries to re-establish itself. Now it is possible to simulate coherency, but the core of reason is but a corpse.

Rest In Peace intellect! May you return from the dead. Soon!

Now collectively more air from several moderators, one of whom admits the inside information she used to identify my sign. Another opines that candy is good for you, another ridiculous opinion, but one with more merit than astrology. Bear in mind these are all typical, normal people. My above comment too, fell on deaf ears. The originator of all this bilge comes on again to say:

Palmistry is very interesting, but scary. I'm always looking at my life line thank goodness it seems pretty long......I can't imagine how I'd feel if it was short... SCARY!!!! Probably why I'm terrified to study Palmistry. That life line deal pretty much sums up my fear factor....I'm glad to hear some of you don't totally dismiss Astrology. I think it's interesting...

Anthro, I'd love to take a look at your Chart Wheel sometime... could be very enlightening. But heck, if addresses are TABOO around here, I suppose birthtime/date/place is probably not an option either....darn it! I'd like to take credit for disturbing the pot with Astro here, but Anthro... I have you to thank for these totally entertaining posts!Bunnie, I think it's great you've studied Astrology some, it is interesting...I agree.

However, as much I'd like to spar with Anthro about it, his verbal skills make me look retarded... Blessings,

maureen

(This lady does not only look retarded. I am pretty well on my way to eruption now. The ground is trembling. No one apparently has any notion. Still the volcanic dome holds). This next is in response to a silly statement that candy is good for you.


Aside from traces of antioxidants in some chocolate which is far outweighed by the gigantic levels of refined sugar, there is NO credible evidence that commercial candy is a healthful food even in moderation. It would certainly be POSSIBLE to make a healthful candy. Comparatively speaking it would be prohibitively expensive, and would certainly not compete well in the marketplace.

Our children did not become sugar addicts on their own. Our obese and morbidly obese populations got that way because of the widespread acceptance of just such widespread unfounded notions. Just so, most of us regard things like astrology and palmistry and the occult to be a parlor game. Our casual and light hearted attitude is exactly what allows so many of these utterly valueless notions to gain acceptance in the world of -- general opinion.

How are we to deal with the emerging and accelerating problems we face with this sort of -- playthink? It is not necessary to forego a sense of humor. We will need all our humor and wit. But if we don't get some sort of handle on thoughtless goofiness, our prospects for a good future for all the species and the globe are dim.

Mixed in with the nonsense is a valid observation. MANY people DO literally take these superstitions very seriously. To that extent, their ability to reason is DEEPLY flawed. We don't all need to be intellectuals or innovators or indepenent of the authority figures that other people think are required for existence.

It is difficult to express how utterly disappointing this post, and this thread are. I see no evidence that anyone at all has been helped by it. It is not a rational thread, but an irrationalization thread.

(Now that is pretty clear in its' message don't you think? No such luck).

Anthro> Geez-Just try the natal chart. It is NOT your zodiac.I don't buy into the zodiac signs, either. But, the zodiac signs are just yoursun signs, that means the zodiac that everyone reads in the paper, is the position of the sun when you were born. What do you possibly have to lose by trying it? Since this was posted elsewhere,and others have already tried it, you might be the only one not to have entered your birth date and the location of your birth into the natal chart. Did you not read Bunnie's post telling how accurate it was for her? It was very accurate for me also. Again, I do not relate to my Zodiac sign, and once again, this is not the zodiac. Anyway, I always wondered about protestant ministers, it's really just another job for most of them, I suppose. Thanks, Anthro, for sharing that information about your father with us. (She is crossing threads here.) I was able to decipher your writing and determine that it was your father, because you very indirectly attempted not to just state that. I'm glad you confirmed my suspisions,after I read your post. It was very honest of you to come out and state that although he was a minister, he had no core. Very interesting. Try the natal chart, and see if the planets that lined up when you were born,made any difference in your whole lifelong stay on earth. ONe thing I have noticed: Anyone born during the time of Leo, will brag about it.If you ever read anything about Leo on the zodiacs, they have all the best virtues,they are the best this and the best that. It is all just made up fantasy. The whole zodiac thing is over done. So, I am always amused when a person who possesses none of the great qualities that are expounded on about Leos in the zodiac, tells you right out that they are a Leo, well, why wouldn't they? They wish they were everything attributed to a Leo, and who wouldn't? In fact, most Leos are nothing like whatever a Leo is supposed to be and yet, because it is so favorable, most Leos put it in their email address, put it on their license plates, put it on their bodies as tattoos. It's ridiculous. Next time you see a Leo boring you about how they are a true Leo, just laugh and remember, I told you, they're totatlly brainwashed by twhatever they read about their zodiac's sun sign. *laughs* Watch out for those Leos. (I have a sister who is one of them) Otherwise, zodiac reading can be fun or entertaining, especially if you read the magazine Vanity Fair, they have the most outrageous and hilarious horoscopes ever. So, If you want to see if the date and time and place you were born, had any effecton your life, go to: http://idiot link removed/freechart/ I am sure you will be surprised.

Then,

Anthro, must everything be disected? It would be a very boring world if we were all the same, Lighten up!

Blue-sky

And a crossthreaded piece of religious prejudice by an intolerant religiously zealous person. To illustrate, I can't insert the signature paragraph she uses, because she has repaced it with a long Latin phrase for the Christmas Holidays: Gaudete! Gaudete! Christus es natus, ex Maria, Virginae, Gaudete! 12th century.

She goes on:
Anyway, I always wondered about protestant ministers, it's really just another job for most of them, I suppose. As it is for many priests and other religious "leaders". There are good dedicated ministers and bad, and so with priests too. One huge difference lies within the celibacy requirement for priests, and we all know where that can lead! You can also include Doctors, Nurses, Specialists, etc. To many of them it is not a vocation either, but just a job.

Bunnie

(A few grains of truth slipped in there. But here I begin to get heavy handed.)

In the time we have spent on this absolute drivel we could have actually accomplished something.

I CAN'T AND WON'T WASTE MY TIME IN THIS FASHION. NATAL CHARTS ARE NOT SOMEHOW MORE REASONABLE NONSENSE THAN THE REST OF ASTROLOGY. IT IS SHOCKING THAT ANYONE COULD ACTUALLY BE CONVINCED THAT THERE IS ANY MERIT IN IT WHATSOEVER.

IT IS MIND POLLUTION! NOTHING MORE. THERE IS NOT A SINGLE SHRED OF TRUTH IN ANY OF IT. SOMETIMES EVEN FORTUNE COOKIES CAN SOUND PRESCIENT. IT IS JUST COINCIDENCE WHEN IT HAPPENS. AND NO, I AM NOT TAKING THIS TOO SERIOUSLY. THERE ARE GRAVE COSEQUENCES TO SUCH DEEP-SEATED SUPERSTITIONS, ABOVE AND BEYOND THE WASTE OF TIME.

THEY TRULY ROT THE MIND.I AM ABSOLUTELY DUMBFOUNDED THAT SO MANY OF YOU GIVE WEIGHT TO THESE INCREDIBLY FOOLISH NOTIONS. OTHERWISE SEEMINGLY RATIONAL PEOPLE!

IT IS NOT JUST FUN. IT IS INCREDIBLY DESTRUCTIVE. DOWN THROUGH HISTORY TERRIBLE THINGS HAVE HAPPENNED IN THE NAME OF THE OCCULT AND ASTROLOGY AND ASSURING THAT THERE ARE NOT WITCHES AMONG US. WHEN I WAS JUST A CHILD I HEARD PHRASES LIKE "BETTER DEAD THAN RED." THAT IS FANATICISM.

NO ONE SPOKE UP. DID ANY OF YOU HAVE ANY NOTION THAT AT THE END OF THE FIRST WORlD WAR, ALL SIDES AGREED THAT THERE WOULD BE A SPECIFIC TIME FOR THE ACTUAL CEASE FIRE. THE WAR WAS OVER, BUT COLLECTIVELY WE ALL KILLED ANOTHER TEN THOUSAND MEN AFTER THE WAR WAS OVER! THAT WAS "THE WAR TO END ALL WARS."

TWO DECADES LATER WE DWARFED THE GREAT WAR WITH WORLD WAR II. DID YOU KNOW THAT HITLER AND HIS HENCHMEN BELIEVED REALLY SERIOUSLY IN ASTROLOGY AND THE OCCULT? THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES TO THIS DRIVEL!

Now a little slippery drivel from Bunnie, pretending apology and reason, not worth the print here. Then a moderator comes on with some attempt to moderate what she herself has been so actively contributing to:

Anthro,

nobody is arguing that superstitions taken too seriously may lead to harm. Hell, many things taken too seriously, particularly by an unsound mind such as Hitler's, can lead to harm. I'm terribly sorry you've been so angered by the turn this thread has taken. I'm sure it wasn't intended to be anything but lighthearted.It always troubles me to lock a thread.

I feel that should be a last resort when things have gotten irrevocably out of hand. I'm not convinced this thread has reached that point, but I'd like to suggest that we all take some time to let the heat subside before adding anything further to this discussion.

totalfolly

And I said,

Hitler was not even the most notable of the unsound minds. And a whole nation followed him down the primrose path to utter ruin.

Stalin killed more of his people than anyone in history. And half a century after his totalitarian reign, fanatically abbetted by many millions of mindless zealots, his whole empire imploded catastrophically, all because of the superstition Communism.

Somehow, we have taken the notion to heart that Capitalism is working because the capitalistic systems did not collapse as quickly as Communism did, but it is crystal clear that the ultimate collapse is headed this way.

Communist China is still nominally a Communist state, but in practice, they are now as capitalistic or more so than any western country. They still pose the gravest possible danger to the rest of the world. It is unevaluated superstition which makes it so.

Since the collapse of the Soviet, with their populations starving and in utter ruin, more billionairs have sprouted than in any other place in the world. China too has its' stinking rich. And the utter hatred inspired by generations of mindless political dogma and superstition IS still quite operational. I believe it plays a central role in such things as the poisonous pet foods and the children's toys coated with lead paint. And the other crap they send us.

Japan after their crushing defeat, began their recovery by taking our scrap metals and making the cheapest trashiest junk that they could out of it, and selling it back to us at a profit. They were then, and down deep, they are still, as a culture, one of the most virulently prejudiced on the planet. They hide it quite effectively.

Back then, the soldiers, including high ranking officers, were still quite able to consider themselves honorable even during the genocidal Rape of Nanking and the Bataan Death March and the "Medical" experiments of infamy. The same sorts of experiments were done in the USSR, and yes, albeit on a smaller scale, in the United States as well. The Tuskegee Study went on for four decades, not ending until the 1970's if memory serves!

Over six hundred abjectly poor and illiterate black men were victims. Otherwise reasonable sounding American doctors, who thought they were ethical, WILLINGLY ran the program. To my knowledge, none of them were prosecuted for PRETENDING to treat black men with syphilis, while in fact DELIBERATELY and CLANDESTINELY withholding all treatment to study the course of the disease. None of them went to jail

In the 1920's you could routinely go into a shop in America and buy a photo postcard showing the LYNCHING of a black man. This too was acceptable. Perfectly normal.

When I was a boy, I was beaten by a deputy Sheriff in Del Norte County, California because of my refusal to speak my identity. The right to remain silent did not exist then. I had broken no law. It was a roust. I was fifteen. He was able to hurt me badly and never left a mark! That kind of skill does not come without practice. His behavior was acceptable and ROUTINE.

Today our great nation is debating at some length, the merits of torture during interrogation. Habeas Corpus is dead. Maybe it will come back to life. maybe not. All in aid of defending DEMOCRACY.

Waterboarding and the utter gratuitous humiliation of prisoners of war, is done in the name of freedom. We blamed a few low ranking individuals for these excesses.

Who do we blame when the CIA deliberately destroys tapes of torture, rather than properly turn them over to the investigating committees who have demanded them? I suppose a file clerk will ultimately take the heat.

The CIA has a black ops budget. What they do cannot be efficiently monitored at all. And even in such areas as military spending, where there is some level of visible accounting and oversight, HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS HAVE DISAPPEARED WITHOUT A TRACE!

That is not counting the billions lost in no bid contracts with predators like Halliburton and Blackwell. Between that and the generations-long habit of Congressional EARMARKING, the adding of BILLIONS in regional pork barrel spending because of the influence of a single powerful politician. Virtually all major politicians in both parties engage in this rape of the taxpayers. There is no effective oversight of these Earmarked funds at all. And politicians who do not earmark are rare indeed. Find them! Give them your support.

And here on this forum, if truth or debate makes too many people a little uneasy, let's consider just removing and locking the thread. It just can't be useful to have any friction or strife.

Let's just gag the people who feel strongly about anything! They are the ones making everyone uncomfortable. Let's just shut them off, right along with the obviously dangerous airheads and hucksters. Better to stand up for what you believe and fight it out. Actually participate in something other than dabbling and purely social c(s)hitchat.Sir George Bernard Shaw said something to the effect that the British are a free people... free to do anything that the government and popular public opinion allows. It is widespread public opinion that British medical treatment is free because it is largely paid for out of the public coffers.

The public revenues only seem to be a bottomless purse.The American dollar is undergoing an immense devaluation, plundered by all of the above mentioned things and a really badly thought out war. We have all been intercoursed against our will. That is no reason to outlaw intercourse itself. Just the forced part.

Now the Moderator comes back on in something of a total snit, but hides it well.

Truth and debate do not make me uneasy, Anthro. I may not be either as intelligent or as articulate as you, but I've participated in my share of debate when I've had strong feelings about the topic.Obviously, I've done the wrong thing by suggesting that this topic be shelved for the moment. I have, therefore, moved it to Rant and Rave, so you can feel free to debate as you wish.

totalfolly

Now this was, in one way, a good move. I didn't nitpick. But this too is serious censorship. You see, the Rant and Rave section is not accessible to the general public. It is a "behind closed doors" place, cutting the exposure of ideas very sharply.

This moment is a good time to point out one other significant thing. In the short nine days that this thread was open to the public, and the even shorter time that it was only in a smoke filled room, the thread existed for eight days.

I want to also say that my thread dealing with Prevention of Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, which I personally developed in the 1980's has been viewed by over 11,000 people and that number continues to rise.

In spite of the asinine turn of the subject matter, in that eight days, it was viewed well over five hundred times. I can think of no other thread which has gained viewership anywhere near that size in such a short time, or even came close. Do I point out these things? No, I only say: What a good move. Another moderator who has been involved in all this comes on trying to chill everything out, but it is far too little, and far too full of convenient rationalizations to do much good at this point. She says,

Anthro...I would give you a hug, but I'm not sure if you do hugs. If you do, please accept my hug. Otherwise, know that I am thinking of you.

My high school creative writing class taught me more about life than any other high school class, and most college classes I've taken! (Well, most undergrad classes, anyway.) One thing that we discussed - in full - was the difference between being shock and pain.

It's OK to shock people. Sometimes it's frowned upon... and usually that's when it's the most necessary. But it's never OK to hurt people. (Nonsense on the face of it. We have wars, prisons, sports that maim and even kill. But she speaks in the social sense. Exactly how much idiocy must we accept in the name of the social contract to never speak up, to never be indiscreet enough to make a response against idiocy.)

I think this is something that you would agree with - I don't think you ever intend to hurt anyone. You care so much about humanity. You're not "downright mean" at all.The problem is trying to find that thin line between shocking someone and hurting them. Attacking other members is against forum rules, and for good reason. But it's sometimes hard to tell when you stop attacking someone's point of view and start attacking the person themself.

I mean, there's not a lot of difference between saying "that's stupid" and "you're stupid for thinking that." But the first is shocking. The second can be emotional abuse if you take it far enough.When TF suggested we calm down and refrain from posting for a little while, this was what she was trying to avoid. We don't mind controversy. (Oh, of course you do. You hate it like the plague. I don't need to argue the point. You are demonstating it fully right now, and will continue to do so. Where did the fighting spirit of the British go? Difficult to recognize you as the same courageous folks who fought so valiantly in the Second World War.)

We just don't want people to get hurt.Interestingly, the person I am most concerned will get hurt is you. I don't know if that's why TF posted what she did; we have not discussed it. But that is the reason I agreed with her, and agree with her still. I mean it. I'm concerned for your blood pressure. You're getting riled, and you seem to be more angry and frustrated than anything else...(she's right on this point, but it has little to do with my blood pressure, as one of my next comments will illustrate). that's not what this was supposed to be about.

I know that your blood pressure is none of my business, but dangit, I like you, Anthro! I care about you and I worry. From the way you're talking, it sounds like you're terrified for some of us... (Yes!) and terrified of some of us. (No.) It's your love of humanity that makes you so passionate. I appreciate that. But seriously, this stress that you're putting on yourself can't be good for you. I care about you and I don't like to see you terrified. I can promise you I'm not going to go on any genocidal rampages, and I'm pretty sure nobody else on here will either.As for the move to R&R... In my mind, R&R has two purposes.

One is to go and gripe. (I use it for that a lot.) But the other is for debate and controversy, and that being the case, I think this thread is exactly where it needs to be.Heh... if you want, I would not be opposed to a debate hall next to the grumpy lounge... it seems appropriate. If you like, we can start with the free speach vs. hurt feelings debate. (I know that it sounds awful to say that I'm more worried about someone's feelings than someone's right to speak. (@#$%&^! I can scarcely believe that statement came from an adult mouth!) I know that sounds bad. But I do feel that way, and I'll stand by it best I can. No, I'm not exactly dropping the gauntlet, but I am holding it out at arm's length like it was a dead cockroach. Lemme know if you're interested.)Strong opinions are good, and I feel confident that my fellow mods would agree with me when I say that we are not trying to supress them. We're just trying to keep people from hurting each other. That's all. (In actual fact, this post holds the tie for how much nonsense can be packed into a given number of words.) Bama.

(Four more paragraphs of absolute drivel)

Blessings

maureen

Now I respond, quite reasonably I think,


I am a strong advocate of hugs. Of simple touching really. We Americans, and I expect Brits and Canadians as well, have a pretty big "territorial imperative." That is to say that in general, we are more comfortable socially when people don't get too close. There is an imaginary boundary encircling us and we can become edgy if people "invade our space."

This is a cultural artifact which really may not be good for us at all. There are a variety of cultures, even in industrially advanced countries in which a conversation takes place between individuals who are comfortable at half the distance we require.Two American men might hug at a wedding or a funeral or something like that, but you can be pretty confident that it will be the hug of perhaps three seconds. They will conclude by patting each other on the back,silently mutually affirming that these are manly hugs with nothing deeper going on, then each backing up to the point at which the perimeters of their mutual safety zones barely touch.

My theory is that we all need more actual contact than we ourselves are really likely to allow in the typical social setting. We may be running at the same sort of deficit of touching as we are with sleep. Many of us are a couple hours short in our sleep cycle, and yet we resist lengthening our sleep time.

If touching is therapeutic, its' opposite clearly leads to failure to thrive manifested in a whole array of ways. My one-eyed cat Felice is quite territorial about my lap. Only Butchie, Felice's most remarkable son, can take over the lap space without Felice showing some irritation. These cats have pillows and blankets. Perfectly comfortable. But the pillows and blankets don't do much petting or touching.

Butchie had a hard time of it for the first half year of his life. He was handled a lot during this time. He recovered his health and thrived. I never wanted him to go outdoors and become King of the Colony. Too dangerous. He is now almost two years old, well muscled with big paws, about 15 pounds. I guess in British weight that would be a tad more than a stone.

My point is, his most important medicine was all the handling and touching he got. His less remarkable siblings are each prized by their owners. I am often regaled by stories of their personalities and so on but, though they all got considerable attention, they got half the physical attention that Butchie got because of his special needs.

Now as to helping and hurting. Let us say completely hypothetically that someone somewhere were to say something in a public venue about east and west and left and right that was not the slightest representation of the true facts as they are known to science, particularly that of ASTRONOMY and PHYSICS. (This was in response to some of Maureen's least understandable twaddle, which I cut because it was mind numbingly silly.)

Fortunately I do not need to go into hurtful detail. I can just say that putting something in reasonable sounding language does not make the details presented correct, or in the rising ascending thingamabob. We've got some initiators, planets moving east and west. There are some left and right sides, and if the planets are balanced, so are you! Wow! Seems so obvious! Do the math! All this time I actually thought that east and west actually designated directions which were perpendicular to a planets axis. It could also represent the orbit of the planets around the sun, because they too travel, roughly speaking, in a direction largely perpendicular to the polar axis of the sun. No mention of the deviations from the ecliptic of some of those planetary orbits. Now, with this new information, I must go back to the beginning and relearn what I thought I always knew about the solar system and the Universe. Hmmm, Black Holes and Supernovas. They must affect things in a big way. Some supernovas have masses and energies of a billion suns, released cataclysmically in a matter of weeks. Ah! Maybe that's what caused these charts to flip everthing upside down, making North down and South up, when the whole scientific world thought it was the other way around.

Let us all flip our map of the world upside down and learn to read the words backwards and upside down. And the balancing if the planets... I never tried to do that. And I never realized that astrology even casts light on the great philosophical mysteries of life. Purpose. Death. The existential verities. Boy, gotta have some of that! Do the math! It does hurt to find out that something you lent credence to turns out to be valueless and and irredeemable waste of valuable time and effort. Take it from an inventor who does not always get it right. But it is no aid to the starving anorexic when everybody politely lets her starve to death because she simply cannot come to grips with her faulty self image and aberrations on reality, the obsessive compulsive who cannot turn the condition around though it is destroying health and well being. To actually help her would be too rude! Where would we be if we just gently reminded the addict, the alcoholic, the smoker, that maybe it might be a good idea to consider quiting some day in the hypothetical future. Come to think of it, we would be right were we are right now.

And sometimes the law steps in and Boy! are they impolite about it. Or death makes a premature appearance. Now that is carrying impoliteness to an extreme. Talk about hurtful! It is virtually always painful for the addict to stop, or someone with a deep mental abberation to face it.

Would you force your child to take a medicine you knew would help him recover if he took it? Oh, how cruel!

Now as to my blood pressure. I had something of a crisis in morale. I dealt with it by expressing myself, rather candidly and perhaps even sharply, when it became more and more apparent that I was accomplishing almost nothing.

I have been known to get a little impatient with one of my chess students as well. Not often, but at strategic points when I can see the error of the thought process has frozen the development the student was otherwise capable of making.

Was Christ a hurtful fellow? Did he not go into the temple, this gentle loving man, perfect I hear, and ask the moneychangers to please find another place than a temple of worship for them to conduct their commerce? That would have been the nice, the loving thing to do.

Maybe I read the story wrong, but did he not TRASH their businesses in an overt act of lawless vandalism? Did he not SCREAM at them in something approaching TRUE anger?

How is it possible that this perfect fellow did not do the nice thing? Is it possible that his truth required a more vigorous exposition than niceness would allow? I am quite sure the moneychangers found these behaviors quite hurtful. But some of them may have stopped setting up business in the temple permanently.

As a matter of fact this one example changed things right up to the present day. No moneychanging in the churches. Tell you what. Next time you go to church, throw a fifty in the collection plate and take out thirty in change. See if you don't get some dirty looks from the ushers.





2 comments:

Maureen said...

Oh, Anthro...

I do miss your input on the forum. You have demonstrated to me the pitfalls of being raised in an organized religion. I suspect your father messed you up pretty well, and I'm sorry for that.

Whether or not I close my post with "blessings" or not doesn't change my desire that everyone reach their own conclusions about spirituality and consider an "a la carte" opinion as valid as a traditional one.

Lighten up. There is enough pain and suffering and injustice in this world without you, me or anyone else adding to it.

If you think astro is bunk, that's fine. But before you dismiss it, why don't you do your own chart and then if it's not right, than that gives you a point of authority about the fallacy of it. Otherwise, avoiding experimenting with it indicates to me a fear of having to consider the merits of it because it would compromise your belief system whatever that may be.

Blessings,
maureen

P.S. Re censorship... are you confident enough in your position to post this comment on your blog, or is it safer to delete it?

anthropositor said...

Maureen,
An incredible amount of thoughtless time was expended on this subject. One can only do so much to try to bring people out of their superstitions. I fear you are stuck with it.

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