Archive for August, 2020

Chinese Dictatorship Dictates To NBC, The US, Universities

August 19, 2020

As I pointed out before, when gullible folks watch Bill Gates or NBC, they watch what the Chinese dictator want them to watch. Said dictator has deals with, and promotes reciprocally many US plutocratic corporations and individuals. It is likely Xi got to power because of his entanglement with global plutocracy: that made it look, to Communist Party insiders, as if Xi held the keys to the world inside China.

Neither the Chinese, nor the Americans or the Europeans know that this is how we got the Kaiser and Hitler… Or even Hirohito (long story; Hirohito had to go to war once the US president, FDR, watching Japan invade China and Vietnam had to block US plutocrats from selling oil to Japan… and Japan then had no more oil…) In the case of the Kaiser and Hitler, I have detailed, in countless essays, the nefarious role of US plutocrats and their US Deep State. Basically the formers were creatures of the latter.

Nowadays, NBC is owned by Comcast, controlled by one US family and everybody is in bed with dictator Xi (Comcast is investing many billions… In Beijing alone!)

Now the wall Street Journal informs us that:

China’s National-Security Law Reaches Into Harvard, Princeton Classrooms
Professors at elite U.S. universities turn to code names, warning labels to protect students.

Uyghurs enslaved

Almost 370,000 Chinese students and roughly 7,000 from Hong Kong enrolled at U.S. universities in the 2018-19 school year, and academics in the U.S. say they often opt to take classes on Chinese law, culture and politics because they want to understand more about their country and how the world views it.

“We cannot self-censor,” said Rory Truex, an assistant professor who teaches Chinese politics at Princeton. “If we, as a Chinese teaching community, out of fear stop teaching things like Tiananmen or Xinjiang or whatever sensitive topic the Chinese government doesn’t want us talking about, if we cave, then we’ve lost.”

Meg Rithmire, who teaches political science at Harvard Business School, plans similar measures on a compulsory first-year course for roughly 800 students seeking a master’s degree in business administration. One of the case studies discussed requires students to read diaries from Uighur Muslims held in camps in China’s Xinjiang region—where Beijing is accused of large-scale human-rights abuses—and also covers Hong Kong, Taiwan and the legitimacy of the Communist party.

“There is no way that I can say to my students, ‘You can say whatever you want on the phone call and you are totally free and safe here,’” she said. “It’s more about harm mitigation.”

Apparently Xi’s agents have been going around in the West, and talked to some significant Chinese this way:”You can return to China, or you can die.”

Global world plutocracy is as evil as it gets. It brought us Auschwitz. Remember when the Jewish controlled New York Times refused to talk about The Holocaust? That mentality had the immediate consequence that the USA did not go to war to help the French Republic in 1939 and 1940 against the Nazis. So the French got defeated. So there was the Holocaust of the Jews, and another sixty or seventy million people besides, including around ten million Germans. If France had been helped by the USA in 1939 and 1940, this would not have happened. France had huge forces which would have kept the Nazis defeated, if they had attempted landing in North Africa, and German generals, faced with defeat, would have got rid if Hitler instead of the Jews and other victims.

The situation now is exactly the same. US and global plutocrats have been caught using slave labor in China. Dictator Xi policy in China and with the uyghurs satisfies the definition of a holocaust. What does the New York Times do? Accuse Trump, and his “hawkish advisers“, of course. This is exactly what happened in 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941… Instead of seeing evil for what it is, and denouncing it, those who see the evil, and talk about it, are accused of throwing gasoline on the fire.

All collaborators of Xi should be indicted, just as all collaborators of Hitler should have been indicted in 1939. The most significant of these collaborators are not inside China, but on the world stage. Some of the same plutocratic corporations enslaving Uighurs have financed handsomely Black Lives Matter. A slow understanding seem to be surfacing worldwide that we are all on a very slippery surface. Chinese “Wolf Warrior” diplomacy — far from reinforcing Beijing’s domineering drive may be bringing the sort of healthy reaction from democracy that we got too late in World War Two.

Patrice Ayme

The Case Against Handguns, Or Why US Progressives Don’t Progress

August 18, 2020

Selling handguns to the civilian population, is a US specificity. Most handguns in the world, aside from military possession, are owned by US civilians. Some carry 40 bullets or so… There is no justification for it… except for killing and maiming many US residents (a laudable goal, according to some, I must admit).

Outlawing handguns for non-military, non-police, non-threatened civilians: basic civilization 101.
Cause everybody knows criminals always obey the law.
Law enforcement, like health care, is best done by professionals. Police rarely assassinates unjustly a la George Floyd (70 cases a year?) Civilians, though kill dozens of thousands of people they didn’t even want to kill really, once they know all the disagreements that entails… every year…)
Several points here: there were 1004 fatal police shootings in the USA in 2019. The most recent year for all shootings is 2017, and it shows 39,773 deaths from guns. Most gun deaths (including self-inflicted) are from a significant other. In the case of Black Lives Matter, more than 90% of male Black Lives killed violently are killed by other male Black Lives. Some will say; Oh, but Black Lives live among Black Lives, so Black Lives live, cook, sleep and kill together, this is completely normal.
The Black Lives Matter Movement, formed in 2013, financed by plutocrats and their corporations, has protested police brutality in the U.S. by organizing “die-ins”, marches, and demonstrations in response to the killings of black men and women by police. There are around 200 Black Lives killed by police a year in the USA. In 2017, 457 whites were killed by police.

Those who are anti-police think Black Lives Matter so much, they should be free to kill each other as much as they want…

As Black Homicide Victimization puts it:…”black homicide victimization rate is four times the national homicide victimization rate, and more than six times the homicide victimization rate for whites. More than 85 percent of black homicide victims are shot and killed with guns. These facts are both appalling and unacceptable. An important part of ending the gun violence epidemic is to reduce homicides in the African-American community.
So one would think that great progressive Sanders is against handguns. Think again. But he will not tell you this outright. Instead, Bernie is a master of dissimulation. (Don’t accuse me to hate Bernie Sanders, I don’t have Political Derangement Syndrome, PDS: I voted for Bernie Sanders several times…) Here is Bernie Sanders’ gun program, from his web site, it’s most significant for what it doesn’t say:
  • Take on the NRA and its corrupting effect on Washington.
  • Expand background checks.
  • End the gun show loophole. All gun purchases should be subject to the same background check standards.
  • Ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons. Assault weapons are designed and sold as tools of war. There is absolutely no reason why these firearms should be sold to civilians.
  • Prohibit high-capacity ammunition magazines.
  • Implement a buyback program to get assault weapons off the streets.
  • Regulate assault weapons in the same way that we currently regulate fully automatic weapons — a system that essentially makes them unlawful to own.
  • Crack down on “straw purchases” where people buy guns for criminals.
  • Support “red flag” laws and legislation to ensure we keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers
  • Ban the 3-D printing of firearms and bump stocks

(Bump stocks can make automatic weapons of any gun.) I approve all these measures, of course. But they are all about military weapons… The sort of weapons explaining why US police tends to be trigger happy… There are at least 20 million assault rifles in the USA.

But handguns? Progressive Bernie has never heard of them, he won’t progress that way. The Small Arms Survey stated that U.S. civilians alone account for 393 million (about 46 percent) of the worldwide total of civilian held firearms. This amounts to “120.5 firearms for every 100 residents.”

More than 85 percent of black homicide victims are shot and killed with guns. Bernie Sanders does not mind. The guns. Black Lives Matter not as much as guns.

So today Bernie spoke at the Democratic Convention, supporting for president a guy who didn’t just crucially collaborate to invade Iraq in 2003, but also avoided 500,000 dollars of healthcare tax in two years by posing as an S Corporation. Hey Biden made only 13 million dollars in these two years.

Bernie Sanders attacks the National Rifle Association (see above). It reminds me of Hitler attacking plutocrats (who got him elected). Indeed the NRA financed Bernie Sanders. Official enemies, but, actually collaborators! The NRA did this by handsomely financing attack ads against Sanders opponents…

Sanders lies about guns. Biden lies about health care, or even having common decency. With progressives like that, who needs regression?

How to get out of this mess? By telling the truth. But if one tells the truth about Trump or the Democrats, one gets badly insulted by ignorant, hateful people, so it hurts. But it can be sustained, precisely because they are hateful, ignorant people, similar to mosquitoes, those stinging, ignorant creatures.

Truth hurts, but it is the Truth. And that’s the truth. 

(Trump spent most of his life as a very noisy anti-establishment, anti-globalization Democrat; things got sour when Obama personally attacked him… Then Trump took over the Republican Party; this is why the Republican plutocratic establishment prefers Biden: they hate the We The People agenda of Trump… and love Bernie, or Biden aptitude for lying…)

The truth shall not make us free, but it is a divinity worth worshipping.

Patrice Ayme

Is Intelligence The Definition Of Quantum Life? … Spatial Consequences…

August 16, 2020

IS LIFE, QUANTUM VERSION, CLEVER ENOUGH TO CREATE WHAT WE CAN’T? Yet? 

Obviously… As humanity gets beaten up by COVID 19, one may want to ponder how clever life is. Is COVID 19 a clever answer? To a question which was not asked enough? Do you, humanity, have enough decency to be clever enough to survive? What about space? How does life survives that? OK, it’s not exactly booming in Antarctica’s Dry Valleys. 

There are two aspects, contradicting each other, one disfavorable to life, the other favorable, which may not have been given enough weight in evaluating Advanced Intelligence in space. First the situation of Earth is special, very stable, in part from having a large Moon (compare with Mars’ wild rotation axis tumbling, with super winters, and super summers). Plus, the solar system is historically stable: no supernova exploded real close in the last 4 billion years. Many are the disasters possible, out there in space.

Disaster land: Scott, who discovered them, called Antarctica Dry Valleys the “valleys of death”. Katabatic winds regularly reach 300 kilometers per hour, and more, all the way down them… This is only 1,300 kilometers from the South Pole…

Red Dwarves, which are both most frequent and most unstable, are a case in point, with huge flares, Coronal Mass Ejections. They may be OK for human colonization, but biological evolution to multicellular level, is something else.

40 BILLION EARTHS? Yes & NO.

However, and in the other direction, it is likely that biological evolution is in great part a Quantum Process. Basically, to put it bluntly, the Quantum is intelligent (think about the interference pattern from the double slit: how does the photon know where to go? More prosaically, electrons find, Quantum Mechanically, the lowest energy solutions, as if they were little sorcerers: if that’s not clever, what is? This is used crucially in life forms extracting energy from the sun).

The delicate architecture of DNA is Quantum-sensitive to environmental conditions: if things change inside a cell, DNA can change in a selection-of-the fittest DNA. A process quicker than the selection of the fittest species, and which will appear as clever telenomic adaptation harnessing necessity beyond chance. 

So Quantum biology may be clever enough to survive in conditions which look impossible to us… Or even to be created in impossible conditions (think Red Dwarves).

The most sinister interpretation of the Fermi Paradox is not that civilizations don’t last. It is that they are in hiding, because it’s a jungle out there. That’s the Dark Forest theme found in many science fiction novels. Exploring Earth, Mars, Europa, Enceladus, and the closest star systems, should throw light on the subject. It’s possible that life is stuck at a very primitive level, all over. Indeed we don’t know how life evolved on Earth, thus, how likely the different steps… Quantum Computers should help with lowest energy solutions to find those probabilities…

The Antarctic Dry Valleys are basically deprived of life. However, there is some.

Researchers have discovered that Antarctica Dry Valleys are home to a variety of extremophiles (organisms that live in extreme environments). Among them are lichen and mosses, communities of microbes (including cyanobacteria), and nematodes (microscopic worms). Researchers continue to find and study these and other organisms and their adaptations, which allow them to survive in one of the most punishing environments on the planet. A natural question is: how well would they do on Mars? For that matter, is there life on the summit of Mount Everest? Everest has bare rock expanses, not far from the summit, in conditions reminiscent of the Dry Valleys. Now, of course the highest atmospheric pressure on Mars corresponds to 28,000 meters on Earth… (it’s at the lowest point of Mars geoid, 8,200 meters below it… A more subtle observation is that they may not have had enough space and time, and stable enough an environment to evolve…

Life is smart. Maybe that’s its definition. How smart? Our own expansion away from Earth will help us figure it out…

Patrice Ayme

Camelot Harris Is The Proper Pronunciation, Not Kamala Harris

August 12, 2020

Biden had to select Kamala Harris, I pointed out in the past. She is a total arriviste, a consummate liar, and as Tucker Carlson said:”tell her to say something and she will say it, that’s the whole point of Kamala Harris“. Indeed. She will do, and has done, anything. Being girlfriend to the notorious Willie Brown, an expensive car collector long the most important politician in California, was the most blatant of these exploits…

So now say anything against Kamala, and you will be taxed a racist, and an enemy of Afro-Americans. Tucker Carlson was accused of mispronouncing her name, proof of his disrespect:

https://www.cnn.com/videos/media/2020/08/12/tucker-carlson-mispronounces-kamala-harris-fox-news-sot-newday-vpx.cnn

In truth, nobody knows how she pronounces her name. It’s an Indian name. And none of her two parents were African-American, for the good reason that they were aliens (that was long my title too, so I know).  By coincidence I am extremely familiar with where Kamala was living, and it’s not the worst part of town. I am OK with it, and that’s where plenty of little white and Asian children go to school nowadays. But Kamala says she was living in a terrible place, and saved by 80 minutes of busing, every day. Her bus was going mostly north and Kamala was going to a school at the foot of the hills (north north east of her apartment; west is supposed to be bad, east, up the hills, good; the point is that she was bused north).

The end result of the busing policy in Berkeley is that black children got a terrible bus experience, instead of going to good schools. This sort of idiotic pseudo-progressivism invented a new mental state: pseudo-leftism, where one achieves the opposite of what one claims to want to achieve. Pseudo-leftism is well financed, because it serves the plutocracy well, this is why billionaires fund it. It’s barking up the wrong tree all day long.

Racist parents switched to private schools, and Kamala’s home is now, ironically and tellingly enough, a Montessori School (a very expensive private school). The black population of the Berkeley flats (where I have lived four time longer than Kamala the racialized) went from 40% to neglectable…

Great job.

If one wants to help minorities, one installs superb schools where they live, one does not move them around all day long like cattle, or Cherokee Indians on the Trail of Tears.

Kamala, 12 year old, followed her elite mom professor to another elite university, in French Canada. Meanwhile her elite dad university professor went to elite Stanford. I was long at both Stanford and Berkeley, and I can tell you you get nowhere there if you don’t serve The Man.

Camelot was the court of the legendary King Arthur. a brief shining moment resisting the Anglo-Saxon invaders… It’s actually a French invention.

Camelot is a castle and court associated with the semi-legendary King Arthur. Absent in the early Arthurian material, Camelot first appeared in 12th-century French romances and, since the Lancelot-Grail cycle, eventually came to be described as the fantastic capital of Arthur’s realm…

“Camelot” was how one describes in the USA the dreamboat of the JFK presidency, which had it all: wealth (JFK was much wealthier than Trump), danger (the Kennedys had crucial mafia connections), heroism (JFK was a total war hero, and was crippled by disease), dashing (no girl left unturned), revolutionary (all businessmen are sons of bitches, declared JFK, quoting his mafia connected Nazi admiring dad),, and visionary (to the moon in ten years)…

Quoting Wikipedia: In American contexts, Camelot refers to the presidency of John F. Kennedy. In a 1963 Life interview, Jacqueline, his widow, referenced a line from the Lerner and Loewe musical to describe the Kennedy era White House: “Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot.” She indicated that it was one of Kennedy’s favorite lyrics from the musical and added, “there’ll be great Presidents again, but there’ll never be another Camelot again. […] It will never be that way again.”

Camelot came to describe, in the collective unconscious, a world of degeneracy, luxury, shallowness… The present system of electoral politics selects for ruthless arriviste in the Kamala Harris mould, only believing that arriving to Camelot is all what counts…

So we select automatically for the worst to lead us, the basest, the vilest, the most materially interested. Trump Derangement Syndrome people are sure to say Trump is the same… However, there is this: Trump held some real political convictions from way back, when he was a teenager, when he sued the Federal government for discrimination (about his father company being discriminative, something The Donald found itself discriminative)… Later he really raged against Reagan’s economics and its friendly global plutocratization… The epitome of which was the Obama presidency. Obama was going around saying how much he admired Reagan (I always hated Reagan… he did nothing good, except nationalizing hundreds of banks, something Obama didn’t do, in a worse crisis). So Trump hated Obama for that, and Obama reciprocated. Hence one can say Trump has genuine political convictions.

Harris has none, no conviction, but for Harris achieving Camelot. Camelot Harris is what defines her. This being said she is much better than war criminal Neocon Rice (who hopefully Camelot Harris will prevent to resurface… I am not holding my breath…)

Patrice Ayme

***

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[P/S: Upon lawyer’s unsolicited advice, minor parts of this essay were modified.]

Snake Psychoanalysis

August 7, 2020

Yesterday I launched myself in one of these completely insane plans I use for resetting my values just right, that is most humanly. I went half running, half walking up a low angle mountain, to reach a ridge above the grand canyon of the Mokelumne river. Then the plan was to go east towards another mountain along said ridge, and then down a three mile trail (which I had inaugurated before it was a trail, long ago).

At some point the trail I was on veered full west, but I was going north, where the ridge was. Tired and impatient, I decided to aim at the ridge, cross country. Of these sorts of decisions, the best wildlife encounters are made. Once I met an entire bear family, observing the fact that the pseudo-scientific lore that the bear dad was not staying with bear mom was blatantly false. It became even more interesting when the cubs decided to enquire about the strange ape, and mom barked out orders to all concerned. I was not proud for all too long. That was five miles from the closest trail, another stroke of genius.

So, in my latest ill-conceived plan, I was going up a south facing volcanic slope with a few giant cedar trees, with red fibrous fuzzy bark some probably more than a millennium old, three meters across at the base. There was significant underbrush, in full sun. The ground was black volcanic material. Just the sort of terrain snakes like. Not too cold in winter and the understory, thick in places, provides shade from too much sun. I had my guard down, because I was at 8,000 feet, and I was more worried about the direction of my undertaking, cross country. Suddenly I became aware of a sound, the sound of scales brushing scales, my automatic system said, while motion was detected. This is the sort of interesting situations when part of the brain goes into very slow time. The advantage of slow time is that there is plenty of time for automatized part of the brain for taking decisions. The rest of the brain is like a spectator at the movies, disconnected from all irrelevant sensory information. I had become a optical information processing machine. Brain automatisms focused left less than 4 feet away, trying to comprehend the origin of motion.

A full stop to forward body motion had been ordered. Meanwhile the first analysis came back completely blank: never seen anything like that. Seemed big. Then meta alert systems screamed snake, probably from the fact that motion going one way and the opposite had been detected, while automatic visual analysis made another pass, trying to understand the strange happenings, now in the context of (pacific) snakes. I had no encounter with venomous snake recently, so that’s why i was not panicking.

It was a fascinating flow of occurrences in a potentially disastrous context. In the new snake context my neurology had embraced, this tangle of uniformly grey curves seemed to be an enormous specimen of California Boa (which are found at this altitude, even perched in trees, as I saw at least once; they are olive grey and uniform in color, as I was observing; other snakes have patterns and colors).

So, perfectly cool, because boas, however enormous, are cool, I looked better, and came back with a strikingly black picture, oriented away from me, way out of the dynamically entangling snake’s body: it was long and straight and looked exactly like a fer de lance, the tip of a lance, the last foot and a half of a lance, with an impressive triangular head. I knew what it was, but still couldn’t believe it. RATTLESNAKE! Weirdly, because I was so out of the context of “rattlesnake”, having just been into boas, I didn’t get the adrenalin rush.

Huge Olive grey rattlesnake, Black, Bear Mountain August 2020, 8,000 feet. Picture is fuzzy, but one can see clearly part of the gigantic rattle. I could have taken better pictures, but I didn’t want the situation to degenerate, which could have disastrous consequences for all concerned. Lucky stars shouldn’t be taunted. The snake had sheltered in place, firmly indicated that his black life mattered, and further disturbing of the peace was ill-advised…

I went around the bush at the bottom of the big tree. The snake, a potential escape route blocked, had stopped and SHELTERED IN PLACE, at the foot of the large tree trunk, hidden by a bush.

After getting the camera out, I pondered the alternatives, which were numerous. First I had to thank my lucky star. This had been very close: my face was easily within striking distance of the long creature. Had it decided to attack, and inject venom, instead of retreating, I would have died, just there. And venomous snakes know they are dangerous, and can be extremely aggressive. Some individual snakes are prudent as snakes are supposed to be, and here was apparently one. It was not its fault if it didn’t feel me come, the soil was volcanic sand, so vibrations don’t go far…  And it was trying to go away, its head was as away from me as it was trying to find a place to hide.

Second, I could make tests on animal intelligence. Snakes are one of preferred objects of study. Although I didn’t meet a viper recently, I have met plenty over the years, and I fear them intensely. Although the snake did not initially seem aggressive, I take myself for god, in the matter of snakes, and I practice snake psychoanalysis, according to the highest ethical principles. I don’t kill non venomous snakes. 

Venomous snakes are another matter. Even if they don’t kill you, they can maim you for life. There are two types of venomous snakes, according to me: good guys and bad guys. In Europe, vipers are protected. Still, bad guys die under my jurisdiction. A bad snake is an attacking snake. Now, once in Senegal I saw a Black Mamba. It fled, faster than I could run. One Black Mamba rearing a meter high, will stop a buffalo herd. Lions will not. At that time I was just a child, and not into reptilian psychoanalysis. What did that snake knew which i didn’t?

Another time, in the Grisons, the Swiss Alps, still a child, but an older, more combative sort of child, I was charged, on a trail I was ascending, by a viper. I had no idea why the hissing creature charged down, nor did I have time to ponder the situation. The stone flew instinctively and the viper died instantaneously… In the past, the Alps were full of vipers. Because idiotic humans had killed all the birds who prey on them. Now the birds are back, and the vipers have become very rare. 

***

I am not going to tell all my snakes stories here, that would take a book. A memorable one was in Verdon, a deep gorge in France where climbing is practiced. We were 300 meters up, and my partner above had stopped. Suddenly he screamed: VIPER! I looked up and saw a strange sight: a snake, flying in the air!  The viper was undulating in such a way it had achieved some form of lift. Very recent studies have shown that, indeed, just as all snakes can swim, some can fly. They flatten their bodies and become flying bodies. My partner had got to the end of the rope, where the belay was. It was a very narrow ledge, barely the width of a hand, he had to stop and the venomous legless one threatened him, before deciding to take flight. How it found itself on that mini ledge, at the bottom of a chimney with very smooth walls which I led next, was extremely baffling.

It reminded me of my grandfather mantling on a ledge, also at the end of his rope, and finding a viper on the same ledge. Or my spouse, following the pitch I had just led, on a huge 2,000 feet high rock climb in Ailefroide, confronted by a three foot long black viper. 

That Bear Mountain rattlesnake was dark grey, exactly the color of the ground in the area, and of the treebark it was lodged along. No patterns. I had never seen the description of such a snake, and I believe it’s a new subspecies. The closest black rattlesnake is an endangered species in Arizona, 1,000 kilometers away. But it was a rattlesnake alright, it was brandishing above itself an impressive six inches (15 cm) rattle, purple and white.

To ascertain the character of the astonishing creature, I delicately threw its way, light pieces of bark. It hissed mightily after each impact in its vicinity, but did not rattle. Nor did it charge out. Its message was clearly: I will defend myself, but I am not going to attack. It was definitely a good guy, and I stopped bothering it. We had met by happenstance. It could have killed me, but it let me live, and the least I could do, was to do the same. I also suspect it’s a new subspecies, or at least certainly a special breed. 

That Black Life mattered and was allowed to proceed.

But I will have to remind myself never to go across that particular stretch, and in the three cross country episodes which followed the preceding in the next two hours, I was much more careful in aiming for open ground. 

***

For “animal lovers”, let me explain a bit more: my main relaxation is to go through wild areas, for example mountain ranges. OK, the word “relaxation” may seem strange, as much of the usually unused part of the brain have to be on high alert… But the rest of the brain can relax. In the sea, in Africa, I used to swim with harpoon and a huge serrated combat knife on the leg. Being so equipped is reassuring when next to the greatest white shark you have ever seen (another story). In the wild ranges, when I feel in danger, I carry stones. Once I was charged by a Black Bear, in Yosemite Back Country, and I threw a hefty stone at him. Usually, when confronted by aggressive bears, I throw stones at trees, and that’s enough to make them go away: bears know and fear stones, if you are master of stones, you are master of something they fear, and they flee. But that particular bear had attacked a whole caravan of backcountry hikers earlier, and made a good meal from their backpacks. And I was carrying chickens (for a BBQ with family and friends, ten miles from the road). Chicken dinner made Mr. Bear nuts with desire, and he charged. Until he met with my stone. Thereafter he fled for his life. Three weeks later, rangers tracked it down, and killed it. It had grievously injured a grandmother. 

Good wild animals, even snakes, generally respect humans. Bad ones… well, except if extremely endangered species, they should die. This is implicitly the policy set in place in California. Authorities kill bad bears, bad coyotes, and bad mountain lions. Only thus can these dangerous animals be allowed to live in proximity to humans, because only good animals fostering good animal culture are allowed to live.

The case of rattlesnakes is striking. Although there is no such a thing as rattlesnake culture, there are definitively varying rattlesnake mentalities. Most are pacific, but some are not. Twice I met rattlers barring my way. Once it was on a fireroad, but the snake was seven feet long, or so. The other time, the night was coming, and the path was very narrow, and Mr. Snake, blocking my way, was determined to fight. The first snake had to be hit by stones twice before it made way, the second kept on fighting until it was dead. That was clearly a dangerous snake, and it could have killed somebody. In the Berkeley hills, once, in the 1970s, a single rattlesnake killed two young men. Like me, they had been on a slope… And there the hospital is a few miles away…       

What does this all mean? Once I met a gentleman with his pet gopher snake around his neck, a full six feet long. He had found it once in his garden while small. What is striking is that, if you meet a gopher in the wild, it will flee at great speed. Cornered it will try to bite, and make pungy excrements. But there this ex-wild snake was perfectly tame. my five year old daughter played with it. Gopher snake’s brains are peanut sized. Still, high performance. Why? Because they are Quantum Computers. They are all we are, just on much reduced scale: consciousness, and even conscientiousness,  a picture of what the world should be. That large rattler I met survived all sorts of predators, probably by being conscientious about not being over aggressive and over confident. Earlier, I had seen two large Golden Eagles hunting. If they had seen that snake in the open, it was dead. But, for decades, they didn’t see that snake in the open, or then if they did see it, it sheltered in place in such a way that eagles would be discouraged in attacking… which was certainly the case I witnessed.

Survival of the fittest. Meanwhile I am going to think twice before going cross country with underbrush, two hours from road and cell coverage…

Patrice Ayme   

 

Biden-Trump In A Few Words

August 2, 2020

How sincere is Biden when he is promising more than Trump? Not very much: not only he can’t explain how he will finance in excess of the many trillions of emergency spending mostly directed at We The People which President Trump is presently disbursing during The Plague, but Biden is surrounding himself with some of the worst operators, some going back to the Clinton financial pollution presidency. The New York Times, in a spectacular U turn, is becoming aware of this, and published:
Many of his aides and close allies are veteran Washington hands who have profited from advising big corporations. The Sanders-Warren wing of the party is not happy.”
“INFLUENCE” Industry? Really? Is that a euphemism? What about INFLUENCE CORRUPTION?
I sent a comment… And, amazingly, the New York Times published it! Here it is:
Aug. 1

Electoral politics selects for individuals who will say whatever it takes to get elected. It’s just greed for power. When I listen to Mr. Biden’s progressive discourses and compare them to his reality over the last four decades, I am mystified that so many “democrats” are so incredibly naive as to believe what Mr. Biden is saying.

In the 1980s, Biden was one of these many professional democratic politicians who made possible the right wing turn of the USA, by helping to convert Reagan’s oligarchic ideas into laws. It was more of the same in the 1990s, by passing a ferocious law which struck those who couldn’t afford expensive lawyers. Biden was the author of the law. My spouse worked two years to get a (black) gentleman a pardon from Obama. He had got a life sentence… for having a pipe in his pocket. He has four children. Speak of systemic racism. In preparation for the Iraq war, Mr. Biden set up a commission which came up with the idea of accusing Iraq of having WMDs. After resisting the suggestion, Bush used the lie and invaded Iraq. “People with both government and private sector experience” is a euphemism for plutocratic operators. Their real expertise is in how to rip off We the People. Real progressives may have fewer reasons to believe in the progressivism of Mr. Biden than that of Trump… who, at least, furiously opposed the Reagan plutocratic globalization of the 1980s… which had disastrous effects as so may good jobs and intellectual property went to China.

“So very true.”
***
OK, that was the end of the “few words”. Biden’s interface with plutocracy comes from people such as Mr. Ricchetti:

Lobbyist. Richetti at the White House under Clinton. Who elected him? Why is he reigning over us? One of the right arms of Clinton, and then Biden. Read the NYT on Richetti in the P/S below

Now for further analysis of the NYT article:
NYT: “Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is at odds with powerful elements of his party’s liberal base over the role former lobbyists might play in a potential Biden administration.
Then the New York Times narrates a very telling tale:
The vice president privately complained that his boss’s effort to slam shut the revolving door between K Street and the administration would deprive it of experienced talent, and he bristled when Mr. Obama’s aides tried to block him from hiring a well-connected Washington operator who had lobbied for pharmaceutical and insurance companies, credit agencies and others.
To give an idea of the context, a powerful Democratic Senator had just been defeated in his latest re-election campaign… and just got a compensation from the pharmaceutical industry in excess of ten million dollars (details are in some of my essays written at the time).

Eight years later, that same confidant, Steve Ricchetti, is helping to run Mr. Biden’s presidential campaign. Also involved to varying degrees are other advisers, operatives, fund-raisers and allies with deep connections to Washington’s lucrative lobbying, communications and strategic consulting industry.

That puts Mr. Biden at odds with powerful elements of his party’s liberal base. Increasingly, they are expressing concern that the military contractors, Wall Street banks and other major corporations that paid members of Mr. Biden’s inner circle while they were out of government could hold disproportionate power in a Biden administration.

It’s worrisome, broadly speaking, that a Biden administration could end up abiding by the unfortunate bipartisan norms of putting people in posts where they oversee industries or employers they just left,” said David Segal, co-founder of the liberal group Demand Progress.

His organization was among those that sent a letter to the Biden and Trump campaigns this week asking them not to appoint anyone to senior administration positions overseeing interests they served in the private sector.”

The corruption is deep. Obama had named as commerce secretary an hereditary billionairess. Her brother, also a multibillionaire, became “Democratic” governor of Illinois, after buying that position for roughly 200 million dollars, helped by the (plutocratically owned) “democratic media.

The objection that Trump does similar things is neither here nor there: the Trump networks are not as deep. When Trump deals with the “Democratic” governor, of, say, New Jersey, he is confronted with a DINO, a Democrat In Name Only, truly an extremely wealthy Goldman Sachs partner. Goldman Sachs led and managed the abrogation of President Roosevelt 1933 Banking Act (conveniently obscurantly nicknamed called “Glass Steagall”). Rubin, Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, was GS ex-CEO. Whatever Trump did, it pales in insignificance relative to this. New York Times:

“Mr. Ricchetti spent years as a registered lobbyist, and through a company called Ricchetti Consulting Group is being paid by both the Biden campaign and AT&T, his only corporate client over the last nine years. Anita Dunn, Mr. Biden’s chief campaign strategist, was also still doing work for AT&T last month.

As of Saturday Ms. Dunn is taking “an official leave” from her firm, which had been paid millions in recent years to help an airline advocacy group, while also providing communications advice to an Israeli spyware firm and the fugitive Nissan executive Carlos Ghosn, for whom the firm had been registered to lobby. It ended all those client relationships in the past year.

A leading candidate to become defense secretary, Michèle A. Flournoy, started a firm whose website lists work for financial services, technology and pharmaceutical companies. The former C.I.A. and Obama national security official Avril Haines, who consulted for the data-mining company Palantir, on Saturday resigned from Ms. Flournoy’s firm to begin work on Mr. Biden’s transition team.

None of these advisers are registered as lobbyists, reflecting a trend in which major corporate and foreign players hire former officials as consultants, or as legal counsel, allowing them to use their connections and expertise, while avoiding the notoriety and disclosure requirements that come with formal lobbying. This phenomenon was exacerbated by Mr. Obama’s lobbying policy.”

The New York Times brandishes a bit of naive hope at the bottom of its long article; only fools will pay attention:

“Ms. Warren proposed a plan that would expand the definition of lobbying to include consultants and lawyers who try to influence government, while barring corporate lobbyists from joining the government for six years. Supporters of Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren are pushing Mr. Biden’s team to go further than he has on those issues.”
One may as well ask a Black Mamba to use its venom less, next time it strikes.
The basic story of Biden is that he spent his entire life, after the age of twenty-nine, getting elected, and making money from that. He was elected to the US Senate before the minimum age. Then he spent decades in the Senate, before becoming Obama’s VP. Now elected politicians’ salaries are measly. However right now, Biden lives in no less than three mansions.
Biden likes to depict himself as “average Joe”, but he recently admitted that, when he was in his twenties his salary was $40,000 ($340,000 in 2020 dollars). Biden’s father, Joe Sr., was raised in a life of privilege, complete with polo matches and hunting trips in the Adirondacks, thanks to the lucrative career of his own father, Joseph, who ran a division of American Oil. In other words, we are dealing here with small scale hereditary plutocracy, complete with fossil fuels.
Right, Trump was incomparably wealthier, when young. However Trump was always an enemy of the system: his family, originally from Germany, considered itself a victim of racism, and adopted a low profile which The Donald, a rebel, didn’t embrace. The result is that Trump opposed fiercely Reagan’s global plutocratization, which is the very worst beast around: Roman plutocracy used that very exact trick to deprive the Roman People of all its capabilities, rights, aspirations and self-esteem. Global plutocratization escapes the law, which is the foundation of any Republic. Once that is in place, you will not even have the time to kiss democracy goodbye.
***
I hope this answer in more details’ Paul Handover from learningfromdogs.com, recent query:
Paul: “I think I read in one of your recent posts that, on balance, you are in favour of Pres. Trump. Could you articulate that in more detail? (And I’m not taking a position here. Just trying to become more informed from someone, I suspect, knows a whole lot more about American politics that I.)”
I was indeed involved with US presidential politics in connection with Obama… I got there from family history much older than Obama’s relationship with his wife. Obama meant well, but he couldn’t get any traction: didn’t know enough, and not nasty enough.
The only thing Obama was right on, and I was wrong was Space X. Obama believed in Musk, and I didn’t. This is no small potatoes: technology does not just drive civilization, it is its savior. One day it has to be, and this day has arrived: consider the CO2 problem. China has the greatest renewable energy park, and has been making recently the largest coal investments ever. Why? Well, because we don’t have miracle batteries yet (although Musk and others are trying their best; the world’s biggest battery company is Chinese…)… and because we don’t seem in any hurry to make hydrogen fusion work (although on that point Trump has been significantly better than Obama).
So Biden? It’s more of the same same old. Same old smoke and mirrors. Whatever we need,  we don’t need this.  Right now Trump is presiding over an unrecognizable US economy, where renters and mortgage holders don’t have to pay either rents or mortgages… Lenin would have been stunned that a capitalist president would make such changes… However it had already been the same story with the two Roosevelts.
One thing Lenin was deeply leery of was global plutocratization…. although US plutocrats such as the Harriman brothers, pillars of the Democratic party, developed the Baku oil for the USSR… And not just that. Lenin joked that the capitalists were so greedy, they would sell the rope to hang them with… But the Harrimans became (literally), Heroes of the Soviet Union… And they had the last laugh, playing Hitler against Stalin, and reciprocally.
Having sincere leaders is the least we can ask for.  With Biden we get a huge lie, and it already shows so much, even the New York Times is starting to see it. It is a charming progress that the New York Times is coming close to admit that this is so. meanwhile, all those progressives who want to be stabbed in the back one more time, have the option to vote for the most professional politician in Washington, Biden Junior, son of Biden Senior, son of Biden…
Is this Saudi Arabia?
Patrice Ayme

***

***

P/S: Ricchetti started his career at the same time as Biden, around 1982… After three years in government, or so, using the so-called “Revolving Door”, which should be the Revolting Door, he came to be in charge of “Congress Communications” for a large private company. Stealth was essential. NYT on Steve Ricchetti:

“Mr. Ricchetti — a self-effacing fixer likely to occupy a top position if Mr. Biden is elected — personifies the prevalence of influence industry veterans in Mr. Biden’s orbit that concerns progressives.

He rose to prominence as a liaison to the Senate under President Bill Clinton. He left the White House in 1995 and opened a lobbying shop where he specialized in health care, with a goal, a person close to him said, of getting back into government once he had set up his family financially.

He was recruited to return to the White House in 1998 by the then-White House chief of staff, John D. Podesta. Mr. Ricchetti sold his firm to Mr. Podesta’s brother Tony, until recently one of the town’s best-known lobbyists.

In 2001, after Mr. Clinton left office, Mr. Ricchetti opened a new boutique lobbying firm, Ricchetti Inc.”

Did Planetary Cooling Make Dinosaurs Vulnerable? 

August 1, 2020

The ongoing argument over the theories of dinosaur disappearance all too often ignore that dinosaur populations had already been in decline for tens of millions of years before the impact and, or, volcanic events which caused their brutal demise.

The obvious cause for a dinosaur and sea reptile decline would be cooling of the planet, giving an advantage to animals capable of regulating their internal temperature, in particular by staying warm enough where it mattered: birds and mammals, but also some fishes (tuna, sharks, which can keep their major swim muscles as warm as if they were mammals).

This is a very rough picture, but notice the cooling towards the end of the Cretaceous. Whatever happen next, and massive volcanism and a huge impact certainly happened, drastic cooling would have happen (‘nuclear winter”) for weeks, months, or years…

Indeed dinosaurs and their fellow in the air and the seas, although immensely advanced and efficient in many ways, which enabled them to evolve absolutely gigantic forms in the air or on land, had one Achilles’ heel: they were mesotherms, neither too cold nor too warm, depending a lot of the balmy climate which ruled the planet, all the way to the poles. That does not mean the cold killed them directly. The cold, plus the comparative advantage it gave to small hot and nasty mammals would have, as I have argued in my quasi-extinction theory I also use to explain the quasi disappearance of homo Neanderthalis.

_______

Our results highlight that dinosaurs showed a marked reduction in their ability to replace extinct species with new ones, making them vulnerable to extinction and unable to respond quickly to and recover from the final catastrophic event 66 Mya.

– from research article “Dinosaurs in decline tens of millions of years before their final extinction” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/04/13/1521478113

It’s a bit as with the decline of Rome: dinosaurs could evolve new species, but not a whole new method of staying warm enough to avoid being eaten! Similarly Rome could not change its entire systems of thought and moods, as they all considered slavery the core of civilization! When you are too far in, being wiped out is the only outcome…

Patrice Ayme

***

***

The paper admits that some herbivore dinosaurs species were not in decline… But I gave the reason above for the overall decline.

“Whether dinosaurs were in a long-term decline or whether they were reigning strong right up to their final disappearance at the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event 66 Mya has been debated for decades with no clear resolution. The dispute has continued unresolved because of a lack of statistical rigor and appropriate evolutionary framework. Here, for the first time to our knowledge, we apply a Bayesian phylogenetic approach to model the evolutionary dynamics of speciation and extinction through time in Mesozoic dinosaurs, properly taking account of previously ignored statistical violations. We find overwhelming support for a long-term decline across all dinosaurs and within all three dinosaurian subclades (Ornithischia, Sauropodomorpha, and Theropoda), where speciation rate slowed down through time and was ultimately exceeded by extinction rate tens of millions of years before the K-Pg boundary. The only exceptions to this general pattern are the morphologically specialized herbivores, the Hadrosauriformes and Ceratopsidae, which show rapid species proliferations throughout the Late Cretaceous instead. Our results highlight that, despite some heterogeneity in speciation dynamics, dinosaurs showed a marked reduction in their ability to replace extinct species with new ones, making them vulnerable to extinction and unable to respond quickly to and recover from the final catastrophic event.”


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www.grrrgraphics.com

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because all (Western) philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

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