Damned Heretics

Condemned by the established, but very often right

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Qualified outsiders and maverick insiders are often right about the need to replace received wisdom in science and society, as the history of the Nobel prize shows. This blog exists to back the best of them in their uphill assault on the massively entrenched edifice of resistance to and prejudice against reviewing, let alone revising, ruling ideas. In support of such qualified dissenters and courageous heretics we search for scientific paradigms and other established beliefs which may be maintained only by the power and politics of the status quo, comparing them with academic research and the published experimental and investigative record.

We especially defend and support the funding of honest, accomplished, independent minded and often heroic scientists, inventors and other original thinkers and their right to free speech and publication against the censorship, mudslinging, false arguments, ad hominem propaganda, overwhelming crowd prejudice and internal science politics of the paradigm wars of cancer, AIDS, evolution, global warming, cosmology, particle physics, macroeconomics, health and medicine, diet and nutrition.

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Many people would die rather than think – in fact, they do so. – Bertrand Russell.

Skepticism is dangerous. That’s exactly its function, in my view. It is the business of skepticism to be dangerous. And that’s why there is a great reluctance to teach it in schools. That’s why you don’t find a general fluency in skepticism in the media. On the other hand, how will we negotiate a very perilous future if we don’t have the elementary intellectual tools to ask searching questions of those nominally in charge, especially in a democracy? – Carl Sagan (The Burden of Skepticism, keynote address to CSICOP Annual Conference, Pasadena, April 3/4, 1982).

It is really important to underscore that everything we’re talking about tonight could be utter nonsense. – Brian Greene (NYU panel on Hidden Dimensions June 5 2010, World Science Festival)

I am Albert Einstein, and I heartily approve of this blog, insofar as it seems to believe both in science and the importance of intellectual imagination, uncompromised by out of date emotions such as the impulse toward conventional religious beliefs, national aggression as a part of patriotism, and so on.   As I once remarked, the further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.   Certainly the application of the impulse toward blind faith in science whereby authority is treated as some kind of church is to be deplored.  As I have also said, the only thing ever interfered with my learning was my education. My name as you already perceive without a doubt is George Bernard Shaw, and I certainly approve of this blog, in that its guiding spirit appears to be blasphemous in regard to the High Church doctrines of science, and it flouts the censorship of the powers that be, and as I have famously remarked, all great truths begin as blasphemy, and the first duty of the truthteller is to fight censorship, and while I notice that its seriousness of purpose is often alleviated by a satirical irony which sometimes borders on the facetious, this is all to the good, for as I have also famously remarked, if you wish to be a dissenter, make certain that you frame your ideas in jest, otherwise they will seek to kill you.  My own method was always to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity. (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life magazine) One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways. – Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness (1930) ch. 9

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Barack blowout cripples Clinton

Clintons concede their time is over, as Ohio slips from her grasp

Unsure of his political assumptions, Bill reviews AIDS, may hop to TB as his cause

cuteobamavolunteer.jpgWriting at 6.30pm EST March 4: OK, just kidding, but that is ((was)) our hope, assuming that the latecomers don’t continue to turn around and vote Clinton back in the running. Fortunately this appears to be unlikely, according to InTrade which has the price of Obama at 80.0 and rising to be the nominee, Clinton at 18.0 and falling.

We support Obama as noted before, on the grounds that it will be a great relief to have a tall, agreeable, good looking, intelligent, personable, educated and poised president who can read, think and parse both sides of an issue with convincing grasp and explain his decisions without alienating those who disagree. It is rare to hear a politician speak with such objectivity about whatever contrived thrust the opposing candidate has come up with, and sound so reasonable in dispensing with it.

Obama is already acting like a President as he describes his plans, and we don’t think this is is false confidence. On the international level, of course, there is a propaganda value of immense proportions in him taking the helm.

Obama fever

Maybe we have caught Obama fever too. Certainly to us there is something more to this charismatic man than his easy handling of persona and politics in public. There is that sense of personal integrity and authentic leadership that makes the media marvel that he is so “comfortable in his skin”, something they also write about Michelle. She gets a profile to herself in the New Yorker this week by Lauren Collins – “The Other Obama” – and it is subtitled “Michelle Obama and the politics of candor”.

Obama seems to be born to lead in difficult times, with his clear head and even handed manner. What’s missing in Clinton in our view is his inherent born-to-lead nature – Obama engages directly, and plunges into crowds to shake hands with a will and desire to make contact which she lacks.

Watching her give her increasingly hoarse speeches on policy “when I am President’, and explains how concerned she is for those who face health catastrophe for lack of insurance, or loss of their homes for lack of foresight, it seems to us that Hillary’s ambition for herself shows through quite as much as her genuine determination to improve the lives of others. On the other hand one feels that Obama is not seeking to ride the ideals he professes to the White House to gain advantage for himself, but for their own sake and for the sake of all. This is the effect of his cadences and his manner on us. It evokes trust. Clinton claims, Obama is.

When either of the Clintons talk, however, we don’t feel moral transcendence, or sense self-sacrificial public service. Instead, their professed goals of public benefit and charity are down to earth and operate on a mundane level of realistic, almost cynical action, as if to get things done one needs to follow as much as lead, to compromise and adapt to the exigencies of practical politics, and work within the system, rather than to inspire and lead to somewhere new and better. In other words, pure pragmatism with a whiff of self advancement in wielding power and influence, against the power of principle and a genuine desire to improve the world.

Perhaps this is because Hillary doesn’t seem very anxious to produce her tax returns, and Bill wants to hide the sometimes huge contributions made to his foundation (he earned $750,000 for a visit to the inauguration of a new search engine in December). Clinton is now a multimillionaire from his speeches and appearances, and we think it is notable that his priority in supporting his misguided cause of expanding the pipeline of drugs to Africans suffering from “AIDS” is to make sure that it remains profitable for the companies concerned. Is there anything wrong with that? Not really, but it is a different kind of leadership from that empowering Obama’s campaign, which is based on small donors on the Web.

Then of course there is the sleaze factor which seems to have emerged on the Clinton side in the last week or two with their preoccupation with making whatever trivial accusations they could scrape up in seeming desperation against the Obama tide.

Moral stature is an element which probably doesn’t register with the blue collar whites who may be Clinton’s saviors in Ohio, and her concern with the bottom line will redouble her appeal to this group. So we are braced to be wrong about Obama pulling well ahead of Clinton in a decisive manner tonight, although he is now winning in Vermont, according to CNN.

Let’s hope not, since after all McCain will find it much easier to defeat Clinton than Obama if the pundits have it right. Meanwhile the citizens of Brattleboro, Vermont have voted to arrest Bush and Cheney….
10.45 pm:

Clinton finds her footing again, for now

Will Democrats wreck themselves in domestic strife?

hillarytriumphant.jpgClinton has won Ohio, CNN estimates!

How fast things change. So the attack ads, and economic worries, prevailed. So much for InTrade, which is reversing its odds – Obama is back down to 76.3, Clinton back up to 22.0. Evidently InTrade is not the leading indicator in this race that we thought.

Texas with its very messy double voting on this one day is now running neck and neck within a few thousand primary votes, 49%/49%, Obama has won Vermont, Clinton has won Rhode Island – and McCain is already having a field day decrying Democrats for questioning NAFTA and our approaching success in Iraq….could it be that the cynics who earlier forecast a McCain win in November are right after all, with the Democrats immolating themselves in an extended household quarrel which leaves both contenders crippled on the national stage? Is Clinton the new Nader?

Texas remains unpredictable, though Clinton’s lead is inching up. Apparently the blue collar groups in the countryside are for Clinton as saving them from NAFTA induced ruin, but the big cities are not counted yet, and there Obama is stronger. With delegates not allocated by winner take all, we have to wait for the actual count tomorrow.

But even with Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas Clinton is barely hanging on, and is still behind in delegates. Her attack ads have turned the tide somewhat, though they make Obama seem to occupy the high ground. Yet her crowing “Yes we will” speech over regaining her momentum and making history for little girls seems premature. Obama is still in the lead, and may soon be more decisive in his campaign command after the NAFTA debacle last week.

11.40 pm: Obama congratulates Hillary on her two wins, but emphasizes he is the candidate that aims to unite for change, and to replace the old policies that McCain endorses.

But in Texas, only 14% of votes in. Can Obama make his own comeback?

One thing seems clear. He has to be decisive and commanding, and not repeat his NAFTA mistake re the Canadians. Otherwise his staying above the fray will not work, and the whole thing will degenerate into a very big mess of internecine strife.

McCain is right to chortle.

Writing at 1 am March 5 Wed:

CNN predicts Clinton wins Texas primary, but the caucusing delegates are still to come.

Whatever happens with that, it now seems certain that the Democrats are on their way to wasting a large portion of the $85 million raised in the last month ($50 million for Obama, $35 million for Clinton) battling each other, while McCain, with his paltry $15 million, smiles like a Cheshire cat at the prospect.

Writing at 10.30 am March 5 Wed:

Clinton suggesting a combined ticket!

Clinton: Ticket With Obama May Be “Where This Is Headed”

Still glowing from her big wins in Ohio and Texas, Hillary Clinton made some news this morning on CBS’s The Early Show when she suggested that a Clinton/Obama general election ticket was a real possibility.

Co-anchor Harry Smith fueled the flames of speculation when he said to Clinton, “We talked to a lot of people in Ohio who said there really isn’t that significant a difference between you two, and they’d like to see you both on the ticket.”

It was a question the New York senator could have easily sidestepped. But she chose to answer it head on.

“Well, that may, you know, be where this is headed,” Clinton said. “But of course, we have to decide who’s on the top of the ticket, and I think that the people of Ohio very clearly said that it should be me.”

The prospect of a Clinton/Obama ticket has been suggested countless times by pundits and Democratic voters who are torn between the two superstar candidates. And while Clinton and Obama have both alluded to the possibility of joining forces in the past, this seems to be the first time that either has left the door so wide open.

Clinton and Obama together would certainly rescue the situation as far as the Democratic party and its coffers are concerned. But will Obama capitulate at this point and accept her offer?

Looks like another dream to us.

How about with the roles reversed ie with him on top, running the world while Hillary hanging around with Bill as co-vice presidents?

A SNL sketch, indeed.

March 5 5.30 pm

Obama is still dropping on Intrade, 73.0 after a fall of 0.6, but Hillary after bouncing back to 29.5 also dropping again, 3.0 down to 26.5.

3 Responses to “Barack blowout cripples Clinton”

  1. Baby Pong Says:

    I predicted that Slick Hilly would make a comeback in the Texas and Ohio primaries. Too bad I had not visited your blog in a while or I would have posted my prediction.

    The election is following a pre-written script. The writers of the script want an exciting horse race because that will help persuade the sheeple that they are participating in “democracy” in action. In reality, Hilly was elected president 2 years ago or earlier, when David cast his vote at the Bilderberg conference.

    What you are seeing is a charade, a dog and pony show to make the masses believe that they have democracy, when in reality the super-elite pick all the candidates. They picked Barack, too. The whole idea is you have to have two people who are “liberal” archetypes, i.e., a black and a woman, in order to mask the reality that both of them are devoted to the New World Order of globalization, which amounts to a world corporate dictatorship run largely by Pharma, Big Oil and the agribusiness and military industries. Except on minor “hot button,” high profile issues like abortion, both candidates intend to continue most of Bush’s policies. Which are not much different from Bill Clinton’s policies. Indeed, Bill Clinton or Al Gore both would have gone into Iraq, had they been in charge at the time. Because they are not making the decisions, their puppetmasters are. And the puppetmasters of the Democrats are the same group that pull the Republicans’ strings.

    Bush really wants Hilly to win, as he knows that it’s time for the “good cop” to supplant the “bad cop” in the Great Game. McCain is fully aware that he is just an actor in the Game and has no chance to win. He is just being a loyal soldier to the elite, who are of course his bosses, too.

    The new Diebold voting machines make it simple for them to make the primary elections turn out according to the script. And the media polls are probably fake as well, as the media’s propaganda role is well established, and it’s not just on the subject of Aids, it’s on all serious subjects. Too bad that some educated people continue to support the propaganda by buying the most offensive fish wrapper of all — the New York Times.

    Your admiration of Obama is incredibly naive, he’s just one of the Global Elite’s “Front Office Nig**rs” . He is ruled by the men behind the curtain, as is Hitlery.

    But, I very confidently predict that David really prefers Hitlery in the top spot, and she will “come from behind” to emerge as the winner, and beat McCain. Obama will be her running mate.

    An exciting sporting event for the sheeple, bread and circuses and all that, and things will only get worse under Hilly.

  2. Baby Pong Says:

    I am amused at the fuss over Obama’s relationship to a gangster. If he had any balls, he would say something like this:

    “John F. Kennedy had a relationship with Sam Giancana. LBJ associated with Bobby Baker, Clint Murchison and other shady characters. Harry Truman was connected to mob lawyer Morris Shenker. Richard Nixon associated with mob-connected figures like Mickey Cohen, Bebe Rebozo, Carlos Marcello, Jimmy Hoffa and many others. Bill Clinton pardoned fugitive Marc Rich. Our greatest presidents have all been associated with the mob. So my friendship with Tony Rezko proves that I have the right stuff to be president!”

  3. MacDonald Says:

    Hmmm. . . I see you’re engaging in “live blogging” now. Very exciting; I suppose we’ll have more of that as the battle for office intensifies. Speaking of battle, on FOX News Bush is welcoming McCain to the White House AND making it all about the War and the Enemy and the War and the Enemy and the War and the Enemy and the War and the Enemy.

    “McCain understands the stakes” as Bush puts it. Another 4 years of sweet Jesus.

    Speaking of Jesus, let’s not forget something completely unrelated; McCain showing his hand in embracing a certain Pastor John C. Hagee, CEO Global Evangelism Television, and his endorsement.

    http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Multimedia/Player.aspx?guid=5ca47a36-c7d8-4cf4-8451-0390c4581916

    Hagee, as we know, believes that Katrina was a punishment for New Orleans’ sins timed as a pre-emptive strike against a scheduled gay parade. He believes that Iran is unrepentent as a matter of Essential Nature, as well as sacred historical necessity, and must be dealt with by pre-emptive strike. He believes that Harry Potter is inspired by the Devil (no word of pre-emptive strikes yet). He believes that the anti-Christ will manifest himself as head of the EU. He believes that the catholic church is the Great Whore. Etc.

    John McCain says he is proud of pastor Hagee’s spiritual leadership.

    http://embeds.blogs.foxnews.com/2008/02/29/mccain-defends-hagee-endorsement-despite-differences/

    McCain is also proud of Hagee’s commitment to Israel.

    The spiritual underpinnings of Pastor Hagee’s commitment to Israel is the crucial role it will play in launching said pre-emptive strike against Iran, uniting the “Arab” nations under Russia against it and plunging the whole region into apocalytic war. http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?articleId=11541

    McCain is so proud of pastor Hagee’s spiritual leadership and commitment to Israel as the catalyst for imminent holocaust in the Middle-East that he thinks it overrides what most presidential candidates are supposed to be running on, namely the (secular) concerns of the American people:

    Much more importantly, McCain explained/justified embracing Hagee by saying “he is doing a lot of good things for Israel.” Confusedresponderer has already touched on the eschatological twist to Hagee’s Israel support, as has Glen Greenwald on his blog. But even if this were not a factor, the utilitarian calculus by which McCain, during a campaign for the American presidency, aligns himself with the fringiest of the fringe because it is perceived as “good for Israel” – another country in another hemisphere! – is so revealing of the man and the subordination of the American people’s interests to the values and global interests of certain unrepresentative factions that the CIA, at least in a country where the media could conceivably function as anything but a reliably comatose bystander, ought to have classified the comment and buried it in its deepest, darkest vaults.

    To the potential wishy washers, let me drive the point all the way home: Even if the Obamas were to come out and say they embrace the allegedly racially charged “black values” of Dr. Wright, or the definitely racially charged “white skunks, white conspiracies” rethoric of Louis Farrakhan because “they are doing a lot of good” for Afro-Americans, well at least those are Afro-AMERICANS – not Afro-Africans or Afro-Israelis.

    //turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2008/02/john-hagee-mcca/comments/page/2/#comments

    Speaking of Israel, Chomsky and debates, let us not forget either the debate where Chomsky dressed down leading neo-con light and commited Israel supporter, Richard Perle:

    Now if you listen to Mr. Perle carefully, you will notice that a word was sneaked in there: that was the word recognition of their [Israel’s] legitimacy. Now that they will not do. There is an interesting diplomatic history with regard to the Middle East. The United States has been trying to block a settlement for a long time. As it became obvious that the PLO and the Arab states were quite willing to accept the existence of Israel — the existence of Israel — that is, to achieve a two-state settlement with recognized borders, with international guarantees, with mutual recognition and so on, after it became obvious that this was possible, it was necessary to up the ante a notch. And what happened was — and here, take a look at the recent American diplomatic history, I urge you to look at the documents, very informative — you’ll notice that the position was changed. It was not enough for them to recognize Israel: they had to recognize the legitimacy of Israel, or the right to exist of Israel. Now “right to exist” is something that does not exist in international law. No state recognizes the right of any other state to exist. Mexico does not recognize the right of the United…
    PERLE: Most states don’t question the right of other states to exist.
    CHOMSKY: Excuse me. That’s not true. We reject outright the right of the Soviet Union…
    PERLE: No we don’t.
    CHOMSKY: …to exist in its present borders. That’s why…
    PERLE: Not at all.
    CHOMSKY: …we have Captive Nations Week every year. And we may be perfectly right in doing that. Mexico does not recognize the right of the United States to exist within its present borders, which happen to include a third of Mexico. In fact, in the international system, there is a notion of recognition of a state, but there is no notion of recognition of the legitimacy of a state. To call on the Palestinians to accept this new concept is to ask them to accept that it’s not only that there is a state in an area which they regard as their own — they’re willing to recognize that — but to recognize the right of that state to have dispossessed them. Of course, they’re not going to accept that, nor should they, there is no such thing in international affairs, and the effort to try to obtain it is pointless and absurd.

    Which seamlessly leads me to NAFTA: The economists referenced by Truthseeker argue very convincingly that the US hasn’t slid back overall under NAFTA. But that doesn’t mean certain groups haven’t been hit unnecessarily, or that NAFTA is responsible for an overall positive growth that wouldn’t have happened anyway oder. . .?

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