Saturday, April 14, 2018

notes 4/14/18 - Of Hope - and evangelical patriarchy's victimization complex.

As they say, in the end it’s like the blink of an eye.  

It’s done and I’m feeling good about it.  500 fliers, I stuck to my resolution and engaged with nearly 400 people, actually more, I’m not counting declines.  

Though I kept them to a minimum since I was targeting a specific audience, young, intelligent, serious looking like they were here for business.  Of course, scientific method loving people was there in my introduction and that sorted 'em out in a hurry, with over three thousand people I wasn't planning on wasting copies, or time, I was looking for the chorus and pretty much found them.  ;-) . 

Walking around scanning the crowd, you could say profiling.  In fact, I did say it, it was a good ice breaker.   Not that everyone was chronologically young, many were rather flattered to hear they made my liberal cut, exuding youthful vibes goes a long ways.    ;- )

Dare say I swept up a number self identified scientists, cool people, love the hard eye, yet willing ear, then some nice discussions.  Experiences like those lets me know that I'm not totally bonkers and that I best keep doing whatever it is I'm doing.  (Guess that's what 'bliss' - of the Joseph Campbell variety - is all about, no other options if one's going to be honest with oneself.)  

I had a basic pitch thought out and it held up fairly well through a couple hundred variations.  I was reassured at how many people engaged my intro question with stories and outlooks of their own, before returning back to the flier I was holding in my hand.

Would like to write about it sometime, but not tonight (nor this morning, I'm going home.) 

There is this last item, ironically in light of various discussions centered on evangelical amorality, hypocrisy and their blind-sidedness, after returning to my room, Dartagnan at Kos pointed me to this timely, illuminating opinion piece. 

I never thought about evangelical patriarchy quite this way.  Hessinger and Tobey wrote a column that's like a good hypothesis - it clears up a lot riddles.  As for my title, today at the Convention I saw the hope, the following describes the problem.  I’m quoting the first few paragraphs to get your interest, please read the full column, bet you'll find it time well spent.

By Guest Columnist/  | Posted Apr 11, 2018
Rodney Hessinger is a history professor at John Carroll University.  Kristen Tobey is an assistant professor of religion and the social sciences at John Carroll University.
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio -- The most recent Pew polls suggest that President Donald Trump hasn't just held his support amongst white evangelicals but actually has grown his support since the Stormy Daniels story took hold.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Intellectually Confronting Faith-Based thinking and Dogma Driven Deceptions - ColoradoDemocraticAssembly 2018

I'm at my fourth Colorado Democratic Assembly and I've always been a pamphleteer.  Not the easiest for a private shy sort of guy.  So I've been rather passive, offering my pages and ready for dialogue but not stepping forward to engage people.  Time passes, we learn more with every day and this year I've promised myself to step it up a little and reach out to people to introduce the topic and establish an interest before offering my flier.

Had a little practice during the short district assembly this evening.  At first looking at the 350+ District 3 delegates it seemed the crowd of the usual old folks, and not that many young faces.  But, then I started spotting them.  Not in the numbers I had hoped.  Then I heard a couple powerful speeches by young speakers.  Followed by a few good conversations,
as in 'yippy, they get it.'  I realized their small number way under-represented the energy and substance and power they possess.

It was fun.  I'm feeling a little better already and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.  Here's side one, a lifetime's distillation.  I'll share side two tomorrow, now I'm going to bed, it's late and tomorrow will be a long busy day.
The Memes Courier
    Colorado Democratic Assembly -  April 13, 2018  
Intellectually Confronting Faith-Based thinking and Dogma Driven Deceptions.

The opposing sides: Children of the Intellectual Enlightenment vs Faith-based dogmatism spearheaded by the evangelical movement (driven by wannabe oligarchs).  Winning at the polls is only half our challenge when well over a third of our country fully supports this amoral president and his white supremest bullying and his attacks upon our government and democratic institutions.  
Beyond winning in the 2018 elections, we need to nurture a massive grassroots movement of informed and engaged voters who are willing to confront faith-based delusional thinking on an individual level, while also standing behind those we elect to make sure they get their jobs done.
Faith-based thinking demands a rejection of serious science along with hostility towards learning from down to Earth evidence.  This attitude is enabled and reinforced by a constant flow of contrived high pitched fear-mongering and paranoid machinations towards “the other” be it different people or ideas.
Why have we allowed their religion and God a free pass?

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Bannon, Mercers, Cambridge Analytica Collection - Weaponizing Propaganda

Here's a collection of articles that examine Steven Bannon's partnership with Robert Leroy Mercer and Rebekah Mercer the billionaires with an extremist, and rather absolutist, and quite self-interested plan for America.  Fed by raging resentment at our Democracy, and the notion that We The People hold rights and powers which allow us and our governmental agencies to restraint their ravenous, often destructrive, appetites.
The Cambridge Analytica is but one example of the amoral underhandedness these people will gleefully resort to.  Following the list, I share interesting quotes.

2018 (21)
          By Andy Kroll
          By Curt Devine, Donie O'Sullivan and Drew Griffin, CNN
          By Mary Spicuzza and Daniel Bice, Milwaukee
          ByTara Cox
          By David Gilbert
          By Brennan Weiss  
          Opinion - Will Bunch -
          By Jonathan Lemire | The Associated Press
          Steven Rosenfield, Alternet | Opinion
          By Isobel Thompson
          By Aaron Rupar
          by Nancy LeTourneau
          By Bob Dreyfuss
          Daniel Bice and Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee
          By   Peter Isackson
          By Craig Timberg, Karla Adam and Michael Kranish
          By: Katelyn Kivel
          By Bob Dreyfuss
          By Carole Cadwalladr
          By Sean Illing
          By Billy House

2017 (17)
          By Todd Gitlin 
          By Judy Molland
          By Casey Michel
          By Issie Lapowsky
          By Anita Kumar and Ben Wieder | McClatchy Washington Bureau
          By Betsy Woodruff | Spencer Ackerman
          By Julie Alderman & Matt Gertz 
          By Victor Feldman
          TRNN Documentary
          By Gronda Morin
          By Ursula Faw
          By S. Nova
          By Travis Gettys  and Carole Cadwalladr.
          By Vicky Ward
          By Berit Anderson and Brett Horvath

2016 (4)
          By Ríán Tuathal Derrig
          By Rebecca Berg   |   RCP Staff
          By Michelle Celarier 
          By Rachael Revesz New York

POLITICO's Cambridge Analytica Collection (3/27/18)

I’m told among the first rules of any contest are: know your opponent, followed by: don’t underestimate your opponent. The DNC and DCCC has repeatedly failed on both counts, as demonstrated by serial catastrophic failures: Gore’s loss; Obama/DNC failure to build/maintain an informed engaged grassroots infrastructure; Judge Merrick Garland capitulation; the 2016 campaign debacle.  Now we're entering another election season and it seems nothing has changed, ...          (to be continued after this index) 

POLITICO's Cambridge Analytica Collection

           By MARK SCOTT | 3/27/18
           By MARK SCOTT AND LAURENS CERULUS | 3/26/18
           By NANCY SCOLA | 3/26/18
           By LORRAINE WOELLERT 03/26/2018
           By MARK SCOTT  3/25/18
           By CARMEN PAUN | 3/25/18
           By SARAH WHEATON | 3/24/18,
           By JOSH MEYER | 3/22/18,
           By ZACH SAYER | 3/21/18
           By PAUL DALLISON | 3/20/18
           By MATTHEW NUSSBAUM | 3/20/18
           By JACK BLANCHARD 3/20/18
           By LAURENS CERULUS | 3/19/18
           By POLITICO | 3/19/18
           By MARK SCOTT | 3/18/18
           By STEVEN OVERLY | 3/17/18
           By MATTHEW NUSSBAUM 10/25/17

(continued)  ... if the Democratic Party emails I receive are any indication.  Different names, but the same old pathetic boiler plate donation pitches - nothing to inform, nothing to engage people's interest, let alone to get them excited, no community networking to rally forces, no attempts to draw out and connect talent and like minds, no nothing imaginative, just the same old hat being passed.  

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Cambridge Analytica - the TEXTIFIRE files 5/18/2017 - important background

The trump firehose is too much to keep up with.  Once again all my fine plans for the morning were swept away when I got sidetracked by the multifaceted news regarding Cambridge Analytica (and here, and here, to mention but the most recent), because it turns out when I looked for supporting information I found years worth.  Since it’s been such a time consuming effort and since this really is important knowledge to possess, I been putting together a post to share the many sources I’ve gone through this morning and now this afternoon.

Then I came upon “A Special Relationship & the Birth of Cambridge Analytica" TEXTIFIRE that is so information packed that it took me nearly an hour and I’d be lying if I said I read every word, a close scanning says plenty enough, and I know the various links I looked into supported claims made.  I’m overwhelmed by all the information, I’ve decided this article deserves a stand alone post.  

I’ve copied from the article’s introduction and the first paragraph of its many sections.  This is simply the tip of the iceberg.  I encourage you to link to the complete article, this one seems like required background reading if you want to confront the alt-right fraud this election season.

A Special Relationship & the Birth of Cambridge Analytica

Bridging the Atlantic to bring radical nativists of Trump & Brexit together via military tech & ad money, one donation or dataset at a time.

TEXTIFIRE  |  May 18, 2017  (they estimate 45 min read for full the article)
Steve Bannon-owned Cambridge Analytica LLC, a US subsidiary of UK defense contractor SCL Group, has been increasingly faulted for its dual role in both Donald Trump and Brexit’s victories. Its elevated & expensive role in the Trump digital marketing team’s self-proclaimed voter suppression rollout was the culmination of several years of preparation by military and anti-government interests on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as nationless finance & technology kingmakers seeking to enhance their own profit power. 
As a direct result of the reporting led by the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr, Cambridge Analytica is already under active investigation for violating United Kingdom data protection laws, as related to their involvement with Leave.EU.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Greenman, Rahmstorf - "Red Team" folly - But wait, what about the alternative?

From a scientist's perspective Dr. Rahmstorf is correct and I completely agree with him.  What everyone seems to be overlooking is what a fantastic public education opportunity a Red Team Blue Team showdown could be.

Blue team, not of scientists, but a team of savvy climate science communicators with thorough understanding of GOP contrarian arguments and tactics along with their scientific understanding.  Why not set it up to provide the public with a close-up examination of the evidence and arguments on both sides?  My thoughts on the opportunity it would provide after Dr. Rahmstorf explains the scientist's perspective.

greenmanbucket  -  Published on Mar 12, 2018
Interview with Stefan Rahmstorf 
There will be no "red team" debate about the settled science of climate change. 
Even supporters of the fossil fuel agenda were too embarrassed to participate.

John Kelly killed Pruitt’s climate science debate
By Timothy Cama  - 03/09/18 

2:15 exactly "it's just a public show" - that's the point.  

Think about this a little - could be golden opportunity - but rather than climate scientists, make the Blue Team savvy climate science communicators - and then turn the tables on the contrarians!

Demand evidence and facts - when they produce their tainted manipulated evidence and juvenile arguments - call them on it!  Bring it back to the basics - "Just the facts Ma'am."
Intellectual Confrontation, expose and describe the game they're playing as they play it.  Of course, it would require very sharp, well spoken individuals with cojones to go with their smarts.  Individuals ready and wanting to dissect and expose the details of how the contrarians' dishonesty and siren song unfolds.

Tear apart their juvenile arguments one after the other, it would be a golden opportunity, the smarter folks at the WH realize it better than we, so it's not happening.   What a lost opportunity, I myself believe taking their bluff in this election season could be a shrewd move.  

Why not put together our own R-B team - either with actual contrarians, or with videos of their words, since they never seem ready to debate on an even playing field.  Put contrarian arguments, and their reason on trial.

It might also offer a great platform to proclaim that, a sane society requires that we honestly represent our opponents' positions - yes, also to listen to corrects - life is a learning process.  Mistakes are learning opportunities and should not get frozen into bludgeons.  

Repeatedly and willfully ignoring corrections (object facts and data) to one’s own mistakes is a whole other story that needs to be exposed when it happens.

We have a duty to honestly represent known physical facts and evidence.

Repeating factual lies, should be called out, and dogged, dogged, dogged until the errors get acknowledged.  Not attacking people, attacking the idiotic lies!  That would be so much better and more productive than the silent acquiesce that extends a free pass for malicious lies to flourish.  

Seriously, think about what's happening in public media and the news, we've allowed the Alt-right to own and dominate the narrative so completely that in politics lying about the most important of facts and using malicious dirty tricks have become standard operating procedure, enjoyed with a ghoulish joy.   

Start with a simply factual review of our global heat and moisture distribution engine and the atmospheric insulation that makes our Earth habitable.  A quick review of our complex biosphere (of a sense of its folds within folds of cumulative harmonic complexity) and how all within it is a product of the available energy and the resulting climatic regime.  

How changing the mean temperature of the Earth impacts this biosphere and its inhabitants.  It can be done in a fairly short period of time.  Perhaps touch on uncertainty vs. certainty issues; map vs. territory problem; "How exact does our data need to be to know enough?"; and such.

Then turn the discussion over to the competing arguments, logic and evidence.  

Turn the klieg lights on the GOP's dishonest maliciously fraudulent debate tactics. 

2018 is a frightening election season with more at stake than in any time in America's history (suggest a rival if you can) my nightmare is that too many people still don't appreciate what's at stake, or even the game being played  - what we don't know, will hurt us.

If we don't all start engaging, and networking, and learning, and informing, and engaging more friends, and doing it now, things could get very dark indeed.  Check out this info kiosk

Dr. Schneider 2008 - Do we know enough to warrant action?

Stanford  |  Published on Sep 15, 2008  |  Stephen Schneider
July 24, 2008 presentation by Stephen Schneider for the Stanford University Office of Science Outreach's Summer Science Lecture Series.  
Professor Schneider discusses the local, regional, and international actions that are already beginning to address global warming and describe other actions that could be taken, if there were political will to substantially reduce the magnitude of the risks. 
The Stanford Summer Science Lecture Series is a set of informal lectures about cutting edge research from four of Stanford's most esteemed professors.