"Those who sacrifice liberty for
security deserve neither."
-- Benjamin Franklin 
| "All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
1. TYT: Syria Attack Resolution Approved By
Scrubbed Up, Nowhere to Show
3. Groundhog deja
Ridiculous Perks Given to College Presidents and Celebrity Profs
5. I Dream of Genius
is again mostly on the war against Syria (?), with an addition on the
ridiculous and obscene payments college presidents get these days and a
view of genius.
1. TYT: Syria Attack Resolution Approved By
The first item today is a fairly long video
by The Young Turks, that takes over 18 minutes, that I liked, firstly
because it shows that the issues are complicated, and secondly mostly
because of Jimmy Dore, whom I mostly agree with:
That is, I agree that the U.S.
government played this very badly; it will be a war crime; and I do not
believe it really is about chemical weapons.
Also, it is a reasonable discussion.
All Scrubbed Up,
Nowhere to Show
Next, an item by Robert Parry, who shows he has seen this done before:
This starts as follows:
And it ends as follows:
Secretary of State John
Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the U.S.
“intelligence community has scrubbed and rescrubbed the evidence”
proving that the Syrian government launched a poison gas attack on
Aug. 21, but this supposedly spotless data is still being withheld from
the American people.
So, just a little
more than a decade after President George W. Bush misled the nation
into a disastrous war in Iraq, President Barack Obama and his team are
trying to sell a new war with Syria by presenting even fewer details.
Members of Congress also are
reprising their roles from 2002-2003, displaying almost no skepticism
as they get “classified” glimpses of this well-scrubbed intelligence.
And, the mainstream press has slid into the same careless acceptance of
U.S. government proclamations as fact, just as it did a decade ago.
Quite so. And indeed my own
answer to the last question is that there is no decent evidence.
One also might assume
that if the intelligence were truly a “slam dunk,” the Obama
administration would have figured out ways of highlighting the
evidence. The fact that all the details are being kept from the
American people should be regarded as a prima facie case for believing that Rep. Burgess is right.
There is an old
journalistic adage, “show, don’t tell.” But the Obama administration is
doing the opposite, “tell, don’t show.” One has to wonder why – if the
evidence has been so “scrubbed and rescrubbed” – Secretary Kerry
doesn’t want to dress it up and put it on display for the world to see.
You may have noticed Jon
Stewart is back leading the Daily Show. Here is an item of his about
the war with Syria (?) and Senator John McCain's preoccupations with
Perks Given to College Presidents and Celebrity Profs
an item on quite another side of the crisis: The ridiculous and obscene
sums of money mere college presidents are gettting these days,
essentially for doing nothing at all, and indeed not only in the U.S.
but also in Holland, although it has not yet been quite as ridiculously
obscene as it has been in the U.S.:
Surely, part of the reason is
to assure cooperation of these folks - and they nearly all can
Finally, an item that does
not have much or anything to do with the current crisis: what is genius?
Joseph Epstein discourses on the topic in Commentary Magazine:
I liked it (and I do have an
IQ well over 140, but I agree with Epstein that doesn't say much or
anything, except that I have and had a good scholastic aptitude, as
indeed also was shown in university, which did me no good, since I was
and am ill).
Here are a few quotes taken from the essay in the order they appear in:
Genius is rare.
Schopenhauer thought a genius was one in a hundred million. In this
realm if in no other, that most pessimistic of philosophers may have
been optimistic. Distinguishing between a man of learning and a genius,
Schopenhauer wrote: “A man of learning is a man who has learned a great
deal; a man of genius, one from whom we learn something which the
genius has learned from nobody.”
Yes, indeed, except that it
may not be a question of learning. Here is Epstein's own definition:
My own definition
is as follows: Be he a genius of thought, art, science, or politics, a
genius changes the way the rest of us hear or see or think about the
That seems good enough to me,
though it is not exact. Indeed, one also needs to make a distinction:
needs to be made between genius and talent. “Talent is like the
marksman who hits a target, which others cannot reach,” wrote
Schopenhauer. “Genius is like the marksman who hits a target, which
others cannot see.”
With the addition "until he
hits it". Next, there is another addition to make: That there are false
geniuses - clever men, who in fact were mistaken:
With the names
Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud we enter the murky waters of geniuses who
are today perhaps better thought the intellectual equivalent of false
messiahs. Marx and Freud each made people see the world very
differently than before they wrote, but we now know that they made them
see it falsely. Most people no longer believe in either the Class
Struggle or the Oedipus Complex. Marx’s and Freud’s license to genius
has, in effect, expired.
Next, there is the problem
what IQ has to do with intelligence and genius. Incidentally, my own
view is: Very little, except that one has to be intelligent to be a
genius (in the above sense: See Kim Peek for another
sense) and IQ is a
fair predictor of scholastic aptitude:
IQ was derived by
dividing mental age by actual age and then multiplying by 100. What IQ
chiefly showed was a propensity, or want thereof, for solving abstract
problems. (The Scholastic Aptitude Test similarly predicts nothing more
than one’s chances of doing well in college.) Chess players,
mathematics wizards, memory freaks tended to score highest on IQ tests.
Finally, there is this on what
intelligence is supposed to be:
anyone who has thought at all about it will long ago have concluded, is
multi-valent, or of many kinds. Howard Gardner, the Harvard
developmental psychologist and the leading investigator of intelligence
in our day, has concluded that there are at least seven types of
intelligence: linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical,
bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. (He
later added an eighth, naturalist intelligence, or that of people with
a gift for observing nature.) Each of us is likely to be better endowed
in one or another of these than in the others. “No two people,” Gardner
concludes, “have exactly the same intelligence in the same combination.”
I don't think I quite agree
with Howard Gardner, but he surely is right in insisting that
"intelligence" is of many kinds, and also that a conventional IQ -
which is a scholastic aptitude test - does not say very much about it.
And there is one thing I mostly missed: Geniuses create
things - ideas,
art - that are truly original and are really valuable, and that would
be there, at least not at their time, without them.
 Here it is necessary to insist, with
Aristotle, that the governors do not
rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the
if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my
More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn
It is more proper
that law should govern than any one of the
citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the
supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to
be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.
(And I note the whole file I
from is quite pertinent.)
ME/CFS (that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: