Musing on the good and bad

This comes from another thread, but since it went into a personal direction, that is touch on my continuing little people saga, thought I’d split it off. Sometimes when current events soak in, the terror is palpable, so, so much pain and destruction happening to others and heading our way, due to our own collective human stupid disregard for the things that actually mattered. Plus we doing next to nothing to prepare mentally or physically, instead pretending today’s economic trends will never end.

Blinded by the bling.

Sounds like a bromide.

If a speech is given in a forest and no one is there to hear it, is it still a speech?


It’s rhetorical, just whistling in the graveyard, cause when I stop to actually absorb what’s happening, I’m terrified to the bone. Though, besides current event there’s also my absorbing how astoundingly disconnected, apathetic, unaware most of our masses are. We’ve turned into consumer units with our imaginations captured by the boob tubes of our choice.

We’re in a free fall and seems to me the remaining real challenge is to save one’s sanity as the destructive chaos engulfed us (some sooner than others). Or something like that. Li’l G is eight months old today. Turning into a kiddo, and no longer the rapturous bundle of miracles that he was during those first hundred holy days. Now going into his room at night isn’t quite the journey down the arrow of time to evolutions beginnings, that it used to be. Instead, I’m dealing with an evolving little crawling climbing bundle of budding personality and every night presents a chance to experience a different dance (since I’m here I get Li’l G’s monitor and parent(s) have Li’l B, mom being on various business trips, thus my visit). Dealing with this little guy who likes my company and trusts me to settle him down and back to sleep, . . . or to figure out his needs, when ‘going down’ isn’t happening, and meeting them. If one’s head is in the right space, it’s about as cool as humanity and experiencing humanism gets. Li’l B is nearing his third birthday and since he’s going to school, I see him way less, but he’s still my number one fan, so that’s been wonderful and reassuring, in the midst of this middle class consumer driven world that makes no sense to me and that scares the poop outta me. We’ve been on a couple walks into the woods, at his instigation, and he continues to be quite the intrepid hiker so our bonding continues a pace. I know someday (all things remaining equal) they’ll outgrow wanting to be with me, cause their lives will embrace the outside world and new horizons, but that’s as it should be, the memory and feeling will remain, if tucked into a special corner. Unfortunately, I fear our collective rendezvous with the dark inevitable will be sooner than later. Perhaps the memories will be a source of comfort some day. In any event, all we have is today to live, tomorrow will take care of itself.

I spoke on free speech in this thread but I didn’t cover media

I get that same chill that you are talking about whenever someone asks a question like, “What do we do about Tucker Carlson?” What is being implied here? The furthest back I think we should go would be the days of The Equal Time law and the Fairness Doctrine. It was one of those weird “oh crap I’m old” moments when I realized I had to explain those to anyone who is more than just a few years younger than me.

When I first had school assignments about politics, years before I voted, I watched the Communist Party on prime time TV. It was their Presidential candidate sitting on a folding chair in a mostly empty room, talking about his platform. The law required they broadcast that. It doesn’t now.

The reason we need to let them talk is it’s the best way to learn how to respond to them. If no one was talking about the good things we could get from slavery, or how the world would be better if built more walls, I would advocate for creating theatre that you could go and hear those points of view, and encourage encourage students to learn to make the argument for something they knew was wrong.

Every dystopian fiction includes suppression of voices. Getting people to believe that there is only one way of thinking is how people who think differently quietly gain a following and find a way to manipulate themselves into power.

Well there is that.
I’m all for listening to and directly engaging with contrary viewpoints, because only by understanding, what they think, can I adequately understand the reasons why I oppose those arguments.
It’s what all this* was about. If I’d have ever been able to network with solid critical folks, possessing the same general vision, it would have been worth pursing. One hand clapping just doesn’t cut it. As it is, I fear the clock is running out, though in my other life, I make no references to such undercurrents, it’s all about all the good in the now, that we have been blessed with, and I’m grateful for every peaceful day, knowing they are numbered.


… trajectory. I call out false claims, statements and question their reasoning with explanations, arguments and an assortment of relevant links to further authoritative information so people can learn about these issues for themselves.

If they return it’s with a round of bluster and distractions that morph into ad hominem attacks on people, either me, reporters or scientists. Never any indication that new information was read and assessed, let alone absorbed. I respond with more facts and reasoned arguments, they respond with final insults and slammed doors not to be heard from again. Leaving me with Virtual Debates where I strive to document the dishonesty that too many others seem to pardon.

These are the same talking heads who are astro-turfing media outletsdemanding public debate, but who steadfastly run from our debates. Tragically for our country and future these self interested folks only seek theatrical lawyerly debates dedicated to confusing and obscuring.

When it comes to Serious Constructive Debates - that is, dialogues that respect the confines of truth and honestly representing others and the evidence - these showmen are nowhere to be found.

I’m talking about intellectual cowards such as …

Jim Steele’s LandscapesAndCycles Fraud

In a nutshell Jim Steele proposes that landscapes and natural cycles are more powerful drivers of global warming than the atmosphere that lies between Earth and frigid outer space.

His scientific underpinning is a self-certain, as yet unexamined, rejection of ‘CO2 science’ - maintaining it’s a hoax with political underpinnings.

Jim’s speciality is learning about wildlife studies with an eye towards errors in those studies. Where it gets ugly is that though he’s learned about these errors and failings from wildlife scientists who were directly involved. Scientists who were aware of issues and problems and working hard to resolve them. Scientists who willingly shared their experiences, challenges and learning curve.

Where Jim gets weird is the way he slams these same individuals by portraying them as clueless shills. Where Jim gets bizarre is leaping from those shortcomings in wildlife studies to claiming it proves global warming is a hoax and that we should ignore it. An astounding chain of logic.

As for flaws in wildlife studies, the important thing is, none of this stuff was secret, it was part of the scientific community’s discussion and literature. It’s the stuff of science marching forward, learning from mistakes as much as from successes. Another thing to keep in mind is that wildlife studies over huge expanses of landscape are exceedingly difficult and running a perfect experiment is near impossible.

What Jim ignores is that every serious scientist, wildlife and otherwise, spends as much of their time studying and assessing errors, unexpected surprises, and those ‘20/20 hindsight mistakes’ in order to understand and learn from them.

Once I got into researching Jim’s claims and contacting many of the scientists he singled out for derision I was shocked at how shabbily Jim treated the hospitality and collegial help and support he was given for his (Heartland Institute’s? Anthony’s?) research project.

I’ve made the effort to document Jim Steele’s words and claims. I specify his errors, and then I provide the information Jim shields from his audience. …

Haven’t heard the name “Jim Steele” in a long time. He and I went at it back on the SkepticsForum. It led to him being banned.