December 22nd, 2005

Question mark

What's missing?

The windbag Robert Byrd said:

The President claims a boundless authority through the resolution that authorized the war on those who perpetrated the September 11th attacks. But that resolution does not give the President unchecked power to spy on our own people. That resolution does not give the Administration the power to create covert prisons for secret prisoners. That resolution does not authorize the torture of prisoners to extract information from them. That resolution does not authorize running black-hole secret prisons in foreign countries to get around U.S. law. That resolution does not give the President the powers reserved only for kings and potentates.

What's missing? The newspaper shutdowns. Add newspaper shutdowns and what would we call it? Does anyone doubt that would come about if the Bushists got half a chance?

UPDATE: I forgot the arrests of opposition politicians.
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My opinion regarding censuring the Leader What's that mean? It comes from 'censure and move on', I believe, from when anti-Bushists were trying to stop the Bushist impeachment of Bill Clinton. Now let's suppose we are censuring Bush. Even if we are helping some Bushists creep towards impeachment, we are supplying to the more hardened Bushists—plus empty suits like Norm Coleman, the entire fascistic nutjob media, the empty suit media such as Tim Russert and Chris Matthews, etc.—the following symbol for their liberal (sic) abuse: 'censure and move on'.

We must keep this symbol out of the public forum, even if we give up something in the process.

Democrats have been absolutely awful regarding the control of symbols, not even recognizing it as an important problem, when it is in fact the most important and fundamental problem of human life.
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William Rivers Pitt: The Breaking Strain

[I'm copying a failed e-mail posting. The + signs are an artifact of my software.]


Many political pragmatists will tell you that impeachment is a pipe dream. If the God of the Righteous roared down from Heaven
+and denounced George W. Bush from the top of the Capitol dome, Republicans in Congress would denounce Him as a traitor, paint
+Him as standing against the troops, and accuse Him of aiding in the War on Christmas. In other words, the odds that enough
+Republican members of the House would turn against this administration and support impeachment are about as good as the odds of+my cat winning next year's Kentucky Derby.

Even if the odds are defied and impeachment hearings are successfully undertaken, one must go many steps down the ladder to
+find an official worthy of the office. Impeach Bush and you get Cheney. Impeach Cheney and you get Dennis Hastert. Impeach
+Hastert and you get Ted Stevens, the 82-year-old Senator from Alaska who recently threatened to resign from the Senate if
+funding for his "Bridge to Nowhere" was stripped and delivered to aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Pragmatism is good, but hardly the point in this matter. We have gone far beyond consideration of the odds, of the smartest
+and safest course. This is not about Clintonian lies about sex, nor is it even about Nixonian spying on political appointees.
+In the simplest terms, we now have a self-appointed dictator occupying the highest office of the land. Of course, the catch-all+excuse for these reprehensible actions is that Bush is protecting our freedoms against the terrorists. But if our freedoms are
+destroyed, what is left to protect? If the rule of law no longer has meaning, why bother? If that which makes this nation good
+and great is burned out from within, there is nothing left to defend.

Calls for the impeachment of George W. Bush must be heeded, and the House must act. This must happen not because it is
+pragmatic, not because it stands a chance of succeeding. This must happen because the issues at hand demand it. If we as a
+nation do not impeach a sitting President for such a vast array of blatantly illegal activities, activities directed at the
+American people themselves, then as a nation of laws we have lost our way. We have no meaning. We are finished, and the ideals
+for which so many have served and fought and died are ashes.

Intolerable. Impeachable.
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IMO a dumb sport

Chad Bogard, a Kingsport resident who relocated two weeks ago for a job with an automotive company, accidentally shot himself at the shooting range. Firing two .357-caliber Magnums, one in each hand, a .38-caliber round struck him in the abdomen about 9:45 a.m. Saturday.

He was airlifted to a Gainesville hospital, where he died five hours later.

Bogard was practicing “cowboy action shooting,” a fast-growing sport in which shooters attempt to hit as many targets as they can in the shortest amount of time, often dressed in western garb.

Okay, I'm not in sync with the attitude that guns are so unsafe that no one should have them. Climbing mountains is probably less safe, but I'm not against that either. However, this 'cowboy shooting', to me, seems like a dumb sport that should not exist, unless it is going to be done with paintballs or the like. Indeed, it seems to me disrespectful of the weapon. Look at olympic fencing; that's sporting with a weapon that respects the dangers of the weapon, I think.
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A little gs

I'm in a mood to discuss a little about general semantics. This is difficult for me in part because I have made a mockery of the field in past years, because of my ignorance. Also the field has been incredibly stagnant, with no significant advances since the 1930s.

I'd like to discuss the name of the field, 'general semantics', and then the central theory, 'time-binding'.

The name, 'general semantics'. This is often rendered as 'semantics'. That usage is erroneous and should be strictly avoided. 'Semantics' is a branch of study in linguistics, or, in older usage, philology. The only significant relation 'general semantics' has in common with 'semantics' is that they come from the same Greek root, meaning 'significance'. In 'general semantics', this root is used because, for instance, gs deals with the difference in 'significance' and 'meaning' between a flat world divided into 'earth' and 'heaven' versus a spherical world in an unbounded expanding universe. Clearly this 'meaning' has nothing to do with linguistics as such.

Also, and this is often misunderstood, the phrase 'the structure of a language' in general semantics has only a little to do with grammar as studied in linguistics. The grammar of our spoken languages does have some involvement, but mostly through insufficient flexibility. In particular, 'eliminating the "is" of identity' does not mean avoiding the word 'is' in any of its grammatical uses and cannot be explained in linguistics terms.

Mr. Korzybski, who invented the term 'general semantics', was aware of the new field of 'semantics' and also chose the name 'gs' as a tribute to the pioneers of semantics.

The 'general' in 'general semantics' is in part a tribute to Albert Einstein for 'general relativity'. Also it simply says that the material is a generalization of the content of Korzybski's first book, Manhood of Humanity (which was a very popular book in 1921).

Regarding the central theory, 'time-binding'. This is probably the most easily confirmed scientific theory in existence; anyone reading this can confirm the theory without any instruments or special work. Yet it is so hard to learn the theory, for people raised in our culture, that correct usage of the term 'time-binding' has come close to extinction, replaced by misuse.

The theory of time-binding says that the human species is distinguished from animal species by the fact that each generation of humans may begin where the previous generation left off. It's as simple as that. That humans begin where their parents left off is easily observed by comparing the technology of one's childhood with that of middle age. That no animal species displays non-negligible time-binding is observed by noting that animal species all live essentially the same way they did even long before modern humans came to exist. Animal species may advance, but it is such a slow advance that, in comparison to human time-binding, animal advancement can be completely disregarded.

The practical application of this theory can be hinted at by noting that, despite the simplicity and indubitability of this distinction between human and animal species, it is employed as a definition of Man in no field other than gs. The time-binding characteristic is almost completely neglected in our society, to talk about and understand ourselves. Can you imagine talking about automobiles without taking into account that they have motor-driven wheels? Yet that's what we do almost always in talking about ourselves.
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The mother lode

Let's together make a list of the reasonably likely contents of the 'mother lode' for Bush impeachment.

Here are two entries to get us started:

* Proof that Bush-Cheney is responsible for the fake Niger document.

* [This one's better.] Proof that Bush-Cheney is responsible for the anthrax killings.