Sunday, September 20, 2015

A famous, simple perception test explains the herd instinct

Just came across this:
Which Line Is The Longest? Find Out Why So Many Got This Question Wrong

What a commentary on the nature of our species, supposedly the most intelligent and with-it on The Planet! It goes right along with this famously damning study
The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram. They measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience. Milgram first described his research in 1963 in an article published in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology[1] and later discussed his findings in greater depth in his 1974 book, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View.

If it seems at times I'm trying to condemn humanity wholesale, I'm really just trying to point out the basic realities about us that most people would rather not hear about. There can be no overcoming of these very bad traits without recognizing and facing them. But are people capable of learning from history, much less deep collective self-examination? More from the article:

The experiments began in July 1961, in the basement of Linsly-Chittenden Hall at Yale University,[3] three months after the start of the trial of German Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Milgram devised his psychological study to answer the popular question at that particular time: "Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?"[4] The experiments have been repeated many times in the following years with consistent results within differing societies, although not with the same percentages around the globe.

As you can see in our era just 26 years after the fall of the Berlin wall, the answer is looking dismal -- the U.S. government is working overtime to revive and epitomize communism and the worst aspects of Nazism. They're killing millions of foreigners who haven't done us any harm (and never could) and killing our freedom and prosperity (there's that phrase again) in the name of saving these things, insanely and irrationally using the wars as their excuse.

Even as experiments in the Milgram mold continue, my reluctant judgment is to agree with H.L. Mencken's extremely jaundiced, disgusted view of people, ameriKans most of all. look him up online for some of the most devastating and even funniest assessments of it all!

My motto used to be "humor vincit omnia" -- "humor conquers all" in Latinglish. Not so much anymore......


Friday, September 4, 2015

All God's children got wheels

"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." The ways such Bible verses apply to life today are many and ironic. "Knowledge shall be increased" -- does that refer to the massive development of artificial intelligence, perhaps, or to the way people are waking up to the reality of the political racket?

With the number of passenger vehicles rivaling the number of people in this country and private enterprise carrying people into space, it's not hard to imagine what "run to and fro" refers to today. And one of the most tragicomic applications is how those smartening up about temporal realities are relocating.
Americans escaping high taxes and welfare states

We've discussed the thousands of people who are leaving amerika for freer, less schizoid locations. This new form of expatriation (well, the states are supposed to be countries!) is a further indictment of the "evil and wicked government" at all levels that Dr. Clarkson used to deplore in inimitable ironic tones.


Fun and games with county lines now

Merely another day, another headline in the politicians' hexing of South Carolina:
State Agency Reviewing County Lines – Minus Public Input


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Tax hypocrisy of fedgov and fat cats knows no bounds

We're told that if the IRS taxed the rich harder it would barely make a dent in the country's deficits. That may be, but cutting out large corporations' obscene tax loopholes could, it appears, allow millions of working people to quit paying taxes. WHAT IS THE POINT of taxing both individuals and businesses? Two answers apply to both: greed and mass behavior modification. 

Thank God for election years. They bring recognizably human behavior out of creatures who are clearly some other feral species. Vermont's Bernie Sanders is the only official socialist (=communist) in the U.S. Congress but oh, the decent human noises he's making while running for president! As you enjoy this article, remember that it's entirely possible that Bernie and the very fat cats he's decrying are partying together in some plutocratic resort right this minute. 
Sanders to CEOs: Look in the Mirror

Sen. Bernie Sanders said corporate leaders should look in the mirror before lecturing the American people on ways to tackle the deficit. After the heads of more than 80 big companies issued a statement Thursday on deficit reduction, Sanders released a report detailing how many of the companies headed by the same CEOs have avoided taxes, sent American jobs overseas and took taxpayer bailouts. "There really is no shame," Sanders said. "The Wall Street leaders whose recklessness and illegal behavior caused this terrible recession are now lecturing the American people on the need for courage to deal with the nation's finances and deficit crisis. Before telling us why we should cut Social Security, Medicare and other vitally important programs, these CEOs might want to take a hard look at their responsibility for causing the deficit and this terrible recession."

"Our Wall Street friends might also want to show some courage of their own by suggesting that the wealthiest people in this country, like them, start paying their fair share of taxes. They might work to end the outrageous corporate loopholes, tax havens and outsourcing provisions that their lobbyists have littered throughout the tax code - contributing greatly to our deficit," Sanders added.

Many of the CEOs who signed the deficit-reduction letter run corporations that, in total, evaded at least $34.5 billion in taxes by setting up more than 600 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands and other offshore tax havens since 2008.  As a result, at least a dozen of the companies avoided paying any federal income taxes in recent years, and even received more than $6.4 billion in tax refunds from the IRS since 2008.

Several of the companies received a total taxpayer bailout of more than $2.5 trillion from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department.

Many of the companies also have outsourced hundreds of thousands of American jobs to China and other low wage countries, forcing their workers to rely on unemployment insurance and other federal benefits.

"In other words," Sanders said, "these are some of the same people who have significantly caused the deficit to explode over the last four years."

Sanders, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, said the $16 trillion national debt is a serious issue. He has proposed specific ways to lower deficits. For details, click here.
I can't seem to get the "click here" to work. Maybe you can at the above link. In another location which makes copying impossible, it says for instance that the taxpayer bailout of Bank of America by the Fed and the Treasury department (presumably for last year) was over $1.3 trillion; BoA paid zero federal income taxes and got a "tax refund" of $1.9 billion; and if its offshore tax havens were eliminated, its federal tax obligation would have been $2.6 billion.

Consider this ultimate fuel for the "fair share" flames -- and above all, please remember AND INFORM OTHERS that THEY DO NOT OWE TAXES ON THEIR WAGES.