Hostis Humani Generis – reflections on the enemies of mankind – or – I don’t like pirates


Still want to be a pirate?  On which end of the plank do you place  yourself?                                                                                                                                             [Walking the Plank, Howard Pyle, 1887]

 All of this talk about pirates has got me on a roll – or a rant – as the case may be.

So, let me be out front with it – I don’t like pirates.

Let’s be honest here, that for all of the “Arghhh!” whooping good-time grog drinking and hearty sea chanty singing, pirates and the act of piracy are still nothing that any modern person should want to share the same planet with.  If I press the point I think you will have to agree with me – so I will.

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A Sunday Morning Quickie – FaceBook what’s that all about? and how do you decide what to respond to?


Sunrise, Chanupa Sapa Tiyospaye (Blackpipe Community, Norris, SD), Aug. 2001
                                                                                                                       [Sunrise ©Atani Studios-2012]

I was hoping that this would be a Sunday morning quickie, but such was not to be the case.

This morning’s FaceBook experience was derailed by a FB acquaintance’s urgent plea.  I stopped by briefly to see what the problem was, and wound up having to say a lot more than I originally planned in order to say what I felt was the minimum needed to be said.

It went like this:

Don’t like this ~ Help stop it! Help save a man like your father, brother, uncle , grandfather from expenses he doesn’t need and jail time that is being handed down for doing what is in our nature! Please we can all give this enough exposure so it wont happen at all ~ so it wont happen to friends who worked hard to build a home for their family and now the government wants to own our water too!

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/oregon-man-sentenced-30-days-jail-collecting-rainwater-his-property 

After reading the linked article I came to the conclusion that I really wasn’t sure that I had enough reliable information to form any type of an opinion on the matter, but wrote a length response on some of the more general implications of the situation a la Meme Merchants.

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Jamcracker Punk-Rock Piracy – the expression of free will by adult-right-acting-anarchists and neo-lifestyle-anarchist-Johnny Depp-rock’n’roll-pirates and FINALLY towards a science of authentic experience


So you want to be a pirate?                                                          [Pirate Marooned, Howard Pyle, 1910]

I seem to have set some kind of a record with this title, Uncle Marshal would be so pleased.

One of the really great things about the blogsophere, it delivers the most unanticipated sources of in-spiration to your front blogstep.   In today’s case the instigatrix is one Clotilda Jamcraker a very interesting lady and blogger from Texas who stopped by recently and ‘liked’ one of my posts.

I am inspired today by the opening rave [as opposed to rant] on Ms. JamCracker’s regular website ClotidaJamCracker.com, [as opposed to her blog].  What is interesting that this is the second time she has inspired me to post, this either means that there is some deep synergistic resonance happening between our two websites – or – basically anything anyone says can trigger a thought response in me that immediately flows through the creodes of my normal though process towards what you are about to get.

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The Sixth Fallacy – Questions Never Asked Are Never Answered – a comment on McIntyre and a 6th fallacy for Curry


The question never asked is a faint shadow of itself.  –  [© phi studios]

Steve McIntyre has a new post up at his blog Climate Audit, The Questions That Were Never Asked, detailing recent revelations in his ongoing examinations on the lack or proper investigations into the whole sordid Climategate Affair.  In this update we learn that Andrew Montford’s [aka Bishop Hill] FOI request for emails between the University of East Anglia and Outside Organisation has produced “A Trickle of Further Information”, in the form of a “remarkable” list of questions, questions that were prepared [or “collated”] by  Alan Preece of the UEA in February of 2010 for the purpose of preparing UEA Climate Research Unit professors Phil Jones and Edward Acton for a March 1, 2010 appearance before the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee formed to investigate the matter – and apparently never used.

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Poison in the Well of Culture-slightly off topic reflection on Collective Guilt


The Fifth Labor of Heracles, cleansing the Augean Stables – [The Twelve Labors of Hercules, 1808, colorized by Atani]

I’m a little OT today.

Richard Landes, who is a professor of history, particularly millennialism, at Boston University wrote recently at his blog The Augean Stables on the phenomenon of lethal narratives in the reporting of the conflicts between Israel and her neighbors, particularly the Palestinians in a post Poison in the Middle East Conflict.  Richard seems to have been touched off in this case by two cartoons by Chappatte, which you can find at the top of his post or at Chappette’s website.

Landes, in my opinion, though his research and scholarship are impeccable, can be a little touchy about these sorts of things, understandably being a Jew, and deeply concerned about how Jews, Jewishness and Israel are portrayed in the media [meaning often neither fairly nor accurately].  Personally I found the first cartoon which referenced the [absurd] allegation that Yasser Arafat was poisoned with Polonium by Israel [“we have found traces of poison… in the Israeli Palastinian relationship”] ironic, but not particularly lethal.  The second cartoon, which referenced the talks between Hamas and Fatah, I found a bit of an eye-roller, neither funny, nor instructive in any way.  I didn’t find either of them particularly malicious, though Landes took some umbrage at Chappette over them.

Landes proceeds to elaborate on the nature of lethal narratives within the context of the Israel Palestinian conflict, most notably the Al Durah Affair, one of the seminal events of the Second [Al Aqsa] Intifada.  Landes has made a formal investigation of the circumstances of the September 30, 2000 death of Muhammed Al Durah and subsequent media depictions which he describes as, “The first blood libel of the 21st century,” at his more scholarly website The Second Draft.  Which, by the way, if you think you know anything about what happened during the Second Infitada, have never heard the term Pallywood, or accept at face value anything coming out of the main stream news media from that part of the world you need to check out The Second Draft.

On any other day I would have followed the topic more closely as Landes continued [my bold].

The most powerful lethal narrative, the Muhammad al Durah story, was a nuclear bomb of cognitive warfare. It aroused Muslims throughout the world; it filled Israelis with horror and sapped their ability to defend themselves against accusations; and it thrilled various groups, primarily Europeans and Leftists, who saw it as a “get-out-of-holocaust-guilt-free” card, which freed them from any commitment to be fair to Israel.

However, the “’get-out-of-holocaust-guilt-free’ card” bit nearly tipped me out of my chair laughing.  I commented:

I absolutely loved your, “’get-out-of-holocaust-guilt-free’ card…” comment – I would pay for the copyright to that one – and so true.

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A reply to EM – A view down the road towards evolutionary concrescence


E.M. Smith, the Chiefio, has a comment in under my previous post A Roman Holiday – Chiefio on the problem of no fixes for the same ol’ same ‘ol, which was itself an elaboration upon a post at his blog, Same Solution, Same Problem, no fix .

In the comments E.M. noted:

FWIW, I think California is a great example of how the myth of “closer ties” is broken. We’re about as “tied” to the USA as you can get and fully economically and financially integrated. We’ve just had a 3rd city declare bankruptcy and several counties along with the State proper are headed toward it. We are the “Greece of the USA” and everyone knows it. So if ‘closer integration’ was going to fix things: How come California is so messed up financially?

My reply became long winded enough, and covered enough new theoretical ground that I’ve decided to promote it to a new post.

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Stop Knolling!! – too long for U Tube, an open letter to Tom Sachs on the fetishism of arranging objects


Donald Judd’s perfectly Knolled studio in NYC. Looks pretty cool doesn’t it? But what else is enCoded in the pattern?
[Donald Judd GNU FDL v1.2]

I was visiting a reader’s blog yesterday who tipped me off to a video, 10 Bullets, by sculptor Tom Sachs.  The video is apparently part employee training film for Tom’s studio assistants and part manifesto on the ethos of a working studio, and maybe organizing your life in general.  The video takes the form of elaborating upon The Code that all Tom Sachs Studios employees are expected to work to.

I invite you to take the twenty or so minutes it takes to watch the video before I deconstruct it. [art/design pun intended]

You’re back.  Good.

The video itself is cleverly well done and rather humorous, not your typical HR Department training film [though it does lean a little heavily on the kitty litter].  If your life or organization is surrounded by chaos, Sachs’ 10 Bullets may be just the ticket to help you keep entropy at bay.  The video has received generally very favorable comments from viewers, about a 37:1 thumbs up to thumbs down ratio.  My reaction seems to be among the minority view who’s reactions was something like, “Yes, yes, yes, but….”  I just couldn’t follow The Code to its natural conclusions without an increasingly insistent voice inside saying to me that somewhere along the line a significant and serious boundary had been crossed.

The rest of this post will take the form of an open letter to Tom Sachs.  To be fair, Tom of course is invited to respond in comments or in his own post at this blog.

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A Roman Holiday – Chiefio on the problem of no fixes for the same ol’ same ‘ol


I’ve been on an extended holiday from blogging, but since I still seem to have something to say I’ll say just say it now.

E.M. Smith aka Chiefio, – I have to get used to this, E.M seems to have ditched his pseudonym and is now going by his initials in public – has a new post up Same Solution, Same Problem, no fix which is a musing on the classic Audrey Hepburn movie Roman Holiday, the light hearted fairtale of a truant princess who skips out on her royal responsibilities for a day for before returning to the more serious duties as a figurehead of state.   Solutions proposed by fictitious princesses in 1953 don’t seem to be much different than what is proposed by fairy tale politicians today according to E.M.

From the screenplay [bold by The Chiefio]

AMERICAN CORRESPONDENT [speaking from the crowd] Does Your Highness believe that Federation would be a possible solution to Europe’s economic problems?

ANN. I am in favour of any measure which would lead to closer cooperation in Europe.

E.M had this to say:

Looks like the particular fantasy that “closer cooperation” or integration or “Federation” will solve economic ills has been around since at least 1953. You’d think after 1/2 Century they would have figured out it doesn’t do that. (Heck, you’d also think they would have figured out how to avoid financial problems…)

So is it time we started talking about Angela Merkel being on a Roman Holiday?

Fulfilling my role as prophet for the group I had this to say:

The tendency towards, “… any measure which would lead to closer cooperation in Europe,” is a faulty response to the general evolutionary pressure towards the globalization and unification of human culture and civilization.

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