The Bills are overdue

clinton cosby

cosby he said she said

The picture on the left is more than just a bringing together of two Americans last really famous in the 1990s. Both have had credible accusations of abuse of women levelled against them – and that is to put it very mildly – but both have, up until now, been protected by a refusal within the media to attack anyone on the left no matter how great the scandal might have been. The barriers against protecting Cosby are falling and might well have completely vanished. The same is not true for Bill Clinton, and this is all the more so since the credible evidence is also that Hillary perfectly well understood Bill’s character and did what she could to allow him to become president and understands it still, but again remains silent so that she can become president. The media is already a pathological institution. But with the similarities between Bill 1 and Bill 2 so obvious, there will come a time when Hillary will have to answer for what had been done with her obvious compliance.

This is Ann Coulter discussing Bill Clinton and his association with Jeffery Epstein last January. Elites forming a circle of the wagons is the one constant that may be depended on for a Democrat sex scandal.

 

 

No problem is harder than the problem of consciousness

I was led to the entry on “the hard problem of consciousness” by this review of the work of Tom Stoppard by Steve Sailer, A ‘Problem’ Worth Addressing. This is the problem of consciousness focused on how it is even possible even to be conscious.

The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining how and why we have qualia or phenomenal experiences—how sensations acquire characteristics, such as colors and tastes.

There are a number of philosophers who are quoted, but let me give you John Stuart Mill’s. It is naturally, Mill being Mill, the longest but also the most engaging:

Now I am far from pretending that it may not be capable of proof, or that it is not an important addition to our knowledge if proved, that certain motions in the particles of bodies are the conditions of the production of heat or light; that certain assignable physical modifications of the nerves may be the conditions not only of our sensations or emotions, but even of our thoughts; that certain mechanical and chemical conditions may, in the order of nature, be sufficient to determine to action the physiological laws of life. All I insist upon, in common with every thinker who entertains any clear idea of the logic of science, is, that it shall not be supposed that by proving these things one step would be made towards a real explanation of heat, light, or sensation; or that the generic peculiarity of those phenomena can be in the least degree evaded by any such discoveries, however well established. Let it be shown, for instance, that the most complex series of physical causes and effects succeed one another in the eye and in the brain to produce a sensation of colour; rays falling on the eye, refracted, converging, crossing one another, making an inverted image on the retina, and after this a motion—let it be a vibration, or a rush of nervous fluid, or whatever else you are pleased to suppose, along the optic nerve—a propagation of this motion to the brain itself, and as many more different motions as you choose; still, at the end of these motions, there is something which is not motion, there is a feeling or sensation of colour. Whatever number of motions we may be able to interpolate, and whether they be real or imaginary, we shall still find, at the end of the series, a motion antecedent and a colour consequent. The mode in which any one of the motions produces the next, may possibly be susceptible of explanation by some general law of motion: but the mode in which the last motion produces the sensation of colour, cannot be explained by any law of motion; it is the law of colour: which is, and must always remain, a peculiar thing. Where our consciousness recognises between two phenomena an inherent distinction; where we are sensible of a difference which is not merely of degree, and feel that no adding one of the phenomena to itself would produce the other; any theory which attempts to bring either under the laws of the other must be false; though a theory which merely treats the one as a cause or condition of the other, may possibly be true.

Descriptions of subjective experiences are objective facts. How are they even possible in a world of material fact? Maybe there are answers, but the certainty is that whatever these answers are, we do not know them.

A libertarian view of radical Islam

This is part of an email highlighting some of the events that have already been brought together for Freedomfest 2016 which will be held in Las Vegas July 13-16. There is nothing else like it. Mark Skousen over the course of three days brings together every group on the conservative/libertarian side of the political divide. And this will be just before what may be one of the most important elections in American history. You should go to the link and you should think about being there yourself. There is no other show on earth like it.

FORMER ISLAMIC RADICAL TO ADDRESS FREEDOMFEST

hamid

In response to the growing threat of radical Islamic terrorism both here and abroad, FreedomFest will host Dr. Tawfik Hamid, one-time Islamic extremist from Egypt, former member of Al-Qaeda, and author of the bestseller, “Inside Islam.” A physician from Egypt, he has appeared on CNN and Fox News, and has written op-eds for The Wall Street Journal. He has lectured at the Pentagon and the FBI on his strategic plan to defeat radical Islam.

radical jihad

Hamid will speak on “How Radical Islam Works. Why It Should Terrify Us, and How to Defeat It.”

Dr. Hamid will also participate in an important debate, “Can Islam be Reformed?” Not to be missed.

Ptolemy and the modern economy

us interest rates 2009-2015

If you want to know why the American economy is going nowhere, that is a very good place to start. Here is some of the text that goes with the picture: US Federal Reserve lifts rates and that is a good thing. The following is the kind of epicycle analysis that Ptolemy might have given his blessings to:

A quantitative easing programme that accompanied the Fed’s global crisis interest rate cuts meant the US central bank added about $US4 trillion to its balance sheet as it bought bonds, injecting cash into the financial system in the process.

It intends to charge banks and other money market institutions a quarter of a per cent more for short-term funding, and pay them a quarter of a per cent more for surplus cash they deposit overnight with the Fed by way of “reverse repurchase agreements” that commit the central bank to sell bonds for cash, and then re-buy them.

The immediate danger is that demand for the higher deposit rate will be so strong that it pushes down on short-term rates again. The Fed’s solution is to massively increase the maximum size of its reverse repurchase kitty, from $US300 billion to an eye-popping $US2 trillion.

Well that’s clear enough. The US economy stays as dead as it’s been for the past seven years.

Bring Tony into Cabinet says Eric Abetz

Now being reported at The Australian: Eric Abetz: now bring Tony Abbott back to cabinet

Liberal senator Eric Abetz has called for Tony Abbott to be brought back into the cabinet after the sudden departure of two frontbenchers embroiled in controversy.

Cities Minister Jamie Briggs was yesterday forced to resign in disgrace after admitting an “error of professional judgment” in relation to an incident involving a young female public servant in Hong Kong while Special Minister of State Mal Brough stepped down pending the outcome of a police investigation into his role in the Peter Slipper affair.

Very messy and not a good look. I’m still not sure what Briggs had done, but I have to say that he would have to be off his rocker if he was a member of the cabinet and tried any of that Bill Clinton stuff.

Malcolm stiff-arming the Yarts Community

The events described are from a fortnight ago and the significance is that they have surfaced at all. This is an actual, no two ways about it criticism from the left of our new Prime Minister and reported in The Australian, PM’s Literary Awards: Turnbull snubs Adler, makes strange speech. It’s not often you catch me agreeing with Louise Adler, but on the issue of parallel imports, this is one where the contractual obligations imposed by publishers should be left alone by the government. This is from a story about Malcolm Turnbull stiff-arming the Yarts Community.

He [being the PM] dismissed Adler’s call — and bravo to her for having the guts to raise the issue — to rethink plans to scrap the parallel importation restrictions that protect Australian writers and publishers. “Even if territorial copyright were to crumble”, he said, Australian writers would “stand on their merits” and their works would “sing across the world and across the ages”. That just sounds glib.

If you think Malcolm understands any issue at all, you are a very optimistic man. It took two weeks for the story to appear which of itself might indicate that the Oz may not be quite as accommodating next year as it has been this year.

A cross-section of misery

Even in the affluent West, life is a trial. In the list below, some have two or three of these problems at the same time, while others may have none at the present but eventually will. This is a list put together by a psychiatrist “in a wealthy, mostly-white college town consistently ranked one of the best places to live in the country.” His specific instances are problems no one would wish to have to deal with. Here is his list of a macro breakdown of the misery that can be seen to exist if one takes a cross-section of the population.

– About 1% of people are in prison at any given time
– About 2% of people are on probation, which can actually be really limiting and unpleasant
– About 1% of people are in nursing homes or hospices
– About 2% of people have dementia
– About 20% of people have chronic pain, though this varies widely with the exact survey question, but we are not talking minor aches here. About two-thirds of people with chronic pain describe it as “constant”, and half of people describe it as “unbearable and excruciating”.
– About 7% of people have depression in any given year
– About 2% of people are cognitively disabled aka mentally retarded
– About 1% of people are schizophrenic
– About 20% of people are on food stamps
– About 1% of people are wheelchair-bound
– About 7% of people are alcoholic
– About 0.5% of people are chronic heroin users
– About 5% of people are unemployed as per the official definition which includes only those looking for jobs
– About 3% of people are former workers now receiving disability payments
– About 1% of people experience domestic violence each year
– About 10% of people were sexually abused as children, many of whom are still working through the trauma.
– Difficult to get statistics, but possibly about 20% of people were physically abused as children, likewise.
– About 9% of people (male and female) have been raped during their lifetime, likewise.

Bleak is the word for it. And even if one has no misfortunes to report so far, it is hard to get through life with no major moment of misery. But perhaps the lesson is not to read lists written down by psychiatrists.