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Who: Kimball Corson. Text and Photos not disclaimed or that are obviously not mine are copyright (c) Kimball Corson 2004-2013
Port: Lake Pleasant, AZ
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Looking Back for a Moment
Kimball Corson
09/15/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

The Greater of my Regrets

I don't need to be at death's door to know what it is. I am far enough along to know already. My life has been a long and great learning rampage across many fields because I have always been happiest climbing up one or another learning curve. Most all of what I enjoy doing is learning or being environmentally interactive. Indeed, I write what I do simply to examine my own thoughts. Be all that as it may, today I was saddened and indeed shaken to learn about the death of a women I knew very well once. My feelings are further roiled by the fact she was the mother of someone I have always profoundly loved who slipped out of my life in a sea of regrets. But that is another story and one I will never tell.

As to the deceased mother, she was doctrinairely Catholic but had a much larger and more expansive view on life than that description would suggest. Her implicit life goal was to have others advance according to her considerable lights and she made that happen with all her might. I and her subjects did not always agree with her particular agendas for us, but she had many others that were quite laudable, even according to my atheistic views. I never could bring myself to convert, but she was a real singer, even if that song simply was not for me.

Reflecting on her death, however, made me realize something. It is my greatest failing. I have never given enough back to others on my journey, although many gave to me. My focus is too narrowed by my grand endeavor, broadly conceived, and I have not helped others enough along the way or so I conclude as I look back. We all fall short here, but few so grandly as I do. I simply live too much in my head and in my personal interactions with my changing environments. Oh, I am socially interactive enough but my reach to other's needs is truly as small as my deceased friend's was large. Her death brought that point home to me resoundingly.

So consequently, I have this great regret -- or indeed, two -- which her death made me realize and focus on, although each in different ways.

Whom Do We Hate the Most
Kimball Corson
09/15/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Whom Do We Love?

An astounding 72% percent of Americans say they are unhappy with Republicans in Congress, according to a recent poll. That is 28 percent who seem happy with them. Democrats fare better but are nothing to write home about.

The poll, conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News and released last week, found that only 54% and 61% said they disapprove of Obama and Democrats respectively.

So the midterm senate and gubernatorial races should be a landslide right?

Corporate First Amendment Rights
Kimball Corson
09/15/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

A Different View on Corporate First Amendment Rights of Speech and Petition

A corporation is an artificial, incorporal legal fiction accorded the status of an entity. It becomes an entity without depriving any human of any right or privilege. In fact, it affords its human owners the additional right, in selected instances, to be free of personal legal liability for their economic and business actions. It affords them that right as a decision of social policy that, without out such a limitation on liability, economically and entrepreneurially progressive business or economic risks, deemed good for the social order at large, would not be undertaken but for that freedom from personal or human liability.

A corporation should have no right of free speech here independent of such free speech rights of its human owners (except possibly regarding the business and economics of its genuine business endeavors). Otherwise, it would duplicate those rights. It does not take them away from those human owners. They have the same individual rights of free speech as they did before the fictional corporate entity was created. Why should such humans thereby be afforded further rights of free speech (and petition) by means of a controlled, artificial entity that has no corporal capacity for speech? It is silly and duplicitous. Human owners can each say all they want without a corporation.

What such humans do is misuse some corporations these days to do no more than first pool and then funnel money to political candidates to acquire greater First Amendment rights of Petition and Speech for their owners in regard to representatives than those humans otherwise would have, thereby hugely augmenting and expanding their rights of petition and speech, while compromising and depreciating such rights for those who don't or can't. It is a constitutional violation of the rights of petition and speech of those thereby disadvantaged. In once instance, petition and speech succeed; in the others, they fail.

The rights of petition and free political speech for corporations is an intellectual and legal sham.

On Why Mathematics Is Disturbing
Kimball Corson
09/15/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Using appropriate definitions and functional or set mapping specifications, mathematics can be made to model reality so closely, it is eerie. Topics, such as the flow of water over rocks and around sharp angles, that were formerly though beyond mathematics, now are not. Much phenomena can be modeled with precision by new set mapping and specificational techniques and methods. Little is found that seems able to hide from our efforts permanently
.
But this is troubling. Is it a chicken and egg problem where one or the other is simply belatedly found? Does mathematics model reality or does it define and predict it. Why are there such relationships instead of randomness and worse, what is randomness?

Is randomness or low correlation really and truly happenstance? Or is it the traces of relationships that are ill or incompletely specified and understood so that what we observe simply seems rather random. The whole area, if the latter is true, of inferential statistics seems too much like a cover-up for our ignorance. An area of only partial understanding, improved only where statistical functions well specified move toward mathematical ones. Is there is discontinuous continua there, proceeding by hops where our mappings and specificational techniques and methods improve, but only in fits and starts?

Another problem is this. Is what we perceive as randomness really arbitrary and free of all immediate cause and effect? Is it physical or theoretical happenstance, free of all traceable impetus? Is the gap between mathematical understanding and completeness, on one hand, and random phenomena on the other hand, truly a gap external to us or in reality or is it only the gap, on the other, in our knowledge, methods and understanding. Worse, is all knowledge at some level or another already dispersed among and between us, so the only real gap is one of communication and consolidating it?

QED. Proof a fool can ask more questions than a wise man can answer.

CIA Director Brennen
Kimball Corson
09/13/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

CIA Director Brennen Is an Evil Looking and Acting Rat Who Needs to Go

That seems to be the consensus emerging from the House Intelligence Committee charged with oversight of the CIA. Brennen refuses to answer questions, provide documents and is disrespectful to and disdainful of committee members. Brennen even tried to shout down committee member Barbara Boxer. He and the CIA are a man and an agency out of control.

Bennen also refused to say who at the CIA hacked into the House Committee's computers to see top secret information. The committee staff used the computers to compile a report on the agency's illegal use of torture on suspected terrorists under the Bush administration. The CIA is attempting to block publication of the detailed report in a desperate effort to cover its ass. Brennen simply refused to answer many of the questions put to him. He is blocking the committee from doing its job of oversight and being quite nasty about it.

Were I his boss, I would fire him in a heart beat, unless, of course, he were covering up my implied culpability as well in the same types of activities. Here is another strike against Obama, a long and great fan of extraordinary rendition. Perhaps he should go too.

Deniers Folly
Kimball Corson
09/12/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Massive Ice Shelf in Antarctica Collapses as it Melts

The Larsen B ice shelf has collapsed as it melts. It is a mass of fractured ice bigger than some very small countries.Antarctica is a key to sea level rise, which threatens coastal areas around the world.. It has enough ice to raise seas by 57 meters (190 feet) if it ever all melted. A big chunk now is.

Until now, the exact cause of the collapse of the Larsen-B ice shelf in 2001 had been unknown. Some experts suggested it was thinned by sea water from below. Writing in the journal Science, a team of scientists blamed rising air temperatures, saying that melted water and rain in the brief Antarctic summer had flowed into deep cracks. Water expands when it turns to ice, and the re-freezing water in the Larsen-B shelf - perhaps 200 meters thick - led to a build-up of huge pressures that shattered the ice in 2002.

The ice shelf has existed since the last Ice Age 12,000 years ago. The collapsed area was was 650 feet thick and had a surface area of 1,250 square miles, or about the size of Rhode Island. It is breaking off in fragments now, as the photograph shows.The northern part of the Larsen-C ice shelf, further south, is four times the size of the Larsen-B shelf, and it has been showing signs of instability lately.

The island nation of Kiribati is moving its people. The islands forming its nation are being inundated by rising sea water levels to the point now, after thousands of years, the islands are no longer habitable. The nation has bought 5000 acres in Fiji and is moving its people there for safety.

But, hey, Deniers, it isn't happening, right?

iPhones
Kimball Corson
09/12/2014, Pago Pago, American SamoaK

Why I Just Bought a "Used Like New" Back-Up iPhone 4 for My iPhone 4

1) their prices are rising quickly, 2) except for some women, bigger is not better, 3) who wants to carry a house around, and 4) I hate light weight, plastic stuff.

I am happy with the performance, features, feel, size and weight of the 4 so I want to stay with a 4 and bought another to use when mine eventually dies. I have the mini iPad and a fully loaded iPad. I'll evolve along with them. The truth is I hate phones, but cannot get by even retired without one -- even though I tried -- ergo, the 4. Also, I need a quad band phone that, as I travel from country to country, I can use with a cut down standard sim card which is all there is in some smaller or island nations of the world.

Secularism in the Islamic State
Kimball Corson
09/12/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Secularism at the Core of the Islamic State

Religion has long be recognized as a means of social control. That is what the Islamic State would seem to be all about. This is the implication of so many high Baath officers of the former Iraqi state under Saddam who are now running the Islamic State. The Baaths were secularists, modernists, military rulers and elite guards. Now they essentially run the Islamic State along with a few certified Islamic crazies. Crazy like foxes, I argue. Islam is being used as a system of Arab population social control.

This explains why the revealed preferences of the Islamic State have migrated so far from centrist Koranic teachings. It also explains why Islam in the State's hands is so effective as a means of social domination and control. Saddam ruled by fear to hold Shiite and Sunni factions in check. The Islamic State combines fear with "religion," a much more powerful combination.

It can be argued that this situation is a consequence of the US blocking conquered Baathist officers under Saddam from serving in the later US trained and reorganized new Iraqi army. Leaving them, dangling in the wind, unable to persue their military vocations until new uses could be found for their military skills, as now with the Islamic State. We certainly do get too much wrong in the Middle East, mostly because our policy makers and politicians don't understand it. Yet here we are about to go war again in the Middle East. War machine profits are again sought after by the oligarchs.

Whether the crazy like-a-fox Islamic leaders of the Islamic State can continue to get along the the Baath military leaders of that State remains to be seen. "Baathism is fundamentally a secular, pan-Arab movement, which the pan-Islamist movements have been at odds with for decades. This is not a natural alliance," explains one Middle Eastern expert. Both however, seek Sunni dominance over Shiites and others. Baathists want minority support, allegiance and greater power. Islamist crazies want war with and murder for minorities. Baath temperance and Islamic craziness are a bad fit and there have already been conflicts in the field regarding villages taken.

Where matters will land out is not clear as we again gear up to fight some group, although which one, where and how is all not too certain. We are veritable bunny brained war mongerers.

What Republicans Want
Kimball Corson
09/12/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

What Is It Republicans Want?

At first blush, it seems to be the opposite of whatever it is Liberals and progressives want, leaving the sentiment that their desires are born of envy and resentment. That may be true, but the propaganda machine of Koch & Friends has given those feelings a voice in the form of regressivism and libertarianism. Basically the idea of regressivism is summed up in the statement we need to go back to the 1950's in America. It is naive and impossible. We are way past Dick and Jane and that era. There is no going back.

Libertarianism a la Koch brothers is more specifically an economic agenda that looks to trickle down theory and supply side economics. It is neatly summarized by Mitt Romney's comments -- "As President... I will cut marginal tax rates across the board for individuals and corporations... I will repeal burdensome regulations, and prevent the bureaucracy from writing new ones... Instead of growing the federal government, I will shrink it."

This is oligarchical apologetics with dollops of Grover Norqusit and Ronald Reagan thrown in. The basic Koch brothers recipe. Basically, the agenda says, let the oligarchs do what they want and get government out of the way of that by doing it in.

This is a program for failure and destruction which will skew the wealth and income distributions even further, as jobs disappear over the horizon and are replaced, in ever greater numbers, by machines. Like the Palestinians, the laboring classes of middle and lower end America, will not be needed, even as buyers, given world markets, or wanted, for they matter. Like the Palestinians, they will be in the way and the oligarchs' need will be for some means to make us go away -- of disposal of us that can be gotten away with. Otherwise, huge income and perhaps wealth transfers will be needed, first to government, and from government to us, just to keep us alive and held aside.That is too expensive to the oligarchs.

Although these things are what the Republicans want, they dare not spell it out for us. Even so, the implications are clear, except for the fools among us and they are not at all favorable to most of us. All the Republicans need -- to pull this off -- is to capture the Senate -- in addition to the House which is already a slam dunk -- in the mid-term 2014 elections, which they will most likely win, and then have Romney beat out Hillary in the 2016 presidential election. Then Republicans and the oligarchs will control government and do what they want with and to it and Republicans will hand our world to the oligarchs and shaft us royally.

While we sit in a stupor and suck our thumbs because we could not organize our way out of a paper bag. We cannot even agree on the problem, as our mediocre brains drown in a sea of isms and tired old ideas dressed up with myriad and fancy new names, all of which which fragments our feeble thinking and actions into oblivion.

Citizen United Forever
Kimball Corson
09/12/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Our Voice Doesn't Matter to Those Damned Republicans

By a straight party-line vote of 54-42, the Republicans in the U.S. Senate just defeated a bill to begin a constitutional amendment that would have overruled the awful Citizens United decision. 54 Democrats voted to advance the measure -- another, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), would have done so but wasn't present. However, every single Republican voted against it, and it fell to a filibuster.

Unlike with other bills that have majority support, a filibuster wasn't the primary obstacle here. A proposed constitutional amendment has to win 67 votes to be passed by the Senate -- so, assuming all Democrats were present, the amendment would still have been 12 votes short overall. But not one Republican defected.

The amendment would have reversed not just Citizens United, but decades of Supreme Court holdings on political spending, going back to the 1970s. Supporters argued that such a measure is necessary to help reduce the unprecedented amounts of money being spent on elections, but opponents maintained it would hurt free speech and political participation.

In the past few months, over 500,000 members of the public signed a petition to repeal Citizens United, but the petition was ignored by the Republicans who are slightly favored to win and take over the Senate, in addition to the House, in the upcoming November 2014 mid-terms elections. Then all they need is the presidency in 2016 and they can take over the country.

Wonderful days ahead.

Obama Is a Failure
Kimball Corson
09/11/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Obama Has Been a Failure

Why is more messy. I chalk much of his failure up to 1) his initial overblown rhetoric set too high a standard and ballooned expectations (10 %), 2) the fact our innate racial prejudice was not going to let a black president succeed (20%), 3) his lack of experience with the political process (15%), 4) his continuation of too many Bush policies (15%), 5) as a constitutional lawyer, his compromise and destruction of our civil rights and of the Bill of Rights (10%), 6) his ignorance of world events and bad foreign policies (5%), 7) his inaction on the economy, unemployment and the income distribution (10%) and 8) his unwillingness to seriously fight for what he believed in (15%). (My weightings)

On balance, Americans agree he has been a failure. According to a new poll from the Washington Post and ABC News,.52 percent of Americans agree. Among registered voters, the failure success gap is even bigger -- at 55-39 -- with four in 10 (41 percent) saying they "strongly" believe Obama has been a failure.

One in four Democrats (25 percent), nearly three in 10 liberals (29 percent) and the vast, vast majority of conservative Republicans (92 percent) agree Obama has been a failure. Nearly one in five liberals (18 percent) say they feel "strongly" that Obama has been a failure.

Again, as for why, I explain above.

Global Warming Deniers
Kimball Corson
09/11/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Fossil Fuel Companies Elect Global Warming Deniers to Congress

If you wonder why so many members of Congress are in denial when it comes to global warming and doing anything about it, follow the money. Since 2008, according to FEC data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, Corporations in the fossil fuel industry, including the Koch brothers, have bankrolled the "Climate Denier Caucus" to the tune of $641 million in campaign contributions.

Many of these companies claim to be working to fight global warming, even as their dollars help send climate change "skeptics" to Capitol Hill. A new report not only names names, but also highlights the apparent disconnect between political spending and corporate public relations efforts. Google CEO Eric Schmidt told an audience that gathered to laud the company's efforts to build "a better web that is better for the environment" that "you can lie about the effects of climate change, but eventually you'll be seen as a liar." At the same time, the company whose motto is "do no evil" has kicked in almost $700,000 for Congressional climate deniers since 2008.

There needs to be a penalty for lying in public as part of an effort to affect public policy. Truth is too much on the chopping block and nearly all now lie with impunity, destroying or seriously compromising the public's ability to get accurate, truthful information in order to make political judgments and evaluate their political representatives.

Good Sperm
Kimball Corson
09/11/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Handsomeness and Sperm Quality

They are inversely related. The facial characteristics and features associated with masculine handsomeness, as determine by exemplified survey evidence, is strongly correlated with lower sperm quality as measured by the motility (movement), morphology (structure), and concentration of the men's sperm cells.

Testosterone levels are thought to be involved. However, as one researcher explained, "We would need more studies to demonstrate the causation and mechanism behind this finding...before giving any mating tips to the females."

What facial characteristics correlate with high sperm quality is not explained, but several researchers were over heard commenting on princesses kissing frogs..

Asylum Considerations
Kimball Corson
09/11/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Considerations in Granting an Illegal Immigrant Refugee Asylum

The proper set of criteria in determining a grant of asylum to an illegal refugee boil down to a consideration of the refugee's interests, including a careful determination of the threat to his or her life in the home country, and a consideration of the interests of the host country. Also, asylum does not need to be for life, but should look primarily to any change in the threat to the refugee's life in his or her home country. When home country circumstances substantially reduce the threat to a refugee's life, the refugee should return home unless 1) he wants to stay and 2) it is in the interests of the host country to keep that refugee in light of his or her contributions to the host country.

Asylum should not be a system for lying to escape poverty.

Host country interests should consider literacy, work history and habits, lack of a criminal record, stable employment, improvement and betterment of the refugee while in the host country, lack of being a burden on the social system and similar considerations that look to how well the refugee has fit in and advanced him or herself and the interests of the host country.

For refugees who are children, the answers to these questions are much more difficult to assess and additional questions arise. Is there a real threat to the child's life or is a parent, if any, simply engaged in child abandonment to get a better life for the child. If the child has no parent in the home country, why, and are there relatives of the child? The matters for a child are much harder to assess and errors of judgment should favor the child.

Our national discussion of dream children, general amnesty or conditions for any amnesty or the "send them all home" approach is much too simple minded and ill-considered.

The Refugee Problem
Kimball Corson
09/11/2014, Pago Pago, American Samoa

The Worldwide Refugee Problem

From Africa, Syria, Iraq, Mexico and other poor or war torn parts of the world refugees steam in illegal hoards to the civilized, stable and best functioning parts of the world such as the US, Europe and Scandinavia. The destination areas are literally under assault.. They are being over run and over whelmed. The extremes of choice they face are total exclusion, which best protects and preserves their way of life, or total acceptance by granting asylum to all which destroys that way of life by over loading their homelands with those who are illiterate, poor, criminally disposed or otherwise undesirable. Compassion is pitted against self preservation. Target countries are over whelmed and conflicted.

Some, like several Scandinavian countries, formerly welcomed such refugees -- particularly Muslims from war torn Arab lands -- with open arms and have paid a high price for doing so. Now, they much more slam their doors shut to such new immigrants. For the undeniable truth is illegal immigrants bring trouble whether in the form of adjustment problems at a minimum or criminality and subversion at the worst. Compassion has its limits and civilize parts of the world are struggling to find just where those limits should be for the various classes of illegal immigrants. Those who are Muslim from Arab countries and those who are from the poorest African countries are presently viewed to warrant the least compassion. Those with prospects for better fitting in and not being a burden on their host countries, are treated with more compassion.

This should come as no surprise and is to be expected. Help and compassion always have their limits. Self preservation in its various forms defines those limits

 

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