Wise people learn to understand the difference between a real fact of life and a belief;

Survivalists who vote against their own best interests — These will not be the survivors.

If there are any, they will be those who work to benefit the well ordered community in the long term.

http://opinion.inquirer.net/33539/population-poverty-politics-and-rh-bill Â

St. Francis Basilica, Santa Fe


Not this picture, but the reason I took it. It reminded me so much of the miles and miles of crops that I photographed from a hilltop in Italy. But it’s not. Or is it? Does this represent not even anywhere near half of our crop of dead military personnel who have been buried in Santa Fe?

William deBuys Again

You remember of course my Bare Bones Biology and FactFictionFancy blog and radio spot about William deBuys and his book, A Great Aridness.

I was so impressed. “This guy gets it.” And can honestly express it in context. But five minutes is so short a time to express such a thing, so I gave you links to a couple of his longer podcasts.

So I expect you would like to hear more of him, and I’m pleased again to recommend his essay and also interview on TomDispatch that can be found at (click link or see below).

Another person who really gets it is Andrew Revkin, with the New York Times, who ran a book report on his column from a UT student.

Bitsy’s Dog Park Diary – 120729

Today I give Bitsy the last of her pills. On a Monday, a month ago, I woke up at 6 in the morning to a very quiet trailer park and a very sick dog. She wouldn’t eat; mostly she just lay still, and knowing Bitsy, I knew this to be very serious. But – what do you do? Now, I know a few people. Now I know a good vet. Then, I burst into tears and wandered around until I found a person outside, and yes he called someone and they all helped to find a good, but not cheap, vet that is available for emergencies. Smith’s if ever you are in Santa Fe.

But the thing is, I think I cried that morning for every sad thing I have ever known. I couldn’t stop. I cried for all the children I have been trying to prevent their suffering for our mistakes, and for all the whole earth that is dying to us. I had no idea how deeply I could cry, way out of proportion to one dear dog. After all, there have been many, and I do know how to cope.

Bitsy had pneumonia; when we came back home from the vet, she lay down on her dog rug that half fills all our indoor space, and I lay down beside her on the floor and fell asleep. A couple of hours later, the person who helped me came to see if I was OK. I was OK. I’m still OK. But it’s all real. The tears are for your grandchildren. Mostly. And I’ve been storing them up for about 10 years, since I looked out and saw what is happening.

Now we have settled into a routine, Bitsy and I. In the morning, she gets to eat, first thing. Then she comes back in and I have to cover her up with the blanket. When she’s ready to move and I have answered emails, we go out to the dog park for half an hour. Then we come back and Bitsy gets her two pills, followed by the PILL CHASER the Cruz-Alstons gave us for going away. When we ran out, we found some identical pill chasers in a local store and I guess we will have to continue that ritual forever. Evening routine is similar, but without the blanket. Hot.

Bitsy is fine now, and we continue to record her Dog Park Diary, that she will publish when the trip is finished. Maybe we’ll have a calendar sooner than that.

Bare Bones Biology 118 – David Barsamian

You all know David Barsamian, who gave us a personal interview. The podcast is linked to the bottom of this post, and transcribed below:

“David Barsamian was in Santa Fe a couple of weeks ago. He created Alternative Radiothat plays on KEOS and around the world every week, with some of the best facts and opinions available these days. I’ll write more about this below the transcript, and leave the rest of the time for David.

“Well, let me say this. In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. We live now in a time of tremendous lying and perfidity, and citizens need to inform themselves. Chomskysays it’s the task of citizens in a democratic society to educate themselves, so they will be able to resist the propaganda that’s cascading upon them through the media and through the educational system.

“Propaganda is first and foremost destroying the truth in terms of U.S. foreign policy. It completely misrepresents U.S. intentions outside the country. Everything the United States does is always presented in very benign, benevolent terms. If there is anything tragic that happens, then you’ll notice they use the passive voice and say that ‘mistakes were made’ or ‘it was an accident, it was not intentional.’

“So I think to be able to resist this kind of propaganda it’s very, very important to be informed. I mean, many Americans don’t even know that they don’t know what they have lost because of the paucity of public education. Many people have lost the ability to distinguish evidence from opinion.

“So when you watch something on FOX news, all those gas-bags and blow-hards who know nothing about nothing, they’re not talking about facts. They’re talking about opinion. Not evidence. So when they say things like, ‘Iran is an aggressive country, OK let’s say that’s the case. Iran is an aggressive country. The fact is that Iran has not invaded another country in 250 years. You can’t go more than two and a half years in any part of U.S. history and make that statement. The United States is constantly directly invading, occupying other countries, undermining them through economic warfare, political warfare, and straight-out military invasion. So the historical record often is at extreme variance with the propaganda tropes, and propaganda plays a huge role for manufacturing consent for imperial foreign policy, as well as domestic wall-street policy.
We have an economy run by the 1%, as the Occupy movement says. It’s an economy by and for the financial elites, the bankers, the people who own the economy.

“And this makes perfect sense, because one of the founding fathers was John Jay, the first President of the Continental Congress and the first Supreme Court Justice of the United States. He said: ‘Those who own the country ought to govern it.’ There you have it, right at the beginning of the founding of this country you have a statement that 1% should control the 99%. Another example is James Madison, who is endlessly quoted, but not this quote: ‘The aim of government (this is a direct quote) is to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.’ Simple English. The minority of the opulent, that’s the rich, and the majority is everybody else. And that’s what we have today, economically, and it hasn’t changed very much, it’s just gotten worse in the United States.”

And then Lynn pops in here: “I’m doing OK. Why should I care?”

Barsamian: “There’s a very important human quality, which is compassion, and if we see our fellow human beings suffering or in some way disadvantaged, we have to extend ourselves as much as possible to help them in any way we can. I think that’s what makes us human. That’s what makes us humane.”

Of course you know David Barsamian’s comments are about politics, but I find it fascinating that all or nearly all posts about any serious issue come down to the same sorts of subjects and points of view. I can read through this whole broadcast above and replace the political topics with science topics and nothing is changed except that good science gets to work with already-established facts and most of politics is about cause and effects based in historical evidence. We can’t change facts and we can’t change what already has happened.

It’s somewhat easier for scientists, because we can prove what we say when we are talking about already-demonstrated facts. Well, in one way it’s great. In another way, we are continually in danger of being tripped up by our own science, in case someone might be able to demonstrate the flaws in our arguments. Climate Change for example. The climate is changing, and all the opinions in the world can’t stop it. The only thing that could have stopped it was action – changing our behaviors – and we didn’t want to do that, so here we are. Facts do not change. That’s why we call them facts. So whenever the scientist (I’m not talking about technology here) when the scientist is right – she is right! And then our responsibility is to modify our behaviors according to the facts, because we are not going to change the facts, no matter how hard we try.

I think of the global warming “debate” and I wonder why? What did anyone get out of that except an economic downturn? (There is not and was never a climate change debate among people who understood he facts and were not willing to lie; the people who were willing to lie were not qualified scientists; it’s just another corposystem<acon gameof the sort that David is talking about above.

It’s really hard for scientists who aren’t willing to lie when the people who own the media are spreading lies at the top of their wavelengths.

Bare Bones Biology 118 – David Barsamian
KEOS 89.1, Bryan, Texas
An audio copy of the above transcript can be downloaded here
Or at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

Recommended References:


Home Sweet Home (the little one)