Bare Bones Biology 191 – David Barsamian

David Barsamian created Alternative Radio (http://www.alternativeradio.org) that plays on KEOS and actually around the world every week, with some of the best facts and opinions available these days. I’ll
write about Alternative Radio, briefly, below the transcript.

Barsamian2“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. Chomsky (http://www.chomsky.info/) says 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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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 SupremeCourt Justice of the United States. He said: ‘Those who own the country ought to govern it.’ http://books.google.com/books?id=wRYzAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA2 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. Yet we can’t change facts and we can’t change what already has happened. I think it’s time to get the good information and use it well instead of trying to prove that facts aren’t real and history didn’t happen.

And that’s why David Barsamian has continued to offer us real fact-based information from the lips of experts – not only about politics, but about all the many issues that are currently being overwhelmed by special-interest propaganda.

I’ll be out of town, attending a program led by Fr. John Dear and Roshi Joan. I’ll tell you about that when I get back. Meantime, I do hope you have the chance to listen to the opinions of an honorable, outspoken media man. I hope he is not one of the last.

An audio copy of the above transcript can be downloaded here

Or at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

Recommended References:
http://www.alternativeradio.org/
http://www.chomsky.info/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_movement
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/const/yates.htm
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/

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:

http://www.alternativeradio.org/pages/about-barsamian
http://www.chomsky.info/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_movement
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/const/yates.htm
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/
https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/

Bare Bones Biology 067-What To Do-01

It’s not as though I’m running out of things to say. I have at least three whole books left in me. But here I was getting a little tired of what I was saying, and along comes someone and asks me what we should do about all this. I thought that’s what I was saying, but it reminded me of the time I asked Noam Chomsky that very question. Only, of course I wasn’t quite so nice about it. He was on television; I was sitting at home feeling sorry for myself. At that stage of my life I was just finally dragging myself out of the muck of the victim role in our co-dependent culture, and that’s pretty much what my email sounded like that I sent to him. A pity party. But he answered right away, like, before he got off the television, and gave me a big round pill to swallow, and that’s where it all began. That’s one of the books I still haven’t written.

Unfortunately, he didn’t answer that particular question, so I still didn’t know what to do.

And then there was the time when someone asked me that same question when we were alone together in our dorm room after a stressful day at the photo clinic, I think it was in Italy. I didn’t have an answer, so I worked on it for about a year until a new understanding opened up for me about citizen responsibilities as they relate to biological reality. So I wrote it all out in great detail, annotated and logically consistent, and sent it to her. She never did answer. But then a friend told me that her question, when she asked me “what would you do?” is a classic “nice” technique to shut someone up when we don’t want to listen to them anymore.

I personally think it would be easier and nicer to just say: “I don’t wanna talk about it anymore,” but you can’t knock a year of productivity in a positive direction that came out of her manipulation. So we all are lucky. I have figured it out, and I will tell you. It’ll take more than five minutes, but we can begin with the fact that we who are interested in this problem are consumer citizens, and we all do have the same bottom-line goal or we wouldn’t be doing this. The goal is to build a tomorrow that is better than today.

To do that, we need to have a vision of what that tomorrow would look like, and we need to hold that vision in front of us at all times when we’re making decisions that affect other people. Which is all the time because all of our decisions affect other people.

The simplest vision I can imagine that would work out well would have three basic components. The first is kindness and compassion. Second is a respect for the rule of law as it relates to human rights. And third is a deep understanding of what the ecosystem requires to be healthy, and a constant awareness of our own long-term and short-term desires and needs, as they relate to the long- and short-term requirements for a healthy ecosystem.

Of course, that’s merely the background. The original question relates to what can I do today to contribute to such a future. Or someone else might disagree with the common goal. Either way I have another list that might be helpful and I’ll talk about that next time.

You might want to go to my web page and print out a copy of this series of ideas, and then the next time someone says “What would you do?” You’ll be all ready to tell them. (It’s fun.)

Bare Bones Biology 067-What To Do 01
KEOS radio 89.1 FM, Bryan, Texas
Transcript at FactFictionFancy.wordpress.com
Audio later this week at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com

Noam Chomsky on Tomdispatch

“As long as the general population is passive, apathetic, diverted to consumerism or hatred of the vulnerable, then the powerful can do as they please, and those who survive will be left to contemplate the outcome.” Noam Chomsky on TomDispatch

“no one will come to the rescue if the environment is destroyed. That it must be destroyed is close to an institutional imperative. Business leaders who are conducting propaganda campaigns to convince the population that anthropogenic global warming is a liberal hoax understand full well how grave is the threat, but they must maximize short-term profit and market share. If they don’t, someone else will.

“This vicious cycle could well turn out to be lethal. To see how grave the danger is, simply have a look at the new Congress in the U.S., propelled into power by business funding and propaganda. Almost all are climate deniers. They have already begun to cut funding for measures that might mitigate environmental catastrophe. Worse, some are true believers; for example, the new head of a subcommittee on the environment who explained that global warming cannot be a problem because God promised Noah that there will not be another flood.”