Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Aberich Duerer, the Apocalypse

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

American conservatives have always been fatalists. Indeed, all right wingers suffer from this limited vision of the world, nay, the universe. They have this dual desire to be totally in control while at the same time telling us all that no one can control anything, "shit happens." This childish view of the world, the one in which cookie jars magically fall off the counter, "I was only looking at it," pervades the weltanschauung of the right wing.

Here is a classic example from a particularily brain damaged pundit, Charles Krauthammer: From the Washington Post:
In less enlightened times there was no catastrophe independent of human agency. When the plague or some other natural disaster struck, witches were burned, Jews were massacred and all felt better (except the witches and Jews).
Funny, that. The burning of witches is a right wing activity. Bruno, one of the great astronomers in Europe, was burned as a witch and heretic. The Church threatened or burned more than one liberal.

Of course, being Jewish, he mentions attacking Jews. Now one problem with his neo-fascist world view lies in the first sentence. Humans blamed humans for plagues. Why do few plagues sweep our cities anymore? Eh? Huh? Magic? Mother Nature gave up? Or maybe, once humanism, liberalism and science took hold and banished rabid right wing conservatives and forced everyone to live in sanitary, sanely designed city systems with great public services brought in by the leadership, plagues stopped ravaging us?

As liberals and free thinkers persuaded people to not only change but to build governing systems to bring healthier, stronger unions, the conservatives complained bitterly. They were against starting police forces. They didn't want to pay for street lighting. They didn't want sewers or water systems or toilets. They didn't want vaccinations. They didn't want public schools. You name the civilized activity and they didn't want it. And complained bitterly about taxes when forced to join in to make a solid society.

Rich people don't need public schools. They don't need hygine, when plagues swept Europe, it took out virtually none of the ruling class except unless they were besieging someone and got sick too. Generally, they kept themselves clear and safe.
A few centuries later, our progressive thinkers have progressed not an inch. No fall of a sparrow on this planet is not attributed to sin and human perfidy. The three current favorites are: (1) global warming, (2) the war in Iraq and (3) tax cuts. Katrina hits and the unholy trinity is immediately invoked to damn sinner-in-chief George W. Bush.

This kind of stupidity merits no attention whatsoever, but I'll give it a paragraph. There is no relationship between global warming and the frequency and intensity of Atlantic hurricanes. Period. The problem with the evacuation of New Orleans is not that National Guardsmen in Iraq could not get to New Orleans but that National Guardsmen in Louisiana did not get to New Orleans. As for the Bush tax cuts, administration budget requests for New Orleans flood control during the five Bush years exceed those of the five preceding Clinton years. The notion that the allegedly missing revenue would have been spent wisely by Congress, targeted precisely to the levees of New Orleans, and that the reconstruction would have been completed in time, is a threefold fallacy. The argument ends when you realize that, as The Post noted, "the levees that failed were already completed projects."
Comparing the levees with themselves is a sign of brain rot. One compares failed systems with successful systems. In New Orlean's case, one compares that city with Dutch cities. What sort of levee systems have they created?

A quick review shows theirs is far superior to ours. In 1953, the dams were breached and failed and people died. The same type of dams that we used in New Orleans. Now, the system in the Low Lands is much superior. The government took care of this, it was naturally assumed to be the responsiblity of everyone, even peolple safe on hilltops and in high castles, to protect all the lands and people in their realm.

I like Krauthammer's take on the budget cuts. He pretends that Bush wanted more money but meanies cut it. Well, who were they?

Surprise! Republicans! His own party. The minions like to pretend Bush is a strong leader but when this bubble boy falls flat on his face, it is the fault of everyone including the people who support and surround him..oops. So Krauthammer doesn't name names, does he? Like DeLay and Hastert and Lott and Karl Rove...

We can't control all things but we can control ourselves. And global warming is being made much worse by the pea-brained activities of the right wing in America. Nothing but good can come from us signing the Kyoto Accords. We will have to stop driving big fat gas guzzlers but this is good on so many levels. One is, our roads will be safer without those massive machines careening all over the place, we will balance our trade deficit a tad because we will consume less fossil fuels. Our roads won't wear out so fast thanks to too many heavy vehicles carrying massively fat people.

The air we breathe will improve. The trees will stop dying, after all, my forest struggles these days. I watch the trees with open alarm. All the ancient ones are dying very rapidly now. One sees greenery but most are young trees. There is no reason for the old trees to die. The white birch are dying very rapidly, I went into the woods and saw more 1' diameter trees collapsing, their white bones showing up between the trunks of the oaks. 400 years ago, these trees were 3' or more in diameter and the curling paper bark was pulled off of them in huge sheets to be used to make canoes and roof the long houses.

Now the bark paper is paper thin.

It is hilarious how Krauthammer spreads blame:
The American people. They have made it impossible for any politician to make any responsible energy policy over the past 30 years -- but that is a column for another day.
Typical of a conservative to start off saying people who blame leaders for screwing up are stupid and end with blaming the people for being stupid as the ultimate cause. Pray tell, why are the people "stupid"? When we Hubbert Oil Peak people lectured in the past, the rulers and the right wingers would attack us as hysterics and liberals and yell, "Don't listen to them" and they mock President Carter to this day for his attempts at getting us to change course. Of course, they backed Reagan who thought the world was going to end in 2012 and so he didn't think we should worry about anything, why bother?

Again, the right wing fatalism at work.

And he pulled down all that Carter did! Any time anyone warned America of what was coming next, people like myself were suddenly removed from the news. Only CNN under Ted Turner would cover us and when he sold it to right wingers, off the cliff sailed CNN and now they are as dumb as Krauthammer!

The huge human brain evolve because of the Great Ice Ages which was a terrifying time for humans. Only the smart survived. All the others were eaten by the smart ones. From the BBC:
University scientists say they have found strong proof that the human brain is still evolving.
By comparing modern man with our ancestors of 37,000 years ago, the Chicago team discovered big changes in two genes linked to brain size.

One of the new variants emerged only 5,800 years ago yet is present in 30% of today's humans, they believe.

This is very short in evolutionary terms, suggesting intense selection pressures, they told Science.

Each gene variant emerged around the same time as the advent of so called "cultural" behaviours.

The microcephalin variant appeared along with the emergence of traits such as art and music, religious practices and sophisticated tool-making techniques, which date back to about 50,000 years ago.

It is now present in about 70% of humans alive today.

The other, called the ASPM variant, originated at a time that coincides with the spread of agriculture, settled cities and the first record of written language.

It gives us a clue to perhaps follow up on and try and understand why they emerged
Cognitive neurologist Dr Geraint Rees

Researcher Dr Bruce Lahn said the big question was whether the genetic evolution seen had actually caused the cultural evolution of humans or was merely chance.

Their hunch is that it might have something to do with the important role that these genes play in brain size, but stressed that did not necessarily mean better intelligence.
The spread of genetic markers that are found in the brain is due to the fact that people who populate cities have the means to displace those who remained in the stone ages. So in all clashes of stone age vs metal age people, the stone age ones were pushed out or massacred or worked to death as slaves.

It really isn't a city/countryside thing, it is really a metal/stone thing. Namely, iron and such was utilized and manipulated more aggressively by the herdsmen of the great plains. They then would sweep in and destroy the civilizations and replace them with their own like the Dorians did to the Creteans, for example. Whatever tics the genetic code had in these invaders now show up in areas dominated by them. The evolutionary forces that act upon the herders was far greater than the city peoples. Namely, only the very strong and quick witted prospered and survived. The death rate is ferocious and in turn, they killed safer populations with a vengence! So all the city people in Babylon, when the Mongols swept down upon them, died. Just for example. Time and again, huge cities are wiped out like when we nuked and firebombed Japan and they are reorganized and repopulated by others. Ergo, the survivors who pass on tons of genetic material are often the hardy folk from the countryside who repopulate cities as they are ruthlessly destroyed by the Four Horsemen.

The "genetic code" of the cities survive, some times barely like in the Dark Ages or when the Mediterranean basin slid into barbarism in 1600BC. Again and again, the concept of a city that is civilized and nurtures liberalism, spring up out of the ruins. This desire for order and culture is very strong. Watching our right wingers chopping at the base of this mighty oak is distressing. They are killing the trees as well as the cities. They don't care if the cities die. They hate civilization and want to live in a world with no chairs, only stools for the lower classes and thrones for the rulers.

And Krauthammer has delusions that he will be the ruler's pet jester, entertaining them and being fed by them while he makes fun of the dead and dying lying outside the palace gates.

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