Flamesem & Japesem (Operation American Freedom)

Note:  Duty (survival) is calling, and, though I have a couple of more theoretical than topical posts that I might polish up and publish, I expect that otherwise my blogging may be relatively light for the next few days, if not for longer, if not for much longer… And you can take that as a warning, or a heads-up, or a prophecy, or a conjecture, or a promise… or you can take it some other way…

* * *

It’s the president who has to do the right thing in a situation like this.  No one else can snatch the brand from burning.  It’s not Petraeus’ job to express what the highest principle is for America.  And only the president can commit us as a people – troops or civilians – to facing the consequences of Muslim anger in upholding that principle.  The latter is what he should have done in the case of the planned Koran-burning.  It’s what he should do in the case of Rauf’s veiled threat.  He shouldn’t do it belligerently; he doesn’t have to.  He should just do it.

“Veiled threat” = the Imam explains the natural, easily and obviously predictable result of the emergence in America of politicized Islamophobia – as aided, abetted, and encouraged by leading and not-so-leading conservative apologists, opportunists, and bandwagoners.

* * *

[M]ost voices… have been very clear that for every American freedom of religion is a right, but that it is not right to make one’s religion a global political statement with a towering Islamic edifice that casts a shadow over the memorials of Ground Zero.

So much for the thoughtfulness and rationality of the highly recommended “good” Muslim.

* * *

She doesn’t even try to hide… it:

Michael Goldfarb has the goods on the “moderate” Ground Zero mosque builders. It seems they won’t condemn Tuesday’s slaughter of four Israelis. This is precisely why Muslim outreach is a flawed and ultimately dangerous exercise — it overlooks and excuses the coddling of terrorists.

* * *

Incidentally, neither does her colleague:

Obama is a radical leftist with Alinskyite training and globalist-lefists roots in every political pathology of the 1960s and ’70s — that’s what matters to his occupation of the Oval Office.

* * *

I think that very few members of the ruling class have a clear understanding of the great awakening under way in the countryside. Have you heard the marching song yet? It’s dynamite.

The appearance of the above words in National Review‘s blog – constituting the entirety of a single short post – ought to be bizarre, but by now it’s commonplace.  Such language has become typical for the new Populist Right of 2010, even in relatively sober, rightwing intellectual publications, and even before the American Spectator waved the “go” flag.

Michael Ledeen and the other awakening and arising scourges of the ruling class do not go to bed with images of mass executions and blasted city-scapes dancing in their heads – though they, and the unlikely conservative exemplars in that “dynamite” video, do seem awfully fond of gun culture and militarism, and of throwing a scare into anyone who isn’t.  Still, as their apologists point out, they do clean up after themselves.   Let’s take that as a promise, not… in some other way.  Once they win a bunch of congressional elections, maybe they’ll calm down and find another fad.  Maybe the muddling and moderating tendencies of our system will take control, and maybe the Obamacrats will come into their own as defenders of the middled muddle.

Or maybe frustration, bad luck, and external shocks will lead to something else.  As little as we want to indulge in alarmism or launch indictments on pre-crime, this isn’t the first time in recent memory that many of the same people were talking up the gift of freedom as sanctioned by the Almighty, without, seemingly, any concrete plan for Phase Next.

I think that very few advocates of Operation American Freedom have a clear understanding about what they’re supposed to do after the shock and awe has worn off.


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70 comments on “Flamesem & Japesem (Operation American Freedom)

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  1. Say it ain’t so. You can’t cut down now. I’m addicted. As everyone can tell, I’m completely new to this. Never posted on a blog. Never read a blog. Absolute virgin. Miguel was absolutely right about me getting lost trying to follow his links. I thought I’d done well just doing it at all. Then there was the criticism from Miguel that was written in such a strange manner, like he was writing it into a, uh, Blackberry I guess it’s called while driving a Hummer 65 done his own street. But still, it was interesting. I got headaches from this for the first few days, but now I think my brain is used to it. I kind of crave it. I know practically nothing about what I guess the Google guy (who’s name I don’t know) said recently regarding everyone’s submission to the Internet master cylinder, but I do know I’m probably in trouble. I’m on vacation in the mountains. I planned to hike around for a few days and not to go on line. Guess what the first thing I did when I got here? Right. Read all the latest posts on the Bonfire post. Now, CK, you abandon me?
    Just kidding. Sort of. Do your duty. Regular duty, however is misunderstood as dharma. More on that in a bit. The thing is that I really like the way all the regular writers on this blog express themselves, even Miguel for the most part, (when he’s not being creepy). I just wish Bob would go vegetarian. I know he hates it when I’m spiritually judgmental, but chicken and goose are beneath him. Don’t even try the “Dalai Lama eats meat” excuse either, Bob.
    Seriously, I can’t pay you back in kind, but maybe it would be interesting for me to write a post about the concept of dharma, the Bhagavad Gita, and how spiritual texts get misapplied as a justification for soldiers supposedly “doing their duty.”? I wouldn’t get all liberal about it. I’d just explain the misinterpretations in ways that are usually lost on politicos, so you’d have more information. Would that interest anyone or no?

  2. Well you have an interesting frame of mind as well, Scott, sometimes a bit too much of an interior dialogue. I find the national conversation a little too simplistic, although the left side is particularly one
    dimensional. I’m a bit of an idealist, as my latest nom de plum, Don Quixote’s author would suggest. He had a connection to Islam, who had been imprisoned in Algiers, as a captive during the battle of Lepanto.

  3. @ miguel cervantes:Let’s see

    1) It is no coincidence that Islamists routinely use the term ghazva to describe the 9/11 attacks against New York and Washington. The terrorists who carried out the attack are referred to as ghazis or shahids (martyrs).

    2) To all those who believe and hope that the 9/11 ghazva would lead to the destruction of the American “Great Satan,” this would be of great symbolic value.

    3) great symbolic value to those who want a high-profile, “in your face” projection of Islam in the infidel West.

    This is truly amazing. Radical Islamists don’t like us and are in favor of building mosques in Manhattan.

    Here’s my question for you, narc. Who gives a shirt about what radical Islamists think and why should we be changing the rules about what we do in NYC because of them?

    We blow their butts up when its possible and appropriate and frustrate them when we can. That’s enough time and attention devoted to them.

  4. That is catching the horse after it’s left the stable, the Brooklyn Mosque where Sheikh Rahman, taught the likes of Ajaj, and Abouhalima, where young El Shukrijumah picked up his sunday school, the one where Hasan Akbar picked up his lessons, Aulaqi’s storefront
    in San Diego, and Al Hijirah in Falls Church, that mosque in my neck of the woods where Jose Padilla got his start, on his way to Yemen and Afghanistan, as Abdullah Muhajir

  5. @ miguel cervantes:

    What’re you saying? There are a zillion mosques around. What’s one more? and what does building this one have to do with a half-dozen bad guys from a half-dozen other places?

    and none of them have horses inside AFAIK.

  6. It’s the pattern Frog, he tells us in not so many words, that we ‘got what coming to us’, that we have more Moslem blood on our hands
    than AQ, that Hamas is misunderstood, he didn’t know who was behind
    the 3/11 and 7/7 bombings, the fact that the State Department signed
    him up for these good will tours doesn’t phase me, the Pentagon didn’t know what they were doing with Alamoudi, Grover didn’t really know what Saffuri and Al Arian were preaching

  7. @ miguel cervantes:well, seeing as how you haven’t answered any of my other questions, why shouldn’t I expect a clear answer when I ask

    It’s the pattern Frog, he tells us in not so many words, that we ‘got what coming to us’, that we have more Moslem blood on our hands
    than AQ, that Hamas is misunderstood

    what the hell that means and are you discussing Rauf?

  8. Scott Miller wrote:

    Now, CK, you abandon me?

    Well… I’ll see what I can come up with for you maintenance-wise. Others might help. Or you could play the field at some other blogs (we’re not monblogamous around here) and recruit some new playmates.

  9. @ fuster:
    That little idiot is developing nuclear technology. As I have said countless times, Iran has no tangible quarrel with Israel. Iran has provoked the world to impose sanctions upon it so that it can build bombs. Israel is not responsible for the threats of Koran burning. If you make threats, especially if they’re not veiled, they may be taken seriously.
    Castro warned him not to do things like that.

  10. George Jochnowitz wrote:

    Iran has provoked the world to impose sanctions upon it so that it can build bombs.

    Could you explain why that sentence isn’t backwards?

    “Iran has no tangible quarrel with Israel”

    Iran’s theocrats have a very real quarrel, to their thinking, with any non-Islamic regime holding what they believe to be ground belonging to their religion.

    Iran is also quite happy to use the Palestinians to gain influence over the Middle East. Their revolution requires export and delegitimizing the Saudis and then the Egyptians.

  11. He’s a thug that started out with holding American hostages, and moved on to running hit teams against exiles in Europe and other places, he comes from the Quds Force, or the Vevak Sepah Pasdaran, the real force in Iran, even more than the mullahs

  12. You know, I just read that truly irresponsible and misinformed, altogether idiotic article by Amir Taheri that miguel linked initially. Taheri writes on the subject, pretending to inform people about it from a position of expertise, without having informed himself first – for instance, his claim that the promoters of the project just started calling it “Cordoba House” in response to criticism, when actually that name and the Cordoba Initiative long preceded this whole made-up imbroglio.

    His arguments about the precise meaning of “culture” and his fabrications about a “rabat” for Muslim raiders are ludicrous and offensive – classic misuse of history for the sake of entertaining and massaging the prejudices and paranoia of the half-educated.

    I will never read him again in quite the same way.

  13. I think being a Iranian, he’s a little more informed about these things, they change the name, very frequently, next thing you know it will be the Alhambra, which wouldn’t be a bad choice, come to think of it.

  14. miguel cervantes wrote:

    I think being a Iranian, he’s a little more informed about these things, they change the name,

    No, being an Iranian he apparently is unaware of the simplest facts about the project. They came up with Park51 as the name for the entire project, and were accused by the “Islamic victory monument” types – like you, I think – of running away from criticism of “Cordoba.” The Imam founded his “Cordoba Initiative” years ago. At one point they seemed to be saying that “Cordoba House” would be the name for the Islamic center within the multi-use facility.

    In any case, I like the Imam’s vision, and I’d also like to see the project built for the sake of defeating the paranoids and bigots, but I’m not convinced at all that the thing will ever be built in any form, and I don’t pretend to know anything about how serious the developers really are or should be taken. I remain at least as interested in the whole story for what it has exposed, and continues to expose, about the opponents.

  15. When the newborn Iraqi regime was being strangled in it’s cradle, where was he quoting Michael Moore, an apologist for Tyrants everywhere, when the Cedar Spring was going on, against the
    Syrian Mukharabat, when the US was doing tentative steps toward
    Nour and a more open Egypt away from the Pharoah state of Mubarak,
    he offered no encouragement. It was a scam from the beginning the
    most preliminary due diligence would have discouraged any idea that
    this was a viable project, but Bloomberg is blinder than a fruit bat,
    ans so were Jullie Menin and company

  16. @ CK MacLeod:
    One of the things it has exposed is that someone like Jones can set himself up in the way he did and still nothing happens to him. No assassination. If a muslim was talking about burning bibles in the south, how long do you think he’d live? John Lennon had death threats just for comparing the Beatles to Christ solely in respect to popularity. We’ll never know how many muslim public figures have been assassinated by Christians.
    And by the way, Salmon Rushdie is still alive as well. In terms of a “book review,” I choose Satanic Verses. Every page is filled with mind-blowing imagery. Rushdie is anti-spiritual, but despite that, the book is amazing. With all the hype, it was easy for people to feel like they had read it even though they hadn’t. If that’s the case with any of you, do yourself a favor and read it. When I was writing in Hollywood, even though I was a sci-fi television guy, I managed to convince a film producer to option the book with a mind toward changing the title and just creating a movie out of the contemporary, relatively Islamic-friendly, London based half of the novel. Then the producer’s wife got wind of it and put an end to the deal. Obviously, there was nothing to fear. Rushdie’s still alive and even if the movie had been made, I would still be alive. Please don’t credit that fact to US military actions. Please. Remember, when Saddam Hussein was found, he didn’t have one person by his side. Not one. All alone. Could that happen to someone with any real power? The enemy is of our own construction. It’s the creation of the “U.S. military entertainment complex,” as an old friend once described it. Imagine the let down if it was an actual movie. The bad guy who has been hunted by the world’s most powerful country at the cost of trillions of dollars is found in a bunker all alone. Worst ending in history. That’s why there has never been an actual Hollywood movie made about it. Too pathetic. Satanic Verses, on the other hand, is a perfect story.

  17. You are smoking something seriously, ask Salman, what his life was the first ten years of his life, you think the folks at Mi-5 who are in charge of his security,. believe that, yes it took six months of searching many many strikes, often with incomplete information, in the end he was expendable, as Baathism the movement which had been kicking around since ’63, faced demographic realities, and the truth
    that the Salafi were much more dangerous than the Americans

  18. How much attention was paid to the 9th anniversary of Dec 7,1941 on Dec 7 1950? Some,but not over the top,two reasons,we fought/won a real war,and we were involved in a new real war(Undeclared). Today we are inside an extensive fantasy narrative that competes nicely with our own history. We are in advance of anything Orwell wrote.
    (1)War is Peace/we say we’re at war,but 99.99% of us are not
    (2)Freedom is Slavery,we’re free to enslave ourselves in our fantasies
    (3)Ignorance is Strength,the truth will enslave you,Ignorance allows you the Freedom/Flexability to create a non-factual world history
    “Hiding in his cave, even Osama bin Laden must be surprised at the far-reaching effects of his attack on the United States nine years ago. He could scarcely have imagined that his enemy would have been so traumatised, and forced into two wars, endless expense and a curtailment of the rights of its citizens. But if there are any winners in this war without end, it is clearly Osama bin Laden.”
    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/columnists/irfan-husain-law-of-unintended-consequences-190

  19. One would have thought that someone in that neck of the woods, would have more awareness to point out that the ISI, particularly
    those like Gul and likeminded persons have more to do with this than America, same for Saudi General Intelligence, Bin Laden, is really but
    a symptom of the Salafi-Deobandi crest, typified by Qutb, Mawdudi,
    et al

  20. Scott Miller wrote:

    Remember, when Saddam Hussein was found, he didn’t have one person by his side. Not one. All alone. Could that happen to someone with any real power? The enemy is of our own construction. It’s the creation of the “U.S. military entertainment complex,” as an old friend once described it. Imagine the let down if it was an actual movie. The bad guy who has been hunted by the world’s most powerful country at the cost of trillions of dollars is found in a bunker all alone.

    You make a decent symbolic point, but it’s not a logical one. By the time Saddam was found, the country had been invaded and taken over, and he had been on the lam for 9 months. So of course he was less powerful than he had been at his peak. His power had been taken away from him at great cost. It could be a fine ending, although it all depends on what story you’re tellng. I suppose you could play his execution under the end credits, with a ghostly voice intoning, “Moqtada, Moqtada.”

    The “enemy” is to a very large extent “our construction,” but the fact that we follow what Rex calls a “fantasy narrative” doesn’t mean that there aren’t other narratives that make some sense. It’s WHAT’S UP, TIGER LILY? Just not very funny except to the least sympathetic gods.

    One of the difficulties assessing how “traumatized” we are, again referring to Rex’s point, with which I’m in significant sympathy, is the same multi-simultaneity of narratives. The same 99.9% of us who aren’t at war are generally satisfied with at most a few gestures and a bit of reflection guided by TV coverage of memorial events. It’s patriotic to pretend to be traumatized.

    There was very likely national remembrance of Pearl Harbor 9 years later. I seem to recall memorial events in many years, especially the 50th anniversary. The 60-100 million casualties and immense historical significance of the events that followed lent great meaning to Pearl Harbor beyond the military casualties. And that helps explain why the Dawn writer’s got it wrong. 9/11 didn’t force us into the wars and so on. Like Pearl Harbor, it marked a transition point. Pearl Harbor didn’t start World War II – World War II was well under way by the time the Japanese attacked. It marked our late, but inevitable entry into the global “contest.” If 9/11 had never happened – if we can imagine the plot having failed to come together – there would have been something else.

  21. Well there was the fact we were in the middle of another very hot war, Korea, by the time of the 9th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, ask those who were at the Chosin Reservoir. honestly do facts mean nothing, One might say Osama’s first declaration of war back in 1996, was the kickoff, or the first WTC bombing, or the Iranian embassy hostage event.

    Our construction, when the Arabian Interior Minister, Prince Nayef even months later, refused to admit his countrymen had done the deed, when Effendi Aulaqi was cultivating another new crop of shaheeds, like his first crew, the sermons prreached from Birmingham
    Alabama, where a future leader of Al Sahaab would rise, to somewhere is Zimbabwe where Gitmo detainee, and recruiter for
    AbdulMutallab was from

  22. @ Rex Caruthers:
    Just wanted to tell you, Rex, how much I appreciate your comments. They give expression to things that I find difficult to communicate and the historical backup that flows along with it so effortlessly exemplifies what the educational system of this country used to be capable of helping people develop. Unless, of course, you went to Oxford or something.

  23. @ CK MacLeod:
    There you go with that fatalism again. I’m glad Rex can still spur you into more blogging. Go, Rex, go. Oh, and I have to admit that your idea for the ending of the Saddam movie is brilliant. No surprise. Put that together with Fuster’s casting and we have something perfectly twisted.

  24. Except you have the leader of Al Mujahiroon who threatened to kill Westerners if Korans burned , same for that candidate in Afghanistan, churches in the Phillipines under threat, they remind us, much like the Aliens in “Independence Day” they “just want us to die” That Khan fellow is much more incisive I’ve found

  25. SM/with it so effortlessly exemplifies what the educational system of this country used to be capable of helping people develop.

    This is a muich bigger compliment than you realize,because the vast majority of what little I know is based on on my own personal reading & interaction with people more knowledgable than me like CKM,Fuster George,and Miguel. However,one of my old professors was fond of pointing out how much you need to know to realize how little you know. But thanks:
    Formal Education/5%
    Self taught/95%*
    *Self taught is an inaccurate term,if I learned wisdom from The Brothers Karamazov,for example,I consider it FD’s ability to educate a dolt like myself as his ability,not mine.

  26. Well thanks, REx, I think, my grandfather was the same way, he was mostly an autodidact, but he insisted on a thorough grounding in history, literature, fluency in the spoken and written word, he was an iconoclast in many respects, not strictly aligned with any particular
    faction, although he was not liberal.

  27. Scott Miller wrote:

    There you go with that fatalism again.

    Fatalism? Is it fatalism to suggest that the sand in the hour glass will likely fall from top to bottom (…so are the days of our lives…)? Or to suggest that the world system, like all other systems, is subject to the First and (for this subject more applicable) Second Laws of Thermodynamics? We’re not at war with “the terrorists” or even less with “terror.” We’re at war with entropy, and, since no
    one wins that battle, the only escape appears to be to define ourselves out of the equation.

  28. #41 MC/
    I would have liked to know your Grandpaw,he sounds like an interesting person.
    My hotbuttons are Balance and Stability;which is why neither the Liberal or Conservative spectra can be in the lead for too long,the idea of seven fat/lean years should be applied wider,seven Conservative/seven progessive years. One problem we have right now is that we have extracted the worst from the Cons and the Libs,and have tried to superglue them together into an unholy dark matter structure.
    Also,B&S/ are the glue to any long term economic properity/Creative Destruction is great as long as its not 90% Destruction.10%Creation,which,unfortunately is what we are experiencing at the moment. I owe this mode of thinking to a life long study of the Tao-Te-Ching & the full edition of Murphy’s Laws.

  29. “Creative destruction” is what Schumpeter called it, he appears briefly in that Hayek bio I once referred to, this is just plain old fashioned destruction. Now you tout gold, but there is no way that it can accomodate even a tiny fraction of the expenses you suggest are needed. And Marx clearly though of it as a dodge, not a real solution,
    I agree on the Fed, Greenspan did the convincing. Your secession solutions seems very unfeasible

  30. MC/#46

    You’re right MC,besides revaluating our currency,we got a whole bunch of other fish to fry to repair our fiscal system.
    My secession “solution” is just a personal preference,if we split up,it will be because we are forced to,rather than choosing to, I fear in the near future,there will be many things we are forced to do,that we would rather not including “temporary” suspensions of our constitutional rights.

  31. And how exactly would that solve anything, Rex, it is not inconceivable
    since do we do seem to following the Roman Republic’s track, best bet
    the post Jugurthan war period, that we might see proscriptions ala
    Sulla, but that is not a beneficial course of action. Secession in a urbanized industrialized society, would be nowhere as neat as the
    precursor, a hundred and fifty years ago,

  32. @ CK MacLeod:
    Feel free to ignore this if you’re doing your duty, but since you’ve opened the door to points of physics, I must add something. Trust me, I know the difference between new-age pop-physics and regular physics. I also know you’ll have your reasons for dismissing the hopefulness of regular physics, and I know you already know what I’m going to point out, but the basic points I’ll relate are not “What the Bleep Do We Know” stuff. It has to do with what theoretical physicists refer to as “actualization.” Our observation of reality actualizes reality into existence in keeping with quantum mechanics. This relates to the famous phenomenon reported by scientists who first realized that the movement of quarks were linked to their observation of them. But we can keep it simple without losing the real points of the physics. What is indisputable is that there is very little matter in the Universe. There’s so much empty space that nothing can be even remotely solid. The most solid seeming thing (like the relatively physical part of an hour glass) is still 99.99999 percent empty space. So we have to “actualize” things into being the way they are. This is why things are always more hopeful than they seem. Yes, the sand in an hour glass is probably going to run from top to the bottom, but you never know. Plus, your old boys Hegel, Nietzsche and the rest didn’t have all the information. We can affect things in a positive way just by believing that good things are going to happen. This is particularly important in respect things like your “duty.” I’m sending you positive energy. Okay, that last part is new-agey.

  33. @ Scott Miller:
    What I was addressing was the idea that I was merely indulging in “fatalism.” I think I was saying, “The grains of sand fell downward, not upward, and didn’t turn into ponies.” I would have had more to say on the subject if I wasn’t already in a death and death struggle with my own fateless hopes. All I think I should say for now is that I think the Persian Gulf is more like a pony than like a particle (or wave).

  34. SM/ We can affect things in a positive way just by believing that good things are going to happen.

    The above is safely within what I call the “Comic Tradition” in Western Civ. The Judeo-Christian Buttress is strongly “Comic” in the sense that it has a “Happy” ending,(Christs overcomes death)/(The Divine COMEDY).
    The other support is the “Tragic Tradition” in which my sensibility is more comfortable both the Greek and Shakespearean(Shakespeare is a dual Tragi-Comedic sensibility. However,even in “High” Tragedy,there is a deep comic vein in at least two areas(1) It’s humerous watching the Tragic hero and his entourage believe that they can believe their way out of their checkmated position(2)After all the Blood and Gore is cleared away after Act 3or5,those in charge,the Gods or whatever,are still in charge,and have had a good time playing Chess with the “Little People”
    So,is the Universe Hardy’s Tragic killing Fields,or Milton’s 2nd Paradise around the 2ND Adam(Christ) If you Conservative,the Universe is a positive place,if you’re Liberal/progressive,it’s malevalent. To the Taoist,it is what it is.

  35. But thanks for the p.e. anyway. I don’t want to look at it for fear that I may turn it n. If I haven’t done so already. Durnit.

  36. @ Scott Miller:

    One of the striking things about quantum physics as a social phenonomen is that so many different viewpoints find validation in it.

    On this blog, Strangelet found validation for Islam, Colin for Hegelialism, and I, in a clumsy way, for Buddhism. Additionally over the years I’ve seen it used to validate atheism, Taoism, Christianity and free market economics (can’t cite sources for most of these).

    Hinduism and shamanism seem like likely candidates for the phenonomen as well. In fact, I can’t think of any ism that couldn’t make a case if they really tried.

    But as Colin alludes to, we live in a macro world. Or at least I do. Or at least, I think I do….

  37. @ bob:
    That’s why I kept it specific. Yes, lots of viewpoints find validation in in the idea of quantum physics. No one really understands the whole thing, so it is easily misapplied. I don’t think I misapplied the physics. I kept it simple. I also distanced myself from the phenomenon. You connected it anyway. You did that without making a real point. Since you’re contentious, you expect others to be contentious back, so you write in a way that deflects imagined contentiousness. I’m trying not to help you create that reality, but it’s hard. Your implied point is that because all the isms are “likely candidates for the phenomenon” there most be something wrong with the phenomenon. And maybe there is. But I’m making a point about physics, not the phenomenon. The part we can all understand is that there is not enough matter to establish “a macro world.” It doesn’t exist. You want to believe that you’re not defending the macro world, just living in it, but your contentiousness says otherwise. You came up with something you could be contentious about. You made it about the “phenomenon.” If I was in the habit of critiquing things in a Bob-like manner, I would focus on the “Hinduism and shamanism seem like likely candidates for the phenonomen as well” idea. If I wrote that sentence, I could see you responding with something like, “So Hindus and Shamans are candidates for being affected by the laws of nature? Aren’t we all candidates then?” The alternative is to just roll with you. I know you were referring to the social phenomenon, not physics itself, so I’ll roll with you. But it’s not easy. At this point, the best I can do is tell you that there are several Hindus at the forefront of the theoretical physics world today. They are not just validating Hindu philosophy, they are proving that Consciousness is the Ground of Being. Since they understand quantum physics better than anyone else, they could lord that over everyone. Instead, they try to communicate in simple terms. Of course, some people still react contentiously and, not coincidentally, those people are always defending a belief in the macro world’s supremacy.

  38. @ Scott Miller:
    Seems like a rather contentious response to observations from bob that didn’t strike me as contentious at all.

    What physicists actually prove is not always the same as what they set out to prove or seem to be in the process of proving, or what people talking about their work in terms appropriated from another discourse say about it. So, until what they actually say is submitted to us, in context, we cannot assess it. We’re only guessing, and are likely to simplify in a way that suits our prejudices or preferred modes of thinking and speaking. I can say, or affirm, that “Consciousness is the Ground of Being,” but I have no way to assess the import of that statement – how I or we or anyone would go about his or her business differently if Being was the Ground of Consciousness, or Ground the Consciousness of Being or of was the the Being Ground Consciousness. I’m not being only smart-alecky. These are philosophic concepts that may mean very different things in different contexts/conceptual frameworks. What Consciousness, Being, or a “Ground” of Being (sounds Heidegerrian, not sure) might stand for to a neuroscientist may be very different from what it stands for to a pyschologist, poet, cybernetic theorist, shaman, yogi, or a Hegelian or neo-Hegelian – and so on…

    Your own description – Hindu physicists proving Hinduism, non-Hindus thinking them lame – already encourages suspicions of self-interest or circularity on either side of whatever supposed conflict.

  39. @ CK MacLeod:
    You’re supposed to be doing your duty.
    My original statement was simple. The physics terms were appropriately applied. Bob subverted that by bringing in the phenomenon issue without addressing how it related to the physics. He jumped over the physics to make a point that is always made because it’s what usually applies and works as a defense. But I had been very careful not to apply any terms that I don’t understand or that could qualify as speculative type science in the process of being proved or disproved. So there was no need for this type of discourse. I was obviously writing with an understanding of how this usually goes and helping us all steer clear of it. But a person should be able to write what I wrote with the anticipation that if I do steer clear of what we can now refer to as phenomenon issues, the old ammunition won’t be shot off anyway. That sucks. It’s unnecessarily defensive and contentiousness. You did the right thing. No real response to the first point. It wasn’t really called for and there was no real opening there. The only thing you could have done was contest the idea that there is hardly any matter in the Universe. And now, if either of you can find any reputable physicist who believes that the Universe isn’t primarily empty space and that things are really as solid as they appear, then let me know. Otherwise, in this case, what physicists say about matter is consistent with what I wrote about it, and the terms as stated are appropriate to any discourse. That was my whole damn point in writing things the way I did. Being aware of how people talk about physics in terms that are inappropriate I was careful to keep the physics points attached to ideas that are simple and uncontested. That’s why you needed Bob to write what he wrote before you wrote what you wrote. I was careful not to give you an in. You were supposed to be doing your duty by the time I responded to Bob. Plus, you shouldn’t mix the two things. My response to Bob gave you what you needed to talk about terms that are only appropriate to the second discourse, not the first and mixing the two was a mistake. The concepts mean very different things in different contexts. Now, you go do your duty.

  40. 19
    Using a rough calculation, we’re still talking 1.6 x 10 miles that’s a lot of space, and that’s not considering the three dimensions of space, maybe I miscalculated, but that seems like a lot of space

  41. CK MacLeod wrote:

    but I have no way to assess the import of that statement – how I or we or anyone would go about his or her business differently if Being was the Ground of Consciousness, or Ground the Consciousness of Being or of was the the Being Ground Consciousness

    Surely someone creative enough to write a sentence like that is creative enough to imagine how you and me and everyone else would go about our business differently if we all believed that since Consciousness is the Ground of Being and things therefore can’t be set in stone, we can always have a positive affect on life.

  42. @ Scott Miller:
    Well – I’m just trying to be clear on what you’re trying to say, and whether your point is more, or needs to be taken as, metaphorical. What does it mean to say that the universe is nearly empty of “matter.” From my lay-tsar’s study of physics, I have reached the point where I haven’t the slightest idea what matter is anyway.

    I’ll just leave it at that for now, because I would need to be provided with or guided to an accessible rendering of the material to be able to discuss its claims and the claims you make on its behalf any further. You seem to be arguing for some kind of proof in physics regarding a traditional question in metaphysics. It is never surprising to someone with a smattering of background in philosophy to observe such a discussion being resurrected at the theoretical limits of hard science. I think the attitude of real philosophers or fans like me is “Hah! and you thought you’d banished us!” You could call it the philosopher’s revenge, though vengefulness isn’t a characteristic often associated with wisdom. I’ll just say I’m not optimistic about walking sideways via mathematics, astronomy, and particle physics into a novel solution of problems that are metaphysical.

  43. @ Scott Miller:

    Wow.

    Let me stipulate: I know jack about quantum physics. (I alluded to that in my characterization of my discussion of it as “clumsy”.) So I reported on an observation I had made (perhaps clumsily).

    Somewhat off topic? OK.

    I was not trying to be contentious.

    If I might make an observation: This response of yours strikes me as you having a conversation with yourself when you think you’re having one with me.

    You seem to be asserting a similiar phenonomen going the other way. Maybe so. It’s a quandry.

    As for defending a belief in “the macro world’s supremecy” – way off target if it’s directed at me.

  44. @ bob:
    Again, with the critique about something already put on the table as if it hadn’t been. I posted a reply to my own post. So, yes, I knew I was having a conversation with myself at a certain point. It was humorous. What isn’t humorous is to then read your conversation with yourself that even though it has been inspired by my posts, is still about you wondering if I recognize that I’m having a conversation with myself. Not fun. I hope we can do better. I will stay positive.

  45. @ Scott Miller:

    So, yes, I knew I was having a conversation with myself at a certain point

    .

    I wasn’t referring to that, altho I see the confusion.

    Again, with the critique about something already put on the table as if it hadn’t been

    Don’t really know what that refers to, and really, don’t really care.

    As for doing better…Embedded in that are a whole raft of assumptions and judgements that I can only guess at, only imagine.

    You seem to think, want, imagine (insert appropriate verb) me to be someone I don’t recognize. Cut it out and we’ll be fine.

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