Monday 24th of September 2018

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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2018-09-23 22:18

From Thomas Pfau


A philosophy whose claims remain strictly interior to the finitude of warranted assertability and procedural reason inevitably forecloses on the "incommunicable" (or non-transferable) reality of the individual person. For such enquiry is a fortiori only prepared to recognize and engage notions and propositions of its own devising, such that the personhood is construed in strictly formalterms - as the bearer of economic, political and human rights.

And yet, for these formal criteria even to be recognized as rationally meaningful and ethically binding, some antecedent, teleologically ordered view of the human person has to be presupposed. For to introduce an ensemble of "rights" or a deontological "ought" as the sole criterion of human personhood only furnishes us with a definition but not, alas, with a warrant such as would compel us to honour that definition in thought and practice.

Put differently, the very intelligibility and efficacy of sociological, political or legal definitions of the individual as a self-possessed, rights-bearing and happiness-seeking agent rests on an underlying normative view, an oblique consensus that this is indeed how personhood ought to be understood.

But again, as Spaemann notes, "with persons, esse is not the same as percipi," and "the recognition that a person is 'someone' is not reached by analogy" with object perception. For even "to acknowledge personal status is already to express respect" and, hence, to grasp in practice (rather than as a formal-logical syllogism) that "persons are beings that other persons speak to," rather than "things merely spoken of."


The so-called failure of personhood is not a failure at all - but, rather, a case of sin. Eliot's clerk sins against the imago dei not only of the typist but, just as plainly, also against his own. Read against the backdrop of Eliot's carefully embedded allusions to the rape of Philomela, the impersonal and dispiriting encounter here unfolded proves if anything more ghastly yet. For in modern urban, secular, and casually hedonistic culture, the violation of love and, thus, of the human person whose reality and flourishing essentially arise from it, has become the new normal.

This is what makes the scenes closing lines so particularly disturbing. With seismographic sensitivity, Eliot's writing registers the slightest tremors of spiritual anguish in the typist's "half-formed thought ... 'Well now that's done'." Even more poignant are the distracted and mechanical movements ("She smoothes her hair with automatic hand, / And puts a record on the gramophone") with which the nameless woman defends against the encroaching awareness of her person's violation and self-abasement.

At its strongest, this is what modern literature does: to capture the human person's grounding in the dynamics of recognition and love, if only ex negative by showing how the failure of achieving personhood is ultimately one of will, not nature. Needless to say, it is a proposition wholly at odds with modern Liberalism's essentially Pelagian understanding of self-legislating and self-contained human existence.

Thomas Pfau is Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of English at Duke University, with secondary appointments in Germanic Language and Literatures and the Duke Divinity School. He is the author of Minding the Modern: Human Agency, Intellectual Traditions, and Responsible Knowledge and Romantic Moods: Paranoia, Trauma, and Melancholy, 1790-1840.

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Quite amazing with this quality of (it appears quite religious — "A number of modern philosophical developments - each of them notably diffident or outright hostile to theological reflection - have dramatically impoverished our conception of the human person." ) thinkers in the USA we end up with Donald DumbDumb leading the world and with Hillary-the-Warrior as a second fiddle...


To say the least, if you don't scratch your butt or throw yourself from a bridge after having read this essay, probably like me, you've not understood it...  Don't worry. Read from top. Gus is a fierce atheist who is "not shy about being strongly outright hostile to theological reflection".

What most modern philosophical developments, including sciences (that are environmentally observation-based, unlike economics and politics) do is to actually understand the human condition from an animalistic viewpoint where reactivities become affected by stylistic inventions, including habits such as those of the theological reflection, which is not exclusive nor infintus.

And the "new normal" is never static and is multipli varied. Our persona evolves and devolves —while, by becoming omnibulated by the theological hubris, we often end up losing sight of our personal and global relationship with this little planet. Using the"new normal" expression here was glib from the author — and it destroyed the entire (quite obscure) argument of the essay.

by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2018-09-23 21:02

save South head

"If they are prepared to sell this, the Harbour Bridge is next or the Town Hall, what else is going to be used for a function centre or a wedding centre?" #SaveSouthHead Alan Jones on @7NewsSydney great scoop @BryanSeymour1 joining the dots between NSW Government projects from the Dockside Group at South Head National Park and Campbell's Store in the Rocks.


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selling the public benches to the private sector...

selling benches

by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2018-09-23 20:47


However, it is the report’s summary for policymakers that is causing concern. This is the document politicians will use as a key climate guide when making changes to legislation. Reviewers of earlier drafts say it is being altered to make the dangers of climate change seem less alarming. As a result, they say, policymakers could seriously underestimate the risks of global warming. Cuts made to the final draft of the summary include:

 Any mention that temperature rises of above 1.5C could lead to increased migrations and conflict;

 All discussion of the danger of the Gulf Stream being disrupted by cold water flowing from the Arctic where more and more sea-ice is melting;

 Warnings about the dangers that 1.5–2C temperature rises could trigger irreversible loss of the Greenland ice sheet and raise sea levels by 1–2 metres over the next two centuries.

Other cuts from the summary include the sentence: “Poverty and disadvantage have increased with recent warming (about 1C) and are expected to increase in many populations as average global temperatures increase from 1C to 1.5C and beyond.” 

The original summary also stated “at 2C warming, there is a potential for significant population displacement concentrated in the tropics”. Again this is not mentioned in the report for policymakers. “The scientists who produce reports like these try to summarise the latest knowledge, but they have a reputation for being conservative about the worst risks of climate change,” Ward said. “This time they have outdone themselves in pulling their punches, however.”

An IPCC spokesman said member governments would work to ensure the summary for policymakers was consistent with the findings in the main report. “They may change the wording of text there to clarify, remove material from the summary for policymakers, or bring material from the main report that was not there at the start of the session. Any text in the summary for policymakers … is based on the assessment in the main report. Even if it is removed from the summary for policymakers, the finding it is based on remains in the main report.”


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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2018-09-23 19:24

Swiss voters are casting their ballots in not one, but two votes which campaigners say will promote ethical and sustainable food. 

The votes follow scandals in the last few years over horse meat in lasagne and the destruction of rain forests to make way for palm oil and cattle ranching.

And they reflect growing consumer interest - not just in Switzerland but across Europe - in where food comes from and how it is produced.

Why two votes, and what's the difference?

Switzerland's system of direct democracy means campaigners simply have to gather 100,000 signatures to ensure a nationwide vote on a political issue.

The first proposal, called "fair food", wants more government support for sustainable, animal friendly products - and more detailed labelling so consumers know what they are getting.

It also calls for a crackdown on food waste, and for imports to meet Swiss standards on workers' conditions, environmental safety, and animal welfare. 

This would mean Swiss inspectors checking foreign food producers for compliance.

The second, called "food sovereignty" goes even further, calling for much greater state support for local family farms, for higher tariffs on food imports, and for foreign produce that does not meet Swiss standards to be banned.


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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2018-09-23 17:12

According to the OECD, Australia now spends more public money on private schools than any other advanced economy and that was before Prime Minister Scott Morrison's extraordinary announcement yesterday that a further $4.5 billion of taxpayers' money is to be thrown at fee-charging schools.

Contrast that with another OECD report released about a year ago, which revealed that Australia — even post the Gonski funding — is the third lowest funder of public schools in the OECD with only Turkey and Colombia doing worse.

Yet our new Prime Minister suggests his latest cash-splash to the education sector that indisputably mostly educates the children of the better-off is a solution to the schools funding wars.

Then he attempts to justify it as part of the sector blind, needs-based funding scheme that once was Gonski.

How can that be? Most of the children who attend fee-charging schools are not, in fact, very needy.


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Of course, Morrison's generosity (with public money/deficit) towards the Catholic schools is designed to split Labor... Labor was the one party that stepped up on the plate and devised the (fair) Gonski method of properly finance education in this country. But the Labor party is the "home" of many Catholics, while traditionally, apart from Turdy Abbott, the Libs-party has been the "fort" for the Anglicans... There are more private Catholic schools in Australia than of other denomination put together, thus you can see the way ScoMo is throwing more burley at the Catholics in the Labor party — despite the Gonski eduction funding having already been approved by all concerned.


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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2018-09-23 16:04

The US president’s personal lawyer said that the US sanctions on Iran could lead to the the overthrow of the Iranian government.

Speaking in his own capacity at a hotel in Times Square this Saturday, Giuliani noted, contrasting to the US administration official position, that the current implementation of the economic sanctions could lead to a “successful revolution” and change of the Iranian government, Reuters reported.

READ MORE: Trump Lawyers Reject Broad Interview with Special Counsel

“I don't know when we're going to overthrow them,” he said at an Iran Uprising Summit held by the Organization of Iranian-American Communities which opposes Iran policies, “It could be in a few days, months, a couple of years. But it's going to happen.”

Giuliani also suggested that the US sanctions are proved effective, noting that “The [Iranian] currency is going to nothing… these are the kinds of conditions that lead to successful revolution,” echoing his own words to the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, where he said that Trump’s policy would “suffocate Iran's ayatollahs.”

The US State Department told Reuters that Giuliani does not speak for the administration on Iran. Earlier in August Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton said that the US wants a massive change of Iran government’s behavior, noting, however that “regime change” in Iran was not the aim of the American policy.


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More bullshit from the Yankers...: 

still pushing crap...

by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2018-09-23 11:18

The Russian Authorities continue to challenge the version that Flight MH-17 was brought to the ground by an air-ground missile. They declassified information contradicting the conclusions of the Dutch Commission of Inquiry Into the Crash.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, connecting Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was destroyed on 17 July 2014 as it was flying over the region of Donetsk (Ukraine). This was at the time of fighting between the coup-making government of Kiev and those seeking the independence of Donbass. The fatalities totalled 298. From that time, each side is trying to pin the blame on the other. On the one hand, Ukraine is accusing the insurgents of firing a ground-air missile (Bouk) and on the other hand, Russia is accusing the Ukrainian Air Force of bringing down a Boeing civil plane.

Then Moscow raised a dozen questions that Kiev preferred to ignore [1].

The UN Security Council then adopted Resolution 2166 which mandated an “exhaustive, impeccable and independent international investigation” [2].

The international commission established under the resolution consisted (in addition to Ukraine) of Germany, Australia, the United States, France, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and Russia. It is coordinated by Holland. However, Russia has been excluded because it is suspected of being the aggressor.

The search for the truth is eclipsed by the East-West Conflict. Thus the United States is thinking of bringing President Putin before the International Criminal Court for this crime, and the US internet site Bellingcat (linked to the Atlantic Council) is providing leads for the Dutch Commission.

On 7 October 2014, Frans Timmermans, Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade at the time, and today the first Vice-President of the European Commission, revealed that one of the passengers had the time to snatch an oxygen mask. This contradicts the thesis of an anti-air missile [3].

On 8 October 2014, the German Secret Services testified, in secret, before the German Parliament’s Intelligence Committee. According to The Spiegel, they made the following allegations on flight MH17. 
(1) the photographs that the Ukrainian government provided are false; and 
(2) the declarations from Russia, that the plane would have been brought down by the Ukrainian army and that the Ukrainian war planes would have drawn close to the passenger plane are also false [4].

According to a detailed study of the debris, that was carried out by Professor Ivan A. Andrievskii, the first Vice-President of the Russian Union of Engineers, the Malaysian Airlines plane would have been gunned down in flight [5].

Later on, the Russian daily, Komsomolskaya Pravda, reports the testimonial of an official, which revealed that the plane would have been brought down by a Ukrainian fighter plane [6].

On 24 May 2018, the International Investigating Commission, chaired by Holland and with Russia playing no part, presents its work during a press conference in Amsterdam. It declares that the Malaysian flight was destroyed by Buk, an air-ground missile, belonging to the Russian Brigade of Air Defense 53, based in Kursk. Holland and Australia communicate these conclusions to Russia [7], conclusions that Russia rejects but not before presenting a series of anomalies in the work of the Commission [8].

On 17 September 2018, Russia, relying on the photographs presented by the Commission, which permitted it to find out the identification number of the missile from the buzzard and the engine of the plane, concluded that at the time, this missile, manufactured by the Soviets, had never been in Russia’s hands. Furthermore, at the time of the events, it was in the hands of a Ukrainian military unit in Lvov. Russia has sent to Holland all the evidence it has, to prove its argument.

Anoosha Boralessa


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by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2018-09-23 09:26

It can be hard to keep up with the leadership changes in Canberra, but for some it's really tough.

Puppet maker Hilary Talbot is forced back to the drawing board every time a government cuts the strings on its prime minister.

Her giant puppet heads have been a regular sight at protests around the country.

They were commissioned after the 2014 budget by activist Matthew Armstrong for a union-organised protest outside Parliament House.

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And by the way, as ScoMo goes after an issue like Bitzer goes after a bone, he got the Peta Credlin seal of approval in today's ST: This definitely means that Scomo is as bad as Tony Abbott — minimum.

by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2018-09-23 07:20

'How Presstitutes Rob America of Peace & Prosperity' - Gerald Celente at RPI's Media & War Conference


The media? Gerald Celente has a few things to say about the media! Don't miss this lively and humorous take on what's wrong with the mainstream media in the United States from the Ron Paul Institute's September Washington DC conference!


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As well, read George Orwell in 1938:


To begin with, the era of free speech is closing down. The freedom of the Press in Britain was always something of a fake, because in the last resort, money controls opinion; still, so long as the legal right to say what you like exists, there are always loopholes for an unorthodox writer. For some years past I have managed to make the Capitalist class pay me several pounds a week for writing books against Capitalism. But I do not delude myself that this state of affairs is going to last forever. We have seen what happened to the freedom of the Press in Italy and Germany, and it will happen here sooner or later. The time is coming – not next year, perhaps not for ten or twenty years, but it is coming – when every writer will have the choice of being silenced or of producing the dope that a privileged minority demands.

I have got to struggle against that, just as I have got to struggle against castor oil, rubber truncheons and concentration-camps. And the only regime which, in the long run, will dare to permit freedom of speech is a Socialist regime. If Fascism triumphs I am finished as a writer – that is to say, finished in my only effective capacity. That in itself would be a sufficient reason for joining a Socialist party. 

I have put the personal aspect first, but obviously it is not the only one.

It is not possible for any thinking person to live in such a society as our own without wanting to change it. For perhaps ten years past I have had some grasp of the real nature of Capitalist society. I have seen British Imperialism at work in Burma, and I have seen something of the effects of poverty and unemployment in Britain. In so far as I have struggled against the system, it has been mainly of writing books which I hoped would influence the reading public. I shall continue to do that, of course, but at a moment like the present writing books in not enough. The tempo of events is quickening; the dangers which once seemed a generation distant are staring us in the face. One has got to be actively a Socialist, not merely sympathetic to Socialism, or one plays into the hands of our always-active enemies. 

Why the I.L.P. more than another?

Because the I.L.P. is the only British party – at any rate the only one large enough to be worth considering – which aims at anything I should regard as Socialism.


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The Independent Labour Party (ILP) was a British political party of the left, established in 1893, when the Liberals appeared reluctant to endorse working-class candidates, representing the interests of the majority. A sitting independent MP and prominent union organiser, Keir Hardie, became its first chairman.

The party was positioned to the left of Ramsay MacDonald’s Labour Representation Committee, founded in 1900 and soon renamed the Labour Party, to which it was affiliated from 1906 to 1932. In 1947, the organisation's three parliamentary representatives defected to the Labour Party, and the organisation rejoined Labour as Independent Labour Publications in 1975.



by Gus Leonisky on Sun, 2018-09-23 06:40

There is a word in Italian “pazzo.” It means crazy, but actually has a somewhat stronger meaning, more like delusional, completely nuts. Stephens qualifies, particularly when he presumably includes the United States and Israel among the world’s “community of civilized nations.” Both have been bombing and shooting up Syria even though Damascus has neither threatened nor attacked them. And the Shi’ite crescent is a total fabrication, invented by Israel and repeated endlessly by suck-up American politicians and media talking heads like Stephens. Iraq is 60% Shi’ite to be sure, but the rest of its mostly Sunni population is well entrenched and has fought to maintain its autonomy. Syria is 75% Sunni and 9% Christian. Lebanon is 27% Sunni, 6% Druze, and 40% Christian. Do the math Bret!

And don’t you just love the “achieve core foreign policy objectives at a relatively reasonable price” bit? Destroying the country’s air force and airports, blowing up its government buildings, and assassinating its head of state might be reasonable for armchair warriors in Washington, but it looks a lot different on the ground where most would consider it undeclared war of aggression. That’s a war crime.


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