Thursday, March 22, 2018

FBI agents want domestic terrorism to be named as such

So said O'Connor, the head of the FBI Agents Association. Currently there is no federal law criminalizing domestic terrorism and they want that changed.

"Calling it what it is is something that I believe is important. It’s easy for people to wrap their heads around someone coming in with an internationally based ideology and committing a crime. But when it’s a domestic terrorist, because there’s no charge, we can’t get our head wrapped around it. [...] If that crime of force or violence is done to forward a social or political agenda, then that person fits the elements of domestic terrorism.”

PA Chief Justice of the Supreme Corp scolds his own party

Yeah, the Chief is a Repugnantan himself and voted against the Court re-drawing the district map. Nevertheless he said to the PA legislators threatening to impeach the Dem Judges in favor of the new map:

"As Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, I am very concerned by the reported filing of impeachment resolutions against Justices of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania related to the Court’s decision about congressional redistricting. Threats of impeachment directed against Justices because of their decision in a particular case are an attack upon an independent judiciary, which is an essential component of our constitutional plan of government.”

Bravo for at least this Republican who can stand up for constitutional institutions instead of destroying them for the sake of rabid partisanship, and worse, promoting oligarchy at the expense of democracy.

National Scurity Adviser McMaster is out now too

Dump is dumping everyone who won't worship him so McMaster has to go too. He'll be replaced by the perfect ass kisser in Bolton. Soon Dump will be surrounded by no one other than complete ass kissers and then all hell will break loose. It will be painful for many but it will definitely be the end of the Dump regime.

Dump hires a new lawyer

Continuing the last post, one reason Dowd might have quit is the hiring of diGenova. The new guy is hot on an FBI conspiracy theory hell bent on framing Dump. That's the exact sort of guy Dump wants to keep his own paranoid conspiracy theory going. And to claim "rigged" when Mueller finally does indict him.

Dump's lead lawyer in Russia investigation quits

Dowd calls it quits. Why? Who knows. Maybe it's just another rat jumping a sinking ship.

2 Repugnantans: If Dump fires Mueller it's impeachable

So says Flake and Graham. Come on Rump Dump, do it, I dare you.

Supreme Corp allows Flint water lawsuits

Wow, the Supreme Corp, typically in favor of corporations over people, affirmed the 6th Circuit Court decision to allow two class-actions suits to go forward against local and state officials for poisoning their water.

More on multilevel selection theory

Multilevel selection theory and major evolutionary transitions,” by DS Wilson et al., Current Directions is Psychological Science 17:1, 2007.

“The concept of a group as comparable to a single organism has had a long and turbulent history. Currently methodological individualism dominates in many areas of psychology and evolution, but natural selection is now known to operate at multiple levels of the biological hierarchy. When between-group selection dominates within-group selection, a major evolutionary transition occurs and the group becomes a new, higher-level organism. It is likely that human evolution represents a major transition, and this has wide-ranging implications for the psychological study of group behavior, cognition, and culture.”

Rethinking the theoretical foundation of sociobiology” by Wilson and Wilson, The Quarterly Review of Biology 82:4, 2007.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Damasio on consciousness

From the introduction to Chapter 9 of his new book The Strange Order of Things.

"The term 'consciousness' applies to the very natural but distinctive kind of mental state described by the above [subjective] traits. The mental state allows its owner to be the private experiencer of the world around and, just as important, to experience aspects of his or her own being. For practical purposes, the universe of knowledge, current and past, that can be conjured up in a private mind only materializes to its owner when the owner's mind is in a conscious state, able to survey the contents of that mind, in his or her own subjective perspective." This perspective is combined with "integrated experience, which consists of placing mental contents into a more or less unified multidimensional panorama" (143- 44).

Also of note is that consciousness is not located in any particular brain area but

Betsy DeVos questioned about federal money to private schools

DeVos wants fed money to be given to private schools if parents choose those private schools over public schools. So DeVos is asked if federal non-discrimination laws will be followed if the fed money goes to these private schools. Getting a yes or no answer out of her was worse than pulling teeth without anesthesia but she finally relented. Now we'll see if she obeys federal law in this case, given that Dumpsters have disdain for the law and break it with impunity.