Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

For the public good

I’m not all that enthralled by the notion of the nation-state. As an expression of an ethnic group and all that implies, it is an anachronism which should eventually join the divine right of kings on the scrapheap of history.

However, such states are here, they exist, so, what should they do? What is proper policy for a nation state?

The public good. That is what the nation-state must serve. Not just some utilitarian idea of the greatest good for the greatest number, though that’s part of it. The aspirations of the nation state should be to in some real and tangible sense, make things better in a lasting and sustainable manner for all people and for the earth, as stewards.

The psychologist Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper, “A Theory of Human Motivation,” proposed a hierarchy of needs from the most basic humans needs to the more advanced, which depend upon the forgoing.

Maslow’s hierarchy is: physiological needs, safety needs, social belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.

So a good government, first and foremost, must see to the physiological well-being of the people. This means housing, clothing, health care and energy.

Second, safety. This means public safety, environmental and workplace regulation in the public interest, and defense. Actual defense, not occupying other countries or using force to implement regime change.

Third, social belonging. If you are going to have a just nation, then there must be a true sense of “one people.” Including everyone. Also, open borders and acceptance of refugees and migrants with open arms.

Esteem, treat everyone as of value and of worth. Let them make their own choices.

And self-actualization. The key to this is free education, and also a robust economy welcoming to co-ops and startups with strong protections insuring transparency and interdicting monopoly power. Regulation of “natural monopolies” through common carrier, public interest, and environmental legislation. Self-management and workplace democracy, with unions playing a key role in the transition from industrial capitalism to post-industrial social democracy.

So yes, nation-states, do those things. The people have spoken. :p

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy

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30 September, 2017 Posted by | government, Maslow, nation, nation-state, politics, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Liberals are unconsciously mirroring and enabling Trumps arbitrary skepticism of the media

I’m seeing a lot of my friends who think they are critical thinking intellectuals and think they oppose Trump, falling victim to imitating his tropes and memes.

Let’s take, “You can’t trust the mainstream media.”

I’ve been a thorn in the side of the New York Times and Guardian for decades now. I guess my high point as a loyal opposition came when the then-current editor of the NY Times, Bill Keller, called me on the phone because Art Sulzberger told him to and I got to tell him for three hours what I thought was wrong with the Times and how to restore it to its former greatness of the 1970’s.

It is fine and good to criticize wrong facts. To criticize the framing of a story. False equivalence. Errors in logic. Lack of historical perspective. Acting as stenographers for State and Defense. Paid content. Trivial articles pandering to the rich and privileged. Ridiculous reasons offered for anonymizing sources. Crappy clickbaitish “reviews” of video games which would never pass muster for books, movies or even TV reviews. Lots to talk about and speak to them about.

But what I am seeing now from a fair number of very smart friends who think they are critical thinking intellectuals and think they are opposing Trump is quite concerning.

“You can’t trust the mass media,” which is Trump’s trope, is spreading far and wide. This is the opposite of critical thinking. It is ad hominem argument.

Having so to speak thrown out the baby with the bath water, and arbitrarily rejecting information from the most trusted and reliable news sources, I see many of these folks posting memes and factoids because they agree with them. Many of these are either obviously false on their face from my perspective or have obvious errors in logic or framing and attribution, or lack thereof.

Okay so far not so bad, we all get fooled by trollish disinformation from time to time. Confirmation bias is rife. When I post false/wrong information and I learn otherwise, I acknowledge my error and correct it. If it is egregious, I remove it.

The problem I am seeing is folks who, when given evidence that their post is false, refuse to correct or remove it.

“I didn’t write it.”
“I never said it was true”
“People will be able to tell it is false.”
“I don’t care I like the meme.”
“I think it’s funny.”

No, no, no, no, and no.

This is the opposite of critical thinking. It is “I say it once, I say it twice, what I say three times is true.” It is Trump’s rhetorical answer to facts and logic. Blocking rational thought with solipsism and arbitrary skepticism without a reasonable critique of the facts presented in refutation, ignoring logic and reason because the other fellow is bad. Ad hominem argument. Or they challenge you to disprove their belief. Another fallacy, argumentum ad ignoratiam.

We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.

–Karl Rove, Republican operative

Is that what its come to? The Nazi Big Lie technique normalized and contextualized for all Americans now

1984 knocking at your door.

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Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy

1 March, 2017 Posted by | ad hominem, argumentum ad ignoratiam, disinformation, Nazi, news, Newspeak, politics, scanlyze, solipcism, Trump | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton’s lack of accountability for security breaches at State

It is quite amazing and disturbing the way Clinton’s spin doctors and the neoliberal press have spun the story of Clinton’s illegal basement email server into a tale of “Russia is attacking the United States” with no accountability for Clinton for the shocking lack of computer security at State.

Why were emails not encrypted with PGP so if they were hacked or leaked there would still be an additional layer of protection?

Why were they using passwords instead of dual key encryption with passphrases and two or more factor authentication for access?

Why did she set up an insecure server at home and redirect her official emails to it? A server that reportedly did not support DKIM, so that to communicate with it, DKIM had to be turned off at State as well?

Why in the world when folks at State received phishing emails, and checked with their IT folks, they were told yes go ahead and click on them and put in your password?

Where was their intrusion detection system? Did nobody notice hey all of our emails are being downloaded to a compromised machine in Germany?

Why was TLS reportedly not set up correctly on HC’s basement server when it was set up?

Why was a server configuration program, probably cpanel, left open to the outside world on HC’s server? Given that it was set up by a moonlighting guy from State’s IT, Brian Pagliano, was this also true of severs at State?

Was tripwire running on any of these servers so folks could say hey there’s weird changes happening on our servers that shouldn’t ever happen such as log files getting smaller?

When Pagliano detected that Clinton’s home server had been breached and shut it down, why the fuck did they start it up again. Why was it not shut down for good at this point?

And where is the accountability for Clinton? All we are hearing is Putin, Putin, Putin.

I can’t categorically say that State, the DNC, Clinton’s email would not have been hacked if I was in charge, because there is no such thing as perfect security. But none of the specific things I mentioned above would have happened, that’s for sure.

Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

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17 December, 2016 Posted by | Hillary Clinton, politics, scanlyze, State Department, USA | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

To: His Excellency Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France to the United States Re: Burkini ban

To: His Excellency Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France to the United States
Re: Burkini ban

Dear Sir and to whom it may concern:

I am writing to express my concern with the so-called ‘burkini ban’ imposed by several French municipalities and recently upheld by your court system.

These laws violate human rights, are illogical, and stupid.

How can burkinis be a public health issue but not wetsuits?

Where is the security issue in wearing a burkini? Is France in danger of being overrun by women in burkinis?

We have seen in the (UK) Guardian how a woman with her daughter at the beach was accosted by four armed officers, compelled to take off her top, which was not a burka nor a burkini, and fined while her daughter cried and onlookers shouted “Go Home” at her.

cf French police make woman remove clothing on Nice beach following burkini ban

How can you possibly allow such a law to exist or to be implemented?

What will be done to punish the officers who so abused this innocent woman?

I am a friend of France but I cannot in good conscience buy French products, watch French movies, eat French food or drink French wine while this ridiculousness, and the crude bigotry and intolerance which underlie it, go on.

Why is France standing against personal liberty?

Why is France standing for the subjugation, intimidation, and state-sponsored racist harassment of harmless unarmed women by armed men?

Please take this opportunity to keep me informed of how these policies will be reversed and outlawed, how the women so harassed will be compensated, and of those responsible to making such laws as well as anyone who has enforced them, how they are punished and sanctioned.

Thank you for your attention and for your prompt reply.

Henry Edward Hardy
Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

24 August, 2016 Posted by | Ambassador, ban, beach, burkini, France, Gérard Araud, liberty, politics, racist, scanlyze, stupid | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The US Strategy of Limited War is Stupid

Why is the US pursuing a policy of limited war and covert operations around the world in Libya, Syria, Chad, Mali, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Honduras, Sudan, Philippines and so on?

THIS IS A LOSING STRATEGY.

Ye gods we know that from Viet Nam.

We know that from the USSR in Afghanistan.

We know that from Central America.

And you can read it in the chapter that was added to Capt B H Liddell Hart’s classic book, Strategy: The Indirect Approach for the second edition which came out in, I think, 1947. Wars under in the nuclear age will be fought by proxy, with deniable guerilla groups acting semi-autonomously, but puppeted by the great powers through covert action. This is to avoid massive retaliation. Liddell Hart clearly points out that these guerilla movements will have a huge advantage in both efficiency and freedom of use compared to conventional forces.

But the United States, with its massive fleet, its 10 aircraft carriers, its air superiority doctrine, its armored divisions, is prepared to refight World War II. The lack of sufficient good old fashioned light infantry like the 10th Infantry leads to the overuse of special forces for tasks which should belong to the regular army. At the same time, the regular forces, except air power to a limited degree, are pretty useless against guerilla groups or hybrid guerilla groups like IS. So the special forces get to fight them too, undercover, without normal rules of engagement and fire support. This has led to a huge expansion of the very expensive and specialized special forces.

The US spends more on its military than the next ten military powers combined and yet IS, with maybe the equivalent of three divisions of light infantry, mostly low paid conscript ‘volunteers,’ can flummox the US in the Middle East, destabilize Europe, and fuel Brexit and Trumpism. That’s partly because it is always hard to fight religiously-fueled warriors with a martyrdom cult.

But the US knows how to fight a guerilla war. 50 US advisers trained Ho Chi Minh’s forces in guerilla warfare during WWII, for crying out loud.

This idiotic strategy is being driven by the politics of deniable operations that don’t have political consequences unless they have a Eugene Hasenfus-type incident, and that eternal war is hugely profitable.

Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

31 July, 2016 Posted by | guerilla, Iraq, Liddel Hart, military, politics, scanlyze, strategy, stupid, USA, war | , , , , , , | Leave a comment