I do not ask to be believed; only understood. From that, belief will follow

The inspiration for this article came from listening to Dr. Dean Edell spewing the "green" party line and in the process, acting like a scientific ignoramus while sitting in demogogic judgement of others. If you deal in commentary then there is a further issue. Can I trust what this person says?

Dr. Dean Edell is a prime example. He passes himself of as a knowledgeable person on medical maters and continually rails against the supplement industry and that these characters should be jailed for fraud. Though what he says is true, as a source he is almost unusable. Why?

  1. When Gore came out with his apocolyptics Edell said that "They got 113 scientists in a room, shwed them Gores flick and they said they were amazed at how [Gore] had the details right" Now just a few months earlier the meteorolgists at RealWeather Radio had debunked Globalwarmingism specifically in an answer to a question about it by pointing out, with clarity, conviction and certitude that the driver for all of this was the Pacific Souther Oscillation aka El Nino/La Nina was the driving force: I said meteorologists who are to weather what Dr. Edell is to Ophthamology so end of story. Now, if you know science as well as Dr. Edell purports to and the "113 scientesits" Then you know that there is still needed the preocess of replication of observation, experimentation and finalizing the results. This is the vetting process; science style. This takes from 3 to 7 years. As an apostle of science, Dr. Edell had to know this. In many cases, as in the UK, Gore's folly did not pass legal muster as a credible source to be used in Educcation: and this is in the USSUK. and what about the 32,000+ scientists in the field of climatology who just came otu against the whole thing? For those of you in Rio Limberger, we're still in that 3-7 year timeframe. I will see what the good docotor says about that (cue crickets). But then Edell has gone green lumping anti-glogal warming sites in with anti-vaccination sites and anti-evolution sites without comment. and by other means, has shown himself to be a grennie, which bunch over the last 30 years has been the most anti-science movement, specifically railing agoanst science for not falling into line, adivocating that those who disagree with them have their credentials removed as "deniers" and even being caught in outright lies, saying histerically, that the situation is so serious that we can't wait for the science to catch up. But Dr. Edell is an honorable man.
  2. He once said that "If you don't think Measles is a deadly disease then how does two million persons a year soun?" in defense of measles vaccination (the benefits of which he touts, and here we agree but he has never mentiond any harmful side effects and we know effective drugs have a miniscule number of reports of harmful side effects as the self-same Dr. Edell has told us). Also he said. More recently he said that "two to three hundred thousand children die each year from Measles" What's missing here? Well to evaluate anything, you have to put it in perspective. In statistical evaluation, that means convert it to percentages. To do that, you need the total population being referred to: Is this the US or the World. Two million out of 300 million is much different than two million out of 6 billion. What percentage of the total cases of Measiles do the two millin and 2 to 3 hundred thousand represent? At this point, I can't even do the math, let alone the science. Finally, after about 5 years of this, he did do one report from NJ that souled that in an outbreak of measles 8 persons died out of about 735, which is 1.0084%, meaning 98+% survived! When I was a kid and up until recently measles was a "Common Childhood Disease" which means the overwhelming number of kids got it. along wiht chicken pox and the mumps. It was the subject of jokes. There was known to be a very small risk of retardation, the first case of which I did not see until I was nearly 18. Where was the apocalypse!?! Some deadly disease, some chicken, some neck! End of Story. But Dr. Edell is an honorable man.
  3. As part of his ongoing war on Fundamentalists, Dr. Edell used the fact that they praised "March of the Emperor Penguins" to show the strong family ties that these birds represented. It is clear that he knows nothing about the flick becuase that was stated opnely in it and it was presented in such a way that anyone with a brain bigger than a fern spore would get that End of Story.Like every Parrot-head knows; "Don't try to describe the scenery if you ain't seen it". But Dr. Edell is an honorable man.
  4. As part of that same war (which I share in principle), and in a sanctimonious tone of voice, Dr Edell says that "I can change your morals by chemical means", implying that ethics is a matter of chemistry not principle; A bit of undigested gruel, perhaps?. What he ignores is that the chemical reactions, by an overwhelming number of cases, take place not in the lab but int the real world and that if this is done, it is for therapeutic reasons in a case of real medical problems or is abuse. But then is not his sanctimoniousness a matter of chemicals rather than his grasp on anything beyond what his chemicals are making him do? So why is he even bothering to try to inform when by implication of his own words and stopping 3 nanometers short of admission, that is not possible. Does he, or his kool-aid drinkers realize what this does to the very fundamentals of the concept of knowledge which is fundamental to the concept of science? But, Dr Edell is an honable man. Now the Fundies could turn this against him by using it as an argument for "Intelligent Design" and then saying that either they are right or one is expected to believe in Nihilism: End of story. The view that Dr. Edell is trying to sneak past has been outdated and discarded, along with Scientology's "engram" theory, over 30 years ago when I was majoring in Psychology and replaced with "brain State" and "associated with but not determinant of", theory and that the chemicals and structures "mediate" between the sensory systems which are in contact with the real world and the mental functions and are therefore a part of the story and nowhere near the whole story.
  5. Dr. Edell has ragged on Fundies for years even questioning if they ought be allowed to hold office. Also he has castigated persons who believe what the Diet Supplement industry has peddled as "science" and saying "but that doesn't mean anything to those who have faith". Well just recently, he revealed some thing or other that "we are hardwired to beileive in magic" Well, why bother debunking it then? Further, is it magic or higher levels of thought and principles that he is talking about? No answer. But then again, if the sum total of your consciousness is H2SO4 then that is all you'll see, and not an atom more. But then again , Dr. Edell is an honorable man. Again he gives the Fundamentalists thw H-bomb with which to nuke him. They can turn around and say that his belief in science is a matter of faith and just as mystical as their belief in all that supernaturalism junk but that he is just hardwired to believe it with no connection to anything in the real world: End of story.
  6. However, ervery now and again, the slip shows. In one show he reported that many more liberas beilieve in ghosts than conservatives. He gave the figures and for liberals it was about 43% and for conservatives it was under or about 35%. He prefaced the report with "Tell me if this doesn't want to make you switch parited". Now, why should he think that the overwhelming bulk of his audience is liberal Democrats. Who have been far more anit-science and subjectivist than the Conservative Republicans? Recently he reported a finding that there is a sharp difference between Democrats and Repubicans as to the desireability of Government (read whips, chains and the Veterans' Adminstration system) health insurance. I did not know that!!! Hey Doc, just 'cause I came in on a flying saucer doesn't mean it was the last flying saucer!!!!! So what's the real story here? Like I said, just because I came in on a flying saucer deons't mean that it was the last flying saucer and Dr. Edell s an honorble man. As usual, listen to his tone of voice and add it all up to get the subtext. Why do I get that "Helmsman; 30 degrees to prt. End of story" feeling?
So are they all: All honorable men. It seems that the science that Dr. Edell is most conversant with, and the real apostle of is political science as in Lysenko. One would only wisht that he would give Galileo a better funeral. ***UPDATES: Winter 2010: Edell finally gave the statistical holy grail concerning the death rate of Measles. 2 per 1,000. No statistician would ever claim to be able to draw a whispered conclusion with that kind of figure. As my engineering buddies say, "That's down in the noise". Yet Edell has the crusading zeal of a biblical prophet on this. Mid March 2010 He was referring to the "tea party" and a response to a Harris poll. Now Hrris was the original bisased poll and I got the proof of that in '84 when he consistently showed Mondale closer to Reagan much more than othe polls. My politically savvy frined said that Harris was biased and that as time went on his poll would look more like the others: As said, so done, around late September or early October that started happening. Now I'm a simple man, If a smart person says A will happen because B is X and A happens. THat's it. IN his discussion both at the lead in and somewhere towards the middle Edelle referred to "tea party" then in an amending tone "teabaggers". "Teabaggers" was cointed by either Keith Obermen or some other screaming meemee at one of the commie cable (no)news outlets. This generates for me a problem. Given the years-long covert and now overt mad-dog leftism shown by this man, how can I cite him as a credible source? He seems more related to Lysneko than Galileo. I think we can clsoe the book on him as a reference. How trustworthy is he? If I were to cite him the most unintellectual Fundamentalist could come back at me with just three of these and there would not be enough left of my credibility to see with an electron microscope. Another credibility incident involved pheremones: The airborn chemicals that trigger in the lower animals, cetain behaviors, mostly related to sexual activity. Beginning in the mid-1970's the idea of human pheremones came up and was never proven to my satisfaction, well in the late winter of 2010, Dr Edell brought this up and mentioned that there is no organ in the human physiology that is the equivalent of that existing in pheremone-driven animals. That should have ended it, right? I mean, if the antenna ain't there, the signal ain't getting through. However Dr Edell is still entertaining the idea, what he uses as evidence is this; among female college students sharing the same dorm, the periods tend to line up. Because he is physiology bound, he could not get that often physiology adapts to circumstance. It's been known since 1973 that, as part of learning, the brain, particularly the Cerebellum, reconfigures in accordance with that which is being leared. To me, accepting the notion of pheremones in the absence of knowledge of a physical organ, is akin to being a flate-earther. What's worse is that this is in what should be his area of near-expertise. This only points to the idea that lax thinking beginning in politics eventually spreads and infects the whole psychological system***

Now how does this relate to reality.? Dr. Edell is dead on about the Supplrment industry and yes, they ought to be put out of busienss for fraud and the persons executed. But How can I use him as a reference? He supprts Marxist mediscne. attacks mysticism and then gives his support to an idea that we are fated to be mystics (craving more and more government intervention but whining that the insurance company "gatekeepers" don't know medicine: What does he think the apparatchiki will do; sit around singing "Kumbya"?), supports the most anti-science groups going while posing as an apostle of science, reduces all mental activity to chemical reactions under the mantle of higher metnal functiosn, especially science of which he claims to be a champion; i.e. objectivity, knowledge and truth. So much of him ternintes with "End of Story"; i.e. self-nuking and all with the smug sanctimonious tone of voice that makes him seem like a character from Atlas Shrugged: Specifically Dr. Floyd Ferris, Yet we are told, even by Ayn Rand, that she created these characters as abstracts and not from real persons and Dr Edell is an honorable man. It's deja vu all over again and the worst and most unlikely thing one can say of Edell is that he knoww what he's doing, which would deny his "life is just a bowl of chemicals" outlook anyway, so I doubt that he does know what he's doing. As I say, he's an honorable man if you believe that, which I do. Honor=H2SO4+Co2NaCl in Ringer's Solution. I would have to believe that this is deliberate save that by his own chemistry=psychology, he. along with everybody else, is incapable of doing anything deliberately, or of being deliberate: too much. If I tried to use him for a source, I'd get, thrown in my face at light speed and with the force of a tsunami, Isn't he the one that...? End of stroy": and me!

If you need to know anything else, on Saturday 3 May Dr. Edell, who has bitterly attacked the Christian Conservatives, came to the defense of Jeramiah Wright of "The US of KKKA", God Damn America" and The Government created AIDS to kill Blacks" bringing up the old saw about segregation and saying that "... it wasn't that long ago, just a few decades". and that it's "our ability to change that makes America great" and that Wright should be respected. I'm sure that if a Conservative Christian minister had said what Wright said about AIDS, Edell who wants to have a religious test for persons to hold elective office, would, rightly, be all over him like dumb on a liberal. I take it that Edell would bar Mike Huckabee or Pat Robertson from holding office, he would vote for (respect) Mr Wright. But Wright attacks what Edell himself says is "great" and gets a pass. In fact those "few decades" amount to a half-century; almost 2/3 of a lifetime and over 20% of our nations history (when most Western nations or cultures are 400 years old) and he treats it like a mere hour's time. One wonders what flavor Kool-Aid Dr. Edell likes best. Even the drive-by media and Obama have thrown Wright under the bus. How can a person wage nuclear war against the Christian Right and give the likes of this hatemongering from the left a pass? I suspect that the key operative words are "right" and "left", but to me, hatemongery is hatemonger, bad science is bad science and falsehodds are falsehoods no matter who delivers them: But Dr. Edell is an honorable man!???????????????????????????????????????????????? END OF F***KING STORY!!!!!!!!!!. How can I trust this guy on anything? Particularly if he bends the knee to a man who makes the MEDICAL claim that the US Government invented AIDS? I don't know if this proves or refutes the theory of evolution: What we have here is the flak-catcher (d?)evolving to the stage of not being mau-mau'ed but of self-mau-mau'ing. It certainly is a step backwards in the area of mental development and shows that being liberal is being stuck on "stupid". Hell, even an invertibrate fights back when attacked. A liberal impales himself on the enemy's weapon.

Since Dr. Edell is a Determinist (psychology=biochemistry), it is not surprising that Dr. Eddlle is a collectivist (some form of Socialist: "Can't we guarantee every child decent health care?" Guarantee? Like, dude; when could anyone guarantee anything?) and a racist (supporting the "get Whitey" of Wright). Does it not follow then that he is, in fact anti-science (in giving wright a pass, he tacitly agrees to Wright's AIDS theory. The rise of science was commenserate with the development of individualism since it is individuals, not collectives, who have brains, Gallileo, Newton, Einstein, et al were individuals in case nobody noticed and it was capitalism that made R&D worth the time and effort and over the last 40 years the Earth Day crowd has been the most virulently anit-science movement in history; The seventeenth century church thought it was defending truth and did not know better. can the same be said of the Eco-li-ars? Who live in prosperity undreamed of by 90% of the world as a result of science and who routinely attack science for not accepting their fraud of the hour?)? In this last, the joke is on Dr. Edell since he does not know it. Perhaps an undigested bit of acetyl choline meant that certain neuro-synases did not get triggered, or being part of the anti-salt crowd, his sodium-potassium pump might not be pumping well... I'm almost sorry for using Dr. Edell as the poster child here but what can I do when he makes such a big fat target of himself and jumps in front of my weapons system? and he's so damn sanctimonious that someone has to take him down a peg or ten just to keep the sanity and insanity in rough balance: I don't dabble in Ophthamology, why should he dabble in psychology and philosophy incompetently with impunity. I guess all my epinephrine and norepinephrine is in place.

Now here's a real twisted sister for you. Dr. Edell is some kind of social libertarian whose motto appears to be "live and let live: Do your own thing". This would be good but if his psychology is as it is, why bother? There is also another self-contradiction. He seems to support some vague Socialist/Welfare State model of medical financing. Has he not heard of the Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the Rules. Some lifestyles are riskier than others. Now if the government allows certain known risky lifestyles and pays the medical tab for those who indulge in them then it is acting as a wastrel. Now Joe Sixpack has no desire to subsidize Drew Druggie's habit, Welfar Wanda's (with the yard-wide @$$) baby mill, Bozo Boozer's liver transplants, Inez Illegal's never-ending, frequent, costly treatements for multiple third-world diseases (as well as the spread of these diseases into the US), Gary Gay's 200-partern-a-year adventures and the diseases that accrue fro that, Sally Sextoy's montly STD treatments and the consequences of Garth Gangsta's violent ways (ever notice how Welfare Statists are soft, and that's a gross understatement, on crimes against productive folks?): All of whom think of Joe Sixpac as just a cash cow and with utter contempt: If they take the time, effort and have enough of a mind to think of him at all. To top it all off, he has to stand at the end of a long line of this human debris and wait four months for the tests and treatment that will save his life. So What happens? Politics is a derivative of ethics. Whereas Ethics is "How do I tell good from evel?" Politics is "How does that translate itself in matters of State?" The long and the short of it is that, as the cost of health care rises, and since most folks don't want to subsidize what they consider evil, risky for pleasur or wasteful. The State-financed health system has to make decisions that are called "rationing". it has a choices are; not treat persons because of their lifestyle and choosing whom it will and will not treat, which may be a death sentence, or regulate, control and ultimately decide which lifestyles to allow. I actuall heard a talk show host, on WBZ AM 1030 on the night of June 29 2008 say that the government has an interest in preventinog obesity and therefore the right to prevent it (and the right to define it?) NOw would he surrender his First Amendment rights. and would the government consider the fat lip that about 50,000 persons should get together and give him on a continuing basis,obesity? My point is that Dr. Edell is not competent to deal in politics and history when you see what is obviously predictable and he misses it by a galaxy. It is a pity that he did not study Randism. I was aware some 37 years ago of a quote attributed to Leornard Peikoff "From Handouts to Handcuffs".

Another source of self-contradiction is his addiction to the Earth Day, now called "green", claptrap. Lumping "anti-global warming" sites in with anti-evolution and anit-vaccinnation groups. How does our Apostle of Science feel now that 31,000 scientists have sown open rejection of that theory? This, again is important. One of the most invasive and numerous set of laws are the environmental laws; most of which are agency-created "regulations", numbering in the tens of thousands with only a miniscule participation by any elected legislative persons or body. Casuing the return of child-killing coyotes into areas where they were not. But their is a greater danger. In 1978, Ayn Rand, a staunch supporter of science to the point of having been the MIT Commencement speaker in the mid-'60's, an invited guest to the Apollo 11 launch and Commencement speaker at West Point in the mid-'70's, was asked about the then-called "eco" movement which was starting to fade. Here response; "Though it has lost it's tawdry glamor. it is wreaking havoc with American industry". the synthesizer firm PAIA ceased making keyboards because of such lasws (Vintage Synthesizers) and his support of this malcontentia is despite their continued rejection of and attacks on science. Anyway a complex lifestyle recquires prosperity. Of the whole New Left, which is the home of this bunch Ayn Rand has said "The Old Left tried to convince us that the government could made shews better. The New left, realizing the failure is trying to convince us that we don't need shoes [or vaccines]". Of the hippies, who really started this cult, Miss Rand said something about "...being lectured about cleanliness by someone who would pollute a river by mearly stepping into it" (at this point, I could go through the numerous quotes from inside sources that Miss Rand has collected but it would be a long list). It is the greens who cannot live and let humans live by being very intrusive and by attacking the science and prosperity by which one can do one's own thing, as well as the degrading effects this has on the very medical system that makes it all possible.

And why is it that when Dr. Edell reports on some diet scam he says "Another fine example of the free markiet"? If he were half as smart and 1/3rd as educated as he purports to be, or if he thought his audience was not primarily leftist Kool-Aid drinkers, he'd know that not only are Capitlaism and fraud not related. The are incapable of living on the same planet, star system, galaxy or universe. I don't like to use Dr. Edell as a poster child but a missile magnet of that size and intensity, with that level of scnctimoniousness and blatant self-contradiction just can't be passed up, It triggers my weapons' control and fire system automaitcally and to pass it up would be a dereliction of duty for which any military officer would and ought earn a court-martial, and serves as the perfect example of the subject of this article. Why I hate doing it is because it frightens me to contemplate the implications of such a well-educated person being such a self-creating and implementing target.

My conclusion of Edell is this. The intellect is as good as any, but the mentality, the control system is stunted by being unprogrammed or mis-programmed. Consider the intellect to be the scalpel and the mentality the training and skill that the surgeon has in its use. The hard-wiring he mentions is the physical cause of the function of mentality and looks for the abstract principles by which to work. Since he has implicitly equated accepting principles with magical thinking and since he rails against magical thinking, he rejects all abrstract principles that are consciously evaluated and accepted. However, the hard-wiring does as it will, not as we wish. It seeks out thouse pricniples and accepts them without conscious activity. IN the world of the (pseudo)intllectual, what "principles" is he going to find"? And since these "principles are 180 degrees out of sync with the real world. He ends up with a specific variant of the magical thinking he rails against.

Now what is the point of all of this, you may ask, other than my opportunity to administer intellectual lacerations and third degree laser burns (well yes and no; the lacerations and burns are self-administered. I'm just pointing and having some yuks)? That is the point, If there had been intellectual integrity here I could not have made mincemeat of Edell. There would be no "two metre target" into which to put one Proton Torpedo: Let alone six of them. And that's only what I remember (Second Rule of Psycho-history: You only see 10% of what's going on).

If you read my blog, The full Archives and my Ayn Rand site, you will note that, when I come down on someone. it is with my full weight and there's not much left. For example when I discussed Neal Boortz and the fact that he was still peddling the WMD notion years after President Bush said there were none. I chewed him up and spat him out in very tiny pieces and when a paper serfaced not 5 weeks later that confirmed that they just wasn't there, I went back over the remains and danced on them. If you read how I creamed Avi Nelson (another unpleasant task since he was a mentor) and in my monthly columns, the likes or Michael Reagan and Howie Carr, you'll know I pounded the snot out of them. Until June '08, I had yet to take on Bill O'Reilly with a full head of steam. I have named him "America's Demigogue" and sent a few missles his way but I've in no way even dented my supply of those: It's not that I'm that good, it's that the weponry is that good. First O'Reilly accepts every principle of the left, he just argues about the degree, which Ayn Rnad described as "arguing over a few slices of tainted meat while accepting the entire tainted batch wholesale [she had a way with observations that I've not found the equal of anywhere]". A person of even modest integrity or acumen could drive the Death Star through a breach of that size. That's not a two meter target, that's a two mile target. The only reason you apprach that gingerly is that you say "That's such a big hole, there has to be a trap somewhere. Nobody that arrogant makes that big a mistake": MORE O'REILLY.

You may think I'm being over the top, but this is for a number of reasons.

  1. If you listen to the way that Edell, Boortz, O'Reilly et al get on their high horses and sit in judgement of others like some Grand Inquisitor, even when they are right, you want them to be wrong. When you paint "God" on your chest and you're only an angel third class. someone's gotta take you down a peg or ten. I get the same pleasure out of this as I did taking down any loudmouth bully or, in my school days, real ones. There's something about an arrogant, self-absorbed twit that brings out the mostly dormant streak of mean in me -- and justifies it! I'm actually a warm, lovable pussycat; I'd rather purr than pulverize but even a pussycat has claws, you just don't see them most of the time. Actually, as those familiar with this site know, I'm more of a playful catling.
  2. Yes, I can. Now if you can't take the fire. don't earn my ire. Play it straight, don't pass yourself off as what you isn't. If you don't go off the Reality Reservation, I not only won't touch you, I can't. Ayn Rand once observed " wrtie down, to talk down, to think down? Nothing can be left of a person thereafter and nothing ever is". I don't cause the train wreck, I just shine a big floodlight on it. There is one commentator, on whom if I must train my weapons, it will be a distasteful business: Michelle Malkin. However she is still peddling that "Definition: Swif-boating: Telling the truth about Democrats" That has been so discredited, even Bill O'Reilly blew it out of the water. Not to mention the fact that the surviving captain of the other Swift boat and the logs of the ships show it to be just out and out lies for which the Republicans will and ought to pay dearly. Miss Malkin has a lot going for her and need not resort to this kind of thing. That will be an unpleasant task for me.
  3. Because they act like sanctimonious know-it-alls of the kind that a regular person likes to catch and cook for breakfast with great glee. Listen to how smarmy, self-righteous and condescending Boortz gets and you'll see why I espcially enjoy jumping on him with fooball cleats and even the conservatives don't like Mike Savage. Of them all Savage is almost the worst. His vitriol and bile overshadow the good things he has to say, which are considerable if you can cut through the noise and static. I am glad that he believes in prayer or is that preyer (by all means, get his Politlcal Zoo)? Now you would think that Savage would be a beiliever in right and wrong. but on the week of 20 May 08 he said "As a man of sicience, there are no absolutes!" ...Ummm,,, Mr. Savage, I hate to bother you: Say that's a nice microphone you have, I bet a mike like that costs a fortune. You know, my wife was a big fan of your before her starship vanished into the Delta quadrant, but them.... Ummm, where were we? Oh, Yeah: If there are no absolutes, then what about right and wrong, the propriety of Borders, Language and Culture? If there are no abosolutes then things are relative as in the oft-reviled moral relativism. So what's wrong with evil and CAIR? Also, science is about absolutes. Nothing relative about the fact if your internal temperature hits 106 F, your gonna die. period. and if there are no absolutes why are you so bent out of shape about everything?
  4. Ayn Rand said that she supports "epistemological law and order". Well, I'm the sheriff until someone better comes along and I can go back to designing pretty tiaras.
  5. when I was a kid, I came to value science for what it can do. This means also all that it needs to flourish. Science thrives on truth and wilts under falsehoods. The realm of the mind is my territory and I aim to scour the universe clean of falsehoods and those who perpetrate them. Read "mind the store". In that sense, I am not just an "apostle of science" but of Reason.
  6. Those who fake being superior piss off those of us who are because it devalues what we learned at a price they could not afford; even with all their credit cards.
  7. I am an elitist. Anyone who says that he/she doesn't believe that better is better is A)stupid B)deluded or C)lying. THis is not the elitism of the wine and brie crowd. The elitism I support is that of earned respect not self-congratulatory psychololgical masturbation.
  8. Fact is fact and false is false. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Good is good and evil is evil.
  9. If I fail to discredit the poseur, then an enemy of both of us will use him to gain belief. For example, if I were to use Dr. Edell to support my attacks on the supplement induxtry, I'd be asked "Do you really want to use the same source that gave Pastor Wright a general pass despite the pastor's medical claim that the government created AIDS to kill Blacks". Consider it intellectual policing. Why should I take advice from a Green who pollutes the intellectual stream by merely stepping into it?
Whele liberals are easy pickin's by virtue of being self-contradictory (how come they hate priveate, read earned by intelligence and effort, monopolies, they want everything under the purview of governemtn, read coercive, established by fiat and enforced by a gun, monopolies? Now they're trying to bring back that 1970's oldie but goodie; the windfall profits tax which sent the price of heating oil from about 85 cents in '77 to $1.28 in '80: What do we call personw who do the same thing twice and expect different results?), the "conservatives" aren't immune to the stupids, either. Here's one I got from Rush Limbaugh upon reading a report that oil may be continuing to be made: "God is creating more oil" and "in matters of science, I look to the word of God". Well if there were life after death, Gallileo would haunt the crap ouo of this one. What did he do when his ear went dead from the Oxy-contin: Pray or see a doctor? It is this that would give credibility to the whackjob over at Airhead America Radio when he said that conservatives should "...crack open a science book" save that it is a case of Joe Stalin calling Franco a brutal totalitarian. When I heard that, I almost choked on my Italian sub sandwich. If I have to recount the anit-science activities of the left over the last 40 years, then truely you've spent your life in a wicca basket.

In terms of self-destructing nothing was funnier than Boot-in-boca Boortz with his lips firmly around literal creationist Huckabee's you-know-what whill regularly attacking "turbo-Christinas" and Focus on the Family, with that sneer that only a pseudo-intellectual can carry off, but we are supposed to believe that Borrtz knows WMD and is a real libertarian when you don't know what side of his face he's speaking out of on major matters. No comment is necesary becuase none is possible since the enormity of it staggers the mind and exceeds the vocabulary. [ADENDUM 19 June] Did I say "Boot in Boca"? On 18 June Boortz said concerning the long-dead issue of Saddam's supposed WMD, in his usual "gotcha" voice (apparently never having heared "the empty barrel makes the loudest sound), "...he put them in a Soviet-made truck and sent them to a valley in Syria where they are now. Now let me see you tell me for a fact that they are not there". Now, not only did he wow a convention of joint doctors by inserting his foot between his lips and then jamming it up past his knee. he also amazed a convention of gastro-enterologists who were stunned that someone would have a mouth and gullet that large. I can just hear his logic teacher say "No wonder that shipdit flunked my course!". The most used basic logical fallacy next to the ad hominem is the argument from ignorance, technically called "shifting the burden of proof". in a debate it is the job of the person who supports a thesis to prove or demonstrate. In this case it is the job of Neal Boortz to prove that These phantom WMD were in fact put ont the Soviet-made truck and shipped out to Syria. not anyone's job to prove they were not: The one thing that you learn in basic logic is that nobody can prove a negative. I don't know if No-Great-Loss-Neal knows this. He certainly used his most heart-attack prone tone of voice, so I can't tell if he knows better and is just evil or doesn't know better and is just plain stoooooo-pid. At any rate, the Fair Tax is something to be avoided at all costs if this is the level of rationality displayed by its chief supporter. So you don't have to be a liberal to be stuck on stupid. BTW; No-Cred-Neal has made himself my other poster child for dysfunctional discourse. As with Dr. Edell, I am becoming increasingly embarrassed at using this clown for a target. The buttocks are becoming so big that one could properly chide me with "Hell a blind man could confidently expect to hit targets of that immensity. Can't you find someone worthy of that steel-toed combat boot of yours?". My defense would be "True, but it is immoral to not smash a glass house to shards when the owner is such an openly loudmouthed lightweight and especially as he dares to work my side of the street. Besides, do you really expect anyone to be able to help himself from helping himself to such a treasure?".

Now what's wrong with this picture? Well aside from the hypocrisy, noise and static, there is need for a counterbalance to the mainstream media like the New York Crimes, Boston Glib or Communist No-news Nutwork and Fox is as much of an embarrassment as the rest.

The Upshot of all of this is (ta-da) credibility.

What is credibility? Credibility means that I can, as a rule, take the word of a person rather then have to treat everything he/she says as subject to scrutiny. It refers to giving the person the "benefit of the doubt" as long as there is any doubt to give the benefit of. While it is the case in academic research and strict formal logic that everything has to be established from the first level beyond the self-evident and set in a chain of propositions that lead up from or back to the same self-evident. We grant this benefit much more in the real world since we need to be able to trust that someone is not feeding us a load of crap, either intentionally or because said individual does not know what he's talking about. I get involved sometimes in scientific speculation as a matter of course and I'll say outright that "I think...", "Don't hold me to it", "I'm giving you this at what I paid for it" or "I wouldn't bet the ranch on it but I'd bet the gate [or if it has more credibility, the bunkhouse]". In some way, I'll tell you that what I have is indicative of but not conclusive of what I'm proposing. We do so for the following reasons:

  • it is usually the case that action is required soon and there is no time for study in the real world. So long as no evidence to the contray is known or legitimately knowable or it is not overtly wild, the claim is taken as true, at least provisionally.
  • Competence or honesty is to be presumed. "innocent until proven guilty" is the standard of jurisprudence and if a person is still out on the street then 90% of the time, he's no nutbag.
  • If it were the case where such presumptive acceptance was not justified, the situation would require such a level of paranoid thinking and personality that the whole social mechanism would grind to a halt and fall apart; this presumptive acceptance is the lubricant that keeps things from binding up and quitting.
  • Most importantly, the world, unlike the debate hall, does not exist in a vacuum. Things have gone befroe (antecedents). Even high-level philosophy recongized things establshed elsewhere or self-evident as "given" or "co-natural". This pertains to the "ivory tower" aspect of the pseudo-intellectual. Having the intellect of an einstein and a nuclear arsenal fit to destroy a star system but so out of touch that the sensory and guidence sytems reeemble a world War I fighter plaine rather than an iterstellar battle cruiser and any operation carried out by this bunch ends in a spectacular fireball leaving the target untouched but vaporizing the planet-size ship and crew to a tiny speck of sub-atomic flottsam and jetsam. A credible person is one whose judgement is trustworthy. Dr. Edell has chastized the Fundamentaiists and lectured the Pope with the vigor and vitriol one reserves for not merely the mistaken or deluded, but for the evil, Then with regard to Jeramiah Wright, it's the three monkeys and Sergeant Schultz as clear as the full moon. How; and why, does he expect anyone with an ounce of brains and objectivity to believe him thereafter?

    Before, we used to call it belivability and plausibilty. Media is the way we look at ourselves as a culture and society. Media transfer information, data, music and just everything. Media is the social cardio-vascular system of a civilization. Media have been with us forever: Storytelling, minstrels, written material, rituals, etc. the internet is a medium. Media don't care if what is being transferred is fact or fiction. A media person like me often does both.The Space Patrol of which this is an off-shoot is based on the science fantasy TV program of the early 1950's. Music is neither fact nor fiction.

    Well, now how do you know that I'm giving you the straight goods? First, as far as Space Patrol, I've positioned myself in such a way that I can fill in some of the gaps and moved myself into their future by about 20 years but the basic ideas are the same. Also I keep in touch with other uber fans of the show and the genre. You can ask Jean-Noel Bassior, Warren Chaney orJohn Dunaj about me. Also as part of the orientation I provide my own and links to others' material about the show AND you can experience directly or purchase the real thing through the Space Patrol website. I also provide access to the 1950's culture via the various retro items both material and cultural. You can, in effect, turn me upside down and shake me until all the stuff falls out of my pocket.

    Credibility means that if I say something. it is most likely true and that I, or the person under discussion is to be believed as a matter of course. Believed in the sense that I don't contradict what I've said earlier without cause and that that cause is explained so there is a continuity over time. and believed in the sense that you can verify what I say through other sources. I establish that by giving them or, if I cannot, by telling you that I don't have them right here and to check for yourself. As I am not a professional journalist I don't always keep the "stack of stuff" that I would like to keep it 100% watertight. Another way is to make a prediction of a line of events that follow if your thesis is true. Prediction is just a matter of Bernoulli's Theorem: As the number of applicable cases increases towards infinity, the observed and calculable probability of a consequence occurring approaches the actual probability of that occurrance. Credibility is achieved when it is way more probable that you are on target then not. Be rest assured that I'll miss one now and then (which is both true and my way of making sure you read everything I write so my effort is not wasted).

    There are two kinds of events. those with one cause and those with more than one at the4 same level. a mono-causal event is linear and B follows A without exception. In multi-causal events, it may be that to get M, you need A, B, C, F, if G and H, or L is present then M ain't happening. In the art of prediction. the idea is to show that B follows A and then show that A is true or posit M, demonstrate that you need A, B, C.. and must avoid L or G+H.then demostrate that that is, in fact, the case. Another method is to show tha D follows from C, C from B and B from A then demostrate A to be true and the whole sequence to D is true

    if you do this consistently then you have credibility. This is why I go to lengths to show how come the event in question is true or will happen. The A, B, C, G, H and L connect the subject under discussion to the real world. They are the absolutes to which the subkject is relative. For instance, you went to the market yesterday. Now how do you know that when you go there next week it will not have been turned into a frog by a really annoyed Fairy or one who is having fun making persons jump through hoops and watching their reactions (just think, Kroegers becomes "Croakers)? In fact, as part of life, you make dozens of predictions every day and not notice it. Well a good commentator learns how to navigate through events and abstract material in the same way. The A, B, c, G,and L are called "premises" and the process is called "logic". The bit is that I presnet the subject and the premises and then show the course of logic that goes from the premises to the subject. You can verify the premises by using other soruces than I have or already know them to be fact or not but not the subject since that follows from the premises. There is a phrase that is often used: "Factual premises and valid reasoing lead [automatically] to true conclusions" In monocausal arguments, once the premise is established as fact then the conclusion is true. The valid reasoning only leads a previously ignorant mind to the correct identification of the conclusion which was true even before it was known to be true.. Truth, according to Ayn Rand [probably via Aristotle or St Thomas Aquinas] is the correct identification of a fact of reality. I support that definition.

    There are 3 levels of truth

  • Matters of Taste. Preferences that are true for some but not others. chocolate or vanilla, country music or rock, a red or blue 'Vette, or a silver BMW. None is in fact better than the other or more true. For me. A red 'Vette would be good but a sliver one better. Of course, there are in fact things that are just out and out sucky: Hip-hop, teen "fashion" etc. These are designed to be ugly to make a point. That they become considered attractive demonstates the heart of esthetics; personal choice. Thgough the ages the ugly and grotesque were meant to indicate a blemish and then a joke. Now they have become the norm.
  • Opinion. This is usually an issue with multipli premises. any of which could be weak (hearsay or unproven), strong or non-existant. The deal is that there is enough there to give creedence but not absolutely convincing. Most persons misuse the term to mean accepting or more likely wanting to believe something even after it is proven false, or to claim truth to a falsehood. For example someone says that we should have a "windfall profits tax" on business. when that has been tried as in 1977 the price of oil doubled and when it was removed it went back to below 70 cents/gallon by 1985. When confronted with that fact the person, instead of correcting his knowledge, will say "Well that's just my opinion". The question here is not of fact but of personal motivation "I wanna do what I wanna do; facts and truth be damned!". This is what is meant by "You don't have a right to an opinion, only to an informed one".
  • Truth. This is "correct identification of a fact of reality" It's what happens when the premises have been proven to be fact, by either physical demonstration or as the result of prior proof, and the reasoning that is applied is valid. and there are no signigicant facts to the contrary (the famous "on the other hand"). This is a lock. When I read someone's analysis and argumentation. I test the reasoning and look at the premises. If I find them all in order, then I say it "holds up" and buy it. Another issue may be the "frame of reference" or set of tacit, implic and unstated premise(s) that the person is using internally. Theis can be either intentional or unitentional. Having lived for more than 25 years we all have a frame of reference. Mine os that of the Randian philosophy, which begins with "the world of facts preceeds whatever I may know, think, want or feel. and the only proper guide to knowledge is reason by way of the process of logic". All else that I advocate, believe and hold as true comes from there. If something I believe does not hold up then I look for the true alternative and abandon the wrong belief. We are known for our suppor of "laissez-faire capitalism [which learn about before jumpimng to conclsuions]". However Rand has said specifically "If I had to choose between capitalism without Reason or not at all, then not at all". A Marxist, Christian or other mystic seems unable to make that choice. or only after agonizing and having the internal representation of the world fall apart on him or her. This is also called "mindset" or "worldview" and is what puts the "psycho" in psycho-history". I like my frame of reference to be transparent (does not add or subtract "color" in what I see so I have full-spectrum), consistent (does not by itself give greater attention to one premise at the expense of others causing an improper emphasis) and explicit (does not add any hidden or unstated aka "tacit" premises or color my reasoning). This is for self-protection so that I don't make a blunder that could be costly or fatal. This pertains not only to thought and speech/writning, but to actions: Most importantly to actions. This necessarily presumes that the person is mentally competent, not under duress and not unconnected. Thus, if Joe Sclunk buys the War in Iraq as good, well, he may be out of touch. but for Neal Boortz to still cling to it is absurd and for any Randite who gives it any real thought, that is unacceptable. There were moral reasons for it (Saddam was a bad guy) but they were not sufficient (That's not an acceptable way to deal with bad guys unless they pose a threat and if Iraq was a threat to us, then it was our fault for being so weak because to be that weak, we really had to jump the shark with eyes open and in broad daylight with full knowledge, There were worse guys that we let off the hook to get him, and any realistic alternatives would be, and are, worse. We could deal with him, try dealing with Shi'ites! Notice we lost more troops after we got rid of him than before: Does that tell you anything and the place was made worse and worse, the premises we used were false and had not been demonstrated enough to be actionable; see Scott Ritter and the fix was in from day one of the Bush Adminstration nor was a real Declaration of War sought, just sume woody woodpecker arrangement as well as Republicans? arms control? disarmament? [pats tummy with left and and makes cirlces around ear with right] whoopyding, whoopyding whoopyding).

    As a bulwark against this, if I'm skating on thin ice. I'll come out and say it. You will always see me say "I think", "I wouldn't bet the ranch, but I'd bet the bunkhouse [or the gate depending on just how tight I think I've got it]" or "This is my opinion" or something like that if I think that what I'm saying, based on the evidence I present, is possible, plausible, believabe or probable but not convincing, or, "This is not a lock".But notice, as you read my material, that I go to great lengths to explain, make explicit and make understandable what I am proposing and what makes it true.

    Watch the subtext. These are unstated ideas or tacit premises that you are either expected to know or which the person is trying to sneak into the issue. In 1975, as part of my graduate work in Psychology, in a Tests and Measurements course, we were given the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule (a kind of psychological test; "schedule" refers to putting may sets of two things in and saying "which do you prefer?" to evaluate strength of certain personality attributes) to take and evealuate. This had to be done in two months which means you had to take it, do a historical study on it and see how valid it was by going through the journals. This instructor had to be nuts. Rookies can't do that kind of thing well and I got a C on the paper. As an example of the instructor not getting it. I went through the reported correlational data, plus used my still-leading edge Texas Instruments SR-50 Slide Rule Calculator (related item) and which said as much about me (hard science guy but with crap for calculational skill, tech hound and futuristicaly oriented; read "1950's spaceman") as it did for me (made up for the fact that my calculational skills were crap), for some added back-up. and wrote "I like the [orrelational material] if it holds up" Well she wrote wit h her red pencil "why do you like it then?". The subtext was, I did as much investigation as could reasonably be expected (in fact, I'd discussed it with her. )There may be things I don't know about out there that lessen this, and this is my first time around and I'm putting you on notice of that. CYA to be sure, but sometimes you have to do that if there is the chance that you are going to be misread or misunderstood and I was swimming in deep water with fast, unnpredictable currents and I knew it. Some people just don't get it. Hidden agendas, intentional or not, which is what the subtext usually contains, do me no good. To avoid unidentified subtext, I am as explicit as I can be. You'll notice that you will often see things like:

    1. ...
    2. ...
    3. ...
    On the other hand...
    1. ...
    So you know what I am working from and, depending how thourough I am being, pretty much what I know. Thank goodness for HTML having Ordered List and Unordered List tags! I also use questions a lot, Yes? No? Anything to increase transparancy so that you know what I think and how come and can make the trip yourself.

    Now, what to do about the likes of Boortz, O'Reilly, Edell et al? Please notice, I do not say to boycott these programs. Just be sure to note that these are bad guys (epsitemologically, since either their data is boggus or nonexistent, their logic is flawed or non-exixtent or they are dealung "ideology first; Facts...well...maybe later if at all") but they are useful ideots and can be entertaining

    • Don't buy what they say on their own. Make sure they source it so you can source it. That way, the uncredible becmes only the conduit, not the generator.
    • Most of these folks have websites. When Rush Limbaugh proved that Gore's claims about the 'buuterfly bellot" being difficult to use were shown to be preposterous, he put links up to the actual material that he used and you could see the facts right there. So, in the case of Boortz, Savage, O'Reilly and the others, use the websites
    • Aquaitn yourself with our B.S.BOARD
    • Look for multiple sources that say substantially the same thing. Most academics require three and most others use two with three being a lock
    The idea is to get past, by, through or around them as close to the horse's mouth as you can. Incidentally do that with me as well (you'll stop after awhile. I guess that's why good instructors, mentors and prophets throw in a few bogus ones now and then; to see who's minding the store but I don't know how to do that right but that don't mean I can't make mistakes.). Mo< Credibility is one's most important attribute. It always happens that, at some time, it will come down to your word being good at least for the time being. One of the things that EST used to say that gave it some credibility was "when you tell it like it is, your word is law in the universe" (I'd love to get that book of aphorisms). There used to be a phrase from an old E.F. Hutton ad that became generally used to mean " to be taken seriously and believed", "when E.F. Hutton speaks, people listen": well so did the Feds one day.

    ADDENDUM; 14 AUG: Just as I was beginning to think I waas being a bit too heavy-handed with Dr. Edell, I got a lesson about "going soft" (actually, I'm a fun-loving pussycat, but like the rest of the species, I have sharp claws and teeth). On this past Sunday on WPRO 630 AM Providence RI. they were running, as the usually do, a redux of his programs. In one section, he was really wroking over the crowed that is trying to sell to the Africans that circumcision would be a prevetative against spreading AIDS, and he was 100% right. well commenting on the matter of advocating circumcision he ends that monologue with "How Western, how colonoial" with the usual sanctimonious sneer. I mean folks colonialism has been dead for 3 generations. Circumcision is not a western thing and is fairly new and if it weren't for the influence of the West that Dr. Edell sneers at. they'd still be eating each other over there and dying of some horrible diseasees at the age of 5 not to mention that all the vaccines that Dr. Edell is bitching about them not getting are a product of the West at which he feels the strange compulsion to sneer.

    WEBSITES: Worth lookig at but caveat emptor. BOORTZ, SAVAGE (does support the health and diet lunacy), BILL O'REILLY, LIMBAUGH, MICHELLE MALKIN (the best of the lot; the jury is still out); These commentatros are questionable, so look for links to the sources