Sunday, April 23, 2017

Not George Orwell

Actually...

During times of universal deceit... telling the truth has no effect whatsoever. Unless it is defamatory of powerful interests of course.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

On Syria - Peggy Mason is a dog of war dressed as a human rights defender

Canadian dogs of war dressed as human rights defenders, from Trudeau to NGOs. A very tired trick that must be exposed. Thank you Ken Stone.

AND SEE 2017-04-15 UPDATE BELOW.

2017-04-12:
<< Ken Stone challenges Peggy Mason to a public debate.

Based on her attribution of the recent chemical attack at Khan Sheikhoun on the government of Bashar-Al-Assad, I wish to challenge Peggy Mason to a public debate. She is not fit to lead a peace organization in Canada.

On Wed, Apr 12, 2017 at 6:06 AM, Peggy Mason <margaretpeggy.mason@gmail.com> wrote on the "peace-listserve":

"Dear Folks,

We should be calling for an independent UN investigation, with full access, so we have the evidence needed to hold Assad to account, whenever that might be. Because he cannot be prosecuted now, does not in any way mean that it can never be prosecuted. There is no immunity for war crimes.
But the starting point is independent, credible evidence. BTW Putin has said he will agree to an independent investigation. Tillerson should nail this down.

Peggy"

Peggy Mason is president of the Rideau Institute and a leader of Ceasefire, the Institute’s main public outreach and advocacy arm.

I am available to debate Ms. Mason publicly at a time and place which can be negotiated between the two of us.

Ken Stone
Treasurer, Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War >>


2017-04-15 UPDATE:
PEGGY MASON HIDES FROM DEBATE, AND KEN'S RESPONSE TO HER EVASION:

<< Dear Peggy,

Thank you for your prompt reply and your admission that you were wrong to to conclude, before an investigation took place, that President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the April 4th gas attack at Khan Sheikhoun, Syria.

It’s unfortunate that you don’t wish to debate the widely different attitudes within the peace movement towards the US missile strike on the Shayat Airbase in Syria. Nonetheless, the Canadian peace movement still has to consider the issues you don’t want to debate.

In your reply, you touched on the key issue of investigation and judgment before any consequential action should take place. However, in your original e-mail message to the “peace listserver”, you wrote that “Putin has said he will agree to an independent investigation. Tillerson should nail this down.”

I think you have got things backwards. US Secretary of State Tillerson did not wait for (or even call for) an independent investigation of the April 4 incident. Rather, on his watch, his country rushed to engage in an act of war on the sovereign country of Syria which killed several civilians and pushed us towards a wider war in the Middle East, while Putin (as you noted) did call for an independent investigation.

So, here is where we have a difference. In my opinion and that of our Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War, the peace movement in Canada needs to be clear and consistent about international law. No country is above that law. The USA and its coalition partners, including Canada, are violating international law by overflying and stationing military forces in the sovereign country of Syria without the permission of the Syrian government. They are also violating international law by inserting, funding, and arming proxy armies of terrorist mercenaries to achieve regime change in Syria. They have levelled onerous economic sanctions upon Syria, causing great distress to the Syrian people, without the approval of the UN Security Council. The US-led coalition used military force against the Syrian government in its attack on Sharyat Airbase on April 7, 2017.

Where we have another difference with the Rideau Institute and Ceasefire is that you have decided to put pressure on the wrong parties. You seem to want to hold the Russian government to account when it appears that it had no hand in the incident and although its military forces are legally stationed in Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government. Moreover, you seem to be deeply invested in the campaign to delegitimize the Syrian government and to demonize its elected president.

Neither of your approaches is helpful. And these are very important matters which should be aired in public.

Another important point: what have you, the Rideau Institute, and Ceasefire said about the performance of Prime Minister Trudeau in the context of Khan Sheikhoun? Trudeau initially called for an investigation into the claims of a gas attack. Then, less than 24 hours later, he endorsed the USA cruise missile strike on Syria's Sharyat airbase. Now, his Minister of Global Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, imposes new unilateral sanctions on Syria, which are illegal under international law, because they lack the approval of the United Nations Security Council. Your comments would be appreciated by our Coalition members.

Finally my parting comment on your parting comment that (you) are “paying your dues every day” in the peace movement. As far as I know, you are paid a salary. Am I wrong?

Ken Stone
Treasurer,
Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War

From: Peggy Mason
Sent: Friday, April 14, 2017 8:44 AM
To: ernie yacub
Cc: Robin Collins ; Ken Stone ; peace list
Subject: Re: [Peace-l] CW and cruise missiles - I wish to challenge Peggy Mason to a public debate

Sorry to disappoint but I have no intention whatsoever of wasting my time on such a ridiculous debate.


On Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 8:34 PM, <ernieyacub@gmail.com> wrote:
On Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 12:48 PM, Robin Collins <robin.w.collins@gmail.com> wrote:

Ken S,
If you read closer you will see that Peggy refers to war crimes committed by Assad, and those may include his alleged use of chemical weapons on April 4.

if you read much closer, you will see the bias in her statement...
"We should be calling for an independent UN investigation, with full access, so we have the evidence needed to hold Assad to account, whenever that might be."

i would very much like to see a debate between pm and ks - what do you say peggy?
ey >>

Friday, April 14, 2017

Until Death


It is not my prison. It is my liberation.

Depression and despair versus action and agency. Starts and is maintained in the head and heart, no matter the circumstances.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Ontological anxiety

My today's attempt at clever:

Ontological anxiety is the defining psychic luxury of privileged existence.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Who is Daniel J. Levitin?

By Denis G. Rancourt, PhD


Who is Daniel J. Levitin, and why is he saying false things about me?

Mr. Levitin is a university professor, a psychologist, and the author of the 2016 book "Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-truth Era".

Wikipedia states the following about Mr. Levitin's book: "His interest in writing the guide [was] to help people develop techniques to distinguish factual information from that which may be distorted, out-of-date, unscientific or in error".

Therefore, Mr. Levitin presents a goal of wanting to be factual and accurate, and of not misleading.

In an article he penned on April 4, 2017, entitled "It’s time to stop letting so-called “experts” comment on subjects they know nothing about", Mr. Levitin had this to say about me:

Scientists like myself are partly to blame here. When one of our own goes on TV or in front of the press and starts making false claims, we don’t stand up and denounce them. We figure it’s not our personal problem. But it is. In this age of overwhelming untruth, pseudo-expertise is a problem that has to become every individual’s responsibility.

Nowhere is this more clear than among the climate-change deniers—almost entirely pseudo-experts—who contradict ample scientific evidence and lend support to devastating public policies. The list of leading climate-change deniers includes Denis Rancourt, who holds a PhD in physics and is an expert in magnetic field theory; Freeman Dyson, another physicist; Harrison Schmitt, a geologist; and Myron Ebell, who has a master’s in political theory and no advanced research degree. What about the people who hold PhD’s in—you know—climate science? Among this group, according to a number of studies published in peer-reviewed journals, 97% agree or more that climate change is real and man-made.

Thus, Mr. Levitin makes false statements and misleads by omission, as follows.

I will mostly leave aside Mr. Levitin's device of casting scientific questioning of CO2-alarmism as "climate-change denial" because that is simply wrong for an intellectual alleging to be concerned with truth. Everyone agrees that there are transitions beween different regional and global climate regimes in the history of our planet. Here is proof that I certainly do: "Anatomy of the false link between forest fires and anthropogenic CO2".

Mr. Levitin states that I am "an expert in magnetic field theory" (sic). I know what a "magnetic field" is. I know what a "theory" is. But I don't know what "magnetic field theory" is. There are "field theories" in several areas of physics, but "magnetic" is not one of them. If it is, then I don't know about it, so I could not possibly be an expert in it as asserted by Mr. Levitin.

If Mr. Levitin had taken the care to examine my public Google Scholar page, he would have immediately noticed that my most cited paper is in an area of theoretical spectroscopy, which is evidence of my ability to understand resonant scattering of infrared radiation from so-called greenhouse gases. He would have noticed that my second most cited paper is in environmental science "Nanogoethite is the dominant reactive oxyhydroxide phase in lake and marine sediments", in which I was the research director. And he would have noticed that many of my most cited papers are in environmental science, including carbon cycling in sediments and soils, related to aquatic sediments, soil evolution, environmental bacterial reactions, hydrothermal fluid input into sea water, and so on.

Alas, Mr. Levitin did not see or chose not to mention any of that, but instead characterizes me as a "physicist" (solely on the basis of my 1984 PhD) in the fictitious area of "magnetic field theory". In contrast, Mr. Levitin characterizes himself on his website as a "scientist, musician, author and record producer", quite a universal man despite having obtained his PhD in one specialized field.

I think that Mr. Levitin was trying to make the incorrect point that I am not qualified to comment about climate, and that I should not be a "leading climate-change denier". Well, the only way to establish whether I am qualified to comment about climate is to examine the substance and scientific value of my actual work about climate.

But wait. Is Mr. Levitin qualified to judge my calculations about the physics of radiation balance applied to the planet earth? Did Mr. Levitin dismiss my calculations on the basis that they were made public and discussed openly with leading climate scientists rather than published in a scientific journal: "Radiation physics constraints on global warming: CO2 increase has little effect"?

If Mr. Levitin dismisses scientific work by an appeal to authority (of scientific journals), or by an appeal to majority view (his quoting of the "97% consensus"), is that not in opposition to his book about the need for independent thought?

An equally interesting question, which Mr. Levitin might consider pondering moving forward, is "How many in the alleged '97%' understand and can practice the physics of planetary radiation balance?" Although, my evidence is anecdotal, I would confidently assert "not many".

More importantly, Mr. Levitin misleads his readers by omission. He concentrates on climate "deniers" that he incorrectly implies are not qualified to comment, but he leaves out any mention of the many "deniers" who are well-established formally-trained climate scientists. Here are examples of a few from many he could have mentioned:


I would suggest to Mr. Levitin that he reset his ability to seek and communicate truth. If he has some time, he could practice by analyzing the arguments recently (March 29, 2017) presented to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology:



Denis Rancourt is a former tenured full professor of physics at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He has published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals, on physics and environmental science, and writes social theory articles. He is the author of the book Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism, and a regular contributor to Dissident Voice. His articles and interviews about the science and politics of climate linked here.