Author Archive | Brother Elias

After Years of Being a Republican Activist, I’m Done With the GOP

English: (ship) half-submerged and sinking.

(ship) half-submerged and sinking. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)(PD)

It appears that the Republican party is losing people left and right. To quote the Emperor from Star Wars.

“Now, you will pay the price for your lack of vision!”

via The Guardian

The cultural disconnect among Republican leaders is so severe that I just don’t think that the party can be saved

I’ve been a Republican activist all my life. As a volunteer and professional staffer, I held positions in party organizations and campaigns since high school. I was the ultimate partisan team player, even forming GOProud, an organization for gay conservatives and their allies. But I no longer recognize the party I grew up supporting, and I recently announced that I have changed my voter registration to “no party”.

I left the Republican party because it no longer represents my principles and values. I am a limited government conservative, yet Republicans today like big government, as long as they are in charge of it.

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Strange Ball Lightning Caught on High-Speed Video

English: Some scientific groups, including the...

Some scientific groups, including the Max Planck Institute, have reportedly produced a ball lightning-type effect by discharging a high-voltage capacitor in a tank of water. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chinese scientists gain new information on ball lightning from a chance recording.

via Live Science

A video recorded by accident of ball lightning in China is now shedding light on the phenomenon’s mysterious origins, researchers say.

Ball lightning occurs as glowing spheres ranging in size from a golf ball to a very large beach ball (1 to 100 centimeters, or 0.4 inches to 39 inches, in diameter). These fiery orbs can be white, yellow, red, orange, purple or green, and can persist for seconds or even minutes. Ball lightning typically appears during thunderstorms and usually hovers near the ground, drifting over the Earth at a few miles per hour, but it has also been seen on ships and even within airplanes.

Over the centuries, people have reported thousands of sightings of ball lightning.

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Hannibal Lecter Isn’t a Psychopath, But You Might Be

Robert Stroud (Birdman of Alcatraz). Mug shot ...

Robert Stroud (Birdman of Alcatraz). Mug shot 29 October 1951. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (PD)

It appears that the many forms of media may have skewed the common perception of what a psychopath is and how they appear.

via QUARTZ

Some of the most famous psychopaths of the silver screen are anything but, according to an extensive analysis by forensic psychiatrist Samuel Leistedt. In fact, you probably have the wrong idea about psychopaths in general—and you almost certainly know a few.

A psychopath, Leistedt told ScienceNews, is someone who lacks empathy. “They’re cold-blooded,” he said. “They don’t know what emotion is.” To create a cinema-based curriculum for teaching psychiatry students about psychopaths—and about how popular perception of them has shifted over time—Leistedt watched 400 movies depicting psychopaths (and “sociopaths”—some distinguish between the two, but there’s no official diagnostic difference) and diagnosed each and every one of their featured villains. Once he weeded out supernatural characters, he was left with 105 male and 21 female characters to analyze with a team of 10 forensic scientists.

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Thinking Allowed: Jacques Vallee – Implications of UFO Phenomena

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ETMzkhBQ6w This dated yet very interesting interview of Jacques Vallee, covers a vast area of topics surrounding the UFO Phenomenon.
  • How Jacques Vallee was an inspiration for Claude Lacombe in  Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Also, the disagreement he had with Steven Spielberg's portrayal of aliens.
  • His views on the lessons of the phenomenon.
  • The three levels of the Phenomenon:
  1. The physical.
  2. The affects on witnesses.
  3. The social impact on belief systems.
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A Universe Not Made For Us: Carl Sagan on religion, geocentrism

I’d like to share this with you, even though some may choose to take the words of a celebrated, successful, and dead  person as a threat to their perspective. If you are open to what he had to say, you may notice the open nature of the use of may. His words on subjectivity, may not be viewed as a shut down, but as a warning.

via haveabit.com

A Universe Not Made for Us

Video by Callum Sutherland

Our ancestors understood origins by extrapolating from their own experience. How else could they have done it? So the Universe was hatched from a cosmic egg, or conceived in the sexual congress of a mother god and a father god, or was a kind of product of the Creator’s workshop—perhaps the latest of many flawed attempts. And the Universe was not much bigger than we see, and not much older than our written or oral records, and nowhere very different from places that we know.

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Laozi, Nietzsche and Kropotkin: Are The Common People Good?

Pic: Hugh Rankin (PD)

Pic: Hugh Rankin (PD)

What say you, Disinfonaughts? Are the common people, and the uncivilized, good? Are they better off than those on high?

via Bao Pu 抱朴

I picked up Nietzsche’s The Genealogy of Morals (1887) yesterday and found a passage which immediately made me think of Laozi. Here’s Nietzsche, writing about the origins of the concept of “good” :

… the judgment good does not originate with those to whom the good has been done. Rather it was the “good” themselves, that is to say the noble, mighty, highly placed, and high-minded who decreed themselves and their actions to be good, i.e., belonging to the highest rank, in contradistinction to all that wasbase, low-minded and plebian. It was only this pathos of distance that authorized them to create values and name them … Such an origin would suggest that there is no a priori necessity for associating the word good with altruistic deeds, as those [English] moral psychologists are fond of claiming.

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Merlin – The Man behind the Myth

Merlin reads his prohecies to King Vortigern. British Library MS Cotton Claudius B VII f.224, Geoffrey of Monmouth's Prophetiae Merlini. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (PD)

Merlin reads his prohecies to King Vortigern. British Library MS Cotton Claudius B VII f.224, Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Prophetiae Merlini. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (PD)

Graham Phillips, author of King Arthur: The True Story, shares findings of his research on the historical origin of Merlin. Via Graham Phillips.net

From the time the Roman Empire collapsed in the fifth century, until the Norman Conquest of 1066, civilization fell apart in Britain, and the country endured an era of chaos and warfare known as the Dark Ages.  Few written records have survived from this time; consequently, the fifth century, when Arthur and Merlin are said to have lived, is an historical period steeped in mystery.  The records that do survive only provide a rough outline of events, and most contemporary figures went completely unrecorded.  Although, like Arthur, Merlin is mentioned in a few surviving Dark Age manuscripts, he is only referenced in passing.  The first author to provide any actual detail concerning Merlin’s life was the Welsh cleric Geoffrey of Monmouth who wrote in the 1130s.  In his History of the British Kings Geoffrey introduces Merlin by saying that he first proved himself as a youth when a British king named Vortigern chose him as a sacrifice.  According to Geoffrey, Vortigern was building a fort on a mountain in North Wales to protect his kingdom from the invading Anglo-Saxons, but each time the fort was close to completion the foundations mysteriously collapsed.  Vortigern’s advisors suggest that to put things right a boy must be sacrificed, and victim they pick is the young Merlin.  However, just as Merlin is about to die, he tells the king that the problems are being caused by two dragons that dwell in a pool, in a cave below the fort’s foundations.  When the pool is discovered and the dragons released, Vortigern is so impressed by Merlin’s mystic knowledge that he makes him his chief advisor and offers him the new fort as his own.   Although this story is obviously an imaginative legend, a Dark Age manuscript records a similar story which reveals an historical figure behind the Merlin myth.

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