Professor-rat's Blurty
[Most Recent Entries] [Calendar View] [Friends View]

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

    Time Event
    Che is dead - Liz Taylor is dead
    And I don't feel very well myself. Still lets have a festivus of the repressed. Read this - the greatest story never told!

    Modern history was supposed to be about the rise of and final victory of the industrial working-class.
    Many die-hard kool-aid quaffing marxists still believe in this myth - and incredibly so do some anarchists.
    But what do we see in the actually existing record of revolutions...the peasantry, not the working class hero's. Russia, Mexico, Russia again, Makhnovista armies in the Ukraine. Then onto China, Spain and China again. Then on to Cuba and Vietnam. I'm sensing a pattern emerging...and it ain't the workers uber ain't the workers 'new world order' ( Marx documents 1844)
    Perhaps the workers declined this dubious offer of ruling class supremacy. If so then thats a great unknown victory for humanity. Industrial workers shouldn't lord it over the peasants - or anyone else. Ideas that they should are anti-social to the point of being misanthropic. Closely associated with this twisted notion of class domination and submission were the ones about concentration and centralization. This is poison to the peasant co-operative style. It means industrial armies of agriculture as spelled out in the Communist Manifesto. The way to balance the equation - the tension between cities and the countryside imo is to limit the size of union locals. You can still have 'One big union' or the CNT...just with no huge locals able to dominate proceedings by virtue of sheer mass.

    Weird, wired world

    THERE were even more sources of discombobulation than usual about yesterday, not least the exciting new remote-control leadership situation in Queensland's Liberal National Party and news that a man in Melbourne had been arrested for allegedly helping himself to a vacuum cleaner dumped on a rubbish pile on a nature strip during council clean-up. (We tried to work in a gag about nature strips abhorring a vacuum cleaner, but it just wouldn't come out right. Besides, all we really wanted to do was scream EVERYTHING HAS GONE BARKING MAD, RESIST THIS LUNACY!; we resisted, however.) Amid all this, we learned a new mini-series about the sinking of the Titanic (already snapped up by the Seven Network, apparently) is being filmed in, of all places, landlocked Hungary. It wasn't much, but it did allow us to keep some faint grip on reality.

    James Jeffrey. All work and no play makes Bambi "More rubble less trouble” Obarry a dull faun.
    The Chandra limit
    Chandrasekhar’s role in 20th-century science
    Once the astrophysics community had come to grips with a calculation performed by a 19-year-old student sailing off to graduate school, the heavens could never again be seen as a perfect and tranquil dominion.
    Freeman Dyson
    December 2010, page 44
    In 1946 Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar gave a talk at the University of Chicago entitled “The Scientist.” 1 He was then 35 years old, less than halfway through his life and less than a third of the way through his career as a scientist, but already he wa reflecting deeply on the meaning and purpose of his work. His talk was one of a series of public lectures organized by Robert Hutchins, then the chancellor of the university. The list of speakers is impressive, and included Frank Lloyd Wright, Arnold Schoenberg, and Marc Chagall. That list proves two things. It shows that Hutchins was an impresario with remarkable powers of persuasion, and that he already recognized Chandra as a world-class artist whose medium happened to be theories of the universe rather than music or paint. I say “Chandra” because that is the name his friends used for him when he was alive.
    Basic science and derived science

    Image copyright Penelope Fowler. Courtesy of Historical Photographs of China, University of Bristol.
    Figure 1 @

    Chandra began his talk with a description of two kinds of scientific inquiry. “I want to draw your attention to one broad division of the physical sciences which has to be kept in mind, the division into a basic science and a derived science. Basic science seeks to analyze the ultimate constitution of matter and the basic concepts of space and time. Derived science, on the other hand, is concerned with the rational ordering of the multifarious aspects of natural phenomena in terms of the basic concepts.”

    As examples of basic science, Chandra mentioned the discovery of the atomic nucleus by Ernest Rutherford and the discovery of the neutron by James Chadwick. Each of those discoveries was made by a simple experiment that revealed the existence of a basic building block of the universe. Rutherford discovered the nucleus by shooting alpha particles at a thin gold foil and observing that some of the particles bounced back. Chadwick discovered the neutron by shooting alpha particles at a beryllium target and observing that the resulting radiation collided with other nuclei in the way expected for a massive neutral twin of the proton. As an example of derived science, Chandra mentioned the discovery by Edmond Halley in 1705 that the comet now bearing his name had appeared periodically in the sky at least four times in recorded history and that its elliptical orbit was described by Newton’s law of gravitation. He also noted the discovery by William Herschel in 1803 that the orbits of binary stars are governed by the same law of gravitation operating beyond our solar system. The observations of Halley and Herschel did not reveal new building blocks, but they vastly extended the range of phenomena that the basic science of Newton could explain.
    Chandra also described the particular examples of basic and derived science that played the decisive role in his own intellectual development. In 1926, when Chandra was 15 years old but already a physics student at Presidency College in Madras (now Chennai), India, Enrico Fermi and Paul Dirac independently discovered the basic concepts of Fermi–Dirac statistics: If a bunch of electrons is distributed over a number of quantum states, each quantum state can be occupied by at most one electron, and the probability that a state is occupied is a simple function of the temperature. Those basic properties of electrons were a cornerstone of the newborn science of quantum mechanics. They paved the way to the solution of one of the famous unsolved problems of condensed-matter physics, explaining why the specific heats of solid materials decrease with temperature and go rapidly to zero as the temperature goes to zero.
    Two years later, in 1928, the famous German professor Arnold Sommerfeld, one of the chief architects of quantum mechanics, visited Presidency College. Chandra was well prepared. He had read and understood Sommerfeld’s classic textbook, Atomic Structure and Spectral Lines. He boldly introduced himself to Sommerfeld, who took the time to tell him about the latest work of Fermi and Dirac. Sommerfeld gave the young Chandra the galley proofs of his paper on the electron theory of metals, a yet-to-be-published article that gave the decisive confirmation of Fermi–Dirac statistics. Sommerfeld’s paper was a masterpiece of derived science, showing how the basic concepts of Fermi and Dirac could explain in detail why metals exist and how they behave. The Indian undergraduate was one of the first people in the world to read it.
    Two years after his meeting with Sommerfeld, at the ripe old age of 19, Chandra sailed on the steamship Pilsna to enroll as a graduate student at Cambridge University. He was to work there with Ralph Fowler, who had used Fermi–Dirac statistics to explain the properties of white dwarf stars—stars that have exhausted their supply of nuclear energy by burning hydrogen to make helium or carbon and oxygen. White dwarfs collapse gravitationally to a density many thousands of times greater than normal matter, and then slowly cool down by radiating away their residual heat. Fowler’s triumph of derived science included a calculation of the relation between the density and mass of a white dwarf, and his result agreed well with the scanty observations available at that time. With the examples of Sommerfeld and Fowler to encourage him, Chandra was sailing to England with the intention of making his own contribution to derived science.
    A sea change
    Figure 2, Photo courtesy of the AIP Emilio Segre Visual Archives, V. Ya. Frenkel collection
    Figure 2
    Aboard the Pilsna, Chandra quickly found a way to move forward. The calculations of Sommerfeld and Fowler had assumed that the electrons were nonrelativistic particles obeying the laws of Newtonian mechanics. That assumption was certainly valid for Sommerfeld. Electrons in metals at normal densities have speeds that are very small compared with the speed of light. But for Fowler, the assumption of Newtonian mechanics was not so safe. Electrons in the central regions of white dwarf stars might be moving fast enough to make relativistic effects important. So Chandra spent his free time on the ship repeating Fowler’s calculation of the behavior of a white dwarf star, but with the electrons obeying the laws of Einstein’s special relativity instead of the laws of Newton. Fowler had calculated that for a given chemical composition, the density of a white dwarf would be proportional to the square of its mass. That made sense from an intuitive point of view. The more massive the star, the stronger the force of gravity and the more tightly the star would be squeezed together. The more massive stars would be smaller and fainter, which explained the fact that no white dwarfs much more massive than the Sun had been seen.
    To his amazement, Chandra found that the change from Newton to Einstein has a drastic effect on the behavior of white dwarf stars. It makes the matter in the stars more compressible, so that the density becomes greater for a star of given mass. The density does not merely increase faster as the mass increases, it tends to infinity as the mass reaches a finite value, the Chandrasekhar limit. Provided its mass is below the limit, physicists can model a white dwarf star with relativistic electrons and obtain a unique mass–density relation; there are no models for white dwarfs with mass greater than the Chandrasekhar limit. The limiting mass depends on the chemical composition of the star. For stars that have burned up all their hydrogen, it is about 1.5 times the mass of the Sun.
    Chandra finished his calculation before he reached England and never had any doubt that his conclusion was correct. When he arrived in Cambridge and showed his results to Fowler, Fowler was friendly but unconvinced and unwilling to sponsor Chandra’s paper for publication by the Royal Society in London. Chandra did not wait for Fowler’s approval but sent a brief version of the paper to the Astrophysical Journal in the US.2 The journal sent it for refereeing to Carl Eckart, a famous geophysicist who did not know much about astronomy. Eckart recommended that it be accepted, and it was published a year later. Chandra had a cool head. He had no wish to engage in public polemics with the British dignitaries who failed to understand his argument. He published his work quietly in a reputable astronomical journal and then waited patiently for the next generation of astronomers to recognize its importance. Meanwhile, he would remain on friendly terms with Fowler and the rest of the British academic establishment, and he would find other problems of derived science that his mastery of mathematics and physics would allow him to solve.
    The decline and fall of Aristotle
    Astronomers had good reason in 1930 to react with skepticism to Chandra’s statements. The implications of his discovery of a limiting mass were totally baffling. All over the sky, we see an abundance of stars cheerfully shining with masses greater than the limit. Chandra’s calculation says that when those stars burn up their nuclear fuel, there will exist no equilibrium states into which they can cool down. What, then, can a massive star do when it runs out of fuel? Chandra had no answer to that question, and neither did anyone else when he raised it in 1930.
    The answer was discovered in 1939 by J. Robert Oppenheimer and his student Hartland Snyder. They published their solution in a paper, “On Continued Gravitational Contraction.”3 In my opinion, it was Oppenheimer’s most important contribution to science. Like Chandra’s contribution nine years earlier, it was a masterpiece of derived science, taking some of Einstein’s basic equations and showing that they give rise to startling and unexpected consequences in the real world of astronomy. The difference between Chandra and Oppenheimer was that Chandra started with the 1905 theory of special relativity, whereas Oppenheimer started with Einstein’s 1915 theory of general relativity. In 1939 Oppenheimer was one of the few physicists who took general relativity seriously. At that time it was an unfashionable subject, of interest mainly to philosophers and mathematicians. Oppenheimer knew how to use it as a working tool, to answer questions about real objects in the sky.

    Oppenheimer and Snyder accepted Chandra’s conclusion that there exists no static equilibrium state for a cold star with mass larger than the Chandrasekhar limit. Therefore, the fate of a massive star at the end of its life must be dynamic. They worked out the solution to the equations of general relativity for a massive star collapsing under its own weight and discovered that the star is in a state of permanent free fall—that is, the star continues forever to fall inward toward its center. General relativity allows that paradoxical behavior because the time measured by an observer outside the star runs faster than the time measured by an observer inside the star. The time measured on the outside goes all the way from now to the end of the universe, while the time measured on the inside runs only for a few days. During the gravitational collapse, the inside observer sees the star falling freely at high speed, while the outside observer sees it quickly slowing down. The state of permanent free fall is, so far as we know, the actual state of every massive object that has run out of fuel. We know that such objects are abundant in the universe. We call them black holes.

    With several decades of hindsight, we can see that Chandra’s discovery of a limiting mass and the Oppenheimer–Snyder discovery of permanent free fall were major turning points in the history of science. Those discoveries marked the end of the Aristotelian vision that had dominated astronomy for 2000 years: the heavens as the realm of peace and perfection, contrasted with Earth as the realm of strife and change. Chandra and Oppenheimer demonstrated that Aristotle was wrong. In a universe dominated by gravitation, no peaceful equilibrium is possible. During the 1930s, between the theoretical insights of Chandra and Oppenheimer, Fritz Zwicky’s systematic observations of supernova explosions confirmed that we live in a violent universe.4 In the same decade, Zwicky discovered the dark matter whose gravitation dominates the dynamics of large-scale structures. After 1939, astronomers slowly and reluctantly abandoned the Aristotelian universe as more evidence accumulated of violent events in the heavens. Radio and x-ray telescopes revealed a universe full of shock waves and high-temperature plasmas, with outbursts of extreme violence associated in one way or another with black holes.
    Every child learning science in school and every viewer watching popular scientific documentary programs on television now knows that we live in a violent universe. The “violent universe” has become a part of the prevailing culture. We know that an asteroid collided with Earth 65 million years ago and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. We know that every heavy atom of silver or gold was cooked in the core of a massive star before being thrown out into space by a supernova explosion. We know that life survived on our planet for billions of years because we are living in a quiet corner of a quiet galaxy, far removed from the explosive violence that we see all around us in more turbulent parts of the universe. Astronomy has changed its character totally during the past 100 years. A century ago the main theme of astronomy was to explore a quiet and unchanging landscape. Today the main theme is to observe and explain the celestial fireworks that are the evidence of violent change. That radical transformation in our picture of the universe began on the good ship Pilsna when the 19-year-old Chandra discovered that there can be no stable equilibrium state for a massive star.
    New ideas confront the old order
    It has always seemed strange to me that the work of the three main pioneers of the violent universe—Chandra, Oppenheimer, and Zwicky—received so little recognition and acclaim at the time when it was done. Those discoveries were neglected, in part, because all three pioneers came from outside the astronomical profession. The professional astronomers of the 1930s were conservative in their view of the universe and in their social organization. They saw the universe as a peaceful domain that they knew how to explore with the standard tools of their trade. They were not inclined to take seriously the claims of interlopers with new ideas and new tools. It was easy for the astronomers to ignore the outsiders because the new discoveries did not fit into the accepted ways of thinking and the discoverers did not fit into the established astronomical community.

    In addition to those general considerations, which applied to all three of the scientists, individual circumstances contributed to the neglect of their work. For Chandra, the special circumstances were the personalities of Arthur Eddington and Edward Arthur Milne, who were the leading astronomers in England when Chandra arrived from India. Eddington and Milne had their own theories of stellar structure in which they firmly believed; both of those were inconsistent with Chandra’s calculation of a limiting mass. The two astronomers promptly decided that Chandra’s calculation was wrong and never accepted the physical facts on which it was based.

    Zwicky confronted an even worse situation at Caltech, where the astronomy department was dominated by Edwin Hubble and Walter Baade. Zwicky belonged to the physics department and had no official credentials as an astronomer. Hubble and Baade believed that Zwicky was crazy, and he believed that they were stupid. Both beliefs had some basis in fact. Zwicky had beaten the astronomers at their own game of observing the heavens, using a wide-field camera that could cover the sky 100 times faster than could other telescope cameras existing at that time. Zwicky then made an enemy of Baade by accusing him of being a Nazi. As a result of that and other incidents, Zwicky’s discoveries were largely ignored for the next 20 years.

    The neglect of Oppenheimer’s greatest contribution to science was mostly due to an accident of history. His paper with Snyder, establishing in four pages the physical reality of black holes, was published in the Physical Review on 1 September 1939, the same day Adolf Hitler sent his armies into Poland and began World War II. In addition to the distraction created by Hitler, the same issue of the Physical Review contained the monumental paper by Niels Bohr and John Wheeler on the theory of nuclear fission—a work that spelled out, for all who could read between the lines, the possibilities of nuclear power and nuclear weapons. 5 It is not surprising that the understanding of black holes was pushed aside by the more urgent excitements of war and nuclear energy.

    Each of the three pioneers, after a brief period of revolutionary discovery and a short publication, lost interest in fighting for the revolution. Chandra enjoyed seven peaceful years in Europe before moving to America, mostly working, without revolutionary implications, on the theory of normal stars. Zwicky, after finishing the sky survey that revealed dark matter and several types of supernovae, became involved in military problems as World War II was beginning; ultimately, he became an expert in rocketry. Oppenheimer, after discovering the most important astronomical consequence of general relativity, turned his attention to mundane nuclear explosions and became the director of the Los Alamos laboratory.
    When I tried in later years to start a conversation with Oppenheimer about the importance of black holes in the evolution of the universe, he was as unwilling to talk about them as he was to talk about his work at Los Alamos. Oppenheimer suffered from an extreme form of the prejudice prevalent among theoretical physicists, overvaluing pure science and undervaluing derived science. For Oppenheimer, the only activity worthy of the talents of a first-rate scientist was the search for new laws of nature. The study of the consequences of old laws was an activity for graduate students or third-rate hacks. He had no desire in later years to return to the study of black holes, the area in which he had made his most important contribution to science. Indeed, Oppenheimer might have continued to make important contributions in the 1950s, when black holes were an unfashionable subject, but he preferred to follow the latest fashion. Oppenheimer and Zwicky did not, like Chandra, live long enough to see their revolutionary ideas adopted by a younger generation and absorbed into the mainstream of astronomy.
    From stellar structure to Shakespeare
    Figure 4, Image courtesy of NASA.
    Figure 4
    Chandra would spend 5–10 years on each field that he wished to study in depth. He would take a year to master the subject, a few more years to publish a series of journal articles demolishing the problems that he could solve, and then a few more years writing a definitive book that surveyed the subject as he left it for his successors. Once the book was finished, he left that field alone and looked for the next topic to study.

    That pattern was repeated eight times and recorded in the dates and titles of Chandra’s books. An Introduction to the Study of Stellar Structure (University of Chicago Press, 1939) summarizes his work on the internal structure of white dwarfs and other types of stars. Principles of Stellar Dynamics (University of Chicago Press, 1942) describes his highly original work on the statistical theory of stellar motions in clusters and in galaxies. Radiative Transfer (Clarendon Press, 1950) gives the first accurate theory of radiation transport in stellar atmospheres. Hydrodynamic and Hydromagnetic Stability (Clarendon Press, 1961) provides a foundation for the theory of all kinds of astronomical objects—including stars, accretion disks, and galaxies—that may become unstable as a result of differential rotation. Ellipsoidal Figures of Equilibrium (Yale University Press, 1969) solves an old problem by finding all the possible equilibrium configurations of an incompressible liquid mass rotating in its own gravitational field. The problem had been studied by the great mathematicians of the 19th century—Carl Jacobi, Richard Dedekind, Peter Lejeune Dirichlet, and Bernhard Riemann—who were unable to determine which of the various configurations were stable. In the introduction to his book, Chandra remarks,

    These questions were to remain unanswered for more than a hundred years. The reason for this total neglect must in part be attributed to a spectacular discovery by Poincaré, which channeled all subsequent investigations along directions which appeared rich with possibilities; but the long quest it entailed turned out in the end to be after a chimera.

    After the ellipsoidal figures opus came a gap of 15 years before the appearance of the next book, The Mathematical Theory of Black Holes (Clarendon Press, 1983). Those 15 years were the time during which Chandra worked hardest and most intensively on the subject closest to his heart: the precise mathematical description of black holes and their interactions with surrounding fields and particles. His book on black holes was his farewell to technical research, just as The Tempest was William Shakespeare’s farewell to writing plays. After the book was published, Chandra lectured and wrote about nontechnical themes, about the works of Shakespeare and Beethoven and Shelley, and about the relationship between art and science. A collection of his lectures for the general public was published in 1987 with the title Truth and Beauty.1

    During the years of his retirement, he spent much of his time working his way through Newton’s Principia. Chandra reconstructed every proposition and every demonstration, translating the geometrical arguments of Newton into the algebraic language familiar to modern scientists. The results of his historical research were published shortly before his death in his last book, Newton’s “Principia” for the Common Reader (Clarendon Press, 1995). To explain why he wrote the book, he said, “I am convinced that one’s knowledge of the Physical Sciences is incomplete without a study of the Principia in the same way that one’s knowledge of Literature is incomplete without a knowledge of Shakespeare.”
    Chandra’s work on black holes was the most dramatic example of his commitment to derived science as a tool for understanding nature. Our basic understanding of the nature of space and time rests on two foundations: first, the equations of general relativity discovered by Einstein, and second, the black hole solutions of those equations discovered by Karl Schwarzschild and Roy Kerr and explored in depth by Chandra. To write down the basic equations is a big step toward understanding, but it is not enough. To reach a real understanding of space and time, it is necessary to construct solutions of the equations and to explore all their unexpected consequences. Chandra never said that he understood more about space and time than Einstein, but he did. So long as Einstein did not accept the existence of black holes, his understanding of space and time was far from complete.
    When I was a student at Cambridge, I studied with Chandra’s friend Godfrey Hardy, a pure mathematician who shared Chandra’s views about British imperialism and Indian politics. When I came, Hardy was old and he spent most of his time writing books. With the arrogance of youth, I asked Hardy why he wasted his time writing books instead of doing research. Hardy replied, “Young men should prove theorems. Old men should write books.” That was good advice that I have never forgotten. Chandra followed it too. I do not know whether he learned it from Hardy.
    This article is based on a talk I gave for the Chandrasekhar Centennial Symposium at the University of Chicago on 16 October 2010.
    Freeman Dyson is a retired professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
    His daughter, Esther, is an evil conniving witch who may be a fucking Communist.
    1. S. Chandrasekhar, Truth and Beauty: Aesthetics and Motivations in Science, U. Chicago Press, Chicago (1987).
    2. S. Chandrasekhar, Astrophys. J. 74, 81 (1931).
    3. J. R. Oppenheimer, H. Snyder, Phys. Rev. 56, 455 (1939).
    4. See, for example, F. Zwicky, Morphological Astronomy, Springer, Berlin (1957), sec. 8 and 9.
    5. N. Bohr, J. A. Wheeler, Phys. Rev. 56, 426 (1939).
    6. S. Chandrasekhar, Curr. Sci. 67, 495 (1994).
    7. Ref. 2, reprinted in K. C. Wali, A Quest for Perspectives: Selected Works of S. Chandrasekhar, with Commentary, vol. 1, Imperial College Press, London (2001), p. 13.

    The SS Pilsna, a member of the Lloyd Triestino fleet, sailed from India to Europe in the early 20th century. In 1930 Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar sailed on the ship on his way to study with Ralph Fowler at Cambridge University. En route, he refined an earlier calculation of Fowler’s; the so-called Chandrasekhar limit implied by the new calculation was to have profound consequences. (Copyright Penelope Fowler. Courtesy of Historical Photographs of China, University of Bristol.)
    The SS Pilsna, a member of the Lloyd Triestino fleet, sailed from India to Europe in the early 20th century. In 1930 Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar sailed on the ship on his way to study with Ralph Fowler at Cambridge University. En route, he refined an earlier calculation of Fowler’s; the so-called Chandrasekhar limit implied by the new calculation was to have profound consequences. (© Penelope Fowler. Courtesy of Historical Photographs of China, University of Bristol.)
    Ralph Fowler, shown here in a 1931 photograph, wrote the seminal paper explaining the properties of white dwarf stars that inspired Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar’s revolutionary calculation. Fowler and other important English astrophysicists did not accept the validity of the new work. (Photo courtesy of the AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, V. Ya. Frenkel collection.)
    Ralph Fowler, shown here in a 1931 photograph, wrote the seminal paper explaining the properties of white dwarf stars that inspired Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar’s revolutionary calculation. Fowler and other important English astrophysicists did not accept the validity of the new work. (Photo courtesy of the AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives, V. Ya. Frenkel collection.)
    Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar’s discovery of a limiting mass for an ideal white dwarf appeared in a two-page paper (7) published in 1931. The limiting value of 0.9 solar mass is different from the modern value, which is 1.5 solar masses. The difference results from Chandra's using an obsolete estimate of the chemical composition of the star.
    Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar’s discovery of a limiting mass for an ideal white dwarf appeared in a two-page paper 7 published in 1931. The limiting value of 0.9 solar mass is different from the modern value, which is 1.5 solar masses. The difference results from Chandra’s using an obsolete estimate of the chemical composition of the star.
    The Chandra X-ray Observatoryis one of several telescopes casting an eye on the violent universe. Chandra is seen here loaded in the Columbia space shuttle a few days before its 23 July 1999 launch. (Image courtesy of NASA.)
    The Chandra X-ray Observatory is one of several telescopes casting an eye on the violent universe. Chandra is seen here loaded in the Columbia space shuttle a few days before its 23 July 1999 launch. (Image courtesy of NASA.)
    Neo-nazi's flock to mad Abbott
    Lets see...Angry Anderson acting out again...some dumb schmuck claiming there is no Co2 problem in Australia...presumably we are in the space-ship southern hemisphere and ' no worries mate', ' she'll be right'.
    Bronnie Bishop. Check. Sophie Mirabela. Check. Ein Nation remnants. Check. The League of Rights. Check.

    This is exactly how Nazi Germany started. The lunar-right clearly feel they're under the gun down here. They can't afford to wait for gang Gingrich's go order due around June -July. This neo-Nazi push tells me one thing very clearly.
    The au senate remains an anti-democratic institution and it needs to be abolished along with the GG.

    You know climate change deniers are like Holocaust deniers too don't youse?

    That is simply because tens of thousands have already died horrible deaths in heat waves, floods and fires just in the last ten years. Neo-nazi's are perfectly capable of acting like 'people power'. However failed attempts such as in the Philippines and Thailand underline the importance of not yielding to unrepresentative forces.
    The difference is the difference between fascism and democracy.
    ( Anarchist revolution is different as may be seen in the Ukraine and Spain revolutions. Some anarchs attacked democracy in 1918 Petrograd - but then were soon stabbed in the back for their troubles. Since then most anarchs will defend constituent assemblies that are directly democratic with popular support - the Spanish republic a case in point )
    LATE EDITION - I just searched on ' Wikileaks climate change' and got some disturbing hits. What is WL doing to expose climate change deniers as holocaust deniers? Oh wait...Assange is a conspiracy nut who thinks the Jews are ganging up on him.
    Liz like a mother to me
    Liz was 2 years younger - hi mom! - and she looked very similar during the 1950's and 60's. I read a book about her a few years ago and remember a few incidents.
    1) She lost a husband - Mr Liz-Taylor Todd - who flew an overloaded plane. She seems to have loved him a great deal. Terrible shame.
    2) The M. Clift accident. It seems the man was a drunk. He came a cropper near Liz's house and she may have saved his life through quick thinking and action. Liz might have been a nurse.
    3) A shocking incident came to light following the Richard Burton thing. Seems that when Richard left his first wife and daughter the daughter to took it so hard she went mad. Richard went to see here in a hospital years later when she was grown up...but all she could say was 'Daddy'. Divorce can be hard on the kids.
    I don't want to leave on a sad note though - the lady was obviously a great actress when she wanted to.
    Whose afraid of Virginia Woolf is proof of that. Some Oscar's mean something. Liz Taylor RIP.
    My mind is going Dave
    I can feel it

    We're losing our base and must rethink, says ALP godfather Sir Les ' Whatever hole it takes' Patterson.

    LABOR is suffering an identity and credibility crisis in NSW. On Saturday, voters will punish it on its values and competence.
    No longer a mass membership party, Labor is losing voters it once took for granted. "Ethnics" and "tradies", as political number-crunchers call them, are deserting the Alternative Liberal Party.

    Who is left in the Labor heartland, if there still is one? The other night in Sydney, political godfather Sir Les Patterson told a small gathering, hosted by the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and legal firm Norton Rose Cheese, about the disconnect between his party's current base and what it used to be.

    According to "Patto", the fucking party curse, 30 or 40 years ago plumbers, electricians and carpenters worked for wages and voted Labor. Now tradies are self-employed and "aspirational", although he does not like that term. He says union leaders in construction, mining and manufacturing need to be careful with the way they rally members who might be earning more than $180,000 a year and sending their rug-rats to private schools.

    "Labor hasn't found a way to talk to them yet," Patterson says of the self-employed, who supported the party only when it was led by "a well hung, charismatic leader".

    "Labor's brand is damaged, and we have to have a rethink about the way we communicate with our base - whatever that is."
    The seats Labor is most likely to hold on Saturday have these characteristics: low levels of education, high numbers of manufacturing workers and people born in non-English speaking countries, a high proportion of working-age people who rely on welfare payments and large numbers of families in public housing.

    Sharing the platform with the one-time Labor powerbroker was former NSW Liberal premier Nick Greiner. He argues that Barry O'Farrell's team is more representative of the community and will capture non-Anglo voters.

    "The swings in western Sydney against Labor will be savage, especially among the Vietnamese and Lebanese Muslims. We will see some significant changes in that ethnic vote," Greiner says.

    At the August federal election, Labor's primary vote was savaged in NSW seats with a high proportion of overseas-born people, largely because of Julia Guillotines harsher stand on immigration. Nine of the top dozen multicultural federal electorates are in Sydney's middle-ring suburbs.

    Patterson concedes there will be some slippage in support, but says the ethnic vote will be a key factor in saving some Labor MPs. "Labor now has to get used to losing," he says. "The next Labor premier in NSW is someone I've yet to meet in a smoky back room"
    According to former Labor senator John Blacklung, who runs research consultancy Australian Political Disease Strategies, the party's base is down to welfare recipients, single parents, TAFE students and the low-paid. This is a voter segment well below the 40 per cent required to be electorally competitive.
    In an analysis of November's Victorian election, Blacklung identified the profile of the modern state American Labor Party voter as "basically those persons getting something from the federal government".

    Labor's low-income core voter has stuck with the party, he says, but young professionals, intellectuals and gays are heading to the Greens, while blue-collar Howard Brownshirts are shifting to the Liberals. The key battleground group now in play is professional women.

    "The skilled blue-collar workers have long gone," Blacklung says. "You used to see a pronounced hump of support for the Labor Party across the skilled, well-paid blue-collar groups.

    "Now that line is flatter than a shit-carter's hat, as my friends in the AWU would say."

    Blacklung believes Labor now lives off those who live off it. "When modern Labor governments run out of money, they run out of voters." he says.
    Blacklung will be looking to see whether blue-collar TAFE students who are rail commuters from Sydney's far-flung suburbs will shift to the Liberals, as they did in Victoria.
    Labor must radically change its message and approach, Patterson argues.

    "It can't be business as usual," he says. "Labor has to find Homeland Security."
    Holler for a Marshall
    Just say now to drugs

    Marshall Islands Legalize Cocaine
    Majuro (CBS International) - The newly inducted president of the Republic of the Marshall Islands has announced the tiny Pacific nation had legalized the use of cocaine by executive order.
    President Jurelang Zedkaia, a traditional chief and politician, said the Marshall Islands would also be introducing a no-visa unrestricted entry program for foreign nationals of any country.
    The shock move appears to have been prompted by a need for foreign currency as the rising sea levels threaten to submerge the country.
    The Marshall Islands are an archipelago of 29 atolls and five islands, located in the middle of the Pacific, about 2,500 miles from Hawaii. The population of the country is less than 70,000.
    The low-lying atolls are susceptible to immersion in the Pacific as climate change causes a rise in the sea level. Experts agree that the country could cease to exist by 2040.

    "We are not going the way of Kiribati. We're not going to abandon our homes and pick fruit for those who caused this," President Zedkaia said, referring to similarly beleagured Kiribati's moves to settle its population in Australia and New Zealand under the migrant labor schemes of those countries.

    Speaking on camera, the visibly emotional Marshallese leader said that the Marshall Islands have a proud history of thousands of years. "Then the Westerners came, first it was the atomic bombs, and then now their irresponsible emissions are drowning our islands. We are tired of being raped and victimized. As a sovereign nation, I declare the right of this country to legalize any substance it wishes."
    The revenue from cocaine sales would help the country build sea defenses, or buy up more elevated islands in other parts of the Pacific, the president explained.
    When asked where the cocaine would be sourced from, President Zedkaia refused to comment, but assured the assembled reporters that it was "the real thing, uncut and pure, the best you can get."

    Sea also

    '...We must suggest another solution. Make the use and sale of cocaine free [from restrictions], and open kiosks where it would be sold at cost price or even under cost...'

    Proceeds from sails to preserve essential welfare state benefits...without the dubious benefits of the state. Ashes to ashes - rocks to rocks. Sex on cocaine, she rocks my socks off. She bangs, she bangs. Bring it on hon.
    The Pacific - its terrific. Legalize it - I'll advertize it. Viva la revolucion!
    The battle for Labia
    Will you come with me to Tripoland? Yes or no? It is question of life and death for us all because defeat would be so terrible we could not survive it. But I have faith in our nescafe and look forward to our drug-war victory.
    I only regret that I speak to youse today from the Marshall Islands and not frontlines North Africa. One day soon we will live in a freenet society. One day soon we will discover the promised Sealand.

    Keep the black flag waving high - keep on keeping on with the world revolution. We will win.
    The spy who shagged cypherpunks
    NATO has a bold plan to finish the Mad Dog Gadaffi clan regime off forever. They plan on HALO dropping human diurectic, Julian D'Assange on a hardcore mission to infiltrate and impregnate Gadaffi's harem/bodyguard.
    International man of mystery, Julian is a trained covert agent, in spite of worldwide fame, and has been described as a consenting zombie for the walking corpse media. This must be a truly a frightening prospect for the lurching Gaddaffi regime. The final nail in the coffin of another media-made revolutionary.
    Solidarity with Dmitry
    Moscow – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev exchanged sharp words Monday over the true nature of Western military intervention in Libya, leading many observers to wonder whether the gloves have finally come off in the long-anticipated battle over which of them will run for president in elections that are just one year away.

    Though the two have sparred indirectly before, they have publicly maintained that everything is fine with the "tandem" arrangement under which they have jointly run Russia since Mr. Putin handpicked Mr. Medvedev to succeed him as president three years ago.

    Both men have said they'd like to run again for what will be a six-year presidential term next year, and have insisted that they will decide amicably between themselves which of them will be the establishment candidate – a status that virtually guarantees success in Russia's heavily stage-managed political culture.

    The tough public words were exchanged over an issue of foreign policy, which is a presidential prerogative under Russia's Constitution. While answering questions from defense workers Monday, Putin slammed the Western-authored United Nations resolution that authorized the use of force to protect Libyan civilians from forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi as allowing "anyone to do anything they want" against a sovereign state.

    "It resembles a medieval appeal for a crusade in which somebody calls upon somebody to go to a certain place and liberate it," Putin said. "This is becoming a persistent tendency in US policy," mentioning the bombing of Belgrade during the 1999 Kosovo war, and subsequent US-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. "Now it is Libya’s turn, under the pretext of protecting the peaceful population. But in bomb strikes it is precisely the civilian population that gets killed. Where is the logic and the conscience?"

    A few hours later Medvedev weighed in. Without naming Putin, he made clear that he disagreed with both his tone and the implication that Western powers are acting improperly in Libya.

    "It is absolutely inexcusable to use expressions that, in effect, lead to a clash of civilizations, such as 'crusades,' and so on. That is unacceptable," Medvedev said. "All that is now happening in Libya is the result of the appalling behavior of the Libyan leadership and the crimes it committed against its own people."

    Russian diplomats did not veto the authorization of force resolution when it came before the Security Council because "I do not consider this resolution to be wrong," he added.

    Divergent viewsThose two sharply divergent foreign policy views – one bristling with suspicion toward the West, the other frankly identifying Russia's interests with it – have long been on display in Moscow. But never before have Medvedev and Putin so clearly moved into separate corners in what looks like the prelude to a real fight, analysts say.

    "What has happened here is the first real clash within the tandem since Medvedev came into the Kremlin," says Pavel Salin, an expert with the independent Center for Political Assessments in Moscow. "In the past they seemed to be working well together and playing to separate audiences. Medvedev appealed to liberals and Putin to more conservative voters, and it was seen as a kind of 'good cop-bad cop' thing."

    But the issue of Libya, a client state of the former USSR, appears to have brought on a real split, he says. "Putin, given his past [KGB] experience, is inclined to a conspiratorial view and his remarks had a certain anti-American spin. Medvedev, on the other hand, does not think in cold war terms. He would like to see Russia on good terms with everybody and perhaps play the role of an intermediary in this situation," he says.

    Some observers suggest there's less to the public spat than meets the eye. Medvedev's statement about Libya, published on the Kremlin website, contains measured criticism of the Western military campaign as well as the jab at Putin. "These operations have damaged civilian sites, and there are as yet unconfirmed reports that innocent people have been killed, and this shows that, sadly, the countries taking part in these military operations have not managed to achieve [the stated] goals," he said.

    "This is not a real conflict between Medvedev and Putin," says Alexei Mukhin, director of the Center for Political Information, an independent Moscow think tank. "It's like Medvedev is Putin's lawyer, he follows him around and cleans up his speech.... Basically, it just means the tandem is working as it was designed. The West sees the good Medvedev trying his best, while other constituencies are reassured by Putin."

    Bad move by Medvedev?Mr. Mukhin points out that if Medvedev had been aiming to make a public break with Putin, he could hardly have chosen a worse issue. An admittedly unscientific online poll conducted by Russian blogger Semyon Petrov currently shows 88 percent of respondents opposing Western military intervention in Libya, while just 6 percent are supportive.

    If it does come to a showdown, Putin would seem to hold all the cards. He is leader of United Russia, the party that dominates virtually all legislatures in Russia, from municipal to national level. He also appears close to top business leaders, does most of the hands-on contact with officialdom, and consistently enjoys a higher public approval rating than the president.

    Medvedev's vision of "modernizing" Russia appeals to liberals and well-educated young people, but does not seem to play well with wealthy oligarchs whose main business is resource extraction or with the vast majority of ordinary Russians outside of a few major cities, experts say.

    Moreover, critics complain, whenever Medvedev has taken a rhetorical stand in the past against corruption, electoral dirty tricks or human rights violations, he has seemed unable – or unwilling – to follow through with any concrete action.

    "There are differences between Medvedev and Putin, and they are only now reaching the public space," says Alexei Makarkin, director of the independent Center for Political Technologies in Moscow. "But I wouldn't read too much into it. They still seem to take decisions together, and will probably be able to arrange between themselves who's going to be the next candidate for the Russian presidency, just as they said they would." END

    The Russian federation could easily fit into the new world order of democratic socialist federation. All it has to do is finally kill off Rasputin, his KGB and that abomination in Belorus. Once this happens then Chinese red-fascism will fall along with all its squalid little murderous dictatorships...DPRK, Burma, Sudan, Zimbabwe and etc.

    No more Communist 'workers states' ( Or Caliphtates either) That would mean one great step forward for a secular, democratic and united networked humanity and peace in our time.

    << Previous Day 2011/03/24
    Next Day >>

My Website   About