Observations on the Public Hearing

Diary 6/8 to 6/10/22: Ignoring my optometrist; self-guidance; House Hearings and Tucker Carlson; Caitlin Johnstone quoted; world oil reserves; popcorn way to health; Taibbi, FAIR, and other sources.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

{6/8/22} Continued.

Forgot to mention that I visited the optometrist at the VA Clinic yesterday, to get new glasses. He advised me to wash my eyelids four times a day, with soap, “No More Tears,” if necessary. I thought, “I’ve survived for 75 years without doing this.” Yeah, ain’t gonna happen.

{6/9/22} No entry!


Woke at 4:30 this morning and wrote the following:

Self-guidance: your better self guides, instructs, and sets rules for your impulsive, irresponsible self, and enforces penalties.

Two time scales, two sets of goals: reconciling these is crucial to self-guidance! Virtually the definition.

Who’s who? Amygdala and prefrontal cortex; parent, adult, child; id, ego, superego.

Where does spontaneity fit in? How to get creative? Have you ever practiced it? Hammett’s method, maybe.

I have a document, two years old, titled “Self Mastery in 30 Days.” To incorporate the above insights will take some time.  I’m hoping to turn this material into a book, but given my lack of academic credentials, it’s unlikely to be published except for free on my blog, or through Amazon (which would entail selling my soul to a giant corporation for a few bucks I don’t need).  “Self-guidance” is a better term than “self-mastery” because it more accurately reflects my thinking, and I’m thinking is also more salable.

Edited to protect the guilty

I’m thinking that I need to edit “weekly summaries” of my diary.  This will provide “new” material for the blog as well as fodder for the Hemlock Club.

Since 6/2 I’ve written ten pages. 

Some observations on the House Public “January 6th” Hearings:

  • Was yesterday’s hearing a COVID “super spreader” event?  I didn’t see any masks.
  • While the Committee chairs were presenting evidence of crimes committed by Donald Trump, Fox News in the person of Tucker Carlson said, “hearing opens by invoking slavery.”
  • While Liz Cheney was showing how the crowd was chanting “hang Mike Pence,” and Donald Trump was saying, “maybe he deserves it,” Carlson was saying, “why are the networks colluding with Democrats to present this when so much else is going on?”
  • While former attorney general William Barr was saying he “did not see evidence of fraud,” and “no evidence regarding fraud in dominion voting machines,” things that he had told to Donald Trump, Fox was talking about the arrest of Mr. Kelly, GOP candidate for Governor of Michigan, on misdemeanor charges for his participation in the January 6th insurrection, and asking why now?
  • While Mike Pence was shown saying, “I had no right to overturn the election,” Carlson was saying “Why is Liz Cheney abetting the destruction of our civil liberties?”

I watched the hearings and the before and after coverage on MSNBC, switching over to Fox occasionally to see what they were doing—the above is about all I got from Fox. I didn’t write down that Fox was also calling the hearing a “sham” and a “hoax,” if I remember correctly.  Carlson was predictably despicable, doing what he’s paid to do: mislead, distract, and sow hate.  Regarding the Committee hearing, I didn’t see much that was new, but I thought it a compelling and convincing presentation.

From The Week

From Caitlin Johnstone this morning:  “None of the world’s worst people are in prison. Most of them are fabulously wealthy and widely esteemed. Our systems are not set up to reward beneficial action and punish wrongdoing; at the scale that really matters, they are set up to do the exact opposite.”

Here’s the link to Johnstone’s article, “Study US Foreign Policy By Looking At Oil Reserves: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix.”

Links in the above table don’t work, as it’s a screen capture.  Johnstone copied the top ten rows of a much longer table available at Wikipedia, article titled “List of countries by proven oil reserves”; the intro to the table says, “Reserves amounts are listed in millions of barrels. The column “Years of production in reserve” uses the daily production figures as of 2016[5] (multiplied by 365).  * indicates “Oil reserves in COUNTRY or TERRITORY” or “Energy in COUNTRY or TERRITORY” links.”

I’ve copied the data from Wikipedia and pasted it into an Excel file, which I’ll be happy to send by email to anyone who requests it in the comments.  Um, please provide your email address, eh?  I will send the file and not post the “comment.”

I’m not smart enough to figure out what we’re supposed to understand from the table, given that our foreign policy is hostile towards Venezuela, friendly towards Saudi Arabia, hostile to Iran, and friendly to Canada—the first four areas listed.

Johnstone’s “article” is a collection of, more or less, off-the-cuff “slanders” (you may consider this a reference to Hamlet) which I find mostly right on, and sometimes amusing.  She ends the piece with this:

We all kind of know our situation is unsustainable. On some level we all know it, whether we admit it or not. That’s why post-apocalyptic movies and TV shows have done so well. But people can’t face it directly, so they just distract themselves with nonsense and shriek about Xi and Putin.

What if every morning I made popcorn and kept it available for snacking throughout the day?  Instead of eating chips, Cheetos, cookies, Mounds bars, and ice cream?  I’d need a couple of large jars or cannisters, but it sounds like a great idea, especially if I can tolerate not putting butter and salt on the snack.  I’d lose weight by the ton, while not going hungry, but definitely feeling deprived by not getting my usual grotesque intake of sugar and salt.  A couple days ago I did make popcorn and ate about half of the measured (per popper directions) amount.  It was passable without butter and salt, but no more enjoyable than plain bread would have been.  I could alternate between the two throughout the day.  I’m convinced that snacking is the real culprit in my recent weight gains and seeming inability to lose.

Interesting piece from Matt Taibbi:  “Move over ACLU, FIRE is the New Champion of Free Speech.”  Here’s the link.  It’s available there to read or listen or both.

My most recent free subscription is FAIR, an acronym for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.  I listened to them often for years on KPFK FM radio in Los Angeles. Two items (LINK) from FAIR in today’s email:

  • This week on CounterSpin: Some of the worst work that corporate news media do is convince us that simple things are actually, if you just ignore the role of power, more complicated than you could hope to understand. So, yes, Covid is killing millions of people, and yes, there are tests and treatments and vaccines for it, and yes, many countries in need of them—but no, we can’t put those things together, for reasons that you shouldn’t worry your head over. There are in fact people and policies, with names, preventing developing countries from accessing life-saving vaccines…. A story being ugly doesn’t mean it isn’t understandable. We talk about it with Lori Wallach, executive director of the group Rethink Trade.
  • At the same time, we are to understand that insurance companies exist to protect us from exorbitant expenses when we’re faced with healthcare crises. You might be mad paying in when you’re healthy, but oh boy just wait til you’re sick.  So: Covid-19. Could hardly be a bigger public healthcare crisis—and where are insurance companies? Shouldn’t this be their shining hour? And if not—can we please revisit their purpose in our lives? We talk about insurance in a pandemic with physician and advocate Steffie Woolhandler.

Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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