Saturday, March 13, 2010

State Crimes Against Democracy - 2

As the old war college professor once said, "It is important to maintain a proper image when your purpose is to deceive the citizenry you seek to manipulate".

Of course our picture of reality is not normally represented by physical photos.

That kind of image is a subconscious photo produced by the mind of the person seeking to envision the reality, the target of the manipulation:
People's behaviors are largely regulated by social motivations and goals ... Motivations are the process that initiate an individual's behavior directed towards a particular goal, which is defined as the "cognitive representation of a future object that the organism is committed to approach or avoid" ... Motives and goals are focused either on desired or rewarding end states (approach) or on undesired or punishing end states (avoidance) ... For example, one's beliefs that another person is harmless may lead one to feel safe in approaching and interacting with that person in a positive way; a response based on approach-oriented motives or goals. Alternatively, one's beliefs that another person is threatening may elicit fear, leading one to avoid any interaction with that person or interact in ways that provoke confrontation; a response based on avoidance-oriented motives or goals. (These cognitive-behavioral mechanisms also underlie self-fulfilling prophecy, wherein one's motives, goals, or stereotypes directly influence interpersonal behavior in ways that tend to confirm, rather than disconfirm, preexisting beliefs ... )
(American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 53, Number 6, page 855). We engineer our lives as if we were in a NASCAR race, looking out the wind shield and upon seeing a crash ahead of us, we desperately avoid it as if our lives depend on it.

Even though life is not a NASCAR race, we avoid things that would disrupt our comfort zone, challenge our world view, or bring problems to our life.

In so doing we are sometimes actually endangering our nation, and by extension our own selves as expressed in our current lifestyle.

Scholars and the media should be less fearful of cognitive dissonance, since they are paid to get through the fog of war to show us the real picture.

Some professionals do overcome the fear with professionalism, and thereby do their duty to society:
With respect to alleged SCADS, there have been many whistleblowers who, rather than change their beliefs, chose instead to publicly expose the problems they encountered in their respective fields of expertise. In response to the U.S. government's official account of the attacks of September 11, 2001, hundreds of officials, academics, and professionals have publicly expressed their objections. Most recently, Brigham Young University physics Professor Steven Jones, who was forced into early retirement for his work analyzing World Trade Center (WTC) dust for evidence of thermite residue, an explosive used in controlled demolition, published several articles with his colleagues --- in the Open Civil Engineering Journal, the Environmentalist, and the Open Chemical Physics Journal --- countering several popular myths about the WTC collapses and findings of chemical energetic materials in the recovered debris ...
(ibid, ABS, In Denial of Democracy: Social Psychological Implications for Public Discourse on State Crimes Against Democracy Post 9/11, page 857). Jones, along with thousands of professionals and millions of citizens, knew that this was his call to arms, so he picked up his lab instruments and the pen hoping it would prove to be more powerful than the sword the propagandists in the government had.

He sacrificed his life, in the sense of his lifestyle as a tenured professor, and chose the selfless path his 'superiors' were afraid to walk down.

He would not live the lie, with the damage it was to do to his nation, as his 'superiors' did.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post is here.

Open Thread


Another day, another thread.

Friday, March 12, 2010

State Crimes Against Democracy

A day or so ago a distinguished group of scientists determined that the theory which says a piece of an asteroid became a meteorite which caused the extinction of the dinosaurs was more likely to be reality than the competing theory.

The competing theory had been that volcanism, in the form of hyperactive eruptions in India, caused the dinosaur extinction.

What do State Crimes Against Democracy (SCAD) have to do with a chunk of asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs?

The answer is: a brave individual.

The brave individual, about 50 years ago, noticed that the scientific community was kowtowed, afraid, and timid about even seriously considering the theory that a chunk of asteroid caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Simply put, he noticed that there was tyranny of dogma within the scientific world, and that such tyranny would lead us to a bad place.

Therefore, "de Grazia dedicated the whole September 1963 issue of American Behavioral Scientist to the issue" concerning the part that catastrophes, like the chunk of asteroid (meteorite) strike, have played in the evolution on this planet.

Some brave souls are carrying the ball again, and have dedicated the whole February 2010 issue (Vol. 53, Number 6; ISSN: 0002-7642) of American Behavioral Scientist (ABS) to the issue of 9/11.

They focus on the current mob psychology the scientific, scholarly community is displaying by being obviously kowtowed, timid, and intellectually afraid to address the 800 pound gorilla in the room concerning the 9/11 Commission Report.

As a teaser, check out the kind of energy this nuclear issue is going to bring to the table:
The first step toward SCAD detection and prevention is facing up to the nature and magnitude of the threat. Recently, many mainstream scholars and journalists have concluded that American democracy is becoming increasingly corporatist, imperialistic, and undemocratic ...

However, mainstream authors have seldom considered the possibility that authoritarian tendencies in American politics are being systematically engineered by top-ranking civilian and military officials. Rather than thinking in terms of high crimes, their diagnoses have blamed abstract institutional weaknesses or isolated failures of leadership.

In contrast, the upshot of the foregoing analysis is that SCADs are surface indications of a deeper, invisible level of politics ... in which officials at the highest levels of government use deception, conspiracy, and violence to shape national policies and priorities.
(ABS, Vol. 53, No. 6, page 818). Those who frequent the Dredd Blog System sometimes read articles that are ahead of the mainstream scholarship on this issue.

We have studied the teachings of our forefathers, pointing out the danger to all people who step into the realm of power, having repeatedly pointed out how American democracy can become extinct like the dinosaurs.

Stay tuned, this blog system is going to do various reports on that issue of ABS, discussing the serious issue of SCAD.

The second in this series is posted here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mob Psychology of Congress & Media

A right wing swift boat type made a phony video, editing & cutting out portions of the real picture, in order to make a false impression, to deceive, and to groupspeak.

As fast as a neurotic editing room floor manic "editor" at FOX News (a.k.a. faux snooze), congress stampeded like a herd of cows that had heard a gunshot.

Sweating, while rushing through mob legislation, they were like the Borg, collectively thinking they were going to bolster their chances of getting re-elected.

The only larger and swifter mob, that comes to mind at the moment, was when the swift boat media, the congress, and the president screwed up big time in the Terri Schiavo case.

The case where they thought the most important event on earth was to put an end to 200 years of common law of our nation that was working quite well thank you.

As in the Schiavo case, congress and the media together were played for fools, played well at that, doing MOMCOM's bidding to slander the good folk of ACORN.

To reward congress for stampeding itself into a frenzy, the the FAKE WINGNUT PIMP who invaded ACORN decided to illegally wire tap a senate member.

The pimp's reward was to get a federal indictment when he got caught bugging the office of the senator in broad daylight.

The story is documented at Brad Blog beginning here.

The federal district court was not stampeded by the falderal, and promptly held that the knee-jerk statute congress had passed and the president had signed, was unconstitutional.

It was an "olde timey" bill of attainder.

The federal case is ACORN v U.S. in federal district court in the state of New York.

ACORN had legitimately helped get democrats, including the president, elected.

Here again the democrats shot themselves in the foot, not being very good cowboys.

They haven't been good seamen either, since they received the "W" compass.

Perhaps they were thrown off when they were told that the "W" stands for Wonderland?

Supremespeak To Be Normalized - Leahy

Dear [Dredd],

Today we begin the process of undoing the great harm done by a narrow majority on the U.S. Supreme Court in its recent Citizens United v. FEC decision. I just returned from our first Senate Judiciary Committee hearing focused specifically on how, in light of the Court's misguided decision, we can protect our political process from excessive corporate spending.

The Founding Fathers crafted a Constitution and adopted a Bill of Rights to guarantee the fundamental rights of the American people, not corporations. After all, corporations are different from individual citizens. They do not have the same rights, morals, or motivations. They cannot vote. They are legal constructs designed to conduct commerce, nothing more.

The differences between people and corporations are obvious, and they were not lost on the great Chief Justice John Marshall when he wrote in 1819 that, "A corporation is an artificial being ... the mere creature of law, it possesses only those properties which the charter of its creation confers upon it..."

When the conservative activist majority on the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have the same rights as individual citizens to spend as much as they like to influence the political process, they ran roughshod over longstanding precedent and effectively redrafted our well-established campaign finance laws.

At the core of the First Amendment is the right of individual citizens to speak and to be heard in the political process. But if the Supreme Court's recent decision goes unchecked, it would not take much corporate money, relatively speaking, to outspend every candidate for every political party at every level of American government.

When the Citizens United decision was handed down, I said that it was the most partisan decision since Bush v. Gore. As in Bush v. Gore, the conservative activists on the Supreme Court unnecessarily went beyond the proper judicial role to substitute their preferences for the law. But Citizens United is broader and more damaging, because rather than intervening to decide a single election, the Court intervened to affect all future elections.

In the coming weeks and months I will call on you to help enact specific legislation aimed at restoring our democratic process in the wake of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. Until then, please forward this email to your friends and family to continue building awareness about the grave implications of this wrongly decided case and the importance of closing the floodgates of corporate spending in American elections.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Patrick Leahy
U.S. Senator

P.S. Please encourage your friends and family to join our community by following the link below -- and I'll make sure they too know about specific advocacy opportunities in the near future, aimed at undoing the harm posed by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision:

http://www.LeahyForVermont.com/Join

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Netanscrewyou vs. Peace Process & USA

When a government official is visiting your country, it is not appropriate to dis that official's country flagrantly in public view.

Israel decided to go rogue and get all mavericky with that protocol while the Vice President was there.

The brain-dead warmongers of that government decided to stick another knife in the back of the peace process, and announce that Israel would do additional provocative building in the disputed areas.

Biden is not a lightweight in foreign policy, and did some embarrasing of his own on behalf of the United States:
In an apparent snub Tuesday night, Biden pointedly arrived 90 minutes late to his scheduled dinner with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and he sharply rebuked the Israeli step — which came just after the Palestinians agreed to a new round of indirect peace talks under U.S. mediation after a 14-month lapse.

"The substance and timing of the announcement, particularly with the launching of proximity talks, is precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now," Biden said.

"We must build an atmosphere to support negotiations, not complicate them," he added, warning that "unilateral action taken by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations."
(MSNBC; See also BBC). It was the sorta "eye for an eye" thingy that the macho freaks in that government understand whether they like it or not.

Good one Joe.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Bubbling Up To Rude Awakening

A party was going on, the pops of champagne bottles being opened could be heard in the background.

There was music in the air, and everyone was jubilant because they had finally won the global warming war, according to their leader Senator Inhofe.

Victory had been declared and a party called for because a scientist or two had done some spin to some climate data.

Wouldn't it be nice if that was reality, that all we had to do was think something was so and it would become so?

Global warming and global climate change gone because we wished, then clicked our heals like Alice, and poof shazam the global problem was gone.

In the morning when the party goers awoke with head aches, scientists doing real world scientific work in the north called in to say "Houston, we have a problem":
A section of the Arctic Ocean seafloor that holds vast stores of frozen methane is showing signs of instability and widespread venting of the powerful greenhouse gas, according to the findings of an international research team led by University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists Natalia Shakhova and Igor Semiletov.

The research results, published in the March 5 edition of the journal Science, show that the permafrost under the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, long thought to be an impermeable barrier sealing in methane, is perforated and is leaking large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Release of even a fraction of the methane stored in the shelf could trigger abrupt climate warming.

"The amount of methane currently coming out of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is comparable to the amount coming out of the entire world's oceans ..."

Methane is a greenhouse gas more than 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
(Science Daily, emphasis added). While Inhofe, Beavis & Butthead, and the others in the Gang of Deniers in the U.S. Senate, fiddle with watering down out of existence the Cap & Trade legislation, the global warming that has already taken place has unleashed a monster 30 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

The Cap & Trade circus does not even address methane, and even if it tried to, methane in the Siberian area is untouchable by cap and trade dreaming.

Meanwhile, that one Siberian location alone, in its early stages of breaking up, is now releasing as much or more than the rest of the oceans of the world combined.

Meanwhile, leaders who live near the Siberian area are as clueless and as helpless as the congress when it comes to even thinking there is a problem in the first place.

McClatchy has a disturbing report about death in the ocean caused by low oxygen levels.

These could be one effect of the 5 garbage gyres polluting the oceans of the planet.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Convergence - Fear of Death Syndrome

Our human psychological makeup includes the fear of death and reactions to that fear.

That fear causes behavioral reactions which, from time to time, become irrational or paranoid, leading to various forms of antisocial behavior.

Included in that behavior is the formation of world views, together with social grouping with others who likewise hold that particular world view:
One of the most destructive and perplexing problems facing contemporary society is the pervasive tendency of people to respond with hostility and disdain toward those who are different from themselves. This tendency to reject those who are different is well-documented in the literature on prejudice (e.g., Tajfel, 1982), the similarity-attraction relationship (for a review, see Byrne, 1971), and reactions to deviance (e.g., Miller & Anderson, 1979; Schachter, 1951). A common notion in much of the theorizing concerning these effects is that people prefer similar others over dissimilar others because of the consensual validation of one's own beliefs and attitudes provided by similar others (e.g., Byrne, 1971;Festinger, 1954; Tajfel, 1982). The research reported in this article was concerned with the psychological basis of this need for consensual validation.
...
Put simply, people's beliefs about reality provide a buffer against the anxiety that results from living in a largely uncontrollable, perilous universe, where the only certainty is death.
...
Thus, as Byrne (1971) and others have suggested, attraction to similar others can be explained as resulting from the consensual validation of beliefs that such others provide. From a terror management perspective, then, positive reactions to similar others and negative reactions to dissimilar others occur partly because of the impact such individuals have on faith in one's worldview.
(The Effects of Mortality Salience on Reactions to Those Who Threaten or Bolster the Cultural Worldview, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1990, Vol. 58, No. 2, 308-318, PDF, italics added).

A recent post on this blog concerns behavioral studies of State Sponsored Crimes Against Democracy, in the context of 9/11.

In that post we saw that behavioral scientists are studying why "The ellipses of due diligence riddling the official account of the 9/11 incidents" continue to be ignored by scholars of policy and public administration.

We can add the main stream media (MSM) to the study, in the sense that they have a world view and they also try to protect it.

People who have a different world view (e.g. "Truthers") from the government or the MSM world view, are seen as a threat and a discomfort to the extent that the comfort against the fear of death is disturbed.

One comforting, yet intoxicating world view is that our nation is good and therefore can do no wrong against the public. Clearly, the Truthers threaten the official world view of the government and of the press.

My car, my family, my church, my city, my state, my government, and my country, are actually extensions of our very selves in this world view sense.

Those who threaten the comfort zone provided by our world view are seen as being hostile toward us, which engenders hostility back toward them.

The phenomenon converges with other threats, so it has also been seen in the global warming / global climate change "debates" or dialogues:
A recent paper by the biologist Janis L Dickinson, published in the journal Ecology and Society, proposes that constant news and discussion about global warming makes it difficult for people to repress thoughts of death, and that they might respond to the terrifying prospect of climate breakdown in ways that strengthen their character armour but diminish our chances of survival. There is already experimental evidence suggesting that some people respond to reminders of death by increasing consumption. Dickinson proposes that growing evidence of climate change might boost this tendency, as well as raising antagonism towards scientists and environmentalists. Our message, after all, presents a lethal threat to the central immortality project of Western society: perpetual economic growth, supported by an ideology of entitlement and exceptionalism.
(Monbiot, italics added). The opposite ends of this spectrum are quite far apart, going from "global warming is the greatest hoax of all time" to "we are all going to die" rhetoric.

A more effective exercise, which would diminish these negative effects, would be to master the fear of death in a non-confrontational way, realizing that we are all in this together.

Open Thread


Lots of subjects to talk about.

You have the floor if you want it.