Saturday, March 27, 2010

Open Thread

The Budget of War site has some interesting statistics about what we spend on killing machines.

One and one half million children (1,500,000) are homeless in the United States, and even more adults are homeless.

Another Atlantis sinks under the waves; like a huge area of Antarctica seems to have done long ago.

Speaking of waves, why does a tiny moon of Jupiter, named Europa, have twice as much water on it than all of earth's oceans have?

What is up with the mystery hexagon on Saturn, or with its moon Enceladus, which is spewing water into space so as to make Saturn's outer ring?

When "hard science" is mysterious, "political science" is bound to be beyond the pale, so rebel science weekend anyone?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Election Conspiracy Theory Confirmed?

The government projects more conspiracy theories than any other single entity.

Of course their conspiracy theories are the "good conspiracy theories" not the bad conspiracy theories the media talks about when citizens of the United States suspect a criminal conspiracy.

In federal courts, one of the most popular charges is a conspiracy theory, that is, a charge that the conspirators did thus and such.

About one anniversary ago the Department of Justice advanced a conspiracy theory that voting machines had been rigged by conspirators to throw an election:
[The conspirators] together with other persons known and unknown, being persons employed by and associated with the Clay County Board of Elections, an enterprise, which engaged in, and the activities of which affected interstate commerce, knowingly willfully, and unlawfully agreed and conspired to violate [various federal criminal laws] It was part of the conspiracy that each defendant agreed that a conspirator would commit at least two acts of racketeering activity in the conduct of the affairs of the enterprise.

The Defendant ... instructed other election officers on how to ... change votes at the voting machines in furtherance of the scheme to elect their “slate” of candidates.
(The Indictment, PDF, emphasis added). Voting machine conspiracy theories are said to be the worst kind of paranoia the conspiracy theorists ever think up.

That is what the main stream media says anyway.

Well, the jury must be conspiracy nutters too, because they convicted 8 of the election officials:
A jury convicted a former judge and seven others on Thursday of scheming to buy votes for several local offices in an eastern Kentucky county.

The jury in U.S. District Court in Frankfort deliberated for nine hours over two days before convicting all eight people in a federal racketeering conspiracy. Those convicted on Thursday included former Circuit Judge R. Cletus Maricle and former school Superintendent Douglas C. Adams.
(Lexington Kentucky Herald Leader, emphasis added). Wow, what is this nation coming to when conspiracy theories are a part of our legal system?

What is next, Alice In Wonderland becoming a judge?

There is a long history of electronic voting machine fraud allegations in the United States, but since we all know these are conspiracy theories, no one ever pays attention to the allegations of computer experts and others the main stream media call nut jobs.

They even allege that gerrymandering is a conspiracy to commit election wrongs just because some election districts snake their way across some states, going through as many as 25 counties in some cases.

Did you hear the one where a neoCon far right winger won hands down in Teddy Kennedy's district he had held for many decades, even with all the sympathy for his efforts on health care and his death?

Health care won but in effect he didn't because a liberal ran against the conservative?

I guess that the DOJ lawyers just have too much time on their hands now that war crimes are no longer against the law?

The Rise Of The Machine Hypocrisy

It is as if Dredd Blog saw it coming, conservative activist judges, as did many other folks.

Moderate democrats, asleep at the wheel, along with right wing republicans who think every thing goes better with a right wing ideology controlling things, generally scorned the Dredd Blog alarm bells.

But the ears of the democrats perked right up when the Supreme Court case Citizens United v FEC came down.

Now, activist conservative judges in the federal system are going to have to decide what to do with the Health Care Reform (HCR) legislation.

That is unavoidable because mostly conservative, or even neoCon, lawyers who hold positions as Attorney General in their respective states, have filed a lawsuit in Florida claiming that HCR is unconstitutional or otherwise illegal.

After reading the complaint, and the comments of legal scholars on both sides, I am of the opinion that the legal challenge is certainly neoCon in origin.

The ideology in the complaint does not simply arise from traditional conservative thinking, no, it is more neoCon in origin than conservative.

There are three activist neoCons on the Supreme Court, Roberts, Alito, and Thomas, with Scalia on the border line, crossing back and forth at times.

Kennedy is more of an "old fashioned" conservative who is now often the "swing vote" after Sandra Day O'Connor left the bench.

There are four Justices, who are called liberal, but who are not activist anywhere near the degree Roberts, Alito, and Thomas are.

Even with that backdrop, the complaint has no chance in its Tenth Amendment constitutional challenges, or in its states rights challenges.

The only area for a "valid challenge" is where the complaint sets forth a debate on the commerce clause, in the context of requiring people to purchase insurance or receive some sort of tax assessment as a consequence.

The weakness in the neoCon case lies in a well worn path, already travelled by the states, that is in contrast, in basic principles, to their "you can't make me do it" argument.

Clearly states mandate auto insurance, which has been held constitutional, and not only that, it is actually universally mandated insurance coverage ("socialists did it!").

Those who advocated not having auto insurance raised the same "you can't make me do it" arguments, but lost because it is obvious that a requirement on everyone is not biased against anyone, and it benefits all of us.

Texas has proven, since it has the highest number of people who refuse to purchase auto insurance, that not having it increases the number of trailer parks in those neoCon states.

When the financial security of the nation is threatened by rising health care costs, why can't the federal government mandate insurance coverage like the states do with automobile insurance?

Everyone benefits if everyone has automobile insurance, so it would seem bizarre indeed if states did not mandate automobile insurance coverage would it not?

The only hope these politically motivated lawyers have in the lawsuit against HCR, is the hope that the rogue and mavericky fellas on the Supreme Court get all "jiggy wid it", to radicalize the Supreme Court with judicial activism.

Like Citizens United v FEC, it will show supreme hypocrisy for those in the republican political machine, who have constantly and loudly voiced opposition to judicial activism, to become the most activist judges in many generations by outlawing HCR.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

In Loco Parentis & Parens Patriae

Psychologists tell us that we transfer the notion of authority from parents to other authority figures.

Parents provide their children with security.

Have you heard the government mention that the number one function of government is to provide you with security?

If we analyse this at a fundamental level, not leaving out the obvious, we can see the direction this is going.

First, lets look at the government's meaning of "security", and where that leads.

George Lakoff, a student of Noam Chomsky at one time, has propounded theories that much of our thinking is metaphorical in nature:
But our conceptual system is not something we are normally aware of. in most of the little things we do every day, we simply think and act more or less automatically along certain lines. Just what these lines are is by no means obvious. One way to find out is by looking at language. Since communication is based on the same conceptual system that we use in thinking and acting, language is an important source of evidence for what that system is like.

Primarily on the basis of linguistic evidence, we have found that most of our ordinary conceptual system is metaphorical in nature.
(The Literary Link). In recent years "security" is a word linked to a metaphorical structure attached to military matters.

This linking of authority figure parental metaphors with protection from violence originating abroad has been paramount in our discourse, eventually becoming the acid test.

This focus on security, not surprisingly, surged beyond the pale during the months and years that followed September 11, 2001.

The government went nuts, evidently trying to show us what a good parental authority figure it is by torturing those who the parent thinks is a threat to us, spying on us to make sure we do the right thing, and increasing military spending up to and beyond the ceiling, while domestic economic conditions tanked into the basement.

The government's world view is that the world is such a dangerous place to us that it had to make us suffer at home while the good parental authority figure put economic focus on the military so it could destroy the envisioned evil axis of power embodied in nations far from us.

Politics at home, of course, has been effected by this maelstrom of militancy.

Two metaphors have appeared in public political discourse, each represented by the word "government".

The picture formed by the neoCon conservative mind, upon hearing the word "government", is a vision of something Ronald Reagan wanted "small enough he could drown it in the bathtub".

His approach to military spending was like the neoCons today, which tells us that he, like our current neoCons, did not include the military in the picture formed in his mind by the word "government", but certainly the military is included when the word "security" is used.

If that were taken to its ultimate end, the only part of the "government" that would remain after Reaganites drowned it, would be the military.

Progressives, on the other hand may not include the military in the picture formed by their mind upon hearing or reading the word "government" either, but the difference is they want "government" to be big enough to do its domestic job to help provide for "the common welfare", as the constitution puts it.

This problem of not including the military in the metaphor has led to the current economic collapse.

Military spending seems to be ignored in economic planning, because it is considered to be magic in the sense it does not need to be "in the budget", or it is sacrosanct, not subject to mere mortal economics.

After all, it is the source of our "security", and we really can't "put a price" on that heavenly realm now can we?

The next post in this series is here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

GOP Rock Band: Whining & Carping

The de-evolution of the neoCon political landscape continues as they descend into whining and carping.

Meanwhile, their ideology across the board continues to be rejected everywhere except with the birthers and the astroturfing tea baggers.

They threw political temper tantrums over the location of the trial of accused 9/11 defendants, as well as the nature of those trials, as if they were qualified to express any concept of fair trials.

The last thing they want is a fair trial for anyone other than themselves.

A federal judge has ordered an accused mastermind released after a habeas corpus case.

The man was ordered tortured by Rumsfeld but MOMCOM could not come up with evidence sufficient to hold the man who has been tortured and in custody for ten years.

They lost the health reform debate which one of the Bush II speech writers, David Frum, called their greatest defeat since the 1960's, but instead of doing a man up they whine and carp on.

They continue to slog through their own swamp long after the public left them, long after they caused their political ratings to tank, and long after they caused the reputation of America to tank as badly.

The only worry is that democrats will feel sorry for them and continue to try "bi-partisan" solutions when neoCons do only whining, carping, and gerrymandering.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Entitlement Wars - Guns vs. Butter

We have seen that military expenditures of the U.S. are more than the rest of the entire world.

We have also seen that such expenditures are in fact entitlements, as in welfare.

The great general who also knew how to be Commander In Chief, as well as head of budget concerns, has said that when the military entitlements get out of hand, the military is in effect sacrificing the common people on an iron cross.

The common people can do damage too, if they take too much by becoming non-productive or by getting into a welfare only ideology.

Some lines have to be drawn so as to be able to measure where the fair boundary might be.

We spend more on the military than the other nations of the world combined, so perhaps if we brought it down to half that, such a line in the sand would make more sense, even though even at that level it is still a bloated military budget.

Thus, the common welfare requires a fair military and a fair populace who share the wealth of the nation in a manner that does not do damage to the nation.

The democrats, it seems to me, have brought on a flanking manoeuvre by passing the Health Care Reform legislation.

They knew they could not take on military (MOMCOM) entitlements directly, because the populace has been filled with fear by MOMCOM security propaganda about the monsters under their beds.

So the democrats seem to have done a flanking motion going around and behind the propaganda.

Even if Health Care Legislation is flawed, still it signals a change in direction from mindless, endless warfare that saps the nation of its strength, toward a kinder and gentler nation that actually has compassion and other normal humane considerations for its own.

Good move democrats.

A Generation Is Being Eco-damaged Now

You hear it all the time, "the next generation is going to suffer for our ecological crimes being conducted today".

The implication for the selfish ghouls among us, who rely on such statements, is that they need not worry because it won't effect them in a substantial way during this lifetime.

But that is not the case, not real, and certainly not a moral or mature approach.

The fact is that millions are dying now:
Human beings are flushing millions of tonnes of solid waste into rivers and oceans every day, poisoning marine life and spreading diseases that kill millions of children annually, the U.N. said on Monday.

"The sheer scale of dirty water means more people now die from contaminated and polluted water than from all forms of violence including wars" ...


It consists mostly of sewage, industrial pollution, pesticides from agriculture and animal waste.

The report said a lack of clean water was killing 1.8 million children under five every year. Much of the waste came from developing countries, which dump 90 percent of their wastewater untreated.

Diarrhoea, mostly from dirty water, kills around 2.2 million people a year, it said, and "over half the world's hospital beds are occupied with people suffering from illnesses linked with contaminated water."
(Reuters). In the 21st Century where human advancements are bragged about constantly, 1.5 million children in the U.S. are homeless, countless others are sick, and millions more die around the world from the pollution of our "sophisticated society".

Thousands more die in the U.S. as a result of its "sophisticated" health care system.

Time we woke up from a perverted illusion we have sold ourselves on, and awaken to the real danger of extinction we face as a species.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mob Psychology of Congress & Media - 2

The New York Times has set another example for newspapers and the media across the nation.

When the NYT was criticized on Dredd Blog, and many other blogs, for printing a false story which caused a stamped in congress, they looked again and have now admitted wrong.

Like Dredd Blog admitted wrong for having missed coverage in the main stream media of the Truther movement that was not pure slander.

So congratulations to the New York Times.

Newspapers and media around the nation take note and follow this good example.

Congress is on a high right now from the Health Care Reform Legislation, so they can't be bothered with this.

The courts have held, as was reported by this blog, that their stampeded legislation was unconstitutional.

Everyone remember this: the neoCon fascists lie as if it was their supreme right, but we must never believe them again to the demise of ACORN, an innocent who was raped and pillaged by a neoCon mob.

UPDATE: ACORN has reported that will cease to exist.

Even though NYT apologizes for allowing itself to be used as a dagger thrust into the heart of a good organization, which helped the poor and middle class, NYT is still an accomplice, along with congress and some juvenile jerks, to the murder of a good, innocent organization.

Deja Vu - Guns v. Butter Election Looms

Whether you believe deja vu all over again, that history repeats itself, or that addicts do what their addiction tells them to, I think I can convince you that we have been here and done this before.

I mean we have had the guns v butter elections in the past, and it seems we are heading for one again, made certain by the passing of Health Care Reform Legislation yesterday.

What I want to do is look into the background thinking emanating from the major cognitive forces that are at play, by tying in some recent Dredd Blog posts with concurring blog posts in other places which tend to confirm the theory.

Guns v butter debates raged in the Vietnam 60's and in the Reagan 80's.

Historically, when guns are winning and butter is losing, homelessness, job loss, home loss, and war deficits are the norm.

When butter is winning the warsters have to get by on billions instead of trillions, and the middle class and poor can pay their bills.

That brings us to the current war budget state of affairs, where guns have been ascendant for a decade, and as usual, the nation faces financial ruin as a proximate result.

To be fair, MOMCOM is fair like Coach Bear Bryant, she-it treats everyone she-it deals with the same, with equality - she-it treats everyone like garbage.

Pentagonia, capitol of Bullshitistan, well aware of the current political climate, has declared who its greatest enemy is, believing it is health care:
The U.S. military keeps searching the horizon for a peer competitor, the challenger that must be taken seriously. Is it China? What about an oil rich and resurgent Russia?

But the threat that is most likely to hobble U.S. military capabilities is not a peer competitor, rather it is health care.
(The Enemy the Pentagon Should Fear Most: Health Care, National Defense Magazine, emphasis added). We have been pointing out this very strange ideology for a while now, using "MOMCOM" symbolism to isolate the militant energy fighting against the middle class and poor in the United States.

The source is a pathetic and intellectually bankrupt think tank, the war colleges.

They had experienced a coup, by moderates within, some time back which led to budget surplus during the Clinton administration, and national prosperity at home, which in turn led to MOMCOM demise as warmongering ebbed.

Then a neoCon insurgency took place which eventually installed Bush II as High Priest In Chief, to spearhead the put down of budget surpluses with a return to the imperialism of war.

The effect was to redirect government budget surplus into the coffers of the one percenter plunder barons (oil barons, war contractors, warster weapons corporations, and their lackies on Wall Street - the banksters), and away from the 99 percenters, the middle class and poor.

Now, in preparation for the upcoming election, the Democrats seem to be advancing an era of butter, while the Republicans resist and prepare to campaign for more guns.

The democrats seem to know they cannot mount a frontal attack against the security fear which the neoCons have instilled in the people, but The National Defense Magazine seems to sense that the democrats are mounting a side and rear attack.

This outfoxing of the fox will do the same thing as a frontal attack, that is, end the wars and bring prosperity back to the suffering middle class and poor people.

If true, this is a brilliant strategy which fits in quite well with the current state of affairs.

If the left and the progressive independents get wind of it, they may well be brought back into the fold.

Open Thread

Another day.

NASA finds life under 600 feet of ice in the Antarctic.

Consider natural disasters and the belief that the nature of the cosmos is not threatening.

One and one half million children (1,500,000) are homeless in the United States, and even more adults are homeless. Perhaps giving rich bankers more trillions and giving MOMCOM more trillions will solve that problem?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Why Does MOMCOM Hate America?

One of the least remembered facts about the government, when discussing "government this" and "government that", is that the military is also government in the United States.

There is a specific cabinet position which we now call The Secretary of Defense, which heads the department for government military operations.

If it were named according to what it does, that cabinet position would be The Secretary of The Military.

But to help "sell the toothpaste", the name was changed from The Department of War, to something else.

'Twas the warrior general, who later became president, who made the jaw dropping statement:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.

It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
(The States of War Budgets). How has MOMCOM convinced the public to believe it is providing them with everything, including their freedom, when in fact it is crucifying them on an iron cross?

Speaking of the press, if the "M" in MOMCOM that represents the main stream media were to do some journalistic investigation, the public would be reminded that it is an excruciating crucifixion indeed.

As we speak, some 1,500,000 children are homeless in these United States, as well as millions more adults.

Millions more have lost their homes but live in apartments now, with friends, or with family.

Millions more have lost jobs, savings, and health care.

Millions more beyond that are no longer fully employed.

And on and on it goes.

But war spending has been going up and up, and the Obama Administration and the party called the Democrats in the lead in congress, have just passed the largest war budget.

Need I mention the bankers who have been bailed out to the tune of trillions of dollars for handling MOMCOM money?
The one MOMCOM minions say they are worshipping, when they put bible verses on the sights of their weapons, said "what you did not do for the least of these you did not do for me" would also say MOMCOM "why hast thou forsaken me?"

Today the ideological slaves of MOMCOM will be voting against the health care reform legislation for what they claim are various "reasons".

They will say it will make "government" bigger; it will be a government takeover of health care.

Remember that when they use the word "government" they know most people forget that word includes the military, and remember they know that most people think "government" means only civilians.

The neoCon MOMCOM minions know that this health care reform struggle is between MOMCOM wars vs the common welfare.

It involves doing the things necessary to begin to avoid crucifying those Americans who are not part of MOMCOM by spending a smaller portion of our money for war making.

MOMCOM wants more sacrifice from those Americans, which means she-it is against decreasing any of the obscene military spending, or getting rid of tax favors for oil barons and rich banksters.

Why does MOMCOM hate America?

U.S. Scholars & Statesmen Reap Scorn

This blog reported the results of a congressional inquiry which came to the conclusion that the U.S. government was responsible for the bad American reputation in the world, so lets revisit the subject.

Bush II had told Americans that the reason we were hated was because the world did not like our freedoms:
Americans are asking, "Why do they hate us?" They hate what we see right here in this chamber — a democratically-elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms — our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.
(Decline of U.S. Reputation - Why?). Later evidence revealed the shocking reality, still being denied today, that while Bush II was telling that lie with a straight psychotic face in 2002, he knew that he had already approved a program calling for the torture of detainees, and he had already decided to invade Iraq.

The experts who testified for 10 days in those congressional hearings led congress to a different conclusion:
The data presented at these hearings make it clear that people in other nations don’t “hate us because of our values”— but rather that they are disappointed with us because we aren’t always true to those values.
(ibid, bold in original). Some representatives of the people did not buy into the Bush II lies, even during the daze of 9/11 fogginess, and foretold exactly what was going to happen to us as a people if we listened to those lies.

Scholars and other observers around the world were eventually dumbfounded at the brain dead lack of response to the 9/11 fog of fear and lies on the part of American scholars who to this very day still do not get the picture.

The picture is that other nations also lost citizens on 9/11, and therefore have valid rights to investigations about the deaths of their citizens.

If the neoCon Bush II administration had any class they would have included on the 9/11 Commission an official from each country that lost citizens on 9/11.

When we have the new and real 9/11 Commission, we should do that to honor the other sovereign nations of the world, and the memory of their 9/11 dead.

Our media and scholars especially do not consider what the rest of the world saw and still sees with respect to the events of 9/11, compared with what American media and administrative scholarship saw and sees.

This is documented by an expert on administrative scholarship in the United States:
Citations among leading public administration and policy journals with other than American journal references are similarly scant: Among 331 citations from six leading journals sampled from 2001 to 2002, 304 cited only American sources. Of those Americans journals sampled, 60% of articles feature less than 5% references in languages other than English, whereas less than 20% of French and Brazilian international comparative articles feature less than 5% references in languages other than their own (and also English).

The eerie correspondence between (a) the evacuation of material evidence at Ground Zero prior to complete forensic investigation and (b) the similar evacuation of detainee right to present "the body" before independent magistrate, coupled with transgression by the United States of United Nations laws prohibiting violation of sovereign bodies (and states), has garnered no substantive analysis and/or commentary among policy analysis and public administration scholarship investigating the relevance of civil liberties to democratic public administration and policy making. Perhaps noteworthy in this regard, the putative scion of radical and intellectual journalism, The Nation magazine, mostly only disparaged the 9/11 Truth Movement, pinning it only derisive, high-handed insinuation of paranoia (cf. Haynes, 2006). The same was carried about around the same time by The New Yorker magazine (cf. Lehmann, 2006) upon mounting demands for greater investigation into the events leading to and after the 9/11 incidents, demands called for by, among other parties, families of the Towers' victims.
(Pretending Not to See or Hear, Refusing to Signify: The Farce and Tragedy of Geocentric Public Affairs Scholarship, pages 929-31, American Behavioral Scientist Journal). During the Bush II fiasco it is as if we became dazed, myopic, then dropped out of the world community to join a gang of thugs.

The dazed cognition spread far and wide within academia and the media, in trickle down fashion from the government.

This continued practically unabated year after year.

Eventually there had been hope, upon the successful struggle to vote out the neoCon fascists, that things were going to go in a different direction.

Two elections later that hope is fading into the fog as reality is still being resisted in the media, politics, and in the decline of scholarship.

Even some progressives have been contaminated with fascist government motivation, and are dutifully mimicking the ways of oppression fascists go by.

Likewise, the Obama Administration followed in many of the fascist traditions of Bush II, so it looks like a sea of change really is ongoing in the United States like the campaigners promised.