Saturday, October 2, 2010

Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 3

In light of the post over at the Ecocosmology Blog, entitled "A Lovely Planet In The Neighborhood - 2?", it is time to once again get scientifically rebellious Dredd bloggers.

Yes, it is time once again to stimulate some grey matter, to disturb Big Brother, and to rattle the chains of the scientific establishment, an elitist bureaucracy within the world bureaucracy of warlords.

While it is true that in the prior episode we kicked up some dust, take note that at several times in the past Dredd Blog has kicked over the traces in other rebel science posts here, here, here, and here, for examples.

But for the current post, lets not only remember why it is important to be cosmic adults, lets also show once again how immature the governments on this planet really are.

The Ecocosmology Blog post reveals how the hopey spacey travelly thingy that NASA science is selling is a pig in a poke.

That science is almost wholly based on imperialistic military concepts (see Science According To MOMCOM) which are funded so massively it tends to corrupt our science away from the better direction where mature science would tend to go.

The bullies who run scientific development today have been held back many grades, spending all their time at the War Colleges where research is composed of experiments into how many bodies a bullet can go through, or how many WMD will fit on the tip of a petroleum product fuelled missile on its way to destroy something in order to save it.

Since it is unlikely that we will receive cosmic help from them, many contemplate a "someone from somewhere out there" who could help us survive ourselves on this planet.

With that in mind, could the planet 20.5 light years away have evolved alien life who have mastered space travel, after having mastered warmonger impulses, and after learning not to destroy their own home world?

The odds are much better for that than the odds are for earthlings ever travelling to that planet prior to our destruction of our current civilization.

These odds are increased by noting that the star, a red dwarf, is very old, if our science about stars is correct.

That means the six planets orbiting the star Gliese 581 are likely old too, and life could be so old that it is wise.

So, this could be a Knowing moment, but "knowing" of the unearthly type, yes, knowing of the rebel science type.

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

Friday, October 1, 2010

Inside Job: $CAD With Money

The use of the word "$CAD" in the title (a take off on "SCAD") means State Crimes Against Democracy conducted by theft of the public fisc.

The Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC yesterday was a mind blower to many folks, because it focused on the issue.

Dylan had on a guest who created "Inside Job", a documentary about the banksters who plundered the treasury, and who are still doing so wantonly.

This is another one of those situations where the government is complacent in some degree, clearly making this a broad based State Crime Against Democracy (SCAD).

Dredd Blog takes that position because it is a federal crime to steal public money by deception or similar means:
§ 648. Custodians, generally, misusing public funds

Whoever, being an officer or other person charged by any Act of Congress with the safe-keeping of the public moneys, loans, uses, or converts to his own use, or deposits in any bank, including any branch or agency of a foreign bank (as such terms are defined in paragraphs (1) and (3) of section 1(b) of the International Banking Act of 1978), or exchanges for other funds, except as specially allowed by law, any portion of the public moneys intrusted to him for safe-keeping, is guilty of embezzlement of the money so loaned, used, converted, deposited, or exchanged, and shall be fined under this title or in a sum equal to the amount of money so embezzled, whichever is greater, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both;
(Cornell Law School). A creative U.S. Attorney could use these statutes to prosecute what has happened on Wall Street for a decade, but there are even more statutes to contemplate:
§ 653. Disbursing officer misusing public funds

Whoever, being a disbursing officer of the United States, or any department or agency thereof, or a person acting as such, in any manner converts to his own use, or loans with or without interest, or deposits in any place or in any manner, except as authorized by law, any public money intrusted to him; or, for any purpose not prescribed by law, withdraws from the Treasury or any authorized depositary, or transfers, or applies, any portion of the public money intrusted to him, is guilty of embezzlement of the money so converted, loaned, deposited, withdrawn, transferred, or applied, and shall be fined under this title or not more than the amount embezzled, whichever is greater, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both;
(Cornell Law School). The scope of federal law reaches far, down into state banks and other banks that participate in utilizing public funds:
§ 656. Theft, embezzlement, or misapplication by bank officer or employee

Whoever, being an officer, director, agent or employee of, or connected in any capacity with any Federal Reserve bank, member bank, depository institution holding company, national bank, insured bank, branch or agency of a foreign bank, or organization operating under section 25 or section 25(a) of the Federal Reserve Act, or a receiver of a national bank, insured bank, branch, agency, or organization or any agent or employee of the receiver, or a Federal Reserve Agent, or an agent or employee of a Federal Reserve Agent or of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, embezzles, abstracts, purloins or willfully misapplies any of the moneys, funds or credits of such bank, branch, agency, or organization or holding company or any moneys, funds, assets or securities intrusted to the custody or care of such bank, branch, agency, or organization, or holding company or to the custody or care of any such agent, officer, director, employee or receiver, shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both; ...

As used in this section, the term “national bank” is synonymous with “national banking association”; “member bank” means and includes any national bank, state bank, or bank and trust company which has become a member of one of the Federal Reserve banks;
(Cornell Law School). The little roots of federal law even go deep into the lending and insurance systems across the nation:
§ 657. Lending, credit and insurance institutions

Whoever, being an officer, agent or employee of or connected in any capacity with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, Office of Thrift Supervision, the Resolution Trust Corporation, any Federal home loan bank, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Farm Credit Administration, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, the Secretary of Agriculture acting through the Farmers Home Administration or successor agency, the Rural Development Administration or successor agency, or the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation, a Farm Credit Bank, a bank for cooperatives or any lending, mortgage, insurance, credit or savings and loan corporation or association authorized or acting under the laws of the United States or any institution, other than an insured bank (as defined in section 656), the accounts of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or by the National Credit Union Administration Board or any small business investment company, or any community development financial institution receiving financial assistance under the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994, and whoever, being a receiver of any such institution, or agent or employee of the receiver, embezzles, abstracts, purloins or willfully misapplies any moneys, funds, credits, securities or other things of value belonging to such institution, or pledged or otherwise intrusted to its care, shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both;
(Cornell Law School). Any attempt to cover up or misrepresent the value of assets ("toxic assets") would fall into the financial criminal statutes as well:
§ 1005. Bank entries, reports and transactions

Whoever, being an officer, director, agent or employee of any Federal Reserve bank, member bank, depository institution holding company, national bank, insured bank, branch or agency of a foreign bank, or organization operating under section 25 or section 25(a) of the Federal Reserve Act, without authority from the directors of such bank, branch, agency, or organization or company, issues or puts in circulation any notes of such bank, branch, agency, or organization or company; or

Whoever, without such authority, makes, draws, issues, puts forth, or assigns any certificate of deposit, draft, order, bill of exchange, acceptance, note, debenture, bond, or other obligation, or mortgage, judgment or decree; or

Whoever makes any false entry in any book, report, or statement of such bank, company, branch, agency, or organization with intent to injure or defraud such bank, company, branch, agency, or organization, or any other company, body politic or corporate, or any individual person, or to deceive any officer of such bank, company, branch, agency, or organization, or the Comptroller of the Currency, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or any agent or examiner appointed to examine the affairs of such bank, company, branch, agency, or organization, or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; or

Whoever with intent to defraud the United States or any agency thereof, or any financial institution referred to in this section, participates or shares in or receives (directly or indirectly) any money, profit, property, or benefits through any transaction, loan, commission, contract, or any other act of any such financial institution — Shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
(Cornell Law School). The creator of the documentary Inside Job was asked by Dylan Ratigan why not one, zero, nada, of the banksters had been prosecuted for the criminal enterprise that brought our economy down, that took millions of homes, millions of jobs, along with security and peace of mind from millions of American men, women, and children.

He said because Eric Holder is not willing to prosecute the criminals because he is soft on these types of crimes against democracy, which converts the situation into State Crimes Against Democracy due to complacency.

Here are a few Dredd Blog Posts on, or related to, this subject:
State Crimes Against Democracy - 5

Hood Robbin' From Poor Givin' To Rich

When Accountability Is A Plague

In conclusion, the banksters were said to be "too big to fail", but as it turns out they are Too Big To Jail.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Embryonic Look At Civilization's Future - 2

In the first post of this series we focused on the peak oil / global warming dichotomy.

Focusing on climate, we noted that the use of hydrocarbons (oil, gas, coal) was putting strains on supply as peak oil comes into play.

At the same time we noted that climate changes caused by the use of those hydrocarbons is also having political and military impact on the nations.

As weather catastrophes of various sorts are being indiscriminately unleashed and as they increase, these tensions will also increase.

In the peak oil wars series we focused on tensions between nations now trying to gain control of the supply of hydrocarbons, through various methods (including war), as peak oil settles in, rendering hydrocarbons more and more rare.

Ultimately these issues impact trade intercourse among all nations of the world, which we call civilization.

The growing tension will affect the relationships of the larger, more influential nations first, in terms of growing conflict, struggle, and the resulting dangers of trade wars or even shooting wars.

Dredd Blog had a series of posts dealing with currency because we already saw the tension in relationships approaching.

For evidence of the reality of these tensions, take as an example yesterday's 348-79 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to sanction China for what the U.S. government sees as trade agreement violations:
The House has approved legislation that would allow the U.S. to seek trade sanctions against China and other nations for manipulating their currency to gain trade advantages.

The 348-79 vote Wednesday sends the measure to the Senate, where its prospects are unclear. Senate supporters hope to get a vote on a similar proposal after Congress returns following the November congressional elections.

Supporters said the bill would allow the Obama administration to pressure China on an issue that they say has led to the loss of more than 2 million manufacturing jobs in the U.S. over the past decade.
(Huffington Post). That legislative ploy appears to be heading in an unfruitful direction, because China may have us over a barrel because of financial as well as resource advantages:
The U.S. handed its main economic rival power to dictate access to these building blocks of modern weapons by ceding control of prices and supply, according to dozens of interviews with industry executives, congressional leaders and policy experts. China in July reduced rare-earth export quotas for the rest of the year by 72 percent, sending prices up more than sixfold for some elements.

Military officials are only now conducting an inventory of where and how U.S. suppliers use the obscure but essential substances -- including those that silence the whoosh of Boeing Co. helicopter blades, direct Raytheon Co. missiles and target guns in General Dynamics Corp. tanks.

...

“The Pentagon has been incredibly negligent,” said Peter Leitner, who was a senior strategic trade adviser at the Defense Department from 1986 to 2007. “There are plenty of early warning signs that China will use its leverage over these materials as a weapon.”
(Business Week). It seems that military planners do not anticipate the consequences of some of these tensions seething below the surface:
Pakistan blocked a vital supply route for U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan on Thursday in apparent retaliation for an alleged cross-border helicopter strike by the coalition that killed three Pakistani frontier troops.

The blockade appeared to be a major escalation in tensions between Pakistan and the United States.

A permanent stoppage of supply trucks would place massive strains on the relationship between the two countries and hurt the Afghan war effort. Even a short halt is a reminder of the leverage Pakistan has over the United States at a crucial time in the 9-year-old war.
(Raw Story). Some of these problems are contributed to by the feeling of exceptionalism the military is accustomed to.

We can conclude that the effects of the growing strain, caused by this tension, is not limited to currency, because in a beginning or embryonic form, we see indications of growing tension in multiple ways on several fronts.

Evidently the convoy of trucks (fuel tankers) that had been blocked by the Pakistani authorities (not permitted to cross the border into Afghanistan from Pakistan) was torched and destroyed by opposing forces while waiting to cross the border.

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

eMail: Daily Kos vs. Tea Party

Dredd,

Last week, organizers of the tea party convention canceled their event due to a lack of interest. They had already postponed it once due to slow ticket sales (see below). So much for the "enthusiasm gap."

We can cancel tea party plans for the November elections, too. Daily Kos is endorsing a group of Democratic candidates who are running against tea party favorites in Delaware, Kentucky and Alaska. Keep the Senate in Democratic hands, and turn the tea party dream into a GOP nightmare, by contributing $5 to each of their campaigns now.

All three Democrats--Chris Coons in Delaware, Jack Conway in Kentucky, and Scott McAdams in Alaska--have answered the Daily Kos Orange to Blue questionnaire. Each gave positive answers on the public option, repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell, regulating greenhouse gasses, providing a path to citizenship, and reforming the filibuster.

Compare them to the alternative. In Delaware there's Christine O'Donnell, who vowed to stop the whole country from having sex. In Kentucky, Rand Paul thinks the Civil Rights Act went too far. Alaska's Joe Miller thinks Social Security and unemployment benefits are unconstitutional.

Despite Because of their insanity, all three tea party candidates won Republican primaries. They are the new faces of the Republican Party, and it's up to us to stop them.

Cancel the tea party--contribute $5 to Orange to Blue candidates now.

There is still hope,
Chris Bowers, Daily Kos

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Whiney White House Does Another W

Dredd Blog has been telling the Obama mentors from day one of his administration to throw The W Compass in the trash.

The voting public rejected the W direction, the wrong direction, and have clearly had that mindset for many years now.

For example, 18 months ago, a mere 3 months into the Obama Presidency, Dredd Blog noticed indications of a possible drift in the W direction.

At that time Obama enjoyed a 72% favorability rating and the people polled indicated a drop in the percentage who thought the country was going in the wrong direction.

There was a political euphoria, a tendency to think "we are getting back on track".

Fine, but Dredd Blog was looking out the windshield, looking ahead to where the W direction would take us, and the consequences were clearly predicted way back then:
If that does not happen, the damage that will be done as a result of that failure will not go unnoticed. I expect a 20% drop in popularity when all is said and done.
(What Was Rejected In The Election, emphasis added). Polls yesterday put the current popularity figure at 46%, and even the wrong-direction percentages were way up again.

Yes, Dredd Blog predicted a drop to a 52% popularity figure, but it passed even that, and is 6% worse, yes, down to 46% favoribility, which is even worse than Dredd Blog predicted.

Never-the-less, in yet another W mouth off, V.P. Biden and President Obama seem to be doing a Charlton Heston, saying "you will have to pry this W compass out of our cold, dead hands":
Some progressive critics of President Barack Obama claim the White House’s recent chiding of disenchanted liberals is not about motivating them to vote in November – it's a cynical attempt to blame them for the losses Democrats are expected to suffer in the midterm elections.

The already palpable tensions between Obama and the liberal base rose after the president told Rolling Stone in an interview published online Tuesday that it’s "irresponsible" and "inexcusable" for disillusioned liberals to stay home on Nov. 2 rather than get out and vote for Democratic candidates.

"The idea that we've got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible," Obama said, depicting the high stakes election as a choice between a flawed but forward-thinking Democratic Party and a backwards GOP "that has moved to the right of George Bush."
(Raw Story). He still does not get it, because he thinks the issue is how far right the GOP is, not fathoming the obvious problem, which is that he is following the GOP to the right, so that he is where W was when W was rejected (Bush II hugger John McCain lost big - remember?!).

Obama's defense seems to be "the Tea Baggers are further right than me, so get out and vote for us, otherwise it is your fault".

That has not worked in the past, won't work now, and won't work in 2012 either.

Mr. President, you are expected to act like an adult Democrat who won an election.

McCain / Palin lost because the things W was doing were wrong, the direction W was going was wrong.

The public voted democratic in a big way, clearly voting against the W direction in a big way.

If you believe you are better than others, such that you can do the same things W did but that your Obamaness will make those wrong things right, you suffer from exceptionalism, another Tea Bagger trait of the W sort.

Loose the W compass before you rear-end the Tea Bagger bus.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Exceptionalism In A Nutshell

When the nutbags, nutters, wingnuts, neoCons, and the like, use the word "exceptionalism" they are expressing their faux superiority complex to cover up their wannabe inferiority complex.

It is an old, wrong concept that leads to failed foreign policy.

That is because imperialism, bullying, and control-freak domination is generally distasteful to every sane individual everywhere.

Take Adolf Hitler and his "Deutschland über alles", Dick Cheney and his tortured ideology, or current right wing religiosity as examples.

It is the opposite of the lyric that says "smile at me, I will understand, because that is something everyone everywhere does in the same language".

Exceptionalism, however, is a psychological impairment that works the same way, in that, everyone easily understands it when they see it in action, but unlike friendliness, exceptionalism leads to a bad experience in one form or another, from resentment to war.

There is little wonder, then, why MOMCOM promotes exceptionalism: it is the emotional and mental atmosphere she wants the citizenry to embrace, so that warmonger policies are easier to push through.

Exceptionalism is good for the war profiteer business, since it moves money from the public treasury into the bank accounts of the one percenters (1%), the rich über alles, who continue to plunder the middle class and poor.


Monday, September 27, 2010

When Indoctrination Is Enlightenment - 2

In the first post in this series, Dredd Blog noted that there is a growing confusion or controversy about what is heat and what is light, what is enlightenment and what is indoctrination.

There is a pundit storm swirling about the state of education within the state of the nation today.

Evidently someone checked the figures only to find that we are running an educational deficit to match our other deficits:
"As a country we've dummied down standards. We've reduced them due to political pressure and, we've actually been lying to children and parents telling them they're ready when they're not," Duncan said on Sunday during ABC's "This Week".

He also argued the educational system in America has reached a crisis point that threatens the nation's long-term economic stability.

"We have to educate our way to a better economy. In this country, we have a 25 percent dropout rate," Duncan said. "That's economically unsustainable and morally unacceptable. We have to get the dropout rate to zero as quickly as we can. The status quo is not going to work for the country, we have to get better."

Duncan said there are no easy answers to improving American schools...
(The Hill). We rank well below other comparable nations in our public education, as shown by our place in the list of 41 other nations:
Math (28th place)
Reading (18th place)
Science (22nd place)
Problem Solving (29th place)
(Education: US v World). The mysterious element in all of this is why anyone would expect anything different.

We are number one in war and military spending by a long shot, meaning that there is not much left for education after that.

In the final analysis, the solution to the mystery really depends on the meaning of the word "education".

Our War Colleges are booming while our schools decay, religious dogma trumps science, opinion trumps Civics 101, so "education" does not really mean what one would think it should mean.

When we have no direction for what we call "education", we will reach no destination, instead we will be blown by the winds onto the rocks of history, like all the empires that loose focus as to who they are and where they are.



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

Sunday, September 26, 2010

To See What Condition Our Direction Is In

This post is about "direction", a strange word that contemplates not only movement, but the consequences or result of that movement, coupled with some sort of predictive or prescient quality that projects a temporary or permanent destination as a consequence of the direction of that movement.

Some of us remember the lyrics "I just dropped in to see what condition my condition is in", written by Mickey Newbury, later recorded by Kenny Rodgers and the First Addition.

To set up this post a bit further, and for a little fun, let's change the lyric of the song by changing one word:
"I pushed my soul in a deep dark hole and then I followed it in

I watched myself crawlin' out as I was a-crawlin' in

I got up so tight I couldn't unwind

I saw so much I broke my mind

I just dropped in to see what condition my direction was in"
(Original Lyrics, modified). Now, to add the final spice and to set the stage, lets inject the true life story of two members of the skin head movement.

This story tells not only the effect the direction that movement was going and was having on them, but it adds to that the consequences of analysing their direction, upon converting just one myth about themselves into fact.

Yes, they just dropped in to see what condition their direction was in:
Two Polish neo-Nazis who were childhood sweethearts and later became skinheads have discovered what for them is a shocking family secret: They're actually Jewish.

...

Pawel and Ola, identified only by their first names, are the subject of a CNN documentary about Poles rediscovering their Jewish roots generations after their ancestors hid their religious identities to escape persecution during World War II. At the time, she and Pawel were active in Warsaw's neo-Nazi movement. "I was a nationalist 100 percent. Back then when we were skinheads it was all about white power ... that Jews were the biggest plague and the worst evil of this world," Pawel said.

Both 33, they've now embraced their Jewish identity and are active in their local orthodox synagogue.
(Skin Heads Become Jews). I guess one could say it was a shalom moment on steroids for them.

Upon discovery of the fact of who they are, the direction they had been going based upon ideological dogma, ultimately was shown to be that they were to kill themselves, hate themselves, or otherwise abuse themselves.

This story is a microcosm for civilization today, which treats the Earth as if it was a Jew in a NAZI gas chamber during WWII.

If we drop in to see what condition our direction is in, by adding the fact that we humans are the environment too, we can experience what those two skin heads experienced, then change direction.

The direction we are going by our destruction of the environment is the destruction of civilization as we know it, so we should instead embrace who we are and live that way.