Saturday, June 18, 2011

The United States of Europe - 3

In the first post of this series about a year and a half ago, we pointed out some major myths Americans have about a certain part of the world.

In the second post of this series we pointed out how MOMCOM was taking America's eyes off that part of the world, focusing its eyes on the oil rich nations of the world instead.

Nevertheless, the world of MOMCOM still includes what is geographically known as Europe, but MOMCOM calls it USEUCOM.

That is the part of the world where NATO also resides, a part of the world where MOMCOM and NATO are doing a little turf war:
The US defence secretary, Robert Gates, has warned that a new post-cold war generation of leaders in America could abandon Nato and 60 years of security guarantees to Europe, exasperated by Europe's failures of political will and the gaps in defence funding needed to keep the alliance alive.

In a blistering attack on Europe - which he accused of complacency over international security - Gates predicted a Nato consigned to "military irrelevance" in a "dim if not dismal" future unless allies stepped up to the plate.

"If current trends in the decline of European defence capabilities are not halted and reversed, future US political leaders - those for whom the cold war was not the formative experience that it was for me - may not consider the return on America's investment in Nato worth the cost," Gates, a former CIA chief, warned.
(Guardian). The view that MOMCOM has of itself as an economic genius is not as readily accepted in Europe as it is in the United States.

All it will take for a major change in foreign relations, a major change in military energies, is for Europe to say "ok, take your toys out of the sandbox and go home, we can do a much more economical job of it than you can".

After all, just one nation of The United States of Europe (USE), Germany, until recently was the largest exporter in the world, which China second, and the USA third.

China has now taken over first place, USE second, and USA third.

But Germany is only one nation, so the USE (27 members) is the largest exporting entity in the world.

So there may be truth to their belief that they can do a better job of economic matters than the USA can, pointing out that the current economic recession of the world was crafted by voodoo economics in the USA.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Cuckoo's Egg Hatched Again - 3

This series of Dredd Blog posts has dealt with various hacking phenomena.

The government, speaking through Leon Panetta, testified before the U.S. Congress that the next "Pearl Harbor" would likely be a cyber attack.

The meaning of cyber attack is essentially the same as a hack of some sort, so it is somewhat surprising that a hack took place against the CIA, which Panetta directs, very close in time to the statement Panetta made at his hearing describing "a new Pearl Harbor" cyber attack.

The British press is reporting a hack into the Central Intelligence Agency's website that took place mid-week:
The CIA has become the latest target of self-styled "pirate ninja" hackers LulzSec.

The Central Intelligence Agency website was unavailable for a few minutes on Wednesday evening as the group announced the attack via Twitter: "Tango down – cia.gov – for the lulz".

"We are looking into these reports," a CIA spokeswoman said.

The hackers, who describe themselves as "the world's leaders in high-quality entertainment at your expense", have gained international notoriety this month with a series of security breaches.

Over the weekend LulzSec broke into a public website of the US Senate and released data stolen from the legislative body's computer servers.

Last week they hacked the website of an unnamed NHS organisation – one of England's primary care trusts. The Department of Health said no patient's medical records were accessed during the incident, which it described it as "a local issue" and "quite a low-level" lapse in IT security.

Earlier this month LulzSec broke into the website of Sony Pictures Entertainment and exposed information from 37,000 users, including names, passwords, birthdates and email addresses. It also hacked into a webserver belonging to Nintendo in the US.

The name of the group is derived from "LOL" (laugh out loud) and "security".
(Guardian). Let's hope the CIA doesn't use their security quality as a "reason" to restrict the internet, a media they cannot control like they do their main stream media.

The previous post in this series is here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Congress v Obama Lawsuit RE: Libyan War

Professor Jonathan Turley, along with some co-counsel, will be representing several members of a bi-partisan group of U.S. House of Representatives members in a lawsuit.

Those members of congress are suing President Obama over the Libyan war.

They are urging the federal court to rule that the Libyan invasion violates the U.S. Constitution as well as other federal law.

Professor Turley's blog says:
Today, I have the honor of representing ten members of the United States House of Representatives in challenging the constitutional basis for the Libyan War — and the underlying claims made by President Obama. These members include Democrats and Republicans from across the political spectrum.

They share a belief that Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution expressly requires the authorization of Congress before a president can commit the nation to war.

The lawsuit will be heard in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
(Turley Blog). You can retrieve a PDF copy of that complaint by clicking here.

The case was dismissed by the court.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

National Addiction: The Good vs. The Bad

Would it surprise you if someone declared that some addictions are good for you?

By extrapolation would it surprise you if someone declared that some addictions are good for the entire nation?

And in the inverse, isn't it more usual to consider an addiction to be bad for you, bad for the entire nation?

I guess then, we have to learn to decide what addiction is, whether good or bad, and even decide whether any particular addiction is good or is bad.

Setting aside for a moment absolutism, in general will we find that one person's good is another person's bad?

Let's look at some opinion on the subject:
Not all addictions are considered bad and some can actually help you with your everyday life. Other addictions which are more common as a bad habit will hinder your everyday life and your performance. Let’s discuss the good addictions first so that we can discuss the bad ones later. Certain things you do in your life whether it’s a religious belief or your eagerness to work to improve your lifestyle can be considered a good addiction. Both you and everyone else around you stand to benefit from these types of addictions. Though going overboard can be stressful, with the right attitude, you stand to improve yourself. Good addictions will lead you to success and live a healthy life. We rarely speak of the good addictions as they are nearly not as interesting as the bad ones.
(American Outreach, emphasis added). That site maintains that religious addiction and eagerness to improve lifestyle addiction are "good addictions" because they lead you to success and a healthy life.

Atheists, such as Bill Maher, would agree that religion is an addiction, but would be less likely to say it is good, so let's look further:
We are all addicted to something. For some it is emotions ... or even the way we think on a day to day basis. In other words we become addicted to our beliefs too ... So since we all have addictions why not chose ones that empower us? One of my addictions in life is the martial arts. Because martial arts training and teaching is a MIND/BODY collaboration ...
(Art Mason). Now we have an indication that there can be emotional addiction, the way we think (cognitive) addiction, and even martial arts addiction.

One more before we go to the dictionary world:
Ideally, you will want to decide ahead of time what behavior you will use to replace your addiction, and ensure it is both healthy and controlled. Here, we’ve done some of the work for you, and detailed 10 common unhealthy addictive behaviors along with examples of healthy replacement “addictions” …
(Six Wise). These examples above show that what is a good addiction vs. what is a bad addiction is subject to pop opinion such that almost any addiction can be good or bad, depending on one's viewpoint.

We could all probably agree that murder addiction leading to mass murder is a bad addiction, could we not?

But even that would not be absolute in the sense that war is not only an addiction (wars we can't seem to stop), it involves mass killing and "murder" of innocents (think of Hiroshima, Nagasaki where hundreds of thousands innocent women and children were burned alive or maimed for a lifetime).

So let's get into the dictionary world to look at several sources concerning the word "addiction":
Synonyms inclination obsession craving bent hook

ad·dic·tion [uh-dik-shuhn] –noun

the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming ... to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

Related Words ... dependence, dependency, habituation

World English Dictionary

addiction (əˈdɪkʃən) — n

the condition of being abnormally dependent on some habit ...
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © Harper Collins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009

addiction c.1600,

of habits, pursuits, etc., from L. addictionem (nom. addictio ) "an awarding, a devoting," noun of action from addicere (see addict). Earliest sense was less severe: "inclination, penchant," but this has become obsolete. In main modern sense it is first attested 1906, in ref. to opium (there is an isolated instance from 1779, with ref. to tobacco).


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ad·dic·tion Pronunciation: /ə-ˈdik-shən/ Function: n:

compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance ... characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal

broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be physically, psychologically, or socially harmful

Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, © 2007 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

addiction ad·dic·tion (ə-dĭk'shən) n.

Habitual psychological and physiological dependence on a substance or practice beyond one's voluntary control.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

addiction (ə-dĭk'shən)

A physical or psychological need for a habit-forming substance ... A habitual or compulsive involvement in an activity, such as gambling.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.

ad·dic·tion
Pronunciation: &-'dik-sh&n
Function: noun:

compulsive physiological need for a habit-forming drug (as heroin)

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.
(Dictionary.com). Putting it all together, referring the Dredd Blog post Glorious Addictions - War & Oil - 2, we agree that President Bush II had a valid point when he said, in a state of the union address, that the USA (& civilization in general) is addicted to oil (hydrocarbons: oil, coal, natural gas).

The only remaining question, then, would be whether or not that addiction is good or bad.

If the addiction ends with ecocide (i.e. mass destruction of the environment and civilization along with it, where billions die) that would make it a bad addiction would it not?

Then why are these things now virtual religions?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yes We Can't

Why can't the USA do what other nations can do?

Including remarkable achievements which two nations in Europe have now done?

Germany recently decided to reject nuclear power generation because it is a grave danger to the population.

Now Italy has done the same by a major election landslide:
The anti-nuclear movement won a crushing victory in Italy on Monday when well over 90% of voters rejected Silvio Berlusconi's plans for a return to nuclear power generation.
(Guardian). For another example, Bolivia is on track to be the first nation to give the environment civil rights.

Meanwhile, the USA plods onward toward danger after danger because of an inability to do the proper thing anymore.

If it does damage to the Earth, humanity, and the economy the USA seems to be unable not to be like the proverbial moth around a flame.

The graph to the right shows the labor share of non-farm business since 1947 until Q1 of 2011.

You can look at it on the Federal Reserve website, along with other information about the statistics.

Be sure to also read The Graphs of Wrath showing a skyrocketing military economy concurrent with a nose-diving domestic economy.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Criminally Insane Epoch Arises - 3

It wasn't too long ago that the penalty for torture could result in the death penalty, in the case where the person being tortured died as a result of that torture.

Even though the ink on the paper that well known law is written on still reads that way, Attorney General Holder @ DOJ removes accountability from the legal dictionary when those who are too big to jail are being "considered".

Regular readers know that the Dredd Blog System has been pondering the notion of the advent of a new age, "The Criminally Insane Epoch", which includes a new way of reading and writing.

The new age of reading and writing comes right out of Karl Christian Rove Imaginary University, where the current Department of Just Us fellows evidently graduated:
''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''
(Dumb & Dumber Bleak & Bleeker). Excuse me, but that is the classic definition of deluded dementia: "making up a fantasy world then believing it to be reality".

It also blends quite well with any government use of propaganda, which is a form of societal dementia in the sense that "things are made up" to deceive innocent people.

Sometimes only the poets and songwriters can say "deluded" in a way that makes it so very plain to us:
People are crazy and times are strange
I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range
I used to care, but things have changed
(The Penalty For Torture Could Be Death, quoting Dylan). You know things have changed when Daniel Ellsberg talks about the nature of that change:
In this interview, Ellsberg says, "Richard Nixon, if he were alive today, would feel vindicated that all the crimes he committed against me – which forced his resignation facing impeachment – are now legal. " (Thanks to the Patriot Act and other laws passed in recent years.) And he says all presidents since Nixon have violated the constitution, most recently President Obama, with the bombing of Libya.
(Nixon Is Baaaack). We are at a stage in our national history when it is not only ok to be criminally insane, but ok to then to brag about it, such as bragging about waterboarding, as Dick Cheney has done in open public.

Our political discourse during a campaign (which seems to be defined as "24/7 365 days a year") is making up stories which the campaigning politicians think we want to hear.

We call these incessant events The Elections Of Pontius Pilots for a reason.

Karl's World, it's not just for Karl anymore.

Evidently General Petraeus went to Karl Christian Rove Imaginary University too.

General Petraeus' figures were released to show an increase in captured Taliban under his new surgey leadership.

The problem is that his figures approached 90% error, and he knew it:
Petraeus continued to exploit media ignorance of the discrepancy between the number of Taliban rank and file said to have been "captured" and the number actually sent to the FDIP.
(Press TV, accord IPS News & Huffpo). That explains why he qualified for and is therefore transferring to CIA?

He made figures up or misrepresented them ("we create our own reality") and the news reported it ("all of you, will be left to just study what we do").

In the post On The Memorial Daze - 2 it was pointed out that we are well into The Sixth Mass Extinction event as the Gulf of Mexico suffers its largest dead zone ever, due to deadly, massive flood waters with deadly toxins in that water.

We are at a "location" that is an unknown except that it is a relatively short distance between our "location" and ecocide.

So how is that Karl's World reality working out for you Circle W cowboys?