Friday, November 11, 2011

On the Daze of Assault

The tort or crime of assault, now prevalent and well established in American law, originally came to our shores with the adoption of the British Common Law in the Constitution, and the courts down through time.

Assault had a long history in the English common law, and a jury trial was available, as it now still is in American law.

Assault is often associated with battery, which means, for example, that one individual illegally hits another individual.

There is an international concept that is akin to assault, which indicates that nations can also commit a form of assault, which is illegal under the United Nations Charter:
The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has told the BBC the US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter.
(BBC, 2004). Others have pointed out that a resolution requesting the invasion of Iraq had been withdrawn:
The invasion of a single nation by another nation or group of nations is only legal under the UN Charter if such an invasion has been sanctioned by the vote of the UN Security Council. This did not happen in the case of the recent Iraq invasion, since the United States and Great Britain, led by the U.S. Secretary of State Powell, withdrew on March 17, 2003 their resolution to stage such an invasion from consideration by the UN Security Council when they realized that the majority of its members would vote against it.
(Dissident Voice, 2004). When we were growing up and going to public schools, individuals who committed assault were considered to be bullies.

Nations who follow such practices are seen as rogue nations, and those who fight in such illegal wars are veterans of illegal wars.
But those veterans who are speaking up about it are purifying the news. Somebody has to not be Blind Willie McTell:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Time: Child of the Empire

Remember the lyric "see the arrow on the door post" and you will understand why this "door" post discusses the video below.

This door opens at the time when another socially intoxicating warmonger holiday is upon us, one of the many instituted, then perpetuated by propaganda in order to expand upon the glory daze of the 1% elite who "do the wars".

Morning Joe on MSNBC (child of parent GE) continues to hawk the warmonger society regardless of the fact that the public continues to reject The W Direction as the wrong direction.

This morning the Time Magazine Peddler came through Morning Joe's parade stream to sell his magazines by hawking the notion of war as a good thing, all the while lamenting the fact that the American people do not like war.

Go figure that one, or instead realize that the American people traditionally think that war is a social disease, while the 1% warmongers have convinced themselves, and their lackey military elite who run The War Colleges, that war is good art.

The war magazine salesman indicates that his opinion of the Constitution is that it constitutes the appreciation of war because of the phrase "the common defense".

That war magazine salesman, being a member in good standing of Blind Willie McTell, fails to realize that "the common defense" is something the 99% (the commoners) determine, not their overlords, the 1% elite.

That is because the wars that the 1% lust for are never wars that defend the common 99% (as pointed out by The Father of the Constitution).

Rather, they are wars that tend to plunder or enslave those common 99%, and to make the world of the 99% a less safe place, because of less and less peace.

The magazine salesman goes on to say that no domestic job is as exalted as a military "job" is, and that military pay has gone up dramatically since 9/11.

Wow, the war magazine salesman guy can recruit too (is that the reason the 1% have seriously damaged the job market that the 99% have to labor in?)

The magazine war salesman guy fails to mention that soldiers get paid at most ten percent of what the war profiteers are paid for their human product, contract mercenaries (not official soldiers; mercenaries from Blackwater / Xe), which is about a million dollars a year for each mercenary.

Morning Joe pipes up to say that these soldiers "ran" cities in Iraq and Afghanistan, as if that means they know how to build nations (but do not learn first how to destroy them).

A recent map shows how they know "to run a city", revealing the incredible number of deaths in a city where they got lots of "run" experience (connect the dots), while a blog that went silent in 2007 tells the story of a family who, based on the soldiers "running a city" experience, had to join millions of others to flee their own nation and become refugees in Syria.

Is the war worshiping magazine salesman implying that we should let the military take over the political arena in the United States because the people feel that the military is the most competent American institution, even as they have for a decade disliked the wars the military fights (when the military invades and occupies sovereign nations)?

You're doin' a heckuva railroad job McTell ...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Memes of Penrose - 2

Two years ago on this date we posted about one of the more honest scientists on the planet.

Oh, did I mention that his honesty is controversial?

Goes with the territory, as was pointed out by the Toxins of Power blog a while back.

Anyway, here is the text of that post:

Clearly this blog is perceived by some to be radical when it comes to criticism of scientific viewpoints, whether those viewpoints are establishment viewpoints or rebel scientists' viewpoints.

When a theory does not pass the fundamental smell test this blog is likely to point it out if there is enough time to do a post on that subject.

Today I want to show that this blog has fairly mild criticisms compared to some of the criticisms leveled by world renowned scientists.

Before we begin let's remember that medical science, mental science, political science, and physics are all called science.

First offered for your perusal is the world famous Roger Penrose:
Quantum mechanics is an incredible theory that explains all sorts of things that couldn’t be explained before, starting with the stability of atoms. But when you accept the weirdness of quantum mechanics [in the macro world], you have to give up the idea of space-time as we know it from Einstein. The greatest weirdness here is that it [quantum mechanics] doesn’t make sense. If you follow the rules, you come up with something that just isn’t right.
(Discover). The Ecocosmology Blog calls out for a movement toward a new physics free from the blind faith Penrose talks about.

We criticize the flailing space programs of the nations of earth because they use eons old propellants while they cling to bad habits. But this blog's criticism is mild compared to the castigation some writers offer:
Bluntly, we're not going to get there by rocket ship.

The long and the short of what I'm trying to get across is quite simply that, in the absence of technology indistinguishable from magic — magic tech that, furthermore, does things that from today's perspective appear to play fast and loose with the laws of physics — interstellar travel for human beings is near-as-dammit a non-starter.
(Antipope). Meanwhile the rear view mirror debate about whether or not creationism or evolution best explains where we came from rages on as evolutionary scientists send mixed messages while backing down from relying on biological evolution to solve the cosmic problems humanity faces.

We have seemed radical I am sure when we point out what would be considered madness if an individual did what nations do sometimes. See for example "Etiology of Social Dementia" or "100 Years of Psycho Therapy - Take Cover" to mention two.

But some highly respected scientists consider the same subjects, offering criticism that would seem to be as severe as this blog ever is:
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). I have offered the notion that a reason we deny impending death or catastrophe can be a matter of capacity rather than moral turpitude, or a matter of self deceit of the physical crisis kind of the type people go through when they are freezing to death.

But I always call for the better essences within us to arise to the occasion by working together, even to the point of asking science and religion to work together.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

All Weather Is Local - 3

Two years ago, on this date, we began a series of posts in order to point out how people can think of weather in terms of what only they feel, see, and hear, gladly disregarding the world around them.

In other words, our local weather is a major factor in our concept of global warming and global climate change, to the point that in many cases people tend to think that "if it hasn't happened to me, then it really hasn't happened".

As an example, for deniers in the Washington, D.C. area, the snow of a few years ago was called "Snowmageddon or Snowpocalypse", as a slap at global warming scientists who are concerned about what they expect climate change to do to civilization.

In true denier fashion, when the catastrophes of 2011 came around, those same people, who had chortled about global warming because it had snowed, closed their eyes and ears to the reality happening all around them.

Nor did they say much about Snowmaggedon this month when millions went without power, some for a week or more, after wet, heavy snow broke records, trees, cars, buildings, and their giddy smugness, while double-digit numbers of people died.

One major exception to the denier dementia was a scientist who was substantially paid by a conservative denier organization (Koch brothers) to show that the globe was not warming.

His scientific conclusions were that global warming is happening no matter what is happening in any one locale, and he recanted his global warming skepticism, to the chagrin of the die hard deniers, who have a psychological problem of some sort.

Following is the text from the post two years ago:

How many times we have heard the political pundits repeat the statement that "all politics is local"?

A well known saying that has been attributed to Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill.

Some have likewise observed that "all weather is local" in the same sense it was intended by Tip.

The posts "Parochial Climate & Parochial Mentality" and "Coldest July or Warmest July?" point out the fact that people tend to base global climate concepts on the phenomenon of their local weather, the same way they fashion their political views.

Something close to home strikes them as being the way things are everywhere, which gets them in deep trouble on the world scene.

The parochial global climate view of things makes it difficult for governments to fashion a global policy because of a million beliefs that "all weather is local".

For that reason theory is emerging which states that governments will be forced to deal with the climate induced environmental catastrophes headed our way with a policy of triage.

The Rolling Stones and John Lennon straighten up Senator Inhofe after he neoConFuses Jumping Jack Flash with cow farts. Carbon Dioxide and other green house gas is Jumping Jack Flash (which sounds like the experience of serious climate change a la a bad weather outbreak):

I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
And I howled at my ma in the driving rain
I was raised by a toothless, bearded hag,
I was schooled with a strap right across my back
I was drowned, I was washed up and left for dead
I fell down to my feet and I saw they bled
I frowned at the crumbs of a crust of bread
I was crowned with a spike right thru my head ...

Jumping Jack Flash is a gas, gas, gas ...

The previous post in this series is here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stockholm Syndrome on Steroids? - 2

In the first post of this series, we pointed out that most Americans polled in an annual Gallup Poll think that the military is the most competent institution in America.

In that post we perused Gallup Poll figures from 2009, as shown on the graphic to the left (red lines added).

Today in 2011, the military is still seen as the most competent American institution, according to this year's Gallup Poll, even though the wars they are prosecuting are not at all popular.

Let's take a look for reasons and realities as to how it is that the military, once considered the lackey for the tyranny of the tyrants, has come full circle to invade and occupy the hearts of a once freedom loving people.

The words from December 23, 1776 should ring a few bells, since they are the words from a span of time when the 99% were pregnant with revolution in the air, and ready to give birth to a new nation by dispensing with the 1% control over them:
THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but "to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER" and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.
(The Crisis, by Thomas Paine, 1776, emphasis added). Mr. Paine was not playing the race card of any race when he used the word "slavery", nor did he try to hide the 800 lb. gorilla in the room, the military, which he considered to be an adjunct to that tyranny.

The notion that the military is a free-people's worst enemy, rather than the most competent democratic institution, is a truth that was well known and well established in the early America of our founders:
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied: and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. Those truths are well established.
(Greatest Source of Power Toxins, quoting James Madison, emphasis added). Yet here we are some 235 years later, yes, here we are back into the same tyrannical scenario, a scenario Dredd Blog set forth in a fairly recent post:
... the direction our nation is headed is to become a Big Brother Plutonomy at home, with a national foreign policy of Wartocracy, and a large domestic Police-Secretocracy to put down any resistance or rebellion within the homeland itself ... this end-game is already in place, but at this time somewhat hidden in the corporate media generated shadows, with the full backing of militant forces within and without, all eager and willing to make themselves known, by coming out of the closet ... the phrase "9/11 changed everything" means a departure, in terms of direction, from controlling the populace primarily via propaganda, which has been the model since about World War I, to a model of controlling the public once again primarily by force.
(The Homeland: Big Brother Plutonomy). That post quotes military sources and the main stream media, not left or right wing blogs, to prove the point.

The "slavery" or "involuntary servitude" Thomas Paine spoke of above is one of those unspoken Stockholm Syndrome conditions, unrelated to race.

But whether such conditions are race based or ideologically based, they are commonly hidden in plain sight within our culture from time to time:
"I wonder, John Lomax asked Blind Willie McTell, "I wonder if, if you know any songs about colored people havin' hard times here in the South" ... "Any complainin' songs, complainin' about the hard times and sometimes mistreatment [by] the whites? Have you got any songs that talk about that?" ... No, McTell said at once, he had no such songs, "not at the present time." Those were the songs of another era, but now "the white peoples is mighty good to the southern people, as far as I know" ... Read one way, Lomax's conversation with McTell is a tense social transcript from the Jim Crow South. Lomax, the overbearing if well intentioned white visitor, wants musical documents of poverty and racial oppression. The request may connote obliviousness on his part, as well as a condescending sympathy for blacks, but it is nevertheless rude and insulting, demanding that the singer violate basic, unspoken southern norms that should have been familiar to anyone reared in Texas. McTell knows better than to say anything against white people, let alone sing it, to a white man with even the hint of a southern accent and his wife, especially if ... a recorder is running ... McTell makes it clear that he knows songs that Lomax wants to hear ... he would never play them ... but to say as much and explain why would also violate the Jim Crow norms by making them explicit.
(Bob Dylan In America, Chap. 6, by Sean Wilentz, emphasis added). Are there any journalistic, unspeakable, and publicly known "words" in America today, words or ideas that would be considered to be "unspeakably rude" by our "free press", our main stream media?

Of course, because many subjects are considered to be taboo, and must remain unspoken lest the journalist be blacklisted and banned (recent examples are Keith Olbermann, Cenk Uygar, and David Shuster of MSNBC).

Or take for another example Independent Party member, Governor Jesse Ventura, who says he is protesting by no longer standing when the National Anthem is played, saying he is protesting, among other things, media censorship of his even mentioning his views (which criticize the military) as to the 9/11 story.

On Dredd Blog we use "Blind Willie McTell" as a metaphor or caricature of the American Mainstream Media, which is comprised of a few for-profit corporations.

That is why Chapter 6 of the Sean Wilentz book (ibid), concerning the actual Blind Willie McTell, struck me:
John Lomax, the archivist and collector, certainly wants what he wants, but ... McTell simply doesn't have it. The music that McTell knows best and prefers to perform carries no overt or even hidden social or political meaning. There are no old-fashioned sorrow songs about the black man's plight in his regular repertoire (and certainly not in his records, even though they are intended for the black "race record" market). His songs are up-to-date, and they are about sadness in love and gladness in love, drinking too much, benign nonsense, God, gambling, violence (much of it involving blacks attacking or killing other blacks), honoring life and death ... McTell is not a sharecropper or big-city laborer; he is a professional performer in a growing southern city. He lives within the iron structures of segregation ... and now he is making a very decent living playing music for whites as well as blacks and getting recorded commercially. For a black Atlantan in 1940, this amounted to a comparatively easy experience with white people -- while taking their money ...
(ibid). McTell is the consummate caricature for representing the for-profit, money oriented, corporate press, who make their living from selective news, like McTell made from his selective music.

If becoming more well to do, compared to his fellow blacks, required McTell to hold his tongue or to become a denier, lest he suffer (if he broke the unspoken, but totally binding, Jim Crow norms required for "black speech") he, like other southern blacks and like the U.S. press (newspeak), did it.

In this "Stockholm Syndrome on Steroids?" series Dredd Blog has pointed out that the military is now held in a mysteriously high regard, which is at odds with our American traditions written about above.

In fact, the military has by now been virtually made into a religion that cannot be negatively spoken of, lest those unspoken MOMCOM norms be violated.

This is clearly the work of an incessant propaganda campaign that has turned the disease of war into the art of deception, and has turned yet another hidden slavery or involuntary servitude into something to not be spoken of by the press.

"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth." --Albert Einstein

Sarcastic ode to the main stream media:

Lyrics to this song are here.