Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Homeland: Big Brother Plutonomy - 2

In the first post of this series we focused on the Orwellian nature of the plutocracy that has replaced the traditional American government.

We also focused on the plutonomy that replaced the traditional American economy.

Some recent information, based upon the recent census, indicates the scale and nature of the plutonomy, which we will get into, but first lets remember what the Wall Street Journal said about the inherent nature of a plutonomy:
... the U.S. is becoming a Plutonomy – an economy dependent on the spending and investing of the wealthy. And Plutonomies are far less stable than economies built on more evenly distributed income and mass consumption.
(Wall Street Journal, 2010). This statement was made before the national census data had been completely perused, nevertheless, have you noticed that instability in the economy plutonomy is talked about 24/7 lately?

The new census data, recently released, indicate that the plutonomy has set in hard, with no natural, traditional way out:
When the Census Bureau this month released a new measure of poverty, meant to better count disposable income, it began altering the portrait of national need. Perhaps the most startling differences between the old measure and the new involves data the government has not yet published, showing 51 million people with incomes less than 50 percent above the poverty line. That number of Americans is 76 percent higher than the official account, published in September. All told, that places 100 million people — one in three Americans — either in poverty or in the fretful zone just above it.

After a lost decade of flat wages and the worst downturn since the Great Depression, the findings can be thought of as putting numbers to the bleak national mood — quantifying the expressions of unease erupting in protests and political swings. They convey levels of economic stress sharply felt but until now hard to measure.
(NY Times, emphasis added). When these numbers are crunched down then analyzed in terms of the effect on government, give a loud and clear message:
I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this: A highly complex and largely discrete set of laws and exemptions from laws has been put in place by those in the uppermost reaches of the U.S. financial system. It allows them to protect and increase their wealth and significantly affect the U.S. political and legislative processes. They have real power and real wealth. Ordinary citizens in the bottom 99.9% are largely not aware of these systems, do not understand how they work, are unlikely to participate in them, and have little likelihood of entering the top 0.5%, much less the top 0.1%. Moreover, those at the very top have no incentive whatsoever for revealing or changing the rules. I am not optimistic.
(Investment Manager View). Let's face it, if "money talks, and BS walks", and if "s/he who has the gold makes the rules", then we are talking about who rules America:
This document focuses on the "Top 1%" as a whole because that's been the traditional cut-off point for "the top" in academic studies, and because it's easy for us to keep in mind that we are talking about one in a hundred. But it is also important to realize that the lower half of that top 1% has far less than those in the top half; in fact, both wealth and income are super-concentrated in the top 0.1%, which is just one in a thousand.
(Who Rules America). The Occupy Wall Street movement that has spread around the nation is aware of what has happened and they want America back.

The problem is that the 1% feel that they have earned their place, have created a valid plutocracy, and the 99% will simply have to learn to deal with it and live with it.

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

Friday, November 18, 2011

NeoConrad & The Boo Dogs - 2

There are some rumors floating around that a democrat on the Kick The Can Down The Road Committee is going to cave to the neoCons.

We seem to have entered the age of Pontius Pilate politicians, with each party having members who are called members of that party in name only (RINO, DINO).

Two years ago on this date Dredd Blog posted the following:
Senator Conrad, in his always feigned manner, was on Morning Joe today whining about deficits.

His position is phoney because the greatest cause of the deficits is the warmonger ideology in bed with the plundering of the treasury.

Senator Conrad always votes for war and war spending that cause crippling deficits and loss of financial sovereignty, but is dead set against health care reform that will help future budgets by arresting criminal cost increases.

War welfare is bankrupting the part of the country we call the middle class and the poor, while at the same time it is filling the banks of the robber barons and oil barons with unprecedented plunder.

Rid the government of these types of hypocrites.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Grid and Bear It

Over two years ago we addressed the national power grid in the post A Grid We Can Believe In.

In today's post we will continue the argument that our energy problems in the United States are a matter of choice in "the first instance", and guess what, our energy problems are a matter of choice in "the second instance" as well.

By "the first instance" I mean that we have always had a choice to use or not to use "fossil fuels" or "hydrocarbon fuels" such as oil, natural gas, and coal, which are finite and therefore non-renewable.

And we have always made the wrong choice in the first instance.

By "the second instance" I mean that we have always had a choice to efficiently use those fuels, but we have always made the wrong choice:
Today’s electric power system is shockingly inefficient in terms of both resource use and the market economy.

Approximately two-thirds of the fuel burned to generate electricity is lost in the generation and delivery process. Or, to put it another way, our electric power system operates at approximately 33 percent efficiency.

There has been no improvement in efficiency in the electric power industry since the 1960s.
(Electric Power System, emphasis added, see also). It is almost the same as leaking 67% of the oil coming out of a well, to pollute the ocean with it, like Deepwater Horizon, or like burning off 67% of natural gas into thin air, or like putting 67% of the coal straight into landfills without using it.

In other words we are wrong in the second instance for using only 33% of the energy source in a shameful, utterly wasteful, polluting, national infrastructure for a century, a hundred years.

Then when we discover the gross inefficiency, we are wrong for making no improvements to this shameful, utterly wasteful, polluting, national infrastructure for a half of a century, for fifty years, and that wrong adds criminality to the scenario.

To make those first and second instance choices is simply insane, crazy, incompetent, foolish, and utterly mindless, and it threatens national security.

Especially at a time when jobs are needed desperately, at a time when the national power grid is vulnerable to solar incursions, and at a time when we should have been making better choices for a century now.

Remember when we used to laugh a Japan for their cheap trinkets, then not too long after that they took over the automobile industry with better quality, so lets not laugh at China:
China has the world's fastest supercomputer, the fastest high speed trains and is leading the world in building nuclear plants. One of its more remarkable achievements has been modernizing the grid. The country has developed a 1 million AC volt transmission line that loses only 8 percent of its power on a 1,200 mile journey from the power plant in western China to the cities in the east.

An equivalent U.S. line, with only 760 kilovolts, would lose 80 percent of its power.
(GreenTech Media, Michael Kanellos, emphasis added). We are destroying, then rebuilding, the infrastructure in foreign nations during the ongoing oil wars while we let fellow Americans rot in the inefficiency here at home.

The 1% energy barons are not effected by the price of waste so they do not concern themselves with the suffering of the 99%.

Likewise, the apologist propagandist lackeys of the 1% will say that there is no choice, but those media puppets are deceitful, because there are many other and better choices, but the time for all the deceit to stop is long overdue.

As a result of willful choices, we have entered the criminally culpable era (Is 'Insanity' A Valid Defense To Ecocide?).

It is as if the 99% are beginning to realize that, like other mass murderers, the powers that be will not stop until they are stopped.

The dirty oil barons, dirty natural gas barons, and dirty coal barons will not stop on their own, rather, they must be stopped by their victims.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Impact of Toxins of Power On Evolution - 2

In the first post of this series we projected the notion that the 1% plunder barons (who control and who are the government) would plot against the OWS movement of the 99% around the nation.

Homeland Security ideology is a runaway toxic cancer created by the neoCons during the Republican Presidency and congress of the recent Bush II years.

Reports are coming out in various locations, including the video below, indicating that Homeland Security is coordinating and plotting the demise of OWS.

This is the W direction we expected and indicated in The Homeland: Big Brother Plutonomy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

All Ocean Experience Is Local - 2

Two years ago on this date Dredd Blog had the following post about ice-melt affecting the oceans:
This is the last of the "all ___ is local" series, at least for awhile.

The subject of the oceans really can illustrate the reality that we are all in this Earth experience together, really can show the fallacy of the "all ___ is local" mantra, because what one nation does environmentally will have an effect on the other nations within the global community.

Scientific papers are constantly being released which in effect say that "it is worse than we thought last time".

One crisp example concerns the Greenland ice sheet:
Satellite observations and a state-of-the art regional atmospheric model have independently confirmed that the Greenland ice sheet is losing mass at an accelerating rate, reports a new study in Science.

...

The Greenland ice sheet contains enough water to cause a global sea level rise of seven metres [about 21 feet].

...

Without [some lucky] moderating effects, post-1996 Greenland mass loss would have been double the amount of mass loss observed now.
(Science Daily, emphasis added). A 21 foot (7 meter) rise in ocean level would certainly have the effect of destroying civilization as we know it.

The great and small sea ports of current civilization would be destroyed, as a billion people who live in the areas that would go underwater migrated, relocated, or perished.

The small nation of Greenland could effect our entire civilization on earth?

Yes, however, the nation of Greenland by itself has no control over global weather, a function of all nations that are warming the global temperature of the earth by their own seemingly local endeavours.

If we add to this phenomenon the fact that the Arctic & Antarctic ice are also experiencing the same thing, factoring in that it is not reversible in any meaningful way, it is an incredibly serious matter.

The next post in this series is here.


Monday, November 14, 2011

The Penn State of Mind

What is up with Penn State University students rioting because their football coach was fired for covering up the sexual abuse of children?

The rioting students destroyed news vehicles and other property, but there were no arrests of the rioters by campus police or any other police.

Meanwhile peaceful protesters (who are unhappy that the 1% have established a coup and have installed a plutocracy to rule over the 99%) are shot and arrested around the country.

And don't forget the Kent State of mind where students were shot down and killed on their university campus for wanting a war stopped, shot down in cold blood by American storm troopers who were in disagreement with the students' want for peace.

This is The Penn State of Mind, which should now dampen the laughter and skepticism concerning Dredd Blog posts entitled This is Your Brain on Propaganda.

This public behavior by a university and its students, an American institution that is supposed to be the seat of American intelligence, the seat of American learning, yes, the seat of the future of America, comes at a time when most Republican primary candidates are advocating war and torture on the public airwaves in public debates.

These young riotous Penn State students, after attending this university, after watching leaders clamoring to be the warmonger in chief, the torturer in chief, yes, after graduating, are going to sit down at the seats of power, they are going to be given the helm of government sooner or later.

You can bet that over six billion people in the world (who are watching these events take place in a nation that has military bases strewn across the world, who are watching a warlike nation that has been invading and occupying other nations for a decade) are wondering "what ... is this the future of America?"




Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 10

In the previous excursion I broached the subject of human-microbe symbiosis, a promising yet unexpected new direction in microbial research and science.

I say "unexpected" because it has the impact of redefining what the nature of our physical being is, redefining what it is "to be human" physically, and, as I will point out in this post, mentally as well.

One of the areas of focus for this new research is our "gut microbes", a symbiont tiny world within us, and so I naturally wondered about the notion of "a gut feeling", a subject we touched upon previously:
I have a "gut feeling about this" is a common utterance amongst some people.

Once upon a time we would chuckle or giggle at the question: "Is a 'gut feeling' a signal from your microbes?"

But more and more a "yes" answer to that question is looking neither fully impossible nor fully improbable, according to experts in this field of human-microbe symbiosis ...
(On The New Meaning of Human). As it turns out, some macro-level psychological research was finding its way into a book at about the same time some microbiologists were preparing papers to reveal incredible details about their new discoveries.

Let's break from the subject of our physical gut to notice some comments from one book review of that psychological research:
There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. That masterpiece is Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow.

Kahneman, a winner of the Nobel Prize for economics, distils a lifetime of research into an encyclopedic coverage of both the surprising miracles and the equally surprising mistakes of our conscious and unconscious thinking. He achieves an even greater miracle by weaving his insights into an engaging narrative that is compulsively readable from beginning to end.
(Financial Times). Another take on that same book presents a quiz so that you can see your gut feelings at work, even as it ties the subject of our gut to the subject of our mind:
The questions in this quiz are designed to trigger System 1, which relies heavily on intuition to provide us with answers that we perceive to be correct. Whenever you find yourself “going with your gut,” that’s System 1 — often standing in the way of rational thought. It’s no wonder that the word “heuristic” has its root in the word “eureka.” Go ahead and take this quiz, based (loosely) on Kahneman’s four decades of research; follow your gut and see just how wrong you are.
(Vanity Fair, emphasis added). That book review leaves no doubt that cognition is clearly being linked to our physical gut, in terms of types of reasoning.

I should add that Kahneman’s book ties in nicely with the work of Lakoff, whom we have pondered at times, and who notes that probably "98 percent of your reasoning is unconscious - what your brain is doing behind the scenes" (The Toxic Bridge To Everywhere).

We have also noted that symbiont microbes even take part in the construction of our brains as well as the construction of our genetic material (Hypothesis: Microbes Generate Toxins of Power).

And for the science-fiction aficionados, there are some indications that some of the microbes on Earth may have originated elsewhere in the solar system, then were deposited here on Earth by meteorites or comets:
So, we have scientists telling us of not only microbial influence on the functioning of human thinking and human genetics, but that that science is now followed up with the staggering potential that some of that microbial influence on human thinking may come from microbes from another world.
(A Structure RE: The Corruption of Memes - 4). If microbes do some of our thinking for us, it behooves us to ponder the nature of microbes, as we also ponder where we might be taken by them, seeing as how we are evidently partnered with them in a symbiotic relationship.

Now we can continue the discussion about how symbiont microbes dwelling within all of us may do a lot of our "thinking" for us.

Let's do so by contemplating the subject of "global warming", which some scientific skeptics have recently changed their minds about, to now agree that global warming is real and is happening here on the Earth.

The battle lines in the global warming storm are drawn along the contours of the subject in the form of a debate as to whether human civilization is causing that global warming, or whether or not it is a purely natural phenomenon which will happen no matter what human civilization does or does not do.

That "debate" is not dispositive of the problem, because there are a host of other forms of pollution, not directly related to global warming, which are causing concern about ecocide.

International discussions, international interaction, and international cognition as to how to deal with ecocide is increasing.

We looked into one aspect of international thinking in the post Is Insanity A Valid Defense to Ecocide?, where some embryonic international development for trying to deal with the subject is beginning to surface.

The two lines of discourse or belief concerning global warming and ecocide contain stark contrasts.

Those who conclude that certain human behavior is endangering human civilization, is endangering its very existence by ecocide, are in the majority of scientific consensus.

The minority side of that discourse does not believe that humanity can have a fatal impact on human civilization by causing ecocide.

The tweaker for the day, then, is the question: "what kind of microbe would want to destroy the Earth's environment, and what kind of microbe would not?"

Can we can entertain a notion that alien microbes (UMO - unidentified microbe organisms), as well as Earth born microbes, influence (not control) human reasoning, and that the alien microbes are the only ones that might want to destroy the life on Earth?

Further contemplation of that subject is here and here.

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