Friday, August 31, 2012

The Dogma of The High Priest In Chief - 2

The Persistence of Memory
The Obama guys referred all questions about the Clint Eastwood speech at the Republican Convention last night to artist Salvador Dali (see painting to the left).

Those who had hoped that "He Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken" (a.k.a. The High Priest In Chief) would show up and speak magic Bushisms were disappointed, but they were a tad mystified when The Outlaw Josie Wales showed up instead, with an empty chair, and then went on to talk with the empty chair about "serious republican subjects."

Bush II watched with Cheney I from an undisclosed disposition as Josie gave new meaning to The Chair of the RNC (Reince "E Pluribus" Priebus).

Shortly into "Josie's Speech" Bush II said to Cheney I, "this reminds me of my speech introducing my update to the Bible":
"I'm going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administration is written at least there's an authoritarian voice saying exactly what happened." —Calgary, Canada, March 17, 2009
(The Complete Bushisms). Cheney I quickly mumbled "torture is good" then they both refocused their attention to Josie.

When Josie got to the part about getting all rogue and mavericky then robbing banks Bush II excitedly quipped to Cheney I:
"One of the very difficult parts of the decision I made on the financial crisis was to use hardworking people's money to help prevent there to be a crisis." —Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 2009
(ibid, see also Banker Jekyll Will Hyde Your Money). In the final excruciating minutes of watching "the Josie Speech", Bush II waxed philosophical then got teary eyed.

He then put his arm around Cheney I who was feasting on roasted pig brains and still mumbling "torture is good", when Dubya said "Josie should wrap this up with one of my good lines", like:
"I'm telling you there's an enemy that would like to attack America, Americans, again. There just is. That's the reality of the world. And I wish him all the very best."—Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 2009
(ibid). Cheney I wiped his hands off on Bush II's shirt, as he mumbled "torture is good", before falling asleep during the applause.

Bush II turned out the lights as he spoke under his breath, "Jeb said he loves me."

The previous post in this series is here.

The Song About The Josie Wales Speech
(apologies to The Travelling Wilburys ...
the video of this song is below)
-//-
Tweeter and the monkey man hard up for campaign cash
Stayed up all night selling Koch pain and "stash"
To an undercover cop who had a sister "Gov. Jan"
For reasons unexplained she loved the monkey man

Tweeter was a boy scout before missin' a bus to vietnam
And found out the hard way nobody gives a damn
They knew that they found freedom just across the jersey line
So they hopped Gov. Christy's car took highway 99

(chorus)
And the walls came down all the way to hell
Never saw them when they're standing
Never saw them when they fell

The undercover cop never liked the monkey man
Even back in childhood he wanted to see him in the can
Jan got married at fourteen to a rackateer named bill
She made secret calls to the monkey man from a mansion on the hill

It was out on thunder road - Josie Wales at the wheel
They crashed into paradise - they could hear them tires squeal
The undercover cop pulled up and said everyone of you's a liar
If you don't surrender now it's gonna poll down to the wire

(chorus)

An ambulance rolled up - a state trooper close behind
Tweeter took his gun away and messed up his mind
The undercover cop was left tied up to a tree
Near the souvenir stand by a Bain-abandoned factory

Next day the undercover cop was hot in pursuit
He was taking the whole thing personal
He didn't care about the loot
Jan had told him many times Gov. Christie always taught
In jersey anythings legal as long as you don't get caught

(chorus)

Someplace by rahway prison they ran out of gas
The undercover cop had cornered them said boy, you didn't
Think that this could last
Jan jumped out of bed said there's someplace I gotta go
She took a gun out of the drawer and said it's best if you don't know

The undercover cop was found face down in a field
The monkey man was on the river bridge using Cheney as a shield
Jan said to the monkey man I'm not fooled by Cheney's curl
I knew him long before he ever became a jersey girl

(chorus)

Now the town of jersey city is quieting down again
I'm sitting in a gambling club "Wall Street Den"
The tv set been blown up, every bit of it is gone
Ever since the nightly news show that Josie's Speech was on

I guess I'll Jeb to florida and get myself some sun
There aint no more opportunity here, everythings been done
Sometime I think of tweeter, sometime I think of jan
Sometime I don't think about nothing but the monkey man



Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Right Is Wrong - 3

What Environmental Problems?
In this series we focus on political ideologies that are doing damage to various sections of society and to the environment.

The previous post in this series detailed how the federal judiciary has been loaded with right wing judges more so than at any time since the 1930's, when the not-so-great depression decimated our nation, and how that right-wing judiciary now decimates the legal landscape so that it ignores the ongoing pollution of the Earth's ecosystems.

Recently, in another series we looked at the 2012 Republican platform concerning the issue of rape as it impacts the right-wing ideology of removing a woman's right to choose.

Today we look at the impact that right-wing ideology is having on the administrative and legislative branches of government concerning the increasing damage being done to the Ecosystem of the Earth.

The 2012 Republican platform states:
The environment is getting cleaner and healthier. The nation’s air and waterways, as a whole, are much healthier than they were just a few decades ago. Efforts to reduce pollution, encourage recycling, educate the public, and avoid ecological degradation have been a success.
(G.O.P. Platform, "Protecting Our Environment", emphasis added). This is yet another position that reflects the denial psychosis determining everything from the "what economic problems" position John McCain had right up to the great financial collapse of 2008, reflecting an ongoing wide range of problems with reality within G.O.P. ideology:
''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.''
(When You Are Governed By Psychopaths - 3, quoting Karl Rove). This Republican "what environmental problems" fantasy comes at a time when scientists talk about "The Anthroopcene Epoch", "The Sixth Mass Extinction", and grave concern as about 200 species go extinct each day, i.e., about 73,000 species go extinct each year.

Green house gases which cause global warming induced climate change are at an all time high, as scientists warn us about crossing a line that will bring certain catastrophe:
Humanity may soon be approaching the boundaries for global freshwater use, change in land use, ocean acidification and interference with the global phosphorous cycle (see Fig. 1). Our analysis suggests that three of the Earth-system processes — climate change, rate of biodiversity loss and interference with the nitrogen cycle — have already transgressed their boundaries. For the latter two of these, the control variables are the rate of species loss and the rate at which N2 is removed from the atmosphere and converted to reactive nitrogen for human use, respectively. These are rates of change that cannot continue without significantly eroding the resilience of major components of Earth-system functioning. Here we describe these three processes.
...
... biodiversity loss in the Anthropocene has accelerated massively. Species are becoming extinct at a rate that has not been seen since the last global mass-extinction event.
...
Modern agriculture is a major cause of environmental pollution, including large-scale nitrogen- and phosphorus-induced environmental change. At the planetary scale, the additional amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus activated by humans are now so large that they significantly perturb the global cycles of these two important elements.
(The Damage Cannot Be Undone?, quoting Journal of Nature). Observers note that right-wing ideology is taking us back to the dark ages:
I’ve kept to domestic issues, but there are two dangerous developments in the international arena, which are a kind of shadow that hangs over everything we’ve discussed. There are, for the first time in human history, real threats to the decent survival of the species.

One has been hanging around since 1945. It’s kind of a miracle that we’ve escaped it. That’s the threat of nuclear war and nuclear weapons. Though it isn’t being much discussed, that threat is, in fact, being escalated by the policies of this administration and its allies. And something has to be done about that or we’re in real trouble.

The other, of course, is environmental catastrophe. Practically every country in the world is taking at least halting steps towards trying to do something about it. The United States is also taking steps, mainly to accelerate the threat. It is the only major country that is not only not doing something constructive to protect the environment, it’s not even climbing on the train. In some ways, it’s pulling it backwards.

And this is connected to a huge propaganda system, proudly and openly declared by the business world, to try to convince people that climate change is just a liberal hoax. “Why pay attention to these scientists?”

We’re really regressing back to the dark ages. It’s not a joke. And if that’s happening in the most powerful, richest country in history, then this catastrophe isn’t going to be averted -- and in a generation or two, everything else we’re talking about won’t matter. Something has to be done about it very soon in a dedicated, sustained way.
(Later Than We Think?, quoting Dr. Noam Chomsky). The psychopathic nature of these right-wing positions was discussed in the post The Peak of Sanity - 5.

The conservative American Meteorological Society says:
Climate is always changing. However, many of the observed changes noted above are beyond what can be explained by the natural variability of the climate. It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide. The most important of these over the long term is CO2, whose concentration in the atmosphere is rising principally as a result of fossil-fuel combustion and deforestation. While large amounts of CO2 enter and leave the atmosphere through natural processes, these human activities are increasing the total amount in the air and the oceans. Approximately half of the CO2 put into the atmosphere through human activity in the past 250 years has been taken up by the ocean and terrestrial biosphere, with the other half remaining in the atmosphere.
(2012 Official Statement, emphasis added). The choice is whether to believe lying politicians or to believe scientists who are seriously trying to help us avoid disaster.

The previous post in this series is here.



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Peak of Sanity - 5

Infinite supply of oil is a myth?
In this series Dredd Blog has been exploring the history of massive errors that civilization made long ago, through "captains of industry" and government, when they addicted civilization to non-renewable dirty oil (see The Peak of Sanity - 3).

An addiction which has been polluting the environment in many ways ever since (see A Closer Look ...).

The Dredd Blog System has honed in on the history of climate science as well, and has also mapped the struggle that has ensued once the private oil empire and climate-science-environmentalists collided ideologically (see e.g. The Exceptional American Denial).

Regular readers know that we even contemplated the issue of criminal culpability (see Is 'Insanity' A Valid Defense To Ecocide? - 3) for those who are perpetuating global warming induced climate change.

Additionally, this blog has taken up the issue that psychological issues are also important factors for society to contemplate (see MOMCOM's Mass Suicide & Murder Pact - 5) in terms of the oil addiction equation.

In today's post I intend to focus and clarify, to some degree, by again advancing  both criminal and psychological avenues that should be pursued, depending on the particular facts and actors involved.

We begin with the traditions that our nation considers when it is contemplating the notion of criminal culpability:
We define as having criminal intent any person who calculates that there is a definite possibility their actions will result in harm to others.

Equally, we define as criminally negligent anyone who is aware that an individual is likely to harm others but who ignores the situation.

In the not-too-distant future will politicians who intentionally ignore global climate change, or who obstruct action to implement conscientious policies to prevent deterioration of climate conditions, be deemed criminally negligent?

The scale of death and destruction resulting from global warming may potentially exceed losses due to genocides and world wars.

We need discussion of legal and moral accountability for gross negligence when it comes to destruction at this level.
(Huffington Post, James O' Dea). There are two bases that could support criminal culpability on the part of the intransigent movers and shakers in the dirty oil industry.

First, there is little doubt that the oil barons hold tight rein on the expertise involved in finding oil fields then extracting oil:
The Texas oil patch exports expertise worldwide. If the Russians or Indonesians need an assessment of oil reserves, they pick up the phone and call Houston or Dallas. The horizontal drilling and fracking techniques that have revolutionized gas recovery came out of Texas.

The employment and knowledge base is broad and deep.
(Dallas Morning News). Under our laws, then, they are held to a higher, professional, specialized standard because they have an expertise that gives them distinct advantage, know-how, and control.

Secondly, as the reality of global warming induced climate change became more and more certain, some of them acted criminally by covering up the grave dangers that would arise as a result of increasing green house gas release, and other pollution, into the only biosphere we have which is necessary for civilization's existence and health.

Some oil industry scientists, such as Marion K. Hubbert, circa 1950, also advanced the formula and theory for "peak oil", indicating that even though oil usage and addiction was increasing, oil reserve quantity was going to reach a peak, then production would level out, then decline (see A Peek At The Peak Oil Catastrophe).

That would eventually end up as a disaster for civilization unless alternate sources of energy, such as solar, wind, and other renewable resources were developed for serious, widespread use (see A Methanol Economy Way Out of Here - 5).

So, how did the private empire, the 1% oil barons, react and behave when they were confronted with the dangers that their dirty oil imposed on civilization?

The dirty oil barons of ExxonMobil, during the era of longtime CEO Lee “Iron Ass” Raymond, formed and funded the climate science deniers, and had so much power that they could control nations (see MOMCOM: The Private Parts - 2):
ExxonMobil had, in fact, self-consciously invested in the dissemination of doubt about climate change. Under Lee Raymond, ExxonMobil had persistently funded a public policy campaign in Washington and elsewhere that was transparently designed to raise public scepticism about the science that identified fossil fuels as a cause of global warming.
(Private Empire, by Steve Coll, p. 184). They were exhibiting either criminal or psychopathic behavior and proclivities, or both.

Consider the incredulous realm of the psychopath and how utterly dangerous that mental problem would be in the context of Ecocide:
The psychopath is callous, yet charming. He or she will con and manipulate others with charisma and intimidation and can effectively mimic feelings to present as “normal” to society. The psychopath is organized in their criminal thinking and behavior, and can maintain good emotional and physical control, displaying little to no emotional or autonomic arousal, even under situations that most would find threatening or horrifying. The psychopath is keenly aware that what he or she is doing is wrong, but does not care.
(When You Are Governed By Psychopaths - 2). Knowing that millions of people will be harmed if something is not done about global warming induced climate change, but not caring, is the behavior of a psychopath:
What distinguished the corporation's activity during the late 1990's and the first Bush term was the way it crossed into disinformation. Even within ExxonMobil's K Street office, a haven of lifelong employees devoted to the corporation's viewpoints and principles, an uneasy recognition gathered among some of the corporation's lobbyists that some of the climate policy hackers in the ExxonMobil network were out of control and might do shareholders real damage, in ways comparable to the fate of tobacco companies. The more it went on, and the more Greenpeace and other activist groups exposed ExxonMobil's more clandestine investments, the more it became clear that the corporation was taking on risk. If ExxonMobil were ever judged in a courtroom to be cooking science to appease Raymond's personal beliefs about warming issues, it could be devastating.
(ibid, Private Empire, p. 184-185). However, when another CEO took over the reins of ExxonMobil, the private empire then admitted that global warming induced climate change was real.

That is a mitigating factor because of, among other things, the potential that they would become less destructive and psychopathic than they had been under the Raymond stewardship, which was leading toward a bad place legally (see A Case of Big Oil vs Climate Change) and therefore was financially endangering the private empire.

That apparent honesty under the new CEO can't necessarily be said about other dirty oil baron corporations, because vast amounts of money are still being spent by oil patch to deceive the public (see "Heartland Institute" at Thin Ice) and note:
As record-breaking floods, fires, and drought affect more regions of the world, the risk of not just more loss of life but massive and sustained loss of life becomes statistically inevitable. How any one of us responds to the risk of harm to others defines whether we are morally clear or morally clouded. Here is a simple analogy about our moral and legal responsibility for taking risks:
You take little Jenny to school and you are met by the principal who says his electrician tells him the school's electrical wiring is old and faulty and there is significant chance it will overheat in places and cause a fire. The principal, who has no expertise in inspecting wiring, says the electrician doesn't know what he is talking about. Any school official or parent who knowingly sent their child into that school would be held criminally negligent if it caught fire.
The same is true for climate change; we have to make morally coherent choices based on the information currently available to us if we don't want to be held accountable as accessories to what may be the crime of the century.
(ibid, Huffington Post, James O' Dea). So, will the denialism be dealt with by psychiatrists designing and fashioning therapy, or by criminal courts fashioning criminal punishment, or both? (see The Startling Accuracy of Referring to Politicians as 'Psychopaths', The Atlantic; and see Toxins of Power Blog).

Note that George Monbiot wrote:
"Yesterday was August 28th 2012. Remember that date. It marks the day when the world went raving mad.

Three things of note happened. The first is that a record Arctic ice melt had just been announced by the scientists studying the region. The 2012 figure has not only beaten the previous record, established in 2007. It has beaten it three weeks before the sea ice is likely to reach its minimum extent. It reveals that global climate breakdown is proceeding more rapidly than most climate scientists expected. But you could be forgiven for missing it, as it scarcely made the news at all.
...
When your children ask how and why it all went so wrong, point them to yesterday's date, and explain that the world is not led by rational people."
(His piece is in the Guardian). Another writer has touched upon the subject of this series too:
Dr. R.H. Flutes: "A lie here and there is not a good tactic. Consistent lying is the best course of action because it is seamless... a lie leading to a lie. It is not unlike a well-written piece of music. Fluid. Coherent. And best of all, it makes us feel good."

And then I asked, "And you have no reservations about the idea of lying to millions and millions of Americans and the morality of deception?"

And at that moment I have to be honest with you, the doctor upon hearing my statement began to laugh so hard he doubled up in his chair. It must have been over a minute before he composed himself.

And then he said: "We are a nation of sugar freaks. Give us something that satisfies us for a few minutes at a time and we will forgive and forget everything. We have virtually forgotten about the Iraq War. The thousands upon thousands who died. The chaos. The instability in the region. Over 2 trillion of our dollars down the drain. Our young men and women killed, wounded. Where is the outrage? Most Americans don't even know what happened or care. And why don't they care? Good lies. Constant lying. Consistent lying. A lie that flows into a lie that flows into a lie."
(Barry Levinson, The Age of Insanity). Another author explains this serious problem in our culture:
We’re in the midst of a lying epidemic, according to James B. Stewart, author of Tangled Webs: How False Statements Are Undermining America: From Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff.
(America's Lying Problem). You might also want to review the Dredd Blog post The Dredd Philosophy is The Dread Truth where we discuss an attempt by congress to make certain lies illegal, which was struck down by federal courts as an infringement on First Amendment free speech territory.

Facts are the only ways to solutions, the lack of fact is the way to problems.

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


Monday, August 27, 2012

Evolution From Left to Right - 4

The "Prospering Prisons" Business Model
In this series we have been discussing how an evolution from left to right is, and has been, taking place in several nations.

In the first post Dredd Blog covered Jared Lee Lochner, in the second post Dredd Blog covered the cowardly Norwegian child killer.

In the third post we focused on more recent mass murder events, so today, I begin to expand this concept so as to take a look into the evolution from left to right within "institutions of governing", whether those institutions are made up of people on the federal payroll directly (see Homeland Security Happy Daze - 2), or whether instead they actively control government from the sidelines in the privacy of corporate structures (see MOMCOM: The Private Parts - 2).

That those "private structures" are fused with right-wing military adventurism is clear if we take a look at arms sales.
Top Arms Peddlers

The graph to the right, from the New York Times, shows that arms sales are at a high, and that we make up over 3/4ths of worldwide weapon sales (U.S. Arms Sales Make Up Most of Global Market) while we talk about a lot of "peace".

The main institutions of governing to be focused on, in terms of the foundational structure of American life, are the military, the oil industry, and the media (see MOMCOM: Mean Welfare Queen), but when that structure is activated into "imperial activity", another term is used to describe that scenario (see The Virgin MOMCOM).

At various points during these posts it can help to link to posts from other series that have some relevance, so that readers can get more deeply into the subject matter by looking at other source materials.

Of course the originating factor responsible for the evolution from left to right is right-wing propaganda designed to destroy left-wing ideas and replace them with right-wing ideas.

The critical machinery for the success of promulgating that right-wing dogma is the vast main stream media, the celebrity portion of MOMCOM (see Blind Willie McTell News), aptly described by Adam Smith:
One of the most important comments on deceit, I think, was made by Adam Smith. He pointed out that a major goal of business is to deceive and oppress the public.

And one of the striking features of the modern period is the institutionalization of that process, so that we now have huge industries deceiving the public — and they're very conscious about it, the public relations industry. Interestingly, this developed in the freest countries — in Britain and the US — roughly around time of WWI, when it was recognized that enough freedom had been won that people could no longer be controlled by force. So modes of deception and manipulation had to be developed in order to keep them under control
"...
(The Deceit Business, quoting Noam Chomsky). At times that vast private industry, the main stream media, is not quite enough to "keep them under control", so other means and methods are resorted to:
Hoover supervised dozens of FBI agents who broke into the homes of Berkeley protest leaders and tapped their phones. The FBI compiled dossiers with intimate details of the lives of hundreds of students, planted informers and provocateurs within the ranks of campus antiwar groups, and tried to disrupt constitutionally protected political activities.

Not content with spying on the students, Hoover authorized illegal surveillance of professors and college administrators who were deemed too sympathetic to the campus radicals. The FBI's intelligence-gathering operation even extended into the heart of California's political and business establishment: the members of the university's Board of Regents. And Hoover secretly worked to get the regents to fire the university's president, Clark Kerr, for failing to crack down on the student protesters.
(Wall Street Journal, book review: Subversives, by Seth Rosenfeld). Even Ronald Reagan (once a liberal democrat) evolved rightward to become a McCarthyite snitch or spy against his fellow actors.

Reagan did this while he was head of the Screen Writers Guild when he had access to all the guild's records on actors, as well as their trust.

He even had the FBI spy on his daughter Maureen, free speech activists, and had professors of universities fired for their political views.

About 10,000 FBI records about Reagan, released in a FOIA lawsuit, prove this (See video below, beginning at 56:47 for that specific Reagan data).

But what does that have to do with evolution from left to right?

Well, as that evolution proceeds the methods used have grown from operating on the private side of life into operating from the government side.

One important meaning of this is the fact that we now pay the government to spy on ourselves.

Whereas, before that right-wing public spy system evolved, when the nation was more to the left, and before this government spy monster had raised its head from the depths of cultural depravity, corporations paid for their own spying.

Now the corporations still run a vast public relations business, however, it is the government that "has your back" (wink, wink):
* Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.

* An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.

* In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings - about 17 million square feet of space.

* Many security and intelligence agencies do the same work, creating redundancy and waste. For example, 51 federal organizations and military commands, operating in 15 U.S. cities, track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks.

* Analysts who make sense of documents and conversations obtained by foreign and domestic spying share their judgment by publishing 50,000 intelligence reports each year - a volume so large that many are routinely ignored.
(The Keystone Complex To The Rescue - 3, emphasis added). Yes, as evolution from left to right took place, what Adam Smith and Noam Chomsky called the "huge industries deceiving the public", paid for by corporate money, became huge government spy agencies paid for by the public treasury.

One of their functions is to dispense information in order to fashion and form what people think is happening (see Warriors Press For Propaganda).

How natural is that selection, how fit is it to survive, and how far to the right will it evolve?

When your president is a McCarthyite informant against his fellow celebrities:


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