Friday, October 26, 2012

Vote Early, Vote Today

Ye olde voting booth
I received an email from President Obama urging people to vote early.

He intimated that he had voted early, and it is a good thing.

Regular readers know that Dredd Blog recently indicated a weather problem for the large population centers, weather that has now become infamous as Hurricane Sandy.

Sea level rise around the globe is highest where Hurricane Sandy is heading in the Northeastern United States, an area that will also have several high tides SUN-WED, thus adding the coming storm surge reality, so, we can deduce that it could cause serious flooding.

Will it affect the election?

Vote early.

Polls may be hard to get to after Sunday afternoon – Monday morning, and if there are power outages that last a while, it could be even more problematic.

Vote today if you can … in VA, NJ, NY, DE, MD, DC, MA, and PA too.

Add WV and states bordering it if the Frankenstorm takes shape when the two storms meld … bringing a "snowpocalypse" that might also hamper access to the polls.

Voting machines could be down … flooding … power outages could last a while … so don't risk your vote.

International Observers are being sent to monitor this election, angering Texas Governor Rick Perry, who threatened to arrest them, causing an international stir.

But the election science shows that U.S. Elections are mysterious black boxes in areas where unverifiable voting machines are used:
Retired NSA analyst Michael Duniho has worked for nearly seven years trying to understand voting anomalies in his home state of Arizona and Pima County. This publication has written extensively about apparent vote machine manipulation in a 2006 RTA Bond issue election that is still being fought in the courts. Said Duniho, “It is really easy to cheat using computers to count votes, because you can’t see what is going on in the machine.”
(NSA Analyst on Elections, Text only Google Version, see also this). McTell News member Chuck Todd of MSNBC calls these types of stories "conspiracy theories", but there is more to it than that.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Illusion of Environmental Security - 2

Elite Myths
On this date in 2009 a Dredd Blog post mentioned that a common myth was to think that the impact of global warming induced climate change was something that happened to other people and places, but not to the U.S.A.

We can note now how true it was it back then, now that we know  U.S. immunity to global climate change is a myth.

How true that post has turned out to be, especially now that we know that the U.S. Northeast Coast's heavy population center has the world's highest sea level rise rate, and also after widespread drought and other climate calamities have struck since then.

And now for the second year in a row that large population center is again being threatened with storm surges.

Anyway, here is the text of that post:

The general illusory feeling "it can't happen here" is spreading into the environmental catastrophe realm.

It is getting to be chic to think environmental catastrophe is something that happens to the other people, but not to us.

Thus, it is an illusion.

Currently about half of the earth is suffering drought conditions, in seven years it will be about 60%, and in fifteen years 70% will be suffering from drought.

It causes massive upheaval:
Norman Myers, an Oxford University professor and one of the first scholars to draw attention to the unfolding problem, estimated that by 2050 there will be more than 25 million refugees attributable to climate change, which will replace war and persecution as the leading cause of global displacement.

"The numbers could go off the charts," he said.
(LA Times). Some of the causes of these catastrophic problems cannot be undone because we have already gone too far.

Even the scientist quoted above in the LA Times has his blind spot:
Africa would be heaviest hit because so many people's livelihoods are dependent on farming and livestock.
(ibid, emphasis added). Did you notice that pattern? The "other people" depend on farming but we don't depend on farming because we get our food at the supermarket.

Wrong, every human being and every society is as dependent on farming as the other.

Food does not magically show up in the supermarket by using the Star Trek food making computer.

Reliance on "heroes of war" or superheroes will not change the reality either.

Our food production and delivery system, as well as other life support systems, are subject to severe damage from many natural sources:
IT IS midnight on 22 September 2012 and the skies above Manhattan are filled with a flickering curtain of colourful light. Few New Yorkers have seen the aurora this far south but their fascination is short-lived. Within a few seconds, electric bulbs dim and flicker, then become unusually bright for a fleeting moment. Then all the lights in the state go out. Within 90 seconds, the entire eastern half of the US is without power.

A year later and millions of Americans are dead and the nation's infrastructure lies in tatters. The World Bank declares America a developing nation.
(New Science, emphasis added). It is a fact that people who know how to farm and raise livestock, who are not dependent on delivery trucks and supermarkets, could in fact be more secure and last longer when environmental catastrophe and upheaval takes place.

It depends on where they are as well as the circumstances involved.

In an old Mothers of Invention song there were some prescient lyrics:
We are the other people
We are the other people
We are the other people
You're the other people too
(Mother People). It was a wise thing to consider, so don't reject truth or fact because of where or who it comes from.

The suicide bombers are not the only ones to think the other people are the only ones that will be harmed.

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New Climate Catastrophe Policy: Triage - 9

Cedar Triage Avenue - coastal suburb
Regular readers know that Dredd Blog caught wind of the changing dynamics concerning the way government deals with catastrophes being experienced by its citizens.

That is to say, government is becoming selfishly concerned with itself, leaving the people to fend for themselves and to pay tribute / taxes to a government that cares less and less about its citizens, other than votes, as time moves forward.

But Dredd Blog does not seek any acknowledgement for noticing the obvious back then: that the government seemed to be losing traditional care for the citizens.

There are those who remember that multitudes of Americans were devastated by Hurricane Katrina as well as "the heckuva job" the government did in the devastating wake of Katrina; not to mention Deepwater Horizon and this year's Hurricane Isaac which did the same thing that Katrina did, but on a smaller scale.

We remember that Katrina left a wake so devastating that the New Orleans area suffered a population decrease of some 30%, together with a loss of homes, businesses, schools, and respect for government.

Everyone saw that obvious reality unfold before their very eyes, so the question then became "was that a one time performance?"

But what Dredd Blog saw and posted about back in 2009 (that this lack of care for the citizenry was going to become institutionalized, that is, was going to become a permanent fixture of our government) is notable.

Before we go back to see some of that social evolution we predicted would take place within our government, let's note a point of evidence that reveals this phenomenon now clearly taking place in our lifetimes before our very eyes:
But as noted by several debate watchers, climate change was never mentioned -- not by the candidates, and not by the debate moderator, Bob Schieffer of CBS News. Given the absence of the topic at the two preceding meetings between Obama and Romney, the close of Monday night's event marked the first time in roughly a generation that climate change has failed to receive an airing at any of the presidential debates.

Nearly 25 years after NASA scientist James Hansen famously told Congress that the science behind the greenhouse effect was clear -- and after similarly long-lived efforts to raise awareness of global warming and to force the topic into the national dialog -- the meaning behind Monday's milestone is likely to be hotly debated. To some, it is a sign that climate change has become a niche issue -- and is now being treated like any other special interest. To others, the candidates are merely playing the political odds in an election in which Americans are highly focused on jobs and other more immediate concerns.

But in the hours immediately following the debate, activists and climate scientists simply expressed a mixture of anger and disillusionment.

"Climate change is a global threat that requires a global response. Yet neither candidate saw fit to address climate change’s implications for foreign policy," said Erich Pica, president of the environmental group Friends of the Earth Action, in a prepared statement. "By ignoring climate change, both President Obama and Governor Romney are telling the rest of the world that they do not take it seriously, and that America cannot be expected to act with the intensity and urgency needed to avert catastrophe.
(Huffington Post, Climate Change Not Mentioned In Presidential Debates For First Time In A Generation, emphasis added). More about that is made obvious in the two videos at the end of this post.

They show what was said in times past, what was missing in this latest debate that took place in a bubble of denial, and that this was done at a time when cities are in the cross hairs of catastrophe.

There can be little doubt that global catastrophe in the U.S.eh? is now a political football deserving of only the deceit and deception generally accorded political hot potato issues.

Before we take note that this comes at a time when the catastrophic damage is being done in the here and now, let's look at the Dredd Blog record concerning our projection that government would shirk its duty to its citizens:
The new approach to alarming climate change and the growing spectre of many increasing national and international catastrophes is beginning to look more and more like triage.
The definition of triage is:

tri⋅age –noun

1. the process of sorting victims, as of a battle or disaster, to determine medical priority in order to increase the number of survivors.
...

(Dictionary). It may be that governments are now convinced by scientists that it is too late to stop the catastrophe.

So they will develop massive triage and massive burial procedures? How enlightened is that?
(New Climate Catastrophe Policy: Triage, 2009). We were saying that preventing the catastrophe was not a concern of the government that was beginning to see its roll as Funeral Director In Chief.

Thus, the Dredd Blog interpretation has been that the religious philosophy of the 1% has created a Plutocracy that has little more than intellectual contempt for the citizens of the nation.


Did you notice that the denialism began to creep into the presidential debate with Bush II's injection of that denialism?

The source of that denialism has been traced by the Dredd Blog System then presented in video format (The Exceptional American Denial).

The catastrophic denialism has now expanded into the presidential debates even as the dangers to the great population centers of the nation increase daily, as shown by the following video:


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

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Return of the Kinder, Gentler Nation

Senator George McGovern (1922-2012)
It would seem that Senator George McGovern was smiling if he was watching this year's final Presidential Debate last night.

Mr. McGovern passed away on Sunday, the day before the debate.

Those of us watching the U.S. Presidential Debate last night witnessed candidate Willard "Mitt" Romney converting the right wing to liberalism once again.

So, Dredd Blog, like President Bill Clinton who said of the moderate version of The Romney, "Hey, where have you been, good to see you back", is also glad to see that version of Candidate Romney because that form of moderation, respect, and consideration for other nations of the world is a very good thing.

That is the version of America the world likes, that is the version of America the French president talked about when he said "we are all Americans now" back in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks, when American popularity peaked around the world.

That is the version of America that leads by using power to help nations with various needs, teaming up with various nations of The United Nations to bring good things to life, to people, to our neighbors on this planet.

To the contrary, the warmongering gunboat diplomacy daze is an off road, off track, lost foreign policy; lost from the traditional American way of a kinder, gentler nation.

American moderation is a tried and true foreign policy that made America worthy of the world's respect.

The current administration, President Obama at the helm, needs to continue in that direction, changing course away from The W Direction, which has plagued The United States and the world for a decade or so now.

So, congratulations to Candidate Romney for having the spunk to try to move to the left of Obama, which will hopefully help stay the needed course change, help keep us heading toward freeing the U.S. government from the corrupting influence of the warmonger class, to instead focus on the backbone of the nation, the middle class.

And congratulations to President Obama for winning this year's final debate of this election cycle.


Monday, October 22, 2012

A History of Oil Addiction

Spindletop's Boiler Avenue, 1903
In this series we begin a history of oil addiction, focusing on the aspects of that story from the American viewpoint.

Oil has been discovered and used all around the world, but it was the United States where the oil barons gained and still have prominence.

But what we will see in this series is that it took alliances with industry & government, including the military, for the addiction to take us to the place we are today; a place where we have been cornered, as will be shown; and a place we are trying to find out how to extract ourselves from, even as Texas politicians from time to time threaten to extract themselves from the U.S.eh?

Anyway, the story for the purposes of this series, begins at Spindletop, which is near Beaumont, Texas:
The modern oil industry was born on a hill in southeastern Texas. This hill was formed by a giant underground dome of salt as it moved slowly towards the surface. As it crept, it pushed the earth that was in its path higher and higher. This dome was known by several names, but the one that stuck was "Spindletop". Through the later half of the 19th century, Pennsylvania had been the most oil-productive state in the country. All that changed on January 10th, 1901.
(Spindletop, Beaumont TX ). That event of finding big oil in the U.S.A. soon combined with another civilization changing event:
... The Industrial Revolution was already in progress being driven by the steam engine, fuelled by coal. But then in the 1860s, a German engineer found a way to insert the fuel directly into the cylinder inventing the Internal Combustion Engine, which was much more efficient. At first, it used benzene distilled from coal, before turning to petroleum refined from crude oil, for which it developed an unquenchable thirst. The first automobile took to the road in 1882 and the first tractor ploughed its furrow in 1907. This cheap and abundant supply of energy changed the world in then unimaginable ways, leading to the rapid expansion of industry, transport, trade and agriculture, which has allowed the population to expand six-fold in parallel. These remarkable changes were in turn accompanied by the rapid growth of financial capital, as banks lent more than they had on deposit, confident that Tomorrow’s Economic Expansion was collateral for To-day’s Debt, without necessarily recognising that the expansion was driven by an abundant supply of cheap largely oil-based energy.
(About Peak Oil, emphasis added). In following posts of this series we will focus on how this changed the U.S. eventually into The Homeland Plutocracy it is today.

But the most important part of the series will focus on why Dredd Blog describes this historical perspective as the story of a trap that has ensnared us all.

To illustrate the enormity of that trap, we begin with the following CBS News video:


The Dredd Blog post Will This Float Your Boat details more of the rising sea level reality, while The Peak of The Oil Lies - 2 details some of the thorny political realities the trap is composed of.

UPDATE: Three days after this post: Sandy became a hurricane at 11 a.m. Wednesday with 80 m.p.h. winds just off Jamaica's southern coast. Several days later the computer models began to predict it would hit the large population area of the Northeast U.S. Coast, exactly where the video talks about.

The next post in this series is here