Friday, January 11, 2013

Oil-Qaeda: The Indictment

Everyone is getting hot because of Oil-Qaeda
Hear ye! Hear ye!, The Court of Public Opinion is now in session.

The charges against Oil-Qaeda are: government subversion, mass murder, deceit, and reckless disregard for the health, safety, and lives of the billions of people of the planet Earth.

All done to put cash into the coffers of Oil-Qaeda, as it takes for its own profit, the well being of an entire planet and those who struggle to live on it.

Ok, so "who is this Oil-Qaeda?" you might ask -- so let's get that description by reading some posts that others have shared about it:
Just like those running asbestos, lead paint, and tobacco companies who knowingly continued to do harm for profit ... energy executives ... are the business equivalents of terrorists.

In fact, for years they’ve funded a massive campaign to deny the reality of climate change ... we should think of them as oil-Qaeda ...
(Tom Dispatch, emphasis added). Those who are doing the following are indeed terrorists:
More than 100 million people will die ... by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday.
...
It calculated that five million deaths occur each year from air pollution, hunger and disease as a result of climate change and carbon-intensive economies, and that toll would likely rise to six million a year by 2030 if current patterns of fossil fuel use continue.
...
"A combined climate-carbon crisis is estimated to claim 100 million lives between now and the end of the next decade," the report said.
(New Climate Catastrophe Criminality Policy, quoting Reuters, emphasis added). Has our society become so "sophisticated" that mass murder is ok, but killing one person gets a murder prosecution?

Perhaps there is a social dementia that the murderous Stalin recognized, and that he figured would protect his mass murder of his fellow citizens:
"One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic." - Joseph Stalin

"It is forbidden to kill therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets." - Voltaire
Is there something in the public mind that causes us to see the ongoing mass murder results of Oil-Qaeda as a statistic instead of seeing it for the terrorism it is?

Just how brilliant and sophisticated is it for the federal government to be flying drones around the world killing "suspected al-Qaeda" members, as well as innocent civilians who happen to be too close, but then helping Oil-Qaeda conduct mass murder in a business-as-usual manner?

According to a paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, this will bring certain doom upon current civilization:
But today, for the first time, humanity's global civilization—the worldwide, increasingly interconnected, highly technological society in which we all are to one degree or another, embedded—is threatened with collapse by an array of environmental problems. Humankind finds itself engaged in what Prince Charles described as ‘an act of suicide on a grand scale’, facing what the UK's Chief Scientific Advisor John Beddington called a ‘perfect storm’ of environmental problems. The most serious of these problems show signs of rapidly escalating severity, especially climate disruption. But other elements could potentially also contribute to a collapse: an accelerating extinction of animal and plant populations and species, which could lead to a loss of ecosystem services essential for human survival; land degradation and land-use change; a pole-to-pole spread of toxic compounds; ocean acidification and eutrophication (dead zones); worsening of some aspects of the epidemiological environment (factors that make human populations susceptible to infectious diseases); depletion of increasingly scarce resources, including especially groundwater, which is being overexploited in many key agricultural areas; and resource wars. These are not separate problems; rather they interact in two gigantic complex adaptive systems: the biosphere system and the human socio-economic system. The negative manifestations of these interactions are often referred to as ‘the human predicament’, and determining how to prevent it from generating a global collapse is perhaps the foremost challenge confronting humanity.
(Can a Collapse of Global Civilization be avoided?, emphasis added). The greatest threat to civilization is Oil-Qaeda, together with those who have a fetish for fondling nuclear weapons, i.e., Nuke-Qaeda, the clone "friends" of Oil-Qaeda.

The next post in this series is here.

The lyrics to this song are here.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Oil-Qaeda: The Weakening?

There has been some flickering and some increase in brightness in the few lights out there on the horizons of the future.

Many are hoping that it is a sign of good news or a sign that there is light at the end of the current tunnel of doom.

A doom which has unfortunately been brought to us by the doomers of Oil-Qaeda (a "doomer" is one who brings doom; one who warns of doom is a public servant).

The Hagel and Kerry nominations to Secretary of Defense and State give rise to hope.

Hope that the wretched, warmongering madness of recent neoCon vintage, beginning with Bush II, has some potential of fading into the bad-memory-hole of recent history.

Fighting wars to take poison from other nations so we can use it on ourselves is somewhere on the wrong side of the border between sanity and insanity.

Add to that the rumors that President Obama is contemplating hosting a climate summit, and the optimists among us light up with anticipation:
Barack Obama may intervene directly on climate change by hosting a summit at the White House early in his second term, environmental groups say.

"All oil wells must be painted green."
They say the White House has given encouraging signals to a proposal for Obama to use the broad-based and bipartisan summit to launch a national climate action strategy.

"What we talked about with the White House is using it as catalyst not just for the development of a national strategy but for mobilising people all over the country at every level," said Bob Doppelt, executive director of the Resource Innovation Group, the Oregon-based thinktank that has been pushing for the high-level meeting. He said it would not be a one-off event.

"What I think has excited the White House is that it does put the president in a leadership role, but it is not aimed at what Congress can do, or what he can do per se, so much as it is aimed at apprising the American public about how they can act."
(Guardian). Not a bad idea in the light of 2012 being the warmest year in the contiguous United States by a clear margin:
If you found yourself bundling up in scarves, hats, and long underwear less than usual last year, you weren't alone: 2012 was the warmest year on record in the contiguous United States, according to scientists with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The average temperature for 2012 was 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit, 3.2 degrees above normal and a full degree higher than the previous warmest year recorded -- 1998 -- NOAA said in its report Tuesday. All 48 states in the contiguous U.S. had above-average annual temperatures last year, including 19 that broke annual records, from Connecticut through Utah.

“We’re taking quite a large step,” said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist from the NOAA National Climatic Data Center, which has recorded temperatures in the contiguous U.S. for the past 118 years.
(2012 Was Hottest Year, emphasis added; see also State of the Climate). A full degree jump is a “quite a large step” as the climate scientist indicated.

Meanwhile, according to award winning economist Joseph Stieglitz the catastrophic damages done by global warming induced climate change are adding up to being the greatest threat to our economic recovery:
In the shadow of the euro crisis and America's fiscal cliff, it is easy to ignore the global economy's long-term problems. But, while we focus on immediate concerns, they continue to fester, and we overlook them at our peril.

The most serious is global warming. While the global economy's weak performance has led to a corresponding slowdown in the increase in carbon emissions, it amounts to only a short respite. And we are far behind the curve: because we have been so slow to respond to climate change achieving the targeted limit of a 2C rise in global temperature will require sharp reductions in emissions in the future.

Some suggest that, given the economic slowdown, we should put global warming on the backburner. On the contrary, retrofitting the global economy for climate change would help to restore aggregate demand and growth.
(Guardian, emphasis added). One can see why stopping the oil wars, weakening the strangle hold of Oil-Qaeda, and stopping our ecocidal habits, have some in the climate change community cautiously optimistic.

The word Dredd Blog emphasizes is "cautiously," especially in the light of statements by Secretary of the Interior Salazar that the U.S. is firmly committed to drilling in the Arctic, even in the face of a dangerous performance heretofore.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Gerrymandering - Geological Deceit? - 4

In this series, which began about this date in 2009, Dredd Blog started a discussion about a subject related to a constitutional command.

The U.S. Constitution commands that every ten years a census is to be taken in the United States.

Once that is done, then House of Representatives congressional districts are redrawn by state legislatures -- in theory they are redrawn only when and where needed.

No problem, that makes sense.

The problem arises when redistricting becomes gerrymandering, a form of bullying by the more powerful political party that year in the state being redrawn.

Gerrymandering is by definition wrong, because it is a form of one party taking advantage of the other simply to benefit one party, forgetting about the voters:
ger·ry·man·der [jer-i-man-der, ger-]

noun
1. U.S. politics. the dividing of a state, county, etc., into election districts so as to give one political party a majority in many districts while concentrating the voting strength of the other party into as few districts as possible.

verb (used with object)
2. U.S. Politics. to subject (a state, county, etc.) to a gerrymander.

Origin: 1812, Americanism; after E. Gerry (governor of Massachusetts, whose party redistricted the state in 1812) + ( sala ) mander, from the fancied resemblance of the map of Essex County, Mass., to this animal, after the redistricting
(Dictionary). Since by definition gerrymandering is wrong, I was surprised at a blogger who took exception to Dredd Blog's view:
Why 'gerrymandering' doesn't polarise Congress the way we're told

Biased redistricting is commonly held up as the culprit for America's increasingly partisan politics. If only it were that simple
...
Fair redistricting just doesn't have the impact you might think.
(Gerrymandering, Guardian). The Guardian writer's argument seems to be that there has to be some reason to be fair, and if gerrymandering does not cause "polarization" then it is ok to be unfair.

The play in that Guardian article might have been to divert from the real issue into a straw man debate about polarization, rather than a debate about deliberate cheating.

The issue is that democrats got more popular votes for house seats than republicans did, yet the republicans through massive gerrymandering ended up with the most seats, and as a consequence they got the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The issue ends up being that the will of the voters is thwarted when unfair cheating in the form of gerrymandering takes place.

The previous post in this series is here.

Black Merda ("They are considered to be the first all black rock band"):


Dredd Blog's Fourth Anniversary

"Do you have your papers?"
Wow, a lot has been going on in the past year and Dredd Blog tried to give a useful view on notable events.

There was a strange election cycle, a continuation of environmental disasters, wars, and political polarization.

It was the hottest year ever recorded in the contiguous United States.

There were 270 posts on Dredd Blog in 2012, covering a range of subjects: Oil-Qaeda, sanity, psychopaths, sociopaths, plutocracy, plutonomy, rogue banksters, epigovernment, the bully religion, oil wars, agnotology, social dementia, Mars, history, troubling social evolution, wonderful scientific discoveries, and on and on.

Other subjects are covered at Toxins of Power Blog and Ecocosmology Blog.

Let's get going into 2013, hoping for a major improvement in world events.

Previous anniversary posts are third, second, and first.

The very first post on Dredd Blog was It's The Peace Stupid.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A History of Oil Addiction - 4

In today's post we will take a look at the wedding of the fossil fuel industry (Oil-Qaeda) to the propaganda industry (McTell News).

Regular readers know that thus far we have taken a very cursory look at the highlights of the evolution of Oil-Qaeda.

We know that it sunk its poisonous tentacles into government, into good businesses, and into a once free society in order to propagate itself -- not at all unlike a cancer -- seeing as how Oil-Qaeda is a drug peddler that promotes the addiction of the helpless and innocent.

We saw Oil-Qaeda attacking what it considered to be competitors, and literally eradicating other businesses, technologies, and systems that were actually better for civilization than Oil-Qaeda and its terribly addictive drugs.

What eventually gave Oil-Qaeda the power to perpetuate that maladjusted behavior, and what keeps it maladjusted now, is propaganda.

This was the icing on the toxic cake, following the wedding to the militaristic imperialism that allowed it to plunder the drug from other nations that did not have influence over powerful military forces that Oil-Qaeda has.

But when Oil-Qaeda became wedded to propaganda, that could have been the ultimate wrong, at least in the minds of some:
It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the trade of a priest for the sake of gain, and in order to qualify himself for that trade, he begins with a perjury. Can we conceive any thing more destructive to morality than this?
(Age of Reason, Thomas Paine). The "mental lying" of Paine's day is illustrated quite well by some interesting history:
Now comes “The Barbarous Years,” the next installment. It circles back to a period that most Americans don’t hear much about in school: the chaotic decades from the establishment of Jamestown (England’s first permanent colony in the Americas) in 1607 up to King Philip’s War (the vicious conflict that effectively expelled Indians from New England) in 1675-76. Bailyn’s goal is to show how a jumble of migrants, “low and high born,” sought “to recreate, if not to improve, in this remote and, to them, barbarous environment, the life they had known before.” As the title indicates, the story is as grim as it is fascinating: a group portrait in tones of greed, desperation and brutality. In recent years conservative writers dismayed by historical revisionism have flooded stores with books extolling the character and sagacity of America’s founders. “The Barbarous Years” is not one of them.

Death was everywhere,” Bailyn writes of Jamestown. The colony was a commercial enterprise, started by the Virginia Company with the sort of careful financial evaluation that in the more recent past was the hallmark of the dot-com boom.

English people kept coming anyway, lured by a discovery that the Crown and company hated: tobacco. Hip, fun, disdained by stuffy authorities and wildly addictive, the smoking weed was an ideal consumer product. Thousands of migrants were willing to risk death for the chance to cash in on England’s squadrons of new nicotine junkies. The Chesapeake Bay became a barely governed swarm of semi-independent tobacco fiefs, owned by families, operated by squads of indentured servants, all squabbling with one another, Protestants against Catholics, English against other Europeans, everyone against Indians.
(The Barbarous Years, emphasis added). The addictions that founded the nation have grown up and are now "on steroids":
"The addiction to oil ... at least to the wealth and to the products made accessible to us by oil ... look at the negative consequences on the environment we are destroying the very Earth that we inhabit for the sake of that addiction. Now these addictions are far more devastating in the social consequences than the cocaine or heroin habits of my ... patients. Yet they are rewarded and considered to be respectable. The tobacco company executive that shows a higher profit will get a much bigger reward ... doesn't face any negative consequences legally or otherwise ... in fact is a respected member of the board of several other corporations ... but tobacco smoke related diseases kill 5.5 million people around the world every year. In the United States they kill 400,000 people a year".
...
"And these people are addicted to what? To profit, to such a degree are they addicted that they are actually in denial about the impact of their activities, which is typical for addicts, is denial. And that is the respectable one. It is respectable to be addicted to profit no matter what the cost. So what is acceptable and what is respectable is a highly arbitrary phenomenon in our society. And it seems like the greater the harm the more respectable the addiction" (Dr. Maté).
(The "It's In Your Genes" Myth). Yes, the massive propaganda industry has "cleaned" all that up with gloss and sharp turns to avoid actual history:
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). Journalists use the term "spin" in place of "propaganda" now, but the person they call "The Father of Spin" wrote the book "Propaganda" at a time when he was proud to be the premier American propagandist:
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.

Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.

They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons — a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty [now 320] million — who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world ... It is the purpose of this book to explain the structure of the mechanism which controls the public mind, and to tell how it is manipulated by the special pleader who seeks to create public acceptance for a particular idea or commodity. It will attempt at the same time to find the due place in the modern democratic scheme for this new propaganda and to suggest its gradually evolving code of ethics and practice.
(The Ways of Bernays, quoting "Propaganda"). Eventually Oil-Qaeda replaced the tobacco industry as top spender of money on propaganda (MOMCOM: The Private Parts, see also The Exceptional American Denial).

The previous post in this series is here.



Monday, January 7, 2013

Banker Jekyll Will Hyde Your Money - 10

Mr. America is The Wizard of Oz
This series began in August of 2009 with regular posts following that initial post, lasting until the previous post of November 2011.

Regular readers know that during this series Dredd Blog has made very serious allegations along the way.

Along with those allegations were appropriate links to documentation that backed up the allegations, as well as abundant documentation which pointed out that large scale plunder was taking place out in the open before our very eyes.

The only cover given by officialdom was lying through their teeth while McTell News was doing their "fiscal financial cliff" catastrophe propaganda.

In other words, Dredd Blog pointed out for years that they deliberately stole hundreds of billions of dollars from the U.S. Treasury and transferred the people's money to the criminals who had caused the financial crisis in the first place.

A recent piece in Rolling Stone backs up the Dredd Blog series:
The federal rescue of Wall Street didn’t fix the economy – it created a permanent bailout state based on a Ponzi-like confidence scheme. And the worst may be yet to come ...

"We will take good care of it"
It has been four long winters since the federal government, in the hulking, shaven-skulled, Alien Nation-esque form of then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, committed $700 billion in taxpayer money to rescue Wall Street from its own chicanery and greed. To listen to the bankers and their allies in Washington tell it, you'd think the bailout was the best thing to hit the American economy since the invention of the assembly line. Not only did it prevent another Great Depression, we've been told, but the money has all been paid back, and the government even made a profit. No harm, no foul – right?

Wrong.

It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people...

"put your arms around him you can feel his disease" - Beatles
The sweeping impact of these crucial decisions has never been fully appreciated. In the years preceding the bailouts, banks like Citi had been perpetuating a kind of fraud upon the public by pretending to be far healthier than they really were. In some cases, the fraud was outright, as in the case of Lehman Brothers, which was using an arcane accounting trick to book tens of billions of loans as revenues each quarter, making it look like it had more cash than it really did. In other cases, the fraud was more indirect, as in the case of Citi, which in 2007 paid out the third-highest dividend in America – $10.7 billion – despite the fact that it had lost $9.8 billion in the fourth quarter of that year alone. The whole financial sector, in fact, had taken on Ponzi-like characteristics, as many banks were hugely dependent on a continual influx of new money from things like sales of subprime mortgages to cover up massive future liabilities from toxic investments that, sooner or later, were going to come to the surface.
(Rolling Stone, Secret and Lies of the Bailout, by Taibbi). The Taibbi piece is well worth the read.

Along the way in that series as well as other Dredd Blog posts that were linked to, the origin of the errors was pointed out by quoting the words of one of our forefathers:
James Madison was the 4th President, Bill of Rights author, Congressman, Cabinet Member, and was also called the "Father of the U.S. Constitution".

He voiced a conspiracy theory in 1795:
In war, the public treasuries are to be unlocked; and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them.

In war, the honors and emoluments of office are to be multiplied; and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed; and it is the executive brow they are to encircle.

The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.
(Toxins of Power Blog, emphasis added). The above quote is from his "Political Observations," April 20, 1795, in Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, Volume IV, page 491.
(Founding Fathers' Conspiracy Theories). Indeed, the plunder took place at a time when we had been lied into wars, then those wars were perpetuated by more and more lies.

Those lies emanated, as Madison indicated long ago, from the executive branch, the Office of the President, all in conspiracy against the people.

Some subsequent series (see e.g. The Homeland: Big Brother Plutonomy and MOMCOM: The Private Parts) pointed out that these banks are tips of the iceberg of an international web of international corporations that are not at all shy about saying "I am not an American company."

Likewise, they sure are not shy about the fact that they like to plunder the money of the American people.

Two books have recently been written about these people (see e.g. On The Origin of Assholes).

The previous post in this series is here.