Showing posts with label polemics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label polemics. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Government Catastrophe Has Already Happened

All the talk about a looming default and various catastrophic economic results misses the point that a catastrophe has already happened.

That catastrophe is the collapse of the way the House of Representatives is supposed to work and has tended to work for a long time.

A book by Chris Matthews shows that, historically, conservatives and liberals have generally been able to do what they are elected and paid to do.

That is, to do the business of government in a civil manner that is beneficial to the nation and to its citizens.

The extreme right wing of the GOP has thrown a temper tantrum after losing two presidential elections, and is now using historically forbidden tactics which many observers see as a catastrophic failure and defect:
Remember, if the debt ceiling isn't lifted by Oct. 17, then the Treasury Department will only bring in enough tax revenue to pay about 65 percent of the bills that arrive over the next month. And it won't be able to borrow any more money to pay the rest. That means some of the government's bills will go unpaid.
(Washington Post). Other nations are calling for a "new world order" where the rest of the world is not dependent on the U.S. dollar:
Upset that the fiscal stalemate in Washington is threatening the global economy, China called for the U.S. dollar to be replaced as the international reserve currency as well as for broader steps to create a "de-Americanized world."

China also called for an end to the "pernicious impasse" in the U.S. over the raising the debt limit and ending the partial government shutdown, saying the world needed another reserve currency so nations could protect themselves "from the spillover of the intensifying domestic political turmoil in the United States."

Most countries hold their foreign exchange reserves in U.S. dollars because the currency is viewed as the world's most stable. China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, with about $1.3 trillion in Treasury bonds, and is concerned about the impact of a U.S. failure to raise the debt limit on those holdings.
(LA Times). This ongoing loss of the U.S. reputation is a catastrophe in itself, however, if this failure of the GOP political mind gets too crazy, the U.S. may experience losing the currency wars that Dredd Blog has been warning about for years:
China’s central bank governor has issued a bold proposal to overhaul the global monetary system and one day replace the dollar as the world’s main reserve currency with the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Special Drawing Right
(First Shots Fired In The Currency Wars, 3/23/09, quoting The Times). We also noted the loss of reputation taking place due to the alleged reason the GOP is holding us hostage: "ObamaCare" (ObamaCare: Good Foreign Policy, see also Phase Five Of The Currency Wars? - 3).

These unwise, risqué, hostile, and unprofessional tactics (of an emotionally infantile gang within the House of Representatives) are foolhardy at best.

The ideology is not unlike the ideology of feudal nations of long ago, and such ideology at work is creating and perpetuating American Feudalism (a.k.a. neoFeudalism).

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Confusion As Government Policy - 2

A new twist in ObamaCare?

The confusion in government policy as regards marijuana may be on the way out, and a better policy on the way in.

In the first post we noted that what Obama indicated as a candidate compared to what his DOJ was doing to medical patients was incoherent.

ObamaCare was taking a prominent place in American society which indicated to many people that those who needed medical marijuana were going to be safe from DOJ prosecution.

The massive DOJ war on medical marijuana dashed that expectancy.

Now with the breaking news, today, there are indications that things may be getting more clear in that regard:
The United States government took an historic step back from its long-running drug war on Thursday, when Attorney General Eric Holder informed the governors of Washington and Colorado that the Department of Justice would allow the states to create a regime that would regulate and implement the ballot initiatives that legalized the use of marijuana for adults.

A Justice Department official said that Holder told the governors in a joint phone call early Thursday afternoon that the department would take a "trust but verify approach" to the state laws. DOJ is reserving its right to file a preemption lawsuit at a later date, since the states' regulation of marijuana is illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole also issued a three-and-a-half page memo to U.S. attorneys across the country on Thursday outlining eight priorities for federal prosecutors enforcing marijuana laws. According to the guidance, DOJ will still prosecute individuals or entities to prevent:
  • the distribution of marijuana to minors;
  • revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels;
  • the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states;
  • state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;
  • violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana
  • drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;
  • growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands;
  • preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.
The eight high-priority areas leave prosecutors bent on targeting marijuana businesses with a fair amount of leeway, especially the exception for "adverse public health consequences."
(Eric Holder Says). I think like all government pronouncements these days, we will have to wait and see.

The previous post in this series is here.

We Ain't Got Nuthin' Yet, Blues Magoos (lyrics here):


Friday, February 10, 2012

Homeland Security Happy Daze - 2

On this date several years ago a Dredd Blog post focused on the incredibly expensive Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

DHS legislation was created by a Republican controlled congress, then signed into law by a republican president, who now complain incessantly about the size of government and deficits.

The conservative columnist George F. Will, evidently more aware than current republican politicians who are spewing out that hypocritical rhetoric, says that those republicans should have more to say about defense than raw unsubstantiated rhetoric (Washington Post, Republicans Need More Than Rhetoric On Defense, George F. Will).

Mr. Will points out that the bare bones "defense budget" is "about 43 percent of the world’s total military spending — more than the combined defense spending of the next 17 nations".

But he leaves out other great chunks of budget spending in the costly, ghostly, and ghastly "war on terror", such as the DHS.

Nor do his low figures cover the other domestic spy agencies that are also springing up across the nation, while congress feigns the notion of not liking big government:
The Washington Post has begun a block buster series following a couple of years of research.

They expose some of MOMCOM's excesses in the field of spying ("intelligence"), showing that American spying, like the military, is out of control:
The investigation's other findings include:

* 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.

(Washington Post). That only scratches the surface, the story is also that no one knows all about it or how much it costs, hence, it is out of control.
(The Keystone Complex To The Rescue). That story reveals a shocking anti-American development on its own, but the story is all the more egregious in the context of the republicans wanting to cut education, health care, social security, etc., but not those senseless republican behemoths.

Anyway, the Dredd Blog article of several years ago, mentioned at the top of this post, points out the impacts of the obscene costs of DHS incurred in the phantom war on terror.

The text of that post follows:

It used to be when we thought of homeland we were looking at a building lot or some acreage to construct a house upon.

But in all the terror and propaganda generated these past 8 years, "homeland" has taken on a new meaning now that we have a Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Last year the DHS budget was $61,300,000,000 (sixty one billion, 300 million dollars).

That is the cost for only one year (it equals the cost of 408,667 homes valued at $150,000 each).

One wonders if that cost to taxpayers, who need to spend it on food and shelter, would go down if we stopped those expensive activities (wars, etc.) that make it easy to recruit terrorists who want to harm us.

DHS has 218,501 employees, 81% of which are civilian and 19% are military.

Thus, it is another fusion or confusion of the military with the civilian, which would have Eisenhower turning over in his grave.

By the way, have you taken the duct tape and plastic covering off of your windows yet?

This infamous department has made two great failings in the four or so years it has existed.

The first was "doin' a heckuva job" during Katrina, and the second was not protecting us from Bush and Cheney.

The republican controlled congress and the republican president created this monstrosity, but they now want to call certain expenditures "pork" when we talk about helping millions of Americans who have lost their jobs and homes.

Brazen blindness is the mother of DHS, necessity is not its mother. Time for a paternity test too?

Links to Critiques: Homeland PorkSecurity Against Homeland Pork.

NSA Director Lt. General William Odom , since leaving that post, has commented on U.S. terrorism:
“The hypocrisy is deeper than this. By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In ‘78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism- in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.”
(Hammer News). Mainstream media sources have commented on Israel using terrorism recently:
Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.

The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.
(Brian Williams, NBC). The republican neoCons, whom George F. Will criticizes, sound like Tweens doing a cheerleader skit led by Sarah Palin yelling "go fight team, go fight team".

Except, this is not a high school football game Sarah, because even paying for your morning coffee with cash, is a suspected terrorist act (Flier PDF).

An artist, who is also studying political science at a local community college, did the following artwork to represent his interpretation of the success of DHS at helping American Democracy:



Friday, January 13, 2012

Hermeneutics For The Blogosphere

The definition of "hermeneutics" is "the theory and practice of interpretation" (Hermeneutics).

It is said that originally the notion of hermeneutics was a way to interpret scripture.

In the western world in general, that would mean interpreting the Bible (ibid).

In the realm of jurisprudence, lawyers and judges utilize "legal hermeneutics" when they analyze, for example statutes, and it has even been said by some writers that they have refined the practice of hermeneutics:
In the larger field of hermeneutics, legal hermeneutics is characteristically described as exemplary.
(SSRN, The Distinctiveness of Legal Hermeneutics). Notice that there is a "larger field of hermeneutics", and that the field of legal hermeneutics is "exemplary", that is, a good example for the other fields of hermeneutics.

I can think of one technique immediately that brings out one exemplary dynamic of legal hermeneutics:
... canons of construction are no more than rules of thumb that help courts determine the meaning of legislation, and in interpreting a statute a court should always turn first to one, cardinal canon before all others. We have stated time and again that courts must presume that a legislature says in a statute what it means and means in a statute what it says there ... When the words of a statute are unambiguous, then, this first canon is also the last: “judicial inquiry is complete.”
(Connecticut Nat. Bank v. Germain, 503 U.S. 249, 253-254, 1992). It seems like a "no brainer", after even minimal analysis, that if there is only one unambiguous meaning to a text, "interpretation" is not necessary.

But remember that the definition given in the first link in this post was that hermeneutics was all about "interpretation."

Still, "interpretation" would be perverse to meaning if there was nothing about the subject text that could be "interpreted".

So, in the practice of "exemplary" legal hermeneutics, the exercise is first called "statutory construction", rather than "statutory interpretation", because the first exercise is to determine whether or not any "interpretation" is necessary.

Remember the oft repeated statement "what is it about 'no' that you don't understand?"

The implication is that "interpretation" is unnecessary to determine what "no" means.

Those who can find their way around the blogosphere know that misunderstanding of both blog posts, and of comments on those blog posts, are regularly confused and/or conflated as to their meaning.

We bloggers would do well to follow good canons of textual inquiry, that is, good blogging hermeneutics.

Using good hermeneutics does not mean that we have to agree with any text, once it has been analyzed for meaning, but it does mean that we won't be arguing or debating incoherently over that text.

One has to wonder if improper hermeneutics could be the reason that some experts disagree on the same body of evidence --- they have not developed sound hermeneutics?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Say It Forward

By now you have probably heard that President Obama gave "a good speech" yesterday.

A speech that Dredd Blog will call a "say it forward" speech, which will be explained below.

It was a speech like more and more presidents are doing, since government is a political realm, guided by the machinations of big money, big oil, big media, and big military.

In particular, the President's speech was purposefully tailored after a speech President Teddy Roosevelt gave at the same location about a century ago.

The speech that Roosevelt gave took place during a time of robber barons and banksters, a time when there was no middle class, a time when a plutocracy running a plutonomy threatened to set in and become the norm for American society.

One could wonder, then, if the unspoken message that President Obama was sending was "As a Nation We Have Gone Back To The Future", back a century, back to our nation's dark ages, yes, back to the time of Theodore Roosevelt?

One could also wonder "so now we must 'lean forward' to get back to where we once belonged?"

The novel and later movie "Pay It Forward" was about doing good deeds as a form of investment in the future:
Trevor does a favor for three people, asking each of them to 'pay the favor forward' by doing favors for three other people, and so on, along a branching tree of good deeds.
(Pay It Forward). What is the difference, if there is a difference, between the notion of "pay it forward" and "say it forward", yes, what is the difference between now and then?

Noam Chomsky offers a clue when he says that our government, some few years after Teddy Roosevelt left the White House, became the purveyor of propaganda as a means of controlling the populace:
... this developed in ... 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, bold added; see also The Ways of Bernays). The U.S. government has evolved to become the offspring of politicians who are the offspring of "say it forward" rhetorical propaganda masters who design promises that are not to be kept.

Whether this is because the promises either can't be kept, or in some cases are intended not to be kept, is irrelevant.

The coin of the election realm, the coin of election promises, is as worthless as money at 100% inflation (there is lots of it but it doesn't buy much).

The American people in general do not believe politicians because of the reality of history, the reality that campaign promises are not kept.

The plunder barons, the banksters, and the warmongers, through their bought and paid for politicians, have destroyed the integrity of public discourse in America.

Therefore, to get back to the time of Teddy Roosevelt, we would have to break the bullshit barrier, yes, we would have to leave Pentagonia, the Capitol of Bullshitistan, and travel to a place and time where honesty is paramount.

Isn't that a road too far?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Ascent of Chaos For Civilized Order

"Chaos theory tries to find some underlying order in what appears to be random events or data" (Physics Planet).

The proper order in which things should be done would, at first blush, seem to the casual observer to be a methodology involving a logical sequence of events.

That is, proceeding from the most logical thing to do first, sequencing through a reasoned "next" list, finally terminating with the logically last thing to be done.

Chaos theory seems to be an increasingly popular technique, used by officials in civilized society, to explain events done in a seemingly disordered sequence.

This resort to chaos theory is generally done when there is a need to explain that a logical sequence is actually happening behind the scenes, it is just that the logic within it can't be detected by a casual observer, because it takes an expert in chaos theory to detect that logic.

Thus, this chaos theory gets around folks, I mean it is replicating itself quite well:
Chaos theory is applied in many scientific disciplines: geology, mathematics, programming, microbiology, biology, computer science, economics, engineering, finance, meteorology, philosophy, physics, politics, population dynamics, psychology, and robotics.
(Wikipedia, emphasis added). Politics is listed as a "science", probably because of its nickname "political science", as one field where chaos theory is utilized.

Also in that list of sciences, where chaos theory is used, we find "economics" and "finance" listed, realms that do much of their research in the laboratories of Wall Street.

Those vast laboratories have been talked about a lot lately, yes, the economic "science" has received a lot of press, especially to the extent that it has mixed with "political science" in the past decade.

The wonderful and good results of these experiments in these great American laboratories is difficult for a casual observer to fathom, without of course, the assistance of chaos theory experts.

Especially in the sense that "the 1%" control far more wealth and power (~90%) than "the 99%" do, at least in the American Republic, the American Democracy, or whatever it is.

These experimental results from the laboratories of "economic science" and "political science" do not, at first blush, seem to follow a logical sequence of events.

Especially if the casual observer notes that the sequence began with "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union ... and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" (Preamble), but ends up now with the infamous 1% - 99% split.

The only way that turns out to be logical is if "We the People" means "the 1%" who are scientifically gathering everything involved in "economics" and "finance" for their "Posterity" to inherit, and "the 99%" are chaff to be cast to the winds and ignored.

Enter the chaos theory experts to explain how it only appears to be that way, when in reality, this status quo is the only way things can be done in our civilized America.

It would seem, then, that we must not leave out the science of "psychology", a science listed as yet another one where chaos theory is applied.

Otherwise the casual observer may misinterpret the psychological response of "the 99%" to these experimental results of the "science" of economics, finance, and politics:
With Election Day just over a year away, a deep sense of economic anxiety and doubt about the future hangs over the nation, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, with Americans’ distrust of government at its highest level ever.
(Bad Economy ..., quoting NYT/CBS poll). The highly esteemed expert in chaos theory, replying to the minds of "the 99%" using psychology, would explain:
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.
(Ways of Bernays, quoting Edward Bernays). That our thinking must be done for us is "a logical result", says this chaos theory expert.

The treatment from that "invisible government" (using their favorite medicine "spin") tells us that we live in the best country on Earth, but sometimes things get difficult for "the 99%" (but not for "the 1%") because our markets are free, unfettered, and full of liberty, just as the founders intended.

Booyah, I feel better now?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Confusion As Government Policy

Citizens should be able to rely on what government officials say.

But that doesn't work if the government does not know what it is saying, how to say it, or does not know what everyone thought they said.

For example, how do young children develop when their parents or their teachers are chronically inconsistent?

What do they learn from an example of punishing them for something they told them it was ok for them to do a bit earlier?

They learn to not trust authority, because confusion is not a foundation for trust in any way shape or form.

On the medical marijuana front, the Obama Administration meets the old Indian adage "forked man speaks with white tongue", because the Obama Administration has said:
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will not seek to arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws, under new policy guidelines to be sent to federal prosecutors Monday.

Two Justice Department officials described the new policy to The Associated Press, saying prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state laws.

The new policy is a significant departure from the Bush administration, which insisted it would continue to enforce federal anti-pot laws regardless of state codes.

Fourteen states allow some use of marijuana for medical purposes: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
(Huffington Post, October 2009, emphasis added). That induced the potential for a consistency in states that wanted to pass laws licensing all such distribution.

Now the Obama administration is muddying the waters, leaving the hope of a clear policy behind in the dust, yes, in the cloudy dust of confusion:
This will certainly have a chilling effect on the types of businesses that open in medical marijuana states (and rest assured, they will continue to open). In this way, it is a huge step back from the Ogden memo.

If the spirit of the Ogden memo was to create a sense of consistency in federal enforcement, to let patients and those who supply their medicine feel safe within their own states, and make states feel confident crafting their own laws to best control medical marijuana, then Cole’s statement is a major reversal.

But is it open season on dispensaries? Probably not.

Just because the DOJ has said that they can and may prosecute anyone involved in medical marijuana distribution, does not mean that they will. If the DOJ is publicly saying that this new statement does not reflect a change in policy, there is no guarantee that they are going to suddenly start prosecuting legitimate businesses in places with clear regulations to determine their compliance with state law – especially in the case of smaller operations.
(Opposing Views). Yet, last week state licensed small operators providing medical marijuana to patients with doctor's prescriptions were indicted in the State of Washington:
July 20, 2011 - Jerry Laberdee, Dennis Whited, Russell Blake, Charles Wright and Jon Vivian have been indicted on federal charges that arose from a crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries in Spokane, Washington earlier this year. The charges carry maximum penalties of 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000.
(California NORML). Actually, the largest penalty in that three-count indictment calls for a minimum 5 years to a maximum of 40 years in prison, followed by 4 years to life of "supervised release", a form of parole / probation.

It is as if these people who were relying on public policy statements of the federal government, as well as complying with state law, are now being treated as harsh as murderers are (the Norway mass murderer can only get 21 years), for relying on government statements, then, based on those statements, going forth to help people in chronic, doctor verified, pain.

It appears that there was a vortex of un-American entrapment, in as much as it appears that these medicinal servants were sucked into some political train wreck by confused government propaganda, which is a dysfunctional policy that sucks to high heaven in any supposed democracy!

The government is behaving like an Alzheimer sufferer who is dazed and confused, doing one thing one minute, then doing the opposite a minute later.

To destroy these American lives with such a hypocritical state of confusion makes it criminal IMO; so I can see no logical reason for the "government" to expect any trust, henceforth, from the populace.

Especially at a time when the "mature government talks on the national debt" (wink, wink) are sapping the nation of any trust whatsoever in its government.

Back stabbing the populace is the most terrible thing a government can do to the people it took an oath to be forthright with and above-board to.

The next post in this series is here.




Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Absolutism: Pabulum For The Insecure?

Two things are for sure, the first is that the elite citizens of the U.S.eh?, in general, believe everything is fine and dandy, and the second thing that is for sure is that people in the know have an extremely opposite view.

That the notion of the fundamental insecurity of civilization has been institutionalized as a false notion can be felt, to some degree, by the statement of world famous Senator John McCain during the 2008 presidential election (just before the worst recession in U.S.eh? history hit very hard), when he said in response to a journalist's question, "what economic problems?", then topped it off with "the economy is just fine".

His running mate could only add, when asked what she thought of it, "I don't know what that is, I can't see the bank from my house".

Her "drill baby drill" policies were the policies that Barak Obama decried during his presidential campaign, yet has now embraced as his own policies as fully as can be accomplished in a short three years as president.

That is "the American Dream" at the moment, an institutionalized trance, a virtual hypnotic stupor, brought on purposefully by the massive engines of deceit running amok within the meme complexes of current civilization.

In an optimistic appraisal of reality, a scientific paper says that food prices will double by 2030, while perhaps a less optimistic appraisal says two Earths will be required by that time to produce that food.

So, we can expect the most oft used phrase in the current "halls of vision" ("worse than previously thought") to continue to be news headlines repeatedly.

Below are examples which show that current political cognition is inept for dealing with problems that are beyond our habitual political considerations.

The first:
The best example of this would probably be the story of Chang and Eng Bunker, "the Siamese Twins," so called because they were from Siam (now Thailand). Chang and Eng were joined by just a bit of liver and some skin. One April day in 1843, Chang married Adelaide Yates, while brother Eng married sister Sallie Yates. Based on the fact that Chang and Adelaide had 10 children, and Eng and Sallie 12, it's fair to say the brothers had sex.

At the autopsy of the Bunker twins, one of the anatomists opined that their active sex lives "shocked the moral sense of the community" -- even though the truth is that the Bunkers' neighbors appeared to have just accepted the situation. A little known fact is that the Bunker wives' father originally objected to his daughters marrying the twins not because they were conjoined, but because they were Asian. (This was, after all, the antebellum American South.)

Yet in the nineteenth century, when doctors discussed whether the twins Millie and Christina McCoy could marry, one spoke for many: "Physically there are no serious objections ... but morally there was a most decided one." When, in the 1930s, Violet Hilton sought to get a marriage license while conjoined to her sister Daisy, she was repeatedly refused.

The same discomfort generally carries through to our own time.
(Atlantic Monthly). Another example:
Twins joined at the head — the medical term is craniopagus — are one in 2.5 million, of which only a fraction survive. The way the girls’ brains formed beneath the surface of their fused skulls, however, makes them beyond rare: their neural anatomy is unique, at least in the annals of recorded scientific literature. Their brain images reveal what looks like an attenuated line stretching between the two organs, a piece of anatomy their neurosurgeon, Douglas Cochrane of British Columbia Children’s Hospital, has called a thalamic bridge, because he believes it links the thalamus of one girl to the thalamus of her sister. The thalamus is a kind of switchboard, a two-lobed organ that filters most sensory input and has long been thought to be essential in the neural loops that create consciousness. Because the thalamus functions as a relay station, the girls’ doctors believe it is entirely possible that the sensory input that one girl receives could somehow cross that bridge into the brain of the other. One girl drinks, another girl feels it.
(Twins Share a Mind, emphasis added). There are significant portions of the two girls' brains that are common to both of them, just as with the male twins who also have a different organ common to both of them.

The question "would it be appropriate for the two / four to have sex with each other?" would surely jar an absolutist's ability to reason this out.

These examples show not only a new meaning for "united states", but they also show that not all "united states" are the same.

We can go back to the civil war in the U.S.eh? to see that one person's "united" is another person's "bound", and thus ponder our current state of affairs anew.

In New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann, a case in the U.S. Supreme Court during the not-so-great depression, Justice Brandeis in his dissent lamented about the Supreme proclivity to denude the power of the states' ability to experiment:
There must be power in the states and the nation to remould, through experimentation, our economic practices and institutions to meet changing social and economic needs. I cannot believe that the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment, or the states which ratified it, intended to deprive us of the power to correct the evils of technological unemployment and excess productive capacity which have attended progress in the useful arts.

To stay experimentation in things social and economic is a grave responsibility. Denial of the right to experiment may be fraught with serious consequences to the nation. It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.
(285 U.S. 262, 1932). The thoughtful Justice Brandeis said that the states are experimenters, free to find their own truth that could be different than the truth of the other states, and maybe even better.

The militarized groupthink of The Bound States of America is not good for us because we need to be in a state where we might be able to think our way out of various impending calamities, which is unfortunately not the current state we are in.

We are not in Kansas anymore Inhofe.

The Farm is famous in some circles for various solutions, but when it first was developing as an experiment the FBI spied on it for 20 years under J. Edgar Hoover:
Why do police agencies fear, and consequently target for subversion, experimental communities? That fear is abundantly evident in the documents which today are being made public for the first time. It is also evident in the protracted struggle, at great expense, which the government undertook to prevent their release. In this paper, I'll address both of those misguided efforts in some detail.

What may now be observed is that the obsessive and neurotic character of J. Edgar Hoover, and the legacy of institutional paranoia which he bequeathed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, drove the FBI to harass the founders of The Farm from the very beginning. That The Farm persevered in the face of this harassment and overcame the obstacles the government imposed is a testament to the courage and integrity of the core group of founders, most notably Stephen Gaskin.

What was the basis for Hoover's fear? Well, perhaps it evolved over his half century as America's top cop.
(Bates, Hoover and The Farm). The toxins of power have generated several meme complexes that have become viral.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

All Truth Is Local

This blog has had many posts focusing on the localization of ideology, basically pointing out that some meme complexes are geographically bound.

Some of those posts are: All Justice is Local, All Ecological Disasters Are Local, All Ocean Experience Is Local, All 9/11 Is Local, All Security Is Local, and All Weather is Local.

My street, my town, my state, my country, my world, and my cosmos, are outer expressions of an inner feeling which obviously becomes an illusion at some point.

But everything in that sense, including truth, is something that is local originally, but something we seek to expand habitually, something that as a result becomes less and less truthful at some point as we subconsciously or consciously expand our "self" out into the cosmos beyond our ability.

Naturally, we deliberately seek to make ourselves comfortable within our surroundings by trying to control as much of those surroundings as we can.

This is quite automatic for the most part, constantly brought to us from our subconscious 24/7 by Our Amygdala, Inc.

One of the results of this natural expansion happens when we become members of a group of people whom we think of as people with "like minds" ("your truth is like my truth").

One of the favorite groups people like to imagine themselves part of is the military, a meme complex we think of as "our military", which is for the most part an association with "our security", nevertheless it tends to boil down to "my security" in the final analysis.

The illusion of truth we build through the expansion of our own local-to-us perception often becomes apparent to us, much to our chagrin.

There are military coups, elections that don't go our way, court cases, divorces, broken relationships, and natural disasters during our lives that shatter our illusion of truth as we know it.

Sometimes, at the extremes, one person's truth is another person's lie.

So we may shrink back, become isolationist to the point of even becoming hermits, all because our truth has come back home to where it once belonged:
Jo Jo was a man who thought he was a loner
But he knew it couldn't last
Jo Jo left his home in south Pensacola
For some Barn Oracle grass

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged

Sweet Meeker now thought she was a woman
But she was another Blind Willie McTell
All the girls around her say she's got it coming
But she gets it while she can

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, Freak Show
Go home

Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged
Get back, get back
Get back to where you once belonged

Oooh ... Yeah ...
(American Freak Show). "And that is the way it is", May 3, 2011 in my home, my town, my state, my country, my world, and my cosmos.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Ways of Bernays

"We create reality for you"
The "basic construct" for the politics that wraps around U.S. government is an obvious philosophy of propaganda, now affectionately called "spin."

To those who use propaganda, it seems to be invisible and not obvious at all.

That "basic construct" is: "If we convince enough people, until finally the majority of the people think that what we want to do is the right thing to do, that act of convincing the majority magically transforms any wrong-thing-to-do into the-right-thing-to-do."

We have quoted Dr. Noam Chomsky many times, where he fingers the ideological coup which originally brought it about:
"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). That post points out how a propaganda coup was germinated circa the time of World War One.

From that evolutionary point another post shows how that dynamic grew to become "public relations" (PR), or "spin", enhanced by the philosophy of Edward Bernays:
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.
(A Closer Look At MOMCOM's DNA - 4, quoting Edward Bernays). Yet another post, Corp Germ > Corp Seed > Corp Monster, details the continual germinating power that war has had on that fundamental, which Dylan describes as "breaking down the distance between right and wrong" (Ring Them Bells).

This changing of the brains [that page has been "lost" (wink, wink), so here is the Wayback Machine copy from that date] or changing of the guards, is not in accord with what is fast becoming our "quaint tradition" (the U.S. Constitution, still falsely said to be our "supreme law" of our land.)

That document had always sought to protect the few from the wrongs of the many, while at the same time protecting the many from the wrongs of the few.

The narrowing of the distance between right and wrong has contorted all that into "too big to jail", "too big to fail", and "the best justice money can buy".

In other words the propaganda engines of the nation are not fooling anyone who doesn't want to be fooled, because the obvious is just that.

The problem is that we can't help but "be fooled" because we can't handle the reality of our servitude:
We now continue this post with a quote used by blogger Randy in comments yesterday:
“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”
(Aldous Huxley, emphasis added). I doubt that Huxley really understood how that would happen, since he used a traditional pharmacological mechanism to articulate his vision.

Even though as it turns out he was correct in principle, it is just that he did not understand that the mega-drug would be oil.

Oil is the drug of choice that fits the bill for "a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude", it is just that the "pharmacological method", as it turns out, is not addiction to something you buy at the local traditional drug store.

Instead, we buy the big drug at the local gas station (the "service station" in 1950's parlance), the Quick Stop, the Seven Eleven, or "the convenience store" (in post-peak-of-sanity civilization's parlance).

And we love it, like Huxley said we would.
(Sickology v Penology). Since "we" have decided to fold instead of hold, our masters will decide our fate "for" us.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The International Language: Doublespeak.gov

The Japanese Prime Minister declares that things are "stabilizing" at the same time the Japanese Nuclear Regulators raise the nuclear disaster severity level there to seven, which is the highest it can be (it had been five).

In Indonesia, cigarette smoke is promoted as a cure for cancer.

Meanwhile here in the USA Ann Coulter says radiation is good for us.

One priest of propaganda, MOMCOM's father, who said propaganda is essential in order to "engineer democracy", would be so proud of his protégé for spreading his doctrine and dogma around the globe.

Globalization is just another word for spreading the spin meme complex to every nation around the world, so that all governments lie through their teeth (in a proper and sophisticated manner of course) to their people.

The propaganda organs who spread the word are the 1% who see the populace (the 99%) as beings inferior to them, beings who need MOMCOM management in order to be free, to be secure, and therefore to survive.

The realm of MOMCOM, which is the entire globe (all nations, all people, all resources) is segregated into USNORTHCOM, USPACOM, USSOUTHCOM, USEUCOM, USCENTCOM, and USAFRICACOM.

Yes, those six COM areas under the military tutelage of MOMCOM cover the entire Earth.

The recent "budget cuts" here in the USA, promoted as a halt to "excessive government spending", involved a 5% increase to obvious MOMCOM military programs.

It is even more than a 5% increase if you include the classified hidden budget, which you or I can't know because it is a "state secret" (it is for only the wise 1%).

Dredd Blog has talked in the past about the meaning of the bad word "government", as it is used in the MOMCOM media, including a discussion about how that meaning does not include MOMCOM.

It only includes the areas that the people are fed up with (the congress, the president, the courts) which someday MOMCOM plans to eliminate then replace with MOMCOM organs, so as to "save democracy".

MOMCOM is preaching that bad "government" is spending too much on Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, unemployment, education, health care, unions, etc., but is not spending enough on the military.

So the wasteful congressional spending on Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, unemployment, education, health care, unions, etc., was cut or else "the government" would have been shut down.

The military spending was increased, which illustrates the point that bad "government" spending does not include the military.

In doublespeak, the language of the rulers, a "strong military" now means a world dominated by a military empire, but to the populace it is sold as "security".

That is the W direction we are following, because the peak of the oil wars is ahead of us, while the beginning of the oil wars is behind us.

The graph shows military spending at 58%, but that does not include mercenaries (contractors) or the spy endeavors associated with military operations.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Impact of Toxins of Power On Evolution

The title applies in the raw to a universe of subjects, so lets tone it down to: the impact of toxins of power on the evolution of American capitalism.

A subtitle of this post might be: "the evolution of U.S. Capitalism leads to where?"

Economic theorists who are aware of the criticism that Karl Marx leveled at American Capitalism point out:
Marx argued that capitalism would succeed in its initial stages quite well in promoting growth by means of capital investment in new technology and improved means of production. Everyone would prosper. As capitalism developed, however, he argued that capitalists would appropriate to themselves more and more of the profits or income from the economy and that laborers would come to have increasingly less.

Over time, in time and such circumstances, Marx claimed that, first, capitalistic economies would undergo ever more vicious cyclical swings from boom to bust. These cycles and the on-going process of capitalism would, second, result in ever richer capitalists and ever poorer working classes, until, finally, at some point, laborers would revolt and take over the means of production, causing Socialism to ensue as a result. Socialism, in turn, was merely a transitional step to Communism.
(Seeking Alpha, K. Corson, bold in original). A wide variety of commentators from the "Tea Party II" all the way to academia, essentially agreeing with Marx, say that our current phase of American capitalism will lead to "socialism".

They urge this eventuality because "at some point, laborers would revolt and take over the means of production, causing Socialism to ensue as a result", quoting Corson, summarizing Marx, and citing perhaps revolt in Wisconsin and Ohio as examples.

This is essentially a rehash of the cyclical rebirth ideology advanced by various ancient religious doctrines, discussed at various times in various contexts here at Dredd Blog.

Rebirth of the pure comes about eventually by rebellion of the oppressed, ad infinitum, goes their theory.

The toxins of power theory says, to the contrary, that it is more likely that American capitalism will lead to totalitarianism, at the end of its imperialistic militancy phase.

Fundamentally, this is because mental damage has been and is being done to the populace on a massive scale, which 19th century thinkers such as Marx could not comprehensively take into consideration.

To be fair, their theories were developed before the massive military industrial complex (MIC) emerged then morphed into the military oil media complex (MOMCOM).

Then MOMCOM emerged as the industrial segment of the economy declined into the "rust belt", as oil addiction became predominant, as imperialistic militancy ascended to prominence, and as the media consolidated into fewer corporations.

Yes, consolidated into "media corporations" that are owned by even fewer parent mega-corporations within MOMCOM, which are not media corporations, they are for-profit corporations with an agenda.

Anyway, those aforementioned 19th Century economic theories of capitalism, socialism, and communism that were advanced by Marx and others, did not take into consideration the popular English / American theory of government which includes a basic notion of the toxins of power.

At least those theories did not consider the notion of toxins of power to the degree that it can be considered a dangerous and deadly source of social dementia, as Toxins of Power Blog and Dredd Blog do.

The 19th Century view being criticized in this post is as much a fantasy as 21st Century fantasies such as the notion that oil does not pollute, disease has no effect on the infected, and there are no consequences for destroying the ecosystem.

The mind-set of the military portion of MOMCOM is not a secret, as shown by Dredd Blog posts Graphs of Wrath and Your Health Their Number 1 Enemy, because the military comes right out and says:
The notion of using martial law (a technique abandoned just before WWI replacing it with the propaganda technique) to keep the people in their place, has been openly contemplated by the military:
A new report by the U.S. Army War College talks about the possibility of Pentagon resources and troops being used should the economic crisis lead to civil unrest, such as protests against businesses and government or runs on beleaguered banks.

“Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” said the War College report.

The study says economic collapse, terrorism and loss of legal order are among possible domestic shocks that might require military action within the U.S.
(Phoenix Biz Journal). The plans are in place, they are simply waiting for the people to get fed up so they can fed up.
(The Government of The Government). MOMCOM has a plan in place to impose martial law, along with internment camps, if economic protest gets out of hand here in the U.S.eh?

The mindset of MOMCOM is a 20th Century Fox suffering from the lack of a conscience in a 21st Century world, because the toxins of power dissolved the 19th Century conscience our nation once had when those theories were set forth.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Building What Up From The Amygdala

Two years ago, on this date, Dredd Blog posted "Fighting Terrorism For 200 Years", and a year ago, on this date, Dredd Blog posted "Toxic Minds Produce A Toxic World".

Both are about different facets of the same repeating scenario where humans come to the point where they yell "Remember Pearl Harbor", "Geronimo", or "Remember The Alamo", then proceed with reckless abandon, consumed by a mixture of emotion and will, to produce this or that killing field, justified by a sensation that true justice has ballooned up from the amygdala, out to the maximum popping point, then quickly into the expanding balloon world.

Not many will deny that is exactly what happened on 9/11, however, like screenwriters, directors, producers, and stars struggling over movie script issues such as how, what, when, who, and why, there are always many variations of the script along the way.

One variation on the theme and script of 9/11 comes from a person whose relative was murdered on 9/11, and who has the form of sincerity which seems to balloon up from that type of adversity:
This means WTC6 was bombed well before my cousin was murdered in the explosion used to bring down the South Tower, who unfortunately worked for another Bush cousin that happened to move their corporate meeting the night prior to the hotel across the street where he was staying ... just has me thinking.
(Redacted News, One opposing script). This raises questions about the sequence in which the buildings fell, which goes along with the FBI's anthrax diagnosis, Curve Ball's lies, and Mohammed's Dick Cheney Eyes.

He builds a picture from various video shots, photographs, and other data from that day, to reveal or show that Building 7 (not hit by any aircraft) was damaged before the two towers came down.

Another variation on the theme is that Building 7 (not hit by any aircraft) fell way after The Two Towers (Building 1 & 2) came down.

To deal with the before, during, and after conundrum, the official 9/11 script writers, stars, directors, camera crew, and media, who are so officially bothered about all this, have started a new TV Channel called "Crickets 101".

Meanwhile, Building What? is a new movement that has formed within the group composed in substantial part of those who lost loved ones in that catastrophe a decade ago.

To clear it all up, Homeland Security has a whopper of a budget proposal for a new movie on the cricket channel called "Crickets Forever", which will explain how the cavemen did it to the most sophisticated defense apparatus on earth.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Evolution of Song Truth

Have you ever noticed that some songs are only a bit true when first written and released?

But then the song seems to grow into mega-truth as "time keeps on slippin' slippin' slippin' into the future"?

What is really happening is that the song was more prescient than the songwriter knew at the time?

At least in the sense that events in the changing world afterward seem to conform to the words of the song?

At least more so than it would have seemed to the songwriter at the time the song was written?

For example, recall an old but not so old song that says:
I get the news I need on the weather report.
I can gather all the news I need on the weather report.

...

Half of the time we're gone but we don't know where,
And we don't know where.

Here I am..........

Half of the time we're gone but we don't know where,
And we don't know where.
(Only Living Boy In New York, Simon & Garfunkel). Anyone watching the weather channel knows killer floods are happening everywhere in the world.

At the same time there are fire epidemics, recently in California, Russia, and Australia, but now those places are flooding.

Some observers call it global weirding, as scientists tell us this is only the tiny beginning, and as people fight the reality with the global weirding of denial.

You can easily get all the news you need to know about the direction the world is taking itself (by polluting the once healthy weather cycles) by getting that news "on the weather report".

Another song rings true concerning the evolution from left to right:
...
A poor little baby child is born

In the ghetto
... he'll grow to be an angry young man some day
...
Do we simply turn our heads
And look the other way
... his hunger burns
... Then one night in desperation
... Face down on the street with a gun in his hand
... young man dies
... Another little baby child is born
In the ghetto
(In the ghetto, Elvis). The song was originally called "The Vicious Circle", indicating that the author saw something evolving and replicating itself.

We can look around and see people of all colors and creeds beginning these last few years to experience the phenomenon (think foreclosure, job loss, bankruptcy, homelessness).

In fact, the congress is thinking of modifying the bankruptcy code to allow states to file for bankruptcy, even as financial experts begin to expect a flood of municipality bankruptcies (Chap. 9) in the USA.

This brings to mind a Dylan song:
Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?
People’d call, say, “Beware doll, you’re bound to fall”
You thought they were all kiddin’ you
(Like a Rolling Stone, Dylan). Our "doll" MOMCOM will become a bum with the desperation of the young child in the ghetto, to eventually die face down like the power mad empires that went before.

Finally, think about the lyric in another Dylan tune that rings true to those who can envision what is coming, and what would happen to their children if they were to engender children:
You’ve thrown the worst fear

That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins
(Masters of War, Dylan). Knowledge brings people to the brink of reality forcing us to believe the science or believe the amygdala, then act accordingly.

Song truth keeps on ringing in our ears as floods damage a nuclear power plant in the USA like what a tsunami has already done to Fukushima in Japan.

The next post in this series is here.