Saturday, April 17, 2010

Open Thread

Weekend open thread for Dredd Blog bloggers to blog about anything they choose to blog about.


There is a shocking and little known piece of history that may effect the debate over climate change.

A global warming history specialist, a geologist, stated over two and a half years ago that global warming caused by human activity would have the same effects on volcanoes and earthquakes as global warming in the past that was not man made.

It would cause volcanic eruptions ... and he specifically said the volcano that just erupted would erupt when the ice shrunk down enough.

The Red Sea Ink Corporation

I visited the IRS website on tax day, where I noticed that they use the term "tax products" to describe materials they produce, as if they were an industry selling toothpaste.

That reminded me of something the scholar Noam Chomsky said: "It's the same techniques that are used to market toothpaste."
One of the members of MOMCOM evidently purchased the right "tax products", because no taxes needed to be paid after all was said and done:
GE had plenty of earnings last year -- just not in the United States. For tax purposes, the company's U.S. operations lost $408 million, while its international businesses netted a $10.8 billion profit.

That left GE (GE, Fortune 500) with no U.S. profit left for Uncle Sam to tax. Corporations typically face a 35% federal income tax on their earnings. Thanks to its deductions and adjustments, GE reported an actual U.S. federal income tax rate of negative 10.5%. It got to add a "tax benefit" of $1.1 billion back into its reported earnings.
(CNN, GE: $0 U.S. tax bill). The government back door bailout "tax product" seems to be popular with IRS corporate customers eh?

GE has always been a mystery to investigative accountants who have compared GE accounting to AIG and Madoff.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Science of Obama Lands At NASA

President Obama has given some guidance to the vision we need to have with regard to the exploration of space.

His ideas seem to indicate a deeper look into the plan and purpose of space travel than did the views of Bush II.

To be sure, there is controversy around the notion and debate as to whether we should go to the moon, or whether instead we should look deeper into space and go to Mars or some of the moons of Saturn and Jupiter that may have life on them.

What should not be lost in any of the bickering or debate, is the fundamental reason for space exploration and travel.

It is a life and death matter.

Science has shown that the current configuration or nature of our solar system is temporary, especially where it concerns life on this planet.

This planet is scheduled for destruction by the Sun, which will expand out to near the current orbit of Mars, destroying Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars as it does so.

As a logical consequence we, the human species, have to move or morph in order to avoid demise and extinction.

The tired doctrines, dogma, and education of the past, especially as it relates to the cosmos, must give way to a vision of the future.

That vision must see human existence as a species as a fundamental human right, as well as a fundamental purpose of government.

The Bush II regime wanted to go to the moon, like the absent minded professor on Sesame Street, who was always inventing things that had already been invented.

Rockets were invented three thousand years ago by the Chinese, but our whole defense and space program is based on that ancient practice.

Our rocket science is lame in the cosmic scheme of things, so it is time we moved on to the future technology, and loose the grip of fear the warmonger induced technology of the past plagues us with.

I am with the approach of President Obama on this matter of great importance to not only nations, but to the entire human race.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Who Can't See The Aral Sea

The Aral Sea photograph shows a "before" and "after" change that took place over 20 years.

This photo, together with the subject matter it relates to, offers an example of how anthropogenic activity can and does alter the earth's environment.

While this case is not an example of global warming, it is nevertheless an example of what causes global warming of the anthropogenic type:
Once among the four largest lakes of the world with an area of 68,000 square kilometres (26,000 sq mi), the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet Union irrigation projects ...

The region's once prosperous fishing industry has been virtually destroyed, bringing unemployment and economic hardship. The Aral Sea region is also heavily polluted, with consequent serious public health problems. The retreat of the sea has reportedly also caused local climate change, with summers becoming hotter and drier, and winters colder and longer.
(Wikipedia). The "me like me take" philosophy of the "Russian Empire" is universal to all such empires.

On our planet, the definition of "empire" has consistently boiled down to "might makes right" coupled with "me like me take".

In modern times empire propaganda has been able to put the type of cloaking clothing on any empire that will make them all but invisible to the general populace.

The general populace in turn has devolved into a meme complex who's pure social activity has become the activity of consumption.

Yes, the glorified duty of each citizen (Bush II said "go spend money" meaning "go consume" just after 9/11, as a means of fighting "turrisstss") is to consume.

This growth of everything (except lakes, peace, and healthy ecosystems) has required a specialized education, followed by the elaborate media training of those consumers.

That "education" (a.k.a. empire enlightenment) glorifies the hunger of empire with the one holy word "growth":
A statement we hear so much is that we need to "grow". Grow inside, grow the economy, grow outside, grow baby grow. Why? The book had an interesting comment on that notion:
HILLMAN: You think people undertake therapy to grow?

VENTURA: Isn't growth a huge part of the project of therapy? Everybody uses the word, therapists and clients alike.

: But the very word grow is a word appropriate to children. After a certain age you do not grow: You don't grow teeth, you don't grow muscles. If you start growing after that age, its cancer.
(ibid, page 7, emphasis added). Our economy and our political structure has seemed to have had cancer which was called "growth" in recent years.

What is left of those years of "growth" is dying economies everywhere, the gangrene of torture, and endless wars.

Growth for growth's sake, it turns out, really is like cancer as the book suggests.
(100 Yrs Of Psycho Therapy - Take Cover). The knee bone may be connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone may be connected to the backbone, and so forth, but the debit column is not properly connected to the credit column in the balance sheet of empire economics.

The "Aral Sea" is one more microcosm of what is happening to human civilization as a result, "if you know what I mean", Mr. Mellencamp.

Happy Tax Day on the sunny beaches of The Sea of Red Ink (a.k.a. the treasury).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Closer Look At MOMCOM's DNA

If we say we are a child of the industrial revolution, that we experience mobile urban life, the space age, or the computer age, then we have suckled the milk from the breasts or plastic bottles of MOMCOM.

We all have.

MOMCOM is all around us and in us every day, because we use plastics, drive a car or truck, use petroleum to power our vehicle, petroleum generated energy or gas to heat and cool our home, watch, read, or listen to the media, and we say we support the troops whether or not we support the wars.

But like all of our mothers, MOMCOM will die too:
... the current reign of plastic is bad because the leaders in the plastic industry are hooked on petroleum.
(Peril of Petroleum). Those in the know understand that petroleum is running out even as usage increases, like a cancer, hastening the demise of MOMCOM:
There is a convergence of security threats to all nations by this conundrum of the convergence of global warming and peak oil.

This blog has focused on the security threat to the nations brought about by the spectre of global warming, and on the security threat brought on by the spectre of peak oil.

Some of the concern Dredd Blog raises is due to the reality that we are talking about threats to addicts, who tend to respond with violence when their "stuff" is placed in jeopardy.
(A Peek At The Peak Oil Catastrophe). Like all kids, we are hooked on MOMCOM who is hooked on the military, oil, media, and her dangerous complex.

She is tortured by her complex to the point she feels easily threatened.

Driven by her complex, she has demonstrated that she will invade and occupy the space of anyone she thinks is a threat to the kids.

So she says "it is all about the kids" ... so she says.

Whether she commits ecocide or suicide, watching her die will be scary to the kids.

Some islands of plastic garbage (the plastic archipelago), and at least two continents of plastic garbage, which scientists call "gyre" have been created by MOMCOM's addictions.

In social science, when mom becomes an addict the children become endangered, because everybody needs a home world.
The next post in this series is here.

Open Thread

What national policy has us addicted to the plastic industry which is addicted to the oil industry which is addicted to the military industry which is addicted to controlling the media message?

Our plastic addiction has built 5 floating garbage island - continents, one or two of which are twice the size of Texas, which would be a large state, almost as big as Alaska.

Why don't we face up to reality and call them The Plastic States of America because we have demonstrated that we cannot JUST SAY NO !!!

We tell the kids don't get addicted, just say no, but we do not practice what we preach, thus the MOMCOM message is: "do as I say, not as I do".

UPDATE: On the election scene, this blog has been indicating that troubles for democrats in November will come from their tendency to shoot themselves in the foot and by continuing Bush II policies.

The election yesterday in Florida bears that out in the sense the republican ran on an anti Obama Health Care rap, but lost the race big time.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Corp Germ > Corp Seed > Corp Monster

I was watching Keith Olbermann last evening where those commenting were using the "L" word (lie) when talking about the onslaught of statements of "fact" by members of the neoCon far right wing of the republican party.

They were saying plain and clear that when certain members of congress have their lips moving they are lying.

It is the most obvious characteristic of that party at this juncture in time.

So I thought I would revisit one place where their delusions originated and how they have morphed, which begins with their kidnapping of Adam Smith by changing the meanings of what he said:
DAVID BARSAMIAN: One of the heroes of the current right-wing revival [circa 1995] ... is Adam Smith.

NOAM CHOMSKY: ... What we would call capitalism he despised. People read snippets of Adam Smith, the few phrases they teach in school ...

He also made remarks which ought to be truisms about the way states work. He pointed out that its totally senseless to talk about a nation and what we would nowadays call "national interests." ...

The version of him that's given today is just ridiculous ... if you look at the myth of Adam Smith, which is the only one we get, the discrepancy between that and the reality is enormous ...

It's the same when you read Jefferson. He lived a half century later, so he saw state capitalism developing, and he despised it, of course. He said it's going to lead to a form of absolutism worse than the one we defended ourselves against ...

There's a side current here which is rarely looked at but which is also quite fascinating. That's the working class literature of the nineteenth century. They didn't read Adam Smith and Wilhelm von Humboldt, but they're saying the same things. Read journals put out by the people called the "factory girls of Lowell," young women in the factories, mechanics, and other working people who were running their own newspapers ... They recognized that the point of the system was to turn them into tools who would be manipulated, degraded, kicked around, and so on. And they fought against it bitterly for a long period. That's the history of the rise of capitalism.

The other part of the story is the development of corporations, which is an interesting story in itself. Adam Smith didn't say much about them, but he did criticize the early stages of them. Jefferson lived long enough to see the beginnings, and he was very strongly opposed to them. But the development of corporations really took place in the early twentieth century and very late in the nineteenth century. Originally, corporations existed as a public service. People would get together to build a bridge and they would be incorporated for that purpose by the state. They built the bridge and that's it. They were supposed to have a public interest function. Well into the 1870s, states were removing corporate charters. They were granted by the state. They didn't have any other authority. They were fictions. They were removing corporate charters because they weren't serving a public function. But then you get into the period of the trusts and various efforts to consolidate power that were beginning to be made in the late nineteenth century. It's interesting to look at the literature. The courts didn't really accept it. There were some hints about it. It wasn't until the early twentieth century that courts and lawyers designed a new socioeconomic system. It was never done by legislation. It was done mostly by courts and lawyers and the power they could exercise over individual states. New Jersey was the first state to offer corporations any right they wanted. Of course, all the capital in the country suddenly started to flow to New Jersey, for obvious reasons. Then the other states had to do the same thing just to defend themselves or be wiped out. It's kind of a small-scale globalization. Then the courts and the corporate lawyers came along and created a whole new body of doctrine which gave corporations authority and power that they never had before. If you look at the background of it, it's the same background that led to fascism and Bolshevism. A lot of it was supported by people called progressives, for these reasons: They said, individual rights are gone. We are in a period of corporatization of power, consolidation of power, centralization. That's supposed to be good if you're a progressive, like a Marxist-Leninist. Out of that same background came three major things: fascism, Bolshevism, and corporate tyranny. They all grew out of the same more or less Hegelian roots. It's fairly recent. We think of corporations as immutable, but they were designed. It was a conscious design which worked as Adam Smith said: the principal architects of policy consolidate state power and use it for their interests. It was certainly not popular will.
(Class Warfare, Noam Chomsky, 1995, emphasis added). And so we come to the neoCon far right Supreme Court Five decision in Citizens United v FEC, where corporations were given the signal to go ahead and take over 95% (up from 60%) of U.S. elections as a coup de gras on traditional U.S. democratic elections.

The elections in '94 with the right wing insurgency of that time is like the one in '00, which is beginning to take shape again if certain indicators hold steady.

Another pattern I see repeated is "A lot of it was supported by people called progressives".

These repetitions have many similar genetic patterns, the same difference being that the germ became a seed, which has now grown into a devouring monster.

The next post in this series is here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Policy "Me Like Me Take" Declines

When both the foreign policy and the domestic policy of the U.S. are represented by the pooch having its way with the cat, the robber baron warmonger era of "me like me take" has been put upon us once again.

I say once again because we have been there done that, and the results today are the same as they were then:
Robber baron is a term revived in the 19th century United States for businessmen and bankers who dominated respective industries and amassed huge personal fortunes, typically by anti-competitive or unfair business practices. The term may now relate to any businessman or banker who used questionable business practices to become powerful or wealthy.
(Wikipedia). What is quite different today is the degree of damage the modern day robber barons, which we usually call plunder barons on Dredd Blog, do.

Their realm of influence is encapsulated with our nickname for them, which has been described in the post MOMCOM - A Mean Welfare Queen.

One of several factors that allowed the change from robber baron to plunder baron was the loss of the "free press", an institution that was supposed to be free of government and robber baron influence, free to speak truth to power so the populace could remain informed.

An informed mind is a free mind of an informed populace which is a free populace, while a deceived mind is not free and can devolve into dementia, that is, become unattached to reality.

One of the "M" factors in MOMCOM is "media", a.k.a. the free press, is no longer free but is part and parcel of MOMCOM.

Long ago the robber barons were able to take over ownership of the media because they wanted to control, so their philosophy and domestic policy of "me like me take" resulted in that take over:
Two scientists who are well respected by their peers were interviewed about the subject matter of deceit.

Deceit is defined as "concealment or distortion of the truth for the purpose of misleading; duplicity; fraud; cheating".

One of the two who participated in that interesting interview is a world renowned professor of linguistics at MIT:
"Noam Chomsky: 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
(Dredd Blog, The Deceit Business, emphasis in original). The oil barons are the "O" in MOMCOM, who are drug lords in today's incarnation of the robber baron era, drug lords in the sense that a recent president said we are "addicted to oil".

The military barons or lords, the first "M" in MOMCOM, have hidden themselves from the public eye better than the other two have, so, it usually takes one of their own to point out that they too have the robber baron "me like me take" foreign and domestic policy spirit:
The reality of these wars is a story of the shame of the warmongers among us:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.

It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
(President & General Eisenhower, emphasis added). MOMCOM has sold herself via the main stream media as the saviour, yet she is actually the crucifier.
(The States of War Budgets). The foolish notions that compose the wanton greed of MOMCOM, like the barbarianism of past empires, eventually leads to the decline of the reputation of the offending empire, then the full-on decline of the empire itself.

The policy of "me like me take" naturally declines because it is inhumane, unenlightened, and counter productive to the presence of a decent society within a neighborhood of good nations.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Democrats Pay How Much For ACORN?

Dredd Blog did a story about ACORN being unjustly and falsely framed by neoCon elements of the republican party slander apparatus.

Salon has a series of articles about it, one of them containing a photo of the fake pimp who fooled congress.

One would expect the riff-raft to act like those who slandered ACORN acted, but one would not expect the congress and president to follow that mob led by neoCon extremist congressional representatives and senators.

Because ACORN is a legal, non-profit organization that helps those who need help.

But that is what happened, the congress defunded ACORN and instead passed a bill HONORING the would-be felons who did the fraudulent, fake video:
Honoring the fact-finding reporting done by Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe III in their investigation in the fraudulent and illegal practices and misuse of taxpayer dollars by the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now (ACORN).
(H.RES 809, introduced on Oct. 7, 2009). The democrats chickened out then stampeded over the edge of reality on into la la land.

Like they did with the AUMF of Bush II which got us into wars that the democrats to this day are funding merrily along.

ACORN had actively supported the democrats who said they would support minorities and the poor that ACORN always tried to help.

ACORN also organized the minorities and poor to vote gleaning a good turnout in the 2008 elections.

So naturally they have been a target of the republican slander system for years, so why did the democrats help those republicans shoot down a democratic institution?

The dems also helped the banks, kept the wars going strong, did not stop unemployment from going through the roof, nor the economy from going through the basement floor.

The dems have not taken good care of the people's house, except arguably in the struggle for health care reform.

But, their way of doing that, together with a lackadaisical attitude, lost them the seat of the number one health care proponent, Ted Kennedy.

The dems seem to be the best friend a neoCon can have these daze, but the dems are not too friendly to those who help them.

They seem to be spending their good will like they spend the people's money on the pig banks, and if things do not change, as pointed out in this post, they may lose the House.

But what really shows how broken our system is, yes, how infected it is with systemic problems, is the reality that there is no way to repair the dysfunctional congress with replacements.

The system is rigged with corporate money so that accountability, the treatment for the systemic disease, has gone the way of the dinosaurs, thus, there seems to be no cure.

The people are fully justified for their disapproval of congress.