Saturday, February 26, 2011

Open Thread

open comments ...

Another Whitewash / Cover-up Combo -
the actual cost is a hundred times more ...
Science Budget To Be Slashed by House GOP;
Warmonger budget increased over last year

The Consequences of Peak Sanity May Escalate
During The Desperation phase

Friday, February 25, 2011

Embryonic Look At Civilization's Future - 3

Dredd Blog regular Randy's painting to the left (he is a 'lefty' LOL) is called "Three Peaks".

Today's post is part of a series concerning three peaks within civilization as we know it.

In sequence, first comes the peak of sanity, then comes the peak of oil production, and finally comes the peak of the oil wars.

The argument supporting this sequence begins with the "discovery" (after the fact) of one certain social dynamic driving current civilization.

It is the dynamic that creates social norms, social education, and social policy.

The particular aspect of that broader dynamic, which we will focus on with this post, is the aspect which has allowed civilization to become a hard core addict to "oil" (all sources of petroleum energy, including "natural" gas).

That happened during the peak of sanity phase of current civilization, which was in substantial part composed of an ideology that allowed civilization to seal its fate with a colossal blunder.

That colossal blunder was failing to ponder the results of the choice to become hard core petroleum addicts.

Since oil, civilization's drug of choice, is a non-renewable, fixed-quantity substance, the arithmetic at once shows that the next phase would of necessity be the peak oil phase.

That phase was composed, in terms of ideology and social policy, primarily of denial.

In the real, measurable world of dwindling sources of supply of the drug, that phase is/was composed of a need to resort to increasingly herculean methods in order to extract the dwindling supply of the drug.

The final phase is the peak of the oil wars, a phase where civilization fragments into hard core rival gangs who incessantly fight for control of the turf and for control of the drug, oil.

Simply put, the delusion of "self survival" reigns supreme in this final phase.

Yes, the amygdala of civilization has, in these three peaks, in these three phases, inspired civilization to destroy itself in order to save itself.

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

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Common Sense and Marbury v Madison - 2

Two years ago, before the Health Care Reform issues received constitutional attention in the federal courts, Dredd Blog contemplated the history of how statutes of congress are perused by the courts:

Today marks the 206th year since the world famous Marbury v Madison case was decided.

If a nation's statutes are governed by a constitution that guides those statutes toward the betterment of the nation, then the betterment of the nation will depend on the legal hermeneutics (a.k.a textual interpretation) of that constitution.

The Marbury case made it crystal clear this means that betterment will depend on what judges say the constitution says.

In that light it is an every day occurrence for a common citizen to read the text of the constitution and say "it says thus and such", and for that citizen's lawyer to respond "actually it says what the judge says it says".

And that is where the rubber meets the road. The famous Marbury case has a common sense foundation:
It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases, must of necessity expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the courts must decide on the operation of each.
(Marbury v Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803), italics added).

A federal district judge in San Francisco is tasked with that problem at the moment. In Hepting v AT&T these issues are currently being litigated.

In a case that concerns what is called "immunity", the congress passed a bill allowing the DOJ to, in effect, give retro-active immunity to telephone companies that helped Bush II get access to all of your phone and email records without a warrant. Contra the 4th Amendment of our constitution.

Bush II said he needed to know all about you to protect you, and therefore he asked congress to give DOJ the power to give the phone companies retroactive immunity. Because they gave your records to Bush II illegally.

Why Bush II did not simply pardon the telecoms is a mystery, because that act would have ended the matter.

Perhaps Bush II was tired of taking all the blame and wanted congress to share the blame load? Who knows.

Then senator, and now President, Obama voted for that statute to the chagrin of many civil rights activists (me included). Now his Attorney General, Eric Holder, is supporting the statute as did Bush II Attorneys General.

Federal Judge Walker has ordered the parties in the telecom immunity cases, including AG Holder, to explain why that statute does not violate, among other things, the separation of powers doctrine.

The basis of the order stems in part from a 1944 Supreme Court ruling which requires a statute to clearly define the bounds of performance of the administration of that statute so as to constitutionally delineate legislative will from administrative will:
[T]he only concern of courts is to ascertain whether the will of Congress has been obeyed. This depends not upon the breadth of the definition of the facts or conditions which the administrative officer is to find but upon the determination whether the definition sufficiently marks the field within which the Administrator is to act so that it may be known whether he has kept within it in compliance with the legislative will.
(Walker's Order, 2/11/09), quoting from Yakus v United States, 321 US 414, 425 (1944).

Judge Walker ordered the parties to further brief the court and to answer the following question:
Does the retroactive immunity statute give the DOJ unfettered authority, thereby, in effect giving it the power to make law - which is the sole province of the legislative branch of government?
(ibid). In essence congress can't say to the president, "you make the laws", and if it did so in this retroactive immunity case, then that statute is unconstitutional.

In the final analysis, Judge Walker must decide not whether anyone or any company is above the law, but whether or not congress can lift them that high.
The bleep goes on in the 207th year now.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Not-So-Free Press Files Bankruptcy - 2

Once upon a time Dredd Blog had the notion that the press could reach the point of bankruptcy.

Perish the thought.

Now certain senators contemplate that even states can file bankruptcy ... what ... States? Like Iowa? ... yes like Iowa ...

Does the impending collapse of civilization escape everyone:
The rumors are that a number of publishers of newspapers will have to file bankruptcy in this economic storm.

This storm we can't seem to get a handle on as to its depth and its width and its dangers.

Some significant newspapers have already taken the plunge and are struggling to avoid a Chapter 11 becoming a Chapter 7.

Read about the danger to newspapers in the US in general at our news links where we link to the Newsosaur.

You need to.

Because you need to realize how important the free internet is going to become.

It is now or soon will be the real and true FREE PRESS.

Keep on bloggin' in the free world.
Ok, fine, but that is not what "you" are doing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Open Thread

Ye olde

The Bush II regime held hands with the regime now shooting down the most citizens in the global wave of protest.
Washington's Blog has an interesting, detailed post about some of the nations likely to experience this current and growing phenomenon.
Ecocosmology Blog has a post about the Capitol of Bullshitistan.
To feed all those mouths, "we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000," said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Monday, February 21, 2011

President's Day Review

Today we reprint a post from the Toxins of Power Blog:

The Greatest Source Of Power Toxins?

This is an ancient question, but a question with one very clear answer.

An answer from the sages in our past which we are very fortunate to have had, but sages which we have ignored to our great demise in recent times.

An answer that seems today to be totally and completely at odds with the conventional wisdom-hype and propaganda which is composed of the glorification of the greatest source of the toxins of power.

Our founders were well aware of the question and the answer hundreds of years ago. They spoke of it with unmistakable words and with certain clarity:
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied : and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. Those truths are well established.
(James Madison, emphasis added). The visionary who made that statement was the 4th President of the United States, Bill of Rights author, Congressman, Cabinet Member, who was also called the "Father of the U.S. Constitution".

The above quote is from his "Political Observations," April 20, 1795, in Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, Volume IV, page 491-492.

Notice, in the quote above, how Madison equated or associated the toxins of power with disease epidemic concepts, saying that the war toxin "develops the germ of every other". War enhances the spread of corrupting toxins.

Clearly, he is saying that war is a corrupting toxin that generates other corrupting toxins which will eventually destroy "public freedom".

Further, war, the greatest source of toxins of power is the province of the military, therefore, what Madison said about war applies without restriction to the military.

It is no wonder that President General Dwight Eisenhower warned us with great concern about that very dangerous source of the toxins of power we always face.

That is also why war is given the highest number in the tables of toxins on this blog.
The least that can be said is that this day has been "watered down", but the closer truth is that propaganda reigns supreme in our lands.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Church Chat

You want jobs?

How about an entire industry based on the faith lobby?

(Remember that both true and false faith is something that replaces evidence. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". KJV Hebrews 11:1; "faith" is a replacement for evidence)

In Driving Miss Crazy we pointed out some of the problems faith in government can lead to.

For example the source code that runs the computer that decides blood levels of alcohol, and the source code for the computer that decides election results, are secret, meaning your faith in them is required:
A secret code making legal decisions, or deciding elections for that matter is simply unacceptable, and as long as Americans are satisfied to have the rights of accused drinking drivers violated, they set the precedent for their own rights to be violated.
(Intoxylizer Source Code). Did you notice that the author mentions the source code of voting machines also in general being a state controlled secret?

Think also about the classified budget, because anything that is a secret, or anytime you take their word for it without evidence, is a quasi-religious type of realm based on your faith in them.

Some observers point out that this faith tends to lead to huge industries with a misguided motive:
The second reason is political. "Alcohol related" statistics paint a picture of epidemic proportions that demand government action (and money) and a mobilization of citizen action. It justifies bigger budgets, more authority for enforcement agencies, and rationalizes a whole industry designed to feed off the "Drunk Driving epidemic." Multi-million dollar industries, organizations and bureaucracies are dependent on maintaining the aura of a drunk driving epidemic. This illusion would be impossible to maintain if the true magnitude of drunk driving caused accidents and fatalities were actually itemized and categorized into meaningful segments ... remember that the definition of alcohol-related does not mean alcohol-caused. For their own reasons, NHTSA has chosen to define an alcohol related crash as an accident in which a driver, passenger, bicyclist or pedestrian had any measurable alcohol in their system. Furthermore, cause, fault or circumstance are not considered. For example, a winter chain reaction crash on black ice on I91 involving 10 cars and three deaths would be considered alcohol related if one of the drivers had taken some cough syrup medication that morning. If you feel that I am engaging in hyperbole, refer back to the May 5 OLR study that uses the same example.
(National Motorist Association, emphasis added). The history of several industries, including organized crime, traces back to the Eighteenth Amendment “prohibition” ideology.

A federal appeals court writes down some facts indicating, as will be seen, that the origin of various aspects of some federal law is religious-faith based coming from temperance movement ideology.

In this post, among other things, Dredd Blog will try to show that temperance ideology has made its way into federal law though the religious faith of once Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, along with ordained Episcopalian Priest Senator Danforth and who knows whom else:
“Thereafter, a version of section 523(a)(9) was introduced by Senator Dole as part of the Omnibus Bankruptcy Improvements Act of 1983 (the Omnibus Act). S. 445, 129 Cong.Rec. 9953, 9957 (April 27, 1983). After Senator Dole introduced the Omnibus Act, Senator Danforth remarked: "Subtitle D is a modified version of S. 605, a bill I introduced earlier this session ... [which] would have defined drunk driving as a willful and malicious offense for purposes of the bankruptcy statute. The provision in the bill before us achieves the same result by specifically stating that debts arising from drunk driving shall be nondischargeable." 129 Cong. Rec. 9998 (April 27, 1983).”
Lugo v Paulsen, 886 F.2d 602 (3rd Cir. 1989). Senator Danforth was an ordained Priest, and Senator Dole is a lifetime member in the arm of the Methodist Church that had activities called the “temperance movement” which led to the Eighteenth Amendment, then the Twenty First Amendment:
"The temperance movement was the social concern which most broadly captured the interest and enthusiasm of the Methodist Church. The movement was strongly tied to John Wesley’s theology and social principles. Wesley’s abhorrence of alcohol use was taken up by American Methodists, many of whom were active and prominent leaders within the movement ... The Methodist stance against drinking was strongly stated in the Book of Discipline. Initially, the issue taken was limited to distilled liquors, but quickly, teetotalism became the norm and Methodists were commonly known to abstain from all alcoholic beverages ... Due to the temperate stance of the church, the practice of Eucharist was altered — to this day, Methodist churches most commonly use grape juice symbolically during Communion rather than wine. The Methodist church distinguished itself from many other denominations in their beliefs about state control of alcohol. Where many other denominations, including Roman Catholics, Protestant Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Unitarians, believed that the ill-effects of liquor should be controlled by self-discipline and individual restraint, Methodists believed that it was the duty of the government to enforce restrictions on the use of alcohol. In 1904, the Board of Temperance was created by the General Conference to help push the Temperance agenda ... To this day, the Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Missions holds property across on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, which was built using funds provided by laypeople. Women of the church were responsible for 70% of the $650,000 it cost to construct the building in 1922. The building was intended to serve as the Methodist Church’s social reform presence of the Hill. The Board of Temperance, Prohibition and Public Morals was especially prominent within the building.
(Wikipedia, emphasis added). Senator Danforth, (the priest at Reagan's funeral), as an ordained Priest was obviously influenced by his religion, and Senator Dole was influenced strongly by his church ideology as well:
"Bob was raised in that kind of environment where everything rotates and revolves around the activities of the church, the rhythms of the [Methodist] church, the rituals of the church ... “At this point in American history, in American culture, in a small town, in the Midwest, everything revolves around the church. Nothing takes place that is not in some way headquartered and centered in that church. A pastor is a high prestige position, high esteem, in a small town. So Bob Dole grew up in an environment where everything is ordered and organized by the rituals and the rhythms of that church. And he learned the small town values of a, of a church that is this white clap or steeple church that is kind of a, almost a cliche, but everything it stands for has an ordering, organizing, a centering of one's life and that's where, that's where religion was centered and that's where you centered your faith, through the rhythms and rituals of that church."
(Public Broadcasting System, emphasis added). While the Establishment Clause is not supposed to allow religious law (the temperance movement is a religious movement), and due process doesn't allow unconstitutional application of any laws, yet there they are in black and white all over the place.

As it now stands, some federal law looks like an ugly throwback to an ugly part of our history (prohibition) that still mobs us, and still satiates someone's desire to exalt their religious doctrine over other religious doctrine, all in structured tension with the Establishment Clause and the Fifth Amendment.

The faith that God Is On Our Side flies in the face of Christians fleeing Iraq, after we brought "democracy" to them, unless of course one has enough "Christian faith" to believe that faith works in mysterious ways (including building a nation of the Oilah Akbar religion, a.k.a. the resurrected Mithraism).

Any other examples?