Saturday, March 12, 2011

Authoritarian Green Glow In The Dark

There is new meaning to the term green energy in the wake of the quake in Japan.

It cannot be confirmed that global warming is increasing the scale of earthquake activity, at least not to every type of earthquake, nevertheless, yesterday there was talk of the Japan earthquake having been triggered by the effects of global warming.

The hypothesis is that as the polar ice melts, thereby causing the oceans to rise, as well as those oceans having less oxygen content, not to mention more oil and more garbage in them, they become more weighty to consequently put increasing pressure on the ocean bottom.

Since some of the ocean bottoms have tectonic plate fault zones, which already have tension on them, the added tension is said to increase the risk of triggering a quake.

Dredd Blog is not ready to buy into that hypothesis as having passed factual scrutiny in every scenario, however, it is certainly a mathematically real and undeniable hypothesis in the abstract.

The touchy part of the theory is knowing how much pressure is required to trigger, not cause, an earthquake event earlier than it otherwise would have happened; or to trigger one in cases where the quake would not have ever happened otherwise.

There are undoubtedly scenarios with compelling scientific support showing that the effects of global warming can trigger catastrophic events, such as the volcanic eruption in Iceland about a year ago.

You might want to recall that the effects of global warming and other pollution, in terms of affecting pressures in the earth's crust, was discussed in terms of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Dredd Blog series Is A New Age Of Pressure Upon Us?

One thing is certain, Nuclear Power Plants in Japan took a hit because some were built too close to the rising ocean, thereby suffering a hit from the tsunami as well as the quake itself.

The photo at the top of this thread shows an explosion described as follows:
An explosion at a nuclear power plant in northern Japan on Saturday blew the roof off one building, brought down walls and caused a radiation leak of unspecified proportions, Japanese officials said, after Friday’s huge earthquake caused critical failures in the plant’s cooling system.
(Japan Expands Evacuation). This "clean and safe" nuclear energy propaganda, like the "clean coal" propaganda, has the potential to get very nasty.

For example, Dredd Blog has quoted researchers who have said that Chernobyl in Russia caused about a million deaths around the world, but officialdom cannot handle the truth so they deny most of the damage done.

Now we see that Japanese officials have learned from MOMCOM's propaganda organ (amygdala) to tell lies in order to "keep the little people calm" during times when the underlying Jabber The Whut is shining though.

Since government went into the propaganda business whole hog, it is becoming less regulatory of things that simply must be regulated, and as a result there will be needless blood, misery, suffering, and death.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Earthquake: 8.9 Hits Japan

This is an early report:
The 8.9-magnitude earthquake -- the world's fifth-largest since 1900 and the biggest in Japan in 140 years -- struck at 2:46 p.m. local time, shaking buildings violently in Tokyo for several minutes and sending millions fleeing for higher ground.

At least 60 people are believed dead, though that number is expected to rise dramatically as officials begin assessing the extent of the damage. Japanese media is reporting scores of people missing, likely buried under rubble or swept away by waves as high as 33 feet.
(LA Times).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A letter from Michael Moore

Our pal Michael Moore sent us an update on his views about how some of the things are going "on the ground" in Wisconsin.

Here is what he wrote:

How I Got to Madison, Wisconsin
Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Early yesterday morning, around 1:00 AM, I had finished work for the day on my current "project" (top secret for now -- sorry, no spoiler alerts!). Someone had sent me a link to a discussion Bill O'Reilly had had with Sarah Palin a few hours earlier about my belief that the money the 21st Century rich have absconded with really isn't theirs -- and that a vast chunk of it should be taken away from them.

They were referring to comments I had made earlier in the week on a small cable show called GRITtv (Part 1 and Part 2). I honestly didn't know this was going to air that night (I had been asked to stop by and say a few words of support for a nurses union video), but I spoke from my heart about the millions of our fellow Americans who have had their homes and jobs stolen from them by a criminal class of millionaires and billionaires. It was the morning after the Oscars, at which the winner of Best Documentary for "Inside Job" stood at the microphone and declared, "I must start by pointing out that three years after our horrific financial crisis caused by financial fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail. And that's wrong." And he was applauded for saying this. (When did they stop booing Oscar speeches? Damn!)

So GRITtv ran my comments -- and all week the right wingopoly has been upset over what I said: That the money that the rich have stolen (or not paid taxes on) belongs to the American people. Drudge/Limbaugh/Beck and even Donald Trump went nuts, calling me names and suggesting I move to Cuba.

So in the wee hours of yesterday morning I sat down to write an answer to them. By 3:00 AM, it had turned into more of a manifesto of class war -- or, I should say, a manifesto against the class war the rich have been conducting on the American people for the past 30 years. I read it aloud to myself to see how it sounded (trying not to wake anyone else in the apartment) and then -- and this is why no one should be up at 3:00 AM -- the crazy kicked in: I needed to get in the car and drive to Madison and give this speech.

I went online to get directions and saw that there was no official big rally planned like the one they had last Saturday and will have again next Saturday. Just the normal ongoing demonstration and occupation of the State Capitol that's been in process since February 12th (the day after Mubarak was overthrown in Egypt) to protest the Republican governor's move to kill the state's public unions.

So, it's three in the morning and I'm a thousand miles from Madison and I see that the open microphone for speakers starts at noon. Hmm. No time to drive from New York. I was off to the airport. I left a note on the kitchen table saying I'd be back at 9:00 PM. Called a friend and asked him if he wanted to meet me at the Delta counter. Called the guy who manages my website, woke him up, and asked him to track down the coordinators in Madison and tell them I'm on my way and would like to say a few words if possible -- "but tell them if they've got other plans or no room for me, I'll be happy just to stand there holding a sign and singing Solidarity Forever."

So I just showed up. The firefighters, hearing I'm there, ask me to lead their protest parade through downtown Madison. I march with them, along with John Nichols (who lives in Madison and writes for the Nation). Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin and the great singer Michelle Shocked have also decided to show up.

The scene in Madison is nothing like what they are showing you on TV or in the newspaper. First, you notice that the whole town is behind this. Yard signs and signs in store windows are everywhere supporting public workers. There are thousands of people out just randomly lining the streets for the six blocks leading to the Capitol building carrying signs, shouting and cheering and cajoling. Then there are stages and friendly competing demos on all sides of the building (yesterday's total estimate of people was 50,000-70,000, the smallest one yet)! A big semi truck has been sent by James Hoffa of the Teamsters and is parked like a don't-even-think-of-effing-with-us Sherman tank on the street in front of the Capitol. There is a long line -- separate from these other demonstrations -- of 4,000 people, waiting their turn to get through the only open door to the Capitol so they can join the occupation inside.

And inside the Rotunda is ... well, it will bring tears to your eyes if you go there. It's like a shrine to working people -- to what America is and should be about -- packed with families and kids and so many senior citizens that it made me happy for science and its impact on life expectancy over the past century. There were grandmas and great-grandpas who remember FDR and Wisconsin's La Follette and the long view of this struggle. Standing in that Rotunda was like a religious experience. There had been nothing like it, for me, in decades.

And so it was in this setting, out of doors now on the steps of the Capitol, with so many people in front of me that I couldn't see where they ended, that I just "showed up" and gave a speech that felt unlike any other I had ever given. As I had just written it and had no time to memorize it, I read from the pages I brought with me. I wanted to make sure that the words I had chosen were clear and exact. I knew they had the potential to drive the haters into a rabid state (not a pretty sight) but I also feared that the Right's wealthy patrons would see a need to retaliate should these words be met with citizen action across the land. I was, after all, putting them on notice: We are coming after you, we are stopping you and we are going to return the money/jobs/homes you stole from the people. You have gone too far. It's too bad you couldn't have been satisfied with making millions, you had to have billions -- and now you want to strip us of our ability to talk and bargain and provide. This is your tipping point, Wall Street; your come-to-Jesus moment, Corporate America. And I'm glad I'm going to be able to be a witness to it.

You can find the written version of my speech on my website. Please read it and pass it around far and wide. You can also watch a video of me giving the spoken version from the Capitol steps by clicking here. I will be sending you a second email shortly with just the speech so you can forward a clean version of it without the above story of how I abandoned my family in the middle of the night to go to Wisconsin for the day.

I can't express enough the level of admiration I have for the people of Wisconsin who, for three weeks, have braved the brutal winter cold and taken over their state Capitol. All told, literally hundreds of thousands of people have made their way to Madison to make their voices heard. It all began with high school students cutting class and marching on the building (you can read their reports on my High School Newspaper site). Then their parents joined them. Then 14 brave Democratic state senators left the state so the governor wouldn't have his quorum.

And all this while the White House was trying to stop this movement (read this)!

But it didn't matter. The People's train had left the station. And now protests were springing up in all 50 states.

The media has done a poor job covering this (imagine a takeover of the government HQ in any other country, free or totalitarian -- our media would be all over it). But this one scares them and their masters -- as it should. The organizers told me this morning that my showing up got them more coverage yesterday than they would have had, "a shot in the arm that we needed to keep momentum going." Well, I'm glad I could help. But they need a lot more than just me -- and they need you doing similar things in your own states and towns.

How 'bout it? I know you know this: This is our moment. Let's seize it. Everyone can do something.

Michael Moore

P.S. This local Madison paper/blog captured best what happened yesterday, and got what I'm really up to. Someone please send this to O'Reilly and Palin so there's no mistaking my true intentions.

P.P.S. Full disclosure: I am a proud union member of four unions: the Directors Guild, the Writers Guild, the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA (the last two have passed resolutions supporting the workers in Wisconsin). My production company has signed union contracts with five unions (and soon to be a 6th). All my full-time employees have full medical and dental insurance with NO DEDUCTIBLE. So, yes, I'm biased.

The outcome of the Wisconsin incident (the authoritarians passed the legislation without the democrats being there) was as Dredd Blog expected and stated in a recent post (authoritarianism is the final phase of American "capitalism").

After reading the book "The Authoritarians" I realized that the most often made mistake people default to, when thinking about authoritarianism, is to consider the authoritarian leader to be the "be all", the big picture, or the most important factor in the matter.

Actually the leader is the least important factor while authoritarianism is developing, because in reality it is the insecurities of the authoritarian leaning people who let it happen, who are the primary reason for the spread and ascendancy of authoritarianism.

Authoritarianism is always preceded by a period of time when the substantial portion of the populace is led in the wrong direction by an influential few, an influential elite.

The professional class of journalists in the U.S.A. have been subverted to not listen to the populace, even while the populace voices that it senses something is wrong about the nation's direction.

Current attempts to eradicate Social Security, through "privatization" (giving SS to Wall Street for MOMCOM), and current attempts to eradicate unions (by removing collective bargaining, etc.) are examples of the wrong direction.

The majority of U.S. citizens think we are going in the wrong direction, but do not have a comprehensive unity as to what the proper destination might be.

The stupid wars (yes, Iraq is still a war) are two more examples of THE Wrong DIRECTION, The W Direction.

As it ends up, our national sentiments are senses about where we should not be more so than a sense of where we need to go.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cassini Finds Enceladus is a Powerhouse

PASADENA, Calif. -- Heat output from the south polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus is much greater than was previously thought possible, according to a new analysis of data collected by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The study was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research on March 4.

Data from Cassini's composite infrared spectrometer of Enceladus' south polar terrain, which is marked by linear fissures, indicate that the internal heat-generated power is about 15.8 gigawatts, approximately 2.6 times the power output of all the hot springs in the Yellowstone region, or comparable to 20 coal-fueled power stations. This is more than an order of magnitude higher than scientists had predicted, according to Carly Howett, the lead author of study, who is a postdoctoral researcher at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., and a composite infrared spectrometer science team member.

"The mechanism capable of producing the much higher observed internal power remains a mystery and challenges the currently proposed models of long-term heat production," said Howett.

It has been known since 2005 that Enceladus' south polar terrain is geologically active and the activity is centered on four roughly parallel linear trenches, 130 kilometers (80 miles) long and about 2 kilometers (1 mile) wide, informally known as the "tiger stripes." Cassini also found that these fissures eject great plumes of ice particles and water vapor continually into space. These trenches have elevated temperatures due to heat leaking out of Enceladus' interior.

A 2007 study predicted the internal heat of Enceladus, if principally generated by tidal forces arising from the orbital resonance between Enceladus and another moon, Dione, could be no greater than 1.1 gigawatts averaged over the long term. Heating from natural radioactivity inside Enceladus would add another 0.3 gigawatts.

The latest analysis, which also involved the composite infrared spectrometer team members John Spencer at Southwest Research Institute, and John Pearl and Marcia Segura at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., uses observations taken in 2008, which cover the entire south polar terrain. They constrained Enceladus' surface temperatures to determine the region's surprisingly high output.

A possible explanation of the high heat flow observed is that Enceladus' orbital relationship to Saturn and Dione changes with time, allowing periods of more intensive tidal heating, separated by more quiescent periods. This means Cassini might be lucky enough to be seeing Enceladus when it's unusually active.

The new, higher heat flow determination makes it even more likely that liquid water exists below Enceladus' surface, Howett noted.

Recently, scientists studying ice particles ejected from the plumes discovered that some of the particles are salt-rich, and are probably frozen droplets from a saltwater ocean in contact with Enceladus' mineral-rich rocky core. The presence of a subsurface ocean, or perhaps a south polar sea between the moon's outer ice shell and its rocky interior would increase the efficiency of the tidal heating by allowing greater tidal distortions of the ice shell.

"The possibility of liquid water, a tidal energy source and the observation of organic (carbon-rich) chemicals in the plume of Enceladus make the satellite a site of strong astrobiological interest," Howett said.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The CIRS team is based at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., where the instrument was built.

More information

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Authoritarianism: Past And Future Is Now

Yesterday Dredd Blog took issue with Karl Marx, specifically with his predictions about American Capitalism.

Yesterday's post argued that Marx was correct on every point of his predictions, except how U.S. capitalism would end.

, a long time blogger here, sent comments by email which will be part of this post, as follows:

... NeoNazism in fact represents the prevailing ideology in the US by a WIDE margin (a fact that should surprise no one with a functioning brain; the process has been underway EXPLICITLY for at least the last 31 years).

And just who are the 21st century fall guys for the NeoNazi’s among us? If you have to ask, you either haven’t paying attention or you’re one of the party faithful.

Let’s start with the illegal immigrants (THOSE F**KING MEXICANS! [King of the House is starting an investigation of American Muslims ... the new Mexicans - DREDD]). They’re the most obvious (and easiest to exploit) examples.

Let’s extend that to the poor in general. You know what? THEY’RE POOR FOR A REASON! THEY’RE INFERIOR!

But further, let’s extend that to the government and/or union workers (ESPECIALLY TEACHERS!). THOSE BASTARDS HAVE THE NERVE TO ORGANIZE AND ACTUALLY STAND UP FOR THEMSELVES!!!

Who’s next? I dunno, use your imagination. Once the NeoNazi’s crush the unions and government workers and shortly thereafter renege on all previous government “obligations,” who or what do you think will possibly come next?

How about forced conscription into MOMCOM wars of opportunity for whatever “opportunity wage” they decide to offer? How about wholesale declarations of “eminent domain” over low-middle income housing areas to drive the people off the land in favor of corporate interests?

How about the mass re-criminalization of bankruptcy and/or homelessness and the OBLIGATION TO PAY FOR YOUR OWN IMPRISONMENT? A conversation looking back at it all from the other side after crossing over:
Q: And you didn’t realize what these NeoNazi bastards were up to?

A: Yeah, I guess I did. But I was a coward like everyone else. I figured if I just shut up and went along, everything would work out alright in the end.

Q: At what point did it dawn on you that this was not going to be business as usual?

A: I dunno. It’s really hard to define, as this kind of shit really just sneaks up on you.

Q: Did you realize at any point that it, in fact, was “sneaking up on you?”

A: Oh, yes. Many times.

Q: Well then, WHY in the world didn’t you do something about it then?

A: Because I figured if I waited JUST A LITTLE BIT LONGER then things would turn out to be OK after all.

Q: Did they?

A: No. Never.

Q: Well then, why then did you continue on with this insane thought process?

A: Actually, I dunno. First of all, I was overwhelmed with other day to day business. It’s not like the bastards wouldn’t have been willing to “do” me too had I not been able to keep up with expectations. Second, that very process kept me too warn out to give it another thought. And third, I hadn’t really been used to using my brain for independent thought for some time anyway.

Q: So you were reduced to merely a cog in the wheel?

A: Yeah, of course. Is there anything else?

Q: No more questions.

Disaffected, during comments on yesterday's post, also linked to an instructive book on the subject of that post, written by a psychologist.

That book, "The Authoritarians", was written by Bob Altemeyer (Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada).

It deals with some of the issues we speak of regularly (in Dredd Blog parlance that would be meme complexes contaminated by propaganda to the point of inducing the collective, national amygdala to override and overrun reason).

Here are some quotes from the professor's book:
You never would have heard of my research if [John Dean] had not recently plowed through my studies, trying to understand, first, various people he knew in the Nixon White House, and then some leading figures of the Republican Party of 2004.
(id. page 4). John Dean was seen regularly on MSNBC, especially on Keith Olbermann's show, until a neoCon megacorporation recently bought MSNBC to silence Olbermann and Dean.

John Dean was White House Counsel for Dick Nixon.

Dean took the case of criminality within that White House to Congress, which then began the impeachment process, leading to Nixon's resignation along with the imprisonment of several White House officials for felonies.

This very morning on MSNBC Pat Buchanan, a chief Nixon propagandist, along with a host of fake liberal impostors, are generating propaganda that Social Security must be brought down.

But nary a word is uttered about the madness of MOMCOM, so, one last quote from the book:
Authoritarianism is something authoritarian followers and authoritarian leaders cook up between themselves. It happens when the followers submit too much to the leaders, trust them too much, and give them too much leeway to do whatever they want -- which often is something undemocratic, tyrannical and brutal. In my day, authoritarian fascist and authoritarian communist dictatorships posed the biggest threats to democracies, and eventually lost to them in wars both hot and cold. But authoritarianism itself has not disappeared, and I'm going to present the case in this book that the greatest threat to American democracy today arises from a militant authoritarianism that has become a cancer upon the nation.
(ibid, page 8, emphasis added). The professor's conclusion, after decades of professional study, is the same as Dredd Blog, Toxins of Power Blog, and Ecocosmology Blog.

We discuss the issue of authoritarianism primarily as a cosmic disease, noting that if a doctor were to diagnose a disease as a moral problem (like a priest or minister treats sin) the follow-up treatment would be doomed to failure.

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

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.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Open Thread


A couple of thousand years before Columbus, people were living in Florida ...
elderly lady discovers human bones ...
Why would the GOP choose these guys when they have Obama?
Our pal Mikey likes it in Wisconsin ...
Everything you need to know about MOMCOM torture ...