Friday, July 1, 2011

The Empire Strikes Back - 5

Dredd Blog has been doing a series about how the federal government strikes at those who would oppose, or shine light on, certain of its indiscretions.

Of course we are not the only blog so doing, nor are we the best investigative reporters on the subject, in fact we often take what others find out, to then extrapolate with Dredd Blog caricatures and psychological symbolism, to try to give readers a unique, or at least a more rare, perspective.

Let's start with another view on the matter of the empire striking back:
The Obama DOJ's effort to force New York Times investigative journalist Jim Risen to testify in a whistleblower prosecution and reveal his source is really remarkable and revealing in several ways; it should be receiving much more attention than it is. On its own, the whistleblower prosecution and accompanying targeting of Risen are pernicious, but more importantly, it underscores the menacing attempt by the Obama administration -- as Risen yesterday pointed out -- to threaten and intimidate whistleblowers, journalists and activists who meaningfully challenge what the government does in secret.

The subpoena to Risen was originally issued but then abandoned by the Bush administration, and then revitalized by Obama lawyers. It is part of the prosecution of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA agent whom the DOJ accuses of leaking to Risen the story of a severely botched agency plot -- from 11 years ago -- to infiltrate Iran's nuclear program, a story Risen wrote about six years after the fact in his 2006 best-selling book, State of War. The DOJ wants to force Risen to testify under oath about whether Sterling was his source.
(Greenwald, Salon). At the Toxins of Power Blog in the post The Toxic Bridge To Everywhere, certain toxins are fingered as a source of this kind of Big Brother mentality.

But more than that, since the facts of this case span both the Bush II Regime and the Obama Regime, you might want to read The Territorial Realm Of The Toxins Of Power, a post which indicates that a meme complex can develop, propagate, and then perpetuate itself.

In the case cited in the quote above, the normal, legitimate government-secrecy meme, which appropriately keeps certain things secret, was infected with a toxin of power.

That toxic infection worked in a manner that corrupted the meme's normal pattern in the brain of the host of the meme, as shown in the series A Structure RE: Corruption of Memes.

Once infected, carriers of the toxin began to want to make more and more things secret, in an inappropriate Big Brother way, eventually demanding that everything be made secret.

As the toxins strengthen, those in the government secrecy meme complex then experience a morph in their ideology to the point where they even begin to want to imprison those who have a different view of government secrecy (journalists, whistle blowers, activists, scholars, etc.).

As the toxic memes replicate to then spread throughout the government secrecy meme complex, those memes eventually can propagate to other hosts allowing them to last from one presidential administration to another, in effect becoming a perpetual cognitive epidemic.

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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Survival Of The Fittest Willie McTell

Regular readers here know that the Dredd Blog nickname or caricature of the U.S. press is Blind Willie McTell.

Those who watch Fox News then MSNBC News, for comparison purposes, are going to experience what was expressed in the post All Truth Is Local, where this blog focused to some degree on variations in the "truth" notion.

The survival of the fittest U.S. press organization (see photo of a press to the left), as it turns out, really does not have anything to do with the most fit news, the most fit truth, but instead turns upon the same dynamics that determine which brand dominates in "the market".

When the truth news business does its business like the corporate monsters then it is a corporate monster itself.

The blogosphere causes fear in McTell, so you hear cheap shots and ad hominem slander against "the blogs" all the time.

As if all blogs were the same.

In the social world today survival of the fittest means imperialism, domination, and ultimately "might makes right", so they broadcast anti-internet / anti-blog propaganda in an attempt to protect "their turf".

Their is a lot of mental illness which can be attributed to the media version of Blind Willie McTell.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Government Climate Change Policy - Triage - 3

The "public relations" policy (a.k.a. propaganda) of the federal government, with regard to global climate change, is best expressed by the post The Baghdad Bobs of the United States.

A good example of this policy, which is actually the institutionalization of denial, is what is happening to two areas of the country, expressed in the Dredd Blog post Authoritarian Green Glow In The Dark, and a news article about fires threatening a national nuclear laboratory.

It is not that the government is reacting to the fears of the people, it is more like MOMCOM, the puppet meister, is instigating those fears then providing an official denial, which acts as pabulum.

This official rap "works" because the catastrophes are not happening everywhere yet, so they play to those who are eager to "be positive", i.e., those who have not yet been personally affected by direct global weirding catastrophe so as to grasp the reality of it.

The government policy is short sighted, demented, delusional, and the remainder of this post will hypothesize that it is clearly the work of the national Id / Amygdala.

The same insane policy is used to explain the wars the people do not want, have not wanted for years, yet they continue unabated.

The worst part of this national condition is that the condition is without hope of treatment, which does not bode well, because historically the amygdala run amok will result in disaster.

Let's review one famous case for some key points:
... [Whitman] killed a receptionist with the butt of his rifle. Two families of tourists came up the stairwell; he shot at them at point-blank range. Then he began to fire indiscriminately from the deck at people below. The first woman he shot was pregnant. As her boyfriend knelt to help her, Whitman shot him as well. He shot pedestrians in the street and an ambulance driver who came to rescue them.

The evening before, Whitman had sat at his typewriter and composed a suicide note:
I don’t really understand myself these days. I am supposed to be an average reasonable and intelligent young man. However, lately (I can’t recall when it started) I have been a victim of many unusual and irrational thoughts.
By the time the police shot him dead, Whitman had killed 13 people and wounded 32 more. The story of his rampage dominated national headlines the next day. And when police went to investigate his home for clues, the story became even stranger: in the early hours of the morning on the day of the shooting, he had murdered his mother and stabbed his wife to death in her sleep.
It was after much thought that I decided to kill my wife, Kathy, tonight … I love her dearly, and she has been as fine a wife to me as any man could ever hope to have. I cannot rationa[l]ly pinpoint any specific reason for doing this …
Along with the shock of the murders lay another, more hidden, surprise: the juxtaposition of his aberrant actions with his unremarkable personal life. Whitman was an Eagle Scout and a former marine, studied architectural engineering at the University of Texas, and briefly worked as a bank teller and volunteered as a scoutmaster for Austin’s Boy Scout Troop 5. As a child, he’d scored 138 on the Stanford-Binet IQ test, placing in the 99th percentile. So after his shooting spree from the University of Texas Tower, everyone wanted answers.

For that matter, so did Whitman. He requested in his suicide note that an autopsy be performed to determine if something had changed in his brain — because he suspected it had.
I talked with a Doctor once for about two hours and tried to convey to him my fears that I felt [overcome by] overwhelming violent impulses. After one session I never saw the Doctor again, and since then I have been fighting my mental turmoil alone, and seemingly to no avail.
Whitman’s body was taken to the morgue, his skull was put under the bone saw, and the medical examiner lifted the brain from its vault. He discovered that Whitman’s brain harbored a tumor the diameter of a nickel. This tumor, called a glioblastoma, had blossomed from beneath a structure called the thalamus, impinged on the hypothalamus, and compressed a third region called the amygdala.
(Atlantic Monthly). Whitman's statement "I don't really understand myself these days" reminded me of the myth that we normally follow the old adage "know thyself", because we really do not know ourselves anywhere near what we think we do (see this and this).

For that and other reasons, any problem with the amygdala, the nucleus of the Id, can be hazardous to our health, to say the least.

It is especially so when a nation's amygdala "has a tumor", because the nation can become belligerent, lose its sense of self, its sense of direction, and inexplicably begin to invade, occupy, and abuse the other nations around it.

The individual, Whitman, turned against his extended self then became destructive toward those most able to help him heal, which is exactly what the "powers that be" within the nation are doing.

It is like slipping into a SLIDE ZONE:

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

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 5

Many posts in the Dredd Blog system use words, terms, and phrases that generally apply to individual persons, then extrapolate from them so as to portray the nation or even all civilization by those words, terms, and phrases.

Of course the usage of this form of portrayal originates from an art form known as Caricature, a device, method, or technique intended to assist readers with comprehension or visualization.

Examples of similar usage at other places that would be akin to this general practice here on Dredd Blog would be to use "Uncle Sam" as a caricature of the United States (see graphic above).

Regular readers know that we use the acronym MOMCOM, which is composed of two main caricatures.

The first of the two caricatures (a beautiful woman) is used to represent the outward persona of MOMCOM (the ego and superego / the conscious), while the second (Jabba The Hutt) is used to represent the inner persona (the Amygdala / Freudian Id - the subconscious).

In this post we refer to the work of a researcher and author within the discipline that deals with such matters:
Dr. James Allan Cheyne has worked in a variety of areas in psychology and cognitive neuroscience. His current interests include the phenomenology and neuropsychology of sustained attention, the experience of agency (willed action), hallucinations, and religious and other anomalous experiences and beliefs. His published research has appeared in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, including Consciousness and Cognition, Cognition, Cognitive Development, Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, Cortex, Journal of Consciousness Studies, Journal of Sleep Research, and Neuropsychologia. He formally retired from the University of Waterloo in 2005, where he served as Chair of the Department of Psychology, but continues to engage in research, writing, and occasional bear tracking.
(eSkeptic). A work by Dr. Cheyne confirms our association of the Freudian Id with the Amygdala:
The id has its center deep within the temporal lobes of the brain. Its nucleus is a small structure called the amygdala
(Monsters From The Id, emphasis added). In one Toxins of Power Blog post the extrapolation from the Id of Freudian Psychology to a national Id was hypothesized:
Can we say that there is a national "Id"?
(You Id What You Id). In another post we show clearly that we are all MOMCOM in the sense that MOMCOM is in and around all of us.

Therefore we are all affected by, and we all are part of The National Ego / Superego, as well as The National Id.

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