Friday, December 30, 2011

Why Trial By Jury? - 2

Almost three years ago Dredd Blog did a piece on the reason for the requirement of juries in our Constitution.

In that post we pointed out that the jury specification includes the requirement that a grand jury must be used to ponder the validity of government assertions of criminality, a requirement for a trial by petite jury, if criminal charges are brought by a grand jury, then finally in non-criminal cases involving civil matters over money or property, our Constitution requires a petite civil jury.

That Dredd Blog post was moved to the Toxins of Power blog because, as explained in that post, one of the reasons for jury involvement in our legal system is the notion that power corrupts:
Once the grand jury returns an indictment, still another petite jury must be convinced unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual who was charged is in fact to be held accountable for those charges. And the person charged need not say a single word. The prosecutor carries the entire burden to prove it. Is that fair? No. But it is safe.

Let us look at some abstract examples. In the courts during trials experts are used. In the typical case experts will give their opinions to the jury. Typically this means an opposite opinion for each side. The experts are sworn in, list their degrees, and the court makes a ruling that they are experts.

Afterwards those experts explain that they looked at the evidence, and then they tell the jury what their opinion is. The expert for the defense has one opinion, but the expert for the prosecutor typically has another and different opinion. On the exact same evidence I should add.

Finally, the everyday folk on the jury make the decision as to which expert was right and who was telling the truth! Yes, the person who left the farm after a 5:00 AM breakfast, and then drove the truck into town for that day's jury duty, decides which rocket scientist had it right.

If you are still wondering why this is so, remember that the foundation of jury theory is that the people can determine facts better or more accurately than those immersed in governmental power can. By “better or more accurately" I mean in the context of the effects that governmental power has on individuals.

We have found that historically, by and large, the people tend not to oppress their fellow citizens like governmental agents have tended to do. The old saying that “power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely" is directed at governments. It is not directed at juries of the people.

Juries are the people's reaction to the oppression of tyrants who have inebriated themselves with the toxins active within governmental power.

Oh to be sure juries make mistakes. But the mistakes of the people are much easier to live with over the long run than the mistakes of government.

So say the sages of the ages.
(Why Trial By Jury?). The work of a jury is not always easy, for one reason because experts often disagree on the same set of facts.

In yesterday's post, The Memes of Penrose - 3, I discussed the fact that the experts who disagree can even be top experts in a given field.

The video at the end of today's post shows why a grand jury, then a petite jury, should be used to determine the ongoing expert disagreements concerning many 9/11 controversies.

Two ex-Senators have sworn under oath that Saudi Arabia is likely linked to the 9/11 attacks.

Senator Kerry, a 9/11 Commission co-chair, and Senator Graham of Florida, submitted affidavits setting forth their testimony.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Memes of Penrose - 3

In the previous post in this series we noted that the dogma, ideology, and the science of the world of quantum mechanics, below a certain line or level, is said to be chaotic in a way that scientist Dr. Roger Penrose says does not make sense. One Dr. Lynn Margulis (video) noticed the same thing with some evolutionary dogma, ideology, and science, then went on to cause quite a stir in the world of microbiology, the science that deals with the microscopic underworld. Brits like Dr. Penrose and Americans like Dr. L. Margulis are resourceful people, always questioning the world around them from many viewpoints. Then there are those who are called "fringe thinkers" who do not have the credentials of Dr. Penrose or Dr. Margulis, yet they also think that a lot of establishment science does not make sense:
Many people enjoy doing physics, and the vast majority of them work as professional scientists. Margaret Wertheim’s Physics on the Fringe, however, is about the minority, those who devote a significant portion of their lives to investigating the structure of the universe at their kitchen tables while their families sleep. These individuals (those she discusses are, with one exception, all men) did not train as scientists and then fail to find employment in their chosen field. And they are not amateurs who study physics textbooks and read scholarly journals. They are at the fringe, a place most of us ignore completely.
(Fringe Science, American Scientist). Then there are "those" who have some establishment folk running around in circles, trying to figure out where "those" fit. For example, consider Dr. Steve Pieczenik:
Pieczenik was deputy assistant secretary of state under Henry Kissinger, Cyrus Vance and James Baker. His expertise includes foreign policy, international crisis management and psychological warfare. He served the presidential administrations of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in the capacity of deputy assistant secretary ... On May 3, 2011 ... Pieczenik claimed that Osama Bin Laden had died of Marfan syndrome in 2001 shortly after the 9/11 attacks, and that the attacks on the United States on 9/11 were part of a false flag operation ...

(Wikipedia, emphasis added, cf. PQ911). It is interesting that Dr. Margulis (considered a scientific heretic, for many years, later to be proven correct as to her revolutionary scientific papers, finally to be accepted by mainstream science, then given coveted awards) also said that the official government conspiracy theory is false. These are very competent people, who the government must try to paint as "conspiracy theorists" (through their lackey, McTell News), or else give in to criticism. If they give in to the criticism, then they must do the first criminal investigation of 9/11, which was the largest crime ever committed on American soil, without there ever having been a formal criminal prosecution of that crime (Grand Jury, Charges, Trials). A long video is available here, showing Dr. Niels Harrit, a University Professor of Chemistry, experiencing an attempted character assassination hit on him by McTell News. The McTell News does not want you to know that thousands of professionals, as well as hundreds of millions of people, at home and abroad, do not believe the government's conspiracy theory. They favor, instead, the memes of Penrose.

The previous post in this series is here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Fleets & Terrorism Follow The Oil - 4

We began this series in a post about this time two years ago, recently posting what was then the latest in the series.

In that recent post Dredd Blog pointed out a U.S. buildup in the Persian Gulf area, which is the province of MOMCOM's USCENTCOM.

This year we saw increased climate change effects in the form of destructive weather in the U.S. and abroad, caused by fossil fuel use:
By many measures, 2011 was the most extreme weather year for the United States since reliable record-keeping began in the 19th century -- and the costs have been enormous. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2011 set a record for the most billion-dollar disasters in a single year. There were 12, breaking the old record of nine set in 2009. The aggregate damage from these 12 events totals at least $52 billion, NOAA found.
(One Earth). Nevertheless, we see increasing tensions in the ongoing oil wars for control of the fossil fuels that are bringing climate change disasters:
Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi warned that "not a drop of oil will pass through the Strait of Hormuz" if sanctions are widened.
Iran's navy chief Admiral Habibollah Sayari later said closing the strait would be "easy".
The Strait of Hormuz links the Gulf - and the oil-producing states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - to the Indian Ocean. About 40% of the world's tanker-borne oil passes through it.
(Iran threatens to block Strait, emphasis added). Clearly, if the Iranians do in fact attempt to block the strategic strait, it would cause an immediate military response.

Thus the behavior of oil addicted civilization mirrors the behavior of gangs who fight over drug turf, over the right to peddle the drug in a particular geographic turf.

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

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Odd Bedfellows - Incompetence & Fear - 2

I thought a post two years ago would dove-tail well with yesterday's post about McTell News, yes would fit well here today, by adding some emphasis.

So, here is the text from that post two years ago:

Sometimes it is difficult to tell what the military oil complex news outlets are selling, fear or incompetence.

The incompetent fool who burned himself in front of the world has the news media all aTwitter, tweeting out fear like incompetence was irrelevant.

Does the media actually think that incompetent fools like the young man who lived in the basement instead of in the home upstairs with his wealthy family is really a grave danger to the United States?

There are many thousands of them in the United States who have been through the military fog of war and who have come out all foggy & dangerous about what is real and what is not real.

Are these incompetent fools the real enemy of the people of the U.S. or is the government controlled media who sell war like all warmongers do, more of a danger?

The anniversary of Operation Northwoods may or may not have something to do with it:
Operation Northwoods, or Northwoods, was a false-flag plan, proposed within the United States government in 1962. The plan called for CIA or other operatives to commit apparent acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Castro-led Cuba. One plan was to "develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington".

This operation is especially notable in that it included plans for hijackings and bombings followed by the use of phony evidence that would blame the terrorist acts on a foreign government, namely Cuba.
(Wikipedia, emphasis added). Or perhaps Wikipedia is a conspiracy theory?

In either case, this Homeland Security is an expensive joke if it's security can be destroyed by a deranged kid with a chemistry set.

The purpose of McTell News is to light up your smokestack (then blame it on you) baby:

The lyrics to this song are here.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Blind Willie McTell News

"I will McTell you what I need you to know."
Recently, I focused on a particular portion of the life of Blind Willie McTell, in terms of the use of that portion of his life as being a suitable, if not a great, fit for the caricature of the for-profit main stream media ("McTell News").

The McTell News is owned by a very few for-profit U.S. and foreign corporations that are now called "persons" by the U.S. Supreme Court.

I also mentioned some stark effects that the McTell News has had on the MOMCOM 1% elite, as well as the effect McTell News has had on the general public, the 99% (See Stockholm Syndrome On Steroids - 2).

Today, I want to focus exclusively on that caricature of McTell News, as well as how the songwriter Bob Dylan (who wrote what some call a masterpiece, "Blind Willie McTell"), along with a certain portion the citizenry in the USA, are also represented in some degree by that caricature.

The race of those caricatured in this post is irrelevant as a source of the reason McTell News exists as it does, because that reason is not a racial characteristic.

What is relevant, as a source for the reason McTell News exists as it does, is the attitude we have toward the facts and truth of reality, and what the actual, missing news could mean to the people of America.

The heart of the story, then, is that the deeply meaningful news is all too often purposefully hidden in plain sight within our culture.

One quick, stark example is the portion of reality that Blind Willie McTell and millions of other Americans, for decade upon decade had to "agree" not to talk about in public.

During that time McTell News was play pretending that certain realities did not exist in any way that would require McTell News reporting:
"I wonder, John Lomax asked Blind Willie McTell, "I wonder if, if you know any songs about colored people havin' hard times here in the South" ... "Any complainin' songs, complainin' about the hard times and sometimes mistreatment [by] the whites? Have you got any songs that talk about that?" ... No, McTell said at once, he had no such songs, "not at the present time." Those were the songs of another era, but now "the white peoples is mighty good to the southern people, as far as I know" ... Read one way, Lomax's conversation with McTell is a tense social transcript from the Jim Crow South. Lomax, the overbearing if well intentioned white visitor, wants musical documents of poverty and racial oppression. The request may connote obliviousness on his part, as well as a condescending sympathy for blacks, but it is nevertheless rude and insulting, demanding that the singer violate basic, unspoken southern norms that should have been familiar to anyone reared in Texas. McTell knows better than to say anything against white people, let alone sing it, to a white man with even the hint of a southern accent and his wife, especially if ... a recorder is running ... McTell makes it clear that he knows songs that Lomax wants to hear ... he would never play them ... but to say as much and explain why would also violate the Jim Crow norms by making them explicit.
(Bob Dylan In America, Chap. 6, p. 173, by Sean Wilentz, emphasis added). Are there any journalistic, unspeakable, and publicly known words or ideas in America today, words or ideas that would be considered to be "unspeakably rude" by our "free press", our McTell News?

Oh YES indeed! (to be touched upon more towards the end of the post)

That is why Chapter 6 of the book, concerning the actual Blind Willie McTell, who Wilentz called "a songster", struck me well:
Blind Willie McTell
John Lomax, the archivist and collector, certainly wants what he wants, but ... McTell simply doesn't have it. The music that McTell knows best and prefers to perform carries no overt or even hidden social or political meaning. There are no old-fashioned sorrow songs about the black man's plight in his regular repertoire (and certainly not in his records, even though they are intended for the black "race record" market). His songs are up-to-date, and they are about sadness in love and gladness in love, drinking too much, benign nonsense, God, gambling, violence (much of it involving blacks attacking or killing other blacks), honoring life and death ... McTell is not a sharecropper or big-city laborer; he is a professional performer in a growing southern city. He lives within the iron structures of segregation ... and now he is making a very decent living playing music for whites as well as blacks and getting recorded commercially. For a black Atlantan in 1940, this amounted to a comparatively easy experience with white people -- while taking their money ...
(ibid, p. 175). That history shows Blind Willie McTell as the consummate caricature who is well suited (he always wore a suit and tie while performing) to symbolically represent McTell News, those who make their profits from selective news, just like Blind Willie McTell did from his use of selective music.

The book points out that Blind Willie McTell lived in a respectable neighborhood a few blocks from Martin Luther King, the father of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King would go on to become a household name in America, during the civil rights uprising in the South during the 1960's, as did Bob Dylan and rock music.

However, the path Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. took was more along the ways of the true path the U.S. Constitution sets for the real free press, at least when compared with the path Blind Willie McTell took.

To illustrate the contrary path McTell News has taken, notice:
The Bush administration turned the U.S. military into a global propaganda machine ...
(Associated Press Chief Executive Tom Curley). The McTell News jumped in bed ("embedded") with the masters of war, then McTell News feigned complaints about the propaganda that McTell News itself helped produce then spread far and wide.

The Pentagon replied to McTell News' feigned complaints with a feigned study which concluded that this well bedded relationship was OK, whether in war zones abroad or on TV at home, because the Pentagon has always used the very best prophylactics (Pentagon Says Its News Media Influence is OK).

The propaganda that Blind Willie McTell conformed to was a SCAD, and was the same propaganda that Dr. King rejected, which was the notion that it was OK for the South to practice racial discrimination, segregation, lynching black men, using the "N" word, and to generally oppress some Americans because of their race.

A clear, undisputed example from James Madison gives a foundation for showing that McTell News is what it is because it is owned by, and embedded within, the warmonger corporate system:
Of all the enemies to public liberty war ... comprises and develops the germ of every other [enemy to public liberty] ... In war ... all the means of seducing the minds ... are added to those of subduing the force ... of the people.
(James Madison, emphasis added). President Madison's phrase "seducing the minds" is an older English description for what we now call propaganda or, in "nice" company, "spin".

Another case in point, out of an endless supply, is the Fukushima cover up, where the McTell News says "everything is fine, go home now, nothing to see here folks", while a scientific report says 14,000 deaths, so far, have occurred in the U.S. due to Fukushima's radioactive fallout (14,000 Deaths in U.S. Attributed to Fukushima, PDF).

One more news story, for this post, is the psychotic refusal by McTell News to deal with the millions of people who want another 9/11 Commission, but this time with an independent, scientific process.

In the USA, citizen journalists with an innate ability to use the pen, as well as the largest federal circuit court in the USA, all comment on the fundamental result of "untruthiness" at the heart of the vast American propaganda engines:
Saints may always tell the truth, but for mortals living means lying. We lie to protect our privacy (“No, I don’t live around here”); to avoid hurt feelings (“Friday is my study night”); to make others feel better (“Gee you’ve gotten skinny”); to avoid recriminations (“I only lost $10 at poker”); to prevent grief (“The doc says you’re getting better”); to maintain domestic tranquility (“She’s just a friend”); to avoid social stigma (“I just haven’t met the right woman”); for career advancement (“I’m sooo lucky to have a smart boss like you”); to avoid being lonely (“I love opera”); to eliminate a rival (“He has a boyfriend”); to achieve an objective (“But I love you so much”); to defeat an objective (“I’m allergic to latex”); to make an exit (“It’s not you, it’s me”); to delay the inevitable (“The check is in the mail”); to communicate displeasure (“There’s nothing wrong”); to get someone off your back (“I’ll call you about lunch”); to escape a nudnik (“My mother’s on the other line”); to namedrop (“We go way back”); to set up a surprise party (“I need help moving the piano”); to buy time (“I’m on my way”); to keep up appearances (“We’re not talking divorce”); to avoid taking out the trash (“My back hurts”); to duck an obligation (“I’ve got a headache”); to maintain a public image (“I go to church every Sunday”); to make a point (“Ich bin ein Berliner”); to save face (“I had too much to drink”); to humor (“Correct as usual, King Friday”); to avoid embarrassment (“That wasn’t me”); to curry favor (“I’ve read all your books”); to get a clerkship (“You’re the greatest living jurist”); to save a dollar (“I gave at the office”); or to maintain innocence (“There are eight tiny reindeer on the rooftop”).

And we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk, as reflected by the popularity of plastic surgery, elevator shoes, wood veneer paneling, cubic zirconia, toupees, artificial turf and cross-dressing. Last year, Americans spent $40 billion on cosmetics — an industry devoted almost entirely to helping people deceive each other about their appearance. It doesn’t matter whether we think that such lies are despicable or cause more harm than good. An important aspect of personal autonomy is the right to shape one’s public and private persona by choosing when to tell the truth about oneself, when to conceal and when to deceive. Of course, lies are often disbelieved or discovered, and that too is part of the pull and tug of social intercourse. But it’s critical to leave such interactions in private hands, so that we can make choices about who we are. How can you develop a reputation as a straight shooter if lying is not an option?
(U.S. v. Alvarez). According to that narrative, as well as others, industrial strength lying is now as American as MOMCOM and apple pie.

Like Blind Willie McTell, the songster Bob Dylan rejected his own playing of any activist role in the 1960's type movements:
In mid-1964, he explained to critic Nat Hentoff: "Me, I don't want to write for people anymore - you know, be a spokesman. From now on, I want to write from inside me ... I'm not part of no movement ... I just can't make it with any organisation ..."
(RedPepper). Dylan eschewed movements of the genre that Dr. King participated in which led to King's assassination.

Along that same line, the public resists their civic duty to chide McTell News, sensing, perhaps by gut feeling, that the real news is not so "good" ("so you listen to the real news, not me").

Thus, the bleep goes on as if there were no consequences for being unaware.

The next post in this series is here.

A Bob Dylan song about McTell News: