Friday, July 6, 2012

The Graphs Of The Age Of Plunder - 2

In the first post of this series in 2009 we began to take a look at how the 1% have used war, bank machinations, and taxing schemes to constantly plunder the 99% for several decades.

Even though this post is the second in a series, take note that there are many somewhat related Dredd Blog posts contained in similar series, such as: Riders On The Storm ... of Plunder, Banker Jekyll Will Hyde Your Money, Bush II Eradicated The Robber Barons, and War Is The Highway 61 Of The 1%, to name a few.

But in this post today, readers will have an opportunity to focus on the "largest financial corruption scandal yet", according to some commentators, which concerns the little known "LIBOR", a rate used by the big banks.

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

Thursday, July 5, 2012

From Snowpocalypse To Fauxpascalypse

Deepwater Horizon Catastrophe
Is a catastrophe that cripples civilization a laughing matter?

Yes it is.

The use of fossil fuels is bringing catastrophe to a place near you and me, but officialdom is not taking that seriously.

Everyone chuckled a while back, especially the world of deniers, when the President flippantly used the phrase "snowpocalypse" to explain a strange snow storm in Washington, the nation's capital.

The weather before and after that time has not been "consistent," just to understate the case:
You can call 2012 the year of weather gone wild! The Northeast's biggest snowstorm hit in October. Winter 2012 went down as the fourth warmest on record in the U.S. We shattered all-time record high temperatures in June. And our tornado season seemed to happen before spring officially started. 2012 may very well go down as the year of topsy turvy weather.

We're only halfway through the year, but we're already wondering what else could possibly be on tap for 2012! On the next few pages, we take a look at 2012's weird weather so far and break down the year of the topsy turvy weather.
(2012's Wild Weather Year, Weather Channel, bold added). This morning Michael Smerconish hosted Hardball on MSNBC, sitting in for Chris Matthews.

Mr. Smerconish discussed the wildness in the weather, stating all one has to do is look out the window to notice that the weather is strange, then he asked Ron Reagan what was up politically with global warming issues.

Mr. Reagan basically said that as a political issue it was a non-starter, not talked about in the media, and people do not really understand why, evidently assuming that the government is taking care of business behind the scenes.

The video below has the full discussion.

The Dredd Blog saw political complacency coming in the post New Climate Catastrophe Policy: Triage, and this blog has kept up the criticism of this mad policy, the most recent post in that series pointing out:
In blessing Shell’s move into the Arctic, Mr. Obama continues his efforts to balance business and environmental interests, seemingly project by project. He pleased environmentalists by delaying the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada and by adopting tough air standards for power plants, yet he has also delighted business concerns by rejecting an ozone standard deemed too costly to the economy.

And now, the president is writing a new chapter in the nation’s unfolding energy transformation, in this case to the benefit of fossil fuel producers.

“We never would have expected a Democratic president — let alone one seeking to be ‘transformative’ — to open up the Arctic Ocean for drilling,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.
(New Climate Catastrophe Policy: Triage - 6). They are in denial, thinking that there is a sense in the notion "balance business and environmental interests", which is a deadly, erroneous myth.

The McTell News has been using that type of false frame for years, constantly falsely comparing one type of issue with a different type of issue, apples and oranges, or as Bob Dylan sings "And they’re breaking down the distance Between right and wrong" (Ring Them Bells).

Mr. Reagan pointed out that these catastrophes are coming ("the laws of nature don't care") regardless of what politicians think of it.

It is axiomatic that if we keep pumping green house gases into the atmosphere by using polluting oil for our energy source, there will eventually be hell to pay.

The politicians need to catch up with the Navy and with the federal courts on this issue before we have gone too far to recover.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Bully Worship: The Universal Religion - 2

The Cathedral of the Bully Religion

In the first post of this series Dredd Blog presented an overview of bully worship.

In this post we want to look at the psychological DNA if you will, that is, some of the things taking place within the minds of those who practice the bully religion.

The Authoritarians

The phenomenon of bully worship is as strange as why wannabe boys hang and identify with bullies at school.

Also strange is the conclusion of many psychologists and other social scientists who have tended to view the wannabes as the underlying problem, rather than viewing the bully, the source of the bullying, as the fundamental problem:
We know an awful lot about authoritarian followers [Class B]. In one way or another, hundreds of social scientists have studied them since World War II. We have a pretty good idea of who they are, where they come from, and what makes them tick. By comparison, we know little about authoritarian leaders [Class A] because we only recently started studying them. That may seem strange, but how hard is it to figure out why someone would like to have massive amounts of power? The psychological mystery has always been, why would someone prefer a dictatorship to freedom? So social scientists have focused on the followers [Class B], who are seen as the main, underlying problem.
(Entitlement: Entitlement To Endless Wars?, quoting The Authoritarians). One has to wonder why the weak are seen as the main problem, and why all the glorifying media attention is focused on the bullies themselves?

The answer is that the bully religion has turned us against the weak in a variety of ways that are subtle and subconscious.

Stockholm Syndrome

But before we get into that fully, let's set the stage a bit more by noticing how deep and wide the problem is, as pointed out in another Dredd Blog post:
In the first post of this series, we pointed out that most Americans polled in an annual Gallup Poll think that the military is the most competent institution in America.

In that post we perused Gallup Poll figures from 2009, as shown on the graphic to the left (red lines added).

Today in 2011, the military is still seen as the most competent American institution, according to this year's Gallup Poll, even though the wars they are prosecuting are not at all popular.
(Stockholm Syndrome on Steroids? - 2). Paradoxically, in another post of that series, Dredd Blog pointed out that if a corporation behaved like the military, it would be held in public contempt:
Never mind that 18 of the military / veterans per day commit suicide, totalling 6,570 per year, which amounts to more in one year than all enemies have killed in all the wars over the past decade of war fever.

Never mind that the DoD admits that 19,000 rapes of women soldiers take place each year, a figure disputed by watch-dog organizations that say the number is far greater.

Never mind that only about 200 per year of those 19,000 rapists are prosecuted.

Never mind that when prosecuted those rapists are given misdemeanor, not felony punishments, which are little more than a slap on the wrist.

Never mind that the military does not produce anything useful to society, because their business is destruction not production, as has been seen in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Vietnam.

Never mind that the military has a hair trigger nuclear system that is prone to error and accidental launch scenarios that would make the human species extinct.

Never mind that this pathological behavior is all learned behavior, now being taught as an art in The War College.

I dare say that the U.S. population would not have that opinion of a corporation which had the same statistics of torture, war crimes, suicide, and rape.
(Etiology of Social Dementia - 6). The recent uproar over the bullying of young boys by a Penn State football coach, and the cover up afterward, are indications that the problems in the military do not qualify it as the most competent, just as Penn State will no longer be seen in the light it was before the sexual bullying saw the light of day.

Illusion and Myth

Massive illusion and myth are two sides of the same coin, and are forms of social dementia infecting both the clergy and laity of the bully religion.

The bully religion is a belief system which requires, for bona fide membership, a clergy and a laity that are out of touch with reality in some significant degree.

The Dredd Blog post Myth Addiction Is Establishment's LSD - 3 shows that some myths within the bully religion go back to the 18th century, but are still active in the thinking of current members of the clergy and laity of the bully religion.


Another shocking factor we can add here, is that the clergy and laity evolve to learn to love the absence of reality, which this blog has touched upon:
“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”
(Wee The People - 3). That "pharmacological method" is focused on a bit more in the the final section of this post ("The Culprits").

Dr. Lakoff - The Brain Physically Changes

In the short video at bottom of the Dredd Blog post Etiology of Social Dementia - 5, Dr. George Lakoff makes a lot of statements which reveal that some of our myths and falsehoods go back a long time, but are still predominant today.

In addition, Dr. Lakoff has been quoted as saying:
Thought is physical. Learning requires a physical brain change: Receptors for neurotransmitters change at the synapses, which changes neural circuitry. Since thinking is the activation of such circuitry, somewhat different thinking re­quires a somewhat different brain. Brains change as you use them-even unconsciously. It's as if your car changed as you drove it, say from a stick shift gradually to an automatic.
(The Toxic Bridge To Everywhere). Our brains change in shape, in configuration, as we take in more or different information.

Combining that with the information in the above section "The Authoritarians", would indicate that the brains of the Type A authoritarians are not the same configuration as the brains of Type B authoritarians, nor are the brains of liberals the same configuration as the brains of conservatives, for examples.

Skull and Brain Size Changes

Recent studies show that the skull, and therefore the brain, of Americans has changed in shape and size over the past century or so:
The American population has experienced remarkable change in cranial morphology. Some of these have already been documented, but this paper expands on previous results by increasing the time frame, sample sizes and attempting to identify points in time when change begins, or proceeds most rapidly, which in turn may provide clues to reasons for the changes.
(The Skulls They Are A Changin', quoting a recent study). These studies will continue in an effort to identify the cause or causes of the physical brain and covering cranial changes which these remarkable studies have found.

Learned Behavior

One of the tenets of the bully religion, possibly derived from Social Darwinism, is that human aggression is natural, but recent studies oppose that view:
The concept that humanity has a violent and evil core is widespread; it is one of the oldest and most resilient myths about human nature. From historical and philosophical beliefs to current popular and scientific beliefs, the view that a savage and aggressive beast is a central part of our nature permeates public and academic perceptions. Given this view, it is a common assumption that if you strip away the veneer of civilization, the restraints of society and culture, you reveal the primeval state of humanity characterized by aggression and violence.

While there are many reasons for the resilience of this myth, the most powerful one is the simple fact that humans today can and do engage in extreme levels of violence and aggression.
(Diagnosing The Dogs of War, quoting a recent study). So, we can safely say that we have been formed and shaped by powerful forces, literally and figuratively, including our brain and our thinking, by what we have learned / been taught.

Let's take a look at some of the sources that are players in shaping the way we learn, and therefore think, as a civilization, a nation, or an individual.

The Liturgy of The Bully Religion

The liturgy of the bully religion has been condensed, to a large degree, within three Dredd Blog posts: Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy, The Ways of Bernays, and Blind Willie McTell News.

The preaching, teaching, and practices of the bully religion are highlighted by annual "holy days" that exalt imperialistic militarism, the operative and ultimate foundation of bully worship.

Can you think of any of those "holy days" now called holidays?

The Culprits

The 1% are comprised substantially, at the top rung, by oil barons and war profiteers, who peddle the oil drug, and who are the high priests of the bully religion.

One Dredd Blog post commented on Huxley's quote above, about a "pharmacological method" of control, as follows:
I doubt that Huxley really understood how that would happen, since he used a traditional pharmacological mechanism to articulate his vision.

Even though, as it turns out, he was correct in principle, it is just that he did not understand that the mega-drug would be oil.

Oil is the drug of choice that fits the bill for "a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude", it is just that the "pharmacological method", as it turns out, is not addiction to a pharmacological something which you buy at the local traditional drug store.

Instead, we buy the big drug at the local gas station (the "service station" in 1950's parlance), the Quick Stop, the Seven Eleven, or "the convenience store" (in post-peak-of-sanity civilization's parlance).
(Sickology vs. Penology). The oil-drug-peddling international corporations, that provide us with our current drug of choice (chosen for us by those 1%, our civilization's main "pharmacists") are discussed in the Dredd Blog series MOMCOM: The Private Parts.

That post has a review of the subject matter contained in the recently published book "Private Empire."

That war profiteering private empire, the WMD and war businesses, the corpus of the bully religion, is discussed in the Dredd Blog series The Virgin MOMCOM.

The trinity which composes the full concept of MOMCOM begins to be described in fundamental terms with the Dredd Blog post MOMCOM - A Mean Welfare Queen.

The actual structure of society that this bully religion has shaped in the United States is formally described as a Plutocracy, which when compared to what people in the public think the economic structure of the U.S. is, reveals massive loss of touch with reality.

The bullies are at the top, are the 1%, and the rest of us are the 99%, nevertheless we tend to worship them or their doctrines, in one way or another, as we have been taught to do.

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

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tenacious Decisions

The poem of a 16 year old lets us imagine:

If I were an alien then I would
Love driving a spaceship
And I would hate humans
And I would know not to go on Earth
And I would not know to go near the sun
And I would notice where my home is
And I would believe there would be
other monsters out there
And I would think like an alien
And I would always follow my parent;
because I’m a little baby alien right now
And I would never eat human food like chicken
And I would feel smart because I have a big head
And I would smell nasty as garbage
And I would taste like a fish –
not good, because it’s slimy
And I would want my own planet to control
And I would hear loud noises
like a lot of aliens talking
And I would realize that I’m not an alien no more
I’m a regular little boy

Monday, July 2, 2012

Your Health Is Their Number 1 Enemy?! - 2

We pointed out in the first post of this series that warmongers among us think that health care is the number one threat to the nation.

This was well before the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare") was passed.

It was well before ObamaCare was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, No. 11–393, _____ U.S. _____(2012).

The military journal that Dredd Blog quoted in the first post stated:
The U.S. military keeps searching the horizon for a peer competitor, the challenger that must be taken seriously. Is it China? What about an oil rich and resurgent Russia?

But the threat that is most likely to hobble U.S. military capabilities is not a peer competitor, rather it is health care.
(Your Health Is Their Number 1 Enemy?!, quoting National Defense Magazine). I can hear the calls for impeachment of Chief Justice Roberts because he is giving aid and comfort to "the enemy."

One wonders how so soon the military can forget that their oath is to the Constitution, not to the military, not to the national populace, not to politics, and not to war.

As Dredd Blog pointed out in the post made before the decision to uphold ObamaCare:
Wise up folks, it is a Pogo moment: "We have met the enemy and it is us."

The enemy is not health care.
(Supreme Court Decides The Health Care Law). Settle down now, we are in the 21st Century musketeers.

The previous post in this series is here.