Friday, August 30, 2013

Middle East Newspaper Articles Concerning Spanking Syria

"Bend over my desk Bashar, it's spanking time."
Today I thought I would provide some quotes and links to news sources in other parts of the world.

The subject matter is President Obama's spanking of President Assad for allegedly having gassed his own people with some sort of chemical agent.

Since that will have been illegal under international law if it is true that the Syrian President did such a thing, President Obama says he has the right to give Assad the whip of a bombing campaign.

Here are some quotes:
"Russian presidential aide, Yury Ushako said that any military intervention in Syria will deal a serious blow to the entire system of world order" (Russia: Military intervention in Syria will deal a serious blow to the entire world order, [removed, so use the English version @ Wayback Machine]).

Lebanese caretaker Foreign Minister, Adnan Mansour affirmed that any aggression act on Syria is unacceptable and outside the framework of the international legitimacy and the UN Security Council. (Lebanese FM: Any aggression on Syria is unacceptable [removed, no Wayback Machine version, so see here])

Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said that the UN Security Council must not adopt any measures against Syria before the UN investigation team on chemical weapons use finishes its mission, warning of any unilateral measure as it would not resolve the crisis. (Chinese Foreign Minister: UNSC must not adopt any measures against Syria before UN experts finish investigation [removed, no Wayback Machine version, so see here])

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle announced that his country will not participate in any military action against Syria.

"Nobody asked us to participate in a military action and we do not think about that," Westerwelle said in an interview with a local newspaper .

This stance comes to reveal the split of the alliance which the administration of the US President Barack Obama is trying to mobilize as to wage a war on Syria after the rejection of the British House of Commons to participate in the aggression. (Westerwelle: Germany will not participate in any military action against Syria [removed, no Wayback Machine version, so see here or here]).
(SANA). This scenario is very much like the scenario prior to the invasion of Iraq and Libya, except for the resistance to administration efforts to build a "coalition of the willing."

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Confusion As Government Policy - 2

A new twist in ObamaCare?

The confusion in government policy as regards marijuana may be on the way out, and a better policy on the way in.

In the first post we noted that what Obama indicated as a candidate compared to what his DOJ was doing to medical patients was incoherent.

ObamaCare was taking a prominent place in American society which indicated to many people that those who needed medical marijuana were going to be safe from DOJ prosecution.

The massive DOJ war on medical marijuana dashed that expectancy.

Now with the breaking news, today, there are indications that things may be getting more clear in that regard:
The United States government took an historic step back from its long-running drug war on Thursday, when Attorney General Eric Holder informed the governors of Washington and Colorado that the Department of Justice would allow the states to create a regime that would regulate and implement the ballot initiatives that legalized the use of marijuana for adults.

A Justice Department official said that Holder told the governors in a joint phone call early Thursday afternoon that the department would take a "trust but verify approach" to the state laws. DOJ is reserving its right to file a preemption lawsuit at a later date, since the states' regulation of marijuana is illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole also issued a three-and-a-half page memo to U.S. attorneys across the country on Thursday outlining eight priorities for federal prosecutors enforcing marijuana laws. According to the guidance, DOJ will still prosecute individuals or entities to prevent:
  • the distribution of marijuana to minors;
  • revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels;
  • the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states;
  • state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;
  • violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana
  • drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;
  • growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands;
  • preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.
The eight high-priority areas leave prosecutors bent on targeting marijuana businesses with a fair amount of leeway, especially the exception for "adverse public health consequences."
(Eric Holder Says). I think like all government pronouncements these days, we will have to wait and see.

The previous post in this series is here.

We Ain't Got Nuthin' Yet, Blues Magoos (lyrics here):


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Queens of Stalingrad - 3

Gotta LOVEINT
In this series we have been taking a look at the unhinged military NSA  and its spying on Americans 24/7.

Along with that we have taken a look at those who are their enablers.

We now find out that they are also, while spying on you, checking out your love life.

It is called "LOVEINT" in military NSA parlance, but out on "main street" where Americans live and work it is called Voyeurism:
Voyeurism is the sexual interest in or practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviors, such as undressing, sexual activity, or other actions usually considered to be of a private nature.
(Wikipedia, "Voyeurism"). The use of this practice was recently scripted reported on by main stream media:
National Security Agency officers on several occasions have channeled their agency’s enormous eavesdropping power to spy on love interests, U.S.
Putin on the Ritz
officials said.

The practice isn’t frequent — one official estimated a handful of cases in the last decade — but it’s common enough to garner its own spycraft label: LOVEINT.

Spy agencies often refer to their various types of intelligence collection with the suffix of “INT,” such as “SIGINT” for collecting signals intelligence, or communications; and “HUMINT” for human intelligence, or spying.

The “LOVEINT” examples constitute most episodes of willful misconduct by NSA employees, officials said.
(WSJ). As we pointed out in the previous post, these kinds of tactics were used by J. Edgar Hoover as a means of getting his way by intimidating various government officials:
“The moment [Hoover] would get something on a senator,” said William Sullivan, who became the number three official in the bureau under Hoover, “he’d send one of the errand boys up and advise the senator that ‘we’re in the course of an investigation, and we by chance happened to come up with this data on your daughter. But we wanted you to know this. We realize you’d want to know it.’ Well, Jesus, what does that tell the senator? From that time on, the senator’s right in his pocket.”
(Hoover’s Secret Files, emphasis added). No doubt military NSA officials are lying about the quantity of LOVEINT episodes and no doubt they are officially using it for blackmail (and the like) of politicians and government officials (ACLU vs. Clapper, Alexander, Hagel, Holder, and Mueller - 3).

On or about today's date fifty years ago, the father of the spirit of military NSA spying machinations, Queen of Stalingrad J. Edgar Hoover, tried to kill anything that had civil rights "movement."

Anything that had civil rights movement --he tried to kill with lies:
The march also attracted a slew of celebrities, including Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston, Harry Belafonte, Burt Lancaster, Paul Newman, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. Some flew in despite being “advised” on the orders of FBI director J Edgar Hoover to withdraw support from the “Communist-organised” march.
(Telegraph, "March on Washington", emphasis added). According to the Queens of Stalingrad, anyone who utters the words "civil rights" is a commie (as they hypocritically practice the authoritarianism of Stalin).

One really need not wonder why these "progressive" Queens of Stalingrad have an aversion to the word "freedom".

That is because the military NSA spy soldiers and their enablers are warmongering sexual deviants, not progressives:
Consider the word "freedom". Using the morality frame, conservatives have patented "freedom" and now progressives act as if they are scared of that word.
(Lakoff). Neocons and other warmongers are bringing "freedom" to people all around the world --just ask them.

But for some reason, in the Middle East there is a curse uttered to one's opponents: "may the wings of the west bring you freedom and security then spy on you as if you were a citizen" (The Mother of All Enemies).

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

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Decline Of The American Republic - 2

Off to save the world from Syria
The first episode of this series was posted on June 17, 2009 (A Decline Of The American Republic).

Today, Dredd Blog continues the theme under the notion of "a decline" versus "the decline", as was done in the first post of the series.

The link of recent American history to ancient Roman history is often attempted when the decline of nations or empires is discussed.

That is probably because of our mythical belief that "history repeats itself."

But let's face it, since history is just a trail of tracks left by our species, what "repeats itself" is our thinking and doing, yes, history is merely ink and paper trails and other inanimate objects we ought not blame for our own intransigence and habitual ignorance --two of the central pillars of decline.

In that regard, but before we look at ongoing habitual machinations of the type Rome fell into, let's review what we noticed about the spin and propaganda which some contemporary historians are playing us with:
Hey, are you tempted to wonder if one man's "decline" is another man's "ascension" as I have been?

Perhaps that notion is what one author meant when he said:
"This is not a book about the decline of America, but rather about the rise of everyone else."
(The Post-American World, by Fareed Zakaria). I think we have to admit that Mr. Zakaria has learned much after immigrating to the U.S. from India, especially how to spin softly but write a big book.
(A Decline Of The American Republic). Oh yeah, "that's the ticket," America is not declining, the rest of the world is just rising like the level of the sea around us.

The Roman and European delusions of the feudal type are similar to some of the institutionalized delusions plaguing our current realm of officialdumb.

We see this in another author's somewhat inept ability to grasp the pillars of that history, focusing instead on the glittering art carved on the face of those pillars:
Rome in the first two centuries A.D. faced a yawning gulf between rich and poor. The mighty empire built on tribute reached its geographic limits. Its economy created few exportable goods. Slaves acquired by conquest built most of its bridges, roads and aqueducts and took jobs in farming, mining and construction. As this cheaper labor replaced Roman citizens, idle, unemployed, hungry people filled the capital.

The Caesars created make-work and part-time jobs, subsidized housing and doled out grain. Even more, they found, was needed. “A people that yawns is ripe for revolt,” wrote Jerome Carcopino in “Daily Life in Ancient Rome.”

The emperors added holidays until, eventually, the Romans spent half their days attending gladiator games, public executions and chariot races. Disgusted, the satirist Juvenal accused his fellow citizens of selling out for bribes of “bread and circuses.”
(The Danger of Living on Bread and Circuses). Yes, inequality of opportunity is relevant, yet that is still somewhat of an ill informed piece --to the extent it claims to reveal the reason for "the decline" of the Roman Empire.

That is because it ignores the stair-step phenomenon of "a decline" which Dredd Blog is pointing out in this series:
Getting back to the subject "a decline or the decline", a classic example to consider is the Roman Empire.

That empire's decline is attributed to a whole host of causes by a whole host of historians.

Wikipedia has some text containing an example which might indicate that all declines have multiple "a declines", but only one "the decline" in the final analysis:
... decline of the Roman Empire refers to both the gradual disintegration of the economy of Rome and the barbarian invasions that were its final doom.
(Wikipedia, bold in original). In refined terms, the final doom of an empire is "the decline", while incremental disintegrations preceding that final doom are a series of "a decline" events.

I once compared this to the phases of an urbanite freezing to death, and the very perplexing and practically universal human behavior phenomenon of the taking off of the clothes in the final phase of freezing to death.
(A Decline Of The American Republic). The exercise, then, is to isolate the predominate dynamic, the one which is prevalent before and during all of "a decline" events and in "the decline" --as was done in the first episode:
Who in their right mind would take off their clothes while freezing? Well, that leads to the crux of the matter.

My offer in this matter is that the one thing that is prevalent in all "the declines" is the ingredient of the institutionalization of delusion.

In the final analysis, once delusion becomes institutionalized, "the decline" is assured even when preceded by "a decline" after "a decline".
(ibid). The institutionalization of delusion is the institutionalization of official propaganda (see The Ways of Bernays and Etiology of Social Dementia - 8).

When the U.S. officially, through propaganda, became a Wartocracy engendered by the ill advised addiction to oil, it initiated a series of "a decline" events within a feudalistic vortex that has doomed us to "the decline" via a growing national dementia in government (see e.g. American Feudalsim - 3 and Viva Egypt - 2).

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

Dr. John N. Gray - The Myth of Progress

Index:
Time (min:sec) - subject
=====================
01:00 - civilization and barbarism
01:30 - our situation today is akin to the situation in 1913
02:05 - international struggles for resources (see The Universal Smedley)
02:15 - religious conflict and war then as now
03:50 - civilization often becomes a vehicle for barbarism
04:45 - two traders go to the Congo with ideals then lose those ideals
05:00 - the neoCon myth of bringing progress to them or eradicating them
05:30 - possessed by a myth of "progress" that is actually imperialism
06:25 - eras in science tend not to be repeated once left behind
06:40 - this is not the case in civilization / ethics and politics
06:50 - things are learned in ethics / politics but they don't stay learned
07:20 - an example is the return to torture by civilization's preeminent democracy
08:25 - the progress myth is belief that knowledge makes us more civilized
08:30 - most of us believe in this myth
08:45 - but knowledge increase produces more civilization and barbarism
11:45 - "social evolution" is reemerging to what it was 100 years ago
13:00 - Herbert "survival of the fittest" Spencer at first believed but recanted
14:00 - one think you find about that myth is that it is fashionable to a status quo
15:33 - the social evolution myth attaches to any current notion of "what is good"
15:45 - fifty years from now, slavery may be seen as the direction of "social evolution"
16:00 - eras in ethical / political ideology tend to return, but in science not so
17:00 - questions


Monday, August 26, 2013

American Feudalism - 3

Don Quixote was Indoctrinated
In the first and second posts of this series we quoted several sources indicating that war produced the feudal king as well as feudalism itself (American Feudalism - 2, American Feudalism).

We also looked at the basic essence of feudalism.

In today's post we will take a closer look at some of the results that a feudal mentality has on America.

This will include its impact on general domestic and foreign policy, and its impact on some aspects of American economy.

But before we look at the results of reliving the ghastly society feudalism always produces, let's review the core essence of feudalism:
Feudal lords were warriors plain and simple. Manual labor or trade was shunned as degrading to men of such high stature. There was only one vocation and that was fighting. Combat demonstrated a lord's honor and his reputation. It was also a measure of his wealth and influence in feudal society. But what does a warrior do when there was no one to fight? By the 12th century the nobility began to stage tournaments in which knights engaged each other in battle in order to prove their skill, courage and honor. The victors in these "celebrations" gained prestige and honor in the eyes of fellow nobles and peasants alike. A code of behavior, chivalry, evolved from these feudal contests of skill. A worthy knight was expected to exhibit the outward signs of this code of knightly behavior: bravery, loyalty, respect and courage.

Over time, a religious element was introduced into the warrior culture we have just described. The Church sought to use the fighting spirit of the feudal knight for Christian ends. So, to the Germanic tradition of loyalty and courage was added a Christian component: a knight was expected to honor the laws of the Church in the service of God. A knight was supposed to protect the weak and defend the Church against heretics of all shades. It is no accident that the very ceremony of knighthood was now placed within a Christian framework.
(Feudalism and the Feudal Relationship, emphasis added). The warrior class is another way of putting it:
Feudalism may be conceived of as a form of society possessing well-marked features which can be defined without difficulty. They may be summarized as follows: a development pushed to extremes of the element of personal dependence in society, with a specialized military class occupying the higher levels in the social scale; an extreme subdivision of the rights of real property; a graded system of rights over land created by this subdivision and corresponding in broad outline to the grades of personal dependence just referred to; and a dispersal of political authority amongst a hierarchy of persons who exercise in their own interest powers normally attributed to the State and which are often, in fact, derived from its break-up ... ‘feudalism’ may be regarded as a body of institutions creating and regulating the obligations of obedience and service -- mainly military service -- on the part of a free man (the vassal) towards another free man (the lord), and the obligations of protection and maintenance on the part of the lord with regard to his vassal.
(Feudalism Resources. emphasis added). Hmmm ... a specialized military class occupying the higher levels in the social scale --but it can't happen here, heh heh:
Then-defense secretary Robert M. Gates stopped bagging his leaves when he moved into a small Washington military enclave in 2007. His next-door neighbor was Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time, who had a chef, a personal valet and — not lost on Gates — troops to tend his property.

Gates may have been the civilian leader of the world’s largest military, but his position did not come with household staff. So, he often joked, he disposed of his leaves by blowing them onto the chairman’s lawn.

“I was often jealous because he had four enlisted people helping him all the time,” Gates said in response to a question after a speech Thursday. He wryly complained to his wife that “Mullen’s got guys over there who are fixing meals for him, and I’m shoving something into the microwave. And I’m his boss.”

Of the many facts that have come to light in the scandal involving former CIA director David H. Petraeus, among the most curious was that during his days as a four-star general, he was once escorted by 28 police motorcycles as he traveled from his Central Command headquarters in Tampa to socialite Jill Kelley’s mansion. Although most of his trips did not involve a presidential-size convoy, the scandal has prompted new scrutiny of the imperial trappings that come with a senior general’s lifestyle.

The commanders who lead the nation’s military services and those who oversee troops around the world enjoy an array of perquisites befitting a billionaire, including executive jets, palatial homes, drivers, security guards and aides to carry their bags, press their uniforms and track their schedules in 10-minute increments. Their food is prepared by gourmet chefs. If they want music with their dinner parties, their staff can summon a string quartet or a choir.

The elite regional commanders who preside over large swaths of the planet don’t have to settle for Gulfstream V jets. They each have a C-40, the military equivalent of a Boeing 737 ...
(Washington Post, Petraeus Scandal, emphasis added). It is doubtful that the public would approve of the 1% being composed of generals, especially the one commanding the military NSA which is spying on them, including their sex lives (Informed Comment).

Which brings us to the bread and to the circus.

The quasi-feudalism in The Western Roman Empire, prior to the Holy Roman Empire, had a social dynamic called Bread and Circus:
"Bread and Circuses" (or bread and games) (from Latin: panem et circenses) is a metaphor for a superficial means of appeasement. In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the creation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion; distraction; or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace, as an offered "palliative." Juvenal decried it as a simplistic motivation of common people. The phrase also implies the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the common man.

In modern usage, the phrase is taken to describe a populace that no longer values civic virtues and the public life. To many across the political spectrum, left and right, it connotes a supposed triviality and frivolity that characterized the Roman Republic prior to its decline into the autocratic monarchy characteristic of the later Roman Empire's transformation about 44 B.C.
(Wikipedia, "Bread and Circuses"). That essence had somewhat of a counterpart in later years of Holy Roman Empire feudalism:
A knight could bring in additional wealth by competing in jousting tournaments. These tournaments offered a substantial purse to the winner. Winners of such jousting tournaments became the Medieval 'superstars' of the Middle Ages. Knights became rich and famous. The tournaments were a necessary part of feudalism as they acted as a necessary training ground for the knights. The most successful and therefore wealthy knights were able to increase their land holdings and acquire their own soldiers to whom he might grant lands and who in turn swore an Oath of Fealty to the knight. Powerful knights under feudalism were therefore able to acquire their own substantial fighting forces. This in turn led to the construction of castles by knights - the great power bases of the Middle Ages.
(Feudal Games, emphasis added). Some of our modern hangover, things still in our national DNA if you will, are military rituals and flyovers at football, baseball, soccer, hockey, and other games.

That type of cover and association hides the feudalistic nature of the process and is designed to "bread and circus" the public:
In modern usage, the phrase is taken to describe a populace that no longer values civic virtues and the public life. To many across the political spectrum, left and right, it connotes a supposed triviality and frivolity ...
(ibid, Wikipedia, Bread and Circuses). Eventually, as many of our founders pointed out, the power of the public is exhausted and the society declines (A Decline Of The American Republic).

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

Bread and Circuses ...