Friday, June 6, 2014

Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 32

The El Niño Phenomenon Approaches
Ah, Friday, so let's do some rebel science.

Let's do some science that is in-your-face towards a bureaucracy that is not serving the public as it should be.

There is a growing awareness that governments of current civilization will fail at their attempts to take green house gas reduction seriously enough to implement meaningful remedial action to stop the damage being done to The Damaged Global Climate System.

So, today we will take a look at the current state of damage, recent responses to that damage by government and private entities, and the prospective results of those remedial actions.

But first, note that a recent piece indicates that the cost of damage done by climate disasters has increased 400 percent:
The average annual cost of natural disasters has quadrupled over the last three decades and it makes economic sense to boost spending on preparedness to ensure a stable future, a senior European official said Thursday.

Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis response, told a conference on disaster risk reduction and management of the Asia-Europe Meeting that costs related to natural disasters have increased from $50 billion a year in the 1980s to $200 billion in the last decade. In three of the last four years, costs exceeded $200 billion.
About 200 participants from 49 countries and organizations have gathered in Manila to discuss ways to increase countries' disaster resilience. Officials from the Philippines offered lessons learned from Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated central provinces in November and killed more than 6,000 people. It's the strongest recorded typhoon to hit land.
(Disaster Costs Have Quadrupled, emphasis added). The financial situation impacts our wallets already.

A climate issue facing us right now is the pending development of the El Niño phenomenon in the equatorial area of the Pacific Ocean:
The chances of an El Niño, the global climate phenomenon that can destroy crops in Asia and offer a relief from harsh winters in North America, were raised to 70% on Thursday. But scientists said the coming El Niño was likely to be of only moderate strength.

In their monthly forecast, scientists from the US government's Climate Prediction Centre said warming sea temperatures in the Pacific continued to create the conditions for an El Niño this summer.

“The chance of El Niño is 70% during the northern hemisphere summer and reaches 80% during the fall and winter,” the centre said. Its ultimate strength had weakened over the last month. “Regardless, the forecasters remain just as confident that El Niño is likely to emerge,” the forecast said.

There has been growing anticipation of an El Niño this year – because of its widespread impacts.

In California, there has been hope that a strong El Niño could be a drought buster. The phenomenon is known for bringing wetter winters to Texas and southern California. They are also good news for Florida and the Caribbean, damping down the hurricane season in the Atlantic.

But El Niños can wreak havoc on fisheries in South America, and worsen droughts in part of Asia, Africa, and Australia.

That type of El Niño, with widespread global impact, has yet to fully materialise, the scientists said. While warmer sea temperatures in the Pacific were building conditions for an El Niño, the scientists said they were still not seeing the inter-action with atmosphere they would expect for a really big event.
(El Niño Chances Increasing). One wonders what "a really big event" would be if 6,000 deaths a few months ago is not really big, and if the quadrupling of damage costs is not a really big thing either.

The long and the short of it is that predictions have been continually underestimating the damage, while expectations that "we can handle it" have continually been overestimated.

What this means, among other things, is that there is an element of surprise that always shows up, and the surprise element is operating in a scenario where things are constantly getting more dire.

Part of this policy failure is due to the fact that acceleration of damage is not being given the consideration it should be given, and feedback mechanisms are not properly factored in either.

It is true that the Obama "yes we can" optimism did lead to an EPA regulation regimen, that is, better regulations on coal fired power plant emissions.

But it was a regime of a 30% overall reduction of dirty coal-fired power plant greenhouse gas, and other emissions, by 2030.

Which is anemic, pathetic, and guaranteed to continue the increase in disasters, and the cost of disaster responses.

Pessimism as we will discuss in a moment is a word that in the context of today's post merely means "realistic," while pie-in-the-sky "yes we can" business-as-usual optimism in this context actually means "demented" (When Surrender Means Not Giving Up: The New Sacred Activism).

There will be no improvement without immediate and intensive government remedial actions, which as I said before, governments are resisting.

Meanwhile, the uncertainties of the developing El Niño phenomenon will impact the besieged Arctic in various ways:
Local weather, particularly extreme local weather, is often determined by fluctuations in large patterns of regional atmospheric pressure and sea surface temperatures, such as the Arctic Oscillation (and its close relative, the North Atlantic Oscillation) and other patterns associated with El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). These recognizable patterns come and go over a period of months to years. And these patterns may be altered by global warming.

Circulation variations, such as the ones associated with ENSO, largely determine where stormy, wet weather is favored and where dry weather prevails. In regions where the effects of these circulation variations are similar to global warming effects, new extremes are observed. While ENSO and other sources of natural variability can determine the location of extremes,1 the intensity and duration of the associated extremes such as droughts, and the associated heat waves, have increased with climate change. Similarly, in the wet areas, the intensity of rains and risk of flooding is greater.

Regional circulation patterns have significantly changed in recent years.2 For example, changes in the Arctic Oscillation cannot be explained by natural variation and it has been suggested that they are broadly consistent with the expected influence of human-induced climate change.3 The signature of global warming has also been identified in recent changes in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, a pattern of variability in sea surface temperatures in the northern Pacific Ocean.

El Niños have become more common and their intensity has nearly doubled in recent years, a statistically rare event. This recent shift towards more intense and frequent El Niños is related to the recent increase in dry areas around the world. However, past observations and reconstructions of El Niño events from non-instrumental records such as corals show that El Niño events naturally fluctuate in magnitude and frequency over time, and this has been demonstrated in long climate model simulations of past and future climate as well.
(Arctic Impact). The element of surprise events is a real potential, because the damaged global climate system will continue to do unexpected gyrations as damage to it increases.

Surprise events will not be limited to the Arctic, no, the Antarctic is also affected (Antarctic Impact) and could also see surprise events.

This comes at a time when some butterflies and bees are very endangered, about 200 species a day go extinct, and associated surprises are taking place (e.g. Sea Star Disintegration).

The greatest reaction from government officials, who certainly know that disruption and upheaval are coming, is to spy on the citizens now as they prepare to triage them in detention camps in the future (Vodafone "Secret Wires", Silicon Valley Protests, Military Internment Camps).

Video discussion (Coates & Klein) (mild):
Civilization will fail at remedial Climate Change action ...

A detailed, hard-core human extinction appraisal by a scientist in a paper, and another in a video:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Waiting For The World To Change

Victim City
"You lay down your money and you play your part ..." - Springsteen (Glory Daze).

You cast your vote then wait for change that does not happen (The Elections of Pontius Pilots).

And this is happening even as lots of blame-the-victim-ism is getting rampant around the globe, where it is a sort of bully religion that is happening in far too many scenarios, in far too many nations, and it is happening even in "the land of the free" (Bully Worship: The Universal Religion).

In the U.S.A. this plays out in one scenario when voters are blamed for what politicians do, once they get into office.

That blame-the-victim happens even if those politicians campaigned on a different foreign and domestic policy than what they implemented and promoted once in office:
Only one in ten Americans thinks Congress is doing a good job.

With numbers like these ... it's hard to imagine how any of our lawmakers will get re-elected in November. But sadly many of them will.

According to a new Gallup poll, Congress gets a 10% approval rating, which ties its all-time low for the past 4 decades.

83% disapprove of Congress.

What's more, Congress' approval rating is down among all political groups ... at 9% for Democrats, 11% for independents and 10% for Republicans.

While experts say it's hard to pinpoint exactly why Americans are so negative about Congress, the answer is probably "everything."
The country is on the road to ruin, and Congress bears much of the responsibility.

Yet chances are if you check back in after the election, many of these same lawmakers will be right back in Washington.

Why do we keep doing this to ourselves? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.

Here's my question to you: Why won't Americans vote Congress out of office?
(Cafferty, emphasis added). The implication is that the voters, not the government official, is to blame because people voted in error.

Yesterday, Dredd Blog began a series about aspects of the nature of our political stage being a duopoly.

That post also answered Cafferty's question:
One of the leaders in this duopolistic system recently commented that the system is currently morphing into a battle of the billionaires from each of the two parties, the two "sides" (Raw Story, Harry Reid).

He is saying that this system has morphed from a public election system, where voters decide the direction of foreign and domestic policy, into a moneyed system where only the billionaires have the main "say" in elections and national policy.

How is that the case, since the voters still get to vote?

Our Supreme Five on the Supreme Court have imagined that "money is speech," thus $1 is a word, $100 is a sentence, $1,000 is a paragraph, and $1,000,000 is a book.

So, how is the book on elections written now compared to before if there has in fact been a morph, a change?

Those who decide what candidate will run write the book with their money doing the talking, as evidenced by the Republican candidates all flocking or being herded to a gathering.

A gathering at a gambling casino where the billionaire for their side decided who he would bet on, what horse he would back, yes, who would be the party's candidate (Candidates Court Mega Donor).
(Moral Words In The Struggles Of A Duopoly, emphasis added). The power brokers decide who we can vote for or against, but that is of little to no moment when they have a unified position on issues that are not part of the debate.

For example, the previous presidential-election candidates did not mention climate change during the debates, for the first time in a generation:
But as noted by several debate watchers, climate change was never mentioned -- not by the candidates, and not by the debate moderator, Bob Schieffer of CBS News. Given the absence of the topic at the two preceding meetings between Obama and Romney, the close of Monday night's event marked the first time in roughly a generation that climate change has failed to receive an airing at any of the presidential debates.

Nearly 25 years after NASA scientist James Hansen famously told Congress that the science behind the greenhouse effect was clear -- and after similarly long-lived efforts to raise awareness of global warming and to force the topic into the national dialog -- the meaning behind Monday's milestone is likely to be hotly debated. To some, it is a sign that climate change has become a niche issue -- and is now being treated like any other special interest. To others, the candidates are merely playing the political odds in an election in which Americans are highly focused on jobs and other more immediate concerns.

But in the hours immediately following the debate, activists and climate scientists simply expressed a mixture of anger and disillusionment.
(New Climate Catastrophe Policy: Triage - 9). These failings are not the fault of the victims, the men, women, and children who are citizens.

No, the fault falls squarely on the heads of the men and women who engineer the demise of civilization (Oil-Qaeda: The Indictment).

A song about the victims ...

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Moral Words In The Struggles Of A Duopoly

I. Introduction

We hear the word "duopoly" used to describe all or part of the current political system of the United States.

Today, let's examine whether or not that is an accurate description, and if so, how accurate of a description is it?

II. What Is A Duopoly Made Of?

A. Quantitatively

What something is made of, or not made of, is going to be the significant factor in its performance, its behavior, and so that also goes for our subject matter today: a political duopoly system.

If modern U.S. politics is an example of a political duopoly, what should we look for?

Here is one description to help us pick it out of a line up of various types of government:
Modern American politics, in particular the electoral college system has been described as duopolistic since the Republican and Democratic parties have dominated and framed policy debate as well as the public discourse on matters of national concern for about a century and a half. Third Parties have encountered various blocks in getting onto ballots at different levels of government as well as other electoral obstacles, more so in recent decades.
(Wikipedia, "Duopoly", emphasis added). Ok, so that may cover the past "century and a half" but what about now?

One of the leaders in this duopolistic system recently commented that the system is currently morphing into a battle of the billionaires from each of the two parties, the two "sides" (Raw Story, Harry Reid).

He is saying that this system has morphed from a public election system, where voters decide the direction of foreign and domestic policy, into a moneyed system where only the billionaires have the main "say" in elections and national policy.

How is that the case, since the voters still get to vote?

Our Supreme Five on the Supreme Court have imagined that "money is speech," thus $1 is a word, $100 is a sentence, $1,000 is a paragraph, and $1,000,000 is a book.

So, how is the book on elections written now compared to before if there has in fact been a morph, a change?

Those who decide what candidate will run write the book with their money doing the talking, as evidenced by the Republican candidates all flocking or being herded to a gathering.

A gathering at a gambling casino where the billionaire for their side decided who he would bet on, what horse he would back, yes, who would be the party's candidate (Candidates Court Mega Donor).

The people only get to vote for or against who is chosen for them, they do not decide who will be a candidate.

This is the dynamic involved where the money does the talking, where the book is written, where the characters and themes in the election book are crafted.

The voters are given choices from a list that follows the designated theme of big money, a charted direction for the ship of state, whether the people want that direction or not.

In short, the voters do not decide what is the common good, the common direction, the national experience, no, it is decided for them:
THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.

Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.

They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons — a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty [now 320] million — who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.
It is the purpose of this book to explain the structure of the mechanism which controls the public mind, and to tell how it is manipulated by the special pleader who seeks to create public acceptance for a particular idea or commodity. It will attempt at the same time to find the due place in the modern democratic scheme for this new propaganda and to suggest its gradually evolving code of ethics and practice.
(The Ways of Bernays, quoting from "Propaganda" by Edward Bernays). So, above the duopoly is "an invisible government" which Dredd Blog has described for some time now as The Epigovernment (epi = "above", hence epigovernment means above government).

It is admitted that "something" above government, which duopoly leaders call "billionaires," have the say:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Tuesday said that billionaires controlled American politics because of the lack of campaign finance laws.

“I’m here because of the flood of dark money into our nation’s political system poises the greatest threat to our democracy that I have witnessed during my tenure in public service,” he said during a Senate Judiciary hearing. “The decisions of the Supreme Court have left the American people with a status quo in which one side’s billionaires are pitted against the other side’s billionaires.”

“So we sit here today with a simple choice: Do we keep the status quo and argue all day and all night forever about whose billionaires are right, whose billionaires are wrong, or we can work together to change the system to get this shady money out of our democracy and restore the basic principles of one American, one vote,” Reid remarked.
(Raw Story, Harry Reid). Regular readers know that Dredd Blog does not consider those billionaires who call the shots to be exclusively American players, no, those billionaires have roots elsewhere than America:
In this series Dredd Blog has been looking at some of the the private aspects of the nature of MOMCOM, that is, the private parts.

In the first post of this series (MOMCOM: The Private Parts) we focused on an essential element of "The Private Empire", which is the fact that they do not have any concept of belonging to any particular nation.

For example, we focused on the statement of the CEO of ExxonMobil, who declared in an interview, "I am not an American company."

In the second post of this series (MOMCOM: The Private Parts - 2) we focused on some of the tactics and methodologies which The Private Empire uses to assure that its global influences remain viable.

In the third post of this series (MOMCOM: The Private Parts - 3) we noted that The Private Empire is a conglomerate of some 147 incestuous, cronyism practising, and otherwise intertwined international corporations that sit atop many governments, or at least have substantial influence and control over many governments.
(MOMCOM: The Private Parts - 4). So, we have touched upon some qualitative factors which have been discussed recently  as "the 1%" vs. the "99%," mostly in alternative media.
B. Qualitatively

Now that we have taken a glimpse at the quantities involved in the nature of a political duopoly at work, what are the qualities at play in this Shakespearean play, this duopolistic dynamic?

The video below is an interview of Professor George Lakoff, author of many books, including The Policical Mind.

Professor Lakoff characterizes the quality of the epigovernment in terms of morality of a psychological structure, a metaphor known to conservatives and progressives alike as The Nation-as-Family Metaphor:
... a common metaphor, shared by conservatives and liberals alike -- the Nation-as-Family metaphor, in which the nation is seen as a family, the government as a parent and the citizens as children ...
It’s no accident that our political beliefs are structured by our idealizations of the family. Our earliest experience with being governed is in our families. Our parents “govern” us: They protect us, tell us what we can and cannot do, make sure we have enough money and supplies, educate us, and have us do our part in running the house.

So it is not at all surprising that many nations are metaphorically seen in terms of families: Mother Russia, Mother India, the Fatherland. In America, we have founding fathers, Daughters of the American Revolution, Uncle Sam, and we send our collective sons and daughters to war. In George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, the voice of the totalitarian state was called Big Brother.

As George Lakoff discussed at length in his 1996 book, Moral Politics, this metaphorical understanding of the nation-as-family directly informs our political worldview. Directly, but not consciously. As with other aspects of framing, the use of this metaphor lies below the level of consciousness.
(Security: Familyland, Fatherland, or Homeland?). As Dr. Lakoff explains it, the way it plays out is a duopoly with a level of conflict of moral values.

The conservative arm of the duopoly follows the strict parent model of the family, while the progressive arm follows the nurturing parent model.

Thus, the duopoly at that level is a struggle of moral views, a struggle between two moralities.

Adding the epigovernment concept to the picture, which is above the fray so to speak, Dredd Blog has seen the duopoly level as bread and circuses, not the place where the decisions of national policy are made.

In future posts in this series we will get into the nature of the epigovernment so we get an idea of how they write the play and select the actors in the play.

But more than that, we will also discuss what happens when the "parents in the nation-family" go "batshit crazy."

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Peak of The Oil Lies - 8

Related: Peak Oil & Peak Oil Lies
The peak of something can be graphed by using a bell curve pattern.

A pattern which details an upward slope, then a curved roof when reaching the apex, then a downward slope which descends back down toward the beginning levels.

In the case of lies about the nature of oil, of fossil fuels, we can conceive that pattern as the propaganda paralleling the peak of oil itself, meaning the peak of the volume of extracting the polluting poison from the graveyards, from the reservoirs under ground.

The graph to the lower-right shows another typical bell curve with an upward slope, reaching a peak, and then tracking back downward.

That graph is explained by the Dredd Blog post The Peak of Sanity-3 as the time when
The Peak of Sanity - Criminal Epoch
the truth of the coming fossil fuel pollution catastrophe became known to the powers that be.

But they choose to begin to lie to the public about it, to stimulate denial through propaganda, thus bringing in A Criminal Epoch of time where the public became increasingly endangered by pollution and propaganda about climate change (The Exceptional American Denial).

A similar pattern has taken place in the propaganda of MOMCOM regarding the mythical war on terror.

In recent days, the propaganda meisters got sweat on their brow when people began to see through the BS, so they have now pulled out the old cold war propaganda to try to engineer some new cultural amygdala circuits to replace the old, tired, and almost died-out fears of the cold war.

It was like throw out the picture of people putting plastic and duct tape over their windows, and replace it with pictures of kids hiding under their school desks in nuclear-war drills.

The 1% are getting desperate it would seem.

But back to the oil propaganda that is also not working as well in some places as it is in others:
Federal energy authorities have slashed by 96% the estimated amount of recoverable oil buried in California's vast Monterey Shale deposits, deflating its potential as a national "black gold mine" of petroleum.

Just 600 million barrels of oil can be extracted with existing technology, far below the 13.7 billion barrels once thought recoverable from the jumbled layers of subterranean rock spread across much of Central California, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.
(U.S. Officials Cut Estimate). These propaganda surges typically have a predictable pattern.

They are composed of an initial surge of fear inducing propaganda fostered by the main stream media, the passing of rules, legislation, or a plunder of the treasury which that fear surge was engineered to facilitate.

Finally, there follows a return to the previous ho hum status quo after the main stream media no longer continues the BS:
A top energy watchdog said the world will need more Middle Eastern oil in the next decade, as the current U.S. boom wanes. But the International Energy Agency warned that Persian Gulf producers may still fail to fill the gap, risking higher oil prices.

In its first update to the agency’s energy investment outlook in more than a decade, the IEA—which represents some of the world’s largest consumer nations—said it sees “growth in oil demand [becoming] steadily more reliant on investment in the Middle East.”

Surging American production from tight oil—extracted from shale formations in places like Texas and North Dakota—has led the agency and other oil-market analysts to predict the U.S. could leapfrog the world’s largest oil producers, Saudi Arabia and Russia, by 2020.
(IEA Expects World to Rely More on Middle East Oil). So, after a year or so of "shale oil kills peak oil problem" bullshit we are now back to "oh, we are dependent on the Middle East" like we have been since the fateful decisions just before World War I (Viva Egypt - 2).

Meanwhile, the fact that using the fossil fuel will destroy civilization is still on the back burner festering with denial propaganda (Life In The Ferengi Home World - 3).

The previous post in this series is here.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Life In The Ferengi Home World - 3

In the first and second posts of this series Dredd Blog considered the science fiction series Star Trek.

More specifically, that subject was narrowed down to a look at a species of humanoids called the Ferengi.

The Ferengi humanoids had a culture that was driven by what could be described as a "benign laissez faire capitalism" fused with a religion which could be called "the prosperity gospel."

More on those concepts in a moment.

But first, I wanted to inject something that the Star Trek episodes never considered: what if the Ferengi took over the United Federation of Planets ("the Federation") after becoming militant?

In short, what would a Ferengi coup, so as to take over the Federation, look like once it had settled in?

In today's post I will argue that it would look like The United States of Military Empire which is now entering into the final phase of the modern resource wars.

Wars that feed a planet destroying frenzy which will eventually bring down current civilization, and take it back to the Stone Age (at best ... and if we are "lucky").

Before we go there, let's remember what the Ferengi were like prior to the coup:
Their home planet ... is the center of the Ferengi Alliance and is governed by the Grand Nagus and a Commerce Authority made primarily of the Council of Economic Advisors (formerly Board of Liquidators). Like most of their culture, their religion is also based on the principles of capitalism: they offer prayers and monetary offerings to a "Blessed Exchequer" in hopes of entering the "Divine Treasury" upon death, and fear an afterlife spent in the "Vault of Eternal Destitution".
(Life In The Ferengi Home World). Now, take a look at the modern religion that will have been fused into the mix:
Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel or the health and wealth gospel) is a Christian [or Mithraic] religious doctrine which claims the Bible teaches that financial blessing is the will of God for Christians.

The doctrine teaches that faith, positive speech, and donations to Christian ministries will always increase one's material wealth.

Its proponents teach that the doctrine is an aspect of the path to Christian dominion over society, arguing that God's promise of dominion to Israel applies to Christians today.

The doctrine emphasizes the importance of personal empowerment, proposing that it is God's will for his people to be happy. The atonement (reconciliation with God) is interpreted to include the alleviation of sickness and poverty, which are viewed as curses to be broken by faith.
(Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy). Now, let's add the third and final ingredient into this mix, so as to bring it all home.

That ingredient is a degeneration from the benign Ferengi into sociopaths, and later a further degeneration of the ruling Ferengi into psychopaths.

When fully played out this involves, first, a military coup (not a coup d'état, rather a military policy coup see e.g. this and this).

Let's review a description of that one final additional ingredient:
"The Worldwide control of humanity’s economic, social and political activities is under the helm of US corporate and military power. Underlying this process are various schemes of direct and indirect military intervention. These US sponsored strategies ultimately consist in a process of global subordination.

Where is the Threat?

The 2000 Global Report published in 1980 had outlined “the State of the World” by focusing on so-called “level of threats” which might negatively influence or undermine US interests.

Twenty years later, US strategists, in an attempt to justify their military interventions in different parts of the World, have conceptualized the greatest fraud in US history, namely “the Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT). The latter, using a fabricated pretext constitutes a global war against all those who oppose US hegemony. A modern form of slavery, instrumented through militarization and the “free market” has unfolded.

Major elements of the conquest and world domination strategy by the US refer to:
1) the control of the world economy and its financial markets,

2) the taking over of all natural resources (primary resources and nonrenewable sources of energy). The latter constitute the cornerstone of US power through the activities of its multinational corporations.
Geopolitical Outreach: Network of Military Bases

The US has established its control over 191 governments which are members of the United Nations. The conquest, occupation and/or otherwise supervision of these various regions of the World is supported by an integrated network of military bases and installations which covers the entire Planet (Continents, Oceans and Outer Space). All this pertains to the workings of an extensive Empire, the exact dimensions of which are not always easy to ascertain." (American Feudalism - 6)


"In terms of pure projectable power, there’s never been anything like it. Its military has divided the world -- the whole planet -- into six “commands.” Its fleet, with 11 aircraft carrier battle groups, rules the seas and has done so
U.S. Gunboats Dwarf All Other Nations
largely unchallenged for almost seven decades. Its Air Force has ruled the global skies, and despite being almost continuously in action for years, hasn’t faced an enemy plane since 1991 or been seriously challenged anywhere since the early 1970s. Its fleet of drone aircraft has proven itself capable of targeting and killing suspected enemies in the backlands of the planet from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and Somalia with little regard for national boundaries, and none at all for the possibility of being shot down. It funds and trains proxy armies on several continents and has complex aid and training relationships with militaries across the planet. On hundreds of bases, some tiny and others the size of American towns, its soldiers garrison the globe from Italy to Australia, Honduras to Afghanistan, and on islands from Okinawa in the Pacific Ocean to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.  Its weapons makers are the most advanced on Earth and dominate the global arms market. Its nuclear weaponry in silos, on bombers, and on its fleet of submarines would be capable of destroying several planets the size of Earth.  Its system of spy satellites is unsurpassed and unchallenged.  Its intelligence services can listen in on the phone calls or read the emails of almost anyone in the world from top foreign leaders to obscure insurgents.  The CIA and its expanding paramilitary forces are capable of kidnapping people of interest just about anywhere from rural Macedonia to the streets of Rome and Tripoli.  For its many prisoners, it has set up (and dismantled) secret jails across the planet and on its naval vessels.  It spends more on its military than the next most powerful 13 states combined.  Add in the spending for its full national security state and it towers over any conceivable group of other nations.

In terms of advanced and unchallenged military power, there has been nothing like the U.S. armed forces since the Mongols swept across Eurasia." (Epigovernment: The New Model - 5)
In other words, the final fusion is composed of:
1) a once-benign laissez faire capitalism that has morphed into unrestrained cancerous plunder,

2) a prosperity gospel religion that sees the rich as being holier than the poor ("the 99%") and a fundamental doctrine of "the poor are poor because they are not worthy", and

3) a morph from "defense of self" into a military-power based imperialism that basically has the crude, infantile philosophy of "me like, so me can take."
In short, the return of feudalism, or if you prefer, the advent of neo-feudalism, which is in essence the use of military power to accumulate a new type of concentrated wealth based upon the military control of environmental resources.
Highway 61

The kicker in this movie is that this takes place on a planet with an environment that must be healthy and undamaged to support those Ferengi and everyone else.

However, in their psychopathic state they can no longer see the relevance of that issue.

In other words, it is a cognitive-storm-surge engendered by cultural amygdala circuits in people in power who can no longer fathom the importance of anything other than consumption of resources in order to make more profit to become even more wealthy and powerful.

That they are animating the death of their civilization is of no moment to them, which brings up a parenthetical question ("where are the 99 percent?").

"Google it."

And/or, consider: Stockholm Syndrome on Steroids? - 2 ...

The previous post in this series is here.