Friday, June 13, 2014

On The Origin of the Crusader Pathogen

Carefully Watching TV
I. Introduction

A pathogen is "any agent that can cause disease."

A disease is "a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment."

A crusader is a participant in "any of the military expeditions undertaken by the Christians of Europe in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries for the recovery of the Holy Land from the Muslims" and "(formerly) any holy war undertaken on behalf of a religious cause [BTW 'any' includes 'jihad']."

So, the crusader pathogen and the disease it causes are the subjects of today's post and of this series.

The books used as sources for quotes are listed at the bottom of today's post.

Links to blog quotes have been placed into the text where helpful or useful for readers to research the sources of those quotes.

II. Crusaders & Wars: The Core Consideration

The core context for this post comes from a surprising source, an American Statesman who penned the Bill of Rights in our Constitution:
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied: and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. Those truths are well established.
(Madison, 491-492, Toxins of Power Blog). President Madison used the word "germ" which is synonymous with the word "pathogen" (defined above) for the purposes of today's post and for this series.

As President (& congressman & cabinet member & author & statesman) Madison described it, war is the mother germ which "comprises and develops the germ of every other" enemy of public liberty.

III. Where Did Madison Learn About Germs?

We probably don't sufficiently consider some of the dynamics that were ongoing in the days of yore when Madison (& the other framers, forefathers, & foremothers) struggled to get us off to a good start as a nation by designing a good constitution that would resist cultural germs/pathogens (The Constitution Is Quite A Medicine).

In terms of strictly biological matters, the "germ theory" was talked about in our culture back then (What Is Pseudo Science?).

But, it was not implemented into the practice of medicine until a long time after the constitution was written (see e.g. The Germ Theory - of Government).

The history of culture in Europe also informed Madison about the dynamics of war, as well as the cultural diseases which war causes (Hypothesis: The Cultural Amygdala).

For example, feudalism was one epidemic that sprung up in Europe directly from the machinations of the germ of war:
"Warfare was endemic in the feudal period, but feudalism did not cause warfare; warfare caused feudalism." - American Feudalism

"And as war begat the King and the military noble, so it also begat the slave. There had always been a slave class, a class of the unfree, among the English as among all German peoples; but the numbers of this class, if unaffected by the conquest of Britain, were swelled by the wars which soon sprang up among the English conquerors." -American Feudalism - 2
The Dredd Blog series "American Feudalism" addresses, among other things, the question about where neoFeudalism in America today came from.

You may be wondering "what does that have to do with crusaders and the crusades Dredd?"

Fair enough, let's get into that now.

III. The Crusader Epidemic

The power of the war pathogen can be envisioned by noting the history of how the Christian Church was infected beyond recognition:
The Church, too, had her place in the feudal system. She too was granted territorial fiefs, became a vassal, possessed immunities. It was the result of her calm, wide sympathy, turning to the new nations, away from the Roman Empire, to which many Christians thought she was irrevocably bound. By the baptism of Clovis she showed the baptism of Constantine had not tied her to the political system. So she created a new world out of chaos, created the paradox of barbarian civilization. In gratitude kings and emperors endowed her with property; and ecclesiastical property has not infrequently brought evils in its train. The result was disputed elections; younger sons of nobles were intruded into bishoprics, at times even into the papacy. Secular princes claimed lay investiture of spiritual offices. The cause of this was feudalism, for a system that had its basis on land tenure was bound at last to enslave a Church that possessed great landed possessions.
(American Feudalism - 2, quoting The Catholic Encyclopedia). The war infection caused a radical morph within that institution, even before the Western Roman Empire fell:
Pope Urban’s call to crusade was made possible by the earlier work of St. Augustine on Christian violence.   After all, on the surface Christianity appears as a faith of pacifism, demonstrated by Jesus, whose life reflected the rejection of all violence, as well as the Hebrew Bible in which the commandment “Thou Shall Not Kill” is revealed. How is it that St. Augustine and then Pope Urban II enabled violence to be an option for Christians? “From the fourth century onwards, Christianity underwent a gradual but deep‐seated transformation as it fused with a Roman ‘state’ for which warfare was an essential feature of existence.” (Asbridge 13‐24)  Urban secured thousands of participants for his cause when he promised rewards in the afterlife, including a guarantee of eternal salvation to those who died in the struggle. “For the first time in Christian history, violence was defined as a religious act, a source of grace.” (Carroll 239‐340)
...
Although Urban freely spoke of the wrongs done to Christians by Muslims in the Holy Land, other sources suggest Christians in fact enjoyed a relatively peaceful existence in these Muslim communities. Christians indigenous to the region were treated with “remarkable clemency. The Muslim faith acknowledged and respected Judaism and Christianity, creeds with which it enjoyed a common devotional tradition and a mutual reliance upon authoritative scripture. Christian subjects may not have been able to share power with their Muslim masters, but they were given freedom to worship. All around the Mediterranean basin Christian faith and society survived and even thrived under the watchful but tolerant eye of Islam.” (Asbridge 18)
...
Less than a year after Pope Urban II called Christians to arms, the First Crusade got its start in northwestern Europe in the spring of 1096. The first acts of hostility took place not against the Muslim enemy, but were targeted at the Jews close to home in the Rhineland. (Carroll 237) While anti‐Semitism had existed in Europe for centuries, the First Crusade marked the first mass organized violence against Jewish communities. As early as the 9th century, Jews of Europe had faced discrimination as “laws were passed to make sure that Jews did not exercise authority over Christians, and restrictions of numerous other aspects of Jewish life were enacted.” (243) But now, this discrimination took the form of violence as Jews instantly joined, or even replaced Muslims as the defiling enemy in the crusader’s mind.(253) ... These crusader attacks on Jews amounted to Europe’s first large scale pogroms, and the hostilities spread east through Germany in the cities of Speyer, Trier, Metz, Regensburg, Cologne, Worms, Mainz and seven other locations. (248) Followers of Judaism were subjected to a ruthless program of violence, extortion and forced conversion. (Asbridge 86) The number of Jews murdered or forced to suicide in those weeks is estimated by scholars to have been as low as 5,000 or as high as 10,000, perhaps a full third of the Jews living in northern Europe.” (Carroll 257)
(First Crusade). The outbreaks of violence were events evolving from blind hatred seething within the religious culture of that time.

The war pathogen fuelled by old religious propaganda is still alive (but still not well) in today's crusader pathogen infected culture:
The Lord is a warrior and in Revelation 19 it says when he comes back, he's coming back as what? A warrior. A mighty warrior leading a mighty army, riding a white horse with a blood-stained white robe ... I believe that blood on that robe is the blood of his enemies 'cause he's coming back as a warrior carrying a sword.

And I believe now - I've checked this out - I believe that sword he'll be
"Jesus is coming with an AR-15" - U.S. General
carrying when he comes back is an AR-15.

Now I want you to think about this: where did the Second Amendment come from? ... From the Founding Fathers, it's in the Constitution. Well, yeah, I know that. But where did the whole concept come from? It came from Jesus when he said to his disciples 'now, if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.'

I know, everybody says that was a metaphor. IT WAS NOT A METAPHOR! He was saying in building my kingdom, you're going to have to fight at times. You won't build my kingdom with a sword, but you're going to have to defend yourself. And that was the beginning of the Second Amendment, that's where the whole thing came from. I can't prove that historically and David [Barton] will counsel me when this is over, but I know that's where it came from.

And the sword today is an AR-15, so if you don't have one, go get one. You're supposed to have one. It's biblical.
(Hypothesis: The Cultural Amygdala - 4). Obviously that general in the U.S. military shares his crusader viewpoint with his faithful troops, with the public, and with some Christians today.

IV. A Closer Look At The Crusader Pathogen

It is understandable that some people will be aghast at the notion of "Christian warrior atrocities," which the historians who have been quoted in this post have laid out, and will also be aghast at the notion of "Military Christian Generals" of the type quoted above.

It is less mysterious if you consider the fusion of the Roman church with the Roman state in the last days of the Western Roman Empire.

Then, consider the subsequent domination of that feudal church by the kingdom of states that made up The Holy Roman Empire.

Regular readers know that Dredd Blog has isolated the crusader pathogen to an ancient dynamic at work then, and still at work now:
Mithraism ... was a mystery religion centered on the god Mithras, [which] became popular among the military in the Roman Empire, from the 1st to 4th centuries AD.
...
There is lots of debate on the origins of Mithraism, but as far as it went in the Roman Empire, where some scholars believe it originated (others do not) it clearly is a militaristic religion:

"Upon enlistment, the first act of a Roman soldier was to pledge obedience and devotion to the emperor. Absolute loyalty to authority and to fellow soldiers was the cardinal virtue, and the Mithraic religion became the ultimate vehicle for this fraternal obedience. The Mithras worshippers compared the practice of their religion to their military service."
(Doing the Right Thing - Mithraism). The import of this discovery becomes clear when the behavior conducted by the worshippers of Mithra is considered:
“Polybius claimed that the [Roman army] deliberately caused as much destruction as possible, slaughtering and dismembering animals as well as people, to deter other communities from resisting Roman demands to surrender; mercy. Male inhabitants were usually slaughtered, women raped, though only in exceptional circumstances killed in the initial orgy of destruction. After that, as tempers cooled and the desire for profit took over, prisoners would be taken for sale as slaves, though at times any considered to have a low market value, such as the very old, were still massacred.”
(Doing The Right Thing - Mithraism - 2). Our modern conditioning by propaganda may make it difficult for us to comprehend all of this, at least at first blush.

The morph that took place and which eventually led to the Crusades may not reach out and grab our comprehension immediately.

But perhaps it will be easier to see that some ancient cultural dynamic of mimicry was and still is at work.

Especially, if you take note of the similarities between Mithraism and Christianity:
1) Mithras was “the Light of the World“ (Jesus said “I am the light of the world.” John 8:12).

2) Mithras was a member of a Holy Trinity (“Christians are baptized ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ … ‘The faith of all Christians rests on the Trinity.’ St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermo 9, Exp. symb.: CCL 103, 47″; see also Mt 28:19).

3) Mithras was born of a virgin (Jesus was born of a virgin. see Matthew 1:18-25).

4) Worshippers of Mithras held strong beliefs in a celestial heaven and an infernal hell (“The Bible speaks clearly of the existence of Heaven … Hell is also spoken of in the Bible, but its nature is even more sketchy. When Jesus described the destiny of sinners who refused to change their ways, he compared it to Gehenna, which was a rubbish dump outside Jerusalem. People in wretched poverty picked their way through it to find scraps, and fires burned”).

5) Worshippers of Mithras believed they would be given endless life (“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” I Cor 15:53).

6) Worshippers of Mithras believed in a final day of judgement in which the dead would resurrect (“But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” I Cor 15:12).
Live by the sword=die by the sword

7) Worshippers of Mithras believed in a final conflict that would destroy the existing order of all things (“Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army” Rev 19:19; “Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon” Rev 16:16).

8) Mithras worshippers believed that a ritualistic baptism was required of the faithful (“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit …’” Matthew 28:18-20).

9) Mithras worshippers took part in a ceremony in which they drank wine and ate bread to symbolize the body and blood of Mithras (“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body’” Matthew 26:26; “And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many” Matthew 26:26-28).

10) Mithras worshippers believed that Sundays were held sacred (“the majority observance of Christian Sabbath is as Sunday rest” - Wikipedia).

11) The birth of Mithras was celebrated annually on December the 25th (“Christmas … is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ and a widely observed holiday, celebrated generally on December 25 by billions of people around the world” - Wikipedia).

12) Mithras took part in a Last Supper with his companions before ascending to heaven (“The Last Supper is the final meal that, according to Christian belief, Jesus shared with his Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion.” Wikipedia; “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11).
(On The Origin of The Bully Religion). Then take note of the fundamental difference in the midst of all that likeness (that difference is familiarity with peace).

During the feudal times in the centuries following Constantine's decree that Christianity was to be an official Roman Empire religion, the morph, i.e. the change from peaceful to warmonger continued until it reached epidemic proportions.

If you care to look at a theory of toxins of power (one toxin being the crusader pathogen) check out: "About Toxins of Power".

The next post in this series is here.

SOURCES

Asbridge, Thomas.
The First Crusade: A New History.
Oxford: Oxford University Press,
2004.

Carroll, James.
Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews: A History.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company,
2001.

Madison, James.
Letters and other writings of James Madison
Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co.
1865.

"But that was when I ruled the world" 
("Viva La Vida", by Cold Play)



Thursday, June 12, 2014

Warrantless Searches - Unreasonable - 2

In the first post of this series we considered Arizona v Gant, 556 U.S. 332 (2009).

That Supreme Court case affirmed an Arizona state appellate court's opinion that a warrantless search was unconstitutional under the circumstances of that case.

In today's post we consider a case of first impression in the Eleventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, which held a portion of a federal statute to be unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment:
Davis’s Fourth Amendment argument raises issues of first impression in this circuit, and not definitively decided elsewhere in the country. The evidence at issue consists of records obtained from cell phone service providers pursuant to the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”), 18 U.S.C. §§ 2703(c) and (d). Under that Act, the government can obtain from providers of electronic communication service records of subscriber services when the government has obtained either a warrant, § 2703(c)(A), or, as occurred in this case, a court order under subsection (d), see § 2703(c)(B). The order under subsection (d) does not require the government to show probable cause.
...
Davis objected to the admission of the location information in the district court and now argues to us that the obtaining of that evidence violated his constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment. That Amendment, of course, provides that “no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or Affirmation . . . .” U.S. CONST. AMEND. IV. It is a “basic principle of Fourth Amendment law” that searches and seizures without a warrant “are presumptively unreasonable.” See, e.g., Groh v. Ramirez, 540 U.S. 551, 559 (2004). The SCA does provide for governmental entities requiring records from communication service providers by warrant under subsection (c)(A). However, as noted above, the prosecution obtained the evidence against Davis, not by warrant under subsection (c)(A), but by order under subsection (d). As further noted above, that section does not require probable cause, but only a showing “that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the . . . records or other information sought, are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.” 18 U.S.C. § 2703(d) (emphasis added).
...
Therefore, it cannot be denied that the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures shields the people from the warrantless interception of electronic data or sound waves carrying communications. The next step of analysis, then, is to inquire whether that protection covers not only content, but also the transmission itself when it reveals information about the personal source of the transmission, specifically his location.
...
Having determined that the privacy theory of Fourth Amendment protection governs this controversy, we conclude that the appellant correctly asserts that the government’s warrantless gathering of his cell site location information violated his reasonable expectation of privacy. The government argues that the gathering of cell site location information is factually distinguishable from the GPS data at issue in Jones. We agree that it is distinguishable; however, we believe the distinctions operate against the government’s case rather than in favor of it.
...
In short, we hold that cell site location information is within the subscriber’s reasonable expectation of privacy. The obtaining of that data without a warrant is a Fourth Amendment violation.
(U.S. v Davis, 11th Cir., June 11, 2014, emphasis added). This may go to the en banc court, but I doubt it.

More than likely it will go up to the Supreme Court directly from the three judge panel's unanimous decision.

See also: ACLU vs. Clapper, Alexander, Hagel, Holder, and Mueller - 8

The previous post in this series is here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Peak of Sanity - 8

In the previous post of this series I talked about how the captains of industry and government knew exactly, and said so in 1957, what would happen if they did not go on one of those "go to the moon this decade" campaigns like JFK did.

A campaign to use the surplus dirty energy to build renewable, clean energy industries in preparation for the inevitable peak oil production that was predicted to impact civilization in the most dramatic way, yes, the impact described by leading figures as the collapse of current civilization.

Let's revisit the list of things that were known for sure and even expressed in writing in 1957:
1) ... "let me review ... the role of energy resources in the rise and fall of civilizations."

2) ... "Possession of surplus energy is, of course, a requisite for any kind of civilization" ...

3) ... "Surplus energy provides the material foundation for civilized living" ...

4) ... "What assurance do we then have that our energy needs will continue to be supplied by fossil fuels: The answer is - in the long run - none."

5) ... "Fossil fuels are not renewable ... Fuel that has been burned is gone forever."

6) ... "In the face of the basic fact that fossil fuel reserves are finite, the exact length of time these reserves will last is important in only one respect: the longer they last, the more time do we have, to invent ways of living off renewable or substitute energy sources and to adjust our economy to the vast changes which we can expect from such a shift."

7) ... "A selfish and irresponsible parent will squander it in riotous living and care not one whit how his offspring will fare."
(The Peak of Sanity - 7, emphasis in original). Yes, in 1957, almost six decades ago, those comments were made by a well-known scientist, Navy Admiral, and government official who had a navy vessel named after him (Adm. H. G. Rickover).

Nevertheless, we all seem to have blind spots, including Rickover, who made a huge mistake by his advocacy for weapons grade nuclear reactors instead of realizing the benefits of the thorium reactor --in terms of environmental problems (Thorium Reactors).

Clearly, the ramifications of being addicted to fossil fuels was understood long ago, but was global warming one of those ramifications?

It was well known by that time:
07:09 - Tyndall in mid 1800's began research into [greenhouse gases].
07:45 - Arrhenius did first degree calculations re: CO2 content.
08:25 - Callendar discovered [greenhouse gas] increases in 1930's.
09:02 - Hulburt accord in 1930's.
09:43 - Depression / war stopped GG research.
10:00 - Gilbert N. Plass developed CO2 atmospheric calculations.
10:49 - Suess & Revelle do paper in 1957 warning of GW dangers.
12:30 - Dr. Revelle warned of polar ice cap melt in TIME interview.
(The Exceptional American Denial, video index, emphasis added). So I presume that Admiral Rickover, along with the other captains of industry and government, were all aware sixty years ago of those additional dangers involved with the addiction of civilization to fossil fuels.

So, we measure sanity by what we know is right, what we must do to preserve our lives, and what we then do about it.

In this series Dredd Blog is arguing that the captains of industry and government of our culture are psychopathic, because they knew what they were doing was wrong, even that it was suicidal for civilization, yet continued down that deadly path anyway:
The psychopath is callous, yet charming. He or she will con and manipulate others with charisma and intimidation and can effectively mimic feelings to present as “normal” to society. The psychopath is organized in their criminal thinking and behavior, and can maintain good emotional and physical control, displaying little to no emotional or autonomic arousal, even under situations that most would find threatening or horrifying. The psychopath is keenly aware that what he or she is doing is wrong, but does not care.
(The Peak of Sanity - 5, emphasis added). What makes the behavior of the captains of industry and government criminal is that their psychopathy can be mastered and controlled.

The video presentation at the bottom of this post, featuring Dr. James Fallon, illustrates that point.

Psychopaths have brought us to where we are, at the brink of global warming catastrophe, which could make the human species extinct.

Discussions of the problem are still mixed with both psychotic and sane observations of our fate:
The global El Niño weather phenomenon, whose impacts cause global famines, floods – and even wars – now has a 90% chance of striking this year, according to the latest forecast released to the Guardian.
...
The latest El Niño prediction comes from the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), which is considered one the most reliable of the 15 or so prediction centres around the world.
...
The movement of hot, rain-bringing water to the western Pacific ramps up the risk of downpours in the nations flanking that side of the great ocean, while the normally damp eastern flank dries out. Governments, commodity traders, insurers and aid groups like the Red Cross and World Food Programme all monitor developments closely and water conservation and food stockpiling is already underway in some countries.
(Guardian). Some countries see the reality and react properly, yet in other countries the psychopaths "poo poo" every concern the people have.

Even if the psychopaths in industry and government cannot help themselves, perhaps those around them can (Oil-Qaeda: The Indictment).

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

Epigenetics trumps genetics. The wonderful Dr. James Fallon:

Link To Dr. Fallon's TED video

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Elections of Pontius Pilots - 5

The lesser of two evils method is ineffective.
This Dredd Blog series deals with the reality that our feeble democracy does not afford us a choice among candidates in primaries who would have a positive effect on the direction the nation has been going.

And as today's photo shows, when the primaries are over and it is time to choose between two candidates, the choice of the "lesser evil" is of no consequence either.

Let's examine that concept or hypothesis in the context of something Dredd Blog has wondered about for several years now (Mega Infrastructure Bill To Make Jobs?, Infrastructure - Fake Word For Earmark, Inferior Structure).

That something is our national infrastructure:
We are at a pivotal moment when it comes to maintaining and modernizing our nation’s infrastructure. Many of our roads, bridges, water systems, and our national electric grid were put into place over fifty years ago, and these systems are simply overwhelmed or worn out.
...
For the most part, the problem is hidden. Most of us do not notice infrastructure until it stops working – when a bridge is closed causing us to be late for work, when the lights go out, or when there is no water for your morning shower.

But failing infrastructure is not only an inconvenience, it financially impacts our families and our country. Our infrastructure is the foundation of our economy and our quality of life, and repairing and modernizing it has exponential benefits, including: increasing our gross domestic product, growing household income, protecting jobs, and maintaining a strong U.S. position in international markets. Unless we address the backlog of projects and deferred maintenance throughout the country, the cost to each American family will reach $3,100 per year in personal disposable income.

As civil engineers, ASCE’s 140,000-plus members are stewards of our nation’s infrastructure – charged with the design, construction, operation and maintenance of these critical systems. We developed the Report Card for America’s Infrastructure to give the public and decision-makers a comprehensive assessment of the conditions of the nation’s infrastructure across many sectors.
(President ASCE, emphasis added). A "report card" for the government sounds like a good idea, so how is it going?

The ASCE indicates the grades 1988 through 2013:

Category'88'98'01'05'09'13
-------
AviationB-C-DD+DD
Bridges-C-CCCC+
Dams-DDD+DD
Drinking WaterB-DDD-D-D
Energy--D+DD+D+
Hazardous WasteDD-D+DDD
Inland Waterways   B--D+D-D-D-
Levees----D-D-
Parks/Recreation---C-C-C-
Rail---C-C-C+
RoadsC+D-D+DD-D
SchoolsDFD-DDD
Solid WasteC-C-C+C+C+B-
TransitC-C-C-D+DD
WastewaterCD+DD-D-D
Ports-----C

These grades mean:
  • A = Exceptional
  • B = Good
  • C = Mediocre
  • D = Poor
  • F = Failing

In preparation for the disasters of global warming, which involves cutting down on fossil fuel usage, we get an F.

Now tell me again, what does "exceptional" mean?

The previous post in this series is here.

It Ain't Me Babe (a.k.a. "The Elected Officials' Theme Song")




Monday, June 9, 2014

The Peak of Sanity - 7

The Peak of Sanity - Criminal Epoch
In this series we have taken a look at many facets of the social dementia which led to the peak of the sanity of our current civilization.

In the post today, I will attempt to narrow the discussion down so as to further support the notion about when the peak of sanity was reached.

But first, let's remember that we are talking about the peak of the sanity of civilization, our human culture, not the sanity of individuals:
In this series we have been discussing, not individuals, but current civilization, in terms of civilization having reached The Peak of Sanity.
(The Peak of Sanity - 3). This exercise of doing a psychoanalysis of a group as large as civilization was long ago recognized as a real need by "The Father of Psychoanalysis," but was never realized:
If the evolution of civilization has such a far reaching similarity with the development of an individual, and if the same methods are employed in both, would not the diagnosis be justified that many systems of civilization——or epochs of it——possibly even the whole of humanity——have become neurotic under the pressure of the civilizing trends? To analytic dissection of these neuroses, therapeutic recommendations might follow which could claim a great practical interest. I would not say that such an attempt to apply psychoanalysis to civilized society would be fanciful or doomed to fruitlessness. But it behooves us to be very careful, not to forget that after all we are dealing only with analogies, and that it is dangerous, not only with men but also with concepts, to drag them out of the region where they originated and have matured. The diagnosis of collective neuroses, moreover, will be confronted by a special difficulty. In the neurosis of an individual we can use as a starting point the contrast presented to us between the patient and his environment which we assume to be normal. No such background as this would be available for any society similarly affected; it would have to be supplied in some other way. And with regard to any therapeutic application of our knowledge, what would be the use of the most acute analysis of social neuroses, since no one possesses power to compel the community to adopt the therapy? In spite of all these difficulties, we may expect that one day someone will venture upon this research into the pathology of civilized communities. [p. 39]
...
Men have brought their powers of subduing the forces of nature
to such a pitch that by using them they could now very easily exterminate one another to the last man. They know this——hence arises a great part of their current unrest, their dejection, their mood of apprehension. [p. 40]
(MOMCOM's Mass Suicide & Murder Pact - 5, quoting Sigmund Freud). With that background, let's now focus on the graphic at the top of the post.

That graphic shows a bell curve with a peak curve shape that produces a dome, which is colored  purple on the upswing side, and colored red on the downswing side.

The colored dome begins circa 1900 and ends circa 1959, with two divisions.

The first division is purple and titled "The Peak of Sanity", while the second division is red and titled "Criminal Epoch."

One simple inference we can surmise from that graphic is that there was a process by which those in power during that time frame, made the decision to fully commit civilization to being / becoming utterly dependent on massive fossil fuel usage.

Regular readers know that Dredd Blog, in other posts covered the earlier and more embryonic phase of that emerging dependence, which was the decision to make military forces dependent on Middle East Oil (see e.g. Viva Egypt -2, The Universal Smedley - 2).

The result of the decision of captains of industry and government, when fully developed and delivered, was acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Energy statement: "Oil is the lifeblood of America’s economy."

And by extension, oil is also the lifeblood of civilization's economy.

With that preface, let's take a look at some of the evidence concerning when civilization went over the top, then entered downside of the curve, which is the Criminal Epoch.

The evidence is based on what they knew and when they knew it, concerning the affects of having a worldwide dependence, which some call addiction, to the burning of fossil fuels in order to avoid the collapse of civilization.

And by the same token, that evidence is also based on the reality that the same burning of fossil fuels to avoid the collapse of civilization is what will certainly cause the collapse of civilization.

That was pointed out by the recent scientific paper indicating that the human species, not just civilization itself, is facing extinction as a result of the fateful decision to become addicted to oil:
Despite the uncertainty in future climate-change impacts, it is often assumed that humans would be able to adapt to any possible warming. Here we argue that heat stress imposes a robust upper limit to such adaptation. Peak heat stress, quantified by the wet-bulb temperature TW, is surprisingly similar across diverse climates today. TW never exceeds 31 °C. Any exceedence of 35 °C for extended periods should induce hyperthermia in humans and other mammals, as dissipation of metabolic heat becomes impossible. While this never happens now, it would begin to occur with global-mean warming of about 7 °C, calling the habitability of some regions into question. With 11–12 °C warming, such regions would spread to encompass the majority of the human population as currently distributed. Eventual warmings of 12 °C are possible from fossil fuel burning.
...
Heat stress is already a leading cause of fatalities from natural phenomena. While fatalities appear associated with warm nights, hot days alter the lifestyles and work productivity of those living at low latitudes. Both impacts will clearly worsen in warmer climates, but most believe humans will simply adapt, reasoning that humans already tolerate a very wide range of climates today. But when measured in terms of peak heat stress—including humidity—this turns out to be untrue. We show that even modest global warming could therefore expose large fractions of the population to unprecedented heat stress, and that with severe warming this would become intolerable.
(PNAS, "An adaptability limit ... heat stress", emphasis added). Humans cannot adapt to the heat stress that is coming.

Nor are we inclined to adapt to what we must do, that is, give up our addiction to fossil fuel usage.

Moving on with this post, here is the concept expressed ~six decades ago, in 1957, a la "the first one is free," that got us hooked:
Whether this Golden Age will continue depends entirely upon our ability to keep energy supplies in balance with the needs of our growing population. Before I go into this question, let me review briefly the role of energy resources in the rise and fall of civilizations.

Possession of surplus energy is, of course, a requisite for any kind of civilization, for if man possesses merely the energy of his own muscles, he must expend all his strength - mental and physical - to obtain the bare necessities of life.

Surplus energy provides the material foundation for civilized living - a comfortable and tasteful home instead of a bare shelter; attractive clothing instead of mere covering to keep warm; appetizing food instead of anything that suffices to appease hunger. It provides the freedom from toil without which there can be no art, music, literature, or learning. There is no need to belabor the point. What lifted man - one of the weaker mammals - above the animal world was that he could devise, with his brain, ways to increase the energy at his disposal, and use the leisure so gained to cultivate his mind and spirit. Where man must rely solely on the energy of his own body, he can sustain only the most meager existence.

...

I think no further elaboration is needed to demonstrate the significance of energy resources for our own future. Our civilization rests upon a technological base which requires enormous quantities of fossil fuels. What assurance do we then have that our energy needs will continue to be supplied by fossil fuels: The answer is - in the long run - none.

The earth is finite. Fossil fuels are not renewable. In this respect our energy base differs from that of all earlier civilizations. They could have maintained their energy supply by careful cultivation. We cannot. Fuel that has been burned is gone forever. Fuel is even more evanescent than metals. Metals, too, are non-renewable resources threatened with ultimate extinction, but something can be salvaged from scrap. Fuel leaves no scrap and there is nothing man can do to rebuild exhausted fossil fuel reserves. They were created by solar energy 500 million years ago and took eons to grow to their present volume.

In the face of the basic fact that fossil fuel reserves are finite, the exact length of time these reserves will last is important in only one respect: the longer they last, the more time do we have, to invent ways of living off renewable or substitute energy sources and to adjust our economy to the vast changes which we can expect from such a shift.

Fossil fuels resemble capital in the bank. A prudent and responsible parent will use his capital sparingly in order to pass on to his children as much as possible of his inheritance. A selfish and irresponsible parent will squander it in riotous living and care not one whit how his offspring will fare.
(Adm. Rickover 5/14/1957 - Energy History - Collapse, emphasis added). There it is, our sophisticated civilization is dependent on fossil fuels, but those resources are finite.

Sanity dictates that we must have used them only to create, build, then transfer our dependence to renewable sources of energy.

The captains of industry and government knew the situation, the great risk of becoming dependent on a finite resource, but risked it anyway, while knowing that their time to convert to renewable resources was limited:
Current estimates of fossil fuel reserves vary to an astonishing degree. In part this is because the results differ greatly if cost of extraction is disregarded or if in calculating how long reserves will last, population growth is not taken into consideration; or, equally important, not enough weight is given to increased fuel consumption required to process inferior or substitute metals. We are rapidly approaching the time when exhaustion of better grade metals will force us to turn to poorer grades requiring in most cases greater expenditure of energy per unit of metal.

But the most significant distinction between optimistic and pessimistic fuel reserve statistics is that the optimists generally speak of the immediate future - the next twenty-five years or so - while the pessimists think in terms of a century from now. A century or even two is a short span in the history of a great people. It seems sensible to me to take a long view, even if this involves facing unpleasant facts.

For it is an unpleasant fact that according to our best estimates, total fossil fuel reserves recoverable at not over twice today's unit cost, are likely to run out at some time between the years 2000 and 2050, if present standards of living and population growth rates are taken into account. Oil and natural gas will disappear first, coal last. There will be coal left in the earth, of course. But it will be so difficult to mine that energy costs would rise to economically intolerable heights, so that it would then become necessary either to discover new energy sources or to lower standards of living drastically.
(ibid, "Adm. Rickover 5/14/1957 - Energy History - Collapse", emphasis added). The entry into the Criminal Epoch began when the captains of industry and government knew the consequences of not beginning to develop and use renewable resources way back then.

Their decision to never-the-less go down a path that would bring collapse of civilization was criminal and was psychopathic (The Peak Of The Oil Wars - 9).

In this post we have not considered their knowledge about the environmental consequences of using fossil fuels, which includes human extinction as was mentioned above.

So, in the next post of this series we will consider their knowledge of the environmental consequences as well as the criminal ramifications of that knowledge and subsequent behavior.

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

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Military NSA Can't Hack My Car Nor Can AGW Make Us Extinct

Just sayin' ...
Wrong.

Many Dredd Blog System posts, as well as Snowden's whistleblowing, has informed us that the military can hack any electronic device that contains certain types of electronic circuitry.

Your car is composed of many electronic systems that can be fully hacked, and that is the public position of The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The video at the bottom of this post indicates that any device containing certain electronic circuits can be hacked, will be hacked, and are being hacked (see also the detailed video @ ACLU vs. Clapper, Alexander, Hagel, Holder, and Mueller - 9).
The car is not responding Louise.

The circuits of our brains also can be, will be, and are being hacked (The Matriarch of the Matrix - 3, The Ways of Bernays).

For example, the reality of human extinction has been removed from the brains of deniers by psychopaths who failed to do their long term prognosis once upon a time (The Peak of Sanity - 3, Viva Egypt - 2).

Recently published scientific papers indicate that humans cannot survive an increase of global warming beyond a point that is approaching:
Despite the uncertainty in future climate-change impacts, it is often assumed that humans would be able to adapt to any possible warming. Here we argue that heat stress imposes a robust upper limit to such adaptation. Peak heat stress, quantified by the wet-bulb temperature TW, is surprisingly similar across diverse climates today. TW never exceeds 31 °C. Any exceedence of 35 °C for extended periods should induce hyperthermia in humans and other mammals, as dissipation of metabolic heat becomes impossible. While this never happens now, it would begin to occur with global-mean warming of about 7 °C, calling the habitability of some regions into question. With 11–12 °C warming, such regions would spread to encompass the majority of the human population as currently distributed. Eventual warmings of 12 °C are possible from fossil fuel burning.
...
Heat stress is already a leading cause of fatalities from natural phenomena. While fatalities appear associated with warm nights, hot days alter the lifestyles and work productivity of those living at low latitudes. Both impacts will clearly worsen in warmer climates, but most believe humans will simply adapt, reasoning that humans already tolerate a very wide range of climates today. But when measured in terms of peak heat stress—including humidity—this turns out to be untrue. We show that even modest global warming could therefore expose large fractions of the population to unprecedented heat stress, and that with severe warming this would become intolerable.
(PNAS, "An adaptability limit ... heat stress", emphasis added). Human extinction is in the cards, if remedial action continues to be avoided, because our physical bodies can't handle too much heat (we are like the planet we live on).

Dr. Kathleen Fisher, Program Manager; DARPA High Assurance Systems