Saturday, July 12, 2014

On The Origin of Security - 5

Regular readers know that Dredd Blog has, from its beginning (The Deceit Business), discussed the hidden reasons for why the rogues within what we call "government" constantly talk about "security."

So, I am called a "conspiracy theorist" (On The Origin of "Conspiracy Theory" - 3) until what I post comes to pass years later, at which time I am called "subversive" by the fascist subversives of the coup (see e.g. A Tale of Coup Cities - 11).

The social disease involving Authoritarian Type B cognition, a.k.a. Stockholm Syndrome, has led these rogue servants of the Epigovernment to think that all the world is a paradise of trusting souls who believe their every word ---which is a foreign policy ignorance that has caused some worse-than-bad foreign policy practices.

Recently some of that bad policy has blown up in the face of the ignorati who are hiding in those dark holes of the federal bureaucracy (The Queens of Stalingrad - 4).

For example:
It's been a common scene at recent encounters between American and German officials. But behind the perfect façade, relations are cracking. Even as workers were decorating Tempelhof Field with pennants and small flags last Friday, a report was making the rounds in the German capital that could very well drag relations between Washington and Berlin to a new low.

During questioning, an employee of Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), told German authorities he had sold secret documents to the Americans. Given that special encryption technology was found during a raid of his apartment, it seems highly unlikely that selling the classified information was his idea.

This Wednesday, the spying scandal took on a new dimension when investigators with the Federal Criminal Police Office raided the home and offices of a Defense Ministry employee whom officials also suspect may have spied for the Americans.

The developments are only the latest tussle in a relationship between Germany and the United States that has suffered in recent years. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already abandoned hope that the United States will come to its senses and rein in its intelligence agencies. During Merkel's last visit to Washington, US President Barack Obama wasn't even willing to commit to a no-spy agreement guaranteeing Germany a modicum of security.

Merkel Fears Growing Anti-American Sentiment

The chancellor did, however, expect the Americans to at least refrain from involving her in any further embarrassing incidents -- she has no interest in seeing a continued rise in anti-US sentiment in Germany, a development that would ultimately offer her no choice but to distance herself from the Americans once again. But that point may have already been reached.

As of the end of last week, the BND had not yet fully investigated the spy scandal. But if the story turns out to be true, it will mean that the Americans paid a mole to copy documents for them, some of which were even intended for the German parliamentary committee set up to investigate the NSA's activities in Germany. It would represent a new level of audacity.

The initial reports alone were enough to enrage key members of Germany's coalition government composed of Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) -- so much so that some now feel US intelligence agencies are capable of anything.
(Der Spiegel, "Germany's Choice: Will It Be America or Russia?"). Such contemplation has not existed for some six decades until now.

The American people as well as the German people found out at the same time, because of Edward Snowden's revelations to the press, that they (the people) were the targets of the military NSA (ACLU vs. Clapper).

The reason for this subterfuge, traitorous cognition, and back stabbing obscenity has a transparent purpose even though its machinations have not been transparent:
William Binney is one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. He was a leading code-breaker against the Soviet Union during the Cold War but resigned soon after September 11, disgusted by Washington’s move towards mass surveillance.

On 5 July he spoke at a conference in London organised by the Centre for Investigative Journalism and revealed the extent of the surveillance programs unleashed by the Bush and Obama administrations.

“At least 80% of fibre-optic cables globally go via the US”, Binney said. “This is no accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.”

The NSA will soon be able to collect 966 exabytes a year, the total of internet traffic annually. Former Google head Eric Schmidt once argued that the entire amount of knowledge from the beginning of humankind until 2003 amount to only five exabytes.

Binney, who featured in a 2012 short film by Oscar-nominated US film-maker Laura Poitras, described a future where surveillance is ubiquitous and government intrusion unlimited.

The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control”, Binney said ...
(Guardian, "... goal of the [military] NSA ...", emphasis added). The morph of the into a new authoritarian personality is out now.

The many Dredd Blog series, such as Will The Military Become The Police (2, 3, 4), does not seem so "radical and conspiracy theory-ish" now does it cowboys and cowgirls?

The government's idea of security is so depraved they can't determine "security" from a "human crisis" at times:
Plaintiffs are eight immigrant children, ranging in age from ten to seventeen. The Government has begun proceedings to deport each of them; they will soon be called to appear before an Immigration Judge. In court, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) will be represented by a trained lawyer who will argue for the child’s deportation. But no lawyer will stand with the child. Each will be required to respond to the charges against him or her, and, in theory, will be afforded an opportunity to make legal arguments and present evidence on his or her own behalf. But in reality those rights will be meaningless because children are not competent to exercise them. Each child has attempted to find representation through pro bono legal service providers, but none of them have found anyone with the resources to take on their cases. Absent this Court’s intervention, these children will be forced to defend themselves pro se under the immigration laws – a legal regime that, as the courts have recognized, rivals the Internal Revenue Code in its complexity.
(J.E.F.M. a minor, vs. Eric Holder, line #s removed). That will go over about as well as the other policies discussed in this post.

The previous post in this series is here.

Cold Play, "Viva La Vida"

Friday, July 11, 2014

Interesting Science Subjects

Supernova 1987-A
It is Friday, again, so I am sharing some links to various and sundry scientific subjects today.

Over the years the Dredd Blog System has featured posts on a variety of scientific subjects.

Typically I try to keep up with new subject matter as the new subject develops.

In the past few years, and in this the 21st Century, a virtual revolution is taking place in genetics and microbiology, including viruses.

And I do mean a revolution in understanding based on discoveries in and out of the labs.


For example:
"The theory of evolution was first proposed based on visual observations of animals and plants. Then, in the latter half of the 19th century, the invention of the modern optical microscope helped scientists begin to systematically explore the vast world of previously invisible organisms, dubbed “microbes” by the late, great Louis Pasteur, and led to a rethinking of the classification of living things.

In the mid-1970s, based on the analysis of the ribosomal genes of these organisms, Carl Woese and others proposed a classification that divided living organisms into three domains: eukaryotes, bacteria, and archaea ... Even though viruses were by that time visible using electron microscopes, they were left off the tree of life because they did not possess the ribosomal genes typically used in phylogenetic analyses. And viruses are still largely considered to be nonliving biomolecules —a characterization spurred, in part, by the work of 1946 Nobel laureate Wendell Meredith Stanley, who in 1935 succeeded in crystallizing the tobacco mosaic virus. Even after crystallization, the virus maintained its biological properties, such as its ability to infect cells, suggesting to Stanley that the virus could not be truly alive.
Now, with the advent of whole-genome sequencing, researchers are beginning to realize that most organisms are in fact chimeras containing genes from many different sources—eukaryotic, prokaryotic, and viral alike—leading us to rethink evolution, especially the extent of gene flow between the visible and microscopic worlds. Genomic analysis has, for example, suggested that eukaryotes are the result of ancient interactions between bacteria and archaea. In this context, viruses are becoming more widely recognized as shuttles of genetic material, with metagenomic studies suggesting that the billions of viruses on Earth harbor more genetic information than the rest of the living world combined.

Viruses may be little more than a ball of genetic material with a single functional goal of transmitting pure information in the form of DNA or RNA, but researchers are finding more and more evidence that viruses freely share their genes among diverse ecosystems, making viruses a powerful and large genetic reservoir that challenges how we think about all biological life.1 As pure biological language, however, viruses are inherently difficult to understand." - (Viruses Reconsidered).
"For more than 130 years, since the first inkling that viruses existed, these submicroscopic entities have continued to occupy a sort of netherworld in both the scientific community and the public consciousness.

What is clear, however, is phages’ vital role in human and environmental health, and many laboratories across the globe are looking to uncover how bacteriophages interact with their bacterial hosts to affect the Earth’s ecosystems. Found in virtually every biome on the planet, from coral reefs to the mucus layers of many animals, bacteriophages are the most ubiquitous “organisms” on Earth. We encounter billions of phages daily in what we breathe, eat, drink, and bathe in—shedding an equally large number as we live our lives. Phages powerfully affect genetic change in soils, vegetation, and oceans, regulating nutrient cycling, evolution, and even climate change on a global scale." - (Going Viral).
(emphasis added). If that doesn't generate some curiosity, let's review:
There are an estimated 1031 viruses on Earth. That is to say: there may be a hundred million times more viruses on Earth than there are stars in the universe. The majority of these viruses infect microbes, including bacteria, archaea, and microeukaryotes, all of which are vital players in the global fixation and cycling of key elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. These two facts combined—the sheer number of viruses and their intimate relationship with microbial life—suggest that viruses, too, play a critical role in the planet’s biosphere.
(Ocean of Viruses, emphasis added). You can look at the Series Posts tab and find a "series" posts (more than one post, linked together, covering a subject).

An example series is On The Origin of the Genes of Viruses (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).

RNA World 2.0

A subject that is linked to viruses is the ongoing hypothesis about RNA, especially "RNA viruses."

One specific question is whether they were the first entities to replicate:
The ubiquity and diverse functionality of ribonucleic acid (RNA) in today’s world suggest that the information polymer could well have been the leading player early on in the establishment of life on Earth, and, in theory, it’s a logical basis for primitive life. One can readily imagine that RNA, as a catalytic molecule capable of serving as a template for its own replication, might have reproduced itself and grown exponentially in the primordial environment. Perhaps such an RNA-based proto–life-form even replicated with an appropriate level of fidelity to allow natural selection to begin directing its evolution.
(RNA World 2.0, emphasis added). That research goes on as more and more lab work is done wherein RNA pieces and parts are built synthetically, and as more and more small pictures fit together to begin to make a larger picture possible (Let There Be Life, The Scientist).

Cellular Shape Shifters

It was thought for a long time that once a cell type formed it would stay that type for the duration, however, new understanding is developing in this arena:
For many years, researchers believed that mature cell types, stable as they were, could not be changed into different types of cells. In recent years, however, the engineered overexpression of specific transcription factors has yielded many dramatic transformations previously not thought possible—including the regression of adult fibroblasts to stem cell–like states and the direct conversion of mature skin cells to neurons.

Some cells are now even known to switch type during normal development. The epithelial lining of the esophagus, for example, is formed as a columnar epithelium, like the rest of the gut tube. Only later does it transform into a stratified squamous epithelium resembling that of the skin. Pancreatic endocrine cells are also seen occasionally popping up in the bile ducts of the liver. This change occurs in late embryogenesis and involves a switch from a ductal to an endocrine cell type.
(A Twist of Fate, emphasis added). The list of new discoveries in the realm of Microbiology continues to fascinate year after year.

On Science & Religion

Polls show that substantial numbers of Americans do not believe Evolution, rather, they have or lean toward Creationist beliefs:
More than four in 10 Americans continue to believe that God created humans in their present form 10,000 years ago, a view that has changed little over the past three decades. Half of Americans believe humans evolved, with the majority of these saying God guided the evolutionary process. However, the percentage who say God was not involved is rising.
(Gallup). The further back in time we go alters the percentages, to the point that at one time, it was probably more ok that it is now for scientists to contemplate such matters:
It would not be difficult to come to an agreement as to what we understand by science. Science is the century-old endeavor to bring together by means of systematic thought the perceptible phenomena of this world into as thoroughgoing an association as possible. To put it boldly, it is the attempt at the posterior reconstruction of existence by the process of conceptualization. But when asking myself what religion is I cannot think of the answer so easily. And even after finding an answer which may satisfy me at this particular moment, I still remain convinced that I can never under any circumstances bring together, even to a slight extent, the thoughts of all those who have given this question serious consideration.

At first, then, instead of asking what religion is I should prefer to ask what characterizes the aspirations of a person who gives me the impression of being religious: a person who is religiously enlightened appears to me to be one who has, to the best of his ability, liberated himself from the fetters of his selfish desires and is preoccupied with thoughts, feelings, and aspirations to which he clings because of their superpersonalvalue. It seems to me that what is important is the force of this superpersonal content and the depth of the conviction concerning its overpowering meaningfulness, regardless of whether any attempt is made to unite this content with a divine Being, for otherwise it would not be possible to count Buddha and Spinoza as religious personalities. Accordingly, a religious person is devout in the sense that he has no doubt of the significance and loftiness of those superpersonal objects and goals which neither require nor are capable of rational foundation.
(Einstein on God, "Religion, and Science", 1941). The subjects where religion and science have comparable viewpoints also makes for interesting reading (Message of Science & Religion - Western).

Have a very good weekend whatever your persuasion.

Mykonos by Fleet Foxes (lyrics here):

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ode To Pig Pen

A Dog Has Died

My dog has died.
I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.

Some day I'll join him right there,
but now he's gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I'll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.

Ai, I'll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
he never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of his hair or his mange,
he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.

No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he'd keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.

Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea's movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean's spray.

Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don't now and never did lie to each other.

So now he's gone and I buried him,
and that's all there is to it.

by Pablo Neruda

Mr. Bojangles, by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 
("his dog up and died ... after 20 years he still grieves")

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Conundrum: Floods with Droughts (and Extinctions)

Floods and droughts don't normally mix, that is, major flooding and major droughts would properly seem to be happening at different times.

That is, we might expect a drought in one year, then in another year we might expect a flood.

But we are getting severe drought and severe flooding at the same time in the sense that seven of our states are running out of water, while the graphic above shows that the Mississippi River is in flood stage (Seven States Running Out of Water, Mississippi River on the Rise).

One year the Mississippi River water level is so low that barge traffic can't go through, so the Army Corp. of Engineers uses explosives to make it deeper in shallow places.

In the next or another year the water level is at a dangerous flood stage, so they use explosives to destroy the levies so as to intentionally flood farm land upstream --ostensibly to protect the cities downstream (All Weather is Local - 4).

One year tornadoes reach a high number, the next year they reach a low number (On The Origin of Tornadoes - 4).

Around the globe the description for this conundrum is "chaotic."

The chaotic weather within our damaged global climate system is to be expected, because things that are damaged do not behave in a proper working order (The Damaged Global Climate System).

The president called for a task force to look at some of the consequences of green house gases and other pollutions.

The list of agencies he assigned leads one to think that he is serious as a heart attack:
(a) the Department of State;
(b) the Department of Defense;
(c) the Department of the Interior;
(d) the Department of Housing and Urban Development;
(e) the Department of Transportation;
(f) the Department of Energy;
(g) the Department of Education;
(h) the Council on Environmental Quality;
(i) the Domestic Policy Council;
(j) the General Services Administration;
(k) the National Science Foundation;
(l) the National Security Council Staff;
(m) the Office of Management and Budget;
(n) the Office of Science and Technology Policy; and

(o) such [other] executive departments, agencies, and offices as the Co-Chairs may designate.
(White House Memo, emphasis added). His words concerning the problem indicate that the "problem is serious and requires immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment" (ibid).

Perhaps the DoD will switch to renewable energy (Military Use of Fossil Fuel) and businesses will become involved (Cashing in on Apocalypse) in a non-polluting manner.

And, perhaps the DOJ ("such [other] executive departments") will become involved as another executive department in accord with what the president allowed (Oil-Qaeda: The Indictment)?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Agnotology: The Surge - 10

Jeffrey D. Sachs
"Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University.

He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development" (The Earth Institute).

Today, Dr. Sachs is presenting a report to the United Nations concerning The Damaged Global Climate System.

That report is entitled "Pathways To Deep Decarbonization" (Video at Morning Joe).

It is interesting to note that generally those who have been educated by the ignorance generators (Agnotology: The Surge - 9, Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 33), now working overtime in American culture, also tend to be United Nations haters.

These are the same types who tend to become confused by maps that have the You Are Here indicators on them.

Some of them, (Inhofe, Beavis, & Butthead Need Waders), as leaders of the Western World down through recent history, have been united in their efforts that have resulted in the current threats to human survival:
Mass Extinction Underway, Majority of Biologists Say
Washington Post
Tuesday, April 21, 1998
By Joby Warrick
Staff Writer

A majority of the nation's biologists are convinced that a "mass extinction" of plants and animals is underway that poses a major threat to humans in the next century [we are now in that next century - the 21st], yet most Americans are only dimly aware of the problem, a poll says.

The rapid disappearance of species was ranked as one of the planet's gravest environmental worries, surpassing pollution, global warming and the thinning of the ozone layer, according to the survey of 400 scientists commissioned by New York's American Museum of Natural History.

The poll's release yesterday comes on the heels of a groundbreaking study of plant diversity that concluded than at least one in eight known plant species is threatened with extinction. Although scientists are divided over the specific numbers, many believe that the rate of loss is greater now than at any time in history.

"The speed at which species are being lost is much faster than any we've seen in the past -- including those [extinctions] related to meteor collisions," said Daniel Simberloff, a University of Tennessee ecologist and prominent expert in biological diversity who participated in the museum's survey. [Note: the last mass extinction caused by a meteor collision was that of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago.]

Most of his peers apparently agree. Nearly seven out of 10 of the biologists polled said they believed a "mass extinction" was underway, and an equal number predicted that up to one-fifth of all living species could disappear within 30 years. Nearly all attributed the losses to human activity, especially the destruction of plant and animal habitats.

Among the dissenters, some argue that there is not yet enough data to support the view that a mass extinction is occurring. Many of the estimates of species loss are extrapolations based on the global destruction of rain forests and other rich habitats.

Among non-scientists, meanwhile, the subject appears to have made relatively little impression. Sixty percent of the laymen polled professed little or no familiarity with the concept of biological diversity, and barely half ranked species loss as a "major threat."

The scientists interviewed in the Louis Harris poll were members of the Washington-based American Institute of Biological Sciences, a professional society of more than 5,000 scientists.

(Original article available here.)
(Mass Extinction, emphasis added). That was about 16 years ago, almost two decades, so let's get up to date.

A growing group of people now see "Near Term Human Extinction" (NTHE) as a reality (e.g. Nature Bats Last, Collapse of Industrial Civilization).

I do not think that Dr. Sachs is one of the NTHE group.

Regular readers know that Dredd Blog reports from time to time on NTHE works, as well as reports of those who think human civilization can pull out of it.

Both groups agree that human extinction is either a very real possibility, or a certainty.

In both groups there are varying degrees of estimations of how much time is left, if any, to correct the behaviors that are causing the ongoing Sixth Mass Extinction, as well as the approaching first and last human extinction.

One thing is for sure on this subject matter: if there was ever a time to err on the safe side, it was long ago.

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

Key times in the video below:
(Note: GW = global warming; GG = greenhouse gas, CC = climate change):

00:40 - Schwarzenegger: no debate, GW is happening.
06:20 - Proper amount of GG is good, keeps us warm.
07:00 - Too much GG is a bad thing.
07:09 - Tyndall in mid 1800's began research into GG.
07:45 - Arrhenius did first degree calculations re: CO2 content.
08:25 - Callendar discovered GG 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.
13:25 - CO2 levels discovered to be high.
16:30 - Lyndon Johnson in 1965 says fossil fuels causing GW.
17:00 - GW, CC not political originally.
18:20 - White of NOAA, 1978, warns of GW dangers.
20:52 - Polar Areas to be impacted 4 times more than other areas.
24:20 - IPCC formed in 1979 with consensus on GW.
26:00 - Bush I signed GW treaty.
26:45 - Denial of GW begins.
27:40 - Luntz injects GW denial propaganda into political debate.
28:25 - Oil baron Cheney propagates GW denial.
29:00 - Oil companies do massive scale denial propaganda.
29:30 - Marshall Institute
30:30 - Marshall Institute formed to support Reagan SDI (star wars)
32:50 - Marshall Institute "cigarettes not related to cancer".
36:50 - Marshall Institute does GW denial campaign.
42:54 - Marshall member Seitz worked for big tobacco.
47:20 - Singer of Marshall Institute politically attacks GW.
53:35 - Cigarette smoking is ok rhetoric applied to GW science.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Megacide City: The Capital of Oil-Qaeda & Nuke-Qaeda

Megacide City - The People's Temple
How could it happen that only two internal entities can facilitate the demise of civilization?

The only known mega-methods for bringing about the extinction of human civilization, from within civilization itself, are nuclear war and anthropogenic global warming.

Thus, the use of the words "Nuke-Qaeda" and "Oil-Qaeda" in the title, because they characterize the two realms that exercise control of those two megadeath methods.

A noted scholar describes them as the "two prominent current examples, global warming and nuclear weapons. As any literate person is doubtless aware, these are dire threats to the security of the population" (New Continent Found - Garbage Gyre II - 8, quoting Chomsky).

Incidental to that is knowing this to be true while doing nothing to stop it.

Hence, a new meaning for the word "megacide" (cf. omnicide, ecocide).

And, since epigovernment and government are the co-creators of both Nuke-Qaeda and Oil-Qaeda, let's focus on the capital, "Megacide City", where all of the megacide machinations are concocted.

To get to Megacide City one must take Highway 61:
Highway 61 is also a metaphor for a state of mind that enables unseemly behavior, the sort of state of mind that develops prior to a democracy descending into a plutocracy, where a plutonomy replaces an economy.

That place, Highway 61, has been the main thoroughfare running through the middle of Washington, D.C. during the Glory Daze, then continuing alongside the green river, which flows all the way to a place where the accounting of the Pentagon, Enron, and GE is done (which could not be done legally elsewhere except on that branch of Highway 61 at a place called Wall Street).

A recent photo shows The Spirit of Saint 1% traveling down Highway 61 to make another "free market" killing.
(War is the Highway 61 of the 1%). Eventually Megacide City will come around, but it will be in emergency mode, in management by crisis mode (New Climate Catastrophe Policy: Triage).

That these concerns are serious as a heart attack can be seen in a recent official government memo indicating that these issues rise to the level of a national security concern.

That presidential memo creates a Task Force composed of at least 15 Federal Government Agencies, including: "(b) the Department of Defense ... (l) the National Security Council Staff" (The White House Press Secretary).

How did we get here?

With our eyes wide open: