Thursday, May 24, 2018

LieGate

Welcome to It Can Happen Here

From the Stargate ...
"... Sinclair Lewis's It Can't Happen Here ... [ultimately] conceives of fascism and totalitarianism in terms of traditional U.S. political models ... [President] Windrip is less a Nazi than a con-man-plus-Rotarian, a manipulator who knows how to appeal to people's desperation, but neither he nor his followers are in the grip of the kind of world-transforming ideology like Hitler's National Socialism.

Following the results of the 2016 United States presidential election, sales of It Can't Happen Here surged significantly ..."
(Wikipedia, emphasis added).

In the Dredd Blog post "The Cuckoo's Egg Hatched Again" the book "The Cuckoo's Egg" (download free there) is discussed.

The Cuckoo's Egg is a true story about a hippie astronomer who discovered a hacker who had infiltrated many U.S. Government computer systems.

He tracked down the foreign hacker.

He eventually convinced government agents (who had the "it can't happen here" mindset) of the reality they were unaware of:
For forty years the military has been hackable. If you want a book that documented the current reality 40 years ago, read The Cuckoo's Egg, by Cliff Stoll. He had a difficult time convincing the military that it was being hacked as if it was an open book:
The meeting was top secret, so I couldn't listen—someone fetched me when my turn came. In a small room, lit only by the viewgraph machine, there were around thirty people, most of them in uniforms. Generals and admirals, like you see in the movies.

Well, I talked for half an hour, describing how the hacker was breaking into military computers and skipping through our networks.
...
I know as little about the military world as the next person. "I guess I'm impressed, though I'm not sure why," I said. "You ought to be," Bob said. "These are all flag officers. General John Paul Hyde works at the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And that guy in the front row -- he's a big shot from the FBI. It's a good thing he heard you."
(ibid, The Cuckoo's Egg, p. 200). This took place 40 years ago when a long hair from Berkeley informed the military they were being had, so they gave the long haired hippy astronomer the National Medal of Honor.
(Ye Olde Drone Hackers Ride Again). The following video, among other things, is a discussion of the book "It Can't Happen Here."




Sunday, May 20, 2018

Arrested Development: The Creep State - 2

Think so?
In this series we are taking a look at, among other things, the "myth of the majority."

The "myth of the majority", in this case, is the belief that the majority can prevent a "despotic minority" from developing.

That is not a historical reality (Arrested Development: The Creep State).

It can and will happen again:
"Eugenics is a well-known low point in the modern history of science. In the United States, from the late nineteenth century to the 1940s, credence was given to this pseudoscience focused on the notional 'improvement' of human populations by halting the reproduction of supposedly lesser genes. Less well known is the story of how US law rendered eugenics intellectually respectable across the world, supporting programmes from Canada to Sweden. Ultimately, this egregious failing led to the enforced sterilization of at least 60,000 US citizens, and was used by the Nazi regime to justify its own programme of sterilization and, later, extermination."
(History of Science, emphasis added). Even the best universities can fall for the majority myth and embrace it:
"In August 1912, Harvard president emeritus Charles William Eliot addressed the Harvard Club of San Francisco on a subject close to his heart: racial purity. It was being threatened, he declared, by immigration. Eliot was not opposed to admitting new Americans, but he saw the mixture of racial groups it could bring about as a grave danger. “Each nation should keep its stock pure,” Eliot told his San Francisco audience. “There should be no blending of races.”

Eliot’s warning against mixing races—which for him included Irish Catholics marrying white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, Jews marrying Gentiles, and blacks marrying whites—was a central tenet of eugenics. The eugenics movement, which had begun in England and was rapidly spreading in the United States, insisted that human progress depended on promoting reproduction by the best people in the best combinations, and preventing the unworthy from having children.


The former Harvard president was an outspoken supporter of another major eugenic cause of his time: forced sterilization of people declared to be “feebleminded,” physically disabled, “criminalistic,” or otherwise flawed. In 1907, Indiana had enacted the nation’s first eugenic sterilization law. Four years later, in a paper on “The Suppression of Moral Defectives,” Eliot declared that Indiana’s law “blazed the trail which all free states must follow, if they would protect themselves from moral degeneracy.”

He also lent his considerable prestige to the campaign to build a global eugenics movement. He was a vice president of the First International Eugenics Congress, which met in London in 1912 to hear papers on “racial suicide” among Northern Europeans and similar topics. Two years later, Eliot helped organize the First National Conference on Race Betterment in Battle Creek, Michigan."
(Harvard’s Eugenics Era, emphasis added). Scary ... couldn't happen here ... eh?

Stay Awake
There is no protection in the embrace of the myth of the safe majority via elections either.

So, do what scientists do when one of them does a paper (test that science yourself; see if you can find myths by doing the relevant science; prove or disprove it, rather than having Scrubblers-R-us-blind-faith).

Because, it takes actual diligence all of our lives all of the time ... not just at election time (“Experience has shown that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson; “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson).

Be on the lookout ... don't trust any myth ... practice constant and continual vigilance.

The previous post in this series is here.