Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bubble in the Multiverse

We must be the Center of the Universe.

"The United States has suffered more weather-related disasters than any other country."

Key word: reported

The leaks are happening all over.

We suffer "more", because we only notice the disasters happening to us.

Welcome to the desert of the real.

The more complex a system is, the greater the tendency for it to break down.

As the information-gathering process an entity uses to co-ordinate a complex system becomes more complex, the rate of systemic breakdown rises synergistically.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Company Representative

Comcast gets spooky. Or maybe somebody just made them an offer they couldn't refuse?

I agree with Beth.

They should- and just likely might- hire the two kids that hijacked their site this week.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Who's Yer Atomic Daddy?

Chris Floyd has the sorry tale. Ever since 2003, the Cheney administration's been saber rattling about Iranian nukes. Team Xinhua's Asia Pravda leaks the Bu$hCo plan to bomb Iran by August, but it's the Saudis with the fissile uranium. By Bu$hie's order.

Most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi. Bandar Bu$h funneled money to Al Qaeda while he was the Ambassabor, and made billions in bribes from America and Britain afterwards. The Saudis are the fuel for Al Qaeda in Iraq. The Saudis made up Al Qaeda from the beginning, when it was a CIA puppet against the Soviets.

It continues to be used as a puppet- "against" America, justifying Amerika's Endless War on Terra.

They Just Don't Get Any Respect

Big science does the Rodney Dangerfield:

U.S. Experts Bemoan Nation's Loss of Stature in the World of Science
By Keith B. Richburg
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 29, 2008
NEW YORK, May 28 -- Some of the nation's leading scientists, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's top science adviser, today sharply criticized the diminished role of science in the United States and the shortage of federal funding for research, even as science becomes increasingly important to combating problems such as climate change and the global food shortage.

Speaking at a science summit that opens this week's first World Science Festival, the expert panel of scientists, and audience members, agreed that the United States is losing stature because of a perceived high-level disdain for science. They cited U.S. officials and others questioning scientific evidence of climate change, the reluctance to federally fund stem cell research, and some U.S. officials casting doubt on evolution as examples that have damaged America's international standing.

"I think there's a loss of American power and prestige that came about as a result of our anti-science policies," said David Baltimore, a biologist and Nobel laureate and board chairman of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Raising questions about the science of evolution, he said, "leads to a certain disdain for American intelligence." He added, "What we need is leadership that respects science."

The panelists also expressed concern that science funding has not been a major issue for any of the presidential candidates. "The campaign so far has given too little attention to what science means for our own economy and our status in the world," said Harold Varmus, a Nobel laureate and president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Nina Fedoroff, a plant molecular biologist who is Rice's science and technology adviser, said science in the United States "has really kind of died over a quarter of a century, even as the importance of science has grown."

Although the United States has long been the recognized global leader in science, Fedoroff said, that position is now being challenged by others, specifically China, which is raising its global profile. "They're educating 10 times as many students as we are," she said. "The next generation of scientists in other countries might not speak English."

Speaking about the global food crisis that has sparked unrest in some countries, Fedoroff said that genetically modified crops are one answer to shortages. But she said that "persistent misperceptions," particularly in Europe, about genetically modified foods has led to their underuse and even their prohibition as food aid in needy countries...

Now that's slipping a joker into the deck.

Sure, from the possible applications of alternative energy to stem cells to the observations linking atmospheric CO2 to global climate change to the education of kids about evolution or the real implications of physical theory to humanity's place in the world, science has been consistently suppressed by the corporate Faithful.

There's been a media blackout of facts that might upset the applecarts of the moneychangers.

But as someone who was trained in molecular biology during the time when people thought we'd really be able to use it to help the green revolution, let me say it's been used for nothing of the sort.

Techniques for genetic manipulation of food cost a lot of money to develop, and as a result only very rich- and powerful- corporations have done it.

While the initial vision was to make crops that were hardier, and grew faster, and would withstand the weather better, and were more nutritious, that's been the last priority of those who've funded the development of genetically manipulated food.

The main genetic manipulation is resistance to an artificial herbicide, glyphosate, a.k.a. Roundup. Oh, yes, and sterility in the plant, so that farmers are forced to buy all their seedcrop every year from Monsanto...

I can't imagine why people don't respect that.

As for respecting space science, well, it's really cool, it's really beautiful, I support it, and I agree, humanity won't be safe from species suicide until it establishes itself among the stars.

On the other hand, the head of NASA is CIA, and NASA itself has other priorites than space science, for all the relatively inexpensive Mars Rover show...

Like keeping track of the color of Ted Kennedy's pills today.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Family's Clintonista-Oborg Covenant

Surfing around cyberspace, I am reminded [tip o' teh tinfoil to sunny] of this and this, when I see folly like this:

FALLUJAH, Iraq — At the western entrance to the Iraqi city of Fallujah Tuesday, Muamar Anad handed his residence badge to the U.S. Marines guarding the city. They checked to be sure that he was a city resident, and when they were done, Anad said, a Marine slipped a coin out of his pocket and put it in his hand.

Out of fear, he accepted it, Anad said. When he was inside the city, the college student said, he looked at one side of the coin. "Where will you spend eternity?" it asked.

He flipped it over, and on the other side it read, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16."

"They are trying to convert us to Christianity," said Anad, a Sunni Muslim like most residents of this city in Anbar province. At home, he told his story, and his relatives echoed their disapproval: They'd been given the coins, too, he said.

Fallujah, the scene of a bloody U.S. offensive against Sunni insurgents in 2004, has calmed and grown less hostile to American troops since residents turned against al Qaida in Iraq, which had tried to force its brand of Islamist extremism on the population.

Now residents of the city are abuzz that some Americans whom they consider occupiers are also acting as Christian missionaries. Residents said some Marines at the western entrance to their city have been passing out the coins for two days in what they call a "humiliating" attempt to convert them to Christianity...

What next, conversion at gunpoint? That is, of those you don't shoot so Jeebus can sort out later.

These are the people running the prayer breakfasts that HHHillary liked to attend in the Senate. But it seems the Unibama did too.

Of course, it's all Company run. Or running the Company. It's hard to tell which, really. But it's good to know that the Company can at least bring some of its plans to fruition, even if it's a 2000 year old fruit of a slave religion redesigned to control an Empire.

8 Million Main Core

The number of Americans on the list.

...federal law is somewhat vague as to what might constitute a "national emergency." Executive orders issued over the past three decades define it as a "natural disaster, military attack, [or] technological or other emergency," while Department of Defense documents include eventualities like "riots, acts of violence, insurrections, unlawful obstructions or assemblages, [and] disorder prejudicial to public law and order." According to one news report, even "national opposition to U.S. military invasion abroad" could be a trigger...

[tip o'teh tinfoil to Avedon]

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Knife instead of the Fist

The Existentialist Cowboy describes some of the corporate prisons the like of Cheney's Halliburton has built over the last 8 years as detention camps for illegal immigrants, and voices the old speculation that they're intended as gulags for a forced takeover of the government.

Here's a better take, from Lewis Seiler, and Dan Hamburg in The San Francisco Chronicle,
Monday, February 4, 2008

"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist."

- Winston Churchill, Nov. 21, 1943

Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans, the federal government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and noncitizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of "an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs."

Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.

According to diplomat and author Peter Dale Scott, the KBR contract is part of a Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of "all removable aliens" and "potential terrorists."

Fraud-busters such as Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, have complained about these contracts, saying that more taxpayer dollars should not go to taxpayer-gouging Halliburton. But the real question is: What kind of "new programs" require the construction and refurbishment of detention facilities in nearly every state of the union with the capacity to house perhaps millions of people?

Sect. 1042 of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies," gives the executive the power to invoke martial law. For the first time in more than a century, the president is now authorized to use the military in response to "a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any other condition in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order."

The Military Commissions Act of 2006, rammed through Congress just before the 2006 midterm elections, allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on a list of "terrorist" organizations, or who speaks out against the government's policies. The law calls for secret trials for citizens and noncitizens alike.

Also in 2007, the White House quietly issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51), to ensure "continuity of government" in the event of what the document vaguely calls a "catastrophic emergency." Should the president determine that such an emergency has occurred, he and he alone is empowered to do whatever he deems necessary to ensure "continuity of government." This could include everything from canceling elections to suspending the Constitution to launching a nuclear attack. Congress has yet to hold a single hearing on NSPD-51.

U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Venice (Los Angeles County) has come up with a new way to expand the domestic "war on terror." Her Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (HR1955), which passed the House by the lopsided vote of 404-6, would set up a commission to "examine and report upon the facts and causes" of so-called violent radicalism and extremist ideology, then make legislative recommendations on combatting it.

According to commentary in the Baltimore Sun, Rep. Harman and her colleagues from both sides of the aisle believe the country faces a native brand of terrorism, and needs a commission with sweeping investigative power to combat it.

A clue as to where Harman's commission might be aiming is the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a law that labels those who "engage in sit-ins, civil disobedience, trespass, or any other crime in the name of animal rights" as terrorists. Other groups in the crosshairs could be anti-abortion protesters, anti-tax agitators, immigration activists, environmentalists, peace demonstrators, Second Amendment rights supporters ... the list goes on and on. According to author Naomi Wolf, the National Counterterrorism Center holds the names of roughly 775,000 "terror suspects" with the number increasing by 20,000 per month.

What could the government be contemplating that leads it to make contingency plans to detain without recourse millions of its own citizens?

The Constitution does not allow the executive to have unchecked power under any circumstances. The people must not allow the president to use the war on terrorism to rule by fear instead of by law.

I think those prisons are real, alright, and might be utilized that way, but here's my take: they don't want to do it, and from all appearances they won't have to do it.

Why not? Because the elections this year seem to be very well managed. Even if they win, neither Clinton nor Obama show any sign of ending the endless war on Terra.

Neither seem to be inclined to challenge the corporate takeover of the States.

An overt dictatorship is not good for business. People talk. It hinders the image overseas. Like Poppy, the rest of the Company prefers to wear the mask of the genial Family Organization. A happy customer will spend far more of their money than a fearful one.

So it wouldn't surprise me if overt martial law was never declared. But it also wouldn't surprise me if the temperature of the water tended to increase for us free thinking amphibians in the pot as RealID and corporate monitoring of every aspect of our lives increased. It's so much easier to weed out the malcontents individually, so the numbers aren't noticed.

The knife is a much better cutting tool than the fist.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Interested Parties

COPENHAGEN — Officials from five Arctic coastal countries will meet in Greenland this week to discuss how to carve up the Arctic Ocean, which could hold up to one-quarter of the world's undiscovered oil and gas reserves.

Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States are squabbling over much of the Arctic seabed and Denmark has called them together for talks in its self-governing province to avert a free-for-all for the region's resources.

Russia angered the other Arctic countries last year by planting a flag on the seabed under the North Pole in a headline-grabbing gesture that some criticized as a stunt.

Danish foreign minister Per Stig Moller and the premier of Greenland's government, Hans Enoksen, will meet the Norwegian and Russian foreign ministers Jonas Gahr Stoere and Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and Canada's Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn at the two-day conference opening on Wednesday in the town of Ilulissat.

The issue has gained urgency because scientists believe rising temperatures could leave most of the Arctic ice-free in summer months in a few decades' time.

This would improve drilling access and open up the Northwest Passage, a route through the Arctic Ocean linking the Atlantic and Pacific that would reduce the sea journey from New York to Singapore by thousands of miles.

Under the 1982 U.N. Law of the Sea Convention, coastal states own the seabed beyond existing 200 nautical mile (370 km) zones if it is part of a continental shelf of shallower waters.

Some shelves stretch hundreds of miles before reaching the deep ocean floor, which belongs to no state. While the rules aim to fix clear geological limits for shelves' outer limits, they have created a tangle of overlapping Arctic claims.

“The Law of the Sea Convention will basically give most of the Arctic Ocean bed to the five countries, but it is also likely that there will be two smaller areas that will not be controlled by any country,” said Lars Kullerud, president of the University of the Arctic, an international co-operative network based in the circumpolar region.

Countries around the ice-locked ocean are rushing to stake claims on the Polar Basin seabed and its hydrocarbon treasures made more tempting by rising oil prices and have taken their arguments to the United Nations...

Decades? Not if Exxon has anything to do with it!

Company Gospel

Before they make Google take it down again, check out the world according to Monsanto.

Good Ideas You Won't Hear on Cable

First, from the UN Human Rights Council, Professor Richard Falk of Princeton:

..."It is possibly true that especially the neoconservatives thought there was a situation in the country and in the world where something had to happen to wake up the American people. Whether they are innocent about the contention that they made that something happen or not, I don't think we can answer definitively at this point. All we can say is there is a lot of grounds for suspicion, there should be an official investigation of the sort the 9/11 commission did not engage in and that the failure to do these things is cheating the American people and in some sense the people of the world of a greater confidence in what really happened than they presently possess..."

Second, a call for the citizens arrest of John Bolton this week in Britain. George Monbiot:

...We have all but forgotten the war with Iraq. We tend to see it now as little more than a "political mistake", like the 10p tax fiasco or Labour's mishandling of the byelection campaign in Crewe. The press and public attention have moved on and focused on more pressing matters, like the price of property.

But this mistake has killed or injured hundreds of thousands of people in a country that was doing us no harm. Mistakes of this kind - an unprovoked war of aggression - were characterised by the Nuremberg tribunals as "the supreme international crime". Mistakes of this kind would, in any regime governed by international law, see their perpetrators put behind bars for the rest of their natural lives. But the great crime of the Iraq war has been normalised and domesticated.

So successful has this process of normalisation been that in three days' time one of its perpetrators will be coming here - to Hay-on-Wye, the epicentre of polite society - to promote his book and sell some copies. I do not regret the fact that he is coming here - far from it - but I see it as a sign of the extent to which the great crime he helped to commit is viewed as an ordinary part of the political process.

John Bolton first made the demand for a war against Iraq as a signatory of an open letter sent to President Clinton by the Project for a New American Century in 1998. In 2001 he joined the Bush administration as the hilariously-titled Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control in the State Department. He appears to have been imposed on the department by Dick Cheney, to play the role of Colin Powell's minder.

He immediately started destroying international law, successfully waging war against the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the biological weapons protocol, a treaty on small arms and light weapons and, perhaps presciently, America's participation in the International Criminal Court.

In April 2002, Bolton orchestrated the sacking of the head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Jose Bustani. Bustani's offence was to have offered to resolve the dispute over Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction, by sending weapons inspectors to Iraq.

Bolton helped to promote the false claim, through a State Department fact sheet, that Saddam Hussein had been seeking to procure uranium from Niger. He was instrumental in assembling and promoting the bogus case for war.

Only when those who help to launch illegal wars fear punishment will future governments desist from launching them. As citizens I believe we have a duty to try to deter future war crimes. So I propose that we allow John Bolton to speak here, and then carry out a citizen's arrest.

Section 24A of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 permits any citizen to "arrest without a warrant ... anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be guilty" of an offence.

I do not want to advocate something I am not prepared to do myself. I was planning to stay at home on Wednesday, but I now intend to come back, listen to Mr Bolton speak, and then carry out this arrest. I hope that others at Hay might join me.

Good luck with that.

According to Government Officials Anyway

British U.F.O. Shocker! Government Officials Were Telling the Truth

Lest we forget

I don't think the Legions of Americans who have given their lives for Freedom died for this.

Of course, the same main$tream media that made sure the Democratic contest boiled down to the antagonism of sexists vs. racists has no intention of shining a light on the for-profit Gulags run by private contractors, either.

Happy Holiday, and don't show your true colors to the Man. Ever.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Vision Thing

It's probably the biggest single issue dividing the old money from the new profiteers.

...Two decades ago, Neva Goodwin Rockefeller grew so tired of all the baggage that came with her fabled family name that she changed it and became plain Neva Goodwin.

But now, Ms. Goodwin, 63 years old, is embracing the powerful Rockefeller name as she publicly challenges the management of Exxon Mobil Corp., successor to the oil company founded by her great-grandfather, John D. Rockefeller. As Neva Rockefeller Goodwin, she has marshaled four generations of Rockefellers to join her in a campaign to force major changes at one of the most profitable companies in the world. The battle will come to a head at Exxon's annual meeting Wednesday in Dallas.

Some members of the family joined the fight out of a passionate belief in the threat of global warming; others were concerned that Exxon is overlooking business opportunities or risks. Many seem offended that the company appears impervious to the wishes of its shareholders, including those named Rockefeller.

...Fifteen family members, mostly cousins from Ms. Goodwin's fourth generation, have stepped forward to co-sponsor four shareholder resolutions urging change at Exxon. While three address concerns about global warming and renewable energy, the Rockefellers have rallied most enthusiastically around a fourth proposal to name an independent chairman, a plan they say is supported by 73 direct descendents of John D.

An independent chairman, they argue, could chart a strategy for Exxon's future, one that many of them hope would include more focus on renewable energy. They also believe an independent chairman -- to whom the CEO would be accountable -- might be more responsive to shareholder concerns.

...The odds are long that the family will get its way. As stockholders with only a tiny holding relative to Exxon's 5.3 billion voting shares, the Rockefellers' main clout comes from wielding their name to gain attention and woo other shareholders. The fact that Exxon just finished the most profitable year in American corporate history doesn't help their cause. Last year, Exxon posted a profit of $40.61 billion. The company's shares have more than doubled in the past four years.

Of course, anybody sane might argue the time to prepare for an inevitable sea-change forecast accurately by the oil depletion curve is when you've got the most resources to spend doing it.

Anybody sane might argue that since all "fossil" fuels derive from the energy of the sun, it would be wise to take advantage of modern molecular genetics and chemical engineering to devise a way of producing massive amounts of hydrocarbon from prokaryotic action on C02 utilizing the photosynthetic genes of algae to drive the process.

It seems sanity is not requisite for being the CEO of Exxon, only the ability to exploit people or resources and make a quick buck.

Back to the story:

...Peter M. O'Neill, 45, the son of one of Ms. Goodwin's cousins, is doing something that is usually anathema in the family: acting as a spokesman and giving interviews to the press.

It's an unprecedented effort by the politically diverse clan, says family historian Peter J. Johnson, who has worked for the Rockefellers for 32 years. "To actually get consensus in the family is rare," he says.

Exxon executives at first belittled the Rockfellers' potential influence by pointing out to reporters that the family members sponsoring the proposals own only .006% of the company's shares.

Family members say they own much more, but won't say how much. They say most of the family investments sit in a thicket of trusts set up starting in 1934 and mostly managed by a unit of J.P. Morgan Chase. Some say they don't even tell other family members how much they own.

On May 12, Exxon sent a letter to shareholders urging them to reject the proposal for an independent chairman, arguing "no one governance model fits all companies."

The Rockefellers are mounting the most serious shareholder revolt against Exxon in recent memory. But they're going up against a company with unrivaled success at finding, extracting and refining fossil fuels. Exxon has managed to make billions of dollars a year whether oil prices were high or low under men who spent their whole careers tending its fields and refineries. That strong culture strikes some outsiders, including the Rockefellers, as insular.

The Rockefellers' ties to Exxon go back to the 1870s, when John Davison Rockefeller Sr. began to put together the cartel that became Standard Oil. Trustbusters later split it into 34 companies, including what became Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips. Two of the largest, Exxon and Mobil, merged in 1999.

A century ago, Mr. Rockefeller was reviled as a rapacious plutocrat. Eventually he and his son, John Junior, developed a reputation for philanthropy on a grand scale. The family was responsible for, among many other things, restoring Colonial Williamsburg and creating Grand Teton National Park.

John D.'s five Rockefeller grandsons were towering figures of the mid-20th Century. Most famous was Nelson, four-term governor of New York and later vice president under Gerald R. Ford. The only survivor of that group is Neva's father, David, who issued a statement offering his support to the family's campaign.

Younger members of the now 232-person clan have generally avoided the spotlight. They live all over the world, but gather twice a year, often at Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate in Pocantico Hills, up the Hudson River from New York City.

To some Rockefeller watchers, the newfound activism appears to be another outbreak of the unease about their oil-based fortune that periodically grips family members. Those who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s were particularly ambivalent, says Peter Collier, a California writer who has chronicled the Rockefeller, Roosevelt and Ford families.

"For them, Exxon is not only an environmental malefactor, it's also original sin," he said in an interview. By challenging Exxon, "They are trying to remove the stain of oil from the family name."

That's a little melodramatic for many of the Rockefellers, including Ms. Goodwin, who in the 1970s was a friend and colleague of the unconventional inventor and professional visionary Buckminster Fuller. She lives with her historian husband in a baby-blue clapboard house, where a collection of Far Side cartoons sits on a bookshelf near volumes of Charles Darwin's correspondence. A Prius is parked in the garage.

"I don't feel responsible for everything my family has ever done," she says. "Selectively, I look at the really fine things the family has done and am extremely proud."

As co-director of the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University, Ms. Goodwin's interest in corporate power was mostly academic. But a couple of years ago at Tufts, she met Sister Patricia A. Daly, a shareholder activist, and decided to co-sponsor her resolution, at Exxon's 2003 annual meeting, asking the company to study the impact of climate change.

...Ms. Goodwin then turned to her two-dozen Rockefeller first cousins for support. Five signed an email that read, in part, "Most members of our family will own shares of Exxon for far longer than the present management will be in place, and therefore we have an important interest in and responsibility toward the long-term viability of the company."

The resolution failed, but it ignited interest among the family, which formed a committee to study the issue. Some on the committee were ardent environmentalists; others had a pragmatic business outlook.

Among the latter was Mr. O'Neill, a former social worker who once ran a mental health clinic in Harlem and now sits on the boards of several private companies and philanthropies. A man who speaks carefully and uses "dialogue" as a verb, he says he worries that Exxon isn't positioning itself for a sea change in the energy markets.

"I care about the bottom line," he says, noting that for him, as for most in the family, Exxon is the largest single investment...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Squeezing Oil from a Stone


...we’re living in a world in which oil prices keep setting records, in which the idea that global oil production will soon peak is rapidly moving from fringe belief to mainstream assumption. And Europeans who have achieved a high standard of living in spite of very high energy prices — gas in Germany costs more than $8 a gallon — have a lot to teach us about how to deal with that world.

If Europe’s example is any guide, here are the two secrets of coping with expensive oil: own fuel-efficient cars, and don’t drive them too much.

Notice that I said that cars should be fuel-efficient — not that people should do without cars altogether. In Germany, as in the United States, the vast majority of families own cars (although German households are less likely than their U.S. counterparts to be multiple-car owners).

But the average German car uses about a quarter less gas per mile than the average American car. By and large, the Germans don’t drive itsy-bitsy toy cars, but they do drive modest-sized passenger vehicles rather than S.U.V.’s and pickup trucks...

There have been many news stories in recent weeks about Americans who are changing their behavior in response to expensive gasoline — they’re trying to shop locally, they’re canceling vacations that involve a lot of driving, and they’re switching to public transit.

But none of it amounts to much. For example, some major public transit systems are excited about ridership gains of 5 or 10 percent. But fewer than 5 percent of Americans take public transit to work, so this surge of riders takes only a relative handful of drivers off the road.

Any serious reduction in American driving will require more than this — it will mean changing how and where many of us live.

To see what I’m talking about, consider where I am at the moment: in a pleasant, middle-class neighborhood consisting mainly of four- or five-story apartment buildings, with easy access to public transit and plenty of local shopping.

It’s the kind of neighborhood in which people don’t have to drive a lot, but it’s also a kind of neighborhood that barely exists in America, even in big metropolitan areas. Greater Atlanta has roughly the same population as Greater Berlin — but Berlin is a city of trains, buses and bikes, while Atlanta is a city of cars, cars and cars...

You'd think people would master the obvious.

You'd be wrong as long as there's still money to be made in making the obvious seem impractical.

...Powerful forces want to keep society in its current shape. For good reason, there is not only physical capital, but the doctrine of incorporation to contend with: we become physically the shapes and habits that they live...
[tip o'teh tinfoil to Jay]

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Color in the Water

Avedon asks, exactly, when Kos got so hard to read...

Kos got hard for me to read shortly before Correntewire did.

It turns out Obama and Clinton have very similar voting records in the Senate.

It turns out both are heavily supported by certain members of Bu$hie's Ba$e.

Yah, I'll vote either Democrat over McCain. I just don't expect either to do much good just not so much harm. But really, it's not clear either will be able to overcome the corrupt Rethuglican sexist racist machine.

It's not clear the Faithful of either Democrat have a real clue of their part in the Great Game.

Hell, most of them won't even admit it exists beyond provincial Amerikan politics.

And it's not clear the Ba$e wouldn't really have another Thug in charge to green light the continued plunder.

The only way a Democrat would win is if the Company figures another of its' Republican pirates in the White House would totally bleed the United Suckers of Amerika to death. Even if it figures that, it still has to overcome its' lust for blood...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

How to Lose the $election

The DINOcrats continue to do their level best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory- just like they're supposed to:

... the Senate's senior defense spending member asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen if it is time to "consider reinstituting the draft."

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee, asked Gates and Mullen the question he said no one wants to ask: "Is the cost of maintaining an all-volunteer force becoming unsustainable and, secondly, do we need to consider reinstituting the draft."

...Gates and Mullen both said they thought the current volunteer force was the finest the U.S. has ever fielded. Gates said he "personally" believes that "it is worth the cost."

Mullen was not quite as sanguine.

"A future that argues for, or results in, continuous escalation of those costs does not bode well for a military of this size," he said, adding it the rising costs will eventually force the US to shrink the military, spend less on new weapons or to "curtail operations." The question of pay and benefits for the U.S. military "is the top issue we need to come to terms with," Mullen said...

Let's get that straight: in a time where joining the military is like taking vows of poverty, endangering your life and health, and guaranteeing endless slavery for the next several years, the Pentagon thinks its soldiers are making too much money and want to remedy that by recruiting most of the enlisted by conscription with little or no pay or benefits.

Some of the Democrats In Name Only are opening the door to that.

Yes, Virginia, they do appear to be taking a dive. The only problem is these palookas are determined to make everyone else take the fall.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Market Stalinism

Just go read Naomi Klein. [tip o' teh tinfoil to The Dark Wraith. Again]

...American commentators like CNN's Jack Cafferty dismiss the Chinese as "the same bunch of goons and thugs they've been for the last 50 years." But nobody told the people of Shenzhen, who are busily putting on a 24-hour-a-day show called "America" — a pirated version of the original, only with flashier design, higher profits and less complaining. This has not happened by accident. China today, epitomized by Shenzhen's transition from mud to megacity in 30 years, represents a new way to organize society. Sometimes called "market Stalinism," it is a potent hybrid of the most powerful political tools of authoritarian communism — central planning, merciless repression, constant surveillance — harnessed to advance the goals of global capitalism.

...Over the past two years, some 200,000 surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the city. Many are in public spaces, disguised as lampposts. The closed-circuit TV cameras will soon be connected to a single, nationwide network, an all-seeing system that will be capable of tracking and identifying anyone who comes within its range — a project driven in part by U.S. technology and investment. Over the next three years, Chinese security executives predict they will install as many as 2 million CCTVs in Shenzhen, which would make it the most watched city in the world. (Security-crazy London boasts only half a million surveillance cameras.)

The security cameras are just one part of a much broader high-tech surveillance and censorship program known in China as "Golden Shield." The end goal is to use the latest people-tracking technology — thoughtfully supplied by American giants like IBM, Honeywell and General Electric — to create an airtight consumer cocoon: a place where Visa cards, Adidas sneakers, China Mobile cellphones, McDonald's Happy Meals, Tsingtao beer and UPS delivery (to name just a few of the official sponsors of the Beijing Olympics) can be enjoyed under the unblinking eye of the state, without the threat of democracy breaking out. With political unrest on the rise across China, the government hopes to use the surveillance shield to identify and counteract dissent before it explodes into a mass movement like the one that grabbed the world's attention at Tiananmen Square.

Remember how we've always been told that free markets and free people go hand in hand? That was a lie. It turns out that the most efficient delivery system for capitalism is actually a communist-style police state, fortressed with American "homeland security" technologies, pumped up with "war on terror" rhetoric. And the global corporations currently earning superprofits from this social experiment are unlikely to be content if the lucrative new market remains confined to cities such as Shenzhen. Like everything else assembled in China with American parts, Police State 2.0 is ready for export to a neighborhood near you...

But at least Amerikan Ingenuity isn't too far behind...

Back from Hyperspace

I'll be debriefing shortly.

Meanwhile, a note from one of my fellow travellers points to this:

WASHINGTON - The White House on Tuesday denied a published report in Israel that said President Bush intends to attack Iran before the end of his term in January...

Doubtless, he's lying. Most likely, both ways.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

There's no Recession!

The Dark Wraith outlines why the arc reactors of the Iron Men that have allowed a rescue of Wall Street until after the November $election are just building towards critical the longer the metallic bozos try to fly.

Change You Deserve

Gail Collins has a pretty good rundown of McCain's bright new vision of the rabbithole.

John McCain gave a speech this week describing what the world would look like after his first term in office.

It looked great! The terrorists are on the run, Iraq is a “functioning democracy,” and back home the economy is terrific, thanks to a combination of business tax cuts and savings gleaned from eliminating useless government programs...

It was a little like those old Victorian novels in which the hero visits the future and discovers that by 2000, America has become perfect...

The most intriguing part of the McCain vision is the League of Democracies. This is his plan for a planetary alliance of economically powerful, democratically governed nations whose leaders would work together to protect human rights and combat terrorism. The proper policy response, no doubt, is: what about the United Nations? But all I really want to know is: will there be uniforms?

...On the one hand, it’s always helpful to hear a candidate’s broad vision. On the other, the vision loses some of its import if you can’t get there from here. Pressed for details on his foreign-policy strategies, McCain said the secret was “setting goals and achieving.” You can just hear the Democrats of 2013 kicking themselves: Goals and achievements! Why didn’t we think of that?

While McCain was unveiling his great expectations in Ohio, back in Washington Congress was voting by overwhelming majorities to pass an enormous, wasteful, ridiculous farm bill that provides massive subsidies to wealthy people who grow wheat, corn, soybeans, rice and cotton — along, of course, with Senator Mitch McConnell’s famous tax break for breeders of thoroughbred horses... (Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama dived into the tank and supported the package.)

Among the smaller subsidies was one for goat mohair. This was a target for the Clinton administration’s big efficiency drive, partly because the nation’s well-being does not really require a secure supply of mohair, and partly because it has the disadvantage of sounding silly. Mohair price supports were eliminated with great fanfare and effort. Then Congress promptly reinstated them as an emergency measure. (I have fond memories of Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, yelping: “Mohair is popular! I have a mohair sweater! It’s my favorite one!”) Special breaks for mohair were cemented back into agriculture policy under George Bush, even though Bush really did seem to want to do something about wasteful farm spending.

All of which explains why presidents who run for office promising to cut the fat out of the budget wind up sighing and learning to live with goats on the dole...

And if his domestic vision is that far removed from reality, what does that say about the goals-and-achievements stepladder to international peace and harmony via military interventions and a League of Democracies?

Although if the costumes were neat enough...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Educated Guess

Jim Hansen writes Science magazine about just how much he thinks the world can take. The abstract:

Paleoclimate data show that climate sensitivity is ~3oC for doubled CO2, including only fast feedback processes. Equilibrium sensitivity, including slower surface albedo feedbacks, is ~6oC for doubled CO2 for the range of climate states between glacial conditions and ice-free Antarctica. Decreasing CO2 was the main cause of a cooling trend that began 50 million years ago, large scale glaciation occurring when CO2 fell to 425 +/- 75 ppm, a level that will be exceeded within decades, barring prompt policy changes. If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm. The largest uncertainty in the target arises from possible changes of non-CO2 forcings. An initial 350 ppm CO2 target may be achievable by phasing out coal use except where CO2 is captured and adopting agricultural and forestry practices that sequester carbon. If the present overshoot of this target CO2 is not brief, there is a possibility of seeding irreversible catastrophic effects.

Full submitted paper: 'Target CO2: Where should humanity aim?', document, [.pdf]
Supplementary data. [.pdf]

No kids, it's not standard operating proceedure for full professors of astrophysics to release submitted papers in press at Science to the public. But it's not standard operating procedure for Dear Leader to try to censor scientists and their findings, either.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sympathy for the Devil

Barney Frank shows just a little too misplaced empathy:

...WASHINGTON — Representative Barney Frank, the rumpled, cantankerous chairman of the Financial Services Committee, plopped down on a leather bench off the House floor last week. After two months of trying to win Republican support for his bill to help homeowners at risk of foreclosure, he had come up short.

The White House had just threatened a veto.

But Mr. Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat and the most prominent gay member of Congress, who always seems on the verge of an outburst, was more philosophical than combustible as he explained the administration’s opposition.

Between an economic stimulus package and the Federal Reserve’s rescue of Wall Street, he said, “they have been pushed into accepting a lot of government help for the market.”

“People aren’t good at doing things they dislike,” he added.

Then, in a flash of trademark wit, he said that asking the White House to support more government intervention was “like asking me to judge the Miss America contest — if your heart’s not in it, you don’t do a very good job...”

Now this might be a case of Stockholm Syndrome. But then again, it might not:

Top 5 Contributors
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co $29,300
Manulife Financial $13,500
American Society of Appraisers $11,000
Bernstein, Litowitz et al $10,900
Chicago Board Options Exchange $10,000

Top 5 Industries
Securities & Investment $155,600
Real Estate $142,101
Lawyers/Law Firms $128,018
Insurance $95,249
Commercial Banks $71,100

These are by no means outrageous sums, and seem to be perfectly legimate. But one sees why Barney might have developed a real concern that his own base is taken care of. After all, Barney's strong selling point to the Company is that he's a cheap date for those willing to ride with him.

And it seems he's a little more popular recently, now that the wind is at his back:

Just spare us all the hand-wringing about how Bu$hie's going against his principles when he gives his Ba$e the keys to the Treasury and gives everyone else his stiff weenie. Some of us, as you say, don't have our heart in it.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Perhaps it's not Rome the Amerikan Empire resembles.

It's Atlantis.

Even for Americans, constitutionally convinced that there will always be a second act, and a third, and a do-over after that, and, if necessary, a little public repentance and forgiveness and a Brand New Start -- even for us, the world looks a little Terminal right now.

It's not just the economy. We've gone through swoons before. It's that gas at $4 a gallon means we're running out, at least of the cheap stuff that built our sprawling society. It's that when we try to turn corn into gas, it sends the price of a loaf of bread shooting upwards and starts food riots on three continents. It's that everything is so inextricably tied together. It's that, all of a sudden, those grim Club of Rome types who, way back in the 1970s, went on and on about the "limits to growth" suddenly seem… how best to put it, right.

All of a sudden it isn't morning in America, it's dusk on planet Earth.

There's a number -- a new number -- that makes this point most powerfully. It may now be the most important number on Earth: 350. As in parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

A few weeks ago, our foremost climatologist, NASA's Jim Hansen, submitted a paper to Science magazine with several co-authors. The abstract attached to it argued -- and I have never read stronger language in a scientific paper -- "if humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm." Hansen cites six irreversible tipping points -- massive sea level rise and huge changes in rainfall patterns, among them -- that we'll pass if we don't get back down to 350 soon; and the first of them, judging by last summer's insane melt of Arctic ice, may already be behind us...

... Two weeks ago came the news that atmospheric carbon dioxide had jumped 2.4 parts per million last year -- two decades ago, it was going up barely half that fast.

And suddenly, the news arrives that the amount of methane, another potent greenhouse gas, accumulating in the atmosphere, has unexpectedly begun to soar as well. Apparently, we've managed to warm the far north enough to start melting huge patches of permafrost and massive quantities of methane trapped beneath it have begun to bubble forth.

And don't forget: China is building more power plants; India is pioneering the $2,500 car, and Americans are converting to TVs the size of windshields which suck juice ever faster.

Here's the thing. Hansen didn't just say that, if we didn't act, there was trouble coming; or, if we didn't yet know what was best for us, we'd certainly be better off below 350 ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. His phrase was: "…if we wish to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed." A planet with billions of people living near those oh-so-floodable coastlines. A planet with ever more vulnerable forests. (A beetle, encouraged by warmer temperatures, has already managed to kill 10 times more trees than in any previous infestation across the northern reaches of Canada this year. This means far more carbon heading for the atmosphere and apparently dooms Canada's efforts to comply with the Kyoto Protocol, already in doubt because of its decision to start producing oil for the U.S. from Alberta's tar sands.)

We're the ones who kicked the warming off; now, the planet is starting to take over the job. Melt all that Arctic ice, for instance, and suddenly the nice white shield that reflected 80% of incoming solar radiation back into space has turned to blue water that absorbs 80% of the sun's heat. Such feedbacks are beyond history, though not in the sense that Francis Fukuyama had in mind.

And we have, at best, a few years to short-circuit them -- to reverse course. Here's the Indian scientist and economist Rajendra Pachauri, who accepted the Nobel Prize on behalf of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year (and, by the way, got his job when the Bush administration, at the behest of Exxon Mobil, forced out his predecessor): "If there's no action before 2012, that's too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment."

In the next two or three years, the nations of the world are supposed to be negotiating a successor treaty to the Kyoto Accord. When December 2009 rolls around, heads of state are supposed to converge on Copenhagen to sign a treaty -- a treaty that would go into effect at the last plausible moment to heed the most basic and crucial of limits on atmospheric CO2.

If we did everything right, says Hansen, we could see carbon emissions start to fall fairly rapidly and the oceans begin to pull some of that CO2 out of the atmosphere. Before the century was out we might even be on track back to 350. We might stop just short of some of those tipping points, like the Road Runner screeching to a halt at the very edge of the cliff.

More likely, though, we're the Coyote -- because "doing everything right" means that political systems around the world would have to take enormous and painful steps right away. It means no more new coal-fired power plants anywhere, and plans to quickly close the ones already in operation. (Coal-fired power plants operating the way they're supposed to are, in global warming terms, as dangerous as nuclear plants melting down.) It means making car factories turn out efficient hybrids next year, just the way we made them turn out tanks in six months at the start of World War II. It means making trains an absolute priority and planes a taboo.

It means making every decision wisely because we have so little time and so little money, at least relative to the task at hand. And hardest of all, it means the rich countries of the world sharing resources and technology freely with the poorest ones, so that they can develop dignified lives without burning their cheap coal.

That's possible -- we launched a Marshall Plan once, and we could do it again, this time in relation to carbon. But in a month when the President has, once more, urged us to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, that seems unlikely. In a month when the alluring phrase "gas tax holiday" has danced into our vocabulary, it's hard to see (though it was encouraging to see that Clinton's gambit didn't sway many voters). And if it's hard to imagine sacrifice here, imagine China, where people produce a quarter as much carbon apiece as we do.

Still, as long as it's not impossible, we've got a duty to try. In fact, it's about the most obvious duty humans have ever faced.

A few of us have just launched a new campaign, 350.org. Its only goal is to spread this number around the world in the next 18 months, via art and music and ruckuses of all kinds, in the hope that it will push those post-Kyoto negotiations in the direction of reality...

I think there is no way to stop the wave. Don''t get me wrong: heroic efforts are good. But I think those who would save something had best think of something to save and a way to save it.

The Benefits of the Witch-Sight

The world is a much bigger place...

Front for the Man

Which is basically why I got clean about 1974- once I got deep enough to realize the pigs ran everything...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Why the Klintonista and the McCainiacs will lose the popular vote

Booman: It's the War, Stupid.

But even though she was trying to stoke the fire, HHHillary was right about one thing.

Racism is the motivation that will drive the Dominionist Republican shock troops to do anything to steal this election.

Well, look at it this way. It was supposed to be racism, or sexism. Or both. That's why the thing fell out this way.

The Tunnel at the End of the Light

Frank Rich espouses what most are thinking:

...Almost every wrong prediction about this election cycle has come from those trying to force the round peg of this year’s campaign into the square holes of past political wars. That’s why race keeps being portrayed as dooming Mr. Obama — surely Jeremiah Wright = Willie Horton! — no matter what the voters say to the contrary. It’s why the Beltway took on faith the Clinton machine’s strategic, organization and fund-raising invincibility. It’s why some prognosticators still imagine that John McCain can spin the Iraq fiasco to his political advantage as Richard Nixon miraculously did Vietnam.

The year 2008 is far more complex — and exhilarating — than the old templates would have us believe. Of course we’re in pain. More voters think the country is on the wrong track (81 percent) than at any time in the history of New York Times/CBS News polling on that question. George W. Bush is the most unpopular president that any living American has known.

And yet, paradoxically, there is a heartening undertow: we know the page will turn. For all the anger and angst over the war and the economy, for all the campaign’s acrimony, the anticipation of ending the Bush era is palpable, countering the defeatist mood. The repressed sliver of joy beneath the national gloom can be seen in the record registration numbers of new voters and the over-the-top turnout in Democratic primaries...

Pardon my cynicism. At this point I support Obama over HHHillary, but perhaps a wiff of reality should enter the hookah.

I think what we're talking about is a matter of finesse. Obama has it. McCain- or the Clintons- don't comparatively. Obama should win on this.

But Obama is a superficial change- better than none. A good predator doesn't drive the prey to extinction. A good parasite doesn't kill its host.

...The Kennedys and King, the October Surprise and Mena, anthrax and Wellstone, Gore and Kerry, Florida and Ohio: you might think that would be enough to make most Democrats say You know what? This isn't working out. But elections are paced like the Olympics, and in another four years the Jamaican bobsledders may really have a shot. Hey, anything's possible. And so long as people believe that, and that anything means everything they want, the cycle repeats and self-perpetuates.

The great assassinations of the Sixties were decapitation strikes, never intended to kill the host or to extinguish hope. It's only the hopeless who are dangerous. Hope must be encouraged, because you don't need to do anything to have it, and it keeps the prey from becoming wise to its own nature and seeking extraction from the cycle. Hope makes it possible to write and believe such things as "Al Gore will save the planet but Barack Obama will save this country." Hope that the system works, even if it is just a digestive system.

Restrained predation upon the Democratic Party may be at an advanced stage of domestication, but it also mimics molecular endosymbiosis with the injection of alien organelles in the form of the Trojan horse DLC to which, of all the contenders, both Clinton and Obama are closest in tactics and ideology. Funny how that happened.

And how did that happen? I think there's an institutional instinct at work, in the Deep Context, that maintains the insectival social engine of power. Does Obama know his role? That may be irrelevant, because the volition and cognition of the individuals who form the living manifestation of the system may be grossly overstated. They have given themselves to the system, the system has groomed them and raised them above all others, and they instinctively know what the system requires.

Is it hopeless? Thank Christ, yes, so get used to it. There's a liberation to hopelessness, in knowing what can't be done (or more typically, politically, be done for you), which I personally find preferable to another four years of huffing one's own jenkem. There's no salvation within the political cycle of death and rebirth, consumption and excretion - jellies eat and shit through the same simple hole, which could also be a reasonably sophisticated media analysis - and to hope for such a savior is to be the doomed hero of Lovecraft's fiction.

Perhaps it's not be so far from the Deep Ones to Deep Politics. You could say it all comes out right in the end, but you know what comes out in the end.

Better predators are not the solution, please. Then again, like the numerical value of pi, sometimes there are no absolute solutions, and you have to stop cranking out the decimal places. But let's complete that thought.

...The deeper a Lovecraft protagonist delves towards the realm of the Deep Ones, beneath the banal surface order of things, the closer he draws to madness. There's no bargaining; no appeal to reason or mercy. It's a doomed commitment to seek out pitiless truth that will either kill the hero or render him senseless. Devotion to the dumb lords is no escape. Devotion's only reward is the privilege of being eaten first.

The Old Ones always eat well.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Keyword Hijacking: the Force has a great effect on the weak-minded...

And what's more weak minded than a search engine?

...move along, move along, these aren't the Droids you're looking for..

...this is not just a software search engine decoy tactic although the advent of the internet gives keyword hijacking (KH) a whole new efficacy in exploiting the aphorism, "Out of sight, out of mind."

KH has been used as a mnemonic counterpropaganda device for decades
The first example I've found that I strongly suspect is KH is from 1944 and is related to Pearl Harbor.
The first example I've found that I know is KH is from 1945 and is related to Project Paperclip.

Consider that stealing someone else's keywords for your own purposes is as old as lying or trying to make your viewpoint on a topic dominate others or copyright infringement or plagiarism or decoys....etc.
It is a very basic linguistic device, so basic that some don't realize this.

But the covert use of keyword hijacking by military-intelligence to-
inoculate a target audience against negative associations with a keyword that exists in a hostile narrative by deploying the same keyword in a benign narrative
-dates back to the founding of the OSS in WWII and then CIA afterwards.

Once 20th century war came to rely on the media management of civilians using the new sciences of psychology and propaganda, focus on the nuts and bolts of language and memory determined that tremendous value was ascribed to keywords which were the 'face cards' of the vocabulary deck. (See 'Zipf's Law' regarding the hierarchical structure of associations.)

The use of KH in movies and television increased significantly after 1961 when cognitive scientist, William J. McGuire, introduced the concept of Inoculation Theory.
McGuire suggested that the brain's memory could be inoculated against ideas the same way the body was inoculated against disease using vaccines.

The common inoculation dynamic is intentionally introducing just enough elements of a hostile entity to induce defenses against it.
Counterpropaganda is anything done to minimize the effect of hostile information.
Thus keyword hijacking to induce mnemonic inoculation is done as a counterpropaganda tactic.

So keyword hijacking is used to do
>postive framing of keywords that encourage supporting US government goals
>negative framing of keywords that discourage supporting US government goals.

The most important goal is to prevent negative associations with a keyword that impedes USG goals. It doesn't have to be positive instead although that is the best case scenario.

Pre-internet example of KH:
The USG would much rather that you associated the keyword "Garrison"
-with the 1967-1969 television show called "Garrison's Gorillas"
than associate it with
-the 1967-1969 prosecutor investigating the murder of JFK, "D.A. Jim Garrison."

Pre-internet example of KH:
The USG would much rather that you associated the the keyword "Fonzie"
-with the television show character on of that name on 'Happy Days'
than associate it with
-a JFK investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, "Gaeton Fonzi."

Here are two more pre-internet examples of keyword hijacking the word "purple" with an explanatory reasoning chain:

>Military recruiting is considered by the US government to be critical to national security.

>Anything that impedes military recruiting would be considered hostile information and warrant counterpropaganda.

>In 1941 US cryptographers had broken Japan's Purple Code with the plans for attacking Pearl Harbor but this pre-knowledge was suppressed to assure the attack would happen as the only way to get the American public to stop overseas fascism.

>If Americans knew this, they'd be very skeptical about anything their government told them about war.

>It would be advantageous to military recruting and national security if Americans did not associate the keyword "purple" with the hoax of Pearl Harbor covered up for decades with the Purple Code being central to the narrative.

>Any chance to provide a different mnemonic association with the keyword "purple" helps dilute that dangerous association in the minds of the general population.

>Associational memory follows a path-of-least-resistance that is reinforced by frequency, intensity, and social reinforcement.

>Memory is strongly biased towards first definitions about words, a first-come-first-served dynamic left over from surviving in a pre-abstract world of nature where things only needed one definition.

>Using the keyword "purple" in idealized fictional narratives can cause many people's memories to be strongly biased towards recalling those narratives when seeing that keyword even if the Pearl Harbor association is somehow known to them.

>The use of the keyword "purple" in a fictional context of pre-knowledge of a military attack has been used several times including:

-2/12/1960 Twilight Zone, 'The Purple Testament'
-12/5/1964 Outer Limits, 'The Keeper of the Purple Twilight'
(notice this was just two days before the anniversary of Pearl Harbor)

There are many other Pearl Harbor cover-up "purples" but there are two to go with the two "Fonzies" that are pre-internet to show that this isn't just an internet search engine tactic. It is a memory manipulation that is intended to prevent or minimize what the USG considers to be bad memories.

Giving the Guvmint entire credit for this kind of thing is blowing up your conspiracy theory way beyond it's proper bounds. The government as a whole is way too clumsy for this kind of manipulation. However, some individuals in sensitive positions sure aren't.

The Silence is Broken

The Mortal Jivester is writing again.

This is a very good thing.

An email is a terrible thing to lose

Time to bring in some of the fabled record keeping NSA. After all, they've been recording every piece of email. Or not?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Petraeus Caesar preps the Fallujah Fandango in Sadr City

What's two million Shiite civs more or less? Probably a lot less, soon.

Only 3 more million to go before Dear Leader ties the record of Poppy's Pappy's German fling in the '30s and '40s. And that takes some doing.


You'd think with astronomically record profits for every oil company and an increasingly angry American public, there'd be some attempt to, you know, keep the speculators from running up the prices.

You'd be wrong

...Faced with a national outcry over the high price of gasoline and soaring profits for energy companies, the oil and gas industry is waging an unusually pricey campaign to burnish its image.

The American Petroleum Institute, the industry's main lobby, has embarked on a multiyear, multimedia, multimillion-dollar campaign, which includes advertising in the nation's largest newspapers, news conferences in many state capitals and trips for bloggers out to drilling platforms at sea.

The intended audience is elected officials and the public, with an emphasis on the latter. The industry is trying to convince voters -- who, in turn, will make the case to their members of Congress -- that rising energy prices are not the producers' fault and that government efforts to punish the industry, especially with higher taxes, would only make pricing problems worse.

"We decided that if we didn't do something to help people understand the basics of our industry, we'd be on the losing end as far as the eye could see," said Red Cavaney, the institute's president...

The basics being, git while teh gittin's good.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Fourth Branch of Government likely runs the Praetorian Guard, too.

Feingold pens an op-ed in the LA Pravda.

The Bush administration recently announced it will allow select members of Congress to read Justice Department legal opinions about the CIA's controversial detainee interrogation program that have been hidden from Congress until now. But as the administration allows a glimpse of this secret law -- and it is law -- we are left wondering what other laws it is still keeping under lock and key...

The memos on torture policy that have been released or leaked hint at a much bigger body of law about which we know virtually nothing. The Yoo memo was filled with references to other Justice Department memos that have yet to see the light of day, on subjects including the government's ability to detain U.S. citizens without congressional authorization and the government's ability to bypass the 4th Amendment in domestic military operations.

Another body of secret law involves the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In 1978, Congress created the special FISA court to review the government's requests for wiretaps in intelligence investigations, which is -- and should be -- done behind closed doors. But with changes in technology and with this administration's efforts to expand its surveillance powers, the court today is doing more than just reviewing warrant applications. It is issuing important interpretations of FISA that have effectively made new law.

These interpretations deeply affect Americans' privacy rights, and yet Americans don't know about them because they are not allowed to see them. Very few members of Congress have been allowed to see them either. When the Senate recently approved some broad and controversial changes to FISA, almost none of the senators voting on the bill could know what the law currently is.

The code of secrecy also extends to yet another body of law: changes to executive orders. The administration takes the position that a president can "waive" or "modify" a published executive order without any public notice -- simply by not following it...

Here's the really astounding statement.

...Congress should pass legislation to require the administration to alert Congress when the law created by Justice Department opinions ignores or even violates the laws passed by Congress, and to require public notice when it is waiving or modifying a published executive order. Congress and the public shouldn't have to wonder whether the executive branch is following the laws that are on the books or some other, secret law...

It is asked, yet again:

Will somebody please explain to me again why impeachment is off the table.

The fourth branch of government basically was created by Alan Dulles, who thought even Ike didn't have a high enough security clearance to know about it.

Of course, the Republicans- and more than a few DINOcrats- just ate that up, especially when they figured out their dirty deals could be classified, too.

So why is impeachment off the table? Because the Democrats do it too, Diane, they're just smarter about it.

And why is that statement "Congress should pass legislation to require the administration to alert Congress when the law created by Justice Department opinions ignores or even violates the laws passed by Congress" astounding?

Because it seems Feingold actually thinks anything Congress passes means anything to the Fourth Branch of Government.

Do you actually think any new President will be able to do anything about it and survive?

McCain's Lack of Health Plan

ThinkProgress talks about Elizabeth Edward's testimony to the US Senate about health care in America:

...Edwards urged the senators to “build on the successful system of employer-based coverage,” a system that covers 158 million Americans — and that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has promised to completely dismantle. Instead, he has proposed a paltry $5,000 tax credit for individuals to fend for themselves in the health insurance market, even though the average annual premium of an employer-based insurance policy is $12,000...

It's so nice of the main$tream media to keep these things fair and balanced for us.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Bad Bug Going Around

Isn't it, though? [a tip o'teh tinfoil to Peter of Lone Tree, and check out what the Dark Wraith has to say too]

I like this:

..."Unless their master plan really was to crater the world economy with a blithering combination of neo-liberals, neo-conservatives, communists, Right-wing thugs, religious nutcases, and assorted other thunderously ignorant operatives, where we are headed would be the very last place putative global controllers would have wanted to go: down this path we are plunging lies what will in all likelihood be a horrendous, destructive clash of classes over everything from food to shelter to freedom..."

Assuming, of course, the global controllers have any use for contemporary civilization.

Let me submit there is substantial evidence, from the use of mercenary armies to the re-introduction of torture, that somebody who wants to own the show has no use for the modern world. Such an individual, or party of individuals, would seem to value a neofeudal order of society, where an aristocracy has all access to technology and resources.

I often reflexively blurt out "Chaos is the plan" because there is so much of it, and the same people seem to profit when there's more of it.

"They" don't want to run the world. They only want to own the best of it, keep everyone else at each others throats, and reward the servants who man the castle walls and deal with the rest of us wogs.

Harass the Kids

Looks like the geriatric ward is getting mean in Britain:

Police should be harassing badly behaved youths by openly filming them and hounding them at home to make their lives as uncomfortable as possible, the home secretary will say today...

Now that's a policy guaranteed to produce Law and Order. Not.

But Britain, like the United States, is run by a Company that regards lower class youth as nothing other than a labor pool. The poor youth, as here, has other ideas.

The Concentration Camp in the Sunni Triangle

Where all the krewl kids go.

Errol Morris. Go and read the whole thing.

...We are surrounded by smoking guns on all sides. Crimes have been committed; we have ample evidence of them. But there can be no justice if there is a failure to stand up for it, if we fail to demand it. Here's the flip side of the torture memos. John Yoo can argue that the President can do anything. Let him do what he pleases, but does that mean he can't be held responsible for the things he has ordered or the things done in his name?

It is easy to dismiss all of this as the unfortunate product of war. But this is not about war, it is about us. How complacent have we become? What does it take? Each day that we allow these crimes to go unanswered erodes the very ideals that this country stands for.

Errol you are so 9/10. Obviously you didn't get John McCain's memo. It was about the oil.

Mc$ame's solution to energy problems are doubtless the solution to the war on Terra, too. Bomb 'em back to the stone age.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Not letting the robber barons free market rape and pillage find its balance is liable to get Bernanke excommunicated, if not burned at the stake, by the Dons of the Chicago School.

WASHINGTON -- As the House prepared to take aggressive steps to stem the wave of home foreclosures, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke on Monday night endorsed the need for government intervention, saying that letting markets take their own course could "destabilize communities, reduce the property values of nearby homes and lower municipal tax revenues."

In a speech in New York, the central bank chairman reiterated his controversial call for lenders and mortgage service companies to consider cutting the principal of some customers' loans to prevent foreclosure.

"When the source of the problem is a decline of the value of the home well below the mortgage's principal balance, the best solution may be a write-down, perhaps combined with" a government-orchestrated refinancing, Bernanke told a Columbia Business School audience.

Bernanke stopped short of endorsing a bill introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, that would allow the Depression-era Federal Housing Administration to guarantee repayment of up to $300 billion in mortgages in return for lenders' making steep cuts in mortgage holders' loan balances...

And yes, when burning the Undead at the stake, you are going to see flaming zombie assholes.

The Roosevelt administration put all those banking regulations in place for a reason.

All the slick economic theory espoused academics with an agenda, all the properly conditioned MBA Masters of the Universe somehow convinced themselves that perpetual motion would keep moving.

The real economic predators, the Aristocrats who feel all righteous about their blood right to rule, saw the opportunity in the blind and the foolish, and pounced, and smashed, and grabbed.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Iron Men

There's no need for Wall Street to fret anymore. If you go broke in a big way, the Fed can rebuild you.

Dr. Krugman:

...After the financial crisis that ushered in the Great Depression, New Deal reformers regulated the banking system, with the goal of protecting the economy from future crises. The new system worked well for half a century.

Eventually, however, Wall Street did an end run around regulation, using complex financial arrangements to put most of the business of banking outside the regulators’ reach. Washington could have revised the rules to cover this new “shadow banking system” — but that would have run counter to the market-worshiping ideology of the times.

Instead, key officials, from Alan Greenspan on down, sang the praises of financial innovation and pooh-poohed warnings about the growing risks.

And then the crisis came. Last August, as investors began to realize the scope of the mortgage mess, confidence in the financial system collapsed.

...Mr. Bernanke recognized, more quickly than others might have, that we were in a situation bearing a family resemblance to the great banking crisis of 1930-31. His first priority, overriding every other concern, had to be preventing a cascade of financial failures that would cripple the economy.

The Fed’s efforts these past nine months remind me of the old TV series “MacGyver,” whose ingenious hero would always get out of difficult situations by assembling clever devices out of household objects and duct tape.

Because the institutions in trouble weren’t called banks, the Fed’s usual tools for dealing with financial trouble, designed for a system centered on traditional banks, were largely useless. So the Fed has cobbled together makeshift arrangements to save the day. There was the TAF and the TSLF (don’t ask), there were credit lines to investment banks, and the whole thing culminated in March’s unprecedented, barely legal Bear Stearns rescue — a rescue not of Bear itself, but of its “counterparties,” those who were on the other side of its financial bets.

It’s still far from certain whether all this improvisation has resolved the crisis. But it was the right thing to do, and for the moment things seem to be calming down.

So two cheers for Mr. Bernanke. Unfortunately, his very success — if he has succeeded — poses another problem: it gives the financial industry a chance to block reform.

We now know that things that aren’t called banks can nonetheless generate banking crises, and that the Fed needs to carry out bank-type rescues on their behalf. It follows that hedge funds, special investment vehicles and so on need bank-type regulation. In particular, they need to be required to have adequate capital.

But while our out-of-control financial system has been bad for the country, it has been very good for wheeler-dealers, who collect huge fees when things seem to be going well, then get to walk away unscathed — indeed, often with large severance packages — when things go wrong. They don’t want regulations that would stabilize the economy but cramp their style.

And now that the financial clouds have lifted a bit, the pushback against sensible regulation is in full swing. Even the Fed’s very modest proposal to curb abusive mortgage lending with new standards is under fire, and there are worrying signs that the Fed may back down...

Amerika loves its fantasy heroes. Deal Leader was right enough for his ba$e: there's no worry about flying without a net for the barons of Wall Street, because if you've got the Right Stuff, the Fed will recharge your arc reactor.

Of course, the little people are still suffering from the recession of 2001 they never climbed out of, and the combination of wage and property value deflation and energy and commodity inflation have them suffering the worst Recession in living memory. But, no, it's not really a Recession, because you see, the new technology keeps the Iron Men of war flying high above as the rabble bleed to death below.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

He's got what it takes

Nelson Mandela is on the U.S. terrorist watch list. [a tip o'teh tinfoil to the Dark Wraith]

If they were still alive, you can bet George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and everyone else who signed the Declaration of Independence would be taken aside for questioning by DHS.

Who sez we don't make anything in the USA?

In one money-making item, we're the leading exporter to the world.


Winning the War on Terra

We know who's winning.

ADEN, Yemen -- Almost eight years after al-Qaeda nearly sank the USS Cole with an explosives-stuffed motorboat, killing 17 sailors, all the defendants convicted in the attack have escaped from prison or been freed by Yemeni officials...

But look, the Iranians have nukes! Or might have the capability to make them. Someday. Especially if Bechtel makes the right reactors for them, which is only the free market at work and hence virtuous.

As I said, it's obvious whose Mission has been Accomplished.

Fairly Unbalanced

Just like Karl Rove is now a guiding like at Fox News, it seems CNN has placed Bu$hie apparatchik former Homeland Security Adviser and current Intelligence Advisory Board member Fran Townsend alongside Tony Snow to make sure only Right Thinking reaches the Amerikan public.

Choosing between Fox and CNN is very much like the current choices we have for President.

Animal Crackers

Tristero quotes Bill Moyers:

Behold the double standard: John McCain sought out the endorsement of John Hagee, the warmongering, Catholic-bashing Texas preacher, who said the people of New Orleans got what they deserved for their sins.

But no one suggests McCain shares Hagee's delusions or thinks AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality. Pat Robertson called for the assassination of a foreign head of state and asked God to remove Supreme Court justices, yet he remains a force in the Republican religious right.

After 9/11, Jerry Falwell said the attack was God's judgment on America for having been driven out of our schools and the public square, but when McCain goes after the endorsement of the preacher he once condemned as an agent of intolerance, the press gives him a pass.

Jon Stewart recently played tape from the Nixon White House in which Billy Graham talks in the Oval Office about how he has friends who are Jewish, but he knows in his heart that they are undermining America.

This is crazy and wrong -- white preachers are given leeway in politics that others aren't.

Which means it is all about race, isn't it?

Among the Christianista acolytes of Jeebus the Barbarian, minimum. Of course, in our Faith-based society these bozos run everything. Change that, and things might really change for the better.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

On the Economy, or lack thereof

They would have included Mc$ame's position, if he had one, other than to make a whole helluva lot of money behind the scenes to keep that blond reptilian he's married to from eating him alive.

40 year itch: fear and loathing for Prez

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this feels too much like 1968 for comfort.

Stephen Zunes:
...The desperate tactics employed by Senator Hillary Clinton to capture the Democratic presidential nomination from Senator Barack Obama contain some remarkable parallels with the efforts of another favored candidate of the party establishment to block the nomination of another insurgent Democrat 36 years ago. In both cases, the establishment candidate — with little chance late in the primary campaign of obtaining enough delegates to secure the nomination — committed to a strategy of not only trying to twist the rules so to pull off a coup at the convention, but engaging in systematic attacks against the front-runner in ways that appeared to be designed to weaken him in the very areas that would most benefit the Republicans in the general election campaign.

In 1972, the leader late in the Democratic primary race was South Dakota Senator George McGovern who — like Obama — had galvanized youthful voters, anti-war activists, small donors and other party progressives in a grass roots campaign that had brought new life and energy into a party which had narrowly lost the election four years earlier with a weak pro-war candidate at the helm. At the start of the campaign, the Republicans had looked vulnerable in November, with an unpopular war dragging on and an incumbent administration beset by scandals. However, as the liberal Midwestern senator defied expectations by running up a string of primary victories, former Vice-President Hubert Humphrey — who, like Clinton, seemed to feel that he was owed the nomination and the chance to be president — sought to both discredit McGovern in the eyes of voters and re-write the rules for seating state delegations at the party’s convention that summer...

Go read it all, and wait for the moral equivalent of Tet when we bomb Iran.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Wars and Rumors of War and Piece

Police action, dammit, security action, the real war (that was never actually, you know, declared) ended in 2003, when Dear Leader proclaimed MISSION ACCOMPLISHED because, you know, he could read the sign!

And besides, it's good for business. Just ask Big Time Dick's stock options.

Apparently Bu$hie's signed off on a "finding" that's widened the War on Terra to- you guessed it- Iran, which should also be good for business.

Which is, of course, why none of the Preznitial candidates will condemn it or the Dear Leader that tortures people and nations.

Speaking of practicioners of the oldest bu$iness, the D.C. Madam who alledgedly had Big Time Dick on her client list seems to have been invited onwards. Although the main$tream is saying she told her friends she would before prison, she told her friends she'd get that invitation from the local daimyo, if not Darth $hogun hisself, soon. She apparently got an offer she couldn't refuse with extreme prejudice.

Speaking of pressing the meat, the two DINOcratic candidates keep doing their best to renounce all democratic principles (count on HHHillary's minions to damn the Unibama's for it, and vice versa), as Mc$ame keeps on slipping up and actually stating the obvious- soon to be obfuscated clarified, of course.