Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pathocracy


Definition of Pathocracy from Enpsychopedia: (from Greek pathos, "feeling, pain, suffering"; and kratos, "rule")
A pathocracy is a totalitarian form of government in which absolute political power is held by a psychopathic elite, and their effect on the people is such that the entire society is ruled and motivated by purely pathological values.
A pathocracy can take many forms and can insinuate itself covertly into any seemingly just system or ideology. As such it can masquerade under the guise of a democracy or theocracy as well as more openly oppressive regimes.
The term pathocracy was created by Polish psychologist Dr. Andrzej M. Łobaczewski as a result of his study of ponerology. The word reflects Lobaczewski's treatment of the phenomenon as something analogous to a disease or pathology, on a macrosocial level.

Characteristics

  1. Suppression of individualism and creativity.
  2. Impoverishment of artistic values.
  3. Impoverishment of moral values; a social structure based on self-interest and one-upmanship, rather than altruism.
  4. Fanatical ideology; often a corrupted form of a valid viable 'trojan' ideology which is perverted into a pathological form, bearing little resemblance to the substance of the original.
  5. Intolerance and suspicion of anyone who is different, or who disagrees with the state.
  6. Centralized control
  7. Corruption
  8. Secret activities within government, but surveillance of the general population. (In contrast, a healthy society would have transparent government processes, and respect for privacy of the individual citizen).
  9. Paranoid and reactionary government.
  10. Excessive, arbitrary, unfair and inflexible legislation; the power of decision making is reduced/removed from the citizens' everyday lives.
  11. An attitude of hypocrisy and contempt demonstrated by the actions of the ruling class, towards the ideals they claim to follow, and towards the citizens they claim to represent.
  12. Controlled media, dominated by propaganda.
  13. Extreme inequality between the richest and poorest.
  14. Endemic use of corrupted psychological reasoning such as paramoralisms, conversive thinking and doubletalk.
  15. Rule by force and/or fear of force.
  16. People are considered as a 'resource' to be exploited (hence the term "human resources"), rather than as individuals with intrinsic human worth.
  17. Spiritual life is restricted to inflexible and indoctrinare schemes. Anyone attempting to go beyond these boundaries is considered a heretic or insane, and therefore dangerous.
  18. Arbitrary divisions in the population (class, ethnicity, creed) are inflamed into conflict with one another.
  19. Suppression of free speech - public debate, demonstration, protest.
  20. Violation of basic human rights, for example: restriction or denial of basic life necessities such as food, water, shelter; detainment without charge; torture and abuse; slave labour.



Further research:

The Power Principle





Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"Americans Kill People": Michael Moore on Newtown, Mass Shootings, and the U.S. Culture of Violence

Michael Moore:
Yes, we need more gun control. Yes, we need free mental health services in this country. But I really believe that even if we had better gun control laws and better mental health, that we would still be the sort of sick and twisted, violent people that we’ve been for hundreds of years, that it’s something that’s just in our craw, just in our DNA.


Mayor Michael Bloomberg:
“It’s time for the president, I think, to stand up and lead and tell this country what we should do — not go to Congress and say, ‘What do you guys want to do?’” Bloomberg said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “This should be his number one agenda. He’s president of the United States. And if he does nothing during his second term, something like 48,000 Americans will be killed with illegal guns.” —Bloomberg: Gun control should be Obama’s ‘number one agenda’

Adele M. Stan, in her introduction, echoing some of Michael Moore's views that we have a culture problem: AlterNet Radio Hour - December 15, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vote yes on prop 37

Support GMO labeling:





Michael Pollan on Prop 37:



Third Party Presidential Debate

The closing statements by Rocky Anderson and Jill Stein:



The entire debate:

Friday, October 5, 2012

The presidential debates

The title says it all: The US presidential debates' illusion of political choice

Who's Afraid of an Open Debate? The Truth About the Commission on Presidential Debates


Expanding the Debate Exclusive: Third Party Candidates Break the Sound Barrier As Obama-Romney Spar


Monday, September 17, 2012

Eleven reasons not to vote for non-progressive Democrats

Eleven reasons why the Obama administration and non-progressive Democrats are really conservative Republicans in sheep's clothing and do not deserve your vote:

1. Supports warrantless surveillance of American citizens as evidenced by the renewal of the Patriot Act.

2. Supports indefinite detention without due process of law which continues today at Guantanamo Bay and black sites around the world.

3. Supports rendition where torture continues to this present day.

4.  Drone strikes on civilians. All military aged men are automatically considered "enemy combatants".

5. Secondary drone strikes on rescue workers and funeral attendees.

6. For always compromising with the Republicans. The Obama administration killed the public health care option, extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and showed willingness to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block.

7. Passed the NDAA Act of 2012 with the 1021(b)(2) provision to apprehend American citizens on American soil and held in indefinite detention without a shred of due process of law. And for appealing (and continuing to appeal) the Federal Court decision that ruled the clause unconstitutional.

8. Assassination of three American citizens without a warrant, conviction, Grand Jury or any other due process of law. 

9. For having policies or actions that has been questioned in the courts dismissed under the "national security secrets" defense. And then to leak information when it suits them on exactly those same secrets that the Obama administration refused to disclose in the courts. The drone strikes are a perfect example. Shh, they're secret.

10. Our two-tiered justice system where all Bush administration personelle were protected from prosecution by the Obama administration. Ditto for Wall Street financiers and bankers. Meanwhile, not one wrongfully detained or tortured person has been permitted in the Federal courts to sue the US government.

11. The Obama administration's war on whistleblowers. At the same time the government continues to relentlessly prosecute whistleblowers  who reveal illegalities, corruption and inefficiencies of the military and government agencies under the archaic 1917 WWI Espionage Act; the Obama administration continues to leak classified information when it is self-serving.

It's time for Democrat supporters to realize that their party is no longer a liberal party. It's a conservative party with more in common with the Republicans than anyone would care to admit. The only difference is that we've been divided and conquered on authoritarian/non-authoritarian issues.  If you vote Democrat or Republican then you get the government you deserve: a corporate financed and controlled government who keep empowering themselves at the expense of our freedom and liberty.

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References:

  • Chris Hedges and his lawsuit to strike down section 1021(b)(2) of the NDAA 2012:We Won—for Now
Other sources: Glenn Greenwald, Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Scahill, Naomi Klein and Naomi Wolf. Plus DemocracyNow.org, BillMoyers.com and RT.com.

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Democratic Party Apology Handbook

The Democratic Party Apology Handbook has been moved here.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Truthout

Truthout has some very good articles out lately:
Rocky Anderson:
If we allow the fear-driven argument that the lesser of two evils (in this case I think we could say the more effective of the two evils) may be defeated by the greater of two evils, then we're simply conceding to the status quo. Then we'll never see a change. In fact, we'll see things continue to get worse, with the ratcheting up of an imperial presidency, with the undermining of the rule of law and our constitutional values, and a continued destruction of our democracy, as well as a worsening economic disparity - which is already worse than at any time since the 1920s and during the Great Depression.
We can either choose to simply move the players - Republicans and Democrats - around and sustain the corrupt system in which those with the money call all the shots, or we can finally organize and take action together to choose a very different way. And that's what my candidacy represents, and that's what the Justice Party represents.
Chris Hedges:
We are seeing the conscious and deliberate creation by the corporate state of a permanent, insecure and terrified underclass within the wider society. They have had a lot of practice in refining these techniques in the sacrifice zones, such as West Virginia, we wrote about. The corporate state sees this permanent and desperate underclass as the most effective weapon to thwart rebellion and resistance as our economy is reconfigured to wipe out the middleclass and leave most of us at subsistence level. Huge pools of unemployed and underemployed effectively blunt labor organizing, since any job, no matter how menial, is zealously coveted. The beating down of workers, exacerbated by the refusal to extend unemployment benefits for hundreds of millions of Americans and the breaking of public sector unions, the last redoubt of union power, has transformed those in the working class from full members of society, able to participate in its debates, the economy and governance, into terrified people in fragmented pools preoccupied with the struggle of private existence.
The determining factor in global corporate production is now poverty. The poorer the worker and the poorer the nation, the greater the competitive advantage. With access to vast pools of desperate, impoverished workers eager for scraps, unions and working conditions no longer impede the quest for larger and larger profits. And when the corporations do not need these workers they are cast aside. Those who are economically broken usually cease to be concerned with civic virtues. They will, history has demonstrated, serve any system, no matter how evil, and do anything for a pitiful salary, a chance for job security and the protection of their families. There will, as the situation worsens, also be those who attempt to rebel. I certainly intend to join them. But the state can rely on a huge number of people who, for work and meager benefits, will transform themselves into willing executioners.
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More:

Friday, August 17, 2012

News in an election cycle

During the election cycle, almost every media organization has queued up behind either the Democrats (Dims) or the Republicans (Pugs) making it very hard to find any kind of news or article that doesn't have this bias built in. This is what I've found that's palatable:



Monday, July 30, 2012

Chris Hedges: The Perversion of Scholarship

Some quotes from Chris Hedges' column The Perversion of Scholarship:

Hedges on fraternities and sororities:
Hazing weeds out those with enough self-esteem and independence to stand up to the hierarchy. It ensures conformity and obedience. These groups are, in essence, self-selected. Those who have the fortitude and courage to oppose their own public humiliation and the public humiliation perpetuated with each new cycle of recruits or pledges leave. Those who remain conform.
And where they end up:
The corporate world sees football players, fraternity brothers and sorority sisters as prime recruits. They have been conditioned to join the team, to surrender moral autonomy, to accept and carry out acts of personal humiliation, to treat with contempt those who oppose them or who are different, to define their life by an infantile narcissism centered on greed and self-promotion and to remain silent about crimes they witness or take part in. It is the very ethic of corporations. 
The ruling elite sees in Greek organizations and football programs the training ground for the amoral class of speculators, bankers and corporatists who pillage the country.
 * * * * * * * * * *

Audio of Glenn Greenwald interview on, "Media Matters with Bob McChesney"

The Toppling: How the Media Created the Iconic Fall of Saddam's Statue


Friday, July 27, 2012

Jon Stewart: hypocrite, stooge or progressive crusader?

Jon Stewart was ridiculed on Fox & Friends for making fun of Romney's income when, in fact, Stewart rakes in $15M/year:

   

Warren Buffet was ridiculed in the same manner for calling for higher taxes on the super-wealthy. It is suggested that wealthy liberals like Stewart and Buffet voluntarily give their money to their staff or to the government if they are so concerned with income inequality or not paying enough taxes. It's a ridiculous argument.

As citizens of the United States, we are each entitled to maximize our income and minimize our taxes within the legal boundaries of the country. It's called maximizing our self-interests. That's how free enterprise works. We rely on our government to set out the rules and regulations that create safe products and food, protect the air and water from pollution, protect workers' safety, pay workers a fair living wage and, in general, look after the well being of the country.

It works the same way as a consumer. We are entitled to purchase the product that is the best value and, all else being equal, the cheapest product. We rely on our government to make sure that the company treats and pays its employees fairly, that it complies with environmental regulations, pays its fair share of taxes and, in general, behaves as a good corporate citizen. It is too much for an average consumer to research the manufacturer every time we buy a product. Even if find out that the company has shoddy business practices but sells its product at a significantly lower price, as a consumer, we are still entitled to purchase the product that provides us the best value.

The analogy should be clear. How we act as an income earner, taxpayer or consumer is entirely different from what we ask of our government to do. There is no conflict and no hypocrisy.

Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz was on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 to discuss his new book, "The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future." Stiglitz notes that:
Inequality has really become one of the major problems facing our country. I don't know if most Americans realize that we've become the most unequal of all the advanced industrial countries and we've become the country, of among the advanced industrial countries, with the least equality of opportunity; so different of the myth of the "American Dream."
In sum, income inequality rivals that of any banana republic and the "American Dream" is now a lie. Stewart adds to the equal outcome vs. equal opportunity debate: equal fairness. i.e. The game is rigged by those who wish to flex their muscle that wealth brings:




* * * * * * * * * *
Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have been accused of lulling activists to sleep in this interesting article:
And the take down:
* * * * * * * * * *
Summary

George Carlin on what is:


The storyofstuff.org on what can be:




Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Why liberals and conservatives view climate change differently

This post examines, through the context of global warming, why liberals and conservatives often have different opinions on issues where there is a considerable amount of scientific evidence. Global warming, which, if true, may be the most critical issue of our time.

The media

The conservative media (Fox News, conservative talk radio) has generally refuted climate change and global warming and ridicules those who claim otherwise. However, they are starting to come around. Here's a sample:
The mainstream and progressive media (CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CurrentTV) present a mixed view:


Confirmation bias

Whatever your opinion is on climate change, you can find concurrent opinions in the media. Furthermore, you will tend to gravitate to news media that confirms your opinion which then further reinforces it. That, in a nutshell, is confirmation bias. If you have a more extreme view, you can certainly find concurrent views on the Internet. Facts become theories, theories become opinions and opinions become fluid. One concludes his or her gut feeling as fact. See:
The smart idiot effect

Conservatives tend to be more confident in their opinions. Liberals tend to be more open to changing their opinion. Both views have merit. The smart idiot effect occurs after one has formed an opinion and then presented with scientific "facts" that contradict their opinion. Studies show that smarter and more educated people will dismiss the facts more often than the general population because they are more confident in their opinions. Those that refute the facts even though they are intelligent and knowledgeable are the "smart idiots." Even more interesting, the more "smart idiots" are presented with facts, the more confident the "smart idiots" become in their original opinion.
The facts

The earth is getting warmer. The air temperatures are getting warmer. The oceans are getting warmer. The polar caps are melting and sea levels are rising. Glaciers are retreating. 2011 was the 9th hottest year on record. The 10 hottest years on record were from 1998 to the present. From July 1, 2011 to June 30th, 2012 was the hottest year in the United States.
See NASA's website on global climate change. Every single graph shows that the earth is warming.


It is almost certainly due to increased "greenhouse" gases in the atmosphere. It is almost certainly man made. Curious things, these things known as "facts".


Conclusion

Once one accepts global warming as fact, then one has to contemplate this:


Update

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Confronting the vampire squids

Feedback from the previous post, Neoliberalism, was mostly about the claim which is paraphrased as follows, "The world is run by psychopaths." Then along comes a post which I came across from a well respected alternative media blog, "Washington's Blog":
Why Don’t the Corrupt Players On Wall Street and In D.C. Show Remorse for Their Destructive Actions … And Why Don’t We Stop Them?
* * * * * * * * * *

If you see something, say something! And I don't mean New York City's hideous, fear instilling, "If you see something, say something." campaign for unattended packages. I mean that if you know of someone who is doing or has done a heinous crime, for God's sake, do something about it. I'm sure that you were appalled to hear that people around Jerry Sandusky covered up his criminal activities. The linked post above also delves into why people don't speak up. More can found in the following article, "Penn State Deconstructed: The Psychology Behind the Silence."

* * * * * * * * * *

So, what can be done to remove the vampire squids of the world? To create a system that can't be "gamed" by a few psychopaths hell bent on world domination?  Protesting isn't enough. Activism isn't enough. Changing public opinion isn't enough - unpopular wars and lack of universal health care in the US are two prime examples. Political action groups seem ineffectual. The race is on folks: regime change versus a totalitarian state. Certainly:
They got the guns but we got the numbers. — lyrics from "Five To One", The Doors.
* * * * * * * * * *

On the latest, "Moyers & Company" are Shelia Bair and Vandana Sheva. Both have ideas how to take on the vampire squids of the world:



* * * * * * * * * *

Additional material about narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths:
Update

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

One way mirror

Glenn Greenwald first coined the phrase, "The government’s one-way mirror" in 2010. More recently, he wrote:
[T]he essential expression of the American Surveillance State: we can and will know everything about what you do, and you will know virtually nothing about what we do. In a healthy society, that formula would be reversed: the citizenry (with rare exceptions) would know most everything about what their government does, while the government would know nothing about what citizens do in the absence of well-grounded suspicion that they have done something wrong. (Please read the entire article.)
 Greenwald talked about the Surveillance State on The Alyona Show July 3rd,2012:






Friday, April 20, 2012

First they came...

First they came for the "terrorists",
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a "terrorist".



THE PRESIDENT'S QUOTES ON ISLAM
Then they came for the Muslims,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Muslim.
NYPD spying program aimed at Muslims 
Abject bigotry at the New York Post 
The real criminals in the Tarek Mehanna case
First They Come for the Muslims 
Personalizing civil liberties abuses
Then they came for the protesters, activists and dissenters,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a protester, activivist or dissenter.
Pentagon Rebrands Protest as “Low-Level Terrorism” 
In Modern America, Questioning War Is Considered Terrorism 
Truthers and Terrorists: Questioning 9/11 Is Becoming An Increasingly Dangerous Use of Free Speech
The incoming police state - part II 
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.



The original poem by Martin Niemöller (from: First they came…):
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist. 
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew. 
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Update 1: 
Federal judge complicity

Update 2: August 11, 2012
I left two comments to Glenn Greenwald's, "Combating Islamophobic violence":
Thursday, Aug 9, 2012 02:51 PM EDT

First they came for the "terrorists"...
Then they came for the Muslims...

------------------------------------------------

Saturday, Aug 11, 2012 01:05 PM EDT
 
Of course, the above comes from the famous poem by Milton Mayer:
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Any hate crime is unforgivable, unconscionable and should be punished as such. It's even more dangerous to society when hatred towards a minority group becomes institutionalized and normalized by the government and the media. From Naomi Wolf's book, "End of America", the first step from morphing from an open society to a closed one is, "Identify a terrifying real or perceived threat." This is exactly what happened in Nazi Germany where six million Jews were hideously, inhumanely and systematically executed. Muslims are now being used as this threat in the US.

I think the best way to remember, honor and respect the Holocaust victims is to prevent it from ever happening again.

Wikipedia: First they came...
Fascist America, in 10 easy steps
Documentary: End of America
Garrison to honor deceased at Holocaust remembrance

Saturday, March 24, 2012

War

I believe America may totally succumb to the fearful militarization which engulfed Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. There is real danger that political power and the power to influence the minds of people will pass increasingly into the hands of the military, which is used to approaching all political problems from the point of view of military expediency. Because of America’s supremacy, the military point of view is forced upon the world.
           —Albert Einstein (http://www.ppu.org.uk/people/einstein.html)
In all countries power lies in the hands of ambitious power-hungry men. This is true whether the political system is dictatorial or democratic. Power relies not only on coercion, but on subtle persuasion and deception through the educational system and the media of public information. One can only hope there are enough people the world over who possess the integrity to resist these evil influences. What is important is that individuals have the honesty and courage to stand up for their convictions.
          —Albert Einstein (http://www.ppu.org.uk/people/einstein.html)

From MoveOn.org:


From: One Minute for Peace:

Update:
One Minute for Peace sent me the following brochure:


How 6 Million People Were Killed In CIA Secret Wars Against Third World Countries

The United States most likely has been responsible since WWII for the deaths of between 20 and 30 million people in wars and conflicts scattered over the world

Friday, March 16, 2012

A troubling poll

I was there. I saw it all. Immigrants, Muslims, homosexuals, terrorists, disease-ridden degenerates. They had to go. Strength through unity. Unity through faith.
          — from "V for Vendetta" (movie clip)
A poll released a few days ago was very troubling where:
58% of respondents found no fault with police actions toward Muslims. And 82% said they believe the antiterrorism efforts of the NYPD have been effective. Overall, 63% said they generally approve of the way the department does its job.(Poll: Majority of New Yorkers approve of NYPD surveillance of Muslims)
Beyond the fact that it is simply immoral to isolate a segment of the population for discrimination by the state, there are some other very serious issues:

1. It's illegal and unconstitutional. The NYPD has been surveilling the general Muslim population not only in New York, but also in New Jersey which is obviously outside its jurisdiction. Article IV of the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
2. It gives the government unlimited power which it will not easily relinquish. When the government is no longer constrained by the Constitution, the people have to fear the tyranny of the government. When the power lies beyond even the politicians it is aptly described as "Inverted Totalitarianism": Democracy in America Is a Useful Fiction.
You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists. 
          — Abbie Hoffman
3. It's a slippery slope: today it's Muslims; tomorrow it's protesters and dissidents; next up are journalists and whistleblowers. Then it becomes the poor, African Americans, and finally it's the war on women, Christians, Jews, gays and lesbians, you and everyone else. Welcome to the police state.

This is what the NYPD has been doing. I highly recommend that you take a look at these:
If we don't start supporting freedom and justice for minority groups, who is going to be there for you when you become the target?
Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.
          — Benjamin Franklin (attributed)
Without liberty, there can exist no lasting social order, no field for productive labor, no personal security, and no security for property.
          — Louis Kossuth
Perhaps, the poll was inaccurate and unfair. Perhaps New Yorkers just don't know the extent of the NYPD's surveillance and harassment. But now you do. Spread the word.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Redistricting

Dennis Kucinich lost his Ohio primary yesterday to Marcy Kaptur largely due to redistricting.

Moneyed interests have targeted their enemies. Russ Feingold and Alan Grayson defeated in the 2010 midterm elections. Barney Frank is retiring due to redistricting/gerrymandering and now Dennis Kucinich is gone.

Here's a map of the old 9,10 and 13 districts overlaid with the new district 9 border:


More on gerrymandering:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

SOPA/PIPA - A small victory for the Internet and democracy

Democracy is the most difficult government to maintain. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau
A republic, if you can keep it. - Benjamin Franklin
Democracy is not a free ride, man. - Joe Wilson in the movie Fair Game
Internet users have won a small victory in fending off SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act). This was the third attempt at passing a bill to give the government greater control over the Internet. (Compilation clause removed from PRO-IP bill in 2008 and the failed COICA bill  in 2010). The third attempt came with two bills - one in the house (SOPA) and one in the senate (PIPA) under the guise of stopping online piracy. Internet users mobilized and fought back effectively killing the bills - for now. You can see why the government really wants more control of the Internet - Internet users can mobilize effectively against them. Time time around has been a been a cat and mouse game. The bills were dead and then they weren't and then they were dead again and then they weren't. Once it looked like the bills were finally going to die, the white house came out against them too - fooling no one. And a 'shame on you' to my two state senators who supported these bills: Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten GIllibrand (D-NY).

Nevertheless, it was a victory and it shows a path for which democracy can prevail - even in these times where the candidate who raises the most money wins 94% of the time.

It got me thinking about democracy.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau on democracy

From Equality and Democracy:
Rousseau is regarded as the father of the modern theory of democracy. He wrote three famous essays on the subject of moral philosophy and politics. In his first discourse, he raises his doubt about the value of social and scientific progress which he thinks brings about the loss of morality and is associated with vice, alienation, envy, and vanity. 
Rousseau's second discourse deals with the origins of inequality, from which all human vices develop. Rousseau thinks there are two forms of inequality. The first is natural inequality (such as physical differences) and the second is moral inequality (such as differences in wealth and social status). The development of inequality is an evolution from the natural inequality to the moral one. 
Rousseau presents two solutions to the problems of the third stage. The first is personal or therapeutic, which relies on family education and nurturing. Critics, however, point out that family power is limited. The second solution proposed by Rousseau, therefore, is political, which relies on the social contract and focuses on eliminating alienation through collective forces. This political solution is the subject of Rousseau's third discourse, The Social Contracts. 
Rousseau considers inequality to be the major threat to freedom. Due to people's natural tendency to compare and to envy, inequality creates jealousy, vanity, and alienation. The development from natural inequality to moral inequality is a process of moral corruption, through which the freedoms of independence and transparency are lost. 
From, "Of The Social Contract, Or Principles of Political Right"  by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 1762
Book III, Chapters IV-VII Summary (link):
Democracy is the most difficult government to maintain, and few (if any) states meet the conditions required to support it. First, the state must be very small so that it is easy to hold public assemblies. Second, to prevent acrimonious debates and to expedite the public business, the people must have similar moral attitudes and habits. Third, everyone must have similar amounts of wealth, because economic inequality creates power differences that cannot exist in a democracy. Finally, there must be no luxury, because luxury corrupts public morality by making the rich vain and the poor covetous. Out of all governments, democracy is also the most prone to civil wars and internal conflict. Because of this and other reasons, Rousseau believes that democracy is too difficult for ordinary humans to maintain. He asserts that only gods could govern themselves democratically.
 Jean-Jacques Rousseau quotes

From: Wikiquote:
A country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue.
Even if each man could alienate himself, he could not alienate his children: they are born men and free; their liberty belongs to them, and no one but they has the right to dispose of it.
In the strict sense of the term, a true democracy has never existed, and never will exist. It is against natural order that the great number should govern and that the few should be governed.
Good laws lead to the making of better ones; bad ones bring about worse.
From Jean-Jacques Rousseau Quotes:
Force does not constitute right... obedience is due only to legitimate powers.
Free people, remember this maxim: we may acquire liberty, but it is never recovered if it is once lost.
It is unnatural for a majority to rule, for a majority can seldom be organized and united for specific action, and a minority can.
Man is born free, and he is everywhere in chains.
Most nations, as well as people are impossible only in their youth; they become incorrigible as they grow older.
No man has any natural authority over his fellow men.
Our greatest evils flow from ourselves.  
Religious persecutors are not believers, they are rascals.
The body politic, as well as the human body, begins to die as soon as it is born, and carries itself the causes of its destruction.
Virtue is a state of war, and to live in it we have always to combat with ourselves.
You forget that the fruits belong to all and that the land belongs to no one.
Benjamin Franklin Quotes

From Liberty-Tree.ca:
Outside Independence Hall when the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended, Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" 
With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."
From Wikiquote:
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Robert Hutchins quote

From Freedoms Phoenix (also a good read):
The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.
Joe Wilson from the movie Fair Game
The responsibility of a country is not in the hands of a privileged few. We are strong, and we are free from tyranny as long as each one of us remembers his or her duty as a citizen. Whether it's to report a pothole at the top of your street or lies in a State of the Union address, speak out! Ask those questions. Demand that truth. Democracy is not a free ride, man. I'm here to tell you. But, this is where we live. And if we do our job, this is where our children will live. God bless America.
Margaret Atwood

From Orwell and Me:
Democracies have traditionally defined themselves by, among other things - openness and the rule of law. But now it seems that we in the west are tacitly legitimising the methods of the darker human past, upgraded technologically and sanctified to our own uses, of course. For the sake of freedom, freedom must be renounced. To move us towards the improved world - the utopia we're promised - dystopia must first hold sway.
It's a concept worthy of doublethink. It's also, in its ordering of events, strangely Marxist. First the dictatorship of the proletariat, in which lots of heads must roll; then the pie-in-the-sky classless society, which oddly enough never materializes. Instead, we just get pigs with whips.
For a fair debate about SOPA:




Update 1:

Glenn Greenwald, in his latest article Two lessons from the Megaupload seizure, points out  that the government assumes all powers and codifies the law afterwards (as with the NDAA):
Congratulations, citizens, on your cute little “democracy” victory in denying us the power to shut down websites without a trial: we’re now going to shut down one of your most popular websites without a trial.
Greenwald also points out that the bills were halted:
...in the wake of vocal online citizen protests (and, more significantly, coordinated opposition from the powerful Silicon Valley industry).
William Shakespeare gets the last word from Hamlet (1.4.90), Marcellus to Horatio:
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Graffiti Philosophy

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

In 1999, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s family won a wrongful death suit in civil court against Loyd Jowers and "other unknown co-conspirators". The jury concluded that Jowers was guilty and that government agencies were involved in the assassination plot.

From Occupy This: US History exposes the 1%’s crimes then and now:
It is therefore a factual statement that under US Civil Law, the US government assassinated Dr. King. 
This included the Director of the CIA’s admission to Congress that they have over 400 agents working in corporate media to make the US public believe what the CIA wants them to believe.
Let’s summarize: Under US Civil Law, covert US government agencies were found guilty of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was the leading figure of the Civil Rights Movement, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and widely recognized as one of the world’s greatest speakers for what it means to be human. The family’s conclusion as to motive was to prevent Dr. King from ending the Vietnam War because the government wanted to continue its ongoing covert and overt military operations to control foreign governments and their resources.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

National Defense Authorization Act

(Update below)

The National Defense Authorization Act is one of the most insidious bills ever passed by the US government. President Obama signed the bill quietly and regretfully(!) on December 31, 2011. But don't worry, he has promised not to use the provisions that allows for US citizens to be apprehended on US soil, turned over to the military and detained indefinitely without counsel or trial. What a brilliant strategy! "Reelect me because you really don't want these powers in the hands of a Republican president!"

President Obama threatened to veto the bill, not because of this but because there was originally a provision to exclude US citizens from indefinite detention. The Obama administration felt the restrictions were an infringement on their established authorization to do just that. Now, it's just nicely codified into law. (Sources: Obama to sign indefinite detention bill into law and BREAKING: Obama Signs Defense Authorization Bill)

Fortunately for us law abiding citizens, the NDAA only applies to terrorists. Bear in mind that 'terrorist' is not defined and that the government already considers protesters as low-level terrorists. Soon, the working definition of a terrorist will be a dissenter of the government.

Let's not forget the 86 senators who voted for this bill. Only the following (good guys) did not:
Cardin (D-MD), Coburn (R-OK), Crapo (R-ID), DeMint (R-SC), Durbin (D-IL), Franken (D-MN), Harkin (D-IA), Lee (R-UT), Merkley (D-OR), Paul (R-KY), Risch (R-ID), Sanders (I-VT), Wyden (D-OR), Moran (R-KS) (did not vote) (Source: US Senate)
Also, there was an amendment to the bill to take out the unconstitutional clause. Democrats who voted against it were (bad guys):
Casey, Conrad, Hagan, Inouye, Kohl, Landrieu, Levin, Lieberman, Manchin, McCaskill, Menendez, Bad Nelson, Pryor, Reed, Shaheen, Stabenow, Whitehouse.  (See: Villain rotation.)
From Washington's Blog (Psychopaths Caused the Financial Crisis … And They Will Do It Again and Again Unless They Are Removed From Power):
The U.S. has become a kleptocracy, an oligarchy, a banana republic, a socialist or fascist state … which acts without the consent of the governed. There is a malignant symbiotic relationship between the governmental leaders and their cronies, which makes a handful rich at the public trough (in the same way that the Mubarak family raked in between U.S. $40 and $70 billion dollars through bribes and cronyism).
From Occupy Wall Street's NYCGA:
Not only does this act violate our first [freedom of religion, speech, press, peaceable assembly, petition the Government for redress of grievances], third , fourth [security from unreasonable searches and seizures], fifth [not be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law] and sixth [fair and expedient trial] amendments, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but this Act was signed quietly this past New Years Eve violating what little trust remained between the people and their established government. We see what’s happening here, and we will not stand for it.
From The NDAA Repeals More Rights by Ron Paul:
The Bill of Rights has no exemptions for “really bad people” or terrorists or even non-citizens.  It is a key check on government power against any person.  That is not a weakness in our legal system; it is the very strength of our legal system.  The NDAA attempts to justify abridging the Bill of Rights on the theory that rights are suspended in a time of war and the entire Unites States is a battlefield in the War on Terror.  This is a very dangerous development indeed.  Beware.
Now while there is no mention of 'torture' in the law, you can be sure that the US will use 'advanced interrogation' techniques including isolation, removal of clothes or worse, in violation of the eighth amendment to the Constitution. They tried to break Bradley Manning with these techniques.

I might add that NDAA also makes a mockery of the 'Pledge of Allegiance' (emphasis added):
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Even though the NDAA is grossly unconstitutional, don't look for the Supreme Court to strike down the act. The Supreme Court is just another organization bought and paid for by America's elite.

We the People have let this happen through lack of involvement in the democratic process.  Democracy is not a free ride. All is not lost though. We must get involved to take back this country. It is time to petition the government for redress of grievances. Call and write your congressmen, congresswomen and senators. And most importantly, you have to get your feet in the street.

We the People must mobilize:



The NDAA is now law but the battle is not over. From Demand Progress :
Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced legislation to undo these provisions of the NDAA, in the form of the Due Process Guarantee Act.  
We need to urge other Senators to support it.  Will you click here to ask your lawmakers to stand with us?
The Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011 amends the Non-Detention Act of 1971 by providing that a Congressional authorization for the use of military force does not authorize the indefinite detention—without charge or trial—of U.S. citizens who are apprehended domestically.
If there's enough of a public outcry, we have a real chance of making this happen:
More than 40 senators voted against the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA -- and that was before the media and general public caught on to what was happening.
Please urge your Senators to remedy this terrible wrong.  Just click here -- it'll only take a few seconds.
It's been a tough year for civil libertarians -- thanks for keeping up the fight.
-Demand Progress
P.S. If there's enough of a public outcry, we have a real chance of making this happen. Please use these links to ask your friends to join the fight:
[fb]If you're already on Facebookclick here to share with your friends.
[fb]If you're already on Twitter, click here to tweet about the campaign: Tweet
Other fronts of the war on the American people

The 'powers that be' attack on several fronts at one time with the expectation that something gets through. Here's what else they have up their sleeves:

SOPA and Protect IP

The government and the elite behind the government really want the ability to censor the Internet. The Internet is the last bastion of free speech, free thought, real investigative journalism and dissent outside the Republican-Democrat duopoly. Perhaps the government just wants to codify what it is already doing with their corporate partners such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Verizon, AT&T, etc.

FCC works for media conglomerates

From FreePress.net:
Did you hear? While most of us were busy with the holidays, the FCC pulled a fast one and proposed terrible rules that would unleash a new wave of media consolidation across the country.

Free Press' criticism of the FCC's proposal has been reported in media outlets nationwide. Now it's time to hold the FCC accountable to people who want better media — not more consolidation — in their communities.
Bradley Manning pre-trial hearing

The pre-trial has finished. It is a foregone conclusion that there is enough evidence for a trial. If the allegations are true, they will court martial Bradley Manning for blowing the whistle on government crimes. Follow his plight at http://www.bradleymanning.org.











Update I: Boumediene v. Bush (2008)

The Supreme Court ruled that Guantanamo Bay detainees were entitled to habeas corpus. Lakhdar Boumediene's account of his Guantanamo Bay nightmare, in his own words, is here:
My Guantánamo Nightmare
From Glenn Greenwald's article The evil of indefinite detention and those wanting to de-prioritize it:
Post-Boumediene, indefinite detention remains a staple of Obama policy. The Obama DOJ has repeatedly argued that the Boumediene ruling should not apply to Bagram, where — the Obama administration insists — it has the power to imprison people with no due process, not even a habeas hearing; the Obama DOJ has succeeded in having that power enshrined. Obama has proposed a law to vest him with powers of “prolonged detention” to allow Terrorist suspects to be imprisoned with no trials. His plan for closing Guantanamo entailed the mere re-location of its indefinite detention system to U.S. soil, where dozens of detainees, at least, would continue to be imprisoned with no trial. And, of course, the President just signed into law the NDAA which contains — as the ACLU put it — “a sweeping worldwide indefinite detention provision,” meaning — as Human Rights Watch put it — that “President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law.” Those held at Guantanamo will continue to receive at least a habeas hearing, but those held in other American War on Terror prisons will not. Read Boumediene’s Op-Ed to see why this is so odious.
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"So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause." – Senator Padme Amidala, Star Wars Episode III

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy Caucus Day!

The 2012 presidential election officially starts tonight with the Iowa Republican Caucuses. This is the first presidential election after the Supreme Court's infamous Citizens United verdict. The consequences are as follows:
The difference between a “normal” Political Action Committee and a super PAC is in the disclosure laws and uncapped “issue” expenditures, meaning a super PAC can spend whatever it can raise on targeted issues but not donate directly to a campaign. (Colbert Gets His Super Pac with Media Implications)
and:
So, to review: Super-PACs focus only on politics but must disclose their donors. The 501(c) groups must not have politics as their primary purpose but don’t have to disclose who gives them money.
But it gets even more interesting when the two groups combine powers.
Say some like-minded people form both a Super-PAC and a nonprofit 501(c)(4). Corporations and individuals could then donate as much as they want to the nonprofit, which isn’t required to publicly disclose funders. The nonprofit could then donate as much as it wanted to the Super-PAC, which lists the nonprofit’s donation but not the original contributors. (Super-PACs and Dark Money: ProPublica’s Guide to the New World of Campaign Finance)


Stephen Colbert explains it quite nicely through the following three videos. If you would like the abridged version, watch the first two minutes of the last video.