Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.
|Wednesday, 13 December 2006 at 2h 22m 25s|
Did you hear this in the news?
Did you hear this in the news today?
[translated from the French, in Le Monde]
On Sunday , 10th December, the Iraqi President, Jalal Talabani, strongly
rejected the compromise with Iraq mentioned in the report put out by Baker-
Hamilton commission, and considered that "it undermines the sovereignty of
Mr. Talabani judged the text injust. "It contains dangerous articles which
undermine the sovereignty of Iraq. I reject the report in it's entirety," he
affirmed. Mr. Talabani notably denounced the proposal to imply that the fall
of the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein had something to do with the current
political process in Iraq, which according to him, "asserts itself against the
long history of the Iraqi people rising up against the dictator."
Le Monde is the Corporate
France. You have to read it with care because the story quite often gets
craftily edited and blemished with non-quoted attributions to amorphous persons
like "some people" or "according to some" , for example.
|Wednesday, 13 December 2006 at 1h 42m 32s|
Today's word is ...
cogent (adj.) : forcefully convincing. Pertaining to making a sequence
of statements in such a manner that anyone listening would have no choice but
- A cogent point.
- He cogently decimated his philosophy like a watchmaker dismantling a clock.
|Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 19h 28m 58s|
Bush listens to no one
except those voices in his head that he calls God.
After rejecting the Baker Iraq War Commission's suggestions, President Bush
appears to have created his own commission within the military lead by General
Pace, in which ... (hold on tight) ... they actually suggest an increase in
order to attempt a final complete take-over of Baghdad.
"Bush listens to nobody. If he is not listening to James Baker, he is
listening to nobody. This is a lesson for everyone. If you can't learn this
lesson watching this, you are not paying attention. He listens to nobody."
--Sidney Blumenthal, on Sam Seder Show | 8 December
Good God almighty. The son rejects everyone in the status quo foreign policy
establishment. What is next.
|Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 19h 9m 49s|
In case you don't know who is in the bottle.
The guy on the top is Jack Abramoff, the one man who connected all of the
dispersed money rings.
In the next layer, left to right : ex-Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist and
The next ... ex House Majority Leader bag man from Texas Tom Delay & Michael
Brown, Bush's Arabian horse appointee to FEMA.
The next ... ex K-street House Republican consigliori from Pennsylvania Rick
Santorum and Darth Cheney.
Karl Rove is at the bottom.
|Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 4h 40m 19s|
Mayor Nagin of New Orleans
From the USA Today :
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin accused the federal government Wednesday of
abandoning its legal obligation to help his city recover from the devastation
of Hurricane Katrina.
In an interview with USA TODAY's editorial board, Nagin insisted that even the
city's most flood-prone areas should be rebuilt — albeit "smarter and safer."
He said that can't happen unless promised federal aid begins to flow.
"I'm planning and building for a city that's as large, if not larger, than pre-
Katrina levels," he said. "There is (federal) money out in cyberspace, there is
money in the mail … but very little of that money has made it to our local
governments and our citizens."
Under federal law, he added, the government is obliged to help restore vital
infrastructure decimated by the storm, which struck the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29,
2005. Nagin said the federal government has approved more than $900 million to
rebuild New Orleans' infrastructure, but local officials have not been able to
access most of it.
"We're here to say to the federal government: 'Honor the law,' " said Nagin, in
Washington to see lawmakers and federal officials.
. . . .
Nagin said local officials are caught in a bureaucratic Catch-22: They can't
get the money until projects are underway, but they're unable to issue
contracts until they have money in hand to pay for them. So the city hasn't
been able to begin critical repairs to roads, public buildings, power systems
or other damaged infrastructure
|Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 4h 19m 55s|
The majority wants out in 6 months
The recent Zogby Poll has Dubya's approval rating at 30%. The
found that "just 27 percent of Americans approved of Bush's handling
of Iraq, down from his previous low of 31 percent in November."
Furthermore, in the Herald Tribune article ...
Even so, Americans are not necessarily intent on getting all U.S. troops out
right away, the poll indicated. The survey found strong support for a two-year
timetable if that's what it took to get U.S. troops out. Seventy-one percent
said they would favor a two-year timeline from now until sometime in 2008, but
when people are asked instead about a six-month timeline for withdrawal that
number drops to 60 percent.
You see how much that first sentence tries to stretch the truth : Americans
are not necessarily intent on getting all ... out right away. Not
necessarily? 71 minus 60 is only an 11 percent jump from what is already a
signifigant majority. That first sentence is misleading, and also completely
unnecessary, unless the intent is to create cognitive dissonance. Starting
with the second sentence ("The survey found...") would have been more
appropriate. Was an uber-editor involved?
As far as two more years. To do what? Train more security forces, so they can
go fight for the militias when they graduate. The Iraqi's do not want us
there. What are we gonna be able to do in 2 years, unless in 2 years we
actually do reconstruction instead of securing, fortifying, and helping
construct the 14 permanent military bases -- primeveal castles of the modern
world, conquering the savages just like the Romans and the Lords throughout
Europe during the early middle ages.
Watch as the media rats start jumping off the ship, one after despicable
|Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 3h 40m 14s|
Elaborating on the point
Yesterday, I made this statement, without further explanation :
The point being that one course of action is no different morally than any
other course of action.
People don't choose to do things from moral reasons. We do them because they
sense. If some things that make sense are also considered moral acts, then
people who act "morally" have a better understanding of what makes sense. Some
persons are confused and act "immorally." Sometimes, in the immediate moment,
there are things that seem to make a lot of sense, but later after the deed is
done, we have second thoughts about whether what happened makes sense.
Nevertheless attaching life to a scale of
extremes (between good and bad) is a misperception that becomes a blind spot.
since the world and all the people inevitably become categorized (judged)
before they are perceived.
This paradigm through which to view the cosmos is not standardized however,
where someone or something gets placed on the scale is completely dependent
the individual's perception. Hence, we have selective morality.
Some examples :
it's okay to send some hapless
D.W.I. punk to the prison system, but not
your daughter or your friend's son, that's family
it's okay to kill arabs and
contaminate their land, but don't you even
think about touching the unborn fetus, and don't you dare blow up our spy ships
that are half-way around the world but within 1 mile of your coastline
it's okay to go to church on
Sunday, and then act like a jerk all week --
and sometimes even on Sunday too
it's okay to get mad at someone
else when they do something thing that is
disrespecful, but if you do the same thing, the other person most certainly
you want everyone else to
experience what you would never want for
yourself, but oh well, get to the top of the food chain, ya whining baby.
It's okay to bitch about paying
taxes, and then complain about the
schools or the police or government incompetence. Man, it's not like we have
to pay for these things.
All of the above are the penultimate results of attaching life to a scale of
extremes. Afterwards comes the blindness.
We all have our scales of perception, however things are really neither good
nor bad. They just are. Things either make sense, or they don't. They are
either beneficial, or they are foolish. In this way, that which becomes
considered beneficial or foolish is determined from a rational process.
Granted it is true that people can confuse themselves about what is beneficial
and what is foolish -- haven't we all -- but these are still fairly objective
matters that permit the possibility of negotiation. There is, however, no
compromise with those attached to their mental calibration of good and bad.
Compromise is only possible when all persons put aside their scales and try to
look with fresh eyes.
|Friday, 8 December 2006 at 1h 15m 14s|
The big if
If we lived in a moral version of Capitalism ...
If .. the key word.
I recall Voltaire's
Candide, which is a yarn about the idea that thinks we live in the "best of
all possible world's."
Here's the cliff notes. If you base your entire philosophy on the assumption
that letting whatever happens is the best thing to do, then your philosophy
really only excuses everything that happens. (Just like slaveowners professed
that slavery was better for the slave, or that keeping the blacks down was
better for the Southern way of life.) Yet things happen because of power
relations in society, equating these happenings with some benign natural force
merely ignores that power relations exist.
Just because people make business
decisions does not mean those decisions are the best thing for society even if
some can make a buck. They may be in the best interest of the corporations
profits, but this is akin to saying it's okay for little Johnny to beat up Joe
because Sammy paid Johnny $20 to watch. We exist as a society to keep everyone
leave the Earth for future generations. Buisness decisions that destroy the
viability of society are really self-destructive, on top of selfish, and need
to be dismantled for the good of all.
Or as Voltarie said in the mid 1700's :
"I would be glad to know which is worst, to be ravished a hundred times by
Negro pirates, to have one buttock cut off, to run the gauntlet among the
Bulgarians, to be whipped and hanged at an auto-da-fe, to be dissected, to be
chained to an oar in a galley; and, in short, to experience all the miseries
through which every one of us hath passed, or to remain here doing nothing?"
"This," said Candide, "is a grand question."
The point being that one course of action is no different morally than any
other course of action.
Morality and capitalism (ie, money) are mutually exclusive. We can't all sit
around hoping for the moral universe to gradually evolve or suddenly appear.
Look 4,000 years in the past at human history. When has there ever been this
moral universe of benevolent wealth?
The only reason the post-war boom occurred was because millions of hard-working
Americans fought for their Unions and insisted that America live up to its
ideals. The mega-wealthy who control the corporate boardrooms would have gladly
shredded the constitution for power and more millions of dollars.
Quite frankly, the corporations are trying to destroy the government (like the
oil companies who aren't paying their royalies on federal lands, and the
companies who use Bermuda post offices to avoid paying millions of dollars in
taxes) -- along with their willing accomplices in the Bush administration.
Businesses are moving out of the country because the financiers and CEO's can
suck up extra profit for themselves. You think the extra money goes for the
workers raises. Nope.
Oh now they scream something about "needing to be competitive." However, the
federal government is supposed to be that guardian of the economy that creates
a level playing field. If companies have to compete against 25 cents and hour
labor in Vietnam, then the government is supposed to get involved.
Historically this used to occur through Tariffs, but subsidies and government
regulations are equally effective. Government can confiscate the property of
the corporation that leaves, and sell it to someone else at a lower price who
can take it over. Then a tariff can set on the company that decided to leave.
If this is coordinated with Europe and Latin America, we can effectively stop
businesses from wanting to leave.
But alas all this is called "big government extremism", because corporations
have hyjacked the agenda of the political parties (especially the Republican
party, but the Democrats have been infiltrated too) and also the news media
Corporations go abroad because our government is not enforcing the law and is
(stupidly) permitting corporations to do whatever the hell they want. This
isn't about losing money. The companies that leave are not losing
money. This is about increasing the profits so the value of stocks can rise
higher. If the profits remain constant for 5 years, Wall Street will not be
able to fuel a bull market.
They also need the stock to rise because a whole lot of corporations have
leveraged themselves on the back of their stocks and their stock portfolios,
all assuming endless rises of stock value ... remember Dow 36,000. They can't
afford to have 5 years of constant profits. Thus they come to see transferring
their businesses to foreign contractors as an actual choice.
It is for all these reasons that we hear the fraudulent banter called "free
market." Free for whom?
And the idea that cheaper prices negate the loss of good paying jobs has been
completely refuted. Cheaper prices for commodities don't aid the
competitiveness of the upper end job markets that result, nor are all prices
in society becoming cheaper. The 30% loss of average wages is not offset by a
30% decrease in expenses. Maybe 40% off for 10% of what we spend are money ne
( which is 4% ) but what signifigance is 4% when 60% of our expenses increase
30% (which 18%) ? A net increase of 14% after a 30% loss of pay doesn't seem
like a deal to the people who actully experience this phenomenom.
Walmart workers can't even afford to shop at Walmart, and guess what? Walmart
employs 10% of the labor force.
|Tuesday, 5 December 2006 at 2h 55m 2s|
It's what you don't hear that matters the most
You can tell a lot about the way news is
looking at the big stories that do not get pursued beyond the first week ( or
day ) of coverage. Here is a brief list of the most recent :
- The Foley page sex scandal, and the Hastert involvement : hush,
hush, especially about Denny Hastert's odd living arrangement with his two gay
top staff aides -- oh, what were those whispers about Hastert fondling boys
when he was a high school wrestling coach in the latter 1970's
- Why did the CIA first and second in command (Porter Goss and Dusty Foggo)
suddenly resign when it was discovered that Shirlington Limosine Inc. was a
front company that was driving Congressman to hotels where there were poker
games and prostitutes? ... and then Shirlington Limousine gets contracts from
Homeland Security? Holy $*#@% !!!! -- shhhhh, its ah state secret.Click
- The President has authorized the tapping of all phones without
Judicial oversight. Despite the evidence that this will be used
politically, all is hush, hush.
- The FBI and various State officials organized a mass arrest of 11,000
known "criminals" nationwide in mid-October. How many of the 11,000 arrests
mistakes? What was the result of those arrests? Not one word.
- Did you know that they are building detention centers across the United
States? Yep. Various private prison corporations are building more prisons via
Homeland Security contracts. Hmm, why do we need more prisons all of a sudden?
How come this priority is far above so many other -- it would seem -- more
|Wednesday, 29 November 2006 at 2h 2m 54s|
of people can have on the environment. Each of us minimalizes the actions we
make because we do not consider what our action does in concert with millions
of other similar actions.
Take for instance the paper cup that millions of morning coffee drinkers throw
away every day. That cup is really unnecessary, but yet so seemingly
insignifigant to each individual.
Let's do the math. say 10 million people purchase a 12 ounce paper/plastic cup
that gets thrown away every day. This cup is about 2.5 inches in diameter at
the bottom tapered to 3 inches at the top, and is roughly about 6 inches tall.
Assuming the cup can be flatten to a 6 inch radius circle (the height of the
cup, and then include the bottom piece), the area of the paper used to make
each 12 ounce cup is the area of a circle with radius 6, or 36π -- which is
about 112 square inches.
However, the actual area is 88 square inches, using a composite of an annular
ring sector and a circle piece for the bottom of the cup. (When laid flat the
outer section of the cup resembles a fat C.)
So 10,000,000 people times 88 square inches is 880,000,000 square inches or
6,111,111 square feet or 0.2192 square miles PER DAY, which is 2.93 square
inches per person in the United States per day (assuming 300,000,000 million
Newsflash. There are 365 days per year so this translates to 80 square
miles per year. In 20 years (the time between age 14 and age 34) -- which is
minimum life cycle of harvested trees -- this translates to a phenomenal 1600
square miles, which is equivalent to a square piece of land, 40 miles on each
Now all of the fore-mentions assertions assume the per diem paper cup purchase
is 10 million, when in fact it
is probably much more. For example if the per day figure is really 50 million,
times more, then the end numbers after 20 years are 8000 square miles per year,
and a square
piece of land that is 89.4 miles on each side.
And all of this due to our modern cultural inability to bring a fucking cup to
the coffee shop.
* * *
Here's another way of looking at this.
Say at least one person throws a bottle out into the wilderness once a week for
20 years. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, then 52 times 20 is 1040
bottles. Each bottle approximates a cylinder 10
inches tall and a circular diameter of 3 inches. Since the bottle actually
tapers 60% up from the bottom, we'll assume the bottle's volume is 80% of a
cylinder : V = πR^2 * height * 0.8, which equals 3.1459*2.25*10*0.8 =
56.5486 cubic inches.
Now unless the bottle breaks, this volume will be lying on, or very near the
ground in 20 years. 1,040 times 56.5486 is 58,810.61448 cubic inches, or
cubic feet -- which is a cube 7.419 feet on each side.
However, bottles don't stack into cubes. They lay flat on the ground. Let's
assume these 1,040 bottles all lay flay, 3 inches high of the ground. Thus, we
form a rectangular solid, 3 by 3 by 10 for each bottle, 90 cubic inch space.
If we arrange the bottles 32 rows by 32 columns, the array will hold 1024
bottles. Depending on how you arrange the bottles, this is a 96 inch by 320
inch square, or 8 feet by 26.66 feet.
If the bottle toss rate per week increases to 3, then the rectangle becomes 8
by 80. When it becomes one per day (or 7 per week) then the rectangle becomes
8 by 186.66. So in twenty years, at the rate of one bottle per day, a path of
bottles that is 8 feet wide exists for 62 yards of length.
Now imagine a landscape in which 1/100 th of the square acreage is a bottle --
one bottle per 10 ft. by 10 ft. square.
So multiplying the above dimensions by 10 ( since 10 x 10 = 100), we get the
equivalent dimensions of this
perspective. ( Note: 1/10 th of the square acreage would multiply the
dimensions by the square root of 10, or 3.16.)
|the dimensions based upon percent of area
1 per week
27 yds x 86 yds.
8 yds x 27 yds.
3 per week
27 yds x 267 yds.
8 yds x 80 yds.
7 per week
27 yds x 620 yds.
8 yds x 198 yds.
Look at that last row. That's either 6 football fields (1/100 th) if there is
one bottle for every 10 yard by 10 yard area, or two football fields (1/10
th) which is about one bottle for every 10 feet by 10 feet area.
I can't tell you how much it pains me to see the litter in the national parks.
It makes no sense to me, but there it is. Today I stood looking out at a green
lawn beside a children's playground (Lincoln Park, San Francisco) and every 10
square feet had at least 2 items of trash -- in part because a bum raided the
trash can and the infamous San Francisco wind blew the trash he threw on the
ground all over the place.
And that's how Americans treat nature, like drunken desperate bums completely
ignorant of the results of their actions.
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