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Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 05, 2019, 02:37:07 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Originally published in 2013. I am reposting it now because it even more applicable today than in 2013.

Sexual Dimorphism, PowerStructures and Environmental Consequences of Human Behaviors

Why the 1% is responsible for more than 80% of humanity's carbon footprint and why Homo sapiens is doomed unless the 1% lead the way in a sustainable life style.

By A. G. Gelbert

Today humanity faces the fact that the parasitic relationship of Homo sapiens with the biosphere is depleting the resources hitherto relied on to maintain a standard of living somewhere above that of other earthly hominids like the chimps or gorillas that are, unlike us,  engaged in a symbiotic relationship with the biosphere. The chimps engage in rather brutal wars with other chimp tribes where the victors set about to kill and eat very young chimps of the vanquished tribe. This is clearly a strategy to gain some advantage by killing off the offspring of the competition. It cannot be, in and of itself, considered morally wrong or evil behavior.

Dominance behavior and territoriality between same sex and opposite sexes also can be filed under the category of "successful behavior characteristics" for species perpetuation. Behavior that appears on the surface to have no species perpetuation purpose (like male chimps humping less dominant males or sexually mature adolescent seals, locked out of mating by bulls with huge harems, violently thrashing, and often killing, small seal pups that stray into their area) are a function of hormone biochemistry, not good or evil.

Some scientists might say this is just Darwinian behavior to winnow out the less flexible, less intelligent or weaker members of a species. I don't agree. I believe it is a downside of hormones that distracts species from more productive behavior but unfortunately cannot be avoided if you are going to guarantee the survival of a species by programming in strong sex drives.

I repeat, excessive aggression or same sex sexual activity as a dominance display is a downside to the "strong sex drive" successful species perpetuation characteristic. This "downside", when combined with a large brain capable of advanced tool making, can cause the destruction of other species through rampant predation and poisoning of life form resources in the biosphere.

The Darwinian mindset accepts competition among species in the biosphere, where species routinely engage in fighting and killing each other for a piece of the resource pie, as a requirement for the survival of the fittest. Based on this assumption, all species alive today are the pinnacle of evolution.

Really? How does a meteor impact fit into this "survival of the fittest" meme? It doesn't. Why? Because any multicellular organism can easily be wiped out by random, brute force, natural catastrophes like a meteor impact or extensive volcanism. Darwinists are quite willing to accept the random nature of the initial creation of single celled life on earth (even though the latest advances in science show that any cell is an incredibility and irreducibly complex piece of biomachinery that absolutely HAS to have several parts working in unison or none of them work at all)  but refuse to accept that the present multispecies survival is just as random.

It's more like "survival of the luckiest" than "survival of the fittest". From a strictly Darwinian perspective, the extremophiles are the real pinnacle of evolution because of their ability to survive just about anyhting that is thrown at them. There is a type of Archaebacteria that can live in an almost 32% salt concentration called halophiles. Halophiles can be found anywhere with a concentration of salt five times greater than the salt concentration of the ocean, such as the Great Salt Lake in Utah, Owens Lake in California, the Dead Sea, and in evaporation ponds.

Carbon assimilation by Halococcus salifodinae, an archaebacterial

If you want to talk about survival of the fittest, look at this humble organism: Halococcus is able to survive in its high-saline habitat by preventing the dehydration of its cytoplasm. To do this they use a solute which is either found in their cell structure or is drawn from the external environment. Special chlorine pumps allow the organisms to retain chloride to maintain osmotic balance with the salinity of their habitat. The cells are cocci, 0.6-1.5 micrometres long with sulfated polysaccharide walls.

The cells are organtrophic, using amino acids, organic acids, or carbohydrates for energy. In some cases they are also able to photosynthesize.

Halococcus archaea

This primitive life form is organtrophic AND, not or, in some cases, photosynthetic!
Now that's what I call a life form able to handle just about any catastrophe thrown at it.

The more complex a life form becomes, the less flexible, adaptable and the more fragile it becomes. That is why I think the Darwinian approach to species interaction in the biosphere severely understates the fragility of "higher" organisms. Just as a type of fungus can infect the brain of an ant species to climb before it dies and thereby aid in fungal sporulation, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the symbiotic bacteria that constitute a high percentage of the human genes  (we cannot metabolize our food without them so they are an inseparable part of being a human) actually drove our evolution to simply to aid in the spread of the bacteria. No, I don't believe that for a second but it shows that Darwinian "logic" can be used to claim the exact opposite of what the Darwinians claim is the "fittest" species. 

Laugh if you want, but which is a higher organism, the fungus or the ant?

A recent article in "The Scientist" explored the possibility that human evolution (evolution, of course, must include human intelligent development of advanced tool making for war, transportation and food resource exploitation) can be explained as bacteria driven. We may be a mobile expression of symbiotic bacteria trying to spread all over the biosphere by ensuring their human hosts do whatever it takes to blanket the planet for God and bacteria (not necessarily in that order  ;D)!

It is estimated that there are 100 times as many microbial genes as human genes associated with our bodies. Taken together, these microbial communities are known as the human microbiome.

These findings have the potential to change the landscape of medicine. And they also have important philosophical and ethical implications.

A key premise of some microbiome researchers is that the human genome coevolved with the genomes of countless microbial species. If this is the case, it raises deep questions about our understanding of what it really means to be human.

If the microbiome, on a species level, coevolved with the human genome and, on an individual level, is a unique and enduring component of biological identity, then the microbiome may need to be thought of more as “a part of us” than as a part of the environment.

More important in the context of ethical considerations is the possibility that if the adult microbiome is indeed relatively stable, then such early childhood manipulations of the microbiome may be used to engineer permanent changes that will be with the child throughout life. There is thus the potential that an infant’s microbiome may be “programmable” for optimal health and other traits.2

The article assumes WE are the ones that could engage in the "programming". It doesn't mention WHO EXACTLY was doing all that "programming" during our alleged evolution.

There is a greater quantity of microbial genes than what are considered "human" genes but it's really just one package. Genes drive genetics and evolutionary traits, do they not? I made a big joke about it in the article comments:
Perhaps the scientific nomenclature for "us versus them" organism energy transfer relationships need to be expanded upon; terms such as parasitic, commensal, symbiotic, etc. don't address the fact that the 'them' is really a part of "us". Pregnant women don't think of their future children as parasites (which is what they technically are - even the beefed up immune system the future moms get is a function of that short lived organism, the placenta). 

Perhaps we are just some giant "pre-frontal cortex" type of ambulatory appendage which exists for the purpose of spreading bacterial colonies. :(

Oh, the irony of self-awareness and tool making intelligence being an evolutionary device in the service of getting that bacterial colony to vault over the edge of the giant petri dish called Earth.

Can you picture the scientific community awarding Escherichia coli a PhD? Dr. E Coli, you are the best part of us!

We must now bow and scrape to the pinnacle of evolution, the reigning king of Darwinian evolutionary competition, that fine fecal fellow, Dr. Escherichia coli.

Now some folks out there on Wall Street might take offense to being outcompeted by Dr. E. coli. They might even say it's a shitty deal!  ;D  Others will have no problem relegating Wall Streeters and the rest of the 1% to the category of "lower life forms" in comparison to gut bacteria even if the other 99% of Homo sap are included.

A commenter named, Lee Davis was not amused by the implications of research in the direction the article was pointing:

Absolutely. "Manage" the Earth's biodiversity at your own peril. Destroy the rainforests at your own peril. Acidify the ocean with CO2 at your own peril. I read "Science and Survival" by Barry Commoner in 1964. Since then, human "management" of the planet has continued apace, with little regard for long term consequences. The only thing he called attention to that was actually changed was the halt in atmospheric nuclear testing, but we've managed to replace that pollution with the exhaust from nuclear power plant meltdowns. Half-assed demigods we certainly are, not playing with a full deck and with little understanding of how the game is played. Of course, we THINK we know it All now...and if we don't, our computing machines certainly do.

Click here for Part 2

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 03, 2018, 07:14:08 pm »

As a society, we have long turned away from any social concern that overwhelms us. Whether it's war, climate change or the prison industrial complex, Americans have been conditioned to simply look away from profound harms. Years of this practice have now left us with endless wars, dying oceans and millions of people in bondage and oppressively policed. It is time for a thorough, unflinching examination of what our society has wrought, and what we have become. It is time to envision and create alternatives to the hellish conditions our society has brought into being.

A Jailbreak of the Imagination: Seeing Prisons for What They Are and Demanding Transformation

Thursday, May 03, 2018

By Mariame Kaba and Kelly Hayes, Truthout | Op-Ed

Poignant, truthful and hard hitting article:
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 24, 2018, 02:46:04 pm »

Every empire has an apex, it also has a breaking point from which it spirals-down into insignificance. 

Book review: ‘The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire’


From its founding in 625 BC to its fall in AD 476, the Roman Empire conquered and integrated dozens of cultures. Much has been said about what’s perhaps the most influential state in history. Modern countries owe their language, civil codes, laws, and heritage to the Romans. But although every empire has an apex, it also has a breaking point from which it spirals-down into insignificance.

Animated map showing the rise and decline of the Roman Empire. Legend: red (Roman Republic), purple (Imperial Rome), green (Eastern Roman Empire), blue (Western Roman Empire). Credit: Roke, Wikimedia Commons.

Much has been written about the downfall of the Roman Empire. Many have argued that rampant corruption and too much pressure, due to its phenomenal expanse for an Iron Age state eventually destroyed Rome.

In an impressive scholarly work, Kyle Harper, a professor of classics and letters at the University of Oklahoma, offers a new and refreshing perspective on this topic of major importance. In The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire, Harper puts nature at the center of Rome’s undoing.

The author argues that the empire’s very strengths — travel, trade, migration — which raised it to such great height also accelerated its demise. All roads lead to Rome, as the saying goes, but along with merchants and provincials from all corners of the empire, they also brought tuberculosis, leprosy, smallpox, plague, and other diseases. Not just once was the empire crippled by pandemics like The Antonine Plague (165-180 AD) which decimated legions and up to 15 percent of the population.

Supported by modern studies which cleverly infer the ancient climate from proxies like sediment cores or tree rings, Harper also makes a solid case that a drier climate during the empire’s later period also contributed significantly to its downfall. Unlike the anomalously favorable climate during the Roman Climate Optimum — some 350 years of unusually warm and moist climate between around 200 BC and AD 150 which helped the empire rise to power — the following centuries came as a wakeup call.

In the third century AD, Rome was struck by drought in the southern Mediterranean, especially Rome’s breadbasket, Egypt. Political upheaval was inevitable, runaway inflation was rampant as coins were debased, and, yet again, plagues ran amok (perhaps even from Ebola, the author argues). For instance, the Justinian plague of AD 541 halved the Eastern Roman Empire’s population.

Pressured by an unkind environment and climate, Rome grew feeble and vulnerable in the face of invaders like Goths, Persians, and Franks, who seized the opportunity and overrun Rome’s weakened borders.

Of course, Harper’s thesis isn’t that the climate and disease are what brought down Rome. The human 🦍 factor 🦖 played a role that was at the very least as important but this book offers a context for an incredibly complex system. In some instances, nature’s force was just enough to tip the scales either in Rome’s favor or to its disadvantage during its history.

And if all of this sounds strikingly familiar, it’s because we’re also living at crossroads. In only 150 years, the globe has warmed by nearly 1 degree Celsius, an unheard of rate in millions of years. If there’s anything we have to learn from Rome, it’s that we should never underestimate nature. But unlike the Romans who were largely ignorant, at the mercy of the gods if you will, we have science. It’s time to act before the downfall of Rome mirrors that of modern civilization.

It has to be mentioned that Harper spared no expense, presenting his thesis in exhaustive detail. Some uninitiated readers might find this daunting but it is my impression that his extremely compelling writing, which is rather rare for a scholarly work, makes up for it. This is certainly not a book you can go through on a rainy afternoon but neither is it boring, to say the least.

Tomorrow is Yesterday
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 02, 2017, 08:09:40 pm »

Trump’s “Condolences and Sympathies” Won’t Cut It | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

GQ Published on Oct 2, 2017

We must—once and for all—end the lies we tell ourselves about the Second Amendment.


Funny enough, a guitarist for one of the bands that played that night has had a complete change of heart on the 2nd amendment. He now wants gun control very badly because for once, it was him caught in the crossfire. Strange how your perspective can change when a madman has access to dozens of long rifles, boxes of ammunition, and an elevated sniper nest.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 05, 2017, 06:03:20 pm »

Understanding the Dynamics of Complex Societies - Intra-Elite Competition

Intra-elite competition is one of the most important factors explaining massive waves of social and political instability, which periodically afflict complex, state-level societies. This idea was proposed by Jack Goldstone nearly 30 years ago. Goldstone tested it empirically by analyzing the structural precursors of the English Civil War, the French Revolution, and seventeenth century’s crises in Turkey and China. Other researchers (including Sergey Nefedov, Andrey Korotayev, and myself) extended Goldstone’s theory and tested it in such different societies as Ancient Rome, Egypt, and Mesopotamia; medieval England, France, and China; the European revolutions of 1848 and the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917; and the Arab Spring uprisings. Closer to home, recent research indicates that the stability of modern democratic societies is also undermined by excessive competition among the elites (see Ages of Discord for a structural-demographic analysis of American history). Why is intra-elite competition such an important driver of instability?

Elites are a small proportion of the population (on the order of 1 percent) who concentrate social power in their hands (see my previous post and especially its discussion in the comments that reveal the complex dimensions of this concept). In the United States, for example, they include (but are not limited to) elected politicians, top civil service bureaucrats, and the owners and managers of Fortune 500 companies (see Who Rules America?). As individual elites retire, they are replaced from the pool of elite aspirants. There are always more elite aspirants than positions for them to occupy.  Intra-elite competition is the process that sorts aspirants into successful elites and aspirants whose ambition to enter the elite ranks is frustrated. Competition among the elites occurs on multiple levels. Thus, lower-ranked elites (for example, state representatives) may also be aspirants for the next level (e.g., U.S. Congress), and so on, all the way up to POTUS.

Moderate intra-elite competition need not be harmful to an orderly and efficient functioning of the society; in fact, it’s usually beneficial because it results in better-qualified candidates being selected. Additionally, competition can help weed out incompetent or corrupt office-holders. However, it is important to keep in mind that the social effects of elite competition depend critically on the norms and institutions that regulate it and channel it into such societally productive forms.

Excessive elite competition, on the other hand, results in increasing social and political instability. The supply of power positions in a society is relatively, or even absolutely, inelastic. For example, there are only 435 U.S. Representatives, 100 Senators, and one President. A great expansion in the numbers of elite aspirants means that increasingly large numbers of them are frustrated, and some of those, the more ambitious and ruthless ones, turn into counter-elites. In other words, masses of frustrated elite aspirants become breeding grounds for radical groups and revolutionary movements.

Another consequence of excessive competition among elite aspirants is its effect on the social norms regulating politically acceptable conduct. Norms are effective only as long as the majority follows them, and violators are punished. Maintaining such norms is the job for the elites themselves.

Intense intra-elite competition, however, leads to the rise of rival power networks, which increasingly subvert the rules of political engagement to get ahead of the opposition. Instead of competing on their own merits, or the merits of their political platforms, candidates increasingly rely on “dirty tricks” such as character assassination (and, in historical cases, literal assassination). As a result, excessive competition results in the unraveling of prosocial, cooperative norms (this is a general phenomenon that is not limited to political life).

Intra-elite competition, thus, has a nonlinear effect on social function: moderate levels are good, excessive levels are bad. What are the social forces leading to excessive competition?

Because the supply of power positions is relatively inelastic, most of the action is on the demand side. Simply put, it is the excessive expansion of elite aspirant numbers (or “elite overproduction”) that drives up intra-elite competition. Let’s again use the contemporary America as an example to illustrate this idea (although, I emphasize, similar social processes have operated in all complex large-scale human societies since they arose some 5,000 years ago).

There are two main “pumps” producing aspirants for elite positions in America: education and wealth. On the education side, of particular importance are the law degree (for a political career) and the MBA (to climb the corporate ladder). Over the past four decades, according to the American Bar Association, the number of lawyers tripled from 400,000 to 1.2 million. The number of MBAs conferred by business schools over the same period grew six-fold (details in Ages of Discord).

On the wealth side we see a similar expansion of numbers, driven by growing inequality of income and wealth over the last 40 years. The proverbial “1 percent” becomes “2 percent”, then “3 percent”… For example, today there are five times as many households with wealth exceeding $10 million (in 1995 dollars), compared to 1980. Some of these wealth-holders give money to candidates, but others choose to run for political office themselves.

Elite overproduction in the US has already driven up the intensity of intra-elite competition. A reasonable proxy for escalating political competition here is the total cost of election for congressional races, which has grown (in inflation-adjusted dollars) from $2.4 billion in 1998 to $4.3 billion in 2016 (Center for Responsive Politics). Another clear sign is the unraveling of social norms regulating political discourse and process that has become glaringly obvious during the 2016 presidential election.

Analysis of past societies indicates that, if intra-elite competition is allowed to escalate, it will increasingly take more violent forms. A typical outcome of this process is a massive outbreak of political violence, often ending in a state collapse, a revolution, or a civil war (or all of the above).

Intra-Elite Competition DEFINED in a single Graphic

Anyone with eyes can see what the root cause of the destruction brought about by Intra-Elite Competition is.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 15, 2017, 02:51:04 pm »

Agelbert Note: I admire C. S. Lewis and I wrote a term paper in college referencing, among some other books, one of Aldous Huxley's books, but I was unaware that they both died on the same day as JFK. We lost three great minds on that day, not just one.

Michael Gerson on Trump is a MUST READ today

If the system is truly manipulated by political enemies, then only suckers are bound by its norms and requirements. Those who denigrate our system of government are providing an excuse for gaming it. And that is precisely what Trump Jr. was doing — trying to game American democracy

By teacherken 

Friday Jul 14, 2017 · 6:39 AM EDT

The president and his men are incapable of feeling shame about shameful things.


C.S. Lewis posited three elements that make up human beings. There is the intellect, residing in the head. There are the passions, residing in the stomach (and slightly lower). And then there are trained, habituated emotions — the “stable sentiments” of character — which Lewis associated with the chest.

In the realm of political ethics, voters last year did not prioritize character in sufficient numbers, during the party primaries or the general election. Now we are seeing the result. “In a sort of ghastly simplicity,” Lewis said, “we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 17, 2017, 01:41:09 pm »

Trump's Flaccid Poll Numbers Extremely Sad for Him; Unlikely to Get them Up Higher.

By TomP   

Tuesday Jan 17, 2017 · 10:01 AM EST

They will only go down.

The new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that only 40 percent of Americans view Trump favorably, versus 54 percent who view him unfavorably. Those numbers are identical (40-54) on the question of whether Americans approve of how he’s handled the transition so far. Only 44 percent say Trump is qualified to serve as president.

Meanwhile, the new CNN poll finds that only 40 percent approve of how Trump is handling his transition. And 53 percent say Trump’s statements and actions make them less confident in his ability to serve as president.

Americans oppose building a wall on the Mexican border by 60-37.


— Americans oppose cutting taxes on higher income people by 61-36.


— Americans oppose withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accord by 56-31, and they oppose pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal by 46-37.


— Americans oppose banning non-citizen Muslims from entering the U.S. by 63-32.


— As it is, slightly more oppose repealing Obamacare than support it, by 47-46.


— Meanwhile, the CNN poll finds that Americans say by 52-46 that Trump’s proposed policies do not reflect their priorities.

WaPo, The Plum Line: Trump starts off in an incredibly weak position. And this new polling suggests it might get worse.

Now he will get compared to Obama. He will fall far short.

This is a weak president. And he will get weaker. Many Rs in the Senate are just waiting for him to fall further to undermine him. And 48 Dems will stand together.

If he finishes his term, he will make George W. Bush’s 30 percent approval ratings look good.

This vile man will be hated by the majority of Americans.

In the end, he will not get the respect and approval from his father (or substitutes) that he constantly seeks.

This vile man will be hated and disgraced.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 17, 2017, 01:29:14 pm »

O'Keefe Caught Trying to Bribe Protestors to Riot at Inauguration

By Subterra   

Monday Jan 16, 2017 ·  5:18 PM EST

They’ve released a YouTube documentary of the sting.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 17, 2017, 01:19:53 pm »

And we end today’s roundup with this from Richard Cohen:

Whether he knows it or not, the specter of Lyndon Baines Johnson haunts Donald John Trump. There are some jarring similarities — two big, fleshy men given to vulgarities and gauche behavior, boastful, thin-skinned, politically amoral, vengeful, unforgiving and, most important, considered illegitimate presidents. For Johnson, that took some time to sink in; Trump is already there. [...]

By the end of the week, Trump will be the president. I wish him the best; I wish him the worst. The dilemma is how to separate loathing for him from love of country. I am leaving it to time to work that out. Meanwhile, Trump will have his moment, that’s for sure, but when things go wrong he will be chased from office — just like Johnson once was. The ancient Greeks knew why: A man’s character is his fate. In that case, Trump’s presidency is doomed.

Jan 17 · 07:46:37 AM 
As low as the Lunatic’s numbers are now…they will only continue to tank as we find out that he is a traitor and completely corrupted by Russia (as his many in his Regime).

Donald J. “Useful Idiot” Trump would, and probably has, sold this country down the river for

“30 pieces of silver”.   We must stay alert, active and relentless resist this abomination. 

53 recommended

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 26, 2016, 07:18:08 pm »

Why People OBEY Orders that they know will HURT fellow Human Beings
The Psychology of Authority
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 19, 2016, 01:00:11 pm »

Landscape, Maternal Space, And Child Exposure In The Sagas Of Icelanders
September 17, 2016 By

Landscape, Maternal Space, And Child Exposure In The Sagas Of Icelanders

Paper by Robin Waugh

Given at the 3rd International St. Magnus Conference on April 15, 2016

The mother’s “powerful influence during early infancy” has been described as “maternal space” by critics such as Patricia Cramer and Julia Kristeva (Cramer 497; Kristeva, Desire in Language, 247, 281-86). An obvious situation, then, in which to examine the potential construction of maternal space would be the episodes when men try to co-opt such space, for example in the eight or so narratives of child exposure that are extant in the Sagas of Icelanders (Jochens 85-93; Clover 101-10). On the one hand in these narratives men typically wrap the child tightly, place something in the infant’s mouth to replace the mother’s breast, and otherwise attempt to imitate and ritualize maternal space by (among other things) trying to secure the child’s silence while it is exposed. On the other hand these scenes assert women’s highly individual emotions, co-optation of language, and marking out of space.

To offer one example, in Vatnsdæla saga, Nereid’s illegitimate child is exposed with a cloth over its face (Ch. 37). The infant is eventually recovered, but the cloth must be connected to the “kerchief” that a witch named Groa has previously used in her sorcery. Her magic results in the death of an entire household. Not only is the child’s cloth thus connected to a particularly female mode of expression, but it is also connected to the landscape as described in the saga: Groa had been observed walking around her house backwards just before the household’s disaster. In Þorsteins þáttur uxafóts, the many details of clothing and the sense of ritualizing a landscape through setting up a child’s place of exposure as an externalized substitute for maternal space evoke, even more than in the Vatnsdæla saga version, ideas of a female language (Þorsteins þáttur uxafóts, ch 4). The boy’s mother, Oddny, is dumb, and communicates with her family through the inscription of runes (Ch. 3). There follows a pattern of language acquisition in the þáttr that echoes the treatment of landscape by the major characters, and a similar pattern occurs in the story of Selkolla from the Byskupa sögur, which connects child-abandonment with lust, demonology, and fylgjur (pp. 494-95).
A survey of these episodes, then, suggests that maternal space in the sagas reasserts itself generally—and particularly reasserts itself onto the northern landscape—during instances of child exposure, where this mode of attempted infanticide takes on a variant meaning in Northern societies than it would from more Southern ones. Particular treatment of landscape is paired with unusual depictions of heightened expression by female characters in these works—both traditional artisanal modes of expression for women, such as textile usage, and also examples of highly individual language production. This “new language” typically maps the Northern landscape in a sex-specific fashion that is unique to the sagas of Icelanders.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 09, 2016, 04:13:47 pm »

There IS a Tipping Point for Revolution in America: Dr. Richard Wolff
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 09, 2016, 01:57:14 pm »


Brazil: Outrage as Indians' homes bulldozed, community evicted

Guarani leader Damiana Cavanha after the eviction from Apy Ka'y  © Aty Guasu

A video showing a tribal community’s homes being bulldozed, condemning families to live by the side of a major highway, has caused outrage in Brazil.

Almost 100 heavily-armed police officers evicted the Apy Ka’y Guarani community, whose ancestral lands have been destroyed for industrial-scale farming.

Watch: Brutal eviction from Apy Ka’y

The Indians had been forced to live by the side of a highway for ten years, during which eight people were run over and killed, and another died from pesticide poisoning.

In 2013 the community re-occupied a small patch of their ancestral land. They have now been evicted from it again, after a judge granted the landowner’s request for an eviction order, despite having received appeals from the Guarani, from their allies in Brazil, and from thousands of Survival supporters around the world.

The Guarani of Apy Ka’y are now back on the side of the highway.

Another video (at article link) shows armed police overseeing the eviction of the nine Guarani Kaiowá families. Tribal leader Damiana Cavanha is shown denouncing the eviction, insisting on her people’s right to defend their lives, protect their lands and determine their own futures.

Watch: Damiana denounces eviction (at article link)

Around 100 federal and military police evicted the Apy Ka’y Guarani community, whose ancestral lands have been destroyed for industrial-scale farming.  © Aty Guasu

She said: “We do not accept this. I will stay here, this is my right. We have our rights. It’s not only the white people that have rights, the Guarani Kaiowá and the indigenous peoples also have rights. So many of us have died, so many people have been killed by the gunmen… Let us stay here, we have our Tekoha [ancestral land] and I will return to my Tekoha.”

In June 2016, ranchers’ gunmen attacked another Guarani community at Tey’i Jusu. One man was killed and several others, including a twelve year old boy, severely injured.  >:(

Most of the Guarani’s land has been stolen from them. Brazil’s agri-business industry has been trying to keep tribal people away from their territories for decades. They subject them to genocidal violence and racism so they can steal their lands, resources and labor in the name of “progress” and “civilization.”

The situation facing the Guarani is one of the most urgent and horrific humanitarian crises of our time. In April 2016, Survival International launched its “Stop Brazil’s Genocide” campaign to draw the crisis to global attention in the run-up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said: “This is terrible news, and it is tragically all too typical of the appalling situation facing the Guarani in Brazil. We cannot sit idly by and watch the destruction of an entire people. If the Guarani’s legal right to live on their land is not respected and upheld, they will be destroyed."
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 22, 2016, 08:19:10 pm »

Women’s Work and Family in the Viking Age

A look at women’s work and family life in the Viking Age. 

A Viking Woman

Agelbert NOTE: And by the way, the men folk NEVER wore those helms with a horn on either side. That was a 19th century invention of opera theater.

Richard Wagner is often credited with popularizing the idea of horned helmets, although he never wrote an opera about Vikings. His operatic cycle  Der Ring des Nibelungen, the four parts of which were first produced between 1869 and 1876, depicted Germanic gods and heroes in the mythical past, not during the historical Viking era. Most opera fans neither knew nor cared that the Viking Age didn't start until A.D. 793, though, and some apparently assumed all barbarian warriors in northern Europe wore pointy headgear. Wagner had also used a horned helmet in the original production of  Tristan und Isolde  in 1865. This is even further from Vikings, because the story is a Celtic, not a Germanic, legend.

In Wagner's operas, horned helmets are now most closely associated with the Valkyries, but as originally staged the Valkyries wore helmets with wings. (The Valkyries didn't get h o r n y until Wagner died.) The only major figure in the whole cycle who wore a horned helmet in the early productions was Hunding. Those who have somehow managed to stay awake through the entire four-hour production of  Die Walküre may remember Hunding as the boor who objected to his wife sleeping with her brother. Wagner and his costume and set designer Carl Emil Doepler probably borrowed the idea not from the few scattered images of Vikings wearing horned helmets, but from the costumes in stage plays about ancient pre-Viking Germans.

Below, please find, What Vikings REALLY wore when they were doing their pillaging and raping for "Thor", loot and warm women. 8)
Viking Helmets
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 22, 2016, 07:54:36 pm »

Who wrote this medieval literary classic? 

Can you match these nine famous medieval authors to their works? ???
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 22, 2016, 07:50:45 pm »

Why Medieval Torture Devices are Not Medieval 

When many people think about the Middle Ages they see it as a time when people were tortured by a wide collection of diabolical instruments. Whether it is the Pear of Anguish or the Iron Maiden, these torture devices are portrayed as medieval. The reality, however, is that many of these devices never existed in the Middle Ages. 

The "Pearl of Anguish" was more likely a dental instrument than a "torture in the orifice" device.

The Iron Maiden of Nuremberg pictured above (destroyed in WWII) was KNOWN TO BE A FAKE.

The RACK (photo by Dark Dwarf flicker at the Tower of London) used on difficult subjects during the Middle Ages, was invented and utilized LONG before.

Excellent and informative myth debunking article with appropriately descriptive graphics.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 17, 2016, 08:25:03 pm »

Of Lying And Language — Last Thoughts On Umberto Eco   


Eco talks about many other beautiful and very interesting things in the interview. His narrative is void of intellectual posturing – rather, it’s full of human humor, joy and curiosity. But the last part of the interview is especially interesting. Eco told the interviewer about his secret project that proved to be impossible:

Until the age of fifty and throughout all my youth, I dreamed of writing a book on the theory of comedy. Why? Because every book on the subject has been unsuccessful, at least all the ones I’ve been able to read.

Every theoretician of comedy, from Freud to Bergson, explains some aspect of the phenomenon, but not all. This phenomenon is so complex that no theory is, or has been thus far, able to explain it completely. So I thought to myself that I would want to write the real theory of comedy.

But then the task proved desperately difficult. If I knew exactly why it was so difficult, I would have the answer and I would be able to write the book.

Compared to beauty and ugliness, comedy is terrifying. I’m not talking about laughter, mind you. No, there is an uncanny sentimentality of the comic, which is so complex that—I cannot quite explain it. And this, alas, is why I didn’t write the book.

“Is comedy a specifically human invention, as you said lying is?” the interviewer asked.

“Yes, since it seems that animals are bereft of humor. We know that they have a sense of play, they feel sorry, they weep, they suffer. We have proof that they are happy, when they are playing with us, but not that they have comic feelings. It is a typical human experience, which consists of—no, I can’t exactly say.…

“I have a suspicion that it is linked with the fact that we are the only animals who know we must die," he said.

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Read the full article: Of Lying And Language — Last Thoughts On Umberto Eco
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 07, 2016, 01:52:47 am »

Dr. Steven Greer - Nov. 21, 2015 - How the Secret Government Works: The Most Explosive Expose - HD 


Published on Nov 23, 2015

Dr. Greer has been involved in the highest levels of governments and military for over 25 years and will share what he has learned on the who, what, where and why of UFO secrecy and the deep transnational security state and the constellation of illegal projects that are currently operating.

Join the founder of the global Disclosure movement, Dr. Steven Greer, in Washington D.C. for a unique opportunity to listen to the most comprehensive and explosive expose of UFO secrecy ever presented!

 - Nov. 21, 2015

This 4 hour workshop will include:

- How is secrecy maintained through the hybrid of corporate and government programs?

- Which military bases and facilities and which corporations are involved in this secrecy?

- How is black-budget and criminal activity funding these operations?

- The Connection between the global financial system, UFO technology, drug running and covert military airspace and bases.

- Where are the key Underground Bases (UGBs) and how are they connected via subterranean tunnels?

- Who has been involved in managing this secrecy and how is the entity (MAJIC) controlled and operated?

- How do Unacknowledged Special Access Projects (USAPs) operate and how are they kept secret from the people, the President and Congress?

- The History of UFO secrecy since WWII and how it has devolved into its own illegal transnational cartel.

- See explosive documents on secrecy, how human military-controlled "Abductions" are "stage-crafted" - and what is the agenda for this Deception.

- What is the future agenda for the cartel managing UFO secrecy - and how you need to prepare for this future!

- The Planned Cosmic 911 Deception - What you NEED to know!

... and MUCH MORE. 

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 23, 2015, 03:53:29 pm »


Address of Oscar Neebe from The Chicago Martyrs 1886 - The Famous Speeches of the Eight Anarchists (in  LibriVox 8th Anniversary Collection )
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 15, 2015, 06:20:26 pm »

How Was Africa Divided before Colonization?

Africa was made up of 10,000 different states and groups before colonial rule. 

Colonization of Africa remains the most significant factor in how the fate of this large continent has turned out. But was Africa divided before colonization and if so, how? What did the pre-colonial map of Africa look like?

One of the largest continents and the second most populated continent in the world, Africa indeed had divisions and states before Europeans partitioned Africa. Before colonial rule, Africa was made of up to 10,000 different states and groups.

The present map of the African continent is a direct result of European colonization of Africa which began about 1870. The map of pre-colonial Africa looked different. The pre-colonial native African states were mostly determined by tribal identities.

Some of the major African states at the time were:
Marutse-Manbunda Land,
Great Namaqua,
Zulu Land,
Somauli Land,

The colonization of Africa by France, Portugal, Britain, Belgium, Spain and Italy changed the borders of native African states and has resulted in the present divisions and boundaries in Africa.

As of 2015, there are more than 50 countries in Africa and more than 800 different languages. After Asia, it is the most populous continent in the world with a population of 1.1 billion.

More about Africa:

•By 2050, it is expected the population of Africa will be 2.3 billion.

•Liberia was the first African country to gain independence, in 1847. Eritrea was the last African country to gain independence, in 1993.

•Africa is the poorest continent in the world, despite having the world's largest reserves of precious metals.

Agelbert NOTE: Perhaps that last sentence should read like this:

 •Africa is the poorest continent in the world, despite having BECAUSE OF EUROPEAN (i.e. racist - see Darwin and the "lesser" humans) KNOWLEDGE that Africa has the world's largest reserves of precious metals - FOLLOWED BY UNRELENTING EXPLOITATION AND GENOCIDE.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 10, 2015, 09:49:51 pm »

VIDEO: Chris Hedges: In Extreme Times, ‘Liberals Are a Dead Force’ (Part 1 of 3)
"What happened against the British in in 1776 was the replacement of the Colonial power with a local aristocracy, NOT a revolution." - Chris Hedges
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 15, 2015, 06:00:28 pm »

Yep.  :(

There may be a method in profit over people and planet madness, but it's still madness.

I watched a free video at the Economist the other day. Colorado is making money hand over fist with the relaxed laws. Portugal has been wildly successful at decriminalizing all drugs. The bean counters that benefit from decriminalization are putting the heat on the ****s that don't. Good.  ;D

Global Compass: “Drugs: War or Store?” (Video)

Seems to me the mitigating argument on the other side is the private prison system in which states, having contracted with private corporations for incarceration of their incorrigibles, have a vested interest in seeing those prisons filled. As do the private companies, who profit nicely from prison slave labor (yes, quite legal) sold to defense contractors and billed at many multiples. When you create a market for prisoners, you get, uh..,. distortions. But profits. Watch the TWID space next week.

And then there is the asset forfeiture piece, the province of police departmental funding and private riches for many of our Boys in Blue. Part of securing operating funding, along with fee-mining the poor, a la Ferguson and hundreds of other ****house burgs in this country.

If we decriminalize victimless crimes, what will the cops do? Go back to walking a beat?

As the video at the Economist shows, the economics math, even for governments, favors decriminalization. The prison slave labor benefits ONLY the elite in corporations that contract with local governments, not the people that must pay taxes to support prison buildings and prison guard jobs AND PAY all the social costs of the drug war (corrupted judiciary, brutalized police, degraded democracy, MORE addicts, MORE health care costs, MORE theft and MORE violent crime, etc. ). Asset forfeiture also does NOTHING to benefit we-the-people or reduce our tax burden.

With decriminalization, the judiciary has no incentive to profit from their power to imprison as in the graphic you posted. The cops then will return to doing what they have mostly stopped doing since Reagan, addressing crimes that do have victims, including those committed by the cops.

According to the Economist, there is no mitigating argument justifying a continued war on drugs. The overall economic facts are on the side of decriminalization. 

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 15, 2015, 05:32:23 pm »

Sanders wins South Carolina labor backing   

Press Release Jun. 14 2015, 10:53 pm 

News Release — Bernie 2016
 June 13, 2015

 Michael Briggs
 (802) 233-8653

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa – Speaking at a union hall here, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Saturday welcomed news that the South Carolina AFL-CIO executive board passed a resolution supporting his candidacy for the Democratic Party presidential nomination and recommending his endorsement by the state and national labor organization.

“We call on the AFL-CIO, union members and working people everywhere to unite behind Bernie Sanders and elect the president Americas’ workers desperately need,” the resolution said. The resolution “strongly urges” the national AFL-CIO to endorse Sanders.

To read the entire resolution, click here (at link).

Erin McKee, president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO, said the executive board member who recommended Sanders said “nobody in a very long time has stood up for working people and labor like Bernie sanders has.”

South Carolina is among the first four states in the nation to hold primaries or caucuses to begin the process of selecting the Democratic Party presidential nominee. The action by the South Carolina executive board made it the second state, after Vermont, to back Sanders.

Sanders learned the news while campaigning in Iowa, home of the first-in-the nation caucuses.

“We are very pleased to have received the support of the executive board and their recommendation that the South Carolina and national AFL-CIO follow their lead,” Sanders said as he prepared to address an audience at United Auto Workers hall.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 12, 2015, 02:07:18 pm »

Flipping the Script: Rethinking Working-Class Resistance

Posted on Jun 11, 2015

By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout


Neoliberalism has created a ruling-class society of monsters for whom pain and suffering are now viewed as entertainment.

Barbarism is not simply a political concept; it is a practice forged in war and violence. Incapable of self-reflection, it smothers ethical considerations in the language of tactics so that the killing of children at home and abroad through the mechanisms of state terrorism is justified under the pretext of a military necessity - a notion of fear forged in the bowels of the rising surveillance and punishing state.

... what we are witnessing in the United States is the legacy of slavery and the criminalization of people of color reasserting itself in a society in which justice has been willingly and aggressively replaced by racial injustice. And it is precisely this militarization that should inform any analysis about the growing dangers of totalitarianism in the United States.

came alive as a youth when I realized that what the ruling class called my deficits were actually my strengths: a sense of solidarity, compassion, a merging of the mind and the body, a willingness to learn and take risks, embracing passion, connecting knowledge to power, being attentive to the injuries of others and embracing a sense of social justice.

... the alleged strengths of ruling-class types, such as their, cold, hypermasculine modes of embodiment, along with their ruthless sense of competitiveness, their suffocating narcissism, their view of unbridled self-interest as the highest virtue, their ponderous and empty elaborated code, and their often savage and insensitive modes of interaction, were actually poisonous deficits.

... a neoliberal ethic in which self-interest becomes the organizing principle of one’s life and a survival-of-the fittest ethic breeds a culture that at best promotes an indifference to the plight of others and at worse a disdain for the less fortunate and a widespread culture of cruelty.

Agelbert NOTE:
Henry A. Giroux identified Empathy Deficit Disorder long before I did. He clearly does NOT suffer from it. He clearly recognizes how deleterious to our society the celebration of Empathy Deficit is.

Notice that he is NOT a Christian. Notice that he disdains Creationism. I don't blame him. With so many Empathy Deficit Assholes calling themselves "Christians" and wailing and moaning about abortions while celebrating war,  and cruelty, he is justified to disdain those hypocrites and their selective empathy. He GETS IT about what is REALLY important; I.E. our WALK, not our TALK.

Even though Henry does not share my Christian Faith, I say God Bless Henry A. Giroux. People like him are the only hope humanity has.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 07, 2015, 09:19:18 pm »
Chris Hedges paraphrased:
From the START, our country was NOT set up as a popular democracy.

Agelbert Comment: Most people in the USA do not understand what is meant by the type of economic model that is defined by asset stripping.

This was the economic model used in the Southern US before the Civil War. It's an extractive process that commodifies everything and everybody except the owners of the corporate/company/elite extractive force. Anybody that can add and subtract can see that this process is unsustainable.

But two hundred years ago, the bounty of slaves, animals and soil products looked endless.

When industrialization really got going in the USA after the Civil War, there was a battle that raged for several decades between a sustainable, seed corn saving type economic model that had the upper hand in the Northern Sates and the conscience free extractive one.

Taylor's Theory of Management even postulated that a CEO MUST take good care of his employees and look after their health and well being in order to ensure that a quality product was produced. The so-called "Good Will" accounting entry in balance sheets that gives added value to a corporation included LOW employee turn over. 

But the unsustainable, brutally extractive  "model" that increased short term profits gained the upper hand as the power of the vote in this country got more and more watered down and the power of big money in government increased.

This Fascist, Empire loving, greed based and unsustainable economic "model" predatory world view is now widespread. It is the reason things just get worse.

The book discussed in the video goes a long way towards explaining how STUPID this greed ball thinking is and how much horrific damage and death it brings.

Unsustainable is as unsustainable does, PERIOD   

Pictorial metaphor of the extractive economic "model"

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 22, 2014, 08:11:10 pm »

Does ANYBODY out there believe that the majority (99% or more  ;D) of Americans have EVER taken to heart, or given ANYTHING more than LIP SERVICE to the passage in the Bible that states: Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19?

I didn't think so.

A word of advice to TPTB about a "quality" that only methodical, intelligent people seem to have  ;). Consider the life history of a certain fictional character in "A Tale of Two Cities"...

Experience doesn't just teach; it stimulates planning for future score settling. If the experience is good, those who benefited from it reciprocate in kind, when the occasion arises, to those responsible for providing that socially beneficial experience. If the experience is of cruelty and brutality, Madame Defarge types are created. They too reciprocate in kind. Se La Vie A.G. Gelbert

"Defarge represents one aspect of the Fates. She knits, and her knitting secretly encodes the names of those people she will have killed. The Fates used yarn to measure out the life of a man, and cut it to end it. "

"Madame Defarge is one piece of work. If anyone has a right to be upset about the abuses that the aristocracy heaps upon the commoners, she’s the person. After all, her sister was ****d by the Marquis St. Evrémonde. Her father died of grief. Her brother was killed trying to avenge his sister's honor. All in all, she didn’t have the happiest of childhoods. It’s completely understandable that she’d want to play a big part in the revolutionary attempts to overthrow the power of the aristocracy."

HOW MANY Madame Defarge's are being created 24/7 by our Police State BRUTALITY? Only their hairdresser (and knitting club) knows.   8)
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 19, 2014, 01:12:06 am »
About 737 Fascist Oligarchs with their profit over people and planet fingers EVERYWHERE! 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 01, 2014, 11:05:17 pm »

UN report documents torture, police violence in US

The United Nations Committee Against Torture issued a lengthy report today assessing the performance of the 156 countries whose governments have ratified the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which took effect two decades ago.

The report subjected a major country to a wide-ranging critique, indicting it for a long list of human rights violations including:
◾ Refusal to prosecute officials who engage in or sanction torture of prisoners
◾ Detaining prisoners indefinitely without trial or other judicial proceeding, or any hope of release
◾ Kidnapping individuals overseas and torturing them in secret prisons
◾ Approving a manual for interrogation of prisoners that includes methods classified as torture under the Geneva Conventions
◾ Imprisoning immigrants under degrading conditions and refusing to acknowledge their claims as refugees fleeing persecution
Imposing the death penalty on hundreds of prisoners, many of them from oppressed racial and ethnic minorities, many of them demonstrably innocent or unfairly tried
◾ Widespread use of solitary confinement, considered a form of torture, at all levels of the prison system
Severe abuse of juveniles, pregnant women and other vulnerable groups both in police custody and in prisons
Maintaining a regime of police violence, particularly against young men from racial and ethnic minorities,
and refusing to restrain or punish police who kill, wound or torture

It will not come as any surprise to readers of the WSWS that the country named is not China, or Russia, or Iran, or some other target of the American ruling class, but the US itself. The government that claims the right to bully, blockade, and attack any country in the world in the name of “human rights” and “democracy” is guilty of the most heinous crimes.

The language of the report is both cautious and bureaucratic, and there are strained efforts to congratulate the Obama administration on alleged improvements, compared to the Bush administration, on such practices as extraordinary rendition and waterboarding. But the overall impact of this indictment is damning.

There are some significant revelations. The committee notes that the US government had filed reservations to the Convention on Torture at the time of ratification, indicating that some practices condemned by the treaty would continue, and that the Obama administration has refused to alter this “restrictive interpretation” of the anti-torture treaty or introduce a prohibition of torture into federal law.

The Obama administration has revoked Bush administration legal opinions declaring that waterboarding and other forms of torture were permissible, but it has not done the same to Bush-era claims that the US is obliged to observe international norms only at facilities within US borders, not at detention facilities on the soil of other countries. In other words, the legal basis for torture at secret CIA and military prisons still remains fully in effect.

The report also notes that the US government is in violation of its commitment under the Convention on Torture to “Ensure that alleged perpetrators and accomplices are duly prosecuted, including persons in positions of command and those who provided legal cover to torture, and, if found guilty, handed down penalties commensurate with the grave nature of their acts.” Obama directly repudiated this legal obligation, in his directive to “look forward, not backward” on allegations of torture.

While this remains a closed book to the American political establishment, the report underscores the seamless connection between military violence overseas and militarized police violence at home—though its criticisms are couched largely in racial terms. It condemns “racial profiling by police and immigration offices and growing militarisation of policing activities.” A spokesman said the committee members “voiced deep concern at the frequent and recurring police shootings in fatal pursuit of unarmed black individuals.”

The document is the product of a three-week session in Geneva that included testimony from the parents of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old African-American who was shot to death by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson on August 9. The report was made public four days after a St. Louis County grand jury whitewashed the killing and dismissed all charges against the killer cop.

The timing of the report is also significant, coming at the culmination of the protracted effort by the White House and CIA to suppress a major US Senate report on torture at CIA secret prisons between 2002 and 2006. The 6,000-page report was completed two years ago, but release of even a censored version of its 500-page executive summary has been blocked by CIA demands that so much of the document be redacted that it is almost incomprehensible.

Two days before the report was made public, seven UN human rights experts issued an open letter to Obama that, while couched in friendly, even obsequious language, called for “the fullest possible release” of the CIA torture report and warned that Obama’s decision on the document would have “far-reaching consequences for victims of human rights violations everywhere and for the credibility of the United States.”

The White House, however, has worked closely with the CIA in suppressing the document. Or more exactly, the CIA made its demands, and the White House has followed suit obediently. After initially agreeing with Senate investigators to use pseudonyms to mask the names of CIA operatives, including the torturers, the agency is now demanding that even the pseudonyms should be blacked out of the document. Foreign Policymagazine reported last week that the White House was “fiercely resisting the release of an executive summary of a 6,300-page Senate report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program.” One Senate aide told the magazine, “Ideally, we should be closing ground and finalizing the last stages right now so that we can release the report post-Thanksgiving. But, despite the fact that the committee has drastically reduced the number of pseudonyms in the report, the White House is still resisting and dragging this out.”

An additional factor is the impending takeover of the Senate by the Republican Party in January. Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, who would become chairman of the Intelligence Committee once the Republicans take control, is on record as opposing any public release of any information on CIA activities, regardless of their criminal nature. If the wrangling over release of the report is prolonged another month, the new Republican majority may well vote to withdraw the report entirely, saving the Democrats from having to do the job themselves.

The Senate report is hardly a real indictment of the CIA. Lawyers for the Guantanamo Bay prisoners who were waterboarded dozens of times say that Senate investigators never took testimony from them. In other words, the only account of the torture comes those who participated in the torture, or sanctioned it, not from those who were its victims. It also reportedly does not level any accusations against the top executive, military and intelligence officials who drew up and sanctioned the criminal policy.

That even such a document, with thousands of lines blacked out and vital information withheld, cannot be made public, speaks volumes about the decay and collapse of American democracy. The US ruling elite is incapable of coming clean about the period when, as Obama admitted, “We tortured some folks.” That is because the entire state apparatus is preparing for the use of similar methods against a much-feared upheaval among workers and young people at home.  >:(

Patrick Martin,


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 01, 2014, 09:45:29 pm »

Who Will Police The Police?  ???

Dec. 1, 2014 1:13 pm
By Thom Hartmann

As the nation continues to react to the events in Ferguson, Missouri, many people are asking themselves, “Where do we go from here?”

In a piece published over the weekend in The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof says that, in the wake of Ferguson and the increase in racial tensions, America needs a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Kristof writes that, “We feud about the fires in Ferguson, Mo., and we can agree only that racial divisions remain raw. So let’s borrow a page from South Africa and impanel a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine race in America.”

While Kristof may have a point, there’s another - and, I believe, more urgent and pressing question that we should all be asking in the wake of Ferguson: Who will police the police? The Constitution and our Founders provide us with some insight on that very question.

When our Founders sat down to write the Constitution, they had a big debate over whether America should have a standing army. They had that debate because armies had a nasty habit of overthrowing elected governments, all the way back to the time of the Greeks. Our founders didn’t want a military under the control of a military official, because they knew how badly that could turn out.

As James Madison told the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention in 1787, “A standing military force… will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defense against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite [start] a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended [whenever the population was calling for political change]. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.”

So, our founders wrote in the Constitution that the chief executive of the military and armed forces had to be an elected civilian, the president, who would be replaced every so often. (They also time-limited military appropriations to a maximum of 2 years to force Congress every session to re-evaluate the military.)

That same principle - that the head of the police should be an elected civilian, not a cop or a prosecutor - is needed for oversight of police in America. All across America, we need police oversight boards that are independent of police departments, complete with subpoena and indictment powers, and that can impartially rule on police actions and matters. But the changes can’t stop there.

We need to also bring back good old-fashioned community policing. Back in 1994, the Clinton administration created something called the COPS program. COPS, or the Community Oriented Policing Services program, provided resources for local police forces around the country, and put 100,000 police officers on America’s streets - literally walking patrol. The idea was to get officers out into the community where they could form relationships with everyday people and "serve and protect" rather than occupy and control communities as if they were simply armed soldiers.

Madison, Wisconsin Police Officer Katie Adler is a great example of the kind of police officer the COPS program was meant to create. She is a neighborhood officer in the crime-ridden North Side area of Madison. Unlike regular patrol cops in Madison, neighborhood officers like Officer Katie work in at-risk communities to make a difference and build relationships with citizens - and it even prevents future crime.

Officer Katie is beloved in the communities that she patrols, so much so that kids follow her wherever she goes. And, she’s even inspiring children in the communities she patrols to become police officers when they grow up.

Unfortunately, police officers like Officer Katie are few and far between. That’s largely because ever since the Bush administration stepped foot in Washington, funding for the COPS program has been slashed year after year. And, over the past few years, things have gotten even worse.

In 2010, $792 million was allotted in the form of federal grants under the COPS program for local police forces across the country; by 2012, that number shrank to just $199 million. If the events in Ferguson have taught us anything, it’s that community policing efforts in America need to be expanded, not slashed.

Programs like COPS help law enforcement agencies to do more than just catch criminals. More importantly, they encourage street officers to work with communities to create a culture of trust that breaks down the barrier between cops and civilians. And, by establishing police oversight boards, we can make sure that police officers and police departments are held accountable for their actions by independent and impartial bodies.

It’s time to bring community policing back to America, and add an impartial system for accountability when a cop goes rogue.

Agelbert Comment:

The problem is one of perspective. If you go back to the days the Constitution was written and learn how they policed in those days, there was simply no comparison to modern police. That is, what we HAVE NOW is, for all practical purposes, a STANDING ARMY in every town called a "police force"!

If you disagree, read this free online book or listen to it free online. It was written about 100 years ago and thoroughly covers the habits, housing, clothing, crafts, farming, governing and infrastructure from colonial days on.

During those days they had "watchmen" that would do just that during the night. During they day they could have any profession. They watched, property, animals (to make sure loose hogs didn't get into grain fields and such) and warned of fires or thievery. You even get a detailed description of items stolen from Benjamin Franklin's residence in a robbery.

The book is called:

Home Life in Colonial Days by Alice Morse Earle

Down load free here:

Listen free here:

The SO CALLED "latitude" given by the corrupt dysfunctional Court system we have in this country to the police officers in their ROUTINE violation of the Constitutional rights of we-the-people is a Stare Decisis (case law) contrivance that ignores the Constitution.

Indiana actually has a "stand your ground" law that entitles a citizen to use force in defense of illegal assault with a deadly weapon by a police officer. Pennsylvania, on the other and more brutally normal "hand", REQUIRES that you NOT defend yourself from a legal or ILLEGAL assault by a police officer because the court will "take care of your grievance later" when you have your "Day in Court". LOL!

But the issue is not the law per se. The POINT is that the police now are acting like an army of occupation and courts have gone fully, and fascistly, out of their way to ignore their brutality. EXACTLY what the founding fathers were afraid of HAS COME TO PASS.  >:(

All this BALONEY about how a police officer has to "defend" himself in the course of his duties is not now, or EVER was, justified as an excuse for routine assault and battery when verbally challenged or not instantly obeyed.

SINCE WHEN are citizens NOT allowed to ARGUE with a police officer? I'll tell you "since when"! Since the courts made us believe the FAIRY TALE that our "Day in Court" would settle the grievance.

You know the "DAY IN COURT" is for those with PRIVILEGE in this country and probably ALWAYS WAS! Over 90% of the people in jail RIGHT NOW in the USA never had a "day in Court"!  They were pressured and threatened and intimidated to accept a PLEA "Bargain" (such a deal!).  :P

We DO NOT have a functional Court System. It is THERE for the corporations and the rich (SEE definition of Corporations PLUS Government COERCIVE power = FASCISM).

Right now Darrell Wilson is busy getting his named changed or obtaining a nice security officer job in a "proud bigots 'R' us" corporation someplace. THAT is the UNJUST modus operandi that our Corrupt Court System ENABLES.

The incredibly calloused brutality towards minorities in general and African Americans in particular is part and parcel of the MILITARY mindset our soldiers have been indoctrinated in from the Phillipines to Iraq! Our police are SOLDIERS, not "watchmen" like our founding fathers considered towns men that protected people and property at night were.

This problem goes WAY BEYOND the police. It includes the accepted exploitative, conscience free mentality of our Predatory C(r)apitalst profit over people and planet suicidal paradigm.

But recognizing that our Courts are a TOOL of Fascism that has ushered in this police brutality is a start.

For those who labor under the ridiculous wishful thinking that we are entilted to a "Day in Court" and that our Court System practices their preached claim of Ubi Jus, Ibi Remedium (where there is injustice there is a remedy), read how the victims of the Exxon Valdez fared after 20 years of litigation when EXXON was OBVIOUSLY at fault for damaging the health and environment of people and animals to the point of sickness and death. This was a NO BRAINER but our Court System "awarded" a PITTANCE to the victims to the great pleasure and joy of one of the richest corporate planet polluters in the world! 

And the victims were WHITE PEOPLE! Imagine if that town had been all black like some towns that GE ravaged long ago (and the Koch brothers more recently) who's victims never did get justice.

That's the way Fascism creeps in. First you are lulled into thinking it's just this or that OTHER group getting targeted and you remain asleep until one day you wake up and the cops are a standing army that can justify, in the HANDMAIDEN of the corporations (the Courts), any and all behavior, no matter how brutal and murderous.

We don't NEED more "laws" on the books. We NEED to have courts that don't enforce the laws SELECTIVELY.  The "latitude" given police officers is UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

Cops are American citizens. Its time they were bound by the same laws the rest of us are. But since the corporations OWN our Government and our Courts, I'm not holding my breath waiting for our unlawful and corrupt Fascist Court System to act Lawfully.

Pass it on. It's time for people to stop pretending we are a democracy. Day in Court, my ARSE!

Links below:

It's time to listen to Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Kajieme Powell, Chris Hedges and Will Allen. If we don't mankind is doomed.

The Mike Brown Shooting - What You're Not Being Told

The Exxon Valdez PITTANCE of a settlement: PROOF we have a Fascist Fossil Fuel Government AND the irreparably DYSFUNCTIONAL Court System is its HANDMAIDEN

Fascist Big Ag uses Food Disparagement Law and the Patriot Act to threaten Truth tellers

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. on what the LAW is ALL ABOUT

The Lady Justice Legal Scales mean the OPPOSITE of what you think they mean

Don't count on our Court System to defend Americans from Fascism - Here's why the solution to Corporate Profit over Planet is EX CURIA

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 16, 2014, 04:47:53 pm »

The following article is related to the conscience free behavior by those pretending hypocritically to have one in this country. Too much has been forgotten CONVENIENTLY by those, like Pfaff, an excellent political analyst, that have written about the tyranny of this country against minorities in general and Blacks in particular in a vain search for a time when we were more civilized in this country. Of course they are right that WHITES were more civilized with WHITES before (post Civil war and reforms during the Teddy Roosevelt administration), so you might say things have deteriorated for non-rich whites.

My answer to that is, WTF? Evil doesn't give three hoots about color, creed, family, honor, tribe or whatever. Evil rewards those with the LEAST conscience and the most predatory instincts. Evil has INERTIA that accelerates. Any fool can see that. Oh, but the average white thought we were going to get a pass while the plutocracy was built step by evil step. LOL! THAT bit of magical thinking STUPIDITY was, and is, part and parcel of the evil rich modus operandi used on poor whitey in the South before the Civil War and throughout this country AFTER the Civil War (don't let the BROWNS AND BLACKS take yer jobs! Gotta keep em' DOWN or they will bang yer wives and daughters!). It never occurred to these DUMB AS A POST average whites that THEY would eventually feel the scourge of plutocratic tyranny as much as the minorities and blacks. Oh no, they were too busy FARMING that "free" land that ONLY European WHITE immigrants and WHITE Merikans after the Civil War could farm for "free", never mind what the injuns thought about THAT. As Nicole Foss infamously said about another obscenity called fracking, "THERE"s MONEY TO BE MADE".

So it goes. I have sat here and watched Doomers dance around the FACT that the ISSUE is EVIL for years now. They just DO NOT WANT TO ACCEPT that the problem is a moral one, not a resource, economy, jobs, police, political system, government, military, blah ,blah ,blah problem. Hell many here don't even believe EVIL exists! And that is JUST THE WAY the EVIL fucks running this tyranny for the people and gravy train for them want it.  :evil4:

Like the CHUMPS at TBP that have embraced racism and bean counting exercises about resources, the economy and so on, they REFUSE to look in that mirror and see how EVIL is making a world class sucker out of them.

William PFAFF makes a valiant attempt at giving us hope that the plutocracy can be "defeated" in the following article by pointing out our history (leaving a few things out... ;)).

Here's what William does not get. Machines do not require a large population. A large WORK FORCE was NECESSARY after the Civil War and while the US and the world was switching to mass production. Computers have now become cheap enough to BUILD THEMSELVES along with building just about everything else and even mining for and refining the raw materials! The "reforms" post Civil War and early 20th century were a trade off that is NO LONGER REQUIRED to keep the 1% happy. The INERTIA is to GET RID OF US so the 1% piggies can have more of the planet to pollute at their leisure. Anyone that thinks otherwise is willfully STUPID.

All that said. IF morality takes hold  among my fellow fallen, **** up Homo Saps, there IS hope that real reforms along the lines of William PFAFF's hopeful article can come to pass. I am not holding my breath but then I'm part minority so what do I know?  :icon_mrgreen:

Defeating Plutocracy
Date 2014/11/12 17:00:00
Paris, Nov. 12, 2014 – A week ago this column asserted that the present electoral system in the United States now places the U.S government on sale every two years -- the presidency and congress every four years, and the entire House of Representatives and a third of the Senate, as well as assorted state governors, judges, and other officials, every two years, as in the mid-term election that took place on November 4th.

The argument I made and make is that since national elections now are largely won or lost by the quantity of paid and unregulated television advertisements (or so politicians and professional observers are convinced, a possibly self-fulfilling expectation), those who have the largest amount of money at their disposal win the elections. There are few exceptions.

This is not as things should be, but overall it was the result of the November 4 vote. The success of big money was even greater than widely expected. Hence Americans now live in a plutocracy: the country that claims to lead the world is largely controlled by major American corporations and financial groups, and exceedingly rich individuals.

The question posed is can anything be done to reverse this situation, in which money has steadily accumulated national political power until reaching the seemingly decisive position it possesses today. The international economy’s present tendency, as the French economist Thomas Piketty has recently argued, is to augment the fortunes of the already rich, since the rate of return on investment tends to run ahead of the rate of growth in the overall economy.

The rich are not, as mainstream economists (and Republican Party candidates and supporters) have argued for years, “the creators of jobs.” Industry does not, as assumed for many years, support an enlarging workforce. What it does produce is enlarging return for investors.

In the economy of the past three decades, technology has tended to destroy jobs – that, after all, is one of its principal purposes, cost-reduction. The globalized economy has tended to export those fields of manufacture that still require human employees to poor countries, where wages are low and working conditions poor. As governments of countries thus favored by globalization tend to do what they can to maintain conditions that attract foreign investment, industry moves to where conditions are worse and wages lower : thus the competitive race to the bottom.

There are countertendencies, of course. There are enterprises convinced that a well-paid and skilled labor force is an asset. Public opinion tends to oppose the most sinister consequences of globalized manufacturing and services. But there is as yet no convincing evidence that forces exist in the United States today to reverse the conditions that now prevail. That is a condition in which the economy has awarded one single family – the owners of Walmart stores – 37% of U.S. national wealth, virtually the same amount of wealth possessed collectively by the poorest 40% of the nation’s population. (These figures, which are well known, were cited again by Senator Bernie Sanders [I-Vt.] in a recent interview with Bill Moyers).

In theory, this distribution of wealth affords such a family (let us say the Koch brothers, to take one of the most politically active families), the possibility of wielding as much electoral power -- measured in television political advertising -- in national elections than a major part of the total electorate.

I asked in my last column if there is “no way out” of this situation -- other than by revolutionary change in the way the economy and political system function, a change which is against the material interests of the dominant business, investor, and existing political classes, who may be expected to fight against any such challenge, or effect alteration in the existing government to prevent it, conceivably by force.

Change has, however, happened in the past, against severe resistance -- three times since the Civil War, for example.

   During the American “Gilded Age” that accompanied the great economic and industrial boom in the North that followed the defeat of the South in the Civil War, when the transcontinental railroad was built, accompanied by modern industrial development, and the Homestead Act had opened the western states to settlement by offering free federal land to those willing to farm it, Washington during the two Grant administrations experienced notorious corruption, as did the booming cities of the northeast, ruled by manipulative political machines.

The depression of 1873-79 inspired a popular reaction and the first American trade union movement, which rapidly acquired 700 thousand members (in a population of 50 million). Agricultural depression inspired Farmers’ Alliances demanding nationalized railroads, a graduated income tax and “Free Silver” (meaning unlimited coinage).

These popular movements found their leader in the great popular orator and preacher, William Jennings Bryan, who ran for the presidency in 1896 and 1900, losing both times but exciting the enthusiasm of the nation, and in 1900 electing by default the Republican McKinley-Roosevelt ticket.

William McKinley’s assassination within months made Theodore Roosevelt president and inaugurated a period of reforms – of the civil service, anti-trust legislation, regulation of interstate commerce, food and drug inspection and regulation, national resource conservation, and establishment of the nation’s national park system -- that shaped much of the United States’ economic and agricultural regulatory framework that survives to the present day.

The first Roosevelt was a romantic nationalist and believer in heroic leadership, contemptuous of class interest. He declared that “a patrician’s politics should be reform, and that reform [means] broad federal powers wielded by executive leadership.”

His nephew, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who confronted the Great Depression, shared and acted upon those beliefs, characterizing the rich who despised and fought him – the “one percent” of the 1930s -- as “malefactors of great wealth,” an expression that fit major figures in the election that has just passed, and identifies the vulnerability of democracy to the plutocracy that now exists.

© Copyright 2014 by Tribune Content Agency. All Rights Reserved.

This article comes from William PFAFF

 The URL for this article is:

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