Renewable Revolution

Freedom & Democracy => Geopolitics => Topic started by: AGelbert on October 12, 2013, 10:38:03 pm

Title: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on October 12, 2013, 10:38:03 pm
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

Title: 70% of the land in England is OWNED BY 1% of the Population
Post by: AGelbert on October 14, 2013, 10:52:27 pm
70% of the land in England is owned by 1% of the population.‏

English Landed "Gentry" (

70% of the land in England is owned by 1% of the population  :o  >:(

An estimated 160,000 families own 70% of the land in England, according to 2012 estimates. This ownership rate is equivalent to less than 1% of the total population.

The history of such a limited portion of the English population being landowners is thought to date to 1067, when William the Conqueror claimed all land as monarch property and then distributed  ( it to his allies.

Land in England is generally kept among the aristocratic ( families ( and handed down ( each generation, rather than being sold.  (
Title: War is a continuation of exploitative commerce by other means.
Post by: AGelbert on October 21, 2013, 10:03:28 pm
Tom Dispatch / By William Astore
The Business of America Is War  (
No wonder our leaders tell us not to worry our little heads about our wars --just support those troops, go shopping, and keep waving that flag.

Snippet 1:

The War of 1812 is sometimes portrayed as a minor dust-up with Britain, involving the temporary occupation and burning of our capital, but it really was about crushing Indians on the frontier and grabbing their land.


The Mexican-American War was another land grab, this time for the benefit of slaveholders.( 


The Spanish-American War was a land grab for those seeking an American empire overseas, while World War I was for making the world “safe for democracy” ::) -- and for American business interests globally.(


Even World War II, a war necessary to stop Hitler and Imperial Japan, witnessed the emergence of the U.S. as the arsenal of democracy, the world’s dominant power, and the new imperial stand-in for a bankrupt British Empire.(


Korea?  Vietnam?  Lots of profit for the military-industrial complex ( plenty of power( for the Pentagon establishment.(


Iraq, the Middle East, current adventures in Africa?  Oil,(
markets, natural resources, global dominance.(

 >:( (

Snippet 2:

War as Disaster Capitalism

Consider one more definition of war: not as politics or even as commerce, but as societal catastrophe.  Thinking this way, we can apply Naomi Klein's concepts of the " shock doctrine" and "disaster capitalism" to it.  When such disasters occur, there are always those who seek to turn a profit.

Most Americans are, however, discouraged from thinking about war this way thanks to the power of what we call “patriotism” or, at an extreme, “superpatriotism”  when it applies to us, and the significantly more negative “nationalism”  or “ultra-nationalism” when it appears in other countries.  (

Snippet 3:

We’re discouraged from reflecting on the uncomfortable fact that, as “our” troops sacrifice and suffer, others in society are profiting big time ( Such thoughts are considered unseemly and unpatriotic.  ;)

Snippet 4:

-- President Calvin Coolidge, that is.  “The business of America is business,” he declared in the Roaring Twenties.  Almost a century later, the business of America is war, even if today’s presidents are too polite to mention that the business ( is booming.

Snippet 5:

As Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky pithily observed, “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.”   If war is combat and commerce, calamity and commodity, it cannot be left to our political leaders alone -- and certainly not to our generals.
Title: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 2
Post by: AGelbert on October 23, 2013, 06:01:22 pm
Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 2

CLICK HERE for Part 1 (

Leaving the improbably strange hypothesis of bacterial driven evolution, which stands the concept of the purpose of intelligence and toolmaking on its head for a moment, consider human society and sexual dimorphism.

Female and male pheasant

Female Argiope appensa spider is bigger

Mallard ducks - The male has the green colored head

Dimorphism just means that, when there are two sexes in a species, they are different in some way. The difference can be size, color, etc.

In humans, as we well know, "mars" and "venus" differences are not just about physical characteristics like body strength and pelvic size. Those hormones affect behavior far removed from mating rituals.

Freud thought EVERYTHING was about sex but most would agree today that we aren't that mindless. Is the aggressive, testosterone driven male human responsible for the mess we have made of things or are both sexes equally culpable? I think both sexes share the blame equally.

Are women superior to men? Would women have, whether driven by their microbial genes or not, somehow avoided pushing the biosphere to the point that doomed themselves and many other species had they been "in charge" instead of men? Of course not! Who, exactly, raised human male children since we've been around? Who trained them in most activities prior to reaching adolescence?

The roles women had in primitive societies were many and varied including some where they ran the show. Women have been just as capable of mass slaughter when leading armies as men, though this has never been the norm. The relationship of mankind to the biosphere has been parasitic but the relationship of the two sexes to each other has been, although certainly asymmetrical in regard to power, strength and dominance, unquestioningly symbiotic.

There are those who equate historical female submission to a form of slavery. This is not now, or ever was, true. Large differences in strength don't just make it easier to lord it over the weaker sex. In a primitive society, these differences make for stable rolls for both sexes.

Consider that Homo sapiens would have died out long ago if both sexes had equal strength. A female bodybuilder injects testosterone into her body to build up muscle. Nature has selected women to be, on the average, physically weaker. And mind you, for most of our existence, it has been ALL ABOUT who is bigger and stronger.

Why hasn't that changed now that, with industrialization and modern weapons, women have the physical ability to assume leadership roles in society that would, theoretically, save us from ourselves due to women's less aggressive nature?

Because they aren't "cursed" with testosterone! Women are every bit as smart as men. The default setting of a human embryo is female. That is the basic template. It's the hormonal changes triggered by the male chromosome that modifies the default female setting. All males are initially females that receive a hormone bath and become males.

The fetus itself, regardless of the fact that it starts out as a female, is a "take no prisoners" parasitic invader. The placenta fools the mother's immune system into not rejecting the foreign body (sometimes that doesn't work and the fetus dies - RH factor problems) even as it strengthens the mother's immune system to protect the fetus and the mother during gestation.

Through the placenta, the fetus sends waste into the mother's bloodstream and takes oxygen and nutrients that it needs, regardless of whether the mother does or doesn't have enough of them. Pregnant women can become anemic or lose too much calcium and be in danger of breaking bones because when the fetus needs something, it just TAKES IT.

If the fetus is male, aggression and territoriality come with the testosterone during and after he grows to manhood. So, the idea that if we could just put all the women in charge and we would have peace and harmony is never going to fly because, as long as testosterone is around, men will prevent it. The enemy is not "HE". The enemy is failure by BOTH sexes in the human power structure to envision environmental collapse from rampant resource extraction.

So, are we doing all this because our microbial DNA just wants to spread and spread and we are really just gut bacteria robots? I don't think so.  Mankind got into trouble with the biosphere when he got carried away with his tool making. To a degree, we appear to be fouling our nest and dooming ourselves to extinction because we quite literally cannot stop (industrially, not physically speaking) "****ting" where we "eat".

The biomass of humans is smaller than that of all the ant species on earth yet they don't have a carbon footprint problem.

We have a serious carbon footprint problem coupled with a lot of biosphere poisoning. The media love to remind us of this. But here is where the "**** where you eat" metaphor breaks down. Carbon footprint is about poison, not feces. Seven billion humans could quite conceivably make excellent use of their humanure to eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers and much of the wasted water used in sewage treatment.

It 's a very convenient dodge to claim the solution to our problem is to reduce the population. The false claim is made that then all those cars and trucks wouldn't ruin the planet and the biosphere could have a chance. That is a "solution" that only solves about 20% of the pollution problem and leaves the real heavyweights (about 80% of the pollution), industry and military operated of, by and for the 1% elite, out. That is where the major carbon footprint IS. For those who are shaking their heads, go look at those U.N. stats on how many people out there are living on 2 dollars a day and tell me THEY are the problem.

They aren't, no matter what Bill Gates says. The combined feces of all the ants and every other life form out there, far, far exceeds how much we defecate. As RE, myself and many others here have correctly pointed out, the people at the top refuse to accept responsibility for their horrendous attack on the biosphere and are trying to shift the blame on the rest of us. Those of us little piggies in the USA and Europe are the favorite whipping BOYS of those who say we 55k or less (median income in the USA at present) share almost as much as the 1% in the pollution blame.

They hasten to add that depopulation, especially in the piggy countries like ours, is rational. I would support it if it was rational but it is irrational because it fails to deal with, and make an example of, the worst offenders FIRST. People will not give up their pickup trucks until Warren Buffett gives up his jets and multiple houses. The fact that a few of us have reduced our carbon footprint voluntarily as an act of conscience does not mean that most aren't still Bernays brainwashed.   
What we need is a detailed map like this one of UK for the USA:


Experian have found a direct link between wealth and willingness to embrace a green agenda; those most concerned about climate change tend to live in the wealthiest parts of the country.

Poorer and greener

But here's the rub. The company has also found that the richest constituencies... are also the most polluting.2

And that's just the homes. Try adding the carbon footprint piggery these rich have added to their homes with stock portfolios, ownership of retail space, factories, ships, office buildings, jets, etc.The 55K or less crowd have none of these things. At any rate wages don't even begin to tell the real carbon footprint piggery story; the real story is in who owns what. More on this later.

Here's a breakdown of carbon footprint by income decile in Sweden, a country with far less extremes in wealth dstribution than the USA. Notice that the top decile have nearly 6 times the carbon footprint of the lower decile. 3


The figure illustrates three types of emissions presented by adult equivalents. The direct emissions come from the household’s consumption (the private consumption) of fuel and heating. The indirect emissions come from the production of goods and services in the Swedish private consumption. International indirect emissions come from the production of goods and services consumed in Swedish households, before being imported. All three types of emissions above sum up to the total emissions from private consumption in Sweden.3

In the USA, the per capita CO2 emissions of about 21 metric tonnes is VERY misleading. (This data is about 5 years ol and. as of 2012, is much lower) This paper studies the differences in emissions from state to state without addressing income levels.

If U.S. per capita carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were equal to those of its most populous state, California, global CO2 emissions would fall by 8 percent. If, instead, U.S. per capita emissions equaled those of Texas, the state with the second-largest population, global emissions would increase by 7 percent.

What makes Californians’ emissions so different from those of Texans, and from U.S. average emissions? And are the factors that explain these differences amenable to replication as policy solutions?4

If you live in any one of the following states (or D.C), your per capita CO2 emissions are less than 10 metric tonnes:

NY, DC, OR, CA, RI, WA, VT, NH, AZ, CT. In Vermont, direct residential of about 3 tons is an average. Just one mansion here can equal 4 or five 2,000 sq. ft. houses and the small homes like mine with less than 1,000 sq. ft. are much lower. People like myself, and there are lots of them here, are probably not running a carbon footprint above 3 metric tons due, in addition to having less house to heat, to driving less than 2,000 miles a year.

But what is published is the national 21 metric tons. NY's per capita footprint appears the lowest in the nation at around 7. That's obviously not taking into account the Wall Street Banks and investors in NY that own stock in retail space and just about every other high carbon footprint venture in the USA including weapons contractors. I'll wager NY's would be double AK's 34, the  state with maximum per capita footprint,  if the real estate throughout the country that the banks owned (Bernie Sanders said it was 60% of the country's wealth) was figured in.

Since the study just looks at homes and not the money the rich spend to "green up" their homes with geothermal (remember Bush's ranch?) or PV while they own stock in and support weapons contractors and dirty industries elsewhere, it is expected that the study would come up with this gem:

The lack of correlation between income per capita and transportation and electricity emission per capita demonstrates that, at least among states of the U.S., there is no rigid relationship between affluence and emissions.10

Similar incomes can be associated with very different levels of emissions. It is possible — as evidenced by the contrast between California and Texas — to enjoy the typical American lifestyle with per capita emissions that are widely divergent from the U.S. mean.4

The above statement is an excellent example of scientific blinders in the service of raw wealth. The hypermobility alone of these rich would skew their footprint up (lots of vehicles of all sizes) if those engaged in this study had bothered to count boats, cars, airplanes, etc. They do, however, provide a sensible explanation of why states like Vermont keep their carbon footprint relatively low:

Information about policies that have succeeded in reducing emissions in some states should be circulated to the rest of the country. How have some states managed to reduce their emissions well below the national average? In broad strokes, states with low per capita emissions:
" Drive less per person and have, on average, better fuel economy;
" Use less electricity per person in their homes;
" Have higher gasoline and electricity prices;
" Rely more on public transportation; and
" Use less oil for heating and less coal for electricity generation.

What does our analysis say about the difference between per capita emissions in California and Texas? Transportation emissions are almost one and a half times as great in Texas as in California.4


WHY don't these carbon footprint researchers look at this kind of data:  ???

FAA statistics show the number of U.S. business jet flights grew 11 percent in 2010, after plunging 20 percent in 2009. And providers of private jet services are expanding: In March 2011, NetJets (owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway) placed a $2.8 billion order for 50 new Global business jets from Bombardier, with options for 70 more; last fall, it ordered up to 125 Phenom 300s from Embraer—and it bought Marquis Jet, a marketer of private jet cards. Also in March, CitationAir by Cessna added six 604-mph Citation Xs—which it calls the fastest business jet in the sky—to its fleet of 81 jets, targeting “busy executives and business travelers who often need to be in multiple cities within a compressed timeframe,” a spokesman says. XOJET has added to its fleet as well and has hired 45 new pilots.5

Does anybody want to take a stab at what umpteen executive jets used EXCLUSIVELY by the 1% do to the USA carbon footprint? I know a little something about airplanes. I never flew a jet for hire but I flew Piper Navajos for a year or so. Each engine used 18 gallons per HOUR. Now when people start talking about all those J6P pickup trucks out there while ignoring executive jets, I sigh. The carbon footprint of those jets is massive.   

How much greater are the emissions from executive jets? I am indebted to HalogenGuides Jets, "the insider's guide to private aviation", for doing the stats.
They reviewed 10 popular private jets using emissions stats provided by TerraPass, the offset company used by Chief Executive Air. The planes ranged from the Gulfstream 400, which burns up 32l of fuel a minute and can carry up to 19 passengers, to the Learjet 40XR, which burns more than 13l a minute to carry a maximum of five passengers.

HeliumReport converts this fuel burn into carbon dioxide emissions per hour. If we assume the plane is fully loaded with passengers, they mostly come in at between 200-300kg of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere per passenger per hour. But of course, the purpose of having your own jet is that you are not stuck with silly cost-cutting exercises like filling every seat on the plane.

I know of no analysis of how full private jets normally fly, but let's assume they are mostly half full. That gives emissions per passenger-hour of 400-600kg of carbon dioxide. That's about half a tonne.
How does that compare with a regular commercial flight? For one from London to Paris, which is roughly an hour, TerraPass reckons 59kg per passenger per hour, or little more more than a 10th as much as flying your own, half full, Learjet.

If you are interested in carbon emissions, these numbers are scary. An hour's flight on a private jet will emit more carbon dioxide than most African do in a whole year.6

The  African CO2 footprint referred to is about one metric ton but let's compare it with our "rich" Americans making anywhere from 55k a year on down that only see executive jets in movies.  In 20 hours of of flying, an afterthought for the jet set 1% of the USA, they use up one yearly quota of J6P's  "greedy irresponsible pig" footprint. Now count the executive jets and count the total hours they fly each year and you will absolutely gasp at the carbon footprint the 1% is happily spewing into our biosphere. There are over 10,000 private jets in the USA as of 2008.
How private jet travel is straining the system, warming the planet, and costing you money.7

And this is JUST THE EXECUTIVE JETS part of their piggery!
And Buffett thinks it's A-OKAY to add more.  >:(

China's per capita carbon footprint, in the meantime, has become greater than that of several U.S. states, including Vermont.
The latest report shows that in 2011 China's per capita emissions increased 9%, rising to 7.2 metric tons per person. 8

Click here for Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 3 (conclusion and recommendations) (


Title: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 3
Post by: AGelbert on October 23, 2013, 07:03:07 pm
Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 3 (Conclusion and Recommendations)

The ATTITUDE  ( the 1% is summarized in the above image

Click here for Part 1

Click here for Part 2

I am certain, as is the case in the USA, that the Chinese 1%'s carbon footprint is orders of magnitude above the Chinese version of  our "J6P".  Those who love to point at J6P piggery in the USA should drop that broad brush and start looking at per capita carbon footprint and, when available, decile breakdown of that per capita carbon footprint. Please observe in this table that the per capita carbon footprint in the USA has been going steadily down over the last decade (as of 2012, it is down to 17.3 metric tons 9) and that there are 11 countries with a higher per capita carbon footprint than the USA.

 9USA highlighted in yellow.Click here for a closeup (

As a matter of fact, as of the end of 2012, an October of 2013 government press release confirms the USA's carbon emissions have now shrunk to 1994 levels (

Joe Six Pack (J6P) makes a real convenient whipping boy but that does not reflect the facts on the ground even before you account for 1% piggery. What matters is not data points like how much retail space there is in the USA (a huge amount is now empty anyway since 2008) but who OWNS that retail space and all the other large carbon footprint piggery. The wealth breakdown in the USA (as of 2007 - it's even more concentrated at the top now according to senator Bernie Sanders) shows that 1% own 42.7%, the next 19% own 53.7% and the BOTTOM 80% own 7%.10

I am using the financial wealth stats rather than the "net" worth stats because that reflects the sad reality that the 15% attributed to the bottom 80% is now about 7% and the "net" worth of the top 20% matches 2007 financial wealth percentages (The top 20%, but mostly the top 0.5%, have exponentially increased their ownership of everything in the USA since the Greater Depression began in 2007).

The last time I checked, when you OWN something, you are responsible for its carbon footprint. The fact that the predatory capitalist "drug pushers" are out there pushing the consumerist "drug" does not justify blaming the addicts. The addicts must be treated but the priority is to get the pushers off the street. Every addict can go cold turkey and the pushers will adjust by giving the "drug" away really cheap until they hook a new set of addicts. Focusing on the addicts while giving lip service to the evils of the 1% to the point that the addicts are given a 40/60% (99% carbon footprint vs 1% carbon footprint) responsibility ratio in biosphere degradation when it is more like a  20/80% ratio is  just plain wrong and doomed to failure. Of course the 1% love this kind of "blame the victim" illogic.

We need a REAL deciles breakdown like they did in Sweden of the CO2 footprint of our population. Here is a look at carbon footprint in cities across the USA. Most of the heavy polluters are east of the Mississippi.11.

US energy use concentration

That's a start but we still need to zero in on stock, high tech toys  and real estate ownership as a function of carbon footprint. Maybe then people would get a clearer picture of who the responsible parties for the biosphere degradation are. It is little wonder that no data of this nature is published in the USA. This is the reality that side issues like blaming gender or psychopathy for humanity's biosphere degradation fail to address.

It's really an Occam's razor type problem (a principle urging one to select from among competing hypotheses that which makes the fewest assumptions). Because the 1% are our leaders, the masses of humanity always attempt to imitate what the 1% do, period. When the 1% stop their massive piggery, the small scale piggery of the masses will stop as well. Claiming that the 1% only "do what they do" because the 99% are a bunch of sheep is a half truth. True, we sheep are unfortunately permitting the 1% to parasitically prey on us. But putting the onus on the sheep is "blame the victim" illogic.

The issue is not about gender or the criminal insanity endemic to psychopaths in the 1%; psychopaths are unfortunately represented at all income levels even if they are concentrated at the top. Whether this super aggressive behavior destroying the biosphere is caused by microbes willing us to spread, testosterone in the male of the species or the inability of our big, but still brutish, brains to react to threats on a multigenerational time horizon, the fact remains that the main authors of the rampant biosphere damage are these humans in the 1%.

It's not the 99%'s biomass (e.g. ants have more than humans) that is destroying the biosphere; it's the 1%'s carbon footprint by a huge margin despite their tiny biomass. A detailed study of per capita footprint which includes resource ownership by wealth would conclusively prove that. And as to males of the species being the culprit, the statement, "We have met the enemy, an he is us, and he is "HE", is barking up the wrong tree! Perhaps a world where humans were all females and reproduction was by cloning would be less parasitic and become symbiotic with the biosphere but most women on Earth, not to mention G. I. Joe Testosterone and friends, would take offense to that notion (to put it mildly  :P).

Putting women in charge, as long as there are men around, will not change our suicidal trajectory. Because the 1% are our leaders, the masses of humanity always attempt to imitate what the 1% do, period. When the 1% stop their massive piggery, the small scale piggery of the masses will stop as well. Claiming that the 1% only "do what they do" because the 99% are a bunch of sheep is a half truth. True, The 1% ARE mostly PARASITIC. But putting the onus on the sheep is "blame the victim" illogic. The less aggressive (the normal 99% that are folded, stapled and mutilated by the 1%) humans are not responsible for what the 1% has conned them into doing.

What, exactly, do you expect from sheep? The 1% pushed, connived, lied and killed anything in their way to BE the 1%. They've got the "Will To Power" on steroids. If all of us had the aggressiveness of the 1%, Homo sapiens would have self destructed long ago. Sexual dimorphism and hormones dictate different levels of strength, aggressivity and dominance in human beings for real and valid species perpetuation purposes.

Nature cares not about egalitarian relationships among opposite sexes or societies (see the moths, ants, spiders, bees, ducks, lions, chimps, etc. (; it "cares" about what works to promote the reproduction of a species. Asymmetric power relationships in societies and among the sexes in species aren't democratic but they have more species perpetuation power than horizontal relationships.

That's just the way it is. If you want to "improve" on that model, you'd better but your "God" outfit on and pack a lot of sandwiches because you are bucking up against the biosphere species interrelationship status quo.

The ones who hold the power are ALWAYS in the driver's seat. If they don't adequately react to a threat to the species, it's curtains.  ( 1% enjoy their RHIP which provide them many privileges but they cannot evade their responsibility.  (

The 1% don't have to lose their "better to reign in hell than serve in heaven" attitude for mankind to survive; they just have stop believing their own PR.

If they bite the reality bullet and lead the way into sustainable living, we might make it. Otherwise, the fungi, extremophiles and the humble descendants of human microbial bacterial colonies will inherit the Earth. The planet will become hot as hell and only the simplest and toughest life forms will live here.

Send this to someone in the 1% if you know any. (     (   ( knows? They might even read it and think about it.   (   (

Title: “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P): An Instrument of Aggression
Post by: AGelbert on November 15, 2013, 06:06:35 pm
“Responsibility to Protect” is a bogus doctrine designed to undermine the very foundations of international law. It is law rewritten for the powerful. “The structures and laws that underlie the application of R2P exempt the Great Power enforcers from the laws and rules that they enforce on the lesser powers.”
Edward S. Herman

Both the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and “Humanitarian Intervention” (HI) came into existence in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union, which ended any obstruction that that contesting Great Power had placed on the ongoing power projection of the United States. In Western ideology, of course, the United States was containing the Soviets in the post-World War II years, but that was ideology. In reality the Soviet Union was always far less powerful than the United States, had weaker and less reliable allies, and was essentially on the defensive from 1945 till its demise in 1991.

The United States was aggressively on the march outward from 1945, with the steady spread of military bases across the globe, numerous interventions, large and small, on all continents, engaged in building the first truly global empire. The Soviet Union was an obstruction to U.S. expansion, with sufficient military power to constitute a modest containing force, but it also served U.S. propaganda as an alleged expansionist threat. With the death of the Soviet Union new threats were needed to justify the continuing and even accelerating U.S. projection of power, and they were forthcoming, from narco-terrorism to Al Qaeda to Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction to the terrorist threat that encompassed the entire planet earth and its outer space.

There was also a global security menace alleged, based on internal ethnic struggles and human rights violations, that supposedly threatened wider conflicts, as well as presenting the global community (and its policeman) with a moral dilemma and demand for intervention in the interests of humanity and justice. As noted, this morality surge occurred at a moment in history when the Soviet constraint was ended and the United States and its close allies were celebrating their triumph, when the socialist option had lost vitality, and when the West was thus freer to intervene. This required over-riding the several hundred year old Westphalian core principle of international relations – that national sovereignty should be respected – which if adhered to would protect smaller and weaker countries from Great Power cross-border attacks. This rule was embodied in the UN Charter, and could be said to be the fundamental feature of that document, described by international law scholar Michael Mandel as ”the world’s constitution.” Over-riding this rule and Charter fundamental would clear the ground for R2P and HI, but it would also clear the ground for classic and straightforward aggression in pursuit of geopolitical interests, for which R2P and HI might supply a useful cover.

It is obvious that only the Great Powers can cross borders in the alleged interest of R2P and HI, a point that is recognized and taken as an entirely acceptable premise in every case in which they have been applied in recent years. The Great Powers are the only ones with the knowledge and material resources to do this ‘benevolent’ global social work. As NATO public relations official Jamie Shea explained in May 1999, when the question came up as to whether NATO personnel might be indicted for war crimes during NATO’s bombing war against Serbia, which seemed to follow from the letter of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) charter: NATO countries “organized” the ICTY and International Court of Justice, and NATO countries “fund these tribunals and support on a daily basis their activities. We are the upholders, not the violators, of international law.” This last is a contestable assertion, but Shea’s other points are clearly valid.

It is enlightening that when a group of independent lawyers submitted an extensive dossier in 1999 showing probable NATO violations of ICTY rules, after a long delay and following open pressure from NATO authorities, the anti-NATO claims were disallowed by the ICTY prosecutor on the ground that with only 496 documented killings of Serbs by NATO bombs “there is simply no evidence of a crime base” for indicting NATO, although the original May 1999 indictment of Milosevic involved a crime base of only 344 deaths. It is of similar interest that International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo declined to prosecute NATO officials for their attack on Iraq in 2003, despite over 249 requests for ICC action, on the ground that here also “the situation did not appear to meet the required threshold of the Statute.”

These two cases illustrate the fact that the structures and laws that underlie the application of R2P (and HI) exempt the Great Power enforcers from the laws and rules that they enforce on the lesser powers. It also exempts their friends and clients. This means that in the real world there is nobody responsible for protecting Iraqis or Afghanis from the United States or Palestinians from Israel.  When U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright acknowledged on national TV in 1996 that 500,000 Iraqi children may have died as a result of UN (but really U.S.) -imposed sanctions on Iraq, declaring that U.S. officials felt these deaths were “worth it,” there was no domestic or global reaction demanding the end of these sanctions and the application of R2P or HI on behalf of the victimized Iraqi population. Similarly there was no call for any R2P intervention on behalf of the Iraqis when the United States and Britain invaded Iraq in March 2003, with direct and induced civil war killings of perhaps a million more Iraqis.

When the Canadian-sponsored International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect considered the Iraq war in relation to R2P, its authors concluded that abuses by Saddam Hussein within Iraq were not of a scope in 2003 to justify an invasion, but the coalition never even raised the question of whether the Iraqi people didn’t need protection from the invaders responsible for the death of vast numbers. They worked from the imperial premise that the Great Power enforcers, even when aggressing in violation of the UN Charter and killing hundreds of thousands, are exempt from R2P as well as the rule of law.

This works from the top of the global power structure on down; Bush, Cheney, Obama, John Kerry, Susan Rice, Samantha Power at the top, then on the way down we have Merkel, Cameron, and Hollande, then further down Ban Ki-Moon and Luis Moreno-Ocampo, and with their power base to be found in the corporate leadership and media. Ban Ki-Moon and his predecessor Kofi Annan have been open servants of the Great NATO Powers, to whom they owe their status and authority. Kofi Annan was an enthusiastic supporter of the NATO attack on Yugoslavia, a believer in the enforcement responsibility of the NATO powers, and keen on the institutionalization of R2P; and Ban Ki-Moon works in the same mode.

This same global power structure also means that ad hoc Tribunals will be formed and used against villains of choice, as well as international courts. Thus when the United States and its allies wanted to dismantle Yugoslavia and weaken Serbia, they were able to use the Security Council in 1993 to establish a tribunal, the ICTY, precisely for this service, which the ICTY carried out effectively. When they wanted to help their client Paul Kagame consolidate his dictatorship in Rwanda, they created a similar tribunal for this service, the ICTR. If these powers want to attack and bring about regime change in Libya, they can get the ICC to accuse Gaddaffi of war crimes speedily and without independent investigation of any charges, and based mainly on anticipations of civilian killings. But as noted, the ICC couldn’t find any basis for action against the invaders of Iraq whose killings of civilians were large-scale and realized, not merely anticipated. There was, in fact, a major World Tribunal on Iraq organized to hear charges against the United States and its allies for their actions in Iraq, but it was privately organized and had a critical anti-war bent, so that although it held hearings in many countries and heard many prestigious witnesses, this tribunal was given negligible attention in the media. (Its final sessions and report in June 2005 were unmentioned in the major U.S, and British media.)

R2P fits snugly into this picture of service to an escalating imperial violence, with the United States and its enormous military-industrial complex engaged in a Global War on Terror and multiple wars, and its NATO arm steadily enlarging and embarked on “out of area” service, despite the ending of its supposed role of containing the Soviet Union. It conveniently premises that the threats that the world needs to address come from within countries, not from cross-border aggression in the traditional mode that the makers of the UN Charter considered of first importance. They are wrong: William Blum lists 35 cases where the United States overthrew governments between 1945 and 2001 (thus not even counting the war-making of George W. Bush and Barak Obama; Blum, Freeing the World to Death [Common Courage, 2005], chaps. 11 and 15)

In the real world, while R2P has a wonderful aura of benevolence, it will be put in play only at the instigation of the Great NATO Powers and it will therefore never be used in the interest of unworthy victims, defined as victims of the Great Powers or their clients (see Manufacturing Consent, chap 2, “Worthy and Unworthy Victims”). For example, it was never invoked to constrain Indonesian violence in its invasion and occupation of East Timor from 1975 onward, although this invasion-occupation accounted for an estimated 200,000 deaths on a population base of 800,000, thus exceeding the proportionate deaths under Pol Pot. In this case the United States gave the invasion a green light, gave further arms to the invaders, and protected them from any UN response. This is a case where the UN Charter was being violated and East Timorese desperately needed protection, but as the United States supported the invader no international response transpired.

It is enlightening and amusing to see that Gareth Evans has been perhaps the leading spokesperson in support of an instrument of justice. Evans is a former Foreign Minister of Australia, author of a book on R2P, past president of the International Crisis Group, a co-founder of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, and a participant in several reports and debates on R2P. Evans was the Foreign Minister of Australia during the years of Indonesia’s genocidal occupation of East Timor, and in that role Evans honored and feted Indonesian leaders and worked with them in sharing the stolen oil rights of East Timor. (See John Pilger, “East Timor: a lesson in why the poorest threaten the powerful,” April 5, 2012, So Evans was really a collaborator in a major genocide. Can you imagine the media’s response to a non-NATO human rights campaign that used as spokesperson a Chinese official who had maintained friendly relations with Pol Pot during his most deadly years?

It is enlightening to see how Gareth Evans deals with the criteria for enforcing R2P. In answering questions on this subject at a UN General Assembly session on R2P, Evans appealed to common sense: R2P “defines itself,” and the crimes, including “ethnic cleansing,” are all “inherently conscience-shocking, and by their very nature of a scale that demands a response…It is really impossible to be precise about numbers here.” Evans notes that sometimes modest numbers will suffice: “We remember starkly the horror of Srebrenica… [with only 8,000 deaths]. Was Racak with its 45 victims in Kosovo in ’99 sufficient to trigger the response that was triggered by the international community?” It was sufficient to trigger a response for the simple reason that it helped advance NATO’s ongoing program of dismantlement of Yugoslavia. But Evans dodges answering his own question. You may be sure that Evans does not ask or attempt to explain why there was no triggering of a response to East Timor with its 200,000 or Iraq’s 500,000 plus a million. The politicization of choices here is total, but Evans has apparently internalized the imperial perspective so completely that this huge double standard never reaches his consciousness. But the most interesting fact is that a man with such a record and such blatant bias can be accepted as an authority and his biased perspective is treated with respect.

It is interesting, also, to see how Evans never mentions Israel and Neither Palestine, where ethnic cleansing has been in active process for decades, works openly and is deeply resented by vast numbers across the globe. do other members of the power pyramid suggest Israel-Palestine as an area where consciences are shocked and the nature and scale of abuse demands a response from the “international community.” In order to obtain her U.N. Ambassadorship, Samantha Power thought it was necessary to go before a group of pro-Israel U.S. citizens and assure them, with tears flowing, that she regretted any past suggestions that AIPAC was powerful and that its influence had to be over-ridden for developing a U.S.-interest policy toward Israel and Palestine. She pledged a devotion to Israel’s national security. The world will wait a long time for Power and her bosses to support R2P’s application to ethnic cleansing in Palestine

In sum, the international power structure in the post-Soviet world has worsened global inequality and at the same time increased Great Power interventionism and literal aggression. The increased militarism may have contributed to the growing inequality, but it is also designed and serves to facilitate pacification at home as well as abroad. In this context, R2P and HI are understandable developments, providing a moral cover for actions that would repel many people and constitute a violation of international law if viewed in a cold light. R2P puts aggression in a benevolent light and thus serves as its useful instrument. In short, it is a cynical fraud and a constitution (UN Charter)-buster.

Edward S. Herman

Edward S. Herman is professor emeritus of finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and has written extensively on economics, political economy, and the media. Among his books are Corporate Control, Corporate Power (Cambridge University Press, 1981), The Real Terror Network (South End Press, 1982), and, with Noam Chomsky, The Political Economy of Human Rights (South End Press, 1979), and Manufacturing Consent (Pantheon, 2002).

Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on November 29, 2013, 03:32:54 pm

We also need to convince the oligarchy that they need to stop believing their social Darwinist predatory capitalist PR or the biosphere and their descendants are toast.

WrenchMonkey agelbert

The plutocratic oligarchy cannot be "convinced" of anything. It is composed primarily of essential psychopaths who are devoid of conscience and compassion and immune to reason. They understand only force.
Just my opinion

agelbert WrenchMonkey
If they cannot be convinced that their survival is imperiled by their blindness, arrogance, greed and stupidity, then Homo SAP has had it.


Excerpt from the article on the 1%'s responsibility:
"The issue is not about gender or the criminal insanity endemic to psychopaths in the 1%; psychopaths are unfortunately represented at all income levels even if they are concentrated at the top.

Whether this super aggressive behavior destroying the biosphere is caused by microbes willing us to spread, testosterone in the male of the species or the inability of our big, but still brutish, brains to react to threats on a multigenerational time horizon, the fact remains that the main authors of the rampant biosphere damage are these humans in the 1%.

It's not the 99%'s biomass (e.g. ants have more than humans) that is destroying the biosphere; it's the 1%'s carbon footprint by a huge margin despite their tiny biomass. A detailed study of per capita footprint which includes resource ownership by wealth would conclusively prove that."

"The ones who hold the power are ALWAYS in the driver's seat. If they don't adequately react to a threat to the species, it's curtains. Power cannot be divorced from responsibility.
The 1% enjoy their RHIP which provide them many privileges but they cannot evade their responsibility.

That said, The 1% don't have to lose their "better to reign in hell than serve in heaven" attitude for mankind to survive; they just have stop believing their own PR.

If they bite the reality bullet and lead the way into sustainable living, we might make it."
The 1%'s Responsibility to Shoulder 80% of the COST of a 100% Renewable Energy World

WrenchMonkey agelbert
I'm sorry. I don't think you comprehend the nature of the psychopath. It's not that they won't change their ways, the can't.

And by the way, 100% renewable energy will not end the destruction of the ecosystem. It still requires and industrial civilisation and industrial civilisation is not sustainable.
Just my opinion

agelbert WrenchMonkey
I understand psychopathy and ponerology quite well.

You labor under the assumption that 100% of the 1% are composed of psychopaths. I agree with you that psychopaths are incorrigible. I disagree with you that they dominate the 1%, despite the fact they are over-represented in that group.

I never said we would have paradise just because we had 100% renewable energy. I stated that our survival depends on it. It would give us time to bioremediate all the other environmental damage done.

But I realize where you stand on this and I will put it to you in black and white.

Your assumption that you can solve humanity's problems by offing the bad guys is as old as humanity and has never worked.

It's been the siren song of every would be tyrant wooing the masses until he seizes power and double crosses his followers who hoped for a more egalitarian world. It's a comfortable fantasy.
Just my opinion and that of the history of "civilization".

Renewable Revolution

WrenchMonkey agelbert
I labour under no such assumption and you're being presumptuous by making such a statement. I make a great deal of effort to assume nothing.

I'd suggest you reread the section in Political Ponerology entitled "Spellbinders" beginning on
page 155. Or, if you don't have the book, you can read the section titled PONEROLOGY on the website.
It's my conclusion that, at this point, the essential psychopath not only dominates the "1%" but, through the power and influence acquired, holds sway in nearly all the patriarchal hierarchies that control the economies and thus the governments of the world's "sovereign" nations and most of those that aren't so sovereign as well.

I'm afraid I must disagree with your conclusions regarding "renewable" energy. These techno-fixes are well meaning but misguided attempts at "saving" our "civilisation", which is the last thing we need to do. They all require the continued extraction and destruction of non-renewable resources in order to maintain the industrialism and market based economies that are destroying the ecosystem.

I'm sorry to contradict, but you actually do not realise where I stand. I neither said nor even implied that humanity's problems can be solved by "offing the bad guys". If that's what you think you've read in my comments, then you've misinterpreted them badly.

In order to actually better understand "where I stand", I suggest you read "Endgame", volumes 1 & 2, "A Language Older Than Words" and "Deep Green Resistance". If you are already familiar with these works and disagree with their premises then you and I will be better served by simply agreeing to disagree. It is incumbent upon neither of us to "convert" the other.

IMHO the solution to our dilemma lies more in prehistory than in the history of our civilisation.

Have a safe and happy holiday insofar as that's possible.

agelbert WrenchMonkey
 History, not PRE-history, will prove you wrong in the next decade. I hope you are humble enough to accept the truth.

Techno-fixes were never the issue. You didn't read my article, obviously.

The issue, for the last time, is that hierarchy is the natural state of affairs in millions of species on the planet and works quite well, thank you very much. Egalitarian concepts are pipe dreams.
You will never have a stable society without a pecking order. You can dream otherwise and believe this, that and the other but you will continue to be frustrated by an unworkable hypothesis.

Mankind is BENEATH the biosphere in the pecking order and will perish if he doesn't GET that. However, within our species, asymmetric power relationships are the ONLY way we can have a stable society. Laugh if you wish.

Have a nice day.

WrenchMonkey agelbert
This article ?: http://www.renewableenergyworl...

Yes, I read it. I've read a great many things with which I don't wholly agree. I would have commented but I don't want to "create a free account" to do so.

I even followed a few of the links. Your complete immersion in scientific minutia is a bit too clinical for me. It smacks of absolute certainty, which I find very disconcerting. It's a common mistake among the professional scientific community.

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” Max Planck

While there's much you have to say, regarding the ruling class, the 1%, wall street, etc, with which I can agree, I think your ideological stance, manifested in your absolutism, makes any comprehensive agreement impossible.

It's saddening that I seem to detect a sense of sneering superiority in your comments here and your essays at Renewable Energy World and Renewable Revolution. I have no desire to provoke, offend or dominate you. I simply do not agree with your viewpoint, though I most certainly would defend your right to it.

As I said before, it is incumbent upon neither of us to "convert" the other.
Once more and finally, let us agree to disagree without rancour.

agelbert WrenchMonkey
 " it is incumbent upon neither of us to 'convert' the other."

I agree and without rancor! :>)

Thanks for reading the article.

The piece at Renewable Energy World was the third part. In the earlier parts I went to great pains to show "how it works" as to power relationships in nature. I may appear overly "sure" of myself because I have the backing of the stable behavior and perpetuation of millions of species on this planet. It's not about me or you; it's about those that control the future of our species (i.e. our leaders).

I just write about it hoping one them that is not a psychopath will read it and over rule the crazies.
Here at common dreams for at least a decade I have watched the purists, deep ecologists, zealous progressives, and other people I share many viewpoints on, harp on the quixotic view that the only way to solve this mess is to scrap the whole failed paradigm. At first I believed it. But when I looked deeper I realized this was just a form of escapism unrelated to real world solutions.

I was all fired up to "convert" people to the "right" way of thinking. But I was wrong.
The only ones that hold our future are not prone to progressive thinking. However, they have been rather "good", as in a fecal bolus floating to the surface of a toilet bowl, of surviving all sorts of calamities in history far better than most of the other Homo saps.

Common Dreamers have cows and kittens every time I tell them that the 1% are part of us, warts and all, and we solve this thing together or we perish. They want to off the Wall Street vermin. It's a fun thought but it won't happen.

Be well.

Renewable Revolution

Full Common Dreams Thread Here
Title: View From the Catbird Seat PART 1 of 2 parts
Post by: AGelbert on December 02, 2013, 01:03:17 am
View From The Catbird Seat   ( ( (

Agelbert NOTE:Originally published about a year and a half ago. Since the  ATTITUDE of the greedballs among the 1% hasn't changed much, if at all, I have updated it and am republishing it. Now it is even more urgent for the 1% to understand the "nature" of their "nature". :evil4:

What is the 1% and the 1% wannabes up to these days as we approach the event horizon of accelerated environmental collapse? Well, they appear to be building hidey holes.
The secret world of doomsday shelters

Snippet 1

Unlike 1950s-era fallout shelters and newer aboveground "safe rooms," meant to protect against storms and home invasions, bunkers are buried at least 6 feet under, in part to shield occupants from nuclear radiation.
You can buy a bare-bones shelter for $38,000 uninstalled or spend tens of millions of dollars — and a surprising number do — on a lavish, custom-made subterranean sanctuary.

Bunker builders cite a long list of client fears, from war and terrorism to megastorms and epic earthquakes. But the customers themselves aren't talking. "Secrecy is their defense," says shelter manufacturer Walton McCarthy, of Radius Engineering in Terrell, Texas. Shelter owners don't want neighbors and strangers pounding on the entry hatch in an emergency, he explains.
Also, many have installed shelters without building permits. While city and county authorities may disagree, McCarthy maintains that his prefabricated shelters fall outside building codes.

"These have no foundations, so technically don't come under building code. They're self-contained and are not hooked up to the grid."

b]To sidestep nosy neighbors and building authorities, contractors may disguise the projects as swimming pool installations. "The hole is dug on Friday," McCarthy says. "We get there Friday at 5, by Monday it's in, and the neighbors can call whoever they want."[/b]

For those of you that read my post on the rich and their NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) filtered doomsday shelters, I was kidding about the filter duration but I wasn't making their existence up.

Snippet 2

McCarthy entered the field in 1978 as a young mechanical engineer, designing and making concrete shelters, then steel and now fiberglass. He wrote the “U.S. Handbook of NBC Weapon Fundamentals and Shelter Engineering Design Standards.” And he reports that his business generates $30 million to $45 million annually through the sale of 50 to 100 shelters a year. Radius sells to businesses, homeowners, churches and government. Most of the shelters hold 20 people or more and can sustain life for one to five years. Half are sold in the Washington, D.C., area.

The smallest Radius shelter, an eight-person unit, costs $108,000. Here's what you get:

A ribbed, composite cylinder 12 feet wide, 11 feet high and 24 feet long; with no metal parts, it's meant to be undetectable by radar or thermal-detection devices.
Your shelter comes with a diesel-powered generator, a toilet and septic tank, a kitchen, plumbing, air filters, a ham radio, a shower, a DVD player and TV, bunks and furnishings. Radius sells preserved food separately.
Shipping is extra — about $10,000 from coast to coast, for example — and installation is an additional $20,000 to $25,000. And then there's excavation: The shelter requires a hole 25 feet deep, so it's too big to fit under a home.

You too, can imitate the greedy, calloused and selfish rich. For a sum most middle class folks can afford, you too can purchase some pie in the sky (or is it a mole in the hole?):

Snippet 3

Vivos plans as many as 20 community shelters of various sizes in the U.S. and says six are now under construction. Its sells fractional ownerships in the projects. Buying into a 944-person underground facility near Omaha, for example, costs $25,000 per person. This rendering shows a plan for “a typical” Vivos community bunker. // © Vivos

View From the Catbird Seat

Are those that contributed most to our polluted world and dog-eat-dog insane predatory capitalist mindset really stupid enough to believe they can survive the environmental collapse?

After about a year and half of pre-engineering, I switched to aviation and obtained pilot and flight instructor certificates. It was 1967 and I firmly believed their was a bullet in Viet Nam with my name on it so I joined the Air National Guard in the hopes of dodging it.  I scored well on the Air Force test that reminded me of those IQ tests they gave us in Kansas when I was a kid with lots of box shapes and pattern recognition type questions so I was given a wide range of job choices. I chose "Link Trainer Technician" because it was aviation related and, being an 11 month school, would teach me a lot about electronics.

I was turned down because I am nearsighted. Even though it was obviously corrected to 20-20 (It's rather difficult to get a pilot's license without proper vision), they claimed my glasses would inhibit my ability to work in enclosed places in the trainer while servicing electronics assemblies. I said I'd get contacts but to no avail. I didn't want to do the grunt work of aircraft mechanic or loading bombs or bullets on fighters so so I ended up training at Lowry AFB in Denver training in the dual AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code) of Intelligence Operations Specialist/Photo Interpreter (16 week school) after basic training in Lackland AFB.

At Lowry I learned how to kill millions of living beings of all sorts with atomic bombs. There was this bombing encyclopedia with radar cross sections of every city in the entire world (USA included). We would figure the megatonnage out to make sure we killed as many of the "enemy" as possible (e.g.  two air bursts of 5 megatons spaced about 25 miles apart do more damage than a single 15 megaton air burst). All this was top secret stuff of course but most of that info is declassified now and available on the internet so I'm free to talk about it. 

We learned how to spot infrastructure resources from aerial photography (oil refineries and bridges were a favorite) and how best to "take them out". I was an atheist at the time and had accepted the view that human males fight over land, stuff and women whenever they thought they could take one or more of those "items" away from the other guys.

Hey, I was raised by an Army officer. Being a cardboard **** was mandatory in my daddy's world view. Those who have read any of my current thoughts know I woke up to the bankruptcy of such a narrow mindset decades ago. Anyway, this is how I learned interrogation techniques (e.g. Mutt and Jeff - good cop bad cop) and what NBC filters are.

The US Government has LOTS of excellent underground facilities equipped with years of human survival need supplies and NBC filtration. So does Russia. The Swiss have some super doomsday shelters as well complete with modern hospital equipment. All the "first" world countries probably have callously taken steps to protect the decision makers among them. I say "callously" because underground hospitals with the latest equipment don't just sit there while people on the surface excluded from the catbird seat get average to poor health care, just for starters.

They don't just throw a bunch of canned beans in a hole and leave it at that; these facilities are constantly maintained and the supplies and equipment upgraded.

No, I can't prove it. I am extrapolating from my observations of rich people in the thrall of egotism greed and hubris.

Yep, I have some personal experiences with rich people. No they aren't at the elite decision making level (although I did personally met with one of their lackeys, General Westmoreland, for a brief one way conversation about not pissing upstream when he learned I had written home about hazing at West Point) but I can relate to you what I believe is a common mindset among the rich and you will see what I mean.

I have an older sister who became a millionaire in the stock market. She also claims to be a Christian. She's a world class hypocrite that embraced "prosperity preaching" from televangelist con artists. She is quite willing to pray for all those poor and donate a tax deductible (of course!) pittance every now and then but firmly believes it's their fault for being poor and prosperity is a mark of "God's blessing". She would run naked over a frozen lake to pick up a nickel. I learned some time ago that my old man abused her sexually when she was 13 so I try to make amends for her "a liberal is someone that has never been mugged" worldview.

The bottom line for her is that she was used so she used any damned thing out there, including religion to "get hers" though she won't admit it. Daddy was a predator and he passed it on to his oldest daughter (in a different form; she never abused her children). I say without a hint of sarcasm or humor that I hope God has mercy on her.

Nevertheless, she is still a hypocrite and is, through her embrace of the status quo, complicit in the harm being visited on the biosphere. Her concept of good stewardship is limited to her bank account. Her pro-war stand is revealing about how Orwellian mainstream "Christianity" has become. I once sent her an article in protest of the Iraq war of a two year old girl screaming in terror at a checkpoint in Iraq where our soldiers had just killed her parents and there was blood all over the place. She sent me a picture of her two year old grandaughter.  :(

My Friend Steve the Millionaire

My other experience with a millionaire is with a fellow named Steve who was a high school classmate. His dad had a chain of department stores. Though we weren't friends in high school, Steve became my friend later in life during my atheist period. Steve liked to play monopoly, eat Oreo cookies and drink milk in his $400,000 house (1970s).

He was sure about everything and uncertain about nothing. He had a pair of Bull Mastiff dogs in his back yard and a collection of weapons (and a room just for them) that was quite impressive. He bought my old man's Army 45 because he liked having some "stopping power" available at all times (He "carried").

If you get the impression he was an arrogant, overbearing prick, then you are wrong. He was actually quite low key and affable in his mannerisms. As to his phallic symbol worship, you would never know it from his demeanor and voice. He was soft spoken and never cross in facial expressions. He could discuss any topic, no matter how different from his world view with aplomb.

He was also a henpecked husband who's wife Bonnie (another former classmate of mine) was a real handful. She made no effort to hide the fact that she had the hots for me and Steve made no effort to hide the fact that he had the hots for my former wife. Eventually that ended the friendship because wife swapping was never my thing and I would not hear of it. Bonnie and I had almost been an item before she married but I had my own rules about messing with married women and I managed to keep them.

But I digress. Steve, when he was winning at monopoly would say, "Money makes money". At other times when we discussed problems of wealth distribution in society he would say that, if all the wealth was evenly distributed, within 5 years present wealth distribution of the most money at the top with peanuts at the bottom would be established again because, you see, that is the proper social equilibrium of humanity, etc.

I would remind him that unethical practices like the 150% markup on cost (or more) that he would brag about to me in the department stores weren't right when the poor were the main targets. He would say that the poor would do exactly the same thing in his shoes (To his credit, he never got angry or tried to spin my charge as being false, envious or vindictive. Steve was wrong but he wasn't a hypocrite). By the way, I got a great discount on a TV and TV table from him so I didn't exactly have clean hands then.

Steve was born with a silver spoon in his mouth but never doubted that he was just lucky even though he held the conflicting view that the rich have some innate money making skill that the rest of the populace don't share. I guess he resolved this obvious logical conflict with the firm belief that the rich train their kids to be rich and that's why the rich get richer and mostly stay rich.

Those that scratch their way up like my sister are loathe to admit that luck, not smarts or God's favor are the main ingredients in their upward mobility. Of course neither of these two individuals are criminals in the Walls Street model. They both actually worked hard and played by some rules. But both of these types of millionaires share a biosphere killing worldview. EndisNigh brought to our attention here at the Doomstead Diner some quotes from Craig Dilworth in "Too Smart for our Own Good" humanity's basic problem of refusing to recognize that the average human has serious cognitive impairment in dealing with multigenerational biosphere harming technologies and other threats that are not immediate.

The rich are the worst offenders because they have gained a short term, but actually quite temporary and artificial, high standard of living at the expense of everyone, including their own future offspring's health. For the poor and many of us in the middle classes throughout the world, it is not rocket science to know the system cannot be improved by tinkering or minor adjustments here and there. No, the "growth is better forever" insanity must be properly labelled as such.   (

Continued in Part 2
Title: View from the Catbird Seat Part 2 of 2 parts
Post by: AGelbert on December 02, 2013, 01:06:15 am
View from the Catbird Seat Part 2

All this stuff and nonsense the rich have grown so fond of with those euphemistic terms for the use of capital and the role of financialization like "leverage" are all part of a mindset that flat refuses to see how deadly for the human race the embrace of this entire bankrupt paradigm is. Leverage is right up there with "enrichment" of Uranium in ridiculous terms. Uranium is concentrated, not enriched. No one gets rich from concentrating Uranium except some nuclear fuel corporation externalizing costs on we-the-people.

And what, exactly, is "Leverage"? It's a deliberate attempt to ascribe POWER to a financial agency such as a bank, hedge fund, venture capital firm or vulture capital crooks by equating usurious financial tools including fractional reserve banking, derivatives and futures contracts, among other fraudulent mechanisms in the world of finance and credit markets to the torque increase one gets when they increase lever length exerting force over a fulcrum.


It's a totally false metaphor. For every increase in length of the lever, you are actually exerting LESS force for a given distance traveled over the arc the far end of the lever travels in comparison to the short arc length of a short lever. With a long lever, the total arc distance may be several times the arc distance of a short lever. Granted, you can move a bigger weight but there is a trade off. The lever length is not a freebie. You have to make it very strong so it doesn't snap when the force is exerted. You need a way to grasp the lever over a lot of travel on the arc.


The clever rascal economists don't care that their "leverage" lever is a figment of the imagination that is so weak that it it needs the force of a government to keep everyone from using the same scam. Leverage is basically a loan WITHOUT collateral in the service of the upper class.


What's the big deal, you may ask. Economists can't win any Nobel prizes if they can't make up a lot of new formulas and catchy buzzwords for their "profession". Financial bullshit is their beat. Well, they are the spearhead of the elite spear that is buried deep in the biosphere. If we don't pull that spear out, the biosphere is going to get gangrene from an infected open wound or bleed to death.

No, I don't think the spearhead is in the heart (YET). And when I say "we", I include all of the human race. Some will say that there isn't a snowball's chance in hell of getting the elite to change their fatal support for this festering wound.

They've got a pack of funnel tubes all along the wound entrance and are happier than pigs in poop even as the surrounding tissue begins to necrotize. Which brings us to the title of this post and the "bacteria eats all the agar in the petri  dish leading to a massive dieoff" view of humanity's fatal flaws.

Are the rich really that stupid? Would all of us here, if we were in the catbird seat, behave exactly the same due to our brain's inability to react to a threat that isn't immediate?

My experience with only two rich people is anecdotal and those two are certainly not part of the decision makers that constantly exert force through their lackeys and counterfeited "leverage" in economic systems to inhibit, not just action to obtain sustainability, but the adoption of the "love and respect of all life" paradigm that delegitimizes their elite worldview.

The elite believe they are in the catbird seat because they deserve to be there. They also believe they are the most intelligent humans on earth and rightfully should make all the most important decisions as to how to preserve the biosphere sustainably. I really do believe that they believe that.

I think you do too. Come on, admit it. We have all sorts of fun deriding the abysmal stupidity of these reptiles but deep down we know they aren't just greedy and selfish; we know they have a plan. We have seen their PR outlets slowly but surely beginning to push the plan. Part of the plan is less people. The elite are cheapskates so they always try to "leverage" whatever scam they are pushing by investing as little capital as possible.

Just killing off the surplus population is extremely expensive and can create major difficulties among your gophers doing the killing when they realize they can just take the NBC filtered bunkers from the 1% if, or when, TSHTF.

No, some finesse is called for. It's probably quite convoluted and complex and I'm not privy to the details. I mention this part of their plan because the other part, bioremediation of the biosphere appears to be absent from their plan. I don't know.

It is my hope that these people in the elite have a solid grasp of the causes and long term effects of the coming environmental collapse. The Chinese leadership appear to take this very seriously with their 5 year plans. Just looking at the huge jumps in wind and solar power far beyond even the 5 year plan proposals is quite positive.

On the other hand, the massive pollution problems in China often pointed to by RE and JoeP along with China's insane decision to build nuclear power plants does not bode well for Homo SAP.

Is this "ring circling" (see bacteria in a petri dish when the agar runs out) dynamic of the 1% going on worldwide, but in secret, because we-the-people don't have tickets to board this boat?

Please follow this sequence of pictures:

A few decades ago things still looked calm to the average person.

Then disturbances sprang up here and there.

 Sometimes things got quite turbulent but we were assured it would pass.


Depending on where the average person was on the globe, things looked better in some places and worse in others but this was because we weren't in the catbird seat.

This is the view from the catbird seat.

Doomstead Diner readers have figured out that this is coming. Most people won't see it until it's too late.

Now let's go back to the first photo in the sequence.

This is what we saw decades ago.

This was the view back then from the catbird seat. IOW they knew then and they don't have alzheimers.

This is the hope of the elite; to make it through the turbulence to the, relatively, smooth waters while the biosphere rebounds.

They are right that a reduced population will lower environmental stress but they are wrong to think they can carry the putrid seeds of environmental destruction essential to their world view and not fail in achieving their environmental paradise.

That's why I write this stuff. I hope to convince THEM that their mindset is now, and always has been, the "bacteria eating up all the agar in the petri dish" and there is no way you can put lipstick on that pig.

It is in their best interests to condemn greed and rampant competition for resources now. If they don't, their own little group of pseudo Olympian gods will immediately be at each others throats in the lifeboats after the environmental collapse.

Feel free to pass this on. Maybe, just maybe, some of them will stop they're calm aplomb and assurance about anything and everything like my friend Steve used to have. Maybe they will realize that the environmental collapse threat that they have been aware of long before we were and planned accordingly for is not the the real threat to homo sapiens; their worship of greed and power is. 

As in The Lord of the Rings book, they must recognize that the problem is not external to them and they cannot externalize it. They tried and failed to externalize environmental costs.

They tried and failed to provide proper allocation of resources through their usurious leverage based economies.  

They must recognize those two failures and the fact that both of them are based on the failure to recognize that egocentrism is a cancer and they, as long as they cling to it, are the cancerous cells that will destroy everything they touch, including themselves. If they accept that, there is hope.

If they don't, then yes, the human bacteria will reduce it's numbers with genocide but the killers will, nevertheless, find themselves, unable to avoid engaging in the same or greater environmental destruction and "king of the hill" competition and warfare. The problem is not lack of agar, it's the ATTITUDE.

The core requirement for human survival is that the parasitic human bacteria MUST modify itself to become symbiotic with the biosphere, period.    (

The 1% emerge from their Lifeboat after the Environmental Collapse
Title: The F35
Post by: AGelbert on December 03, 2013, 07:24:31 pm
Written a couple of months ago by a good citizen of Vermont:


The Free Press’ September 28 editorial on the F-35 – which essentially said, learn to live with it— plays into the disinformation campaign that has been waged by politicians and the GBIC.

They consistently talk about “mitigating” the dangers to our area from basing this fighter-bomber in a densely populated neighborhood.
But the whole problem is that the dangers cannot be mitigated. That’s not an opinion. That’s a fact.

The reason why the Air Force states that 8,000 people will end up living in a zone that is “incompatible for residential use” is because mitigation is impossible. That’s why they conclude, “land acquisition and relocation is the only alternative.”

The fact that intense noise blasts from existing F-16s cannot be mitigated is the reason why many homes near the airport are now vacant. The noise blast from F-35’s will be 3 to 4 times louder.

Not one of the politicians or the GBIC has offered any facts to dispute the harm to residents that is detailed in both the Air Force and World Health Organization reports. They have chosen to stonewall and refuse to meet with residents in the area.

But extreme noise blasts are not the only problem. Newly designed fighter jets have a very high crash rate during the first years after they become operational. The Air Force has confirmed this.

That’s why a newly designed fighter-bomber has never before been based at a residential airport such as Burlington’s. They have always been based at military bases in remote areas until the bugs have been worked out.

The F-35 is particularly problematic should a crash occur because it is loaded with 18,000 pounds of fuel and is made from highly flammable composite materials–42% by weight–that emit very toxic fumes and fibers when burned. Moreover, the fire produced from composite materials is far different from fire from a burning metal aircraft.

As the Boston Globe reported, Burlington would not have been selected were it not for political pressure from Senator Leahy.( He has stated that he believes it is an honor ( for the Vermont Guard to be the first recipient of the new Joint Strike Fighter. >:(

I support and respect the men and women in the Guard. However, if being the first to have this plane is an honor, it is one that dishonors the people who live near the airport. This is not being a good neighbor. This is not something whose dangers and noise can be “mitigated”. And it’s a strange kind of honor ( ( that seeks to have Vermont be the first base for a botched fighter-bomber that Senator John McCain has called “one of the great national scandals.”

I don’t know if it’s a developer’s bonanza, or honor, or pride, or politics that has caused Leahy/Sanders/Welch/Shumlin/Weinberger to act in lockstep,  (  but I am actually shocked at their callousness in failing to protect the children and adults that will be harmed physically, cognitively, and financially.(

The Air Force will not be liable for all of these damages, and neither will the politicians. The City of Burlington will be left holding the bag.

As the landlord of the airport, the City of Burlington has the right to prevent its tenant, the Air Force, from basing F-35s on the City’s property. On October 7, the Burlington City Council has the opportunity, the responsibility, and the obligation to act on a resolution to protect the health and welfare of the citizens living near its airport. May they act in a spirit of care and compassion and reason.
–Ben Cohen, Burlington

“The numbers were fudged…if the scoring had been done correctly,
Burlington would not have been rated higher (than others).”

Boston Globe quoting an anonymous Pentagon official

Of all potential F35 bases, only Burlington basing will have an increased impact on residential land.
- Air Force EIS report

Not basing in Vermont is the preferable environmental alternative.
- Air Force EIS report

“It would be more costly to do [F35] missions at Burlington… but political promises were made.”
- Anonymous Pentagon official

“Putting the F-35 into production years before the first test flight was acquisition malpractice. It should not have been done, OK? But we did it.”

- Frank Kendall, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition

“I take seriously allegations that the scoring process may have been flawed.”     
- Senator Bernie Sanders

Endangered Health: The Threat to Public Health from the Proposed F-35 Basing at Burlington International Airport

Current scientific consensus confirms that health effects of aviation noise, in both children and adults, are far more severe than the Air Force acknowledges(


“Mayor” Weinberger–F-35 Booster and CEO for the military-industrial-real estate complex

Vermont National Guard, announces that the U.S. Air Force has decided to base the F-35 fighter jet at the Burlington Air National Guard base in South Burlington, on Tuesday, December 3, 2013. (

So it goes. Everybody knows.( (     (
Title: The F-35 is TOO DANGEROUS for Burlington, Vermont
Post by: AGelbert on December 03, 2013, 09:26:13 pm

( F35 (

The F35 isn't simply horrendously noisy; it is even more horrendously dangerous. No, the danger isn't for the pilot; it's for the people that live beneath flight path.


Because the pentagon has had a slight "problem" with fighter aircraft that they can never seem to get over. They made the same costly mistake with the P38 Lightning, P47 Thundebolt, F105 fighter/bomber, F4 phantom, F104 Starfighter and a few others. IOW, the NORM for our MIC is to churn out a unresponsive DOGS.

The successful fighters have been the P51 Mustang, F86 Saber Jet and the F14 Tomcat. The F18 hornet that replaced the F14 is cheaper but has never actually been proven superior in a to dog fight with a Russian, European or Chinese equivalent fighter versions.

The P51 outflew the Messerschmitt 109s that were faster but less maneuverable.
The Japanese ZERO flew rings around the F6F Hellcats we had in the pacific. We won there because we had more stuff, not because we had better stuff.

The F86 had a kill ration of 11 to one over the Mig 15 it fought with in he Korean War. No fighter aircraft before or since has bested the F86 Saber Jet.

The F14, Tomcat, despite it being rather heavy, had a high survival rate in Vietnam because it had two engines and could usually limp back to the carrier as well as do slightly over 1 to 1 with the Russian fighters of that epoch. The Mig 21 and Mig 23 were, in many ways, as good as anything we had then,

Why did/DOES the MIC make lousy fighters?

Because it is always trying to reach what is known as a multiple role war bird. This never works because ONE role (e.g. Ground attack) ALWAYS compromises the performance characteristics need for the other roles (high altitude intercept and high altitude bombing).

The F104 was designed to fly high and fast and shoot a few on board missles from a long distance. It can't maneuver. So it was useless in Vietnam.

The F105 was a "compromise" between a fighter and a bomber. It could carry a lot of bombs but could not really maneuver. Calling it a fighter was done in a fit of imagination. In Viet Nam, they were affectionately called LEAD SLEDS by their pilots. They got shot down regularly by missiles and were dead meat if a Mig got a hold of them. The F4 phantom was also too heavy and dangerous to land on carriers. The F14, with its swing wings, made carrier landing deaths mostly a thing of the past. The F4 couldn't hold its own against Migs either.

The F-16 supposedly took care of a lot of this stuff because it is a pure fighter (light maneuverable and fast) but it can't carry much weight for bombing and is too hot for accurate ground attack (both of these type roles have been tried unsuccessfully by the Israelis for the F-16 and they have come out looking like idiots - yeah, they destroyed buildings but they couldn't protect Israeli Troops from Hezbollah).

But the MIC keeps trying to get an airplane that can "do it all". And instead of saying, well, that's silly. We will have a heavily armored, slow, ground attack aircraft capable of taking a beating, a bomber that can bomb anything from way up there out of ground fire range with ECM countermeasures for missiles and some stealth thrown in and we will escort the bomber with fighters that are as nimble as rocket powered mosquitos.

No, the B2s are too few. They want a fighter, bomber and a HARRIER CLONE TOO!

On top of screwing up the design (decreased maneuverability throughout the flight envelope and greater vulnerability near the ground) with a lot of added weight from a huge engine needed for large armament loads from missiles to bombs to bullets, the engine had to be EVEN BIGGER and HEAVIER. THAT is why the F-35 is SO NOISY.

They have made a modern day version of the P-47 Thunderbolt. That DOG had such a hoge engine that they ground looped on takeoff regularly because the pilot applied full power before he had enough rudder to counteract torque. They were fast but had the glide path of a rock if the single huge engine failed.

But they crowning folly is wanting a vertical take off and landing fighter aircraft (VTOL). The marines loved the English Harrier Jet because it could hide out in the woods with the troops and help with ground attack. So the pentagon was asked for an American version.

Right, ANOTHER role for an already overtasked aircraft. Which brings me back to Burlington, Vermont.

Those F-35 pilots are going to be REQUIRED to perform VTOL exercises regularly. Yes, the plane has all kinds of computers taking care of the aircraft pitch and bank during these maneuvers but all that goes to HELL when the engine fails.

Right now, if an F-16 flying along at 160 mph plus on final to the normal approach path to Burlington (flying Southeast some mile northwest of the airport), they can put it into the Winooski river and eject just before impact (nobody gets killed).

HOWEVER, if they are doing a VTOL exercise a hundred feet or so over the airport and the engine or the computer fails, it WON'T just drop straight down; it will try to vector this way or that and end up on top of a house next to the airport. When you are at nearly zero forward speed, you aren't just a wingless ROCK, you are a computer controlled loose cannon.

The F-35 will kill people in Vermont. I hope the people of Vermont voice their OUTRAGE against this death machine enough NOW before Senator Leahy has to retire in INFAMY.

NOT COOL, highly dangerous, SINGLE ENGINE VTOL planes

( (


Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on December 16, 2013, 06:47:13 pm

Sanders Applauds Pope Francis’ Call to Rein in the Tyranny of Capitalism  (

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

BURLINGTON, Vt., Nov. 26, 2013 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today applauded Pope Francis’ recent papal pronouncement, which condemns the “new tyranny” of unrestrained capitalism, causing income inequality and poverty, and calling on leaders to curb “the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation,” and act “for the common good.”

In his first independently written apostolic exhortation called “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis calls for a rejection of the “new idolatry of money.” He notes that “the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few.” He calls for “more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor,” and for the commitment of political and financial leaders to “ensure that all citizens have dignified work, education and healthcare.”

Sanders continues to welcome the Pope’s past passionate criticism of the global financial system, which has plunged more of the world into poverty while benefiting the wealthy few. Sanders commended the Pope. “At a time when the gap between rich and everyone else is growing wider, at a time when Wall Street and large financial institutions are exerting extraordinary power over the American and world economy, I applaud the pope for continuing to speak out on these enormously important issues,” Sanders said. “Pope Francis is reminding people of all walks of life, and all religious backgrounds, that we can and must do better.”

Francis warns that our economic systems will “devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market.”

Francis broadens the definition of the commandment “thou shalt not kill,” by saying, “today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.” In striking terms he asked “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses 2 points?” He repeated his warning that “Money must serve, not rule.”  (
Title: Seed Documentary: How Corporate Greed in Agriculture Destroys Biodiversity
Post by: AGelbert on December 29, 2013, 04:48:49 pm
Advancing biological diversity was the path humans were on UNTIL the POWER STRUCTURES in society decided to reverse this trend into the unsustainable direction of REDUCED biological diversity in order to CONTROL humans and increase corporate profits. Greed is bad; greed is destroying the biosphere.  (
Title: GRAT Socialism for the RICH
Post by: AGelbert on January 05, 2014, 09:54:36 pm
Grantor Retained Annuity Trust ( (

Smile, the billionaires and millionaires are paying less taxes than YOU!  :evil4:

Here's just ONE that uses GRAT extensively:
Sheldon Adelson

One of his dwellings...

Marina Bay Sands Resort owned by Sheldon Adelson

Socialism FOR THE RICH is the American WAY!

Ultra-Wealthy Dodge Billions in Taxes Using "GRAT" Loophole

December 20, 2013 01:06 PM | Permalink | Bookmark and Share
A new Bloomberg report describes how billionaires have dodged an estimated $100 billion in gift and estate taxes since 2000, according to the lawyer who perfected the practice.

The trick involves temporarily putting corporate stocks (or similar assets) into a “Grantor Retained Annuity Trust” (GRAT), where the grantor gets the stocks back after two years, plus a small amount of interest, while any appreciation of the stock goes to the grantor’s heirs tax-free.

Because the initial gift has no inherent value (it’s essentially a gift to oneself), there is no gift tax at the time the GRAT is set up. The loophole is that the appreciation of the stock that goes to the heirs is not subject to gift tax either. As a result, extremely wealthy individuals avoid billions of dollars in gift and estate tax.

This is what Sheldon Adelson did (to take just one example) when he put much of his Las Vegas Sands stock in GRATs when the stock had plummeted during the recession. Adelson knew that the stock was likely to rise significantly from that low point. If Adelson had simply given his heirs the stock, the gift tax would have  applied to the value of the stock at the time it was given. Or if he bequeathed the stock upon his death, the estate tax would apply.

But by using GRATS, neither the value of the stock at the time it was temporarily put into the GRAT nor the subsequent appreciation was subject to gift or estate tax. See the graphic (at link below) from Bloomberg for how the shelter works :evil4:  in practice. (

In today’s On the News segment: The super rich have skipped out on paying $100 billion dollars in estate taxes since 2000; Americans are working harder than ever, but most people won't be seeing a larger paycheck; as renewable energy becomes more popular, the oil and gas industry is getting scared; and more.


I'm Jim Javinsky - in for Thom Hartmann – on the news…

You need to know this. The super rich have skipped out on paying $100 billion dollars in estate taxes since 2000. And, that incredible number doesn't even factor in the billions that they saved using loopholes like capital gains, or by stashing their money in tax havens around the world.

A new report from Bloomberg News says that special tax loopholes used primarily by the super rich have made the estate tax system “essentially voluntary” for those at the top. Basically, billionaires like Shelly Adelson and the Walton family set up special trust funds, like the Walton-created “grantor-retained annuity trust” or GRAT, in which they stash millions of dollars worth of stock. Once those GRATs expire – typically after two years – the billionaires cash out the stock, keep their original investment, along with a profit, and pass on the balance to their heirs. All the while, avoiding taxes on the whole scheme.

By using these completely legal, but highly unethical, tactics, the super wealthy have stashed away $100 billion in a little over a decade. That amount is enough to pay for every child in our nation to go to preschool for ten years, and it could wipe out the entire first round of sequester cuts.

One hundred billion could have provided a substantial benefit to our nation, and it's only one of many tax loopholes that the super rich use to get out of paying their fair share. The super rich like to call estate taxes “death taxes,” but trust-fund schemes like this that are actually killing investment in our nation. If billionaires want to do business in our great nation, it's about time that they start contributing to the commons that make it possible.

Here's some more WELFARE QUEENS:

Facebook Billionaires Used GRATs to Save $200 Million in Gift Taxes (
Title: Strangelove Stanley Fischer is the POINT MAN for this NUCLEAR WAR! STOP HIM!
Post by: AGelbert on January 14, 2014, 06:45:53 pm
Obama just came out with a bit of Orwell speak. Less than a month after he named Dr. Strangelove Stanley Fischer to the Fed in order to help orchestrate the drive to Nuking Iran, Obama claims that Congress should "give diplomacy a chance" in Iran rather than "adding sanctions"!

Guess what? It's the FEDERAL RESERVE that controls our planet wide banking sanction machinery! It's the FEDERLA RESERVE that will tighten the screws even more on Iran with Stanley Fischer pushing for WAR with Iran.

Dear readers, this is called plausible deniability. It is ALSO evidence that the drive to NUKE IRAN is now entering the BIG PUSH.

This is how this "works":


THREE: Stanley Fischer will wail and moan PUBLICLY about how sanctions on Iran are BAD for the US and diplomacy is the "best" alternative in dealing with Iran.  ;)

TWO: A terrorist attack will take place (NOT in Israel or the US) somewhere blaming "unknown" parties. ;)  The news will dog the story for weeks until it is REVEALED that "the Iranians DID IT to destroy the US peace initiatives so they could get the bomb!". Scrutiny will reveal this is all bull**** but by then the echo chamber screaming for DEFENSIVE NUCLEAR WAR with IRAN will be in full swing. Obama will ask for calm and diplomacy. The stock market will tank. Iran will be blamed and labeled a THREAT to our ECONOMY. (

The Israeli government will PUBLISH statements about "conciliatory gestures" towards Iran.  ;)

ONE: Israel will reiterate that, under no circumstances, will they initiate hostilities with IRAN unless they have no other option. Many US politicians will scream that Israel MUST defend itself from this EXISTENTIAL NUCLEAR THREAT!

ZERO: Israel, in full cooperation with the US military, makes a nuclear strike on Iran on a friday afternoon, US EASTERN STANDARD TIME. The plan is for Iran to be  decapitated during the weekend and the Russians and Chinese convinced the new status quo is a docile, submissive Iran. That weekend there will be a LOT of coverage in the US of some OTHER news, be it a scandal or a sports event.

A message to the GOONS in the intelligence community that read this. Tell your bosses. This WILL NOT WORK. Sure, you won't get WWIII right away, but YOU WILL GET IT WITHIN A YEAR. Do you want a happy fascist future retirement to look at your newsreels of storm troopers marching with swastika arm bands back in the "glory" days of Nazi Germany? Do you want your kids to look human instead of like grape balls or THIS?

Ce-137 caused mutation - Chernobyl baby

WWIII will bring MORE and MORE of these mutations because it takes about 300 YEARS for ALL the cesium-137 spread all over the planet since they started the atomic explosions to START DEVOLVING our species. (

If you NSA and CIA and WHATEVER "intelligence" community goons do not stop this INSANE war on IRAN, you will have destroyed your future gravy train and be held responsible for this human catastrophe for all time to come. DON'T TELL ME THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO STOP THIS WAR. You KNOW you can put the fear of God in the Federal Reserve ANY TIME YOU WANT. How about showing some REAL enlightened self interest for a change instead of being stupid ****ing game theory robots for the 1% psychopaths. STOP BEING STUPID!

Strangelove Stanley Fischer is the POINT MAN for this NUCLEAR WAR! STOP HIM!

Please pass this on. The planet you save may be your own.
Title: Corporate America Recognizes Eroding Middle Class
Post by: AGelbert on February 04, 2014, 06:35:10 pm
Feb 03, 2014 at 08:00 AM PST.

Corporate America Recognizes Eroding Middle Class

TomPFollow .
The world of business is admitting what working people have been living: the middle class is dying:

In Manhattan, the upscale clothing retailer Barneys will replace the bankrupt discounter Loehmann’s, whose Chelsea store closes in a few weeks. Across the country, Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants are struggling, while fine-dining chains like Capital Grille are thriving. And at General Electric, the increase in demand for high-end dishwashers and refrigerators dwarfs sales growth of mass-market models.

As politicians and pundits in Washington continue to spar over whether economic inequality is in fact deepening, in corporate America there really is no debate at all. The post-recession reality is that the customer base for businesses that appeal to the middle class is shrinking as the top tier pulls even further away.


“As a retailer or restaurant chain, if you’re not at the really high level or the low level, that’s a tough place to be,” Mr. Maxwell said. “You don’t want to be stuck in the middle.”

Although data on consumption is less readily available than figures that show a comparable split in income gains, new research by the economists Steven Fazzari, of Washington University in St. Louis, and Barry Cynamon, of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, backs up what is already apparent in the marketplace.

In 2012, the top 5 percent of earners were responsible for 38 percent of domestic consumption, up from 28 percent in 1995, the researchers found.

NY Times: The Middle Class Is Steadily Eroding. Just Ask the Business World.
What this may mean is more and more bubbles, as the wealthy chase higher returns that can not be created by an economy without middle class demand.  Meanwhile, the increasing impoverishment and proletarianization of the former middle class could lead to a greater class consciousness and acts against the wealthy.  It might.  There's no inevitability. 

The income and wealth inequality in our nation is immoral and bad for business. 

Update I: From bobswern in the comments:

Elizabeth Warren Dec. 4th, 2009... (2+ / 0-)
 This was in 2009...back when Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate...
America Without a Middle Class -- It's Not Far Away As You Might Think
 America today has plenty of rich and super-rich. But it has far more families who did all the right things, but who still have no real security.

Elizabeth Warren
 December 4, 2009
Can you imagine an America without a strong middle class? If you can, would it still be America as we know it?

Today, one in five Americans is unemployed, underemployed or just plain out of work. One in nine families can't make the minimum payment on their credit cards. One in eight mortgages is in default or foreclosure. One in eight Americans is on food stamps. More than 120,000 families are filing for bankruptcy every month. The economic crisis has wiped more than $5 trillion from pensions and savings, has left family balance sheets upside down, and threatens to put ten million homeowners out on the street.

Families have survived the ups and downs of economic booms and busts for a long time, but the fall-behind during the busts has gotten worse while the surge-ahead during the booms has stalled out. In the boom of the 1960s, for example, median family income jumped by 33% (adjusted for inflation). But the boom of the 2000s resulted in an almost-imperceptible 1.6% increase for the typical family. While Wall Street executives and others who owned lots of stock celebrated how good the recovery was for them, middle class families were left empty-handed.

The crisis facing the middle class started more than a generation ago. Even as productivity rose, the wages of the average fully-employed male have been flat since the 1970s…
"I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham
by bobswern on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 10:35:43 AM CST
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on February 08, 2014, 04:24:00 pm
WHD said,
Anyway, anarchism isn't what happens when people who believe in capitalism and socialism find no Authority to genuflect before, it's what happens when people come together in the absence of Authority, to protect each other, and to accomplish what they could not alone. Which is just what happens. I don't need to defend it.

As UB, said, leaders will show up. The idea that an ABSENCE of Authority will take place is a thought experiment, not a probable reality based on history. Humans are competitive and ALWAYS have tried to declare themselves "the boss", no matter how small the group. History does not provide good examples of spontaneous cooperation born of "absence of authority" simply because authority has ALWAYS been present in some form.

Anarchy from absence of authority is wishful thinking. It ain't gonna happen.

WHY? Take the Fukushima tsunami, for example. No anarchy but all the disorganization and instant infrastructure collapse along with 25,000 instant deaths.

You may say the area wasn't big enough. Okay, half the islands of Japan sink in a massive quake and the other half are totally flattened. Anarchy results? I don't think so.

For the "anarchy" dream of, "hey, the goons in charge are gone so lets cooperate and make a nice society" to have a snowball's chance in hell to take place, you need to eliminate ALL the governments on earth in one fell swoop AND their military abilities including nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines. AUTHORITY is NEVER going to be ABSENT.

The rules of predatory behavior dictate that, when one country is in shambles from whatever, the strong neighbors IMMEDIATELY jump into the authority vacuum and get the booty (pretending to recue their neighbor, of course  :evil4:).

Forget anarchy. It will never happen. Humans dream of anarchy but never, except a brief riot here and there, function 24/7 in that state.

A tree or a bear or a wolf is NOT concerned with a bunch of dead prey a thousand miles away. HUMANS ARE. Humans want to take over when their neighbors are weak or disorganized. That's the way it is.
Title: ISO216 A4 paper size is a Triumph of Scientific Objectivity and Common Sense
Post by: AGelbert on February 11, 2014, 03:36:05 pm

The international paper size standard, ISO 216, is based on the German DIN 476 standard for paper sizes. ISO paper sizes are all based on a single aspect ratio of square root of 2, or approximately 1:1.4142.

The standard defines the "A" and "B" series of paper sizes, including A4, the most commonly available size.

Successive paper sizes in the series A1, A2, A3, and so forth, are defined by halving the preceding paper size across the larger dimension. The most frequently used paper size is A4 measuring 210 by 297 millimetres (8.3 in × 11.7 in).

The significant advantage of this system is its scaling: if a sheet with an aspect ratio of √2  is divided into two equal halves parallel to its shortest sides, then the halves will again have an aspect ratio of √2. Folded brochures of any size can be made by using sheets of the next larger size, e.g. A4 sheets are folded to make A5 brochures.

The system allows scaling without compromising the aspect ratio from one size to another—as provided by office photocopiers, e.g. enlarging A4 to A3 or reducing A3 to A4. Similarly, two sheets of A4 can be scaled down and fit exactly 1 sheet without any cutoff or margins.

Weights are easy to calculate as well: a standard A4 sheet made from 80 g/m2 paper weighs 5 g (as it is one 16th of an A0 page, measuring 1 m2), allowing one to easily compute the weight—and associated postage rate—by counting the number of sheets used.

The advantages of basing a paper size upon an aspect ratio of were first noted in 1786 by the German scientist and philosopher Georg Christoph Lichtenberg.[2] Early in the 20th century, Dr Walter Porstmann turned Lichtenberg's idea into a proper system of different paper sizes. Porstmann's system was introduced as a DIN standard (DIN 476) in Germany in 1922, replacing a vast variety of other paper formats. Even today the paper sizes are called "DIN A4" (IPA: [diːn.ʔaː.fiːɐ̯]) in everyday use in Germany and Austria. The term Lichtenberg ratio has recently been proposed for this paper aspect ratio.

Agelbert NOTE: Gee what a great system! Certainly all countries but the most stubborn, nationalistic and just plain backward would embrace this celebration of logic, economic common sense (i.e. easy to figure weights for postage) and scientific leadership by the Germans, RIGHT?
By 1975 so many countries were using the German system that it was established as an ISO standard, as well as the official United Nations document format. By 1977 A4 was the standard letter format in 88 of 148 countries. Today the standard has been adopted by all countries in the world except the United States and Canada. :P

H.G. Wells said, "Human progress is more and more a race between education and catastrophe". I can't prove it but our refusal to use CFS and adopt ISO 216 is evidence pointing to who the foot dragging, backward, uneducated members of the human family hurtling us towards CATASTROPHE are.

I like ISO 216 in general and A4 in particular. How about you? Have a nice day.  ;D
Title: The concept of race
Post by: AGelbert on February 11, 2014, 07:17:45 pm
The concept of race

The concept of race has been widely propagated since Carl Linnaeus published Systema Naturae in 1735.

The father of modern taxonomy proposed four distinct racial groups for human beings—American, European, Asian, and African—that encompassed not only physical characteristics and geographic origin, but also personality traits, skills, and abilities.

This classification has become institutionalized with little awareness that the variable “race” is not actually a biological phenomenon: there is more genetic variation within these racial groups than across them.

Rather, the notion of race is a social construct.

Despite a pervasive belief that race represents clear-cut and genetically distinct groups of people, there is no evidence that it is associated with any personality traits, skills, or abilities.

The US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines race as a set of self-identified racial/ethnic classifications, and many researchers argue that it is a crude tool in medical genetics.

Agelbert NOTE: Do most Americans, with or without scientific training, understand this REALITY about the NON-SCIENTIFIC basis for assigning traits (positive or negative), innate skills (or the LACK of them) and intelligence (or the LACK of it) according to Carl Linnaeus's 1735 bull**** bigotry?

Does Kunstler understand this?

I don't think so.

Shame on Kunstler and all the willfully ignorant ****S that wish to make artificial distinctions in humans in order to position their tribe on a higher level in the social pecking order. You evil bastards are helping destroy our future by fostering strife born of mendacious and vicious prejudicial disdain of fellow humans just because they look a little different.
Title: That's Alright, Isn't It----Everyone Is Doing It SO it must be OK?
Post by: AGelbert on February 15, 2014, 06:24:16 pm
Dr. Edo said in the comments to the following story:
With the increasingly politized and clientele captured regulatory community of non-action, Milgram's ideas are alive and well. Regulators whose jobs are to protect the public or environment now think nothing of  bowing to industry demands and Congress jumps in on the band wagon, all leaving the environment and public health waving in the breeze, hey, but that's alright, isn't it----everyone is doing it, must be OK?

Review: “Please Continue”

A play that dramatizes Stanley Milgram’s infamous social psychology experiments from the 1960s captures the personal side of human research.

By Tracy Vence | February 11, 2014


In the 40 years since Yale University’s Stanley Milgram first publicized his social psychology experiments that purported to reveal surprising truths about authority, obedience, and human nature, artists have dramatized the infamous research in nearly two dozen novels, films, pop songs, and plays. Playwright Frank Basloe joins the crowd with “Please Continue,” a play commissioned by New York City’s Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST) in collaboration with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which uses the Milgram experiments to explore the essence of the people who participate in scientific research.

Directed by EST’s William Carden, a nine-member cast skillfully portrayed the personal struggles of those connected with Milgram’s experiments—and, more broadly, early 1960s America—during a First Light Roughcut Workshop presentation last week (February 6).

From 1961 to 1962, Milgram and a few assistants conducted a series of trials involving three people each—an authoritative “experimenter,” a volunteer “teacher,” and a “learner,” who was in on the research setup but pretended to also be an unsuspecting volunteer. The teachers thought they were participating in a study on memory and learning, when in fact it was their own obedience and respect for authority that was being tested. Once their roles had been established—by what the teachers thought was a random draw—the experimenter set the other two participants up in separate rooms. The learner was connected to an electro-shock generator that the teacher controlled. The teacher was instructed to deliver shocks in increasing 15-volt increments whenever the learner answered a question incorrectly. When the teacher would question or refuse to deliver shocks, the experimenter would deliver a succession of commands, instructing the volunteer to proceed.

“Please continue,” bellowed fictitious experimenter “Sanders,” played by Austin Trow. “The experiment requires that you continue.”

The trials themselves “had a lot to do with stagecraft . . . like a play that happened in a lab,” explains Gina Perry, a psychologist and author of the 2012 book Behind the Shock Machine: The Untold Story of the Notorious Milgram Psychology Experiments. “When you think about what seemed to happen in Milgram’s experiments: ordinary people enter a space and—‘Wow, look at the power of science’—they are transformed into monsters, [people] whose behavior we find absolutely horrendous. That’s such a powerful story.”

It’s a powerful story that Perry notes has been oversimplified—in psychology textbooks and dramatic reproductions alike—over time. Most accounts of the research hinge on a startling result: 65 percent of teachers administered the final massive 450-volt shock, even though many said they were uncomfortable with the experiment. In fact, Perry says, the Milgram experiments tested 24 unique conditions on 700 participants; the 65 percent figure was gleaned from experiments testing only one of those conditions, involving 40 participants, and reported in a 1963 Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology paper.

“A lot of these narratives in the plays, songs, and so on are purporting to [give] an answer to the question” about human nature—“that the human condition is open to manipulation by external, pernicious powers, and that there is very little we can do to prevent that,” says Clifford Stott from the University of Leeds Security and Justice Research Group. “That’s clearly not the case.”

“We hear about the statistics and the data, and we hear about the drama, but we never hear about the experiments from the individual participant’s point-of-view,” Perry says.

And that’s exactly what this play does so well. Rather than focusing on this experimental result explicitly, “Please Continue” takes the audience into the minds of the teacher, learner, and experimenter, revealing the turmoil within each. While Basloe’s script deviates from actual events, it does so in service of a greater purpose—to humanize the emotions of all three participants, from the teacher’s reticence to the learner’s penitence and the experimenter’s unending curiosity about the reasons for others’ actions, and eventually, his own.

Psychologists still struggle to understand the many implications of the Milgram experiments. But to Perry’s mind, the continued cultural fascination with this research points to at least one justified truth about human nature. “We all want answers,” she says, which were just what Milgram’s team “seemed to offer.”

Agelbert NOTE: Clifford Stott from the University of Leeds Security and Justice Research Group must be funded by the MIC. ( (

Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on February 18, 2014, 10:00:24 pm
Title: A Cartoon about the 1% that Is NOT funny
Post by: AGelbert on February 26, 2014, 06:41:26 pm
Title: Beneath Veneer of Democracy, The Permanent Ruling Class
Post by: AGelbert on March 01, 2014, 04:12:29 pm
Published on Monday, February 24, 2014 by Moyers & Company       

Anatomy of the Deep State: Beneath Veneer of Democracy, The Permanent Ruling Class

by Mike Lofgren   

"Rome lived upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face. Industry is the only true source of wealth, and there was no industry in Rome. By day the Ostia road was crowded with carts and muleteers, carrying to the great city the silks and spices of the East, the marble of Asia Minor, the timber of the Atlas, the grain of Africa and Egypt; and the carts brought out nothing but loads of dung. That was their return cargo." – The Martyrdom of Man by Winwood Reade (1871)

"Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose."

There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power. [1]

During the last five years, the news media has been flooded with pundits decrying the broken politics of Washington. The conventional wisdom has it that partisan gridlock and dysfunction have become the new normal. That is certainly the case, and I have been among the harshest critics of this development. But it is also imperative to acknowledge the limits of this critique as it applies to the American governmental system. On one level, the critique is self-evident: In the domain that the public can see, Congress is hopelessly deadlocked in the worst manner since the 1850s, the violently rancorous decade preceding the Civil War.

"Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose."

As I wrote in The Party is Over, the present objective of congressional Republicans is to render the executive branch powerless, at least until a Republican president is elected (a goal that voter suppression laws in GOP-controlled states are clearly intended to accomplish). President Obama cannot enact his domestic policies and budgets: Because of incessant GOP filibustering, not only could he not fill the large number of vacancies in the federal judiciary, he could not even get his most innocuous presidential appointees into office. Democrats controlling the Senate have responded by weakening the filibuster of nominations, but Republicans are sure to react with other parliamentary delaying tactics. This strategy amounts to congressional nullification of executive branch powers by a party that controls a majority in only one house of Congress.

Despite this apparent impotence, President Obama can liquidate American citizens without due processes, detain prisoners indefinitely without charge, conduct dragnet surveillance on the American people without judicial warrant and engage in unprecedented — at least since the McCarthy era — witch hunts against federal employees (the so-called “Insider Threat Program”). Within the United States, this power is characterized by massive displays of intimidating force by militarized federal, state and local law enforcement. Abroad, President Obama can start wars at will and engage in virtually any other activity whatsoever without so much as a by-your-leave from Congress, such as arranging the forced landing of a plane carrying a sovereign head of state over foreign territory. Despite the habitual cant of congressional Republicans about executive overreach by Obama, the would-be dictator, we have until recently heard very little from them about these actions — with the minor exception of comments from gadfly Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Democrats, save a few mavericks such as Ron Wyden of Oregon, are not unduly troubled, either — even to the extent of permitting seemingly perjured congressional testimony under oath by executive branch officials on the subject of illegal surveillance.

These are not isolated instances of a contradiction; they have been so pervasive that they tend to be disregarded as background noise. During the time in 2011 when political warfare over the debt ceiling was beginning to paralyze the business of governance in Washington, the United States government somehow summoned the resources to overthrow Muammar Ghaddafi’s regime in Libya, and, when the instability created by that coup spilled over into Mali, provide overt and covert assistance to French intervention there. At a time when there was heated debate about continuing meat inspections and civilian air traffic control because of the budget crisis, our government was somehow able to commit $115 million to keeping a civil war going in Syria and to pay at least £100m to the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters to buy influence over and access to that country’s intelligence. Since 2007, two bridges carrying interstate highways have collapsed due to inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, one killing 13 people. During that same period of time, the government spent $1.7 billion constructing a building in Utah that is the size of 17 football fields. This mammoth structure is intended to allow the National Security Agency to store a yottabyte of information, the largest numerical designator computer scientists have coined. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text. They need that much storage to archive every single trace of your electronic life.

Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose. My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day. Nor can this other government be accurately termed an “establishment.” All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state, the Deep State, is in a class by itself. That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it has highly sinister aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched. Far from being invincible, its failures, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are routine enough that it is only the Deep State’s protectiveness towards its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude. [2]

How did I come to write an analysis of the Deep State, and why am I equipped to write it? As a congressional staff member for 28 years specializing in national security and possessing a top secret security clearance, I was at least on the fringes of the world I am describing, if neither totally in it by virtue of full membership nor of it by psychological disposition. But, like virtually every employed person, I became, to some extent, assimilated into the culture of the institution I worked for, and only by slow degrees, starting before the invasion of Iraq, did I begin fundamentally to question the reasons of state that motivate the people who are, to quote George W. Bush, “the deciders.”

Cultural assimilation is partly a matter of what psychologist Irving L. Janis called “groupthink,” the chameleon-like ability of people to adopt the views of their superiors and peers. This syndrome is endemic to Washington: The town is characterized by sudden fads, be it negotiating biennial budgeting, making grand bargains or invading countries. Then, after a while, all the town’s cool kids drop those ideas as if they were radioactive. As in the military, everybody has to get on board with the mission, and questioning it is not a career-enhancing move. The universe of people who will critically examine the goings-on at the institutions they work for is always going to be a small one. As Upton Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

A more elusive aspect of cultural assimilation is the sheer dead weight of the ordinariness of it all once you have planted yourself in your office chair for the 10,000th time. Government life is typically not some vignette from an Allen Drury novel about intrigue under the Capitol dome. Sitting and staring at the clock on the off-white office wall when it’s 11:00 in the evening and you are vowing never, ever to eat another piece of takeout pizza in your life is not an experience that summons the higher literary instincts of a would-be memoirist. After a while, a functionary of the state begins to hear things that, in another context, would be quite remarkable, or at least noteworthy, and yet that simply bounce off one’s consciousness like pebbles off steel plate: “You mean the number of terrorist groups we are fighting is classified?” No wonder so few people are whistle-blowers, quite apart from the vicious retaliation whistle-blowing often provokes: Unless one is blessed with imagination and a fine sense of irony, growing immune to the curiousness of one’s surroundings is easy. To paraphrase the inimitable Donald Rumsfeld, I didn’t know all that I knew, at least until I had had a couple of years away from the government to reflect upon it.

The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street. All these agencies are coordinated by the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council. Certain key areas of the judiciary belong to the Deep State, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose actions are mysterious even to most members of Congress. Also included are a handful of vital federal trial courts, such as the Eastern District of Virginia and the Southern District of Manhattan, where sensitive proceedings in national security cases are conducted. The final government component (and possibly last in precedence among the formal branches of government established by the Constitution) is a kind of rump Congress consisting of the congressional leadership and some (but not all) of the members of the defense and intelligence committees. The rest of Congress, normally so fractious and partisan, is mostly only intermittently aware of the Deep State and when required usually submits to a few well-chosen words from the State’s emissaries.

I saw this submissiveness on many occasions. One memorable incident was passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008. This legislation retroactively legalized the Bush administration’s illegal and unconstitutional surveillance first revealed by The New York Times in 2005 and indemnified the telecommunications companies for their cooperation in these acts. The bill passed easily: All that was required was the invocation of the word “terrorism” and most members of Congress responded like iron filings obeying a magnet. One who responded in that fashion was Senator Barack Obama, soon to be coronated as the presidential nominee at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. He had already won the most delegates by campaigning to the left of his main opponent, Hillary Clinton, on the excesses of the global war on terror and the erosion of constitutional liberties.

As the indemnification vote showed, the Deep State does not consist only of government agencies. What is euphemistically called “private enterprise” is an integral part of its operations. In a special series in The Washington Post called “Top Secret America,” Dana Priest and William K. Arkin described the scope of the privatized Deep State and the degree to which it has metastasized after the September 11 attacks. There are now 854,000 contract personnel with top-secret clearances — a number greater than that of top-secret-cleared civilian employees of the government. While they work throughout the country and the world, their heavy concentration in and around the Washington suburbs is unmistakable: Since 9/11, 33 facilities for top-secret intelligence have been built or are under construction. Combined, they occupy the floor space of almost three Pentagons — about 17 million square feet. Seventy percent of the intelligence community’s budget goes to paying contracts. And the membrane between government and industry is highly permeable: The Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, is a former executive of Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the government’s largest intelligence contractors. His predecessor as director, Admiral Mike McConnell, is the current vice chairman of the same company; Booz Allen is 99 percent dependent on government business. These contractors now set the political and social tone of Washington, just as they are increasingly setting the direction of the country, but they are doing it quietly, their doings unrecorded in the Congressional Record or the Federal Register, and are rarely subject to congressional hearings.

Washington is the most important node of the Deep State that has taken over America, but it is not the only one. Invisible threads of money and ambition connect the town to other nodes. One is Wall Street, which supplies the cash that keeps the political machine quiescent and operating as a diversionary marionette theater. Should the politicians forget their lines and threaten the status quo, Wall Street floods the town with cash and lawyers to help the hired hands remember their own best interests. The executives of the financial giants even have de facto criminal immunity. On March 6, 2013, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric Holder stated the following: “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy.” This, from the chief law enforcement officer of a justice system that has practically abolished the constitutional right to trial for poorer defendants charged with certain crimes. It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice — certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee. [3]

The corridor between Manhattan and Washington is a well trodden highway for the personalities we have all gotten to know in the period since the massive deregulation of Wall Street: Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Henry Paulson, Timothy Geithner and many others. Not all the traffic involves persons connected with the purely financial operations of the government: In 2013, General David Petraeus joined KKR (formerly Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) of 9 West 57th Street, New York, a private equity firm with $62.3 billion in assets. KKR specializes in management buyouts and leveraged finance. General Petraeus’ expertise in these areas is unclear. His ability to peddle influence, however, is a known and valued commodity. Unlike Cincinnatus, the military commanders of the Deep State do not take up the plow once they lay down the sword. Petraeus also obtained a sinecure as a non-resident senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. The Ivy League is, of course, the preferred bleaching tub and charm school of the American oligarchy. [4]

Petraeus and most of the avatars of the Deep State — the White House advisers who urged Obama not to impose compensation limits on Wall Street CEOs, the contractor-connected think tank experts who besought us to “stay the course” in Iraq, the economic gurus who perpetually demonstrate that globalization and deregulation are a blessing that makes us all better off in the long run — are careful to pretend that they have no ideology. Their preferred pose is that of the politically neutral technocrat offering well considered advice based on profound expertise. That is nonsense. They are deeply dyed in the hue of the official ideology of the governing class, an ideology that is neither specifically Democrat nor Republican. Domestically, whatever they might privately believe about essentially diversionary social issues such as abortion or gay marriage, they almost invariably believe in the “Washington Consensus”: financialization, outsourcing, privatization, deregulation and the commodifying of labor. Internationally, they espouse 21st-century “American Exceptionalism”: the right and duty of the United States to meddle in every region of the world with coercive diplomacy and boots on the ground and to ignore painfully won international norms of civilized behavior. To paraphrase what Sir John Harrington said more than 400 years ago about treason, now that the ideology of the Deep State has prospered, none dare call it ideology. [5] That is why describing torture with the word “torture” on broadcast television is treated less as political heresy than as an inexcusable lapse of Washington etiquette: Like smoking a cigarette on camera, these days it is simply “not done.”

Go to the link below for the second half of this excellent article:
Title: “Just-World Theory,” is “a Warrant for Inflicting Pain."
Post by: AGelbert on March 03, 2014, 01:35:11 pm
...“just-world theory,” one that posits that not only do good people get what they deserve but those who suffer deserve to suffer. He says this model is “a warrant for inflicting pain.” If we continue down a path of mounting scarcities, along with economic stagnation or decline, this neoclassical model is ominous. It could be used to justify repression in an effort to sustain a vision that does not correspond to the real world.


He argued, citing John Kenneth Galbraith, that in affluent societies the relative contentment of the majorities has permitted, through free market ideology, the abandonment, impoverishment and repression of minorities, especially African-Americans. As larger and larger segments of society are forced because of declining economies to become outsiders, the use of coercion, under our current model, will probably become more widespread.

“Economics, political science and even philosophy, ever since rational choice swept through the American social sciences, have embraced the idea that an individual has no responsibility towards anyone except himself or herself,” he said. “A responsibility to anyone else is optional. The public discourse, for this reason, has become a hall of mirrors. Nothing anymore is what it seems to be.”


I think there is a sense in government and business that there is too much independence in academia. We need to be put in our place. The spirit of free inquiry, free expression, and to some extent free teaching, and communality is alien to the corporate and political culture, which are repressive hierarchies.

Suffering? Well, You Deserve It

Posted on Mar 2, 2014

By Chris Hedges

OXFORD, England—The morning after my Feb. 20 debate at the Oxford Union, I walked from my hotel along Oxford’s narrow cobblestone streets, past its storied colleges with resplendent lawns and Gothic stone spires, to meet Avner Offer, an economic historian and Chichele Professor Emeritus of Economic History.

Offer, the author of “The Challenge of Affluence: Self-Control and Well-Being in the United States and Britain Since 1950,” for 25 years has explored the cavernous gap between our economic and social reality and our ruling economic ideology. Neoclassical economics, he says, is a “just-world theory,” one that posits that not only do good people get what they deserve but those who suffer deserve to suffer. He says this model is “a warrant for inflicting pain.” If we continue down a path of mounting scarcities, along with economic stagnation or decline, this neoclassical model is ominous. It could be used to justify repression in an effort to sustain a vision that does not correspond to the real world.

Offer, who has studied the rationing systems set up in countries that took part in World War I, suggests we examine how past societies coped successfully with scarcity. In an age of scarcity it would be imperative to set up new, more egalitarian models of distribution, he says. Clinging to the old neoclassical model could, he argues, erode and perhaps destroy social cohesion and require the state to engage in greater forms of coercion.

 “The basic conventions of public discourse are those of the Enlightenment, in which the use of reason [enabled] us to achieve human objectives,” Offer said as we sat amid piles of books in his cluttered office. “Reason should be tempered by reality, by the facts. So underlining this is a notion of science that confronts reality and is revised by reference to reality. This is the model for how we talk. It is the model for the things we assume. But the reality that has emerged around us has not come out of this process. So our basic conventions only serve to justify existing relationships, structures and hierarchies. Plausible arguments are made for principles that are incompatible with each other.”

Offer cited a concept from social psychology called the just-world theory. “A just-world theory posits that the world is just. People get what they deserve. If you believe that the world is fair you explain or rationalize away injustice, usually by blaming the victim.

“Major ways of thinking about the world constitute just-world theories,” he said. “The Catholic Church is a just-world theory. If the Inquisition burned heretics, they only got what they deserved. Bolshevism was a just-world theory. If Kulaks were starved and exiled, they got what they deserved. Fascism was a just-world theory. If Jews died in the concentration camps, they got what they deserved. The point is not that the good people get the good things, but the bad people get the bad things. Neoclassical economics, our principal source of policy norms, is a just-world theory.”

Offer quoted the economist Milton Friedman: “The ethical principle that would directly justify the distribution of income in a free market society is, ‘To each according to what he and the instruments he owns produces.’ ”

“So,” Offer went on, “everyone gets what he or she deserves, either for his or her effort or for his or her property. No one asks how he or she got this property. And if they don’t have it, they probably don’t deserve it. The point about just-world theory is not that it dispenses justice, but that it provides a warrant for inflicting pain.”

“Just-world theories are models of reality,” he said. “A rough and ready test is how well the model fits with experienced reality. When used to derive policy, an economic model not only describes the world but also aspires to change it. In policy, if the model is bad, then reality has to be forcibly aligned with it by means of coercion. How much coercion is actually used provides a rough measure of a model’s validity. That the Soviet Union had to use so much coercion undermined the credibility of communism as a model of reality. It is perhaps symptomatic that the USA, a society that elevates freedom to the highest position among its values, is also the one that has one of the very largest penal systems in the world relative to its population. It also inflicts violence all over the world. It tolerates a great deal of gun violence, and a health service that excludes large numbers of people.”

“There are two core doctrines in economics,” Offer said. “One is individual self-interest. The other is the invisible hand, the idea that the pursuit of individual self-interest aggregates or builds up for the good of society as a whole. This is a logical proposition that has never been proven. If we take the centrality of self-interest in economics, then it is not clear on what basis economics should be promoting the public good. This is not a norm that is part of economics itself; in fact, economics tells us the opposite. Economics tells us that everything anyone says should be motivated by strategic self-interest. And when economists use the word ‘strategic’ they mean cheating.”

Last two pages at link:

Title: The REAL Crisis of Civilization (Dark Humor and LOTS OF TRUTH!)
Post by: AGelbert on March 30, 2014, 01:43:19 am
Title: World's Food Systems Needs Complete Overhaul Toward Democracy, Diversity
Post by: AGelbert on April 05, 2014, 01:44:03 pm
World's Food Systems Needs Complete Overhaul Toward Democracy, Diversity News
One of the important, positive trends we're seeing is growing food closer to home and in cities that often means rooftop farms.

In Japan, a leading railroad, East Japan Railway, is turning the roofs of train stations across the country - starting with five in Tokyo - into urban farms. Commuters can weed while they wait for the train or pick some vegies on their way home. And when they rent a space, they are provided with everything they need - tools, water, and even seeds. They even have professional staff who will help you learn how to garden. Anyone can rent a space, but depending on its size and location, it can be pricey - as much as $960 a year.

UN Calls for Overhaul of World's Food System

This is probably one of the things the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food has in mind in his provocative report that calls for a complete overhaul of the world's food system, starting with the move to local, sustainable farming.

After six years of visiting more than a dozen countries, Olivier De Schutter says that democracy and diversity is the key to eradicating hunger and malnutrition. It is achievable, but the current system works only to maximize profits for big agribusinesses.

Currently the "one-dimensional quest to produce more food" crowds out systems that would support small farmers that produce culturally diverse foods that sustain the soil and water and provide food security, especially to people in vulnerable areas.

It might be built from the bottom-up, based on meeting the ability of the smallholder's ability to thrive, he says. That means working at the level of villages, regions, cities, and municipalities.
He urges cities to take food security into their own hands because by 2050 more than 6 billion people will live in cities. Cities must identify and overcome logistical challenges in their food supply chains."

These efforts, however, have to be supported by national and international policies. The World Trade Organization, for example, must not get in the way, for example.

"Wealthy countries must move away from export-driven agricultural policies and leave space instead for small-scale farmers in developing countries to supply local markets," he says. "They must also restrain their expanding claims on global farmland by reining in the demand for animal feed and agrofuels, and by reducing food waste."

This is one more reason why NAFTA and the trade pacts under negotiation are taking the world in the wrong direction. (

Read our article, How Community Fisheries Save Fish and Local Economies.

Read the report:

Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on April 07, 2014, 02:13:23 pm
8 Things Mainstream Media Doesn't Have the Courage to Tell You ( BECAUSE  ( 
)  News sources speak for the 5%.
April 6, 2014   |   

The following are all relevant, fact-based issues, the "hard news" stories that the media has a responsibility to report. But the business-oriented press generally avoids them.

1. U.S. Wealth Up $34 Trillion Since Recession. 93% of You Got Almost None of It.

That's an average of $100,000 for every American. But the people who already own most of the stocks took almost all of it. For them, the average gain was well over a million dollars -- tax-free as long as they don't cash it in. Details available here.

2. Eight Rich Americans Made More Than 3.6 Million Minimum Wage Workers

A recent report stated that no full-time minimum wage worker in the U.S. can afford a one-bedroom or two-bedroom rental at fair market rent. There are 3.6 million such workers, and their total (combined) 2013 earnings is less than the 2013 stock market gains of just eight Americans, all of whom take more than their share from society: the four Waltons, the two Kochs, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett.

3. News Sources Speak for the 5%

It would be refreshing to read an honest editorial: "We dearly value the 5 to 7 percent of our readers who make a lot of money and believe that their growing riches are helping everyone else."

Instead, the business media seems unable to differentiate between the top 5 percent and the rest of society. The Wall Street Journalexclaimed, "Middle-class Americans have more buying power than ever before," and then went on to sputter: "What Recession?...The economy has bounced back from recession, unemployment has declined.."

The Chicago Tribune may be even further out of touch with its less privileged readers, asking them: "What's so terrible about the infusion of so much money into the presidential campaign?"

4. TV News Dumbed Down for American Viewers

A 2009 survey by the European Journal of Communication compared the U.S. to Denmark, Finland, and the UK in the awareness and reporting of domestic vs. international news, and of 'hard' news (politics, public administration, the economy, science, technology) vs. 'soft' news (celebrities, human interest, sport and entertainment). The results:

-- Americans [are] especially uninformed about international public affairs.
-- American respondents also underperformed in relation to domestic-related hard news stories.

-- American television reports much less international news than Finnish, Danish and British television;
-- American television network newscasts also report much less hard news than Finnish and Danish television.

Surprisingly, the report states that "our sample of American newspapers was more oriented towards hard news than their counterparts in the European countries." Too bad Americans are reading less newspapers.

5. News Execs among White Male Boomers Who Owe Trillions to Society

The hype about the "self-made man" is fantasy. In the early 1970s, we privileged white males were spirited out of college to waiting jobs in management and finance, technology was inventing new ways for us to make money, tax rates were about to tumble, and visions of bonuses and capital gains danced in our heads.

While we were in school the Defense Department had been preparing the Internet for Microsoft and Apple, the National Science Foundation was funding the Digital Library Initiative research that would be adopted as the Google model, and the National Institute of Health was doing the early laboratory testing for companies like Merck and Pfizer. Government research labs and public universities trained thousands of chemists, physicists, chip designers, programmers, engineers, production line workers, market analysts, testers, troubleshooters, etc., etc.

All we created on our own was a disdainful attitude, like that of Steve Jobs: "We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."

6. Funding Plummets for Schools and Pensions as Corporations Stop Paying Taxes

Three separate studies have shown that corporations pay less than half of their required state taxes, which are the main source of K-12 educational funding and a significant part of pension funding. Most recently, the report "The Disappearing Corporate Tax Base" found that the percentage of corporate profits paid as state income taxes has dropped from 7 percent in 1980 to about 3 percent today.

7. Companies Based in the U.S. Paying Most of their Taxes Overseas

Citigroup had 42% of its 2011-13 revenue in North America (almost all U.S.) and made $32 billion in profits, but received a U.S. current income tax benefit all three years.

Pfizer had 40% of its 2011-13 revenues and nearly half of its physical assets in the U.S., but declared almost $10 billion in U.S. losses to go along with nearly $50 billion in foreign profits.

In 2013 Exxon had about 43% of management, 36% of sales, 40% of long-lived assets, and 70-90% of its productive oil and gas wells in the U.S., yet only paid about 2 percent of its total income in U.S. income taxes, and most of that was something called a "theoretical" tax.

8. Restaurant Servers Go Without Raise for 30 Years

An evaluation by Michelle Chen showed that the minimum wage for tipped workers has been approximately $2 an hour since the 1980s. She also notes that about 40 percent of these workers are people of color, and about two-thirds are women.

Paul Buchheit is a college teacher, a writer for progressive publications, and the founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (,,
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: monsta666 on April 08, 2014, 07:05:04 pm
What would be your main suggestions in raising awareness to the 8 points you mentioned? The big problem I see is many people especially those in the United States believe the basic memes of capitalism and that the US is a meritocratic society. People who reach the top genuinely deserve to be rich while those who are poor are on some level damaged. Any environmental factors such as parents income, education and social networks are understated factors while factors of personal achievement and hard work are overstated. What is another notable variable is time as your success or ease of opportunities is also depend on what era you were born in. For example moving ahead as a young person is harder today than say 50 years ago when more high paying jobs per person was higher and in general social mobility was more easily achieved.

While there maybe a gradual recognition that the American dream is no longer true the connection between being poor and lazy is stronger than ever. More significant perhaps is the fact that the rich tend to be held in high esteem regardless of how that money is earned. While people may scoff at oilmen just imagine if you were the CEO of Exxon. I bet any website you wrote or forum you started would command a lot of respect because you were a successful outstanding citizen. If rich people are rewarded so handsomely both financially, socially and politically how will society reverse its behaviour?
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on April 09, 2014, 01:39:55 pm
I hear ya.  :( How about his idea? If only...
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: monsta666 on April 09, 2014, 08:49:18 pm
I hear ya.  :( How about his idea? If only...

Great video. Now one of the things I have observed when engaging various US media articles or Americans is there seems to be this deep seeded belief that the government is bad corrupt, incompetent and generally a waste of space. Now I am not saying such views do not exist in Europe but I feel it is a much more common thought in the US than other regions. The problem with this line of thinking is that while governments and bureaucracy can be corrupt and inefficient the assumption is that private companies and corporations in-particular are not subject to the same problems.

The area where this issue is most prominent is that of free speech. Lots of Americans make a lot of noise about free speech and feel the government must allow lest it leads to corruption and worse. These feelings however are not often extended to private companies. It is much more acceptable for the media to practice censorship under the reasoning that the company in question owns the medium it is publishing thus it can censor as much as it deems necessary. Now the problem I see here is that if the media can be censored or altered to the owners whims then the question becomes how can the companies and government be monitored? The whole process of free speech will be undermined due to a lack of oversight. Now this is but one example. The take home point in this example is the fact that our expectations of what the government can do and what private ownership is allowed to do is quite different. Due to a fundamental mistrust of government we set a much higher standard and stigma to its various functions however when it comes to private entities our expectations diminish and accountability is much lower due to a great deal of misplaced trust.

The elephant that is missed and it is a big elephant is that it is a universally recognised truth that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Since power is the ability to control people then it follows that the larger any organisation becomes the more likely it is corrupt as the controllers has the ability to control a larger pool of people. This phenomenon applies to private AND public institutions yet it is largely only public institutions were this corruption is recognised and scrutiny applied. This is one of the fundamental problems.

The second issue I see here is that the function of a sound government is it should represent the views of the poorer people. I say this because in most societies the rich will always have greater resources to represent their needs so the countermeasure to this inequality is that the government must represent people who lack the financial means of protecting their rights on an individual level. If a government cannot meet and address the needs of the common man then the government has become dysfunctional. The problem people have is quite often they think if there is little government then the rich and poor can push their wants in equal measure. The fact is in those scenarios - at least on a historic basis - is that the rich will bulldoze over the poor and you will get great social tension. In a way government policies is like vaccines in the sense that over time people have forgotten the great benefits and can only remember the side-effects. Thus people take for granted the benefits these policies bring and focus on the bad points which while noticeable are considerably smaller than the lack of policy/vaccines. Benefit abuse is bad but imagine a society with no welfare social safety net. It will be a return of seeing many poorer families on the streets with kids and all.     

Finally the final myth that is promoted is this idea of independence or the rugged individual. What people need to understand is true independence is next to impossible to achieve and in nearly all occasions we are dependent on others for our welfare either through subsidies of various kinds or other measures (such as exploitation of others/environment). Even if we were to ignore the various subsidies that make your life possible the dependency still exists because you are still dependent on an income to fund your lifestyle. If you lose your job/business that independence will quickly disappear. When the word independent is used what people really mean is you have an income that is sufficient to make you financially independent. To achieve true independence however you would need to lead a lifestyle which you can provide for your needs without an income. Historically this has been very difficult to achieve.

This should lead us to the idea and recognition that we are inter-dependent on each other and there is no crime in being dependent. In many ways the atomised way of living we have today is largely a by-product of our high energy fossil fuel lifestyle were machines have replaced the need for labour. In the future we will depend more on people and community for our needs so this attitude of rugged individualism must be displaced by more communal living arrangements which can only come if we acknowledge the fact people are in fact inter-dependent and there is no crime in that. The main point people should understand is people should pull their weight and everyone should have the opportunity to show they can pull their weight (many segments are denied even the opportunity to prove themselves). Rugged individualism societies (if attempted) will be failures and the power of team spirit and community needs to be embraced.
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on April 11, 2014, 08:36:05 pm
The elephant that is missed and it is a big elephant is that it is a universally recognized truth that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Since power is the ability to control people then it follows that the larger any organization becomes the more likely it is corrupt as the controllers has the ability to control a larger pool of people. This phenomenon applies to private AND public institutions yet it is largely only public institutions were this corruption is recognized and scrutiny applied. This is one of the fundamental problems.

I'll go further; I'll say it IS the problem. WHY? because it is CFS that society benefits from cooperation (I.E. A GOVERNMENT) to foster group health and a harmonious co-existence with fellow humans ONLY as long as everybody has equal voting power (That includes the government AND the corporate fascists that are allowed to run roughshod over the people by said bought and paid for "government"). We know the elite don't want that so they lie and push propaganda that disguises the obvious theft of power and resources that is the daily bread of the bastards in power. All this blah blah out there about the poor being a "drag" on society and a threat to communities has always been a bait and switch to avoid saying who the REAL DRAG on society and a threat to communities are (the rich = the parasites  ( that hate democracy and work day and night to keep us from having it while claiming they "support" it in true Orwellian speak. ).

The inane, illogical claptrap that passes for reasoned speech in the public airwaves of the U.S. is 100% BS to avoid actually talking sense.  >:( The Libertarian Liars are number one on my list of prevaricators but they aren't the only ones; they are just more brazen about their callous disregard for their fellow man.
Title: The MYTH of human progress.
Post by: AGelbert on April 17, 2014, 01:13:30 am
Title: Power Structures in Human Society are going to be MODIFIED by ET soon.
Post by: AGelbert on April 20, 2014, 02:00:14 am
Title: Far out! It's all true. They are here. Somehow that eases my mind.
Post by: AGelbert on April 21, 2014, 02:13:44 am
Title: The cover up is rather long in the tooth. Good!
Post by: AGelbert on April 21, 2014, 02:16:32 am
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 3
Post by: alan2102 on April 24, 2014, 03:51:49 pm
It's really an Occam's razor type problem (a principle urging one to select from among competing hypotheses that which makes the fewest assumptions). Because the 1% are our leaders, the masses of humanity always attempt to imitate what the 1% do, period. When the 1% stop their massive piggery, the small scale piggery of the masses will stop as well. Claiming that the 1% only "do what they do" because the 99% are a bunch of sheep is a half truth. True, we sheep are unfortunately permitting the 1% to parasitically prey on us. But putting the onus on the sheep is "blame the victim" illogic.

Yes. And neo-Malthusians specialize in just that sort of illogic: victim-blaming. Malthusianism is the close kin of elitism, feudalism, fascism and other skanky fetid social ideas -- added to its reflection of personal pathology (depression, nihilism, defeatism, misanthropy, etc.).

It's not the 99%'s biomass (e.g. ants have more than humans) that is destroying the biosphere; it's the 1%'s carbon footprint by a huge margin despite their tiny biomass. A detailed study of per capita footprint which includes resource ownership by wealth would conclusively prove that.

I don't think it needs to be "proven" so much as simply mentioned. It is obviously true. Which is not to say that (mass) population pressure does not have an effect; it does. But first things first.

If you were not aware of this work, you should be: How the Rich are Destroying the Earth, by HervΘ Kempf. Below are links to reviews, and snippets.  You'll love the bit about how "oligarchs vie with one another in sumptuary competition and EVERY SOCIAL STRATUM BENEATH DOES THE SAME".  Ha.

The book is from 2008. I posted this stuff to a bunch of fora at that time -- energyresources on yahoo, savinar's joint, etc., etc. I don't think it did any good. Malthusians are too stuck in their ideology and too anxious to blame the common people -- if not actually relish the prospect of mass dieoff (get rid of all those low-class "useless eaters") -- to see the obvious for which Kempf is arguing. The real primary issue, as Kempf makes clear, is profligate consumption, not profligate reproduction.  The common people have actually done very good at controlling their reproduction over the last 50 years, what with fertility dropping off drastically almost everywhere. How much better could they be expected to do? That is, could it be reasonably expected that everyone CEASE reproducing entirely, reducing fertility to ZERO? No, of course not. Whereas, it IS reasonable to expect the wealthy to cease their wild profligate overconsumption (but instead, they'll gone in the opposite direction). I argued this point at length, but to no avail. The misanthropic Malthusian mind cannot grasp such an idea.


SNIPPETS from reviews and excerpts at these links (hopefully the
links are still good; they are from 2008):

"The book's central thesis [is] that the 'oligarchy,' a global stateless class composed of the hyper-rich and the 'new Nomenklatura,' is responsible for our species' headlong rush to environmental destruction, both indirectly, through the rest of society's attempts to imitate and emulate their wasteful habits of conspicuous consumption, and directly, through their control of the levers of power, all presently fixed at the 'Catastrophe' setting'."

"[Kempf depicts] a predatory, self-perpetuating elite that has become wealthy 'not through success in production, but through constant redistribution of collective wealth'  (think Halliburton or Blackwater senior executives and shareholders) and that lives '...separated from the plebians. They are not aware of how the poor and wage-earners live; they don't know and don't want to know.' No sense of the public good or civic virtue moves 'this predatory and greedy controlling class, wasting its rents, misusing its power, (it) congeals as an obstacle on the way. It bears no proposal, is animated by no ideal, delivers no promise ... is blind to the explosive power of obvious injustice. And blind to the poisoning of the biosphere that growth in material wealth provokes, a poisoning that means a degradation of the conditions for human life...'"

"None of this would matter so much, Kempf suggests, were it not for insatiable human rivalry in ostentation. Globally, wealth is an indicator of status and the social stimulus of emulation and imitation creates limitless 'needs.' Drawing on Veblen's 'Theory of the Leisure Classes,' Kempf suggests that production is adequate, but consumption is excessive as oligarchs vie with one another in sumptuary competition and EVERY SOCIAL STRATUM BENEATH DOES THE SAME." [emphasis added]

"ince justice demands that the consumption of the poorest be increased, 'the rich have to consume less.' That last requirement would appear to apply to me and to almost anyone reading these words online."

"Since the collapse of the former USSR, it appears that capitalism no longer needs democracy -- so antithetical to the oligarchy's objectives. Terrorism is the latest alibi to tighten security, criminalize dissent, expand surveillance and imprison the poor. 'The hyper-rich will attempt to maintain their excessive advantages by force as they did after Hurricane Katrina, when armed forces were sent -- not to help the drowning poor -- but to hunt down looters."

"There is hope, Kempf says, but not in the measures people think. Sustainable development is pointless. The technology that supposedly will save us won't develop in time. To stop the inertia of destruction, society, particularly the hyper-rich, need to soberly rethink their lifestyles."

Kempf: "To achieve [our] goals, it is not enough for society to become aware of the urgency of the ecological crisis -- and of the difficult choices its prevention imposes, notably in terms of material consumption. It will further be necessary that ecological concerns articulate themselves as a radical political analysis of current relationships of domination. We will not be able to decrease global material consumption if the powerful are not brought down and if inequality is not combated. To the ecological principle that was so useful at the time we first became aware -- 'Think globally; act locally,' -- we must add the principle that the present situation imposes: 'Consume less; share better.'"

"The book seems to me an incredible tour de force. I could not imagine it possible to lay out systematically, with sentences of classical limpidity and concision, such a complete, as well as completely persuasive argument for what ails the world and what needs to be addressed. The dense connections between all the disturbing phenomena of recent years -- ecological degradation to the point of habitat destruction for our own species, increasing social inequality and unemployment, the new totalitarianism (government snooping, torture, the percentage increase in prison populations), and the disappearance of a seriously contentious press are simply and powerfully delineated."
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: alan2102 on April 24, 2014, 03:59:59 pm
Whoops!  made a coding error on the snippets above (strikeout of last several paragraphs), and no way to edit.

Here's the corrected text:

"Since justice demands that the consumption of the poorest be increased, 'the rich have to consume less.' That last requirement would appear to apply to me and to almost anyone reading these words online."

"Since the collapse of the former USSR, it appears that capitalism no longer needs democracy -- so antithetical to the oligarchy's objectives. Terrorism is the latest alibi to tighten security, criminalize dissent, expand surveillance and imprison the poor. 'The hyper-rich will attempt to maintain their excessive advantages by force as they did after Hurricane Katrina, when armed forces were sent -- not to help the drowning poor -- but to hunt down looters."

"There is hope, Kempf says, but not in the measures people think. Sustainable development is pointless. The technology that supposedly will save us won't develop in time. To stop the inertia of destruction, society, particularly the hyper-rich, need to soberly rethink their lifestyles."

Kempf: "To achieve [our] goals, it is not enough for society to become aware of the urgency of the ecological crisis -- and of the difficult choices its prevention imposes, notably in terms of material consumption. It will further be necessary that ecological concerns articulate themselves as a radical political analysis of current relationships of domination. We will not be able to decrease global material consumption if the powerful are not brought down and if inequality is not combated. To the ecological principle that was so useful at the time we first became aware -- 'Think globally; act locally,' -- we must add the principle that the present situation imposes: 'Consume less; share better.'"

"The book seems to me an incredible tour de force. I could not imagine it possible to lay out systematically, with sentences of classical limpidity and concision, such a complete, as well as completely persuasive argument for what ails the world and what needs to be addressed. The dense connections between all the disturbing phenomena of recent years -- ecological degradation to the point of habitat destruction for our own species, increasing social inequality and unemployment, the new totalitarianism (government snooping, torture, the percentage increase in prison populations), and the disappearance of a seriously contentious press are simply and powerfully delineated."

Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: alan2102 on April 24, 2014, 04:08:23 pm
PS: Agelbert, you're doing a great job! I respect your tenacity and willingness for fight the good fight, even creating your own zone on the diner. I only wish your good work were in a venue more likely to get serious traffic/exposure.  As long as you're associated with the diner you will never get the audience that  you deserve, and that's a shame.
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on April 25, 2014, 01:32:53 am
Thanks Alan,
I'm done with the DD. As a matter of fact, I don't plan to post too frequently here either. Things are not going well for me. I don't want to depress people. If you are willing, I'll make you an Admin on this site too. Then you can play around with the features and fine tune the place to your taste by possibly adding a board for special subjects or whatever. Perhaps you can attract more readers. For now, it's more of a reference library for videos and rants than a forum. Now that my Hispanic islander  heritage (commonly known by people of Golden Oxen's and Snowleopard's "caliber" as a SALT WATER N I G G E R - I was called that now and then while I worked in the FAA even though I could think and talk rings around most of the good old white boy/bigots there) is common knowledge, most bigoted wasps or was(whatever) like the Karpatok nut case aren't interested in a anything I say. That's life. I've got some good sci fi reading and viewing to catch up with.  8)

By the way, you didn't make a mistake on your post. The problem is that when a piece has  an "S" in brackets, the forum code jumps up and assumes you want to cross out something.  :P Just go to your post and put [ S ] spaced out and the forum code won't try to cross anything out.  ;)

Be well.   
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: Surly1 on April 25, 2014, 06:51:54 am
AG, sorry to hear you are not doing well.

While I enjoyed Alan's post in re Kempf's book, I disagree with what he says about DD. The current trend is that the DD is gaining in Alexa rankings every week. It stands to reason that your own traffic would benefit from association with something being seen by more eyes every week.

Sincerely hoping for better times ahead.
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: alan2102 on April 25, 2014, 11:39:55 pm

While I enjoyed Alan's post in re Kempf's book, I disagree with what he says about DD. The current trend is that the DD is gaining in Alexa rankings every week. It stands to reason that your own traffic would benefit from association with something being seen by more eyes every week.

Yes, Surly, I saw R.E.'s chest-beating about Alexa rankings. It was amusing. He is all excited about  going from being a guppy to being a minnow. Get your Alexa ranking down to under 50,000, or better under 25,000, and then you'll have something to beat your chest about.  Going from 300,000 to 200,000 (etc.) is meaningless. You're still in the sea of minnows.

I'm not "anti-diner".  I'm just amazed that you guys seem to have squandered the opportunity to build a great community that could help you GET those high alexa rankings. The very people that you've systematically insulted, estranged and marginalized are the ones, for the most part, that are the best brains, the best writers, the ones with the best insight, etc.; i.e. the ones that could really help build  traffic.  Too bad you could not see that.  The hell of it is: these people that you hate (that you feel the need to censor, denounce as "trolls", shove off the main forum, etc.)  WERE WILLING TO WORK FOR FREE!  What a deal!

Yes, I know you have your side of the story, too. I know it has been a mess, and unpleasant for you. But there is really no excuse for "moderators" behaving as you guys have behaved toward participants on this forum.  Most of the [fecal matter] that you got, you deserved. Maybe not all, but most.  IMPIO.  (In My Partially-Informed Opinion.  I did not read ALL the endless litany of crap; only maybe 1/10th of it all. I think that was enough to form an opinion. Maybe I'm wrong.)

So now that you've insulted, alienated and chased-away everyone who was consistently putting up interesting content, what are you going to do? Of what will the Diner consist?  R.E.'s podcasts?  Neo-malthusian re-tread/re-prints from here and there? If that is all, then the minnow status is all you deserve, and all you will ever have. If you want more than that, then you have to attract and build a vibrant intellectual/conversational community of smart, interesting people who post smart, interesting stuff.  You can't insult them, censor them (much), allow your sysop to spy or appear to be spying on them, etc., etc.  You have to behave respectfully, in other words.  Or if you cannot be respectful, at least learn to FAKE respect.  Copische?

"The secret to success in business is honesty and sincerity. If you can fake those, you've got it made."  -- Groucho

Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: Surly1 on April 26, 2014, 10:22:59 am
Perhaps you are correct. But I doubt it.

The only person I denounced as a troll was MKing, who judging from behavior and imputed objective clearly is. A competent oil geologist with a penchant and financial incentive to coax hydrocarbons from the earth, but otherwise morally reprehensible. And I can back this up if you require.

No regrets whatsoever in re MKing.

As for the others who have left, it's a free country. But I miss them. I visit this forum to partake of AG's immense insight in re renewables, and to breath in his optimism at the possibility that we might be able to envision and create a better future. Not to spar about the Diner. If you want to **** about DD, the Antidiner forum has been created just for you. I have far too much respect for AG than to pollute his forum with this sort of comment in re a Form he left, so this will be my last on this matter here.

As with Occupy, it is really easy to tear down what others create through hard work and sustained effort.

But then every body is a critic.
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on April 26, 2014, 07:05:34 pm

100% Of Kids DID Share  (

 The organization Action Against Hunger wanted to know if sharing is a natural instinct.

 They conducted an experiment in Madrid, Spain to study human behavior when faced with the injustice of hunger.

 Of the 20 children under study, all 20 shared their food even though as far as they knew, no one was watching.

 When are the grown ups going to catch up?

 --Bibi Farber

 This video was produced by Action Against Hunger
- See more at:

Forgive me Surly, but I do not see any way that the mindset prevalent at the DD is anything but the exact reverse of the above. All the work I did there for free was rewarded with WHAT? I didn't ask for money but wasn't I entitled to RESPECT?  WHERE was RE when people started rattling my cage for NO REASON? WHY didn't he treat the Golden Blasphemer the same way? WHY didn't any of you listen to my valid statement that the LACK of censorship constituted CENSORING (defaming, undermining my message, etc.) my message? BECAUSE OF BIAS on RE's part for PRO-DOOM "THERE IS NO HOPE" type people, PERIOD.

And YES, Surly, this has a LOT to do with the price of peaches in Denmark (i.e. SHARING). The continual and very predatory and sick meme that RE backs and Lucid tried to defend when I criticized his willingness to kill people labeled "zombies" is SERIOUS BUSINESS. It's a SERIOUS ERROR. It is NIHILISM justifying WHATEVER so a FEW MIGHT LIVE for a better day. IT's the MASTER RACE CRAP all over again. The DD is DEAD WRONG pushing this Scarcity meme which wrongly justifies NOT SHARING and a population cull. It's all addressed with a bit of polish but it's WRONG MORALLY.

Do you remember Endisnigh? RE almost killed him with his brainiac logic about the ASSURED collapse of civilization and the biosphere. And RE DOES NOT GIVE A **** because RE has so much UBERMENCH self delusion that he justifies ANYTHING he says, no matter how coarse or insensitive, with "SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST" because HE thinks HE is the BE ALL, END ALL of HUMAN EVOLUTION. "Hey, looky here, I went to Columbia and a read and did math at 3 years old!" WTF do you think his message is, HUH?

Surly, when people lack humility they CANNOT LEARN; they cannot even envisage themselves as being wrong. When they have a gifted vocabulary like RE does, it can lead to megalomania. Get out of there, Surly. RE and his mind set and followers are IMORAL NIHILISTS. Their God is their STOMACH, PERIOD. Despite all the BS about how bad greed is among the rich, the plethora of STUPID "It's my pigman roots" jokes and talk about making money is way too prevalent to make the complaints about the rich seem like anything but envy.

Mark my words. You will observe the inertia of the DD go farther towards intolerance of those who wish to share with those who have nothing material to the point of labeling them useless eaters, zombies or trash to be killed and composted. Consider me hysterical if you wish. RE never offered me a NICKEL to stay, despite your claim and Monsta's claim that I brought readers. I KNOW MONEY is ALL IMPORTANT TO HIM despite his talk of a gift economy (gifts for for him, that is). When somebody is as stuck on money as he is, you can ONLY weigh their commitment to ANYTHING by how much they are willing to invest. He wouldn't invest a NICKEL in me because he really DID NOT like what I wrote, period. His incredibly patient behavior towards the epitome of hypocritical, blasphemous and greedy wealth worship exemplified by Golden Oxen (Psalm 106:19-20 The people made a calf at Mount Sinai; they bowed before an image made of gold. They traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass-eating bull.) PROVES that RE is ONE in the spirit with GO. To these people, it's ALL HERE and it's ALL NOW. They will, as the Scarlet O'Hara character from Gone with the Wind vowed, do ANYTHING to keep their bellies full of food, a roof over their heads and job security. I WON'T go against the will of God to justify hurting people that have hurt me (and there are LOTS of them!) just because they are destroying my future and the earth.

Surly, it has BEEN OVER for mankind since the fall! Christ gave us hope. There IS NO OTHER HOPE. And J.C. can do whatever He wants. Some dumb **** human like RE that wants to judge J.C.'s behavior is worthy of disdain, no matter how entertaining and florid his vocabulary. I know you don't agree but don't pretend I didn't warn you as the UBERMENSCH at the DD go further towards gleefully awaiting mad max and killing zombies. THEY DON'T DO MORALITY at the DD. I CANNOT CONTINUE to be associated with the irresponsible mind sets that DOMINATE there.

The enormous disrespect shown to Alan when he posted much serious commentary on China is a small example of the DE FACTO censorship that goes on day in and day out at the DD. My days of being a punching bag at the DD are over. I might return someday to copy all my articles and posts before deleting my presence there. Right now I am busy.

Title: An Occupy founder says the next revolution will be rural
Post by: AGelbert on April 28, 2014, 03:20:44 pm
An Occupy founder says the next revolution will be rural (

By Amber Cortes

Micah White

In a boarded-up hotel along a windy country road, a couple dozen activists are gathered for a workshop. They are mostly women, and mostly over 40. The workshop is being held by Micah White, one of the instigators of Occupy Wall Street.

After the dust settled from Occupy, White packed up his bags in the Bay Area and moved here to Nehalem, a small town in one of the poorest counties in rural Oregon. Nehalem sits on the Pacific Coast, in the shadows of popular vacation destination Manzanita. But White isn’t here for a vacation, and he came to town with a mission.

The demise of Occupy left everyone with one question: “Now what?” Almost three years later, White is helping the founders of Occupy, US Uncut, and others to launch The After Party, a new political party on “a mission to restore democracy” and occupy the ballot box in time for the 2016 elections. How? By organizing statewide ballot initiatives, ousting corrupt officials, and encouraging everyday people to run for local and county offices.

Inspired by the success of Occupy Sandy organizing efforts, The After Party also seeks to turn communities into self-sufficient hotbeds of social action. White and the After Party team want to create what they call “mutual aid flash mobs,” citizen gatherings where people can do things like start a time bank, plant urban gardens, fix local roads, organize free healthcare clinics, and build tiny houses for the homeless. Nehalem, population 267, will be a test lab.

Could sleepy Nehalem, Or., be ground zero for the next social change revolution?

White calls Occupy a “constructive failure.” Urban street protests, he says, only have a life cycle of about a month before their time is up. The encampments, the People’s Library, and the spirit of the general assemblies are all fun and games until everybody gets kicked out of the park. “It was magical thinking,” he says. For White, Occupy Wall Street challenged the core assumptions that activists have about how to achieve social change. “We believed that people’s assemblies were enough to gain political sovereignty. This turned out to not be true. To gain political sovereignty we must win elections.”

Micah White says small towns like Nehalem are the best places to seed a social change revolution.

Micah White says Nehalem is “all about resilience and sustainability.”

White chose tiny Nehalem as his home base because, he says, social change movements like Occupy are too focused on urban environments: “I mean the urban areas, they coddle you and you become this large, comfortable child-egg baby. One of the things that’s nice about living here is that it’s terrifying to move here. People hunt; they have guns. They have floods here where you cannot leave for five days in a row. This place is all about resilience and sustainability.”

Rural towns are where it’s at for White, “a clean slate” for building real social change in places still reeling from the economic and environmental impacts of exactly what people were protesting during Occupy. Among his plans for Nehalem, White wants to start a food bank for veterans, convert vacant properties into housing for the elderly, and start a loyalty card program that keeps local prices low for residents and high for tourists.

And then there’s the boutique activism firm White’s started. The idea is to train activists and galvanize support for causes similar to online social and political movements like and But the difference is, his new venture is unabashedly for-profit. “Occupy Wall Street generated tremendous money,” says White. “This whole idea that activists should do it for free and all that bullshit is over. Like somehow I’m supposed to be a full-time activist and have zero income from it? It’s ridiculous.”

Ideally, though, he thinks everyday people can come up with their own solutions for big problems like climate change and access to local, healthy foods, not so-called experts.  (
In Nehalem’s case, the locals already have a head start: The town is home to an innovative recycling and reuse center called CARTM, an off-grid farm, and a thriving farmers market, plus a land trust for young farmers is in the works.

The region is also rich with resources like timber, which is being trucked out every day by logging companies. Part of White’s plan is to take back these resources and give them to the people. “The people here are land rich and money poor,” says White. “We’re actually sitting on value and money and natural resources. We’re the rich ones.”

Amber Cortes is a Grist fellow, radio producer, and a digital media grad student at the University of Washington . Follow her on Twitter.
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: alan2102 on April 29, 2014, 02:20:05 pm
The organization Action Against Hunger wanted to know if sharing is a natural instinct.
They conducted an experiment in Madrid, Spain to study human behavior when faced with the injustice of hunger.
Of the 20 children under study, all 20 shared their food even though as far as they knew, no one was watching.
When are the grown ups going to catch up?
--Bibi Farber
 This video was produced by Action Against Hunger
- See more at:

Forgive me Surly, but I do not see any way that the mindset prevalent at the DD is anything but the exact reverse of the above. All the work I did there for free was rewarded with WHAT? I didn't ask for money but wasn't I entitled to RESPECT?  WHERE was RE when people started rattling my cage for NO REASON? WHY didn't he treat the Golden Blasphemer the same way? WHY didn't any of you listen to my valid statement that the LACK of censorship constituted CENSORING (defaming, undermining my message, etc.) my message? BECAUSE OF BIAS on RE's part for PRO-DOOM "THERE IS NO HOPE" type people, PERIOD.

And YES, Surly, this has a LOT to do with the price of peaches in Denmark (i.e. SHARING). The continual and very predatory and sick meme that RE backs and Lucid tried to defend when I criticized his willingness to kill people labeled "zombies" is SERIOUS BUSINESS. It's a SERIOUS ERROR. It is NIHILISM justifying WHATEVER so a FEW MIGHT LIVE for a better day. IT's the MASTER RACE CRAP all over again. The DD is DEAD WRONG pushing this Scarcity meme which wrongly justifies NOT SHARING and a population cull. It's all addressed with a bit of polish but it's WRONG MORALLY.

Do you remember Endisnigh? RE almost killed him with his brainiac logic about the ASSURED collapse of civilization and the biosphere. And RE DOES NOT GIVE A **** because RE has so much UBERMENCH self delusion that he justifies ANYTHING he says, no matter how coarse or insensitive, with "SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST" because HE thinks HE is the BE ALL, END ALL of HUMAN EVOLUTION. "Hey, looky here, I went to Columbia and a read and did math at 3 years old!" WTF do you think his message is, HUH?

Surly, when people lack humility they CANNOT LEARN; they cannot even envisage themselves as being wrong. When they have a gifted vocabulary like RE does, it can lead to megalomania. Get out of there, Surly. RE and his mind set and followers are IMORAL NIHILISTS. Their God is their STOMACH, PERIOD. Despite all the BS about how bad greed is among the rich, the plethora of STUPID "It's my pigman roots" jokes and talk about making money is way too prevalent to make the complaints about the rich seem like anything but envy.

Mark my words. You will observe the inertia of the DD go farther towards intolerance of those who wish to share with those who have nothing material to the point of labeling them useless eaters, zombies or trash to be killed and composted. Consider me hysterical if you wish. RE never offered me a NICKEL to stay, despite your claim and Monsta's claim that I brought readers. I KNOW MONEY is ALL IMPORTANT TO HIM despite his talk of a gift economy (gifts for for him, that is). When somebody is as stuck on money as he is, you can ONLY weigh their commitment to ANYTHING by how much they are willing to invest. He wouldn't invest a NICKEL in me because he really DID NOT like what I wrote, period. His incredibly patient behavior towards the epitome of hypocritical, blasphemous and greedy wealth worship exemplified by Golden Oxen (Psalm 106:19-20 The people made a calf at Mount Sinai; they bowed before an image made of gold. They traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass-eating bull.) PROVES that RE is ONE in the spirit with GO. To these people, it's ALL HERE and it's ALL NOW. They will, as the Scarlet O'Hara character from Gone with the Wind vowed, do ANYTHING to keep their bellies full of food, a roof over their heads and job security. I WON'T go against the will of God to justify hurting people that have hurt me (and there are LOTS of them!) just because they are destroying my future and the earth.

Surly, it has BEEN OVER for mankind since the fall! Christ gave us hope. There IS NO OTHER HOPE. And J.C. can do whatever He wants. Some dumb **** human like RE that wants to judge J.C.'s behavior is worthy of disdain, no matter how entertaining and florid his vocabulary. I know you don't agree but don't pretend I didn't warn you as the UBERMENSCH at the DD go further towards gleefully awaiting mad max and killing zombies. THEY DON'T DO MORALITY at the DD. I CANNOT CONTINUE to be associated with the irresponsible mind sets that DOMINATE there.

The enormous disrespect shown to Alan when he posted much serious commentary on China is a small example of the DE FACTO censorship that goes on day in and day out at the DD. My days of being a punching bag at the DD are over. I might return someday to copy all my articles and posts before deleting my presence there. Right now I am busy.

WHEW what a great post!

I hereby volunteer for the position of Chief Choir-Boy and Bottle-Washer at the First Church of Agelbert, wherever it is. No pay required. My pleasure.

"NIHILISM justifying WHATEVER so a FEW MIGHT LIVE for a better day. IT's the MASTER RACE CRAP all over again."

Yep, yep, yep. Bad stuff. The only reason I don't get more exercised about it is that it seems (SEEMS) that this nihilism and elitist crap is embraced by such a vanishingly-small number of people that it does not make much difference in the big scheme.  But again: seems.  I might be wrong about that. I recently asked, in a post on the diner to Uncle Bob, about the empirical basis of claims having to do with society's prevailing memes or paradigms. How do we know? As I said there, this is an empirical question. Maybe the nihilism runs deeper than I'm now acknowledging. Maybe it requires serious attention, and opposition. I don't know. I'll look into it.

Regarding this: "the hypocritical, blasphemous and greedy wealth worship exemplified by Golden Oxen".  I don't know G.O. very well. I've read a few score of his posts, but I did not pick up blasphemy or wealth WORSHIP. The guy is obviously a gold bug, and is concerned about preserving his wealth -- but that's not bad of itself, IMO. We all have to make our way in the world and pay our bills, and there are real risks upcoming. There are much worse things than being a goldbug and wanting to pay one's bills. So, what is it that leads you to conclude that G.O. is such a hypocrite and greedy bastard?

Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on April 29, 2014, 11:44:11 pm
His God is not gold; it's his stomach. If you don't see a problem with that then you are in the same "Caloric intake is IT" boat as RE. I'm not there. All the blah blah blah from GO about "Christianity" is hypocrisy (the compliment that vice pays to virtue). 

Alan, humans are dynamic entities with spiritual inertia. People who are other directed and respect their fellow humans get better at it with time and more comfortable with it (I.E. the good get better).  But those, like GO, that choose to put their interests before anyone else's and seek constant fulfillment in collector's items and fine arts instead of improving society, get WORSE with time. I'll don't wish GO any harm but I'll never be silent about his "I've got my greed under control" BS.

Every PENNY of profit that goes to a greedy person undermines the quality of life of everyone else. Don't believe me? Rewind the clock and DON'T give land away to the railroads and oil prospecting companies. Don't give them subsidies (give aways). DON'T allow he government to get co-opted into taxing fossil fuels we use so the addiction and transfer of power to a few energy oligarchs DOESN'T take place and we would have a different world. 

It was ALWAYS about greed, not "progress" or "energy" or a "better world". We have REGRESSED, regardless of medical and technological advances. The quality of the planetary air and the average visibility SUCKS compared to a mere 50 years ago. That is NOT progress, Alan.

I know you refuse to bind morality with human activity. I cannot believe mankind can progress without developing spiritually and having a strong conscience for all things that live. Yes, technology is important and we need it, as long as we don't KILL LIFE to get it. WHY? Because, no matter how advanced technologically and culturally a society is (see Germany 1933), lack of morality will turn them into monsters. 
Title: You had to know this was coming
Post by: AGelbert on April 30, 2014, 04:28:11 pm
The 1% "disproves" Piketty's book about Capital

gjohnsitFollow .
  You had to know this was coming. ( (

When Thomas Piketty's book about capital and inequality became a best-seller the shills for the 1% recognized the danger.

 The soft Marxism in Capital, if unchallenged, will spread among the clerisy and reshape the political economic landscape on which all future policy battles will be waged. We’ve seen this movie before.

So in the same spirit that brought us physician tested and approved cigarettes, I present to you the official response from the "serious" economists of the 1%. .

The Boston University economist Christophe Chamley and the Stanford economist Kenneth Judd came up independently with what we might call the Chamley-Judd Redistribution Impossibility Theorem: Any tax on capital is a bad idea in the long run, and that the overwhelming effect of a capital tax is to lower wages. A capital tax is such a bad idea that even if workers and capitalists really were two entirely separate groups of people—if workers could only eat their wages and capitalists just lived off of their interest like a bunch of trust-funders—it would still be impossible to permanently tax capitalists, hand the tax revenues to workers, and make the workers better off.
 And the thing about this is that it’s a rather well known finding too. Which is why optimal taxation theory insists that the correct rate of taxation of returns to capital is zero. ZERO! 

That's what "real" economists know for a "fact".  :P

   The article goes on to tell us that the only possible reason why anyone would want to tax capital, earned or unearned, is for reasons of jealousy.  It's all science.

 Right.  (

 Who could possibly be such a leftist wacko as to suggest that capital should ever be taxed?  ( 

 Jefferson cited Adam Smith, the hero of free market capitalists everywhere, as the source of his conviction that (as Smith wrote, and Jefferson closely echoed in his own words), "A power to dispose of estates for ever is manifestly absurd. The earth and the fulness of it belongs to every generation, and the preceding one can have no right to bind it up from posterity. Such extension of property is quite unnatural." Smith said: "There is no point more difficult to account for than the right we conceive men to have to dispose of their goods after death."

 'Ol Crazy Thomas Jefferson and Nutzo Adam Smith. What conservative economist would ever listen to them, right? Or Herbert Hoover or Teddy Roosevelt.

    Marxist wackos wanting to tax wealth and redistribute it like Piketty and John Maynard Keynes.

  It reminds me of something I was reading about the other day.

 Back in the 1830's in England, some people wanted to reform the factories there. It seems they were disturbed by 9-year old children working 12 hours a day around dangerous machinery.

    So without consulting any serious economist  ;) they passed the first of the Factory Acts. This law, which can only be considered as "socialism" had various elements, such as:

* Children (ages 14–18) must not work more than 12 hours a day with an hour lunch break. Note that this enabled employers to run two 'shifts' of child labour each working day in order to employ their adult male workers for longer.
 * Children (ages 9–13) must not work more than 8 hours with an hour lunch break.
 * Children (ages 9–13) must have two hours of education per day.
 * Outlawed the employment of children under 9 in the textile industry.
 * Children under 18 must not work at night.

  Well the Cotton Manufacturers were not going to stand for this!  (

 So they hired  ( a "serious" Oxford economist called Nassau William Senior, who like the economists of the 1% today, was very well respected by his peers. Together with the Manchester cotton tycoons, ( they wrote a letter to the President of the Board of Trade.

 Mr. SENIOR then enters into an analysis, from which it appears that the whole net profit is derived from the work done in the last hour. If the factory could be kept at work an hour and a half longer, the net profit would be doubled ; if the time were reduced one hour per day, net profit would be destroyed ; and if it were reduced an hour and a half, even gross profit would go.(
 You see. It's simple economics.
    If we don't work our children by at least 12 hours a day then the mills will be unprofitable and they will all shut down. It's scientifically proven! ( 

 Any plan, therefore, which should reduce the present comparatively short hours, must either destroy profit, or reduce Wage

 The "comparatively short hours" of 11 hour days for 12 year old children is an iron-clad law of economics. It can never change. Just like taxing capital on any level will reduce wages.

 Professor Senior had a few other opinions he liked to share as well:
[The Irish Famine] "would not kill more than one million people, and that would scarcely be enough to do any good." (

    - Nassau William Senior

  It all reminds me of how famous, respected, and loved by the right-wing, economist Alan Greenspan somehow failed to predict the collapse of Lincoln Savings and Loan in 1989, and then failed to predict the failure of Wall Street in 2008. Both times it was "impossible to predict".
   In between those two events "serious" economists waited on his every word as he explained that businesses didn't need to be regulated because they were self-regulating. It's an iron-clad( law of economics, you understand. If you disagree then you simply aren't smart enough.
Originally posted to gjohnsit on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:24 PM PDT.

Also republished by Anti-Capitalist Chat.
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on May 03, 2014, 05:05:38 pm

Agelbert NOTE: This sounds great. My concern is that, because she has NEVER called out Israel for their heinous practices, she is being groomed to split the vote from a GENUINE progressive (Senator Bernie Sanders who is Jewish, by the way) who DOES want to put Israel on a tight leash and DOES NOT approve of war politics. It's an old DIRTY, UNDEMOCRATIC trick.

That said, IF Bernie Sanders runs for president with E.W. as his VP, there would be NO SPLIT of the progressive, NO WARS FOR OIL, NO MORE SUBSIDIES FOR BIG OIL AND COAL, full speed ahead for the renewable energy transition.  8) We shall see.

The CIA budget (the one we know about...) has grown 56% since 2004. It is a VERY bad sign that E.W. does not address this in her populist rhetoric. Bernie Sanders DOES address the runaway spending on intelligence alphabet agencies and the pentagon as THREATS to democracy. Well, we know we don't have one. At least Bernie is now coming right out and saying this country is run by an Oligarchy. E.W. isn't doing that...  :P
Title: Power Structures in Human Society
Post by: AGelbert on May 19, 2014, 08:19:13 pm
Title: The Globalization of Special Forces
Post by: AGelbert on May 23, 2014, 03:37:54 pm
"The art of war"

The Globalization of Special Forces

by Manlio Dinucci

Special Forces have been designed to use military means to conduct unconventional warfare operations, mainly to cause riots and murder political opponents.  :( :P Washington already secretly used them in 78 countries, while denying the very existence of their missions, although their budget exceeds 10 billion dollars annually.  >:( The globalization of these forces should enable it to expand its invisible dictatorship.
Title: Thomas Paine DID NOT agree with Benjamin Franklin on Liberty!
Post by: AGelbert on May 26, 2014, 06:25:05 pm
“Where liberty is, there is my country,” Benjamin Franklin once said to Paine. “Where liberty is not, there is my country,” ( Paine replied.
Paine asked the American revolutionaries “with what consistency, or decency” they “could complain so loudly of attempts to enslave them, while they hold so many hundred thousand in slavery.”

His unrelenting commitment to truth and justice, along with his eternal rebelliousness, saw him later vilified by the leaders of the new American republic  (, who had no interest in the egalitarian society championed by Paine.

Thomas Paine, Our Contemporary

Posted on May 25, 2014 By Chris Hedges

“When it shall be said in any country in the world ‘My poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive; the rational world is my friend, because I am a friend of happiness’: when these things can be said,” Paine wrote, “then may that country boast of its constitution and its government.”

Paine, partly because he did not come to America from England until he was 37, understood that the British crown had no interest in accommodation; today, the corporate state similarly has no interest in granting any concessions. ( (
Title: War Makes Us Poorer
Post by: AGelbert on June 04, 2014, 09:56:36 pm
War Makes Us Poorer (

by Paul K. Chappell

Paul K. ChappellWhen I began my senior year at West Point in August 2001, I took a class on national security that greatly influenced me. It was the first time I had seriously questioned the size of the U.S. military budget. My professor was a West Point graduate, Rhodes scholar, and major in the army. One day he walked in the classroom and wrote the names of eighteen countries on the board. He then looked at us and said, “The United States spends more on its military than the next eighteen countries in the world combined. Why do we need that much military spending? Isn’t that insane?”

My professor then explained that immense war spending impoverishes the American people. None of the students in the class said anything. I was shocked by what he told us and did not know how to respond. Disturbed by our silence, he said, “I’m surprised you all aren’t more outraged by this. Why do we need that much military spending?”

This week, I read an article written by Stanford professor Ian Morris, which was featured on the Washington Post website. The article was titled, “In the long run, wars make us safer and richer.” His article suggests that war is good for humanity because it makes us richer (I will also address his argument that war makes us safer later in this piece). Is this true? Was my professor incorrect? Studying the reality of military history—in addition to my experiences as an active duty soldier—has given me abundant evidence that war makes most people poorer, not richer.

Over two thousand years ago, Sun Tzu recognized that war impoverishes most people in a society. In The Art of War, he said, “When a country is impoverished by military operations, it is because of transporting supplies to a distant place. Transport supplies to a distant place, and the populace will be impoverished. Those who are near the army sell at high prices. Because of high prices, the wealth of the common people is exhausted. When resources are exhausted, then levies are made under pressure. When power and resources are exhausted, then the homeland is drained. The common people are deprived of seventy percent of their budget, while the government’s expenses for equipment amount to sixty percent of its budget.” (1)

Over two thousand years after Sun Tzu lived, the nature of war has not changed. War still impoverishes most people today. Writing in the twentieth century, war veteran George Orwell said, “The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labor. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.” (2)

Also realizing that war harms humanity in many ways, General Dwight Eisenhower compared war spending to crucifixion : “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children . . . Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.” (3)

Gandhi said people can have a piece of the truth, and Professor Morris certainly has a piece of the truth. He is partially correct, because war does make some people richer. Major General Smedley Butler, one of the most decorated Marines in U.S. history, witnessed the harmful aspects of war that are hidden from the public. He said, “War is a racket . . . A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.” (4)

If we want evidence to support General Butler’s claim that war “is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many,” we can look at all of military history.

Professor Morris is correct that humanity has made progress, but he mistakenly attributes this progress exclusively to war. He says, “By many estimates, 10 to 20 percent of all Stone Age humans died at the hands of other people . . . Over the [20th] century . . . just 1 to 2 percent of the world’s population died violently. Those lucky enough to be born in the 20th century were on average 10 times less likely to come to a grisly end than those born in the Stone Age. And since 2000, the United Nations tells us, the risk of violent death has fallen even further, to 0.7 percent . . . Ten thousand years ago, when the planet’s population was 6 million or so, people lived about 30 years on average . . . Now, more than 7 billion people are on Earth, living more than twice as long (an average of 67 years) . . . This happened because about 10,000 years ago, the winners of wars began incorporating the losers into larger societies.” (5) (

Even if we believe the assumption that “10 to 20 percent of all Stone Age humans died at the hands of other people” (this assumption is based on speculation because people back then did not keep records of homicide rates and there are not enough skeletal remains to make such a judgment), there are many reasons why violent deaths have decreased, which Professor Morris does not mention in his article. A major reason why fewer people today die from violence is because medical technology has improved significantly.

Professor Morris’s argument is suspect (, because he makes the mistake of using murder rates to claim that violence is decreasing. Because medical technology has improved so dramatically, however, we must instead look at aggravated assault rates. In his DVD The Bulletproof Mind, Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman explains:

From this point on, anytime anybody talks to you about violent crime in terms of the murder rate, completely ignore the data. The murder rate completely misrepresents the problem across any period of time. Why? Because medical technology is saving ever more lives every year . . . If we had 1930s level technology in America today, the murder rate would easily be ten times what it is. 1930s level evacuation technology, no ambulance services, no cars for most people. 1930s notification technology, no 911 systems, no phones for most people. 1930s level medical technology, no penicillin [penicillin was first discovered in 1928 but was not used widely until the late 1930s and early 1940s], no antibiotics . . . What if every gunshot wound, every knife wound, every trauma wound, there were no phones, there were no cars, and when you finally got the guy to the hospital, there were no antibiotics or penicillin? How many more would die? Easily ten times as many.

Read the rest of this truth filled and myth busting article here:
Title: WAR Makes Us Poorer - CONTINUED
Post by: AGelbert on June 04, 2014, 10:15:09 pm

We believe that another figure that carefully parallels and tracks to give us an indicator of what it might be like is the child mortality rate. And the child mortality rate in the year 1900 was 30 times what it is today . . . So what you’ve got to look at is not the murder rate, but you’ve got to look at the rate at which people are trying to kill one another off. And that is best represented by the aggravated assault rate. And aggravated assault in 1957 was 65 per 100,000. By the early 1990s, it has gone up to almost 450 per 100,000, a seven-fold increase. Seven times more likely to be a victim of violent crime than we were in the 1950s. Now, it went down a little bit throughout the 1990s . . . but even with that little downtown in the 1990s, we’re still five times greater than we were in the 1950s.(6)

Professor Morris also suggests that war has created societies with a higher standard of living that are more peaceful, organized, and inclusive, but again he mistakenly attributes this progress to war. Did war accomplish all of this progress, or did nonviolent struggle play a crucial role? For example, America’s Founding Fathers rebelled against the British Empire because they felt unfairly treated. They believed it was unjust to be controlled or taxed without the opportunity to participate in the political process. They also believed that those who govern must gain the consent of the governed. The motto “No taxation without representation” echoed their grievances and became a call to arms, leading to the American Revolution.

Decades after the war ended, however, less than 10 percent of Americans could vote in national elections. Women could not vote (or own property or graduate from college). African Americans could not vote. And most white people could not vote unless they owned land. During the early nineteenth century “No taxation without representation” only seemed to apply to a minority of rich landowners.
  ;)  >:(

How did so many Americans increase their liberties during the past two hundred years? Did non-landowners fight a war to achieve the right to vote? Did women fight a war to get the right to vote? Did African Americans fight a war to attain their civil rights? Did American workers fight a war to gain their rights? Was a war fought for child labor laws? These victories for liberty and justice were achieved because people waged peace, but most of us are not taught this important part of our history.

Although the American Civil War kept our country together, it took a peaceful movement—the civil rights movement—before African Americans truly got their human rights. And how many European countries fought a civil war to end slavery? Zero.

A person can make an informed argument that war was needed to stop Hitler in the 1940s or end American slavery in the nineteenth century, but that is not Professor Morris’s point. He claims that war makes humanity richer  (, even though military history contains countless examples of conquerors turning conquered peoples into slaves or second-class citizens, exploiting the resources of conquered nations, and neglecting the basic needs of their own people in order to fund a rapidly growing war machine.

It is difficult to debunk all the myths in Professor Morris’s article in this short piece, because these myths were not created by him, but are deeply entrenched in societies around the world. Recent research shows that another commonly believed myth in our society is also harming us. Professor Morris echoes this myth by saying, “People almost never give up their freedoms—including, at times, the right to kill and impoverish one another—unless forced to do so; and virtually the only force strong enough to bring this about has been defeat in war or fear that such a defeat is imminent.” (7)

The groundbreaking research of Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan debunks the myth that war is the only way to overcome oppression by showing that nonviolence has become more effective than violence at combating injustice. Erica Chenoweth explains, “From 1900 to 2006, nonviolent campaigns worldwide were twice as likely to succeed outright as violent insurgencies. And there’s more. This trend has been increasing over time, so that in the last fifty years, nonviolent campaigns are becoming increasingly successful and common, whereas violent insurgencies are becoming increasingly rare and unsuccessful. This is true even in those extremely brutal authoritarian conditions where I expected nonviolent resistance to fail.” (8)

Before learning from my West Point professor in 2001, I would have agreed with Professor Morris’s arguments, but then I learned about the deeper reality of war, and studied how nonviolence has become more effective than war as a way of solving our problems in the twenty-first century.

What are some of the problems we must solve today? The 2009 U.S. Army Sustainability Report lists several threats to national security, which include severe income disparity, poverty, and climate change. The report tells us: “The Army is facing several global challenges to sustainability that create a volatile security environment with an increased potential for conflict . . . Globalization’s increased interdependence and connectivity has led to greater disparities in wealth, which foster conditions that can lead to conflict . . . Population growth and poverty; the poor in fast-growing urban areas are especially vulnerable to antigovernment and radical ideologies . . . Climate change and natural disasters strain already limited resources, increasing the potential for humanitarian crises and population migrations.” (9)

When the U.S. Army states that “greater disparities in wealth . . . poverty . . . and climate change” are dangerous, these are some of the same concerns expressed by the Occupy movement. War cannot protect us from any of these dangers, and if we keep believing the myth that war is the only way, we will not be able to solve the problems that threaten human survival in the twenty-first century. Because we have the ability to destroy ourselves with nuclear weapons, if we keep believing the myth that war is the only way, we will keep pursuing war despite the clear evidence that it threatens human survival. If we keep believing the myth that war is the only way, we will continue to create conditions that make us less safe.[/size]

What could humanity achieve if we end war? According to a study conducted by Robert Pollin and Heidi Garrett-Peltier at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, an economy focused on peaceful priorities would employ many more Americans than an economy that wages war. In their study they said: “This study focuses on the employment effects of military spending versus alternative domestic spending priorities, in particular investments in clean energy, health care and education . . . We show that investments in clean energy, health care and education create a much larger number of jobs across all pay ranges, including mid-range jobs and high-paying jobs. Channeling funds into clean energy, health care and education in an effective way will therefore create significantly greater opportunities for decent employment throughout the U.S. economy than spending the same amount of funds with the military.” (10)

What else could humanity achieve if we end war? General Douglas MacArthur, who had a deep understanding of war that we can all learn from, said, “The great question is: Can global war now be outlawed from the world? If so, it would mark the greatest advance in civilization since the Sermon on the Mount. It would lift at one stroke the darkest shadow which has engulfed mankind from the beginning. It would not only remove fear and bring security—it would not only create new moral and spiritual values—it would produce an economic wave of prosperity that would raise the world’s standard of living beyond anything ever dreamed of by man. The hundreds of billions of dollars now spent in mutual preparedness [for war] could conceivably abolish poverty from the face of the earth.” (11)  (


1. Sun Tzu, The Art of War, trans. Thomas Cleary (Boston: Shambhala, 1988), 25-27.

2. George Orwell, 1984, (New York: Signet Classics, 1977), 157.

3. Dwight D. Eisenhower, “The Chance for Peace,” speech delivered before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, 1953.

4. Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler, War Is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America’s Most Decorated Soldier (Los Angeles: Feral House, 2003), 23.

5. Ian Morris, “In the long run, wars make us safer and richer,”…icher/2014/04/25/a4207660-c965-11e3-a75e-463587891b57_story.html.

6. The Bulletproof Mind, DVD, 2008, Dave Grossman and Gavin de Becker.

7.   Ian Morris, “In the long run, wars make us safer and richer,”…icher/2014/04/25/a4207660-c965-11e3-a75e-463587891b57_story.html.

8. “The Success of Nonviolent Civil Resistance: Erica Chenoweth at TEDxBoulder,”

9. U.S. Army Sustainability Report 2009, FinALArmySustainabilityreport2010.pdf.

10. The U.S. Employment Effects of Military and Domestic Spending Priorities: An Updated Analysis by Robert Pollin and Heidi Garrett-Peltier,

11. General MacArthur: Speeches and Reports: 1908-1964, Edward T. Imparato, ed. (Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing, 2000), 237.

This entry was posted in Peace and tagged military-industrial complex, Paul K. Chappell on May 1, 2014 by Paul K. Chappell.
Title: End Coporate Rule! Legitimize Democracy!
Post by: AGelbert on June 14, 2014, 04:56:59 pm
Mr. Jesse Dellinger, PA   ( wants to end corporate rule in the USA.  ( Me too! Pass the word to sign this petition!

 ( Corporate Rule!  ( Democracy! (
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on June 30, 2014, 06:58:28 pm
In Landmark Ruling, Canada's Supreme Court Deeds Land to Aboriginal Tribe for the First Time!  ;D   ( (
06/27/2014 04:03 PM News

Great news today as Canada's Supreme Court gave First Nations more than they dared hope for.

For the first time! the court granted aboriginal people title to their land. The unanimous 8-0 vote deeds them over 675 square miles in central British Columbia. (

About 3000 people are part of Tsilhqot'in -  a collection of six aboriginal bands. The court ruled because the tribe wasn't consulted when commercial logging was approved. They have been trying stop clear-cut logging for decades.

The ruling, of course, will make it that much harder for the Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline.  ;D Approved last week, it would pass right through Tsilhqot'in territory, and the 132 First Nations are united in fighting it.     (

When tribal leaders heard the news the mood was "absolutely electrifying." "It only took 150 years, but we look forward to a much brighter future. (  This, without question, will establish a solid platform for genuine reconciliation to take place in British Columbia," says Stewart Phillip, Grand Chief and president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, told CBC News. "I didn't think it would be so definitive. I was actually prepared for something much less. It's not very often that I'm without words, and I'm quite overwhelmed at the moment."

"We are in an entirely different ballgame," he told The Star. "We're moving away from the world of mere consultation into a world of consent. And that is absolutely enormous when one considers Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline proposal, the Kinder-Morgan proposal, and a whole multitude of major resource projects."

The decision over-rules a 2012 BC Court of Appeals decision that gave the tribe sweeping rights to hunt and trade on their traditional land, but to gain title they would have to identify specific sites where they lived over the centuries, rather than claim the entire area. Because they are semi-nomadic, the Supreme Court ruled they need only show that they have inhabited the land, exclusively and continuously.

But there's a catch. Provincial and federal governments can carry out economic activity on their land if the tribe consents or failing that, if government can make the case that development is "pressing and has a substantial public purpose" and meets its fiduciary duty to the aboriginal group.

"We support Indigenous peoples' right to free, prior and informed consent," says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, which intervened in the case. "They are the rightful stewards of their lands, and should be the ones to decide if and how they are developed. At last, this is sign that there is no blank cheque for the Northern Gateway project."   

The British Columbia and federal government are negotiating some 100 land claims across the country.
Title: American Legalized Genocide based on the "Empty Land" LIE!
Post by: AGelbert on September 10, 2014, 08:25:58 pm
Thomas Jefferson  ( and Indian removal     

Thomas Jefferson was the first U.S. President to propose the idea of a formal Indian Removal plan.[1][2] Andrew Jackson is often erroneously credited with initiating Indian Removal, because Congress passed the Indian Removal Act in 1830, during his presidency, and also because of his personal involvement in the forceful extermination and removal of many Eastern tribes. But Jackson was merely legalizing  (  and implementing  ( a plan laid out by Jefferson in a series of private letters that began in 1803, although Jefferson did not implement the plan during his own presidency.[1]

Title: Actus reus 9/11 Facina -oris
Post by: AGelbert on September 13, 2014, 04:15:00 pm
Change is change but in my comment I make it very clear change resulting from  9-11 was bad.  I say ugly and dark.  You must have missed that.

Ugly and dark with self-serving assholes who usurped the tragedy and took the country in directions which enriched them.  Directions which solidified their control but left America circling the drain with no future.  Intensifying the exact problem which they would with crocodile tears claim was behind the tragedy.  As much a shock to them as everyone else they can claim but what to do with the tragedy was already a chapter in their play-book.   

Exactly my feelings on the matter. Wish I could have explained them so precisely. Ugly, Dark, Bad, Solidified their Control, Self-Serving Ass Holes, Enriching themselves before they split for Belize and parts unknown.  Thanks MKing, You hit that nail right on it's head.  :'( :'(  :exp-angry: :exp-angry:

Bull s h i t.
Premeditatio malorum (premeditation of evils) is the mendacious fig leaf that Rockefeller used to claim he would "turn crisis into opportunity".  (

It is an established historical FACT that Rockefeller did everything in his power through bribery, threats and skullduggery to CREATE EVERY CRISIS that he subsequently "turned into an opportunity".

Golden O, YOU and Mking want to play stupid by willfully refusing to accept that those who  bono from 9/11 were the SAME ONES who, because of Mens Rea, Committed Actus reus  9/11 Facina -oris . I get it. Most of us here understand why.  ;D

But since I'm in a good mood today, I gave you S3 fellows a chance to pretend you don't want to bother to look up "silly" latin legal expressions. (

Te conozco bacalao aunque vengas disfrazao (“I can see straight through you and you can’t fool me”)

NOTE: "S3 fellows" is my shorthand for mendacity addicted fellows who continuously write Self Serving Statements (S "cubed"  ;D) to justify their propaganda and narcissistic egocentric world view.
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on September 13, 2014, 04:48:13 pm
Golden Oxen (Libertarian) said,
The Patriot act was the end of us the way I see it. It's been straight down hill from there.  :'(

Hi Amigo, welcome to the club.

Yep, it sure is painful when all those "good Germans" start getting the SAME TREATMENT they have dished out for centuries to the blackies and brownies. But misery so loves company.  (

Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on September 13, 2014, 05:29:07 pm
K-Dog said,
I say agreement is be more important than how it happened, but if the truth be dark, let there be justice.

I say that HOW it happened is part of Due Process of Law in coming to an AGREEMENT on WHO Committed Actus Reus 9/11 . Ya CAN'T get to agreement (I.E. Judgment followed by Justice in the form of a Sentence) without the HOW.

As to "justice", how far up the rat line of perpetrators, planners, executers, cover-up artists after the crime are you willing to GO to reimburse WE-THE-PEOPLE for the damages in addition to the prison punishments for the crime? Are you willing to have the assets stripped of Exxon because THEIR representatives were present with Cheney in the White House in the Planning of 9/11?

Are you willing to imprison most of the top brass in the USAF because they coordinated and surreptitiously funded the wing structure  beefing up and preparation of B767 drone aircraft that could make banked turns at over 100 knots over (which would have torn the wings off a normal B767) above design speed before impacting the WTC towers?

The list goes ON and ON. The FACT that it goes ON and ON was part and parcel of the planning to get a pack of people to "make their bones", so to speak, so they would be willing, able and ready to kill anyone who talked.

Let me make it short and not very sweet for you, K-Dog: If JUSTICE is be done, our ENTIRE system of  fascist fossil fuel government must be replaced (THAT IS NOT GOING TO BE ALLOWED WITHOUT A HUGE SPILLING OF BLOOD so FORGET IT!) and billions of dollars worth of assets among the richest and most influential Americans must be sold and the money placed DIRECTLY in the hands of the taxpayers that unwittingly funded this Facina -oris , the cover up and the trillion dollar Iraqi bloodfest.

The MONEY HAS NOT "disappeared" like the over 4 trillion Rummy said was "unaccounted for" the day before 9/11. WE KNOW WHERE IT IS. It's in property, stocks and precious metals.

Justice is NOT ACCOMPLISHED by simply putting every last one of the perpetrators in prison WITHOUT reimbursing WE-THE-PEOPLE for damages. And you can be SURE that over 99% of the perpetrators will NEVER be brought to justice on planet earth.

What we CAN do is remove all credibility from government propaganda outlets. If you are not even willing to take the DEFAULT position that our government is a criminal gang and lies on a regular basis, then your laudable request for Justice, regardless of who has Mens Rea, is  quixotic, period.

AS long as you DON'T take that default position, things WILL GET WORSE.
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on September 13, 2014, 07:19:28 pm
Golden O, I admit you have a tremendous capacity for looking out for number one.  :evil4: And you are proud of it too!  :(

Golden O said,
AG, Do you really blame me for trying to save and invest to acquire money?

You have certainly made it clear what one can expect having the government, Blankfein and Company, Our loving corporations and bosses, or heavens forbid Charity from the wealthy look after me and my family.

Would you really be more fond of me or think me a better person if I were on Food Stamps and broke waiting for a welfare check?

Why do you dislike people that are in dread fear of being in that situation, especially in their elderly years?

Golden O,
This is not about you. This is about my quick reaction to ANYBODY that alleges that premeditatio malorum EXPLAINS everything that went on after 9/11 as simple opportunism by conscience free assholes who just "turned crises into opportunity".

That's not just TOTAL BULLSHIT in regard to 9/11, it's EMBLEMATIC of the blame shifting rhetoric of Wall Street Greedballs in EVERYTHING THEY DO. Your refusal to connect those BLATANT DOTS serves as a comfort to people who read and respect your writing who do not want to question the government 9/11 fairy tale.

How much money you have is not the issue. The issue is that things will get worse as long as our government has credibility. For example, if Wall Street lost all credibility, no stocks could get sold. In fact, a huge bullshit exercise has gone on since 2008 with funny money because the overwhelming majority of Americans DO NOT HAVE A NICKEL in stocks because Wall Street has lost all credibility.

Every second of every day that learned people like you DO NOT take the default position that the government is a criminal gang, with 9/11 being just one more notch on their fascist "gun" butt, ensures that those VERY PEOPLE practicing REAL premeditatio malorum (who dispassionately  took advantage 9/11 by profiting even though they did not participate in the crime - BUY GOLD -The TRADE OF THE DECADE!) are CONTRIBUTING to encroaching fascism and loss of freedoms for all.

And what's their (your) excuse? That because humans are selfish, being selfish is okay.( Never mind that a little selfishness is like light and dark in comparison with a LOT of selfishness that leads to empire expansion, 9/11 murders, wars for profit, oil price shocks and bank bail outs.  :emthdown:

Nobody wants to be poor. That is not a valid reason for AVOIDING taking the default position that the government is criminal as well as acting on our responsibility to CONSTANTLY doubt ANYTHING the gooberment pushes as truth. IOW, looking out for number one is socially self destructive when taken to "Im just makin' money for the family" premeditatio malorum .

It's not okay. It's making things worse. Sure, you might make less money by not going with the predatory capitalist immoral style opportunistic  premeditatio malorum. But it's hyperbole to worry about going to the poorhouse because you have principles!

The old status quo where a large percentage of the population could maintain a certain level of privilege while turning a blind eye to those terrorized or just shafted by the AUTHORITIES that defended whitey are coming to an end. That process ACTUALLY has been going on since this country was founded! It just took a lot longer for it to happen here than it did in Germany. Nine Eleven was the FINAL PUSH.

It's ALWAYS the fate of "Good Germans" to be suckered by the most evil among them. Compromising with evil is ALWAYS the start of a slippery and continuously DOWNHILL slope, period.

Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on October 16, 2014, 02:13:53 am
Goldman Sachs Moral Compass (
Protecting Power & Privilege Has Doomed Regimes Throughout History (
Title: To Abandon or not to Abandon all hope
Post 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: (

Title: Who Will Police The Police?
Post 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

Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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,


Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on December 19, 2014, 01:12:06 am
About 737 Fascist Oligarchs with their profit over people and planet fingers EVERYWHERE!  (
Title: A word of advice to TPTB
Post 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) (
Title: Days of Destruction Days of Revolt
Post 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"

Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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. (

Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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.
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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.(


Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on December 23, 2015, 03:53:29 pm
Enjoy!     (

Address of Oscar Neebe from The Chicago Martyrs 1886 - The Famous Speeches of the Eight Anarchists (in  LibriVox 8th Anniversary Collection )
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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.  (

Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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. (

Worldcrunch - top stories from the world's best news sources
Follow us: @worldcrunch on Twitter | Worldcrunch on Facebook

Read the full article: Of Lying And Language — Last Thoughts On Umberto Eco
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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. (  (

Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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? ( ( ??? (

( (
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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 (
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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."
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post by: AGelbert on July 09, 2016, 04:13:47 pm
There IS a Tipping Point for Revolution in America: Dr. Richard Wolff

Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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. (

Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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


Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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.
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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.


Title: Power Structures in Human Society
Post 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.”

Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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. (
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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.

MrMastercatfish   (

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.
Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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

Title: Re: Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 1
Post 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: (