The Pentagong Show

The Pentagong Show
United State of Terror: Is Drone War Fair?

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Humanity's Ongoing Suicide: 13 Reasons Why.

Strange Love: Never Miss Hitor Missile gives good Warhead.
Various writers on the interwebs have speculated that there is now no escape from mankind's rush to extinction because Climate Change has not only been allowed to go too far, but been prodded poked stoked and nudged into going too far by callous Capitalists and dick-headed dictators, the mentality of both being exactly the same. The only difference is that Capitalists exist in countries where the government has some power to control them, whereas a dictatorship doesn't, but they both have the same personality drive to dominate those who get in their way (The difference between Henry Ford and Mussolini better reflected their external circumstances than their internal drives), neither one being too circumspect over the means of doing so.

But the  hawkers of Climate Despair have been rebuked by those who insist there is still hope for a remedy to our onrushing catastrophe if we can only act in time, such pronouncements being then in turn spurned by accusations delivered as a screed for rejecting the Creed of Imminent Extinction, since, it being the future we're talking about, no one can be right until such time as it won't matter. So as we accelerate our streak toward a collective NDE (Near Death Experience) referred to as NTE (Near-Term Extinction), perhaps there are some things we can point at that, had we considered them or reacted to them differently, we may have changed what now looks like an inevitable outcome.

1) From Greed to Götterdämmerung. The catalyst that catapults the Gods to their Twilight in Wagner's Lord of the Ring Cycle is the same as that which impels humanity towards its own ... such was Wagner's genius. Like the theft of stolen goods Wotan uses to pay the ransom he has himself necessitated by promising the builders of Valhalla Freja, trading away love, beauty and fertility for vast empty halls of grandeur. Casting aside that which makes them truly great for the trappings of power to stoke envy: Style for Substance, Hollywood for Holy Writ, Wall St for Main St. The only person who can keep the gods from growing old is sold as payment for empty Vanity. The parallel to Capitalism's promises of everything for nothing couldn't be starker. But like Wotan, when it cannot deliver it substitutes for it empty promises of a future it can't afford, unless it ransacks the accumulated savings of the innocents: The Rhine Maiden's gold. Capitalism uses promises of future benefits: Pensions, healthcare, education, which it also has neither the intention nor wherewithal to deliver, unless it can contrive to steal the means from someone else. Banking on the fact that by the time it need to fulfill its obligation, those to whom its made those promises will either be too old and weak to fight for what they were promised but robbed of, or, thanks to governments being more beholden to the Corporations that bribe its officials than to the pubic that voted for it, reneges and leaves us in the situation where a failed Presidential Candidate can write a book calling for a Revolution, mining discontent and inciting violence, not because it will improve the lives of his constituents (Revolution in Syria, Libya, and Egypt have delivered nothing but failed states, military dictatorship, and entire cities turned into piles of rubble with no hope of there being anything left in the future with which to rebuild, causing floods of refugees to pour over national boundaries and spread destabilization and mayhem in their desperation and consequent thirst for revenge) but because it gives a doddering old fool coin with which to buy his own brand of populism  (and boost his own form of Grift You book sales) he is hailed as a sort of folk hero.

 Wotan also creates a Hero. Which brings us to the Side "B" of greed:

2) Militarization. Greed needs armed forces to protect the hoards it amasses from the hordes whose labor created its wealth. The level of manufacture, dissemination and deployment of Weapons of mass destruction, all of which  are Chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction, by Nations now unable to deliver even a modicum of the promised benefits of Cowboy Capitalism to its citizens, is now the main source of international exchange. Because manufacturing the goods that said population need for their everyday existence has been off-shored to places where the destruction of the very air they breathe and the consequent debilitation and death that that necessarily entails, is the least of that government's concerns, leaves the Arms industry with its astounding profits greased by bribing corrupt officials to spend their country's treasure on prestigious arms instead of the education of their citizens. Arms sales have become the main preoccupation and source of coin and corruption in the rich countries even more than in those it exploits. Like Black Gold, the Devil's Excrement, becoming Merchants of Death taints everyone it touches, leaving a slimy film of despondency and despair in its wake. This unites the world in its desire to uplift itself by spreading promises of immortality that lies in another, better world ... Look!, there, right over the horizon, lies your afterlife. And thus we slither into the realm of the Children of the Con:

3) Religion. Jews, Christians, and Moslems are the main purveyors of violent murderous rampages in the name of a deity, but even the so-called peaceful Buddhists and Hindus are not innocent from the crime of provoking religious-stoked murder. It is the easiest kind to incite, because its perpetrators always cloak themselves in the garb of avatars, they're merely agents delivering their own god's Wrath; washing the blood of their victims off in the Holy Waters of Faith. A faith that always endorses:

4) Family Values. A sentiment everyone finds difficulty in finding fault with, even as we have a known rascist history in Europe, especially, but in every other continent as well, of royal families murdering their own children, brethren or parents for the sake of power, money or prestige. And these are not the peasant classes they so disdainfully look down their long aquiline aristocratic noses at, these are the Royals, the Divine Right of Kings' bloodline, claiming therewith as the one and only reason for their right to rule. Supposed god-appointed monsters who see their subjects, who their position puts them in moral obligation to protect, as cannon fodder to secure, not the nation, but the royal family's privileges and prerogatives. This corruption then seeps into even Presidential politics as crony-Capitalism gives protection to those who could care less about their country, and put the protection and illegal enrichment of their own form of courtiers above that of the nation they have sworn to serve and  protect. All of theses are supported and made even more intractable by:

5) Mechanization. Every year since the beginning of the millennium the US has sold close to 17 million vehicles per annum, more than a quarter of a billion ICE machines, with the worldwide total more than double that amount. Resulting in more than a billion cars plying the roads of the world, dwarfing in their collective CO2 output, the pollution the industry that produces them creates, yet allowing those that push their pedal to the metal a feeling of complete irresponsibility for their part in poisoning the world and turning it into a hothouse. The mechanization of all human activity has resulted in the outcome we have arrived at now, where the lives of more people are dedicated to the maintenance, manufacture and preservation of machines than to people. There is nary a howl as loud as the current one against Obamacare while it underwrites contracts to produce billions and billions for industry, yet would prefer to render nary a nickel for healthcare, and housing is only for the rich (condo fees alone are more onerous, as a percentage of net earnings, than a mortgage for a home was a mere generation ago ... and they only go up, whereas a mortgage is eventually paid off), while education is to be gained only by hocking the future.

 6) Democratization. A form of tyranny that promises its adherents freedoms it never quite defines, but seems to have become the single most polluting engine fomenting climate change. The more Democracies in any part of the world, the more pollution and the larger demands from its citizens for more benefits that promise even more pollution. Living in a democracy is great. And you can see why by looking at the Korean peninsula from the space station. The more democratic So. Korea is lit up like every other democratic country in the world while No. Korea looks as though it's in a blackout. The former Soviet Union, Cuba, most African States, eschew democracy and all contributed to the carbon pollution that is our death knell to a far less degree than any democracy. The end of the Soviet Union was the beginning of the ramp up in the amount of carbon being spewed into the atmosphere: it was like the firing of a pistol at the start of a race, because, in actuality, that's what it was. Since then there has been, and continues to be, a pell-mell scramble to dig up and burn up every last fossil fuel on the planet. Asia has been populated by civilizations of humans as far back as prehistory, and it still groans under a wealth of natural resources. The United States, in existence for a mere two and a half centuries, has burnt through an entire continent of riches and now stalks the globe like a marauding Hun, devising new Visions of Empires of Evil as excuses for its rampages when in fact it is only a tarp to disguise that is is really simply using Military ascendancy and domination to abet its search for the necessary resources to keeps its economic engine from sputtering out. In which effort it is abetted by:

7) Computerization. Like many of the items in this list, computerization started out as a phenomenon of startling innovation that was hailed as an enhancement to human creativity, but was rapidly monetized into a nightmare of hardware-software battle for ascendancy that put the concept of planned obsolescence into overdrive. That is why you never hear the term anymore, but it sits at the heart of the computer industry, and has since its inception as embodied in Intel's Grove's maxim that processing speed would double every 18 months, turning it into a mantra , and enabling the inevitability of your  purchasing power's decline. The most obvious way of doing this was by the Clinton administration's inclusion of the concept of heuristics in its calculation of the CPI. What this particularly nasty bit of legerdemain does is count that doubling of processing power as a reason for a new computer's increase in price, so that the increase couldn't be attributed to inflation, because the increase was not for purchasing the same product, but for a new, improved product. However, as you may have noticed, that faster processor speed is quickly eclipsed by larger software programs no longer so efficiently designed, and now in hostage to the security programs that eat up more cycles of your CPU than any of the Apps you actually purchased the equipment to run. Soon enough the new improved processor is so bogged down with overhead, it is running slower than the one you replaced it with , so you have to buy the next generation and the cycle starts anew. Militarily this has enabled:

 8) Mobilization. Never have so many troops been in so many countries for so long a time as they have since the Neo-con imposition of the Pax Americanus as they usurped the power of the executive office to unroll their project of Full Spectrum Domination of the rest of the world to fulfill the puerile fantasies of a rabid group of modern conquistadors in their Project for the New American Century (PNAC). In little more than a year they managed to change the world perception of the United States from one of a modern progressive State to one that's a pariah to its neighbors and allies, trusted by none, and respected only through fear of the unpredictable use it might next deploy its vast insatiable War Machine for. Sucking down more oil reserves than the entire country of Sweden, it also manages to spew out more polluting gases than most countries and leave in its wake a trail of radioactive depleted uranium like an invisible mine field that, instead of exploding people to pieces like the millions of mines left in Laos, spews atomic-sized particles that rip through innocent civilians' tissue and internal organs. Unlike Corporate offices, the civilian sector's version of mobilization, military deployment, as Chalmers Johnson's Empire series illustrates, is far less subject to the host country's rules. Using SOFA's (Status of Forces "Agreements" (Yeah right, like Okinawa had a choice)), the US can override host country's laws and trample any environmental concerns with the usual attitude such men have for anything as sissified as caring about any other living creature. The military is like an ATV, it may not be its intention to mow down any thing that gets in its way, but it is equipped to do so and won't hesitate to, and in most cases does so without even a second thought: it's immaterial, not even something worth taking into consideration. And because might makes right, it partners with: 

9) Monopolization. Of all the reasons for the intensification of the concentration of power in the hands of fewer and fewer  people, the role of Computerization is all but ignored, but it is in fact the chief enabler. Whole floors of office building were emptied out of middle management, factory floors cleared of laborers blamed on robotics lie empty because of the role that computerization and the miniaturization of it components enabled. Robotics and computerization, in other words, are inextricably linked. And both are the servants of monopolists in their drive to concentrate power in their owns hands and drive competition out by dominating their markets, not for the betterment of their customers but the destruction of other enterprises that might put a restraint on their ability to raise prices and dictate terms.  As the declining quality of products on Walmart's shelves and the increasingly fraudulent use of Goldman Sach's customers' account money demonstrates, the sole purpose of monopolization is to accrue more and more power to abuse your customers while leaving them with no ability to redress the wrongs you heap onto their head. They have no choice, as the competition has been destroyed.

10) Monetization. Theft, really. It entails the extraction of everything of value and turning it into a marketable commodity. That vein of coal running through the hillside has to be exploited to make it profitable and to create the jobs necessary to enhance the financial position of the region from which it's taken. But, especially in the current environment of Cowboy Capitalism, monetization always entails rapacious disregard for the environment and enshrines in the position of power the very people who should be barred from it. And once monetization is started, like a bribe to a politician, the power dynamic quickly changes such that the political entity has ceded its sovereignty to the marauding exploitation of the developers. It always extracts the value before the first shovelful of soil is excavated, though, and to do this they use:

11) Amortization. Amortization is the paying off of debt with a fixed repayment schedule in regular installments over a period of time, for example with a mortgage or a car loan. It also refers to the spreading out of capital expenses for intangible assets over a specific duration (usually over the asset's useful life) for accounting and tax purposes. It allows banks to fund the purchase of a house at terrifyingly low interest rates while sloughing off the risk to the taxpayer via the current scheme of selling them to the GSE's. They can take the money and run, but tshould things go south, it leaves many of their victims in financial straits and generally increases the rate of:

12) Incarceration. There are more inmates in America's prisons than there are citizens in several of the countries to which we give large amounts of dollars, amounts that are the subject of protest from various groups, yet which amounts are completely dwarfed by the level of expenditure needed to feed, clothe, guard, and care for its burgeoning population of miscreants . While hardworking citizens have problems getting heatlhcare, prisons, such as California's San Quentin, boast of their own State-of-the-Art hospitals. Hospitals that are built with money taken from those same hard-working citizens who can't afford it for their own children or parents, yet must pay for it for the murderers and  hardened criminals languishing behind bars. The level of this vast growing sea of wasted humanity is rising faster than that of the oceans we obsess so much about, and it is a contributor to that rise because of the enormous allocation of resources needed to sustain it. The economy needs to generate billions and billions of dollars to make their upkeep possible. And because the militarization of civilian life means that arguing for the education or job-training or any other ameliorative attitude toward prisoners gets ridiculed as being soft on crime, few prisoners are capable of contributing to society even once released. So, unlike the way an investment in a hospital patient or college student can be argued to make such investment worthwhile, prisons are just economic rat holes into which billions are poured down, with the most likely outcome being a bite in the ass. And all these reasons are exacerbated by the huge and growing problem of:

13) Overpopulation. Which is intimately, although you'd never know it, entwined with sexuality. Billions of people are forced into a heterosexual existence that they  have no choice of entertaining any alternative to, and encouraged into creating billions more human beings to push out and destroy all other vestiges of life. You might hate homos, disdain same-sex relationships, prefer murder to sodomy, as all the religions of the world teach you to do, but if the result of drug-addled wild sex brings an early death to those who engage in it, that is a far more desirable outcome than forcing them in to a life in a world whose human population threatens to overwhelm and push into extinction the very biodiversity on which its own survival depends. With the Moral Majority's claim from the eighties that homosexuality is "Unnatural" completely discredited for the nonsense it is, the counter argument that people are born that way has also become completely counter productive, and should be shelved as well. Any perusal of the more erotic of the on-line sex and porn sites and tumblr listings demonstrates the fluidity of sexual activity and that the ability of the human species to make long, caring, committed relationships with members of the same sex (or even short, casual, intense ones) and the more than obvious preference that even  heterosexuals exhibit for members of their own sex in most realms other than sexual congress, should inform us that insisting on maintaining the prevailing attitude of heterosexual reproduction and attraction and the child-producing couple as the only acceptable form of adult relationship, we not only put a lie to the Freedom the very people who deny people that choice have emblazoned on their sweatshirts and baseball caps, we produce a bounty of unwanted births, force an unmerited parenthood onto people who would never qualify for the job if it were a position in the most lax of companies, and contribute to the above item, #12, incarceration. Instead, in most of the world, they incarcerate and torture them, as in Chechnya, bully and beat them up, as in Russia and re-educate them to live the "right" way, in places like China, and continue to exile them and force them into hiding in most of the rest of Asia, as well as Africa, where American missionaries feel free to travel to and show them how write laws that put them to death. All while overpopulation gets more and  more intractable, and all for the sole reason that it is found to be morally repugnant, whereas nation after nation and religion after religion revels in murder and destroying lives while standing on that moral high ground they've stationed themselves on from which they can more easily kick the rest of humanity in the face. Even as they despoil the planet their enforced heterosexuality is peopling with their children they claim to love. What kind of morality is that?

So that is my list. It could be longer, I'm sure it should be shorter, but as it will change nothing, I will change nothing on it. (Well, at least not until tomorrow).

Monday, May 22, 2017

Hawken' Hope: Faith-based Prof-essay.

                                                  Renewable Fuels have consequences too.

 Paul Hawken, hawking his new book, " Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, seems to have forgotten the theme of his previous book, "The Ecology of Commerce":

"the origins of issues with respect to the environment must reside deep in the longings of people to lead fruitful lives ... while causing as little suffering as possible to all and everything around us".

However, as the course of American politics traveling ever rightward, replete with  the never-ending hagiographic adulation of Ronald Reagan, coupled with the Maniacal insatiable greed impelling the rush to ruin via stoking the polity's desire for More, More, More, Bigger, Faster, Now!, evinced by the already well-off American middles class during the Bush error demonstrates, the fantasy Hawken entertains of humanity's most earnest desire being to lead "fruitful lives", is, or should have been, eclipsed by one that (like both Adam Smith did for economics and the United State's founding fathers' philosophy did for  political institutions) better takes into account and exploits humanity's real longings and intractable failings.

Because it's become apparent that mankind's  real desire has nothing to do with anything as edifying as leading fruitful lives. Additionally, Humanity, in reality, could care less about any suffering that our actions may cause on anything around us, but comes far closer to realizing the atavistic dreams of a Reich-like ascendancy of Nietzsche's Superman, desirous of nothing less that the complete subjugation of all they survey and its replacement with one dedicated to the fulfillment of their crass materialistic dreams, one that endows us with the ability to crush underfoot and grind into submission everything crawling on the earth that threatens to impede the attainment of our most trivial pursuits.

Although it serves our egos and our pretensions to altruism, the propensity to mold mankind into the image and likeness of our conception of Man as a being ruled by reason is, like humanity itself, doomed to failure.

And both of these hypotheses are best dissected by studying the real dynamics that are the basis of our government and  our economies, and our concept of our lives as we live them in this most modern of worlds: the source of the energy that runs it and the enabler of procuring that energy, the Military and the arms trade that is its enabler, together with the entity that undergirds them both: Democratic governments that cater to the conception of self-rule while undermining it by spawning a Military Industrial Complex (a Corporate-sanitized phrase used to mollify the populace into accepting the transition from a civilian economy into The Wehrmacht) we've created to over-rule any objections to its existence and its infiltration into every aspect of our lives. In other words, to turn Democratic institution into pillars of Fascism by disguising their takeover by the military.

This is, of course, best illustrated by the sarcastic phrase, "I'm from the Government and I'm here to Help", that was uttered by the same man who was responsible for the largest build-up of military forces in the history of the world. And yet those military forces are part of that self same government Reagan so derided. Yes Ronald Reagan, that hero to millions of Americans, is the man who purposely set out to undermine rule by civilian government, replacing it with military rule, because civilian rule is just, oh so lame, and he did so with borrowed money and the manipulation of the price of Oil in an Economy he hailed as Free-Market, even as he actively changed it to one that, via a tsunami of deficit spending, was reconfigured to cater to the source of its largest demand: the Government. But this time in the guise of military expenditures, thus perverting it so completely it has never regained its ability to serve the civilian sector except as a second thought, all its major innovations having been created by and for the Military procurement process, only then "spinning them off" to the civilian sector, mimicking the process FDR/Truman used to massage it to pour billions into first creating a Nuclear bomb and then to sell its bastard son, Nuclear power, disguising and minimizing its dangers and limitations so as to justify the enormous expenditures required for its continued existence.

This is the same trick, with a different sleight of hand that Hawken uses to placate his readers (well, to sell his book, really) with Utopian dreams of a future of easy living with no fossil fuel hangover, even as the very atmosphere that hangs over our heads gets more and more saturated with CO2, methane, water vapor, and various other heat-trapping gasses. A kind of 21'st Century cartoonish return to, not the Jetsons, as we prefer to imagine ourselves, but to the Flintstones: a humanity unable (thanks to religious indoctrination started while we are still at an age of total vulnerability and dependency) to move beyond the Stone-age mentality of supernaturalist superstition, overlaid with all the trappings of a modernity of which they rarely understand either its genesis or ramifications. Both  of which have far more to do with the manufacture, selling, maintenance and deployment of an unconscionable tonnage of war-mongering-enabling Weapons of Mass Destruction on a scale that dwarfs the economy of all but the most powerful of Countries. And those countries in turn, have every aspect of their economies, from Burger King to KFC, from ipones to apples,  attuned to meet the needs of the military, because the military has, more than any other facet of economic life, an unquestioned and unquestionable access to public monies; access that is unaccountable, access that is unaudited, and, as a result of those two features, access that always and everywhere, eventually becomes access that is completely irresponsible. And like any power that is absolute, it is totally, incorrigibly, corrupt.

And that is also what Hawken's book is, irresponsible. Because the first item of his top ten list of things that'll drawdown CO2 and reverse global warming (first let me note, that the top ten list has nary an item that has anything whatsoever to do with a drawdown, which would entail the removal of greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere, not the mere diminution of the rate at which they are being spewed into it) he places refrigerants and points to an article by Brad Plumer in which he explains the transition from CFC's to HFC's as refrigerants and the ongoing transition from HFC's to HFO's, which are promised to be far less effective at heat-trapping than the HFC's currently used and don't, at least theoretically, punch a hole in the ozone layer as CFC's (Freon) did, well, do, but far fewer are used nowadays. (Which wouldn't matter in the least if the externalities of manufacture and sale were borne by the companies that profit therefrom. But Capitalism cannot survive, could not even exist, if those who poison and destroy that from which they derive their profits were made accountable for their dissemination in the first case and ravenous destruction in the second (the burnt-down rain forests for example, the combustion of which pours CO2 into the atmosphere while simultaneously destroying a vast engine for its removal, all to produce biodiesel, sold to the public as "green" fuel ... Flintstones, Meet the Flintstones). Like Superdump sites that must be cleaned up at taxpayer expense while the profits derived from the poisoning of the sites in the first place are safely sequestered in the pockets of those who had no need to take those costs into account. If they (the HFC manufacturers) did have to, the refrigerant gasses would never find their way into the atmosphere in such prodigious quantities in the first place, since the companies that use them would be held responsible for making sure they are never released from their products, as the functioning of said products never demands the refrigerant be released).

But here, if nothing else we run up against Jevon's paradox. In the very next sentence, Mr. Plumer sites the statistic that what we're still calling "third world demand" is on pace to install some 700 million air conditioners. This could result in total HFC concentrations in the atmosphere rising by 140 percent:

 "Basically, we stopped one environmental problem only to confront another."

Well, not exactly. "We stopped one environmental problem only to create yet another" environmental problem would be more accurate. We've yet to actually confront the problem, else there'd be no need for Mr Plumer's article. But this is the language the so-called progressives like to use, because, given the fact that the economy is a Wehrmacht, we adopt everything militaristic, from  the fact that "You're killing it" has become praise, to the fact that all Silicone Valley firms name their conference rooms "War Rooms" to glorify the military and enhance their own sense of self-importance, glorifying their mundane tasks of configuring a router to the point of national importance, to the substituting of the phrase "to confront" to replace the actual reality, of "to CAUSE", a problem. And no, this choice of words was not accidental. The biggest disservice that computerization has done to the collective subconscious is to convince everyone that things just come about without the necessity of effort. But just as War Room has to be decided on and agreed to and then a service hired to make a placard with the name and number (most firms have many War Rooms on their "campuses"), and then a different service hired to then align and install the sign on the door, similarly, an article has to be written and words consciously decided upon, and the word "confront" was purposely chosen and agreed to by at least one editor, as it makes it less obvious that it was engineers who created the problem in the first place, and to keep the reader from asking the obvious question: What unforeseen (because, in our naivete, we give them the benefit of the doubt that it was indeed, unforeseen. It more than likely was not however, it's just that those who brought up the objection that it had 10,000 times the global warming potential of CO2 were silenced) negative consequences will this new refrigerant gas produce?

But that's a question I don't know the answer to, although I suspect there are those that do. But what I do know is that the manufacture, distribution, installation, powering and maintenance on 700 million air conditioning units that do not exist today but will exist in the not-to-distant future, per the projections of these green-thinking authors, who fail to mention a thing about how many of the   millions of AC units already in existence would need to be replaced, nor how such an enormous increase in production, would impact, via the tremendous amounts of CO2 created from all this energy-intensive activity, the supposed savings from the replacement of HFC's with HFO's.

If you then take into account the installation of the units, the mining of the materials to make, not just the AC units themselves, but also, this being third world countries, the infrastructure over which to transport the energy to the end user, the miles of copper, the heat produced by overcoming resistance over the transmission lines, the conversion of the fuel into usable energy, and the heat content a 400ppm CO2 atmosphere already has us blanketed under, you begin to see that  the premise of their whole argument is highly suspect. When one next considers  their argument that those objections are met with the statement that the units will encourage "the adoption of 100% clean, renewable energy" you know the entire argument is specious, as there is no such thing as renewable energy ... if there were you would not need renewable fuels. This is not just semantics, the difference is very real and their choice of the term renewable energy calculated.

Renewable fuels is actually a misnomer as well, of course, as all the fuels necessary for a mass-produced machine would all have to be renewable, such as gasoline, butane, propane, all are renewable, like your gas tank is refillable. But energy itself is never renewable, it must be generated; some form of some kind of matter or another form of energy must be transformed into the type of energy you wish to use to power your devise. And what gets released in this conversion process everywhere in the universe, is heat. So if you were to complete the entire installation of the additional 700 million AC units, remembering that AC is, along with the refrigerators sitting in every modern kitchen, the biggest energy hog you own, the additional energy needed to run them would be prodigious. But whereas Fossil fuels are indeed the worse offenders in terms of the heat they produce (or at least are assumed to be, although when a battery in something as small as a Samsung smart phone generates enough heat to produce an explosion, one can't really be sure of that, and no one's about to tell you the truth on the subject).

But the ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere is no longer the historical 280, but an elevated 400ppm, at its minimum, so all that heat we're producing by generating, not renewable energy, but energy that must be generated again once it's used up, then, even if it's using fuels that release no additional CO2 into the atmosphere, it will increase the level of global warming by an astounding amount, because the very fact that the term "Renewable Energy" is bandied about tells the real story, and that real story is that no one is contemplating, never mind initiating, any diminution, never mind cessation, of energy production. The only diminution of energy production envisioned is that via the combustion of fossil fuels. However by all indications, whether by reading derivative contracts, or government-to-government contracts (how do you think the Saudis are going to pay for the $350Billion of War gear they've just reportedly contracted with the US President to procure? Solar cells?) it's clear that only after every last drop of oil has been squeezed out of the ground, only after every last molecule of natural gas has been ignited, and only after every last ingot of coal has been torn from mother earth, will energy from non-CO2 producing sources be the only one used, and by that time, the CO2 blanket covering the planet, efficiently keeping in all the heat that energy conversion, transmission, and re-conversion into the form the end devise uses will be so thick that little of the heat thereby generated will be able to escape into space.

Like Elon Musk, or any of the stalwarts of Silicon Valley, Hawken is selling his book and selling you out to make a fast buck. Like politicians that prostitute themselves while pretending to be in Government "Service", when the only interests they serve are their own, such claims of miracles of science should carry the same weight as any claim to miracles. They should be looked at askance, if not totally rejected, because miracles don't occur. Although fuels can be renewable if the source from which they are derived continues to produce, energy has to be generated and its generation always comes at a cost, and one of those costs is always heat, and every person who can read Paul Hawken's book knows this. You know this. But you just don't want to hear my smart-Alecky rants that remind you. But, although you don't have to like it, it gives you a different perspective, I hope. One that helps you quickly identifies the people who are blowing bubbles in the air to distract you from the truth that you already know, by using terms that sound oh-so PC in order to tell us we can have our cake and eat it too, so will allow us to go on as though nothing is wrong. Everyone wants that. I want that (well, not the Wars, and the hunger, and the cruelty, the homelessness and the hate, but other than that ... the science part .. the TV, planes, modern medicine, and, of course, computers).

But there is something wrong, deadly wrong about the current scenario, and no one wants to contemplate it. But unless we do, how can we ever at least try to change it? And inventing a new refrigerant to enable the acquisition of 700 million AC units to people who've lived without them their whole lives is just going to slather another coat onto the Uh-oh Zone layer.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Kremlin Ties Russian Plants to Thaad&Mir Putin.

Orange is the new Black Market.

The predictable Lavrovian Response of salivating at the mere  mention of the President's name in any context whatsoever with Russia, as called out as mass hysteria by Matt Taibbi in The Rolling Stone, was in full Orlando Bloom yesterday, cementing the transmogrification of headfake News into The Trumpan Show/Reality TV version of "The Apprehensiveness", wherein the world holds its  collective breath waiting for the Man Who Fell to Earth from Versailles to shout "You're Fired" to another bevy of tomahawk missiles, while inside scalpers sell tickets to the Firing Line to make a few extra Buckleys on the side.

As he once again made America grate, The Spicer Girls went into overdrive about Presidential leaks that didn't occur in a motel room this time, while Presidential spokespersons demonstrated their unique abilities of carrying their McMaster's water. They've poured kitty litter into Schrödinger's box, causing the same effect as pouring sand into a Think Tank, slowing down the Perpetual Notion Machine so much that they can't tell whether it's empty or full, but the reek it's creating tends to make me think it's the latter.

But what do I know? The things that interest me are so different. For example, in the prologue to Andrew Feinstein's The Shadow World (Inside the Global Arms Trade), he sites the 75million Pound gift (grift)of an Airbus to Prince Bandar by the British arms company BAE, and this morning I read that Afghanistan has minerals worth $89billion, for which the US has already spent at least $1 trillion in war-mongering to assure access (Take the OIL, we shoulda just taken the oil), to not oil this time, but  other minerals and rare earth elements. It is the same calculus as the arms sales, only in reverse: Instead of the smaller amount represented by the Airbus for access to resources worth a thousand times more than the gift, the resources, this time in Afghanistan, are worth a thousand times less than the amount invested in their eventual confiscation. What this makes obvious, and to my way of thinking would make a great News Story, is that those who stand to profit from the attainment of these resources aren't investing their own money, but are risking what used to be referred to as the Nation's treasure, ie the resources the nation has accrued through the effort of ALL of its citizens, yet the profit from which will flow only to those on the White House's (and Congress's) short list.

As citizens get the Dickens beaten out of them, "our" President's turned the White House into Bleak House, while showing us why his wife's called The Tail of Two Cities and he plays The Donbey and Son-in-Law in Washington, parading around like Pickwick, creating pandemonium wherever he goes, despite pumping up his acolytes with diaphanous promises to fulfill America's Great Expectations from a pile of coal dust dumped by Our Mutual Friends, the transnational corporations, but delivering nothing more than Hard Times while he brags about being David Cop-a-Feel by giving Olive a twist in her most  private of parts.

While we instead eat up the news cycle with the circumlocutions and daily antics of everyone's favorite Barnum & Bailey sideshow attraction, there is no air left to discuss, for example, what the real intent of the cyber attack over the weekend portends. Like the Melissa attack of yesteryear, it purposely showed its hand when it needn't have, and the real question is what signal, what veiled threat, what shadow attack, lurks behind the amateurish hack that the ransomware charade represented?

Like the news itself, the signal gets buried in the noise, and, like throwing out the Bibi with the Ba'ath water, the message in the bot'll never be understood, as everyone's too busy deciphering the Oracle to notice the fact that what's being kept close to the vest'll verge on the trump card being played unremarked by those who should be heeding it.

Instead, acting as an ally to those it disparages, the media enshrouds facts in a haze of its own, one impervious to even their own kleg lights. You only know there's something there because you know there can be no such noxious smoke without an underlying fire. We're privy only to a blur of soot and smoke, now confusedly scudding one way, now another way, now aspiring to the stratosphere, now murkily creeping along the ground, as the blasts of hot air rise and fall, or change their direction: a dense formless jumble, with streaks of crosslight in it that show nothing but more masses of obscuring darkness: Cloaktown is the news media, suggestive of itself while not a speck of truth can be discerned.

The financial crisis and the myopic mentality that pervaded the nation and most of the OECD countries should have alerted us to the omnipotent ability of the News to completely hoodwink a public it is supposedly serving into believing the pablum they ladle out in dollops of drollery while themselves rollicking with the same rich and powerful we're told "Freedom" of the press (freedom to lie to your face, freedom to ignore what is right in from of their eyes, freedom to paint the most atrocious perfidy in colors of red white and blueblood) protects us from.

The wonder is that there's a there there at all anymore. It's been ruined to such an extent that it's amazing how it has borne so many shocks. Created so many pseudo-celebs, haranguing reports, newsworthy dog rescues, while, by catering to the desires of advertisers, it has, like hospitals, education, and housing, become another example of the ongoing destruction of value wrought by Cowboy Capitalism on the very institutions that the vast majority of people hold most dear, and need most desperately. Because the News is now one of the prime examples of the same devastated wreck left in Kamikaze Kapitalism's all-consuming wake.

As Cindi Lauper, of all people, wisely intoned, "Money ... Money changes everything." And she did not necessarily mean for the better. Nor the bettor, which the more than 700 TRILLion dollars in derivatives shows is what the economy has, not devolved into, but been purposely engineered into. I may wish the Market forces be with you, but they are far more often than not ranged against you in this new "Everything's a sucker's bet" economy, wherein our leader is the President and founder of Grift You, yet, as per their usual no's for news, there is nary a word of what that portends for the future of our Why Ma Wiipublic.

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Electorate Decided to Gore Bush and Then Opted to Trump Clinton.

Looking at the picture of Al Gore in Time Magazine's Dec/2000 issue, the same kind of steely-eyed disdain is evinced on Gore's face that reflects the same mindset that thought calling the opponent's supporters "deplorables" was a good idea.

Victim of Putsch Putsch in the Bush.

Bush, on the other hand, may look feckless, illiterate and about as presidential as Inspector Clouseau, but his expression communicates that, even though he'll be the closest approximation to having a retard as President as is likely we'll ever get, at least he'll mean well, a funhouse reflection of Gore's mien, which contrarily suggests he just does "Mean" well.

Ended up with blood and Gore on his hands.

But Gore, like Clinton in 2016, was, to the elites of the DNC, the safe choice. Just not one in whose choice the voters had much say, or could warm up to with very much enthusiasm, as his problem was the same as Hillary Clinton's: he comes across as cold, entitled, and hopelessly corrupt. So the cluelessness of the Party to its own constituency's dislike of its hand-picked candidate fell on deaf ears in 2000 and then reverberated its eerie echos through history's corridors to fall on the same deaf ears in 2016.

Because the Democrats were/are so intent on using the strategy of vilifying the other Party 's candidate as their main argument to convince voters to vote for their guy, that they neglected the issues, real issues that affected peoples lives, and that would be more constructive in convincing the electorate of the positive factors they should weigh when considering their choice for President.

In other words, they used the strategy Bush Pere used to defeat Dukakis, forgetting that what works for Republican Party adherents doesn't necessarily work on Democrats ... in fact is more effective at convincing Democrats to simply not go to the polls.

Which, if it were used once and subsequently served as a learning point from which the Party moved forward, would be one thing, but when the lesson learned its simply forgotten and the same strategy adopted once more 16 years later, suggests quite another.

It suggests an arrogance and hubris that is not to be dissuaded by facts ... or the will of the voters, which, without the interference of the pro-Hillary press (the most blatant of which was Rachel Madcow's obvious and un-journalistic out-of-hand dismissal of Bernie Sanders as a serious contender, and the DNC itself, as revealed by the Wikileaks e-mails and the subsequent resignation of Debbie Wasserman Shultz), may well have nominated Mr. Sanders instead of that lightening rod for everything that's wrong with the Democrats' rule: Hillary Clinton.

To cite one of my posts from before the election, I do believe that I reflected the opinion of a lot of Americans when I wrote:

" ...until Trump got on the stump, the two major parties were perfectly content with the prospect of presenting the electorate in November with a choice between the criminal Bush family or the corrupt Clintons. Back to the future of 1992. Thanks a fuckin'  lot."

Yet the Democrats had not a clue that their party of so-called progressive politics offered their constituencies nothing but regressive solutions to problems their adoption of the Reagan/Bush agenda of off-shoring jobs and entire industries to allow American Corporations the "freedom" to crush wage demands, pour pollutants into the atmosphere, rivers and soil, and deprive their workers of healthcare benefits, paid vacation time, or pension plans. And to then simply offer job "re-training" to prepare those thrown on the slag heap of unemployables for the jobs of the New Economy that never materialized.

Here in San Francisco you can see the results: they are two-fold. The Prius buyers who, snug in their smug political correctness, pay more for an electric vehicle or hybrid than they will ever save in fuel cost reduction, while on the other hand the swarms of bicyclists wending their way en masse through the city streets, who will never, for the most part, ever be able to afford a car of their own. Contrarily, if you look to Beijing's city streets you see exactly the opposite: traffic jams so monumental they have on occasion lasted for days have replaced the hordes of bicyclists that streamed through those same city streets a mere generation ago. All funded by the investment the Communist economy could never have amassed, using instead the stolen savings of American labor to build enterprises that would funnel earnings back into the pockets of CEO's and the bank accounts of the wolves of Wall St.

All while the Liberal Democracies claim their ascendancy makes the political structure of the West the "End of History". So then why did no Democratic candidate for the Presidential election, including Mr. Sanders, address the issue that it is a totalitarian Communist regime that has experienced burgeoning growth that none of the calcified western liberal democracies can even come close to? Why has the era since Reaganomics and the canonization of Free Markets left the economies that espouse them in the dust, its citizens mired in "austerity", with less and less with each passing decade until their citizens are not only left with nothing, but their prospects of ever affording something as normal as a Doctor's visit that was taken for granted a generation ago, now considered an unaffordable luxury? Where DB (defined benefit) pension  plans have been replaced by 401 K's that are so laden with "maintenance" fees and overhead, that, even when they do make gains, they are skimmed off into the pockets of the pirates of the financial sector, and any other investment is left to lie fallow, while the Fed ensures that the "money" they create via nothing more than a wave of their magic wand flows into the stock market, giving hefty returns to those already in it, but making the entry point too high for those who aren't, yet simultaneously leaving it as your only choice. All of which means, something not lost on even the financially naive, that the more you put in, the more you are likely to lose, and at a time in your life when it will be too late for you to ever recoup your losses. You don't need 3-D glasses to see that this is the best that Clinton and her so-called progressives offer the working masses: Despair, Destitution and an early Death from opioid addiction.

And you blame the Russians for your electoral defeat?

"The fault, dear Democrats, is not in the Tsars,
But in yourselves, that you think us your underlings."

The only Communist Country on the globe is the most powerful economy in the world, the economy that all the "End of History" economies were forced to rely on in order to pull them back from the abyss that the malfeasance, embezzlement and other fraud-on-steroids grifts had plunged it into, yet not a peep is heard as to what that stark reality portends. The best they can do is promise more of the same.

Instead we're grifted with the excuse that the Russians interfered with our elections. I'm quite sure they did. But, like during the financial free-for-all that ended in the collapse of every financial institution in the country, one that was contrived by our own countrymen conspiring for our ruin, was obvious what was happening then, and it was just as obvious during the election cycle that the Russians were trying hard to discredit Clinton as early as, and really, even before, the Parties' conventions, yet, as in the Bush years, no one said a word. During the Bush era, because they were too busy building financial empires on shifting sands to worry too much about how the crash would effect them (everyone's always convinced they'll get out in time and remain unscathed by the coming debacle), and during the election cycle, because they were too convinced that Trump was such an obviously flawed candidate, that he was in possession of neither the mental resources nor governing experience to have his chances of victory be taken seriously (a perspective President Obama  gave voice to when he squelched Comey's investigation into said interference because it might look like he was abetting candidate Clinton ... but this doesn't fit into the picture being painted now by his fellow Democrats who are screeching hysterically that such interference is an ACT OF WAR! ... now which party sounds fucking insane? Because these two reactions to Russian interference in our elections simply do not gel).

So as the President bears out every fear any sane person had of how he would conduct himself in the Offal Orifice, the Democrats react as the only way they know how, like a bunch of drunken sophomores at  a football game at which they've lost due to a bad call by the ref: They've been cheated and demand restitution that can never be granted and that would change nothing if it were.

The Gore/Bush of 2000 election followed the Gorbachev decade, and both roiled their populations and ensconced a new cadre of entitled, oligarchical ruling elite in seats of power. Russia came up with Putin to push back against the pillagers of their country. His success at doing so, and the possibility that some candidate could promise to try it here, is what stokes the fear that provides the real bellows behind the flames of War being fueled by our own plutocratic, ruling elites, who then engineered the placement of one of their own on the throne. This, regardless of the chaos the child-King's rule would surely engender, as he would push their agenda, nevermind the consequences.  And, as always, it is the real people who stand to gain nothing, and lose everything, but get blamed for everything and treated as nothing.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Look Who's Back, Still Promising to "Make Germany Great Again"

Look Who's Back ... why it's none other than Adi Shicklgruber! That's the theme of this German film that depicts Hitler waking up outside the bunker in which they torched his body in 1945, only it's 2015 and he rises Lazarus-like from a smoldering grave without having aged a bit, and very much the Adolph we've all come to know and love ... to revile. And promising, matched word-for-word by the braggadocio of our own current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,  to "Make Germany Great again" (including the implicit underlying message of, "Whatever it takes").

But, as if to give credence to the adage that history repeats itself, first time as Tragedy, the second time as Farce", the current brandisher of the phrase, "Make (fill in the blank) Great Again",  has it emblazoned on a baseball cap instead of military headgear, and wears a flag on his lapel instead of the Swastika The Furor wore on his, to convince the proles that he cares about the country while his machinations only further its cataclysmic destruction. But, so as to mimic the Fuehrer, whom he admires as only a fellow-German can (his current moniker "Trump" was chosen to replace the family's actual name of  Drumph, so as to hide their German roots), his entire strategy for his Presidential campaign was lifted entirely from the movie, not the least of which is his stated belief that only He can save the Vaterland by steering the Leviathan, via his own appointed SS, directly onto the path of disaster that would make his name immemorial while destroying his country, whose people matter to him not a jot, via the same undisguised and unapologetic, foaming-at-the-mouth desire for Weltherrschaft (World Domination). A desire his compatriots, for the most part (despite their insistence that they live in a Democracy (the two are incompatible)) readily share. One of the first things the resurrected Hitler notices is, of course, TV, a powerful propaganda technology he can't believe is wasted on cooking shows and programs to teach the correct application of make-up.  

But as the cameras chronicle the behind-the-scene ratings grabs that the current wasteland of advertising-revenue-controlled programming has become, it is apparent that the lessons the Furor (sic) learns were not lost on Drumph. All objections to the unsavory nature of giving airtime to this comedian (naturally no one believes it's the real Furor) are shouted down as the ratings tick up, highly reminiscent of the period before the last American election in which the media - papers, TV, and radio - all fell over each other in order to show the latest outrageous statement of the orange-haired Bozo running for the highest office in the land, castigating what he said by giving him coast-to-coast, all-Drumph-all-the-Time, coverage, such that his campaign spending was for all practical purposes nil, as each media outlet strove to be the first to broadcast his bromides while they watched in glee as their ad revenues went through the roof, setting all-time records for "news" programs, which they are still called despite their descension into the realm over which the candidate they so assiduously bemoaned reigned supreme: Reality TV. 

What's the difference anyway? News/Reality TV ... aren't they after all just different names for the same thing?

In the final scenes in the movie, when the fired newsman Sawartski, who first brought the resurrected Furor to his countrymen's attention, realizes that somehow, inexplicably, this IS the real Hitler, he confronts him and tells him that he won't let him do it again; he won't allow him to sway the public with his propaganda. But, Hitler argues, it was not propaganda in 1933. The Germans were told in full what his plans were and they put him in office nonetheless. Not, similar to Drumph's election in the US, by a majority, but by the votes of more than 13 million Germans who cast their ballots in his favor, even though Hitler hoped to use the presidency to overturn the Weimar Constitution, just as Drumph questions the relevancy of our own, since it overrides his conviction that no matter how foolhardy and ridiculous his campaign promises were, they should be rushed into fulfillment for no other reason than they reflect his Will. 

Upon the surreal discovery of his real identity, Sawatzki takes him by gunpoint to a highrise rooftop where he accuses him of being a monster. But Herr Hitler disagrees,

 "I am not a monster", he insists, "They were just ordinary people who decided to elect an extraordinary man, and entrusted the fate of their nation to him. Have you never asked yourself Sawatzki why people follow me? It's because at their core, they're just like me. They share the same values."

"And that's why you won't shoot me."

Which words are barely out of his mouth when Sawatzki does exactly that. And we watch as the Furor's leather trench-coated body slips off the roof and plummets toward the ground. But as Sawatzki looks over the roof's edge, he sees no body, he only hears a voice behind him say, 

"You can't get rid of me".

 And as he slowly turns around to behold The Furor alive and well behind him, Herr Hitler continues, 

"I am a part of you". 

"A part of all of you."

In the final scene he rides in a motorcade waving to his fans, and he intones to himself as the camera shows scenes of mobs attacking immigrants, neo-nazis beating fags and protesters setting cars on fire, among other scenes of mayhem and displays of fear-fueled attacks on unarmed refugees, he looks around with a tight grin on his grim lips and gives his head a confident nod as he assures himself, 

"I can work with this."

Himher: Not even his wife wants his name.

Himmler: Fulfilled Fuehrer's Judenfrei Fantasies

Monday, April 24, 2017

On Earth Day Global Lies Zing Science.

Just because we could doesn't mean that we should.

As a celebration of  Earth Day, thousands of San Diegans crowded downtown, coming together, not so much to celebrate our good, once-green, earth, as to repudiate the anti-science stance of many of our current administration's henchmen and policies:

“The march is an incredible opportunity to celebrate the central role that science plays in our daily lives,” the center said in a release. “It's a family-friendly, nonpartisan event with the goal of raising awareness of the contributions of science to society and the importance of supportive public policy.”

For me, as well as millions of others, science represents the shining of a light into the deep dark recesses of the brain wherein lie superstition and ignorance, the result of flat-out lies adults taught to us as children. But science gave us a view of reality more consistent with our own observations as opposed to the dogmatic religious pronunciations and "call to Prayer" that worked about as well as letters to Santa Claus.

That shouldn't, however, keep us from noticing that there would be no need of an "Earth Day" to rally citizens of the world together to stop its destruction if it weren't for science. We know how Democracy led to an undeniable boon to the human psyche, personal freedom, and economic opportunity of those fortunate enough to live under its sway, but we also know it has not had such a sanguine effect on those who got in its way. The Indian Wars in America, for example, was comprised of nearly 250 years of bloody one-sided combat waged until the last of the hostile tribes were either rounded up, starved out, their food sources having been deliberately eradicated, or run to ground in shallow canyons wherein they were killed outright, women and children specifically targeted for extermination.

During most of the period, by slave-owning citizens of a freedom-loving country.

It was an historical feat that Hitler used as his own plans for  extermination took form in his head. His Final Solution was intended to be only the first phase of a vast, megalomaniacal project of privation and enslavement; of murder and colonization modeled on the historic colonization of North America by 19'th century imperialism, only modernized with scientific theories of eugenics and blitzkrieg invasions perpetrated with mechanized armamentaria.

But just as most of the gatherers on Earth Day were unaware of the direct connection between Democracy and The Final Solution, they were also unaware of an equally direct connection between the Industrial Revolution, based entirely on the new-found discoveries of science, and Climate Change, Global Warming, and the end of the world as we've known it.

So intent were they on their "goal of raising awareness of the contributions of science to society", that even on Earth Day, they remained steadfastly determined to never mention the contributions of science to Global Warming: No science (I know, impossible, even medieval stumblings in the dark were still science), no industrial revolution, which is the exact turning point in mankind's history when loading of the atmosphere with carbon began.  The acceleration really took place for good during and after WW2. But what was a spike then is merely run of the mill now. WW2 levels of unfettered carbon exhaust into the atmosphere is now a constant.

The one enabling factor? Science.

What keeps those engines of globalization chugging across vast oceans powered by burning the dirtiest bunker fuel imaginable, soon to be plying the open waters of a melted Arctic? Science. The never-ending panoply of chemical weapons of mass destruction built, deployed and dropped on an ongoing basis around the world? Science. Chemical waste dumps, slag heaps, toxic sludge, oceanic dead zones and acidification, melting polar ice-caps, smog, automobile deaths, overpopulation, jet lag and Caitlin Jenner? Science.

So whereas, “The march", may indeed be, "an incredible opportunity to celebrate the central role that science plays in our daily lives,” it should not be forgotten, being Earth Day and all,  that it should also be used to castigate the central role that science has played in destroying lives and the environment, and the central role it plays in enabling the very destruction that Earth Day was initiated to highlight. (It was, after all, born as a result of Rachel Carson's, "A Silent Spring", itself a howl of anguish raised by the unprecedented destruction of the environment by DDT, a deliberately deadly product of Science, manufactured with one object in mind: to kill).

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Is the News Reel: Actual Footage vs. Talking Heads.

 “The junk merchant doesn't sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client.”
William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

 Perhaps it was 9/11 with those endless replay of the same footage over and over and over again. Or maybe it had started earlier and it only became apparent in retrospect, but somewhere along the way (as a result, I suspect, of the CNN-ization of what we still call news) whether it is breaking/broken, news became propagandized. The latter always being the case in time of War, and we are currently always at war. Yet the corollary, that we are constantly fed propaganda, has been (like may things that no one likes to admit, is a result of He who must be obeyed, The Reality TV star Donald Duck Trump, or Baby Huey and The (Fake) News), completely ignored for fifteen years, except by programs on Comedy Central, such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, who proudly boasted that his show propagated Fake News, when it in fact was the only source, for a while, of a different view than the Completely Corporate-owned MSM's pasteurized product, one that went right past your eyes without any of the discernment citizens in a Democracy needs to exercise if it is to remain one.

One of the none too subtle ways they did this was via the replacement of footage with talking heads who explained the news to you and exactly what you should think about it, rather than presenting it and allowing the viewers to form their own opinion from the displayed facts. Now, there's nothing that comes closer to being pure propaganda than those pre-movie News Reels that were played during WW2, yet they now stand out for one important attribute: while the narrator voiced over all the footage of what we now like to call "events on the ground", those events were actually being simultaneously displayed. Now the only thing we have going on simultaneously is the ticker tape at the bottom of the screen that has nothing whatsoever to do with what's being proffered by a photogenic infotainer posing as a journalist.

Also, being as it was a time of war, the milieu of what was reported was often outside the US, but now, unless it is War, sports, or a climate-change-charged weather event, there is no longer any foreign news, sports apparently being that much more important to expanding our understanding of the dynamics of how our world is faring than footage of what is going on in the world outside our borders.

Yet, on just one of the blogs I like to peruse everyday, Yves Smith's Naked Capitalism,  there are references, in stories that are not just tangentially important, to China, Russia, Syria, France, Britain, Korea, and India, just to name those I remember from today's post off the top of my head. That even two of these would get airtime on a TV news show would invariably mean that there is a conflict brewing or that one has already started.

I'm sure you've seen those interview shows where the reporter goes out on the street and asks passersby where such-and-such a country is and we all laugh in derision at the profound ignorance of the GP (that being the General Public) to the world around them, and the blame is always laid on the educational system. I disagree. I received the dubious honor of being granted Harvard's Tortoise Award, for taking 32 years to finish my Bachelor's Degree; what taking that long taught me was that there are things we learn in school, which we finish around age 18/22, that we never revisit again, and without continuing education for everyone, the only resource to refresh our learning is the News, which at one time wasn't just an arm of the Military/Corporate/(Here I was going to put government as the third member of this triumvirate, but that is all it's devolved into, a military/corporate entity that no longer has any function separate from these two conglomerations) power, but helped elucidate and enlighten, but now more often is involved in deliberate obfuscation and sowing seeds of confusion in its viewers' heads. Geography is therefore never a subject until or unless it's to explain the military's newly formed necessity to deploy troops there (well, not troops exactly, our armed personnel have been reduced to being referred to as footwear, so they are only "boots on the ground", deployed to foreign climes where they invariably leave empty, bloody booties on the ground) or a hurricane has ripped through, an avalanche has mowed down, or hail the size of baseballs has pummeled it to a pulp. Otherwise anything New that has happened anywhere else is not newsworthy.

That is why the GP, whose ignorance we like to chuckle about and shake our heads at, is so clueless about the state of the world around them, the fourth estate no longer goes forth to state what they've witnessed, but stays in its cubicles and relies on newsfeed from CNN. But not having their own correspondents to have to pay has resulted in a paucity of footage, which is why no matter what news outlet you tune in, it has not only identical footage as all the other outlets, but shows that same footage over and over an over and over, while its "News" correspondents and Senior analysts, and other high-falutin'- monickered monkeys, with titles that The DAily Show used to mock (but which apparently doesn't stop them from using) argue ad nauseum on subjects barely tangential to the actual issue at hand. It's reminiscent of  Catholic high school Theology class where students debate a trivial piece of Church dogma while the real questions of God's existence, free will, and other metaphysical enigmas that burn in the hearts and minds of adolescents are left unanswered: ignorance by design, topics chosen for their similarity to cheap magician tricks of distraction and deflection to deliberately misdirect attention from matters that are important, and instead debating with a pseudo-sober mien of concern and erudition, go traipsing through a maze of  trivial pursuits and entertaining but insignificant ephemera.

Like magicians, news anchors have become masters of legerdemain, using sleight of hand to exploit nuances of human perception, attention, and awareness while relying heavily on the use of cognitive illusions, manipulating people’s attention, trains of logic and even memory. Although magicians probably haven’t studied these phenomena via the scientific method, the networks, drawing heavily on the expertise of their advertisers, have, and make full use of the techniques and gimmicks that mAdmen have tested over time, perfected by practice, and performed under conditions of high scrutiny by skeptical audiences looking to spot an inconsistency.

This is why we all of a sudden have this debate about fake/alt news, because, someone, and the inconvenient truth is that that someone is again Donald Trump, has finally had the temerity to point out that there is a slant to the news that at times amounts to its being so biased as to render it, if not exactly fake, more than a little suspect. And whereas the media has raised alarming warnings of the perils to our freedom the specter of a president calling the main news outlets purveyors of fake news represents, it seems contrarily that a healthy dose of skepticism about the view of the world we're spoonfed by septicemic talking heads for whom truth is what they say it is, seems instead to be precisely what's warranted.

Friday, April 14, 2017

MOAB: Maniacally Outsized American Bombs

BOMBARDMENT  (by Philip Guston)

It was 1991, and surrounded by computers in the fishbowl environment of Wells Fargo's data Center, I watched the operators and programmers in the sealed-off adjacent room as they stood agog, mesmerized by the video display of George Herbert Walker Bush's Stealth bombers as they rained destruction down on the helpless citizens of the country of Iraq.  The self-same country that we had recently supplied, (while then-President Bush, the former head spook of the CIA, analogous to Putin today, was Reagan's VP), with chemical weapons and military intelligence so they could carry on their War with our enemy-of-the-week, Iran.

Soon Wells' personnel were all oohing and aahing at the pretty lights and fluorescent green lines of arcing rockets, being loosed onto yet another ally turned enemy, as though they were at a fourth of July barbecue watching a fireworks display .

The reason I was there was to do an upgrade to the company's computers. Implementation of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnect) architecture that would open up previously inviolable networks to interoperability with other networks was in full swing, arguments questioning the wisdom of leaving vulnerable to hack attacks the previously impervious networks dismissed, as the greed for the mountains of money to be thus garnished allowed blind ambition to override hesitant naysayers' objections. And there on the video screens of Wells Fargo was the apotheosis of that thrust, the melding of Stealth technology and instant communication via electronically driven networks of weapons and personnel on full display to silence those objections and make manifest the gains to be had by wielding, though the dust had barely settled following the collapse of the Soviet Union whose existence would have stayed our hand, unassailable power, and the USA! USA! unleashed its latest additions to its arsenal of weapons of mass destruction onto the civilian infrastructure of Saddam's Iraq, cementing its position of Full Spectrum Domination and flaunting its newly crowned title as Soulless Super Power.

Twenty years later that same internet technology was used to facilitate the coordinated destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City.

On a parallel track with the Internet's implementation was the planned development and deployment of another deadly technology to take the risk of US 'warriors' off the table when conducting America's illegal incursions into sovereign territory: the drone. This weapon would allow a Milgram-like capability of US commanders as they separated Honor and Valor from the Armed Forces and transformed soldiers into something worse than assassins: murderers without risk.  Hidden in mountain fortresses and ensconced in comfortable office chairs in front of computer monitors, they could assail with impunity. Thus validating my argument, formulated while watching the WTC pancake earthward in a swirl of flames and dust, that the military has, far from making the world Safe for Democracy, put their countrymen, who they are supposedly paid to defend, into grave danger while they themselves remain protected from retaliatory strikes that their own murderous unlawful activity had prompted.

Now we have commercialized drone technology and made it so easy to manufacture, its penetration so complete, that Amazon uses it to deliver packages.

So let me backtrack to that "dustbin of history" phrase, and show why such glib dismissal of a great Empire is dangerous and ominous:

In a previous post, I wrote,

On May 28, 1987, Mathias Rust took off from Helsinki, and, flying at low altitude to avoid radar detection, landed a small, single-engine plane in Moscow's Red Square.

... and in my last post, I mentioned the use of katyusha rockets by the USSR during WWII.

These rockets were so effective because they were cheap to manufacture, and hard to take out as they could be loaded onto very mobile platforms and then moved from their launch site before the Germans could accurately pinpoint their location and destroy them with a retaliatory strike.

So now the great USA has added to the terrorists' bag of tricks a technology that can "flying at low altitude to avoid radar detection, land a small" drone, an aircraft that is cheap to manufacture and can be moved from their launch site, and now, fully capable of remote operation, be deployed to retaliate against the very entity that devised and paid for their development.

It is in this environment, one that we have ourselves created, one that gives operational superiority to any poorly-financed and nefarious group capable of moving its base of operation, much like real drones do with their Queen bee, to safer locales whenever circumstances warrant it, that the US President has decided it's just fine to start blowing up the world for fun and profit. He, after all, is well protected by a huge cadre of secret service personnel and mountains of armamentaria paid for by the very population he has so nonchalantly endangered by his reckless displays of maleficent machismo. And, because he knows that on September 11, 2001, after two airliner jets slammed into NYC's tallest skyscrapers while a third plowed into the Pentagon itself, not only did not a single government person lose their job, but the smirking chimp who was our Fearless Leader at the time rose in the polls to the highest level of popularity of any previous American president, he has nothing to stay his hand from continuing on this course of madness until the disaster he has invited strikes.

But he'll still be yelling "Lock her Up" and blaming Obama, because, to him, the mayhem won't matter. All that will matter is that he'll be alright; he'll be able to continue stuffing his Marshmallow-a-Lardo face with the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake you've ever not seen.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Trump's Been Played.

                                                      Well ... that didn't take long.

The babies ... the poor babies!! Oh ... they're American? Nevermind.

The Emperor, heavy of face, with all his features sagging, his lines thickening, a theatrically mean countenance, a mind drowned with things that don't matter, the lassitude of a hippopotamus with intermittent flashes of understanding: a man deaf to new ideas, with aural hallucinations which make him listen over his shoulders when someone speaks to him face to face, grunted in annoyance and, coming to life like a ruminant emerging from its digestion, shrugged himself out of his chair, as though standing would clear his phlegmatic brain and crystallize what he should do.

The babies ... the poor babies!!

But not the America First! babies his Lack of Healthcare plan would end up killing, not the America First! babies his destruction of the EPA will choke to an early grave; nor does his heart go out to any of the more than 100 America First! children already killed by gun violence since he's taken the oath of office (their lives don't matter nearly as much as the support of the NRA does), not the America First! children left to starve because, won't it be a Blast! to spend the taxpayer money Meals on Wheels could use to feed hundreds of hungry children and ailing elderly to go spend a weekend in Mar-a-Lago? Roly-poly, he lounges Royally amidst his 20 valuable acres with manicured fingernails and vibrant orange coif: here there's no dearth of red meat, tables groaning with food, banquets for the chronically overfed wafting their aromas like a steaming locomotive chugging its way though the sweeping sea-to-lake vista, while the walruses surrounding him waddle their overstuffed-chair physiques to overfill their plates and continue mulling over the new methods he and his Congressional cohorts are devising to further erode the lives of millions of his fallow (sic) Americans in order to funnel even more billions into the coffers of the Corporations that already are bursting with wealth they refuse to invest in the American economy from which they've extracted it.

It's  hard to believe it was but a year ago when Newt Gingrich proclaimed,

"Keeping America safe is the first job of the American President." 

But as then-candidate Trump pointed out, it was his opponent Jeb's brother who was in office when the Twin Towers were reduced to a pile of rubble as a result of their Father's bright idea of attacking Iraq. We can argue all you want about whether we should have done so or not, but the carnage that ensued from that truncated attack lies strewn across decades and continents.

Now President Trump plays tit-for-tat, in more way than most realize (Just as the Russian interference in our elections was accomplished via a construct of our own War Department, the internet, the attack on the Syrian airfield was accomplished via rocket technology that is a direct descendant of the Soviet-developed katyusha rockets used so successfully in WW2. With the usual sensitivity of armed men, our version is called the Tomahawk (and is prohibitively expensive at $1.59 million each), named after the handheld weapon of the people we mowed down with superior Western technology).

Delivering Lucky Strikes

Our President decided to use the Madeleine Albright twisted pair concept formulated in the nineties that has driven US policy since:

              1)       "What's the point of having this superb military you're always talking about if we can't use it?"


"Do you think the death of half a million children, more than were incinerated in the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, that have died since the imposition of Iraqi sanctions is worth it?"

              2)     "The price, we think is high, but yes, I think it is worth it."

  "It's all right with Albright 'cause all whites, not Alawites, are always right ."

The Allwhites Regime.

But just as the first Bush failed to translate a military success into a domestic one, sporting epaulets instead of the ubiquitous flag lapel, the inside-traders symbol that most easily marks the scalawag of today, this action will have Homeland repercussions that no border ban, or Wall, nor barrage of Tweets will keep out.  Because, perhaps sooner rather than later, the truth behind the gas attack will be revealed.  The murky atmosphere surrounding this episode has the ring of the "Kuwaiti babies being ripped from their incubators by Iraqi soldiers" story that so easily manipulated Americans into being led by the nose into a conflict that their grandchildren are still paying for and dying in today. The strategy has been pulled out of mothballs, dusted off, and used yet again to justify rash knee-jerk reactions that we will later regret (well, actually, we won't, as we'll never make the connection).

Our Trump's been played, he just doesn't know it yet. And when it is known, the hasty action of the temperamental leader of the country that has snuffed out the lives of countless babies, with that never having been a consideration before (500 thousand? "We think it's worth it" ... Translation? "We think they're worthless"), will be exposed as being the price the US pays for putting into the Oval Office a pampered child that can be so easily manipulated into temper tantrums and displays of cowardly machismo. And it will redound onto us. The people he has sworn to protect but for whom the job of doing so is just, Oh so boring. The Bankrupt now has the lives, not just the tax dollars, of his fellow countrymen in his hands, and he's already proving to be just as reckless with them. Quelle Surprise.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Trump's Warp Enterprise, America's Reality Star Trek.

The Trumpn Show: "You lookin' at ME?
The NYT was very timely this morning, as it posted an article about MLK. The same MLK, who, far from running for office against LBJ, merely said that, “I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government.”

Unlike Black Lives Matter who have no such scruples, remaining silent as the state of Libya was invaded and destroyed, its ruler gruesomely murdered while their candidate of choice cackled in unabashed malignant glee about it, MLK saw the connection that the working class and disenfranchised the world over need to make with each other regardless of their nation of origin.

For voicing the above rather obvious opinion, Dr. King was placed under surveillance, a very heavy surveillance which he was still under even as he was gunned down, so it was fairly obvious it wasn't for his protection. Yet, presumably because Trump's just another Sta-puff marshmallow-physiqued fat rich White dude, he thinks he can accuse the Secretary of State and the Commander-in-Chief of the United States' Armed Forces of creating ISIS with impunity. The man who funded and supported a cabal of nutjob conspirators who, with no evidence whatsoever on which to base their absurd claim other than a debased, ersatz racism, all accused Obama of not being a citizen of the country that elected him president. The same people who claim President Trump's detractors should just quietly accept his winning of the election, even if he did need to play Russian Roulette, insisted right through Obama's re-election, that President Obama was an alien. In other words, after he served a full term as President, Donald Trump insisted he couldn't be president. As though he could retroactively change history. Yet these same people now insist the Resistance movement should just go ohm.

Yet this man who considered it his right to rail insanely as the number one member of the "Birther" movement for eight years (not surprisingly as anyone with any stature was too embarrassed to be a part of such a sour-grapes movement), which he later admitted was merely a front to get him in front of the TV cameras (vindicating my impression all along that the same MSM against whom the Donald rails were instrumental in pushing his candidacy at every turn by providing, as "news" free coverage he could never have bought, because it was eyeballs - views, not news - which, like "spin" in the Bush era, is just newsspeak (sic) for lies (eyeballs meaning advertisers dollars, and advertising, like "spin", is never more than, gussied-up/massaged lies)).

If the FBI considers it incumbent upon themselves to put under surveillance a Baptist Minister for making a speech against War (and this was during a time when War And Christianity weren't just accepted as synonyms, as they are today), then they would be being a tad remiss if they weren't actively monitoring a man who was running for freaking president who, purely for his own aggrandizement, declared that the country's Commander-in-Chief was a spy, a traitor, and a pretender to the throne. He accused President Obama of sending hundreds of US fighters to their death against an entity he himself actively created, all while working for a foreign power.

Martin Luther King did none of these things, he merely preached a sermon and for that he was put under FBI surveillance, yet the Donald spit out his hate-mongering rhetoric and apparently felt, despite the fact that we are actively engaged in a War against Terrorism, which his obvious aim was to inflame to his own advantage, that he should be able to spew all the treasonous lies he wanted, with no one thinking, "Ya know, maybe we need to watch this guy". If he wasn't a person of interest to them, they just weren't doing their job. He then used hired thugs to throw out and beat up protesters at his rallies, all while boasting to his cheering fans about what a good time he was having doing it. The RNC was investigating him for this, so why wouldn't the administration? Why all the pretended huff?  Yes, like everything with him, it's all a charade, a distraction, a part of the Trump legerdemain everyone falls all over each other to fall for first; ooh, it's "Breaking NEWS!" A Reality Show Star who goes all kerfuffle because he finds out he was being watched ... yeah right. 

 Even now, as we see the menagerie of thugs and hate-mongering shills he's surrounded himself with, such a cavalcade of horrors invites surveillance because the forces they stir up to do their dirty work for them are filled with unsavory characters far slimier than the swamp (their own description, its being far from drained) they're currently infesting, who feel no compunction about spitting venom and using the levers of power to squelch dissent and enrich themselves to enhance their Family's Value, government not being for the purpose of actually governing, but simply to be used as a tool of personal aggrandizement.

The last president to even come close to this level of cynical "Let's Party!" mania, as he turned the country into a war-mongering Ark of Instability, was GW Bush. And he started several Wars, inflamed Wall St into a cauldron of grift, graft, and toxic debt instruments that were then used to swindle investors, the Country, and the world of their future, while his cohorts stashed the stolen money into every tax-sheltered hole they could scurrilously lobby open. And it is the Bush administration's game plan, the one that delighted in destroying any regulation that would stop the mad romp of a depraved Capitalism Gone Wild, and start Wars whose sole end-game was the granting of reconstruction contracts to its cronies, all while granting them the biggest tax cut of the century, that Trump has boasted he is  using for his template.

And that regime left us embroiled in two unwinnable Wars, a destabilized MENA region, businesses hemorrhaging jobs, families being thrown into the streets by the millions, a financial system reeling like a drunk stumbling down a blind alley, its auto industry, once the crown jewel of the country's economy, pillaged by its executives to the brink of bankruptcy (while Mitt Romney made it clear that he'd not bail them out if he were president), while the price of a barrel of oil skyrocketed higher than it had ever been in US history, thus leaving the country in the throes of an economic downturn so severe it was dubbed the "Great Recession" (but only because economists and the press, the grannies of the Granny State, thought it might crush morale if we were to call it what it actually was: a Depression ... not a great depression, mind you, but it was indeed, by economic definition, a depression).

 And President Obama, despite being busy clandestinely creating ISIS and ferreting out and scurrilously burying all proofs of his alien origins, inherited this duplex constructed from the joining of Schrödinger and Pandora's box, and somehow healed it:

Do you see where President Obama took office? At the nadir of a plummeting Stock Market. Whatever you say about Obama, he is the President who left office (the only one to do so since the country abandoned the gold standard) with the country better off than when he swore that oath: Reaganomics gave us the crash of '87, and then the Bush recession followed, the Clinton's brought us the tech crash and Bush two, we won't redo. So that leaves, as the above chart so graphically shows, the difference leadership makes when it's sole agenda isn't untrammeled greed, a greed so ravenous it consumes worlds. And by a slew of metrics that, like the one above, often got ballyhooed by candidate Trump as rigged, or overvalued, or not reflective of the underlying economy, and he could be absolutely right, but which, as Trump has already shown since he claimed a rising stock market was evidence that "his" policies were working a mere two weeks after being inaugurated, now are all of a sudden relevant once they're possible to use to his own advantage.

What one can put good money on though, is that after Trump gets through with the economy, the DJIA won't look like this. Because the shocks he's purposely subjecting the system to will have their intended debilitating effects, both here and around the globe. Then, as he promised, he will run the country like a business, and you don't run a business for either the employees or the stockholders, despite giving lip-service to doing so for both: you run it for your own and your heirs' benefit. Period. And that's what we have been promised, so that is what he intends to deliver: Trump's Enterprise, America's Warped Reality Star Trek, powered by assistance from Ivankaka crystals. But the Presidency is not a business, where you can risk a loss, a bad investment, a bad assessment that did some damage to investors' portfolios and Your company. The damage you cause by your misjudgements and rant-like tweets is to  your country and your people, and no matter how small it might be - two people, ten people, fifty ... hundreds - the loss is unacceptable. That's when the psychological dynamics of what Naomi Klein called "Disaster Capitalism" begin to be brought into play and rule by surveillance gets a lot more personal until the day comes when UPS won't be the only brown shirts you glimpse skulking through your neighborhood.