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The Banal Noises of Escalation

Date: Wed, Dec 2, 2009

In light of the Escalation Speech from the Anti-War Peace Prizer, and alongside the Serious, Respectable, Pragmatic Media assailing the human mind on a daily basis:

Politics and the English Language, by George Orwell, 1946

"In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing. Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is some kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions and not a "party line." Orthodoxy, of whatever color, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style. The political dialects to be found in pamphlets, leading articles, manifestoes, White papers and the speeches of undersecretaries do, of course, vary from party to party, but they are all alike in that one almost never finds in them a fresh, vivid, homemade turn of speech. When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases -- bestial atrocities, iron heel, bloodstained tyranny, free peoples of the world, stand shoulder to shoulder -- one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the speaker's spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have no eyes behind them. And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance toward turning himself into a machine. The appropriate noises are coming out of his larynx, but his brain is not involved as it would be if he were choosing his words for himself. If the speech he is making is one that he is accustomed to make over and over again, he may be almost unconscious of what he is saying, as one is when one utters the responses in church. And this reduced state of consciousness, if not indispensable, is at any rate favorable to political conformity." [emphasis mine]

If you've never read this piece, click through and spend some time with the entire thing. If you've read it previously, click through and revisit. It's worth the time in either case.

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At What Price

Date: Sun, Nov 22, 2009

Once in a long, long while, once in three years maybe, they brought a movie to camp. The film turned out to be--the cheapest kind of "sports" comedy--The First Glove. It was a bore. But from the screen they kept drumming into the audience the moral of the film:

The result is what counts, and the result is not in your favor.

On the screen they kept laughing. In the hall the audience kept laughing, too. But blinking as you came out into the sunlit camp yard, you kept thinking about this phrase. And during the evening you kept thinking about it on your bunk. And Monday morning out in line-up. And you could keep thinking about it as long as you wanted. And where else could you have concentrated on it like that? And slow clarity descended into your brain.

This was no joke. This was an infectious thought. It has long since been inculcated in our Fatherland--and they keep on inculcating it over and over. The concept that only the material result counts has become so much a part of us that when, for example, som Tukhachevsky, Yagoda, or Zinoviev was proclaimed...a traitor who had sidled up to the enemy, people only exclaimed in a chorus of astonishment: "What more could he want?"

Now that is a high moral plane for you! Now that is a real unit of measure for you! "What more could he want?" since he had a belly full of chow, and twenty suits, and two country homes, and an automobile, and an airplane, and fame--what more could he want?!! Millions of our compatriots find it unthinkable to imagine that a human being (and I am not speaking here of this particular trio) might have been motivated by something other than matereial gain!

To such an extent that everyone has been indoctrinated with and absorbed the slogan: "The result is what counts."

Whence did this come to us?

In the first place--from the glory of our banners and the so-called "honor of our Motherland." We choked, cut down, and cut up all our neighbors in our expansion--and in our Fatherland it became well established that: The result is what counts.

And then from our Demidov's, Kabans, and Tsybukins. They clambered up, without looking behind them to see whose ears they were smashing with their jackboots. And ever more firmly it became established among a once pious and openhearted people: The result is what counts.

And then--from all kinds of socialists, and most of all from the most modern, infallible, and intolerant Teaching, which consists of this one thing only: The result is what counts! It is important to forge a fighting Party! And to seize power! And to hold on to power! And to remove all enemies! And to conquer in pig iron and steel! And to launch rockets!

And though for this industry and for these rockets is was necessary to sacrifice the way of life, and the integrity of the family, and the spiritual health of the people, and the very soul of our fields and forests and rivers--to hell with them! The result is what counts!!

But that is a lie! Here we have been breaking our backs for years at All-Union hard labor. Here in the slow annual spirals we have been climbing up to an understanding of life--and from this height it can all be seen so clearly: It is not the result that counts! It is not the result--but the spirit! Not what--but how. Not what has been attained--but at what price.

--Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, vol II, pp. 608-609

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A Brief Illustration Of Psychological Enslavement

Date: Sat, Aug 8, 2009

"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge"
--Daniel Boorstin, 1984 Librarian of Congress

Recently my attention was drawn to a post called, Facist America: Are We There Yet? by Sarah on Dave Niewart's blog, Ornicus.

(I'll wait here while you read it)

My first thought after reading this was "If insight were water, this would be a dirty puddle in the bottom of a swimming pool long neglected, at best." I would have left it at that, but it made my head go **asplode** to the point I find myself compelled to expound.

While it's certainly true to say that I'm attacking this blog in particular, the larger goal of the exercise is to attack the mindset from which these things spring in general. This post exactly represents the problem with most 'notable' Lib/Progs on the blogs and on the teevee. It's always the conservatives, the right-wing, etc, that is the source of all our ills. It's amazing how the tone of this post lines up in remarkable fashion with Obama's speech the other day and its "get out of the way so we can clean up this mess" rhetoric. Despite concrete actions by the current administration that serve to not only continue, but strengthen, the 'conservative' policies and actions of the past administration that helped bring us this 'mess' in the first place (invasions of Iraq/Afghanistan/Packistan and rampant worldwide militarism, The Drug War, War on Terror, etc.--to say nothing policies/actions of the last six decades, at least), this ilk of Lib/Prog continues to march forward with their "We intellectual educated adults are so beset by the racist and oh-so dangerous right-wing masses" narratives, ad nauseum.

A few notes concerning this Ornicus drivel, masquerading as analysis:

First--What the above referenced post refers to as "The Teabag Movement" actually began with smaller, more independent MeetUp groups getting together to throw copies of the 9/11 Commission Report into the harbor (or whatever body of water happened to be close) to denounce its utterly deceptive and false nature, and to call it out for what it was - a cover-up for The Establishment. The various groups referred to their protests as Tea Parties (these began kicking off on or around Dec. 2006 if you want to look). From there, they morphed into continued agitation for a real investigation into 9/11 as well as increasingly strong protests of The Fed, as knowledge of its true nature (private, for profit) became more widespread, and also included a certain amount of agitation for the impeachment of The Crawford Caligula. Over the last three years, the issue of The Fed has grown in importance to the point that it has overshadowed cries of protest with regard to 9/11, and THIS is the point where the 'conservative' movement of FOX/Fredomworks/Beck/etc. set their machinery in motion to co-opt these and turn them into a spectacle of ignorance and ugliness, with a great deal of enthusiastic help from their own psychologically enslaved partisan followers. The "Teabag" movement and the fake controversy surrounding it is a media establishment creation, and of course it seems "sudden" to people who only pay attention to the Respectable and Serious MSM/Teevee, because prior to the "Teabag" moment, any mention of the Tea Parties or their true intent was largely blacked out in those arenas. "Issues" typically only make it into these mainstream spaces when they can be spun into something partisan and divisive, where supposedly 'intellectual' partisan blogs pick it up and echo/flog it according to their specializations (in the case of Niewart's blog, it's raceRepublicansraceRepublicansraceRepublicansraceracerace).

(and no, I'm not excusing or encouraging whatever 'conservative' NGO shenanigans/mobs may be doing in any way, shape, or form. But anyone who can't see that these true believer mobs exist and are encouraged by a controlling superclass on both sides aren't paying attention and/or don't want to see--more on this later, if I can carve out the time.)

Second--The "Omigawd the dirty ignorant Republican mobs are harassing our noble, hard-working Democrats and our wonderful el Presidente, preventing them from doing their good work!" subtext of this post is a wholly steaming pile. When the Democrats took back control of Congress, did they launch impeachment (or, dare we utter the uncivil word "criminal") proceedings against GW and his evil, racist conservative minions? Did they cut off the funding for the multiple wars of aggression that have thus far resulted in the slaughter of well over a million people? Of course they didn't. To this very day they continue funding and promoting these travesties, along with scores upon scores of additional criminal enterprises, and continue to protect the criminals that design, launch, and manage these operations because they themselves are an indisputable part of what is now nothing more than a gang of corrupt lower-tier nation-state managers who are complicit in the same. But psychologically invested Lib/Progs dare not speak of these things, especially since, other than Iraq (tut-tuttedly referred to so often as being "regrettable"), Afghanistan/Pakistan/etc. are now "the good wars". Yet another example of this is how The War on Terror/Omigodz Terrerists rhetoric, during GW's reign, was decried by these as the most awful and baseless demonizing towards brown people and the civilian population in general (it was and is), driving us to fascism (it was and is), until their side took the baton of power, and now constant references to "terrorists" is just dandy, because now it's time for 'the grown-ups' to worry about those right-wing "domestic terrorists/extremists" (a group that also includes, per various DHS reports, among others, veterans and people who talk about The Constitution). So says the mighty Homeland Security, the organization these same Lib/Progs once upon a time referred to (and were correct in doing so) as the new Gestapo.

Which leads us finally to....

Third--"Every day that the conservatives in Congress, the right-wing talking heads, and their noisy minions are allowed to hold up our ability to govern the country is another day we're slowly creeping across the final line beyond which, history tells us, no country has ever been able to return."

"Our" ability to govern. Oh, that's rich.

This sentence is completely emblematic of the psychological enslavement exhibited by those trapped in the Left/Right quagmire. Devotees on each side are made to feel like they are somehow an integral part of the power structure, even though nothing could be further from the truth; they are merely willing cogs that reinforce and perpetuate a predatory power structure that is wholly non-partisan (Internationalist Corporatism--hot damn, an -ist and an -ism together!). This power structure in its modern form fully understands and has largely perfected the age old technique of Divide and Conquer/Rule, implemented through their various media proxies. Intelligence/COINTELPRO has long referred to those susceptible to these identity politics ("I'd sure like to clear some brush/have a beer/drive a truck with that guy cuz I'm a country boy like him"/"Look, he's black just like me! He must be good!"/"Yes We Can!" feel good slogans/etc.) as 'useful idiots', cynically herded into groups by a steady diet of PR-hackery fed through the teevee. These true believers are attentive at each and every puppet show, cheering and writing wildly, smugly self-assured that there are no strings, or that said strings only exist at that other 'crazy/racist/dangerous' puppet show on the opposite end of the partisan divide.

Such 'analysis' is nothing less than frenzied brass-polishing on the Titanic. The partisan situation as a whole is little more than mobs cheering on their respective figurehead captains as the two fight over a decorative steering wheel. Meanwhile, the ship continues to move all groups as one, straight on towards the devastating iceberg looming ever larger, never actually changing course, and only grudgingly giving the appearance of doing so every now and again.

Malcolm X spoke words worth keeping in mind while considering the supposedly 'insightful' Left/Right blogs and watching the misleading 'political analysis' and latest race-baiting Special Report on the teevee "news":

"There were two kinds of slaves, the house Negro and the field Negro. The house Negroes — they lived in the house with master, they dressed pretty good, they ate good because they ate his food — what he left. They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near the master; and they loved the master more than the master loved himself. They would give their life to save the master's house — quicker than the master would. If the master said, "We got a good house here," the house Negro would say, "Yeah, we got a good house here." Whenever the master said "we," he said "we." That's how you can tell a house Negro.
[...]
If the master's house caught on fire, the house Negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would. If the master got sick, the house Negro would say, "What's the matter, boss, we sick?" We sick! He identified himself with his master, more than his master identified with himself. And if you came to the house Negro and said, "Let's run away, let's escape, let's separate," the house Negro would look at you and say, "Man, you crazy. What you mean, separate? Where is there a better house than this? Where can I wear better clothes than this? Where can I eat better food than this?" That was that house Negro. In those days he was called a "house nigger." And that's what we call them today, because we've still got some house niggers running around here."
You're human beings, goddammit. Your lives have value. Shut off your teevee, shut down your partisanship, and stop being the House Negroes your rulers expect and train you to be.

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Yeah, Still Gardening

Date: Tue, Jul 14, 2009

You can view my set on Flickr here, if ya like.

Brandywine Fruits 07132009

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Fruits (of the Devil)

Date: Wed, Jul 1, 2009

Per usual, my friends, time is short. I'm finding plants to be pretty nifty things. It's like being a conductor...in extremely slow motion.

Those interested in more pics/details can view my Flickr set here.

First Fruits


And of course, as is to be expected, the wunderkind is keeping us on our toes.

6/30


See ya when I see ya.

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Prioritizing

Date: Mon, Jun 8, 2009

There just isn't any time for writing right now, so here is a picture summary of the last six weeks. Writing is worthwhile, but for now these things seem more so. Thus, my time has been devoted to them.


Basil Box

Cherry Peppers

Seedling Table I

Tomato Peppers?

Tomato Bloom

Several Russian Varieties

Brandywine

Patio

German Lunchbox

New Transplant from seedling

Anna's Wagon

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Money as Debt

Date: Sun, May 17, 2009

A good overview. Well worth the 45 mins, and certainly time better spent than watching I Can Take A Bigger Dump Than You (or whatever the hell they're putting on the rube tube these days).


Money as debt

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Am I allowed to say Hitler Youth now?

Date: Fri, May 15, 2009

"The faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. In short....protective stupidity."-- Crimestop, Orwell's definition

Scouts train to fight terrorists, and more. (Here's the slideshow.)

(and MORE. Remember that.)

Seems I've previously spoken of similar things.

But gosh, you can't believe any of that stuff, right? We should all just take those DHS Right-Wing Extremism and Left Wing Extremism reports* with a grain of salt. After all, the system loves us and wants to protect us (and the children, always the children!). You'll note the mentions of "leaderless resistance" in BOTH. Don't like what your gov't is doing? Too bad! Oh yeah, we're sending a SWAT team because you're obviously a leaderless extremist.

*these reports are only two brief summaries out of a giant pile of much more extensive official material.

Here's your future, and in case you're just not "into reading", here's the official site.

The totalitarian security apparatus is for you. Surprise!

The techniques involved in bringing in tyranny are always the same. Learn your history.

*****

Sorry it's been a couple weeks with nothing. I'm getting slammed with work and baby and planting things and making butter (that's right, making butter--it is THE BALLS). More substantive work is in the pipe and will (I hope) be finished shortly.

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Scarred Earth

Date: Sat, May 2, 2009

I must have been about 10, which would have put my brother at age 8. There aren't too many concurrent details to include about this time other than to mention that, for various reasons, my ego had inflated itself to such a size that it was a miracle that it could support it's own weight. He had never liked school (for various reasons that no one bothered to ask about; reasons that likely wouldn't have been listened to if they had come up), and thus did not do well at it. It wasn't that he couldn't, he actively didn't. I enjoyed school more often than not (for various reasons that no one bothered to ask about-myself included; reasons that likely wouldn't have been listened to if they had come up), excelled at my studies, and gladly soaked up the consequent-but always very temporary-approval and accolades.

My father worked in a factory my whole life, a time when it was still possible to do such work for a wage that would support a family. But this was the 80's...the Gordon Gekko's of the world were being born, raised, and lifted up for our adoration, and adore these people, I did. I loved the suits. Slick and shiny was obviously the way to go, and of course this was supported by the fact that my father always tried to motivate by saying that I ddn't want to get stuck doing what he was doing, and that I should get a job where I work with my head instead of my hands. After all, God (my parents version) gave me the capability, and like God, the system we live in will love and reward those who exhibit diligent submission and faithfulness. The doctrines of religion and culture infused themselves one into the other, and it was around this time that I decided these things were manifest evidence that I was headed for great wealth and success. After all, I was nothing like my father. That was my brother's department. He was as much my father as I was my mother, a realization that would have come in very handy had I taken the time to think about it, given the manner in which my parents related to one another, or rather didn't, or couldn't, as was most often the case.

My brother and I were outside in the yard playing and messing around, and per usual, we began arguing about something. I can't remember the particulars of the thing but they aren't important, other than the particular that I was trying to impose my will in the same manner that the will of others was regularly imposed upon me, which is to say by way of a lot of screaming and/or physical force. Of course, as is always the case, conflict in this manner continues until both sides tire and the thing fizzles, never reaching any sort of conclusion or resolution. But on this day, as the thing wound down and my brother walked away I decided that it was time to pull out the big guns, saying something to the effect of "Yeah? Well it won't be too much longer and I'm going to be wildly successful and rich, and you're such an idiot you're going to be stuck working in a factory your whole life."

The ignorance and cruelty in that sentiment is so heinous and unbounded that it's difficult to leave its admission sitting on the page.

It wasn't until later on the next day, when I noticed my father not only wasn't speaking to me, he wasn't even looking at me. I couldn't figure out why. I asked, but any response was clipped and generally short. Something was obviously very wrong, and in my ego-haze, I just couldn't imagine what that might be. But there was no question it had something to do with me, so I persisted in my inquiries because it had been two days and I was starting to freak out a little bit. Finally, what should have been more than obvious was finally made clear. My brother hadn't "tattled" or run off to Mommy and Daddy. He was so crushed that they noticed immediately and made him come clean. It couldn't have been difficult. He was too small a vessel to bear such poison and his cup naturally ran over, splashing onto my father, and as we stood there on the porch three days later and he told me what the problem was, the true virulence of this thing I had unleashed made itself known. He wasn't angry like I had come to expect. I could see in his eyes that I had cut deeply enough that it was still all he could do try and stop the bleeding. There is no room for anger when pain is all-encompassing.

If my statement had affected my father, a grown man, so deeply, then its effect on my brother was surely more consequential. Of course that statement has the benefit of hindsight, because at the time I was so simultaneously awed and shamed by just the abstract of what I had done I couldn't apologize enough. Its prominence in my mind slowly ebbed away over time, but while the statement 'time heals all wounds' may be a correct one, it's worth remembering that when wounds heal they tend to leave scars, and scars have a tendency to hang around much longer.

*****

I haven't seen my brother in about three years now, and I'm supposed to be going back to the Midwest to visit soon. While we haven't seen each other in some time, we tend to speak on the phone once every week or two and such calls usually last an hour or more in what I thought were amicable arguments/discussions regarding the goings on of the world. Evidently this is not so, considering the hostility with which I was suddenly blindsided this evening, based on my arguing the demonstrable point that feeling some way about a thing is not the same as actual knowledge and/or experience of the thing. The response to this was quite suddenly 'oh, you just think you're so much smarter' and 'try to dumb it down for us country bumpkins', etc. Way out-of-bounds stuff that was completely unjustified given the topic at hand. I don't need to further belabor the details of how the discussion further devolved and ended with nothing accomplished because it was something that didn't really need to happen in the first place.

After spending a bit of time nursing my righteous indignation the above memory, stark and ugly, "reappeared out of nowhere" as they say, provided an opportunity to practice the very thing I constantly preach, which is that we must try and understand the other side of a thing instead of trying to make ourselves feel better about being correct on a specific point. It's not that I think my brother harbors a grudge that's two decades old, but at the same time it seems like it would be ignorant to ignore the ways in which our past has the ability to color our present. It is much easier to dwell on how right we are than it is trying to understand why the person we are at odds with thinks we are wrong, but making efforts to gain this understanding, whether our individual indignations are justified or not will prevent the empty hostilities which cause us to arrive in these situations to begin with.

The scars that we inflict, just as much as the ones we carry, all have a great deal to say. Perhaps that's the reason they stay around so long.

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You Got Swined

Date: Wed, Apr 29, 2009

(I've been monopolized over the last couple of days with errands and trying to give the Mrs. a break from the frenetic wunderkind. At least one of the pieces I thought would be ready by now just isn't, so in the meantime I thought I would try and jot down a few broad thoughts on the recent 'scare')

'Don't Panic' and 'Chill Out' signals are beginning to work their way to the surface. The collective breathes it's sigh and folks ease back to "normal" as fast as their minds will take them. While panic (even the perfectly warranted or understandable kind) should be avoided at all costs, chilling out to any great extent might not be the best idea. Things haven't been chill for nearly a decade, and become even less so with the passing of each day.

On 4/27 I wrote as a note on my shared items with this article:

Insider company with deep roots/history/connections, in another oops! moment at the same time coordinated national pandemic exercises are occurring or in the process of ramping up.

New Orleans style Beta Test, ramped up to the global level.

(yeah, yeah, I said ramped twice. Haste coments dernt make gut grammerz)

Beta Testing. Two little words that should be at least tickling the edges of all consciousness, even the most television-laden one. You've seen this before. Hell, you see/hear/read about it practically every day. It's all over the television, cinema, newspapers, and magazines; fiction and non-fiction alike blend into a seamless version of 24-hour Prime Time Apocalypse. The man on teevee adjusts the look on his face to match his serious tie and reads what someone else wrote while a parade of experts tut-tut about how the problem is that we just aren't letting the experts work, that they need more power and money tools to do their Very Serious Jobs and time is running just oh so short with all of the Global Warming Climate Change, Global Pandemic/Plague, Global Economic Collapse, and Global Intercontinental Super Extra Vicious IslamaChristoFundist Terror that is going to consume us all and most likely all at once in a raging Fiery Armageddon Finale. The version of the world presented to us is a nightmare Sesame Street, a delicious Pavlovian recipe of short and easily-digestible Fear Jingles blended smoothly for a long-lasting apathy with the great taste of learned-helplessness.

Psychological testing....testing...

For anyone just absolutely convinced that all of our systems and agencies and 'authorities' are here to help everyone, consider how many Declarations of Emergency there were in states and countries all over the world and just how fast all of the Serious National/International Institutions kicked into gear for less than 200 deaths over at least a few days. Now, consider that in just one day, over 100K die from starvation (the modern Orwellian term here is "Hunger Mortality"--mmm, just smell the wonderful sanitized and disinfected air provided by the scientific dictatorship. 72 degrees in your head, all the time.) . Where are the Emergency Meetings and Declarations for this? Where's the Benevolent Machine taking Bold Action (as they say) -- massive emergency funding of farms big and small? Where are the national and international pushes towards horticulture and the spread of heirloom seeds rather than harmful GMO? The truth of this disparity stares at us every day in various forms, but it has lived with us for so long very few see it any longer, if they ever saw it to begin with. There is no real concern for life in any form under this system other than the PR impression you're given. True support will be for Banks and Bombs and Officialdom in general with all of their cheap slogans and people uttering the same until morale improves and consumption increases again. The Official Gears moving so quickly on this one is indication of focused data collection exercises and the machine tuning itself for optimal herding in the future.

There are the reasons you're given, and then there are the real reasons.

And last, but certainly not least, while this may not have been "IT", you've been promised from all corners and in the most assured and certain terms that "IT" will surely happen soon. Lots of chaos cards to be played. It's like Go Fish in hell.

Don't panic, but don't just chill out either. This is Incrementalism in action. Remember it, because you'll surely be seeing some more of it very soon.

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While you're waiting -- 4/16/2009

Date: Fri, Apr 17, 2009

I'm working on some more posts, but these things take time. Until then....

Twitter, Fuck Yeah.

Otis nailed it down:

The key to appreciating Twitter is to accept that it is just a thing. It’s not a revolution. It’s not the second coming of Edward R. Murrow. It’s not even all that brilliant. It’s just a cool little tool that can be great in the right hands. It’s easy to be disappointed by something you hold up as important. So, don’t hold Twitter up. Use it or don’t use it, as long as you don’t expect the second coming to be preceded by a “@believers I’m on my way.”
Truly, it is great fun trying to cram as much as possible into those tiny message constraints. Pretty soon, we'll have Tweeted so much into so little that we'll be able to Tweet everything into nothing. That said, I'm currently working in the interim on achieving The Grand Tweet, hailed by all as a pinnacle of both brilliance and revolution. It could come at any time, so make sure you're following me.

Work continues on updating the long neglected virtual home. I finally converted over to a white background (I resisted this previously due to my heightened racial sensitivity), new uniform (for the most part) color scheme, and a new header, so you need not fear clicking over to the site itself any longer.

*****

America, Fuck Yeah.

Obama to release OLC torture memos; promises no prosecution for CIA officials--Glenn Greenwald
The more one reads of this, the harder it is to credit Obama's statement today that "this is a time for reflection, not retribution." At least when it comes to the orders of our highest government leaders and the DOJ lawyers who authorized them, these are pure war crimes, justified in the most disgustingly clinical language and with clear intent of wrongdoing.

Tortured Logic: Obama Writes Off Old Crimes While Promoting New Outrages--Chris Floyd
>And cannot every criminal on the face of the earth now claim the Obama defense: "Surely, your honor, nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past. So let's forget the fact that I (raped/murdered/robbed/tortured), and move forward, shall we?" For the Obama defense is nothing other than the Nuremberg defense: "I was only following orders. I was given assurance by the highest authority that my actions were legal in all respects." Is this what we have come to? Is that what now constitutes bold, progressive action? Is this, really, part of our "core values," an essential embedded component of our "national greatness?"

ACLU has the torture memos.

DHS "Rightwing Extremism" Document Created During Bush Administration--Kurt Nimmo
After the Department of Homeland Security’s report on “rightwing extremism” was leaked and posted on Infowars and other alternative news sites, so-called conservatives wasted little time blaming the Obama administration for the report.

However, recent evidence reveals the report has nothing to with the supposed “Marxist” (as Michael Savage and others would have it) persuasion of the Obama administration. It is a product created by a government not interested in the artificial divides of the right-left paradigm and concentrates on one primary objective – to demonize and criminalize all effective opposition. [emphasis mine]

The “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” document was produced during the Bush administration, as a quick check of the PDF document’s properties reveals. It was created on January 23, 2007. In other words, the document is not a reflection of the supposed sinister political coloration of the Obama administration, said by many “conservatives” to be socialist or Marxist. It is a document produced specifically as part of a larger effort to demonize and eliminate all opposition regardless of political persuasion. [emphasis mine]

An earlier report produced by the Strategic Analysis Group, Homeland Environment and Threat Analysis Division of the DHS concentrated on “leftwing extremism”Leftwing Extremists Likely to Increase Use of Cyber Attacks over the Coming Decade), again demonstrating the government does not hold an ideological bias when it comes demonizing groups and individuals opposed to the government.

*****
Economics, Fuck Yeah.

Jesse's Cafe Americain--Goldman Sachs Buries Losses to Beat the Estimates, and This is Your Economy On Crack--and Heading for a Crack-Up.

Mish--Krugman In Need of Remedial Education, and Obama Bets it all on Failed Banksters (NOTE: the comments after this article from user 'Black Swan' are decidedly worth reading, especially if you're feeling smug and dismissive of "conspiracy theories", as Mish seemed to be while writing this one.)

*****

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Applied Manipulation

Date: Sat, Apr 11, 2009

Glenn Greenwald lays out current circumstances quite plainly in his latest, Obama and habeas corpus--then and now:

"The Obama DOJ is now squarely to the Right of an extremely conservative, pro-executive-power, Bush 43-appointed judge on issues of executive power and due-process-less detentions. Leave aside for the moment the issue of whether you believe that the U.S. Government should have the right to abduct people anywhere in the world, ship them to faraway prisons and hold them there indefinitely without charges or any rights at all. The Bush DOJ -- and now the Obama DOJ -- maintain the President does and should have that right, and that's an issue that has been extensively debated. It was, after all, one of the centerpieces of the Bush regime of radicalism, lawlessness and extremism." [emphasis mine]
It would do well for everyone to read the post in it's entirety. Well-inured partisans of all stripes should perhaps to read it more than once. The subject matter of his post directly relates to a statement I made previously.

November 3, 2008--
"Both marquee candidates will continue the War Machine, both think the idea of domestic spying and retroactive immunization of the corporations that aided in the same is just dandy, and lest we forget, both were/are in full favor of robbing you and several more generations of large gobs of money to bailout the International Banks (oops, I mean, Stabilize the Economy), in spite of the loud and unequivocal “No” issued forth from the majority of citizens in this “democracy”. Of course this is only the very abridged, very short summary version to point out for the nth time that the only Change We Can Count On will be the exact opposite of what many people have fooled themselves into believing."

While the statement is correct in points of fact (illustrated by the GG post), the two words that I wrote, "fooled themselves", continues to hold my attention and demand further exploration with regard to Change We Can Believe In being an irrefutably false slogan.

From The Hidden Persuaders, by Vance Packard (1957), Chapter 17: Politics and The Image Builders [all emphasis mine]--
The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology got into this seeming nonrational element in voters' thinking when it reported an experiment with people known to be either strongly pro- or anti-Democratic. [...] There was a clear tendency for them to forget the material that didn't harmonize with their own preconceived notions.

Several political commentators (Reston, Dorothy Thompson, Doris Fleeson are examples) took special note in 1956 of what they felt was the growing role of "personality" in American politics. Dorothy Thompson called it the "cult of personality." Sociologist David Riesman, in noting the same phenomenon, considered it a part of the trend to other-directedness in American Life. Americans, in their growing absorption with consumption, have even become consumers of politics. This has brought an increased emphasis on giving the nod to the best performer [read: Actors--HH]; and in evaluating performance the "sincerity" of the presentation has taken on increased importance. He pointed out, in The Lonely Crowd, "Just as glamour in packaging and advertising of products substitutes for price competition, so glamor in politics, whether as charisma--packaging--of the leader or as the hopped-up treatment of events by mass media, substitutes for the type of self-interest that governed the inner-directed."

Not only do the American people, the depth-probers concluded, want political leaders with personality, but in the Presidency they want a very definite kind of personality. Eugene Burdick, teacher of political theory at the University of California, made a study of the qualities of the perfect president while serving as fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. (this is the same Eugene Burdick who in 1956 brought out a best-selling novel The Ninth Wave on irrational trends in politics.) Dr. Burdick found that the perfect President doesn't arise out of great issues, but becomes "great" in our minds because of his personality. He becomes "great" to the degree that he becomes a "father image" in our minds. Burdick relates: "Recent polls and psychological studies reveal the extent to which the President has now become what psychologists call a 'father image' in the average American home." Burdick summed up (in This Week) a composite picture of the perfect president: "He is a man who has great warmth, inspires confidence rather than admiration, and is not so proper that he is unbelievable. He must have 'done things' in another field than politics, and he must have a genuine sense of humor. His stand on individual political issues is relatively unimportant...[who wants to have a beer/hang out with the guy?--HH]"

[...]

In early 1956 Nation's Business, which is published by the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, happily heralded the new, businessman's approach to politics. It proclaimed: "Both parties will merchandise their candidate and issues by the same methods that business has developed to sell goods. These include scientific selection of appeals [to emotion, ego, etc.--HH]; planned repetition.... No flag-waving faithfuls will parade in the streets. Instead corps of volunteers will ring doorbells and telephones.... Radio spot announcements and ads will repeat phrases with a planned intensity. Billboards will push slogans of proven power.... Candidates need, in addition to rich voice and good diction, to be able to look 'sincerely' at the TV camera...."
Indeed. Now, in order to ensure we do not labor under any illusions as to the nature of those "same methods that business has developed to sell goods", let's let the purveyor's speak for themselves.

Ibid, Chapter 3: So Ad Men become Depth Men--
"As early as 1941, Dr. Dichter [considered to be one of the fathers of Motivational Research] was exhorting ad agencies to recognize themselves for what they actually were--"one of the most advanced laboratories in psychology." He said the successful ad agency "manipulates human motivations and desires and develops a need for goods with which the public has at one time been unfamiliar--perhaps even undesirous of purchasing." The following year Advertising Agency carried an ad man's statement that psychology not only holds promise for understanding people but "ultimately for controlling their behavior."
As an illustration of the truth in these sentiments consider the following (keeping in mind Democrat, Republican, Being Green, USA!, etc., as brand concepts along with consideration of your own childhood and adult "education"):

Ibid, Chapter 15: Psycho-Seduction of Children (again, all emphasis and linking mine)--
"A firm specializing in supplying "education" material to schoolteachers in the form of wall charts, board cutouts, teachers' manuals made this appeal to merchants and advertisers: "Eager minds can be molded to want your products! In the grade schools throughout America are nearly 23 million young girls and boys. These children eat food, wear out clothes, use soap. They are consumers today and will be buyers tomorrow. Here is a vast market for your products. Sell these children on your brand name and they will insist that their parents buy no other. Many farsighted advertisers are cashing in today...and building for tomorrow...by molding eager minds" through Project Education Material supplied to teachers. It added reassuringly: "all carrying sugar-coated messages designed to create acceptance and demand for products...." In commenting on this appeal Clyde Miller, in his The Process of Persuasion explained the problem of conditioning the reflexes of children by saying, "It takes time, yes, but if you expect to be in business for any length of time, think of what it can mean to your firm in profits [and control-see Dichter statement--HH] if you can condition a million or ten million children who will grow up into adults trained to buy your product as soldiers are trained to advance when they hear the trigger words 'forward march.'"

[...]

When at the beginning of the decade television was in its infancy, an ad appeared in a trade journal alerting manufacturers to the extraordinary ability of TV to etch messages on young brains. "Where else on earth," the ad exclaimed, "is brand consciousness fixed so firmly in the mind of four-year-old tots?"...What is it worth to a manufacturer [or, say, a government captured by business--HH] who can close in on this juvenile audience and continue to sell it [on the many various aformentioned brands--HH] under controlled conditions year after year, right up to its attainment of adulthood and full-fledged buyer [voter--HH] status? It CAN be done. Interested?" (While the author was preparing this chapter he heard his own eight-year-old daughter happily singing the cigarette jingle: "Don't miss the fun of smoking!")

Over 40 years later, this HAS been done, and to great effect.

Have you been made a fool of (manipulated), or have you been fooling yourself (allowing the manipulation despite some level of awareness)? Only you as an individual can answer. Arriving at both honest and specifically defined answers to that question, as well as the path traveled to get there, is an inherently individual, private, and often painful struggle. The point is, time spent truly focused on this question becomes more of a necessity with each passing day as The Empire and consequent real-life conditions therein continue to deteriorate no matter who you vote for or what your "politics".

However you may have answered that question previously, now that a glimpse of the applied techniques of manipulation (that we were born into) has been shown, will you continue to go forth claiming the former in the face of persistent fact or will you recognize the existence of the latter (to whatever degree) and seek to change it?

All of our lives depend on these answers.

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