Wednesday, April 30, 2008

In the "no s**t, Sherlock!" Department:

Condoleezza Rice admits biofuel production contributing to food shortages
Tue, 29 Apr 2008 15:55 EDT

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has admitted that the decision to set aside American farmland for the production of corn for biofuels may in part be driving up world food prices.

"There has been apparently some effect, unintended consequence from the alternative fuels effort," Rice told a gathering of the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C.

"Although we believe that while biofuels continue to be an extremely important piece of the alternative energy picture, obviously we want
to make sure that it is not having an adverse affect," she said.

"We think that it is not a large part of the problem, but it in fact may be a part of the problem, the ethanol debate," Rice added.


Comment: Obviously Biofuels contribute notably to the world food crisis... typical NeoCon lies and distortion of facts...

Nearly one-third of the US corn harvest is currently being funnelled into biofuel production.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Filed under "Just for Clarity . . . . . ."

Another one of those article that mysteriously never make it onto FOX, CNN, or the NY Times. Apparently last month the three candidates had their seconds summoned on the carpet by the (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, "non-existent") Israeli lobby to "clarify" their positions on Israel. Or more accurately, to have their position vis a vis Israel clarified for them. The WP of course is playing the "loyal opposition" role to make things look as if there is real freedom of the press. These little cracks are where one finds out what's really what. If you are paying attention of course.

Blue Ibis

The Audacity of Chutzpah

Dana Milbank
Washington Post
Tue, 18 Mar 2008 19:49 EDT

A group of Jewish leaders announced that it was having a public meeting yesterday to discuss the 2008 presidential election. Representing John McCain: former secretary of state Lawrence Eagleburger. Representing Hillary Clinton: former White House official Ann Lewis. Representing Barack Obama: "a high-level representative of Barack Obama's presidential campaign (TBA)."

TBA? Obama's Jewish problem must be getting worse.

Finally, TBA was ID'd: Princeton professor Dan Kurtzer, a former ambassador to Israel. And when the victim, er, high-level representative, took the stage at the Washington Hilton yesterday for the United Jewish Communities debate, he went quickly on defense.

"There's a question in the community that's unfortunately been stimulated and stirred about and played with in e-mails and innuendos and newspaper articles," he said, "that suggests that there's something wrong with Senator Obama's views about Jews, about Israel." He then suggested that Jews could relate to Obama's persecution. "There are nagging doubts, there are e-mails, there are innuendos: These are the kinds of things which we as a community have suffered over the years at the hands of anti-Semites."

It took a bit of chutzpah to play the anti-Semite for Obama -- but these are tense times for the senator from Audacity.

Obama is in trouble because his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was caught on tape preaching such gospel as "God damn America" and accusing Israel of "state terrorism against the Palestinians."

Jews, a small but influential group in Democratic politics, had been worried about Obama even before last week's preacher problem. It seems recent divisions between African Americans and Jews were aggravated by matters such as Obama's sympathy for the Palestinians, and his willingness to take advice from Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former Carter administration official who calls U.S. Middle East policy "morally hypocritical."

According to exit polls, Jews went for Hillary Clinton by margins ranging from 20 to 42 percentage points in Florida, Nevada, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. Obama had a significant edge only in Connecticut.

The videos of Wright's sermons -- in which the pastor also condemned "rich, white people" -- escalated Obama's racial and ethnic problems, and he has scheduled a "major" speech on race for this morning in Philadelphia. If Ambassador TBA's reception at the United Jewish Communities event is any indication, Obama has difficult work ahead.

Security guards with Israeli accents turned away people at the door as the room overflowed. McCain's representative and Clinton's representative struck up a conversation on stage, leaving Obama's man to his own thoughts. As moderator William Daroff introduced Kurtzer "on the far left" of the stage, Eagleburger interrupted.

"Where he belongs!" the former secretary of state announced.

Kurtzer, granted his turn to speak, attempted to argue that "on issues relating to Israel, frankly, there aren't any differences among the three candidates." Eagleburger looked at him incredulously; the audience laughed.

Kurtzer attempted to defuse the Wright controversy. "For many of you who belong to synagogues and Jewish community centers, as I have all my life, we would not want to be judged by the words of rabbis who sometimes say ridiculous things," he reasoned.

The others used their time to raise doubts about Obama's fealty to Israel. "Senator Obama has said that he commits in his first year as president to meeting with President Ahmadinejad of Iran," Lewis said. McCain, Eagleburger added, "will not talk with the Syrians, will not talk with the Iranians, will not talk with Hamas and Hezbollah. . . . He isn't going to push the Israelis."

The skepticism continued through the question time. Daroff said he had "heard in the hallways here" that Obama "doesn't see the U.S.-Israel relationship as much of the mainstream of the Senate or the Jewish community sees it."

Kurtzer blamed such sentiment on "attack dogs" and writers of scurrilous e-mails. "He's right within the mainstream of American society and Jewish community concerns," TBA said.

Next question to Kurtzer: Obama's assertion that he needn't have a "Likud view" -- that of Israel's right-wing party -- to be pro-Israel. Kurtzer explained that Obama wanted to see a "plurality of views." Silence in the room.

To that, Lewis retorted: "The role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel. It is not up to us to pick and choose from among the political parties." The audience members applauded.

Eagleburger piled on. "There's a distinction between those you do talk to," he said, "and those who declare themselves as intent on the destruction of the state of Israel. And if that's their policy, I think we ought not talk to them." More applause.

A conference attendee from Richmond pressed Kurtzer on Obama's "judgment about not disavowing Reverend Wright's views earlier." Another question prompted a back-and-forth about whether Obama had been advised by Brzezinski, who won the enmity of pro-Israel groups for, among other things, accusing Israel of the "killing of hostages" in Lebanon.

"I'm not Brzezinski's spokesperson," Kurtzer demurred. And after yesterday, he may think twice before being Obama's TBA again.


Comment: FEALITY!!

"Security guards with Israeli accents"

"The others used their time to raise doubts about Obama's fealty [?????]to Israel."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

How Societies Regress to Become Pathocracies

Time for Change
Fri, 11 Apr 2008 10:10 EDT
©Red Pill Press

A pathocracy is a social movement, society, nation, or empire wherein a small pathological minority takes control over a society of normal people. The pathological minority habitually perpetrates evil deeds on its people and/or other people.

Almost everyone knows that pathocracies have been responsible for tremendous death and destruction throughout history. What less people are willing to acknowledge is that pathocracies continue to perpetrate death and destruction today. Billions of people throughout the world live in perpetual poverty and hunger or lack access to safe water, despite the fact that the resources exist to provide adequate food and safe water to all of the world's citizens. Millions of others are perpetually exposed to the horrors of war.

Therefore, it would behoove us all to understand how pathocracies develop and perpetrate their damage, and how to recognize them. A book on that subject, titled Political Ponerology - A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes, was written by Andrew M. Lobaczewski. Lobaczewski, a psychiatrist, began the research that eventually led to the book more than half a century ago, in collaboration with other researchers, all who are all now dead. The research was conducted in secret, as the researchers were all victims of Joseph Stalin's totalitarian regime, which obviously provided fodder for much of the book's content.

I've previously posted twice on DU on this subject, drawing heavily from Lobaczewski's book. My first post was titled "Political Ponerology: A Science of Evil Applied for Political Purposes". In that post I discussed human evil and its effects, why many people find evil so difficult to recognize, and psychopaths in position of great power.

In my second post on the subject, titled "The Role of Ideologies in the Development of Evil Regimes (Pathocracies)", I briefly summarized the first post and emphasized the role of ideology in the development of pathocracies. The main thing to understand about that is that the ideology serves as a mask, to hide the actual intentions of the group, and as a motivational factor for group members. Lobaczewski explains:

Human nature demands that vile matters be haloed by an over-compensatory mystique in order to silence one's conscience and to deceive consciousness and critical faculties, whether one's own or those of others. If such a ponerogenic union could be stripped of its ideology, nothing would remain except psychological and moral pathology, naked and unattractive. Such stripping would of course provoke "moral outrage", and not only among the members of the union.

In this post I go into much more detail about the development of pathocracies (referred to in Lobaczewski's book as the ponerogenic process). Since much of the material in the book is somewhat abstract, my goal here is to relate the principles he discusses to current day (and past) examples, in order to help make them more understandable. Lobaczewski speaks both in terms of small group processes and large scale (macrosocial) processes. It seems that most of the basic principles are similar regardless of the scale of the process.

An overview of the development of pathocracy

I thought it best to start with an overview and then come back to the specifics. This is what Lobaczewski has to say about the general process of a society regressing into a pathocracy:

Disparagement of one's "inferiors"

Children of the privileged classes learn to repress from their field of consciousness the uncomfortable ideas suggesting that they and their parents are benefiting from injustice against others. Such young people learn to disqualify and disparage the moral and mental values of anyone whose work they are using to over-advantage.

When you read this, think of the slave masters who justified their treatment of their slaves by explaining to their children that white supremacy over black people is natural because black people are inherently inferior or uncivilized. And think of the fact that the deaths of over a million Iraq civilians resulting from our invasion and occupation of their country have barely entered our national discussion. Some Harvard economists explain the long-lasting effects of racism in our country with respect to current economic policies:

Racial discord plays a critical role in determining beliefs about the poor. Since minorities are highly over-represented amongst the poorest Americans, any income-based redistribution measures will redistribute particularly minorities. The opponents of redistribution have regularly used race based rhetoric to fight left-wing policies... America's troubled race relations are clearly a major reason for the absence of an American welfare state.

Growing hysteria

Lobaczewski continues his description of the initial stages of developing pathocracy:

Young minds thus ingest habits of subconscious selection and substitution of data, which leads to a hysterical conversion economy of reasoning. They grow up to be somewhat hysterical adults who... transmit their hysteria to the next generation... The hysterical patterns for experience and behavior grow and spread downwards from the privileged classes until crossing the boundary.

Does that remind you of the state of Congress under Republican rule, and the general attitude of radical conservatives? Alan Wolf describes the mood of conservatives over the last couple of decades:

Conservatives have viewed politics as an extension of war, complete with no-holds barred treatment of the enemy, iron-clad discipline in the ranks, cries of treason against those who do not support the effort with full-throated vigor, and total control over any spoils won.

Contempt for truth and objective thinking

Lobaczewski continues:

When the habits of subconscious selection and substitution of thought-data spread to the macrosocial level, a society tends to develop contempt for factual criticism and to humiliate anyone sounding an alarm. Contempt is also shown for other nations which have maintained normal thought-patterns and for their opinions.

Think about the how radical conservatives disparage the patriotism of anyone who disagrees with our current imperial course. Think about the firing of Phil Donohue for daring to criticize the invasion of Iraq. Think about the aggressive targeting of Cynthia McKinney's House seat for daring to question George Bush's handling of the 9-11 attacks on our country. Think about the muzzling of Sybil Edmunds. Think about "freedom fries". Think about George Bush's war on science. And think about how so many subjects are barely mentionable in our country today.

The disintegration of societyNeoo

Lobaczewski's description of societal disintegration under pathocracies reminds me of the ever expanding income gap in our country, and should serve as a warning that things can get a whole lot worse for us than they are now:

The feeling of social links and responsibility toward others disappear, and the society in question splinters into groups ever more hostile to each other... This opens the door for activation of the pathological factors of a various nature to enter in... A huge bloody tragedy can be the result....

Individual psychopath

Now let's consider the process from the standpoint of the individual psychopath. Laura Knight-Jadczyk, the editor of Lobaczewski's book, quotes Martha Stout, noting that the defining characteristic of a psychopath is a lack of conscience:

Imagine - if you can - not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken. And pretend that the concept of responsibility is unknown to you, except as a burden others seem to accept without question, like gullible fools.

The defining talents of the average psychopath

Most psychopaths don't have much general intelligence or even any particular skills of a productive nature. But the ones who pose great danger to society are quite good at manipulating people and political infighting. Lobaczewski explains:

Once the process of poneric transformation... has begun and advanced sufficiently, they perceive this fact with almost infallible sensitivity: a circle has been created wherein they can hide their failings and psychological differentness, find a world where they are in power and all those other, "normal people", are forced into servitude.

This reminds me of a biography of Joseph Stalin. One by one, over a period of several years, he isolated and the eliminated all of his minions who posed the slightest danger to his unchallengeable power. So by 1937 Stalin's purges had eliminated all of the original Russian Communist Party but himself.

The role of sycophancy

Can you imagine John Yoo, Alberto Gonzales, or David Petraeus going against the will of GeCorge Bush on any matter? Of course not. Their positions of high power depend entirely on putting all their energy into anticipating the needs of and pleasing the "leader". George Bush started out the same way. As governor of Texas, all his efforts went into pleasing his corporate cronies. In return, they rewarded him handsomely by ensuring his material wealth and serving as a power base for his climb to the presidency. Lobaczewski describes the process:

They initially perform subordinate functions in such a movement and execute the leaders' orders, especially whenever something needs to be done which inspires revulsion in others. GTheir evident zealotry and cynicism gives rise to criticism on the part of the union's more reasonable members, but it also earns the respect of some its more extreme revolutionaries. They thus find protection among those people who earlier played a role in the movement's ponerization, and repay the favor with compliments or by making things easier for them. Thus they climb up the organizational ladder, gain influence, and almost involuntarily bend the contents of the entire group to their own way of experiencing reality and to the goals derived from their deviant nature.

Psychopaths after they've climbed to the pinnacle of power

Lobaczewski explains that psychopaths always feel terribly insecure, even after they've climbed to the pinnacle of power:

The pathological social structure gradually covers the entire country, creating a "new class" within the nation. This privileged class of deviants feels permanently threatened by the "others", i.e. by the majority of normal people. Neither do the pathocrats entertain any illusions about their personal fate should there be a return to the system of normal man.... Pathocrats never possessed any solid practical talent, and the time frame of their rule eliminates any residual possibilities of adapting to the demands of normal work. If the laws of normal man were to be reinstated, they and theirs could be subjected to judgment... they would be threatened by a loss of freedom and life, not merely a loss of position and privilege. Since they are incapable of any kind of sacrifice, the survival of a system which is the best for them becomes a moral imperative. Such a threat must be battled by means of any and all cunning and implemented with a lack of scruples with regard to those other "inferior" people that can be shocking in its depravity.

In other words, we should all be very worried about the lengths to which the Bush administration will go to ensure that either a Republican with benign intentions towards the Bush clique is installed as our next president or that no elections take place at all.

Turning reality upside down

As previously noted, psychopaths of any stripe or level of power cannot afford to allow others to perceive the reality of their character. Therefore, a prerequisite of attaining power is to throw everyone else into a state of confusion. Some of them are quite good at that. Lobaczewski explains:

Any human group affected by the process described herein is characterized by its increasing regression from... the ability to perceive psychological reality.... A ponerological analysis of this process indicates that pressure is being applied to the more normal part of the association by pathological factors present in certain individuals who have been allowed to participate in the group because the lack of good psychological knowledge has not mandated their exclusion....

An extensive and active indoctrination system is built, with a suitably refurbished ideology constituting the vehicle or Trojan horse for the purpose of pathogolizing the thought process of normal individuals and society. The goal - forcing human minds to incorporate pathological experiential methods and thought patterns, and consequently accepting such rule - is never openly admitted.

Thus it was that Hitler needed his Goebbels to indoctrinate the German people into a way of thinking that was conducive to Nazi attainment and maintenance of power. Thus it is that the Bush administration uses taxpayer money to provide us with propaganda disguised as news. And thus it is that we repeatedly hear "We have to fight them over there if we don't want to fight them here", while our confused and sycophantic corporate news media rarely challenges such inanely stupid assertions.

I often wonder if this phenomenon also partially explains why Congress is so reluctant to proceed with impeachment. Could it be that they are so confused or intimidated that they can't differentiate reality from the fairy tales spewed out by the Bush administration?

The marginalization and exclusion of normal people

Psychopaths cannot tolerate the presence of normal people because normal people are not at all conducive to their plans. Lobaczewski explains:

Rigorous selective measures of a clearly psychological kind are applied to new members. So as to exclude the possibility of becoming sidetracked by defectors, people are observed and tested to eliminate those characterized by excessive mental independence or psychological normality... Individuals manifesting doubt or criticism are subject to paramoral condemnation... Leadership discusses opinions and intentions which are psychologically and morally pathological....

A mysterious disease is already raging inside the union. The adherents of the original ideology feel ever more constricted by powers they do not understand; they start fighting with demons and making mistakes....

If such a movement triumphs by revolutionary means and in the name of freedom, the welfare of the people, and social justice, this only brings about further transformation of a governmental system thus created into a macrosocial pathological phenomenon. Within this system, the common man is blamed for not having been born a psychopath, and is considered good for nothing except hard work, fighting and dying to protect a system of government he can neither sufficiently comprehend nor ever consider to be his own. An ever-strengthening network of psychopathic and related individuals gradually starts to dominate, overshadowing the others. Characteropathic individuals who played an essential role in ponerizing the movement and preparing for revolution, are also eliminated. Adherents of the revolutionary ideology are unscrupulously "pushed into a counter-revolutionary position". They are now condemned for "moral" reasons in the name of new criteria whose paramoralistic essence they are not in a position to comprehend. Violent negative selection of the original group now ensues.... It remains characteristic for the entire future of this macrosocial pathological phenomenon.

Think about the Stalin purges, the Bush administration firing of any federal attorneys who wouldn't play ball with it, the resignations of high military leaders whose opinions were not in synch with George Bush, the firing of Phil Donohue, and the targeting of Cynthia McKinney. And more ominously, think about Paul Wellstone's plane crash, the assassination of JFK and Martin Luther King, and the "suicides" of J. H. Hatfield, Cliff Baxter, Raymond Lemme, David Kelly, Ted Westhusing and Gary Webb.

The response of normal individuals

Even though psychopaths are greatly outnumbered in the general population (about 4% - 6%), the development of pathocracies are an all too frequent phenomenon in world history. Clearly, normal individuals frequently fail to adequately counteract the problem. One of their biggest mistakes is to adopt an uncritical attitude towards psychopaths, as Lobaczewski explains:

Thus, whenever we observe some group member being treated with no critical distance, although he betrays one of the psychological anomalies familiar to us, and his opinions being treated as at least equal to those of normal people, although they are based on a characteristically different view of human, we must derive the conclusion that this human group is affected by a ponerogenic process and if measures are not taken the process shall continue to its logical conclusion.

As I've previously noted, exposure to psychopaths is frequently a very disorienting event for normal people. They can respond in one of three ways: adopt the alternate reality of the group; leave; or, remain confused and in a state of psychological terror. Lobaczewski describes the situation:

Once a group has inhaled a sufficient dose of pathological material to give birth to the conviction that these not-quite-normal people are unique geniuses, it starts subjecting its more normal members to pressure characterized by corresponding paralogical and paramoral elements. For many people, such pressure of collective opinion takes on attributes of a moral criterion; for others, it represents a kind of psychological terror ever more difficult to endure... Individuals with a more normal sense of psychological reality leave after entering into conflict with the newly modified group; simultaneously, individuals with various psychological anomalies join the group and easily find a way of life there.

What normal members of the group need

Lobaczewski explains what normal people need under such circumstances (and this applies for whole societies as well as small groups):

What they need is good psychological information in order to find the path of reason and measure. Based on a ponerologic understanding of their condition, psychotherapy could provide rapid positive results.

And I will add here that this is why so many of us DUers love people like Dennis Kucinich (who publicly told us the obvious but unmentionable reason for the Iraq War), Keith Olbermann, Naomi Klein, and Naomi Wolf. Many or most normal people sense that something terrible is happening, but they just can't bring themselves to acknowledge it even to themselves. But when some brave soul has the courage to announce that the emperor has no clothes after all, that helps to bring a sense of reality back to anyone who has the courage to listen. As an example, here is a quote from one of Keith Olbermann's special comments:

Were there any remaining lingering doubt otherwise... it ended yesterday when Mr. Bush commuted the prison sentence of one of his own staffers... In that moment, Mr. Bush, you broke that fundamental compact between yourself and the majority of this nation's citizens... you ceased to be the president of the United States... You became merely the president of a rabid and irresponsible corner of the Republican Party. And this is too important a time, sir, to have a commander in chief who puts party over nation. This has been, of course, the gathering legacy of this administration...

Our leaders in Congress ... must now live up to those standards which echo through our history: ... Impeach - get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our democracy, away from the helm.

The terror phase

As a society regresses to pathocracy, it is inevitable that at some point the majority of normal members of society will catch on. The salient question is whether they will do so before it is too late to prevent massive and irreparable harm. Lobaczewski explains this process:

The rejected majority and the very forces which naively created such power to begin with, start mobilizing against the block of psychopaths who have taken over. Ruthless confrontation with these forces is seen by the psychopathic block as the only way to safeguard the long-term survival of the pathological authority. We must thus consider the bloody triumph of a pathological minority over the movement's majority to be a transitional phase during which the new contents of the phenomenon coagulate. The entire life of a society thus affected then becomes subordinated to deviant thought criteria....

To mitigate the threat to their power, the pathocrats must employ any and all methods of terror and exterminatory policies against individuals known for their patriotic feelings. Individuals lacking the natural feeling of being linked to normal society become irreplaceable...

As an example, Naomi Klein, in The Shock Doctrine - The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, describes the terror that encompassed Chile in 1973 following the CIA sponsored overthrow of their president:

The generals knew that their hold on power depended on Chileans being truly terrified...The trail of blood left behind over those four days came to be known as the Caravan of Death. In short order the entire country had gotten the message: resistance is deadly... In all, more than 3,200 people were disappeared or executed, at least 80,000 were imprisoned, and 200,000 fled the country.

Nor was that the end of it. Over the next several months and years, anyone whose independent thoughts were considered to pose a danger to Pinochet's regime were systematically tortured or eliminated.

Why pathocracy cannot be permanent

Pathocracies cannot be permanent, because of their many inherent deficiencies. Lobaczewski explains:

The achievement of absolute domination by pathocrats in the government of a country cannot be permanent since large sectors of the society become disaffected by such rule and eventually find some way of toppling it. This is part of the historical cycle. Such a system of government has nowhere to go but down. In a pathocracy, all leadership positions must be filled by individuals with corresponding psychological deviations... However, such people constitute a very small percentage of the population and this makes them more valuable to the pathocrats. Their intellectual level or professional skills cannot be taken into account, since people representing superior abilities are even harder to find.....

Under such conditions, no area of social life can develop normally... Pathocracy progressively paralyzes everything. Normal people must develop a level of patience... pathocracy progressively intrudes everywhere and dulls everything. Thus, the pathological minority's attempts to retain power will be threatened by the society of normal people, whose criticism keeps growing....

The entire effort only results in producing a general stifling of intellectual development and deep rooted protest against hypocrisy. The authors and executors of this program are incapable of understanding that the decisive factor making their work difficult is the fundamental nature of normal human beings - the majority. The entire system of force, terror, and forced indoctrination, or, rather, pathologization, thus proves effectively unfeasible... Reality places a question mark on their conviction that such methods can change people in such fundamental ways so that they can eventually recognize this pathocratic kind of government as a normal state......

Pathocracies in perspective

But we should not take much satisfaction in the inevitable fall of pathocracies, since they so frequently do such tremendous harm before they fall. It would be far better if we could learn to prevent their rise in the first place.

One of the many great insights of the founders of our country is that they anticipated the rise of pathocracy in the nation that they founded. They therefore wrote into its Constitution numerous plans for the balancing of power and for the peaceful removal from office of chief executives or others who proved to put their own needs and desires above those of our nation.

It was a great idea. But it can only work to the extent that our elected government officials have the courage to open their eyes to the danger and take action against it, as so clearly prescribed in our Constitution. It is now long past the time that those with open eyes and minds should have seen and understood the gathering danger.

If our Congress fails to take the appropriate action, they'll have set a terrible precedent for our nation. In that event, even if our current government does not perpetrate substantially more harm to us before they leave, Congress will have left the door wide open for future governments to do so.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sanitizing The War On Terror - Part 2

Joe Quinn
Sun, 06 Apr 2008 17:33 EDT

©Red Pill Press

"The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self-administered by its victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those which blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves." - Dresden James

In part one, I promised I would get pure and simple with the truth about the war on terror. I posited that if the average person were to be furnished with real facts about the war on terror, conditions necessary for a radical change in the status quo on this planet could be created. What form such a change would take is not readily determinable, although a decent amount of chaos could be expected.

I understand that many people have trouble believing that the average person can ever wake up to the reality of the world around them. Nourished almost since birth on a diet of lies and disinformation, not to mention chemical-laden food and drink, we could be forgiven for concluding that their destiny as cannon fodder for the pathocrats is all but assured. The problem with this theory however is that there is no way to prove it.

Even if all life on this planet were soon extinguished in a nuclear war or a cometary bombardment, (evidence of cometary bombardment having been deliberately concealed for centuries), that is still not conclusive evidence that humanity should long ago have been consigned to the scrap heap of cosmic history. We can't, in good conscience, dismiss the possibility of a change in the course of human history (even a last minute one) until we have done all we can to dispel the fog of illusion that blurs the lines between real and false.

Pick any relevant topic, one that floats your boat or gets your goat, research it, and in one way or another publicly Truthify it. It really is that simple. Spend less time as a harbinger of irreversible doom and more as a public warning system. You may be surprised to realise how amenable people are to the unofficial view of reality. I realise that opinion polls are usually more reflective of what the political elite would like us to believe than actual public sentiment, but a recent poll in the US rings pretty true to me:

Most Americans say U.S. on wrong track, poll says

More than 80 percent of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, the highest such number since the early 1990s, according to a new survey.

The CBS News-New York Times poll released Thursday showed 81 percent of respondents said they believed "things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track." That was up from 69 percent a year ago, and 35 percent in early 2002wrong direction, the highest such number since the early 1990s, according to a new survey.

That's a pretty decent trend and evidence that the average Joe may still possess a semi-functioning BS meter. What if you were to email or print out that CNN article and pass it around to your friends, and what if you followed it up with this:

Cheney On Two-Thirds Of The American Public Opposing The Iraq War: 'So?'

This morning, on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, ABC's Good Morning America aired an interview with Vice President Cheney on the war. During the segment, Cheney flatly told White House correspondent Martha Raddatz that he doesn't care about the American public's views on the war:

CHENEY: On the security front, I think there's a general consensus that we've made major progress, that the surge has worked. That's been a major success.

RADDATZ: Two-third of Americans say it's not worth fighting.


RADDATZ So? You don't care what the American people think?

CHENEY: No. I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls.

Notice Cheney covering for his arrogance by dismissing "fluctuations" in public polls and ignoring the fact that polls have been "fluctuating" in a very specific direction since 2002. Could it not be cogently argued that Cheney's despicable attitude poses a much greater threat to the American way of life - government by for and of the people - than that posed by the alleged "Muslim terrorists"? After all, there are no Muslim terrorists in the White House...

It is not hard to see that it may be easier than anyone thinks to influence public opinion, if only a few people at a time. Nor is it hard to see how easily a discussion of this nature could be used to introduce the most essential information of all - psychopaths and the fact that they have taken control of this planet and our very lives.

All that is necessary for the delivery of a potentially powerful punch to the wall of complacency and inertia surrounding the masses is a little research and networking by enough genuine truth seekers.

I don't care how inured a person is in the American or any other way of life - show them the above poll data and other public opinion data from around the world and show them Cheney's contemptuous attitude towards the people, and it will register. Only the most self-depreciating, obsequious authoritarian could be left indifferent. That introduction is the first step, the first opening.

Widespread awareness of psychopathy is essential. Understanding psychopathy provides answers to so many of the 'whys' and 'hows' of the current deplorable state of life on planet earth. In the hidden details of the war on terror, the cold treachery of the psychopathological mindset is laid bare - its horrifying contribution to human suffering revealed.

In Part 3 we'll put some of those details under the microscope.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Sanitizing the War on Terror

Here, in a nice neat summary, is the true point of the endless "war on terror"(c) being foisted on the citizens of the US. Joe Quinn has got the number of the psychos in charge. Feast yourself on the political insight found at SOTT.

Blue Ibis

Joe Quinn
Thu, 03 Apr 2008 16:23 EDT

Michael Hayden - loves a good conspiracy

For years "conspiracy theorists" have suffered the ignominy of exile on the fringe of political debate, not to mention social acceptance. "Conspiracy" was not necessarily a 'dirty word', but form the phrase "conspiracy theory" and you could almost hear the shutters coming down on already closed minds. Stories of the lies and secret machinations of the political military and corporate elite were ridiculed as fantasy and a virtual impossibility. Indeed, the very existence of a political, military and corporate elite was widely disavowed. Changes are afoot however - big changes. The lies and abuses of the directors of the American empire project and their associates in collective Western government over the past few years have become so egregious, so flagrant, that it is now virtually impossible for the average citizen to accept the official version of reality and still lay claim to their own sanity.

Got Sanity? If so, you have "soundness of judgment or reason".

Tell me then, what's your judgment on the "war on terror"? What does your reason say about the mythical yet somehow ubiquitous "al-Qaeda"? You have, after all, had almost 7 years to get comfortable, in one way or another, with these ideas. By now your sanity, if you possess it, should have told you some very specific things about those two hot topics. If however you are insane, take heart because you don't even need to be compos mentis to grasp this truth, just your eyes and ears. Got those? Then let's begin.

For many years now millions of people around the world, including former members of the US and other governments, academics and professionals have known and spoken about the fact that "al-Qaeda", far from being a modern Islamic terror group was the name given to a small grouping of extremist and deluded nut-jobs that the US and British governments hired and trained to fight the Russians in Afghanistan in the late 70's and early 80's. Also widely accepted is the fact that, after that particular conflict, Pakistani intelligence, in league with the CIA, continued to handle and groom these extremists and stage-manage their sporadic attacks around the world in order to conjure up the modern "Islamic terror threat".

Several mainstream media outlets and US government officials have stated that Osama bin laden was a CIA asset who was used to funnel money to these extremists and oversee the establishment of militant training camps, all under the control of Western agents.

A French intelligence report, carried by the mainstream press, stated that Osama Bin Laden met with a CIA agent in the American hospital in Dubai two months before the 9/11 attacks.

Everyone knows, (or should) that the Bush government escorted members of Bin Laden's family out of the US on September 11th 2001. We have all even been treated to a well-researched movie about the long standing ties between Bush senior and the US oil cartels and the bin laden family.

And finally, several mainstream media outlets, quoting official government sources, have reported that Osama bin Laden probably died many years ago.

Given just these basic facts, the tip of the iceberg of the evidence, how can anyone still believe that the US is actually fighting a "war on terror" to "safeguard our freedoms" rather than a war of conquest and empire expansion, and still lay claim to their sanity? I mean, is the proposition so hard to digest? Remember history class? It's not like this is the first time a group of power mad Westerners got together and tried to conquer as much of the world as possible. Really, the only way the "war on terror" as described by the Bush government et al could appear any more ridiculous is if Ronald McDonald were to start giving White House press briefings. Then again, if a Mr Magoo look alike has sufficed over the past 8 years to convince many people of the reality of a "worldwide Islamic terror threat", then maybe Ronald isn't such a bad idea, at least from the Bush government's perspective.


Speaking of Mr Magoo, his ideological (and possibly body) double in the CIA Director Michael Hayden, seems to have understood that the US government's Islamic terror threat fable is beginning to wear a little thin. To forestall the social unpleasantries that might accompany any further break down in belief, Hayden, citing no evidence whatsoever, recently warned that the American people faced a new and unprecedented threat - "Western-looking" Islamic terrorists. Yes indeed, the once simple check-list for IDing a "terrorist" - medium dark skin, fuzzy beard, speaking funny, white thing on head and sandals - has become infinitely more complex. Look around you. Do you see a white male or female of European descent? Better contact the FBI, your freedoms may be in danger.

You see, there is no limit to the nonsense that these "reality creators" will attempt to pass off on the general public. If they think you'll buy it, they're gonna try and sell it to you, and with the tripe that you've swallowed for the past 8 years, who can blame them? Still, while we await the debut of the "Western-looking Arab terrorists", we can continue to tune our reality reading instruments on the "Arab-looking" ones, like Mr. Magoo for example. Recently, BBSC (British BS Corporation), along with their ideological counterparts throughout the bordello that is the mainstream media, treated us to one of several missives from the much loved cartoon character:

Al-Qaeda deputy calls for attacks

An audio message attributed to al-Qaeda's deputy leader, Ayman Zawahiri, has called for attacks on American and Israeli interests.

The voice, not confirmed as Zawahiri's, urged retaliation for Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip. [...]

No specific targets are mentioned, but the voice accuses Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan for forming a "satanic alliance" with Israel and the US to blockade the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

So let's break this one down. The title attempts to get us all worked up: "Al-Qaeda deputy calls for attacks". That's pretty categoric. Then we read a little further and realise that the "al-Qaeda deputy" could not spare his entire body for this latest transmission, just a small part of him, only his voice to be precise. But wait, did we say it was Ayman Zawahiri's voice? What we meant to say was that it was a voice that has been attributed, by parties unknown, to Ayman Zawahiri (who himself has never been confirmed).

Even the BBSC appears less than committed on this one, and ends up referring only to "the voice". Maybe Zawahiri should take his cue from the BBSC here and officially change his name to "The Voice". He would definitely garner more respect (even from me) if all future transmissions were described as coming from "The Voice". "The Voice today threatened to smite the infidels...", that kind of thing. Anyway, even if their report was a little weak, the BBSC made sure to add a nice picture of the person to whom "the voice" is attributed, yet not confirmed (and never will be) just in case anyone starts to suspect this particular voice doesn't have a face. It does, it's just that the voice and the face have never been attributed to each other, and neither have been confirmed as existing independently of each other. That's just the way it is in the crazy world of Islamic terrorism. So what we have here, despite the categoric title, is a disembodied voice that someone has attributed to a person called Ayman Zawahiri and which says things that, strangely enough, dovetail nicely with the claims of the war on terror mongers in the US, Israeli and British governments, and that's the main point anyway. Now, your sanity should be telling your something here, but hold off on the judgment just yet.

The problem is that this is but one example of the repeated "core evidence" presented to you over the past 8 years for the reality of a "world wide Islamic terror network" that is determined to attack all infidels. Of course, no one can deny the reality of the murderous attacks of 9/11, Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005, but what is very clearly in question here is the identity of the authors of those attacks, because evidence presented by "a voice" (or a clearly faked video tape) on the internet is no evidence at all.

In fact, when you look at it, the people who proclaim the reality of the "Islamic terror threat" have presented very little in the way of verifiable evidence to back up their claims. Ever. The main body of their evidence takes the form of the "terror attacks" that have and continue to be carried out on civilians in Western and Middle Eastern countries, attacks that are however never fully or impartially investigated and invariably leave many troubling questions.

"No-one has claimed to have carried out the attack, but Iraqi and US security officials are blaming al-Qaeda in Iraq."

Assuming you listen to or read the mainstream news, how often have you heard or read this phrase over the past 7 years? And how often did you accept it as fact? This and other mysterious attributions of blame have come to define and underpin the entire war on terror, not merely in Iraq but in the other US and Israeli dominated "theaters of conflict" such as Afghanistan and Israel/Palestine.

On the 8th March 2008, yet another bomb exploded in a crowded market place in Baghdad killing 68 civilians and wounding many more, and yet again we were told that "al-Qaeda in Iraq" was to blame. As in every other "al-Qaeda" attack, no evidence was provided for this claim, and the US military itself has stated that the foreign fighters of which "al-Qaeda in Iraq" is allegedly comprised do not exist.

You see, even the US government and military realise that the bombings and murders in Iraq that have claimed the lives of more than 1 million Iraqis over the past 4 years cannot reasonably be ascribed to any real Iraqi insurgency, because the real Iraqi insurgency is made up of the very civilians that are being murdered in the bombings! Hence the need for a shadowy group called "al-Qaeda in Iraq" on which to pin the blame, a group that never speaks except in the form of anonymous internet postings or crassly faked video tapes. So if "al-Qaeda in Iraq" does not in fact exist, who is carrying out the bombings?

Before we get to that, allow me to get a little personal.

Ask any intellectually challenged Western citizen (of which there are many, particularly in America) what the capital of Greece is and they are likely to say "France", but ask him for the name of the war being fought by the US and its allies and he will give you the correct answer - "the war on terror". This is due to the knowledge, or lack thereof, that the capital of Greece is not and never has been understood as necessary to the average Joe's survival or honor, despite the fact that he may well have come across it many times in his life. Such information is not processed by or held in that part of the brain that deals with simplistic black and white, fear-based fight or flight responses. The "war on terror" and what it means to the average Joe infidel however is.

The phrase is useful to our warmongering psychopathic leaders because it provokes a knee-jerk response from Joe, and also extracts his "permission" to pursue a no holds barred war on a concept - terrorism. The political elite are sure that the average Joe is too stupid to consider the concepts behind a war on terrorism. The political elite manipulate him into accepting the simplistic, false reality and Joe unwittingly accepts the more deviant reality.

When he is threatened (or is made to be believe so), Joe's response is predictable, "If Bin Laden were here I'd kick his ass and bury him at ground Zero and go every day to take a piss on his grave," as one New Yorker quipped.

Joe does not like the idea that he is being screwed over in any way, by anyone. That state of mind is certainly useful to the agenda of the Empire builders to present the current threat as being posed by foreigners, and as a 'reaction machine' Joe will vent his spleen in an uncompromising way at anyone he believes to be a threat to all he holds dear. For Joe, being told that someone is stealing his beer and being told that some foreign country is threatening his way of life provokes the same reaction (possibly because a large part of Joe's way of life is beer).

This predictable fear-based reaction from ordinary people is the substance that has driven America's imperial expansion for many years. The architects of empire have milked it mercilessly.

Yet this tendency of the man in the street (and I include here all levels of Western society regardless of whether or not they know that the capital of Greece is in fact Germany) to get all Pavlovian can work both ways and is therefore a dangerous game for the psychopathic elite to play.

The day that the average Joe realises that he has been lied to, that, horror of horrors, his own government has lied to him, stolen his liberties and cynically squandered the lives of his fellow countrymen and women, Joe's basic fear-based reaction will be redirected, the lack of fuzzy beards and sandals will be irrelevant. All that is needed is for someone to explain to Joe, in simple black and white terms, the facts of the matter. This time no deceit or withholding of information will be necessary. The Truth is always best served pure and simple.

So, let's get pure and simple...

Part II tomorrow.

[Can't wait!!]

Friday, April 04, 2008

WooHoo!! States Show Some Spine on Real ID

Declan McCullagh
CNet News

WASHINGTON--In the long-running Real ID staring match, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ended up being the first to blink.

Real ID compliance
Source: US Government
This map, updated earlier Wednesday by Homeland Security, shows all states as green--meaning no new air travel or federal building hassles on May 11. Current hassles will continue. The next deadline is December 31, 2009.

Homeland Security announced Wednesday that all 50 states and the District of Columbia will be technically Real ID-compliant by the May 11, 2008 deadline--even though many states actually have rejected the concept and have zero plans to embrace a national ID card.

This means Americans will face no new hassles when using their drivers licenses to enter federal buildings or fly on airplanes starting on May 11. That's a good thing.

But the way this turned out is so odd it's worth repeating. States including New Hampshire, Maine, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Washington, and Montana have enacted laws saying "hell no we'll never comply with Real ID." And Homeland Security officials carefully ignored those public votes of condemnation, instead pretending that those states really intend to acquiesce by the next major deadline of December 31, 2009. (See our special report on Real ID from earlier this year.)

"Now they've got 18 months to actually finish the process of being able to issue the cards that will meet the requirements," Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told a small group of reporters and bloggers here on Wednesday. "We will have to watch this because the one thing that will be important is for a state not to be dilatory in completing the process."

That may have been a more serious threat a few years ago, when Chertoff was beginning his defense of the Real ID Act, which became law as part of a must-pass tsunami relief and Iraq emergency appropriations bill in 2005.

Now, however, state officials realize that Homeland Security is more likely to back down than not. The first sign of this came when the agency decided to treat a request for an extension past May 11 as a formal agreement to comply with all Real ID rules. The second came when Homeland Security retreated to its fallback position: even a symbolic gesture on the part of a governor amounted to full compliance.

A good example of this dynamic is what happened in the last few days involving Maine, a state that has rejected Real ID in no uncertain terms, and was the only will-have-trouble-at-airports state as of this morning. Its legislation approved last year says that it "refuses to implement the Real ID Act and thereby protest the treatment by Congress and the president of the states as agents of the federal government."

Maine nevertheless asked the feds not to penalize its travelers. Stewart Baker, Homeland Security assistant secretary for policy, replied in a letter that if Maine "is prepared to commit" to embracing Real ID by 5 p.m. on April 2, "we will grant an extension conditioned upon performance of these commitments." (The commitments Baker requested include using a Homeland Security identity verification system, using facial recognition technology so someone can't get two licenses, and so on.)

In response, Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, wrote back to Baker saying in part:

I will seek legislation to halt Maine's current practice of issuing licenses to those not present lawfully in the United States.

I will submit legislation, which includes a funding source and appropriations, that will adopt three changes in Maine's licensing processes:

Maine will enter into an agreement with USCIS and utilize the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program to verify DHS documents presented by non-citizens.

Maine will begin capturing and maintaining photographs of each individual applying for a license or state identification card, even if no license is issued.

It worked. Maine got a green check mark, and its licenses will continue to be valid for federal purposes after May 11--even though Baldacci was, for the most part, merely promising to introduce legislation. And the Maine legislators, who soundly rebuked the Bush administration by nearly unanimous votes last year, will be the ones to vote on it.

Last month, Montana took a similar approach. Its governor, Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, has repeatedly denounced Real ID and even called on his counterparts (PDF) in other states to oppose it. But Homeland Security dutifully accepted a relatively hostile letter from Schweitzer--saying he will never "authorize implementation of the Real ID Act"--as good enough.

Now that the May 11 deadline has become effectively meaningless, the next major deadline is December 31, 2009, at which point Homeland Security currently says it will require "certification that the state has achieved the benchmarks set forth in the Material Compliance Checklist."

In political terms, that's a long time--and a new presidential administration--away. Some opponents of Real ID are already predicting that no state will actually comply with the deadline, or, alternatively, the next administration will find a way to quietly dispose of Real ID without much fanfare.

"DHS is not in power here," said Jim Harper, the director of information policy studies at the free-market Cato Institute. "The states are in power. DHS has done all it could, but from a position of weakness...DHS put the best face it could on its capitulation to states with backbone. A lot more states will recognize that they own this issue, they control this debate."'s Anne Broache contributed to this report from Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Osama Under the Bed! (and other fairytales)

Forget Osama. Here's the thing you should really be scared of

Blue Ibis


Robert O'Harrow Jr.
Washington Post
Wed, 02 Apr 2008 11:57 EDT

Intelligence centers run by states across the country have access to personal information about millions of Americans, including unlisted cellphone numbers, insurance claims, driver's license photographs and credit reports, according to a document obtained by The Washington Post.

One center also has access to top-secret data systems at the CIA, the document shows, though it's not clear what information those systems contain.

Dozens of the organizations known as fusion centers were created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to identify potential threats and improve the way information is shared. The centers use law enforcement analysts and sophisticated computer systems to compile, or fuse, disparate tips and clues and pass along the refined information to other agencies. They are expected to play important roles in national information-sharing networks that link local, state and federal authorities and enable them to automatically sift their storehouses of records for patterns and clues.

Though officials have publicly discussed the fusion centers' importance to national security, they have generally declined to elaborate on the centers' activities. But a document that lists resources used by the fusion centers shows how a dozen of the organizations in the northeastern United States rely far more on access to commercial and government databases than had previously been disclosed.

Those details have come to light at a time of debate about domestic intelligence efforts, including eavesdropping and data-aggregation programs at the National Security Agency, and whether the government has enough protections in place to prevent abuses.

The list of information resources was part of a survey conducted last year, officials familiar with the effort said. It shows that, like most police agencies, the fusion centers have subscriptions to private information-broker services that keep records about Americans' locations, financial holdings, associates, relatives, firearms licenses and the like.

Centers serving New York and other states also tap into a Federal Trade Commission database with information about hundreds of thousands of identity-theft reports, the document and police interviews show.

Pennsylvania buys credit reports and uses face-recognition software to examine driver's license photos, while analysts in Rhode Island have access to car-rental databases. In Maryland, authorities rely on a little-known data broker called Entersect, which claims it maintains 12 billion records about 98 percent of Americans.

In its online promotional material, Entersect calls itself "the silent partner to municipal, county, state, and federal justice agencies who access our databases every day to locate subjects, develop background information, secure information from a cellular or unlisted number, and much more."

Police officials said fusion center analysts are trained to use the information responsibly, legally and only on authorized criminal and counterterrorism cases. They stressed the importance of secret and public data in rooting out obscure threats.

[OH, where have we heard that before??]

"There is never ever enough information when it comes to terrorism" said Maj. Steven G. O'Donnell, deputy superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police. "That's what post-9/11 is about."

Government watchdogs, along with some police and intelligence officials, said they worry that the fusion centers do not have enough oversight and are not open enough with the public, in part because they operate under various state rules.

"Fusion centers have grown, really, off the radar screen of public accountability," said Jim Dempsey, vice president for public policy at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a nonpartisan watchdog group in the District. "Congress and the state legislatures need to get a handle over what is going on at all these fusion centers."

Fusion centers were formed in the wake of revelations that counterterrorism and law enforcement authorities missed or neglected evidence that the Sept. 11 attackers were in the United States while preparing to strike.

Because they are organized by the states, the centers have developed in different ways. Some are small operations focused on crime, while others are full-fledged criminal and counterterrorism operations. From 2004 to 2007, state and local governments received $254 million from the Department of Homeland Security in support of the centers, which are also supported by employees of the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies. In some cases, they work with the U.S. Northern Command, the Pentagon operation involved in homeland security.

The centers have been criticized for being secretive, but authorities said that this is largely for security reasons. Activists want to know more about their activities, the kinds of information they collect and how the information is being used.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a lawsuit in Virginia last month seeking the release of records about communication among state fusion center officials and the departments of Homeland Security and Justice. Marc Rotenberg, the privacy center's executive director, said his group was responding to a proposed state law that would sharply limit access to records about the fusion centers' activity.

Sue Reingold, deputy program manager in the Information Sharing Environment office, a federal operation with a mandate to improve information sharing, said state and local officials "must have access to a broad array of classified and unclassified information" to perform their mission. But Reingold said that an "important part of this is appropriate training and oversight that is well understood and transparent to the public."

"Fusion centers are vital to state and local efforts to fight crime, including terrorism," she said.

The list includes a wide variety of data resources along with software that finds patterns and displays links among people.

Most of the centers have subscriptions to Accurint, ChoicePoint's Autotrack or LexisNexis. These information brokers are Web-based services that deliver instant access to billions of records on individuals' homes, cars, phone numbers and other information.

Some of the centers link to records of currency transactions and almost 5 million suspicious-activity reports filed by financial institutions with the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Massachusetts and other states rely on LocatePlus, an information broker that claims that it provides "the most comprehensive cell phone, unlisted and unpublished phone database in the industry." The state also taps a private system called ClaimSearch that includes a "nationwide database that provides information on insurance claims, including vehicles, casualty claims and property claims," the document said.

The center in Ohio has access, through authorized users, to an FBI "secret level repository," the document said.

Rhode Island reported that it has access, also through the FBI, to "Top Secret resources" such as "Proton, which allows queries of CIA databases," the document shows. Officials at the Rhode Island State Police, FBI and CIA declined to discuss the system and the kinds of information it contains.

In addition to databases run by Entersect, Maryland fusion center analysts have access to wage and property records, corporate charters, utility records and a host of government files, including criminal justice information and traffic tickets. Jason Luckenbaugh, the center's chief of staff, acknowledged concern about the government's ability to tap into new sources of information. But he said the databases enable analysts to fight crime and protect against terrorism, and help local authorities do the same. "We're not trying to threaten them in any way," he said.