Saturday, October 11, 2014

On Science Bullying

I found myself overdue for a good talk on Global Warming, and someone popped in with a comment about it at our Reason table. (Part of the reason for the comment was the bringing up of the theme of “Bad Science” – I was informed that the topic at the table was to be GOS - Good Ol’ Science, so I was surprised at this, though “Bad Science” commentators, like Ben Goldacre of the Guardian, often have a good point to make.)
Climate Change, or Global Warming is often brought up in the media and often by politicians. You would think that people should talk about this all the time. As a matter of fact, I’ve heard some people say that they are afraid of it, or are very concerned about it. People should talk. It isn’t good to be afraid, especially about things that aren’t personally threatening you, and it isn’t good to be afraid to talk about your fears or concerns, ever. But that’s not how it is. 
Lots of people love science: There’s no doubt about that they love the practice of science, they love hearing about it, and they love the things that science offers us, including the technical improvements and discoveries we share in our modern life. Perhaps it seems reasonable to some, since science is the societal boon that it is, that some sciences can and should be singled out to become political propaganda campaigns, to indicate to us that they should become our purpose in life, first to fear and react to the dangers science poses to us, and secondly to reorganize our society in ways that would alleviate that fear.
Case in point, a science called Climate Science, with roots in other sciences, such as Meteorology, Chemistry and Geophysics, becomes selected as one of the causes célèbres of the modern, or ‘Green’ environmental movement, and simultaneously by the population control movement. As such it has taken on a certain sheen and political character that is unmatched by other fields of science. Am I the only one who finds this suspicious? Why is there a science we now have to vote into office? Is it because this science, alone, predicts doom, where others only show the way forward? Perhaps - On this I am willing to obtain other arguments. It would be quite facile, I admit, to believe that the Climate Change movement is merely a new kind of fascism, but for the calls to silence those who disagree with the aims and goals of those who are the motivated believers.
We now have calls for global action by United Nations personnel, ostensibly because of the Precautionary Principle. They could be calling for the world to eliminate hunger or war, or hatred between nations, but they have decided to aim low for some reason, they are asking for carbon pricing (which will raise money for governments, obviously). The governments can promise to hand the money back to the people, but the mechanism is clear, it’s another tax on someone, and benefits world governments, who are the members and sponsors of the UN. Good for them, I suppose. Alternatively, countries could elect to eliminate emissions in other ways, but some of these could cause societal dislocations. [Case in point, the Peruvian government, because of UN imposed rules, has elected to issue a pair of solar panels and 3 low-wattage light bulbs to each house in the Andes the UN rules prevents them from extending the grid to.]
I’m all for elevating the hard work and facts of Climate Science, just like any other scientific area, but the political movement for political change due to global warming, and the media exaggerations of the claims that scientists make, have contributed to an atmosphere (Honest, that’s not a pun.) in which people simply don’t feel as free to talk anymore. There are lots of things I haven’t said about this on my side, and lots, I’m sure, on other sides that need to be reflected, but I wanted to simply set a tone for individuals to talk about what they believe and why they believe what they do free from bullying. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Scientific Iterative Warfare

We seem to experience a long train of historical wars in Gaza, first related to Intifada, others to rocket fire, and now, even to kidnapping of teenagers. These are all historical events, which by themselves were notable, but what causes the war, the fact that it inevitably repeats itself continually? In particular, what is the meaning of the repeated Israel attacks on Gaza, which inevitably result in killing hundreds of civilians?

From the Gaza side, the fighting is simple and understandable, since there is an Israeli blockade of Gaza. The Israeli side complains, however, that the Palestinians don't accept the status quo. There is no recognition of the Jewish state, the State of Israel. The Palestinians on the other hand, composed of Sunni Muslims, believe that Israel has gone beyond its rights in many ways, and is dedicated to their destruction.

When Israel conducts its war against the Palestinians, as a matter of fact, it has this meaning, "We will kill you." They don't have to say it, of course, they just have to kill hundreds or thousands every time they attack, and then obtain a cease fire, so that the message will be delivered to every Palestinian man, woman and child.

Alternatively, the Israelis could kill all. This is clear. A superior military force usually gets to assert its own conditions on a settlement. Its easy to imagine that most Israelis would not want to kill 1.8 million Gazans, however they might like to permanently defeat Gaza militarily. If Gaza was defeated militarily in such a way that the people were humiliated and enough of their rights taken away so that they were unable to exercise the right to elect a government freely, and this could be enforced as a permanent status quo, there could be no danger of Gazans ever again demanding anything at all. This has been tried already, of course, and the ultimate failure of armed occupation, is the reason why Gaza is self governing now, instead of being run by the IDF, as it used to.

This is the meaning of the 0.1% death toll of every Israeli military incursion on civilians. It simply states, "We could choose to enslave you, but even though we want to, we can't, so we're here doing the best thing instead. We'll just kill a few thousand of you, enough so that you each know someone killed or injured, and when you agree to a cease fire unconditionally, we'll stop. If you don't agree to the cease fire unconditionally, of course, we might not stop, and the number of dead among you might grow, so think hard before you make any reciprocal demands."

It's all about scientific permanent war. What could be simpler?

Monday, June 10, 2013

What is Politics?

A normal part of the process of becoming an adult in society is to question. Individuals may eventually stop questioning for two main reasons, either they believe they know all the answers, or they begin to fear the consequences of asking.

Generally these low-inquiry people turn out one of two ways: They either eventually become arrogant, dismissing the points of views they haven’t already agreed with, or they become prepossessing, believing that almost any assumptions they make are probably correct.

Typical responses of persons who have been bullied intellectually to new information are, “I need to ask someone about it,” and, “You’re only saying what might be true for you.” In other words, strong disbelief, or distrust of new information is likely to become a personality trait of a person who is mentally non-acquisitive.
Another possibility is the person who starts out as a normal acquisitive teenager can make an assumption that acquisition of information will maintain a certain form throughout his or her life. This thinking pattern is typical of cult members. One believes that one has found a particular source of truth that outweighs all others, and that following that truth, or the source of it, will cause them to become successful and possibly superior to others who do not have access to the source.

One should note carefully here, that there are almost always at least two distinct levels of cultism: The first level consists of persons who believe that the source discloses a pattern for correctness and success. The second level are those persons who believe that the source discloses patterns of ultimate superiority over others who are unaware or less indoctrinated.

In order for cultism to work well, ordinary acquisitiveness has to be turned off. Either the person who is normally acquisitive is warned that his ‘questioning’ is counter-productive, or led to understood that in order for indoctrination to proceed, questioning will not be tolerated. This can be understood as ‘protocol’, or fairness to others. Another technique which is commonly used is that only the leader is allowed to ask questions.

Cultism is a form of politics. It describes for people a way that society ought to be, or how its members ought to be, including how they should act, thus fulfilling the main role of politics.

In a totally free society, politics would be available to anyone. However, individuals and societies today cannot really be described as free, with various tendencies outlawed, in order that natural political contention can be manipulated by the powerful.

It is important to note that all politics has a dual nature: While first, and foremost, politics is, by definition, a concern, “of the people” (which is, after all, only a ‘general’ definition describing a ‘general’ sense of understanding), politics is also the exact concern about the creation, use, maintenance, manipulation and destruction of all power in society.

I fully understand that my opinion about politics is not the only one in existence. We often (un-philosophically) refer to other persons who believe that politics is one of a dozen or so different things as “Idealists”. This includes people that believe that politics is a way to protect the Constitution, people who believe that politics is a wedge driven between different parts of the population, people who believe that politics is a wedge driven between the people and their ruler, etc. etc.

My point is that politics is not a simple little pretty thing we can read with their cereal in the newspapers every day, and vote about every couple of years. It is much more fundamental and serious than that. Regardless of how excellent or depraved the men who form constitutions are, politics means only about one thing, the power to act, which can be seen as what powers exist in contracts, and secondly, what powers exist in laws.

Notice, I am exhibiting a prejudice here: I believe that for something such as a law to exist, there had to be something that naturally preceded it. In this case, an agreement, or contract, “If you leave my fence stand, I won’t tear down your fence,” and “If you don’t kill my family members, I won’t kill yours.”

The concept of Critical Mass leads to understanding how governments are formed. Inequality in relations between individuals of larger and larger successful societies led to the creation of laws, both as a way of ensuring peace, but also in demonstrating the inherent value of the government. The Bible, the Code of Hammurabi, and other documents, illustrate for us the common tendency for civilizations of a certain size to not only institute rule, but also rule by law.

Much can be said about ‘natural law’, ‘common law’, ‘ancestral law’, and the like in explaining how our laws operate and came about, but the ultimate point I want to make is that the laws are either made or acquired, by man, in a state of governance of one kind or another, and that the laws exist regardless of what that governance is called, Republic, Democracy, Monarchy, Oligarchy. All these forms of government are the same in one respect, at least: They utilize the rule of law.

Nor are the government types static, or permanently posed against each other, they morph. (Notice my careful non-use of the word, “evolve”.) Monarchies take on the institutions and ideals of Democracy, Oligarchies are monarchical or socialistic depending on the times, Republics, at the time of their formation, while always Idealist, are either Revolutionary or Nationalistic in nature.

Why do governments tend to morph into other available models? Why is there seem to be no evolution? I recognize one exception to this and that is the Monarchy to Parliamentary Democracy model. Historically, a number of monarchies did eventually turn into Democracies, however I think the reason for this was that Spinoza predicted it. When governments change without a revolution, it is often because of historical force. The War of the Roses in England, and wars of Independence are a common pattern for the establishment of Democracies replacing rule by Monarchy. Another pattern which is not entirely irrelevant is the Lingering Monarchy, such as in Great Britain.

Monarchy and Oligarchy are entirely relevant today. The word, oligarchy means, “rule by the few”, and it describes Communist or totalitarian rule perfectly. Oligarchic rule depends on the state taking on the attributes of a Cult, which involves the leader not just being responsible for making decisions, but making decisions which are inherently perfect and unassailable, and showing wisdom that may be attributed to others by association, a situation where, “close to the leader,” means at least, “smart and capable”.

The effect of Rule by Cult makes it very difficult to destroy an Oligarchy, even if a Democracy is installed to nominally take its place. Over time, due to people’s trust of the familiar, the political elements representing the Cult will gradually become the most powerful.

Governments are accepted by the people when they are loved, they are often revolted against when they are hated. However, that is not the beginning and end of the story: Real life individuals form their attitudes towards their government based on many different criteria, including core beliefs, utilitarianism, the information available to them, comfort and security. All of these constitute the “Cake” of human political consciousness, a Cake of many slices and layers.

The Cake of human political consciousness is similar to many other kinds of consciousness in that it has a “behind-us,” the past, and an “in-front-of-us,” the future, that it always contends with.
To simplify this cake and how it operates, we must now annihilate the parts of it that are unnecessary. These include specifics such as Constitutional Republic, and Dynastic Monarchy and boil everything down to two tendencies, Oligarchy and Democracy.

Political parties are considered a necessary part of Democracy, but they are never Democratic, they are merely Disruptive to the Oligarchy and limiting to the Democracy. When a political party gains ascendancy, the minority is left in a position of suffering and struggle; in at least some sense, the Democracy is ruined since it becomes a 50 or 60 percent democracy, not the 100 percent democracy that was preached and expected. The Republic attempts to circumvent this possibility by introducing the prospect that the ascendancy of a single party may merely be a disruption in a continuing democratic process.

Information plays an important part in creating the presentation of the forms and effects of governance designed to create the proper response among the governed. A common but distasteful name for this is Propaganda, a word with religious roots. Attempts have been made to replace this word with Media, but since a lot of Media makes no attempt at persuasion, the only reasonable synonym to use would be Lobbying, but since Lobbying is reserved for actions done with Politicians, there is want for a better word that would also be a politically correct choice to use in all circumstances.

Persuasive handling and manipulation of information is the key to understanding how political difficulties are handled, how fine lines are crossed, and ambiguities erased. The contradictions between oligarchy and democracy, evidenced by political satisfaction in almost every society is most often masked by persuasive handling and manipulation of information.

Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term meaning the tendency for an individual’s mind to register discomfort with conflicting information about the World. Everyone has it now and then; it is not just something that happens to people whom disagree with you. It occurs in everyday situations of compromise within a family, where one person is asked to sacrifice principles in order to maintain a consensus, for example, and it also commonly occurs in political situations where compromise has been sought among politicians. One knows that the compromise violates principles of his political party, yet one or more trusted political figures has signaled his agreement with the violation. Anyone holding his political beliefs seriously may experience cognitive dissonance until he is able to reconcile the new situation into his political belief system. In this way our political belief system is a lot like an extension of our personal belief system. We understand that politics may be very important to us, perhaps even important to our survival, therefore we are likely to place a similar level of importance and feeling into the political issues we see confronting us as we do to the issues confronting our personal relationships, for example. For some, politics may even be a fully integrated part of their world view, although for others, the importance of politics rises and falls along with the amount of noise it generates in their lives.

This is one key to how oligarchies survive, by the way. In a low-noise political environment, most people care little for politics, so Oligarchy may seem fully logical and coherent with the world view of most individuals in that society.

One could say that Democracy both creates and demands a high level of awareness and participation, which makes life more exciting and informative. People are always concerned about politics because they know they have some input and play a role in the process, even though they may have doubts about why it is such a small one.

Let’s return to the example of the Constitution of the U. S. A. This constitution hides a time-limited President (a type of Oligarch) within its structure. A U.S. president has many of the same prerogatives Monarch’s have during his time in office. He can direct almost every government agency within the framework of laws, and even enter into wars that are limited in scope and duration. Republicanism considers Oligarchy tolerable as long as it falls into a remedial framework of checks and balances, allowing the Constitutional Oligarchy of the Presidency to be removed periodically and in emergencies so that the Pluralistic nature of the society can be preserved. Of course, rule by a President is not the only possibility of Oligarchy inside of a Republic, and when a political party is dominant in Congress, you have the free ability for one tendency to make all laws, and change society in limited ways, as controlled by the Constitution.

A Plurality is really a kind of special interest. While a Plurality may be as large as a majority political party, it consists also of those organizations and groups that navigate local and global power structures, including the Media, in order to achieve their ends.

These are some of the institutional forms of Oligarchy in the U.S.A., each enshrined in the Constitution. However, there are additional non-constitutional ways Oligarchical patterns enter into the government, such as through powerful agencies of Pluralism, such as Lobbies, including Churches, and Lobbies that represent Corporations and foreign powers. By lying under the radar, and controlling Media, Lobbies can deeply influence politics without gaining notice.

Earlier in this article, I discussed how our natural ability to question may be truncated or rendered ineffective in various ways. One can see, how through a variety of social and political structures, individuals ability to pose the right questions about politics may be affected, oftentimes not. Anti-war movements, for example: The tendency for governments to plant “false flags” is often detected by the culture and results in a split society on life and death issues like war, in the case of Vietnam and the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, for example. Not this incident, but the poor manners and statements by the American President, and military actions as well, gradually led to more and more people being opposed to the War, leading to its oddly inopportune ending.

There is no particular Human tendency that causes nations to fight or avoid fighting in wars. Humans are as likely to start war, given a reason, as they are to pursue a strategy of maintaining peace: It all depends on the information. The natural enemy of disinformation is the society itself and its natural inquisitiveness.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Paul Heroux's Huffington Post apology for attacking Iran

This article,  although pretending to be well-reasoned is just one more case of Zionist propaganda against Muslim countries. The West, having drawn the "line in the sand", which is Israel, must work very, very hard to protect their investment above all safety and reason.

What is my evidence that this article is so over the top as to constitute a case of outright propaganda? First the claim that Iran is intransigent regarding the IAEA. It is not, and is cooperating with the IAEA, industriously. One need only read Section A of the latest IAEA Board of Governer's Report to realize this. In addition, Iran has pledged to continue working with the IAEA during the current special mission, which is ongoing. So is Iran instransigent regarding the IAEA? Absolutely not, and the evidence provided by the IAEA proves that it is not with all of Iran's energy and fuel generating stations under regular monitoring and surveillance by that organization.

Mr. Heroux states the painfully obvious, that, "Iran has the right under international law to a peaceful nuclear program (Iran signed the NPT) but considering that it is a very little step to go from nuclear energy to nuclear weapons has a lot of people worried. This boils down to an issue of trust." However, the West has clearly violated that trust beyond all credibility by hurting Iran's economy and imposing sanctions. The sanctions clearly show that Iran's willingness to refrain from developing weapons and submit to inspections is not working, and that it would logically be better off to protect its assets and future the best way it is capable of. The ambiguousness proposed by Mr Heroux is not a proper option. It merely incites the entire world to take sides and propels us towards a possible future Cold War II.

Why am I absolutely sure Mr. Heroux is a Zionist? Because he posted this comment, "When Israel struck Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2006, respectively, the strikes were effective in that neither country developed a nuclear program." Israel is widely believed to be the sixth country to have developed nuclear weapons, according to Wikipedia and other sources. There was never any need for Israel to develop a nuclear program in 2006, since they already had many warheads. The irony in this statement is extremely funny. Israel prepared itself for nuclear victory long before any regional threat emerged against it. This is the "real" reason the 6-day war was so abortive. However, in truth, Israel's neighbors dwarf it. If these neighbors were motivated, not merely interested, in attacking Israel, they could, simply by occupying it. This is the ugly fact against Zionism's threats so often made against other countries. Could Israel (pop. 7.5M)  launch its missiles and destroy much of the World? Sure it could, but it would at the same time, no longer exist if it were occupied by some of the much larger countries, which surround it. These are the real facts of the situation, not facts of Religion, nor facts about imagined weaponry. The United States is in a similar situation. We can, if we like pretty much destroy the entire World. We just need to be motivated. The only escape from this paradigm is to renounce the weapons. But, as in the case of Golem's Ring, we are addicted to them.

Finally, there is the "Blame Iran" argument, "Iran is likely to continue to have an antagonistic policy towards the West, a stance that is reciprocated towards Iran." 1956 saw the overthrow of Iran's democratic government and its replacement by a "Shah". Such interference in other nation's matters hardly ever occurs, but it did in the case of the U.S. vs. Iran, and they have a hard time forgetting it. Iran has taken plenty of opportunities to strengthen ties with the West, but where has it got them?

The absolute ugliness of the stories' pretext that that we are "Iran's victims" is horrible. Iran is the country hurt by Heroux' sanctions, and we would be better off by not punishing nations, but pursuing world peace by allowing all nations to survive peacefully and unmolested. Regardless of Heroux's misplacing the victim in the frog allegory, we must not allow our Xenophobia to force us into becoming such monsters as he is describing.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Islamic Republic and the IAEA Swill

Hello, I've been away for a while, but I have a bone to pick this week. I noticed on the Republican debate that Ron Paul denounced IAEA  Board of Governor’s statement , so I wanted to read it myself.

I think this document, based on the "Alleged Studies Documentation", provided to the IAEA by Israel, more than any other I've seen, shows how the process works here: The incredibly rich will always try to use the incredibly influential to influence the attitudes of the common person.

Here is the IAEA board of governers, baking a half-truthful account of how Iran has cooperated fully with them in almost every aspect of their work in recent years, and then presenting a weak attempt at updating Israel's old case that the fact that they were involved in nuclear weapons work in 2003 must prove that somehow they must still be doing it.

I can go into more details, but the bias of Section C and the Annex speaks for itself. Section A basically shows how the Iran has played by the rules and has had relatively good success in its nuclear development. The last parts of the document relies heavily on fallacy, and generally tries to force the point that having evidence of activity in the past is sufficient ground for eternal and infinite suspicion. The coup de gras, for me, though is the final graphic, which basically digests all the suspicion-based and unproven points made in the document regarding high-technology for nuclear or dual-use either developed in Iran, or taught about in Iranian Universities, such as fluid dynamics, and compares them with major defense-related non-nuclear weapons applications. My point about this graphic is that it is not a graphic about high technology for defense, it is a graphic that only deals with a few technologies which relate to nuclear weapons, therefore, the non-nuclear intersections are therefore guaranteed to be few.

I think this document has proven to me, more than any other I have seen, how money always follows politics and information, and you will always have individuals willing to make any kind of statement, or case, no matter how baseless, in order to influence common people to invest their blood and treasure in warfare, even against people who are not threatening and even though the benefits never outweigh the costs nor the risks. The only positive side in this is always profit, and only for those with a large enough share of the wealth to benefit well, the 1%.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I saw Iranium (the movie). It was basically a talking head/pot boiler anti-Iran and anti-Islam statement that contrasts the American and Israeli nut jobs (the good guys) against Iranian politicians past and present (the bad guys).

Things I liked about it are: Since it is openly pro-America/Israel, it doesn't try to make the Shah into a saint, like some anti-Iranian films I've seen do, and the film tells the truth about practically every nation in the world preferring Iran to the US/Israel axis, at least on the principle that they are good guys and don't interfere with other countries.

The film also doesn't claim that Israel is that great; it merely states that Iran is so evil, that America should go to war with it by itself. On the negative side, besides only representing the views of the whack jobs, the film substitutes facts and footage from Al-Queda style terrorism in other countries (not even Shia) as substantiating their claims against Iran. I love the fact that one of the "Death to America" chants near the end was all women, while the film tries to make the case that Islam and Iran are anti-female.

The film is so one-sided, that it may actually recruit more whack jobs, but on the other hand it might also be a good hoot for people who know who these whack jobs are and understand the motivations and history behind American foreign policy.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The State of the Union Address

I think that President Obama did a lot of talking about what will occur over the next year and the problems confronting us as a nation. For me it was gratifying to have a president that was in command of so many facts and who understood the importance of each of these issues. What he said was an accomplishment was an accomplishment, in my opinion, but the majority of the speech was about the problems America needs to face now, and can't afford to ignore through partisan bickering.

I believe the spending cuts will result in an additional $130 billion dollars per year off the deficit for three years, based on my own calculations. I'm sure the net result can be estimated differently by different people, but the CBO will be coming out with its figures for the Congress sometime soon. If you don't like the president's proposal, it is like you believe nothing is better than something, which as a realist and not a defeatist, I simply can't believe in.

The curtain is not closed on health care reform. We will see plenty of action on this, and even if the Republicans are successful in their denial strategy, a filibuster will not stop passage of a final bill in the Senate.

In routes like Los Angeles to San Fransisco, driving is not a good alternative - it takes all day to drive. The bullet train is needed badly. Not having it as part of our infrastructure cripples our future. The states know the economy the best, and they are crying for it.

Student loan forgiveness is subsidized education, that's all. Dropping the loans after a period of good payment, is not only an incentive to make the payments, but an improvement in our higher education. I realize it's typical for a Conservative to say, "If I had to pay, everyone should always pay," but times change and so does the importance of higher education to our economy. We have an "intelligence infrastructure", which in the future will need more careful tending by our government than it has in the past.

I don't think that the State of the Union was a perfect moment, but taken together with his bipartisan initiative, it is like a "perfect storm" of movement, speech and intention to help our country in it's time of need.