Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Problem Solving Skills -- Note 10 -- Letters; 'Bibliography'

     "American Revolutionary Scoop:  U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia Steps in DooDoo Three Times and Nobody Says 'Shit!'

     A couple days before the election, a small article in the S.F. Comical quoted Justice Scalia's comments on some cases currently before the Court.  He openly expressed his prejudice on the issue in these cases.  He further admonished his audience that the Constitution gives us no such right as that for which petitioners are seeking Court protection. 
     Well, excuse me, Judge, but you better back your black-robed ass up!  Back way up!  With all due respect, you professional pinhead, you're missing major points of the legal arrangement, here, t'wit:
     One - An officer of the court is never to discuss a case pending before the court.  This is a fundamental rule of jurisprudence.  You blew it.
     Two - You say your alleged mind is made up on this issue before you've heard the case.  This so special.  Why then would we need to take the time or go to the expense of hearing these cases if you already know what's right?  The Supreme Court could close, the Justices and all that staff could pack up and go home, saving us taxpayers a bundle.  Homeless veterans could then take shelter in all those fancy buildings you vacate, with the carpets, air conditioning and call girls.
     Three - This is the important part.  In your long and illustrious career 'reading the law' is it possible you missed this point about our Constitution, supreme law of the land?  This point about the Constitution (indeed the point about the whole American revolution) is this:
     The Constitution does not give us our Rights.  The government does not give us our Rights.  No judge anywhere gives us our Rights.  What the Constitution does do is regulate what lawful government can do and cannot do.
     This point is most clearly and emphatically made in Amendment IX:  "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain Rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the People."
     How could you miss so simple and clear a statement, Justice Scalia?  Do you think it unimportant?  Do you see it as not binding somehow?  Are you out of your overeducated fucking mind?  Are you hypnotized beyond your own comprehension?  Do they do like selective lobotomies there in the rarefied strata you inhabit?
     We retain the Right to discreet and objective justice.  We retain the Right to public servants who daily exhibit their awareness of their place.
     These seem such uncomplicated requirements, yet you've given us magpie running in tight circles to the right.
     Bad justice!  Bad, bad, bad!"

     -- Rick Weddle
~1984, letter to Justice Scalia, and printed in the Memo, a bi-weekly 'shopper' in Ft. Bragg, CA

* * *

An Addition for
Webster's Collegiate

"Dear Editor,
     I figure if we humans are going to allow 'larger forces' to snuff out the one viable biosphere in the known universe, we should at least have a name for these ubercritters.
     New word:

     corpirate  (kor - pi - ret)  n.  Latin corp, body, and Latin pirata, pirate or the practice and practitioners of illegal violence on the seas and shores.  (1) Any of numerous members of the synthetic organism, corporation, as individuals or in aggregate, or any of these man-made life forms' human appendages (stockholders, employees, advocates, subverted governments, etc.).  Ubiquitous and dominant life form on planet earth, its salient feature being warfare [for gain] against individual humans, groups, resources, the biosphere as a whole; responsible for our planet and all its contents now being casualties of war, but specifically and intentionally not responsible to anything; the root cause of terrorism....Adj. Of, or like, the corpirate organism, as the structure of organizations modeled after the corpirate (civic, service, fraternal, religious and political partes, their operatives, actions and philosophies).

--  Rick Weddle, Kapa'au
Hawai'i Island Journal, May 1-15, 2004

* * *

Suggested 'Required' Reading
[While not a comprehensive list, this might point anyone interested in the 'right direction.']

'Conspiracy for Empire; Big Business, Corruption and the Politics of Imperialism in America, 1876 - 1907'
--  Luzviminda Bartolome Francisco, Jonathan Shepard Fast

'Confessions of An Economic Hit Man'
--  John Perkins

'Theodore Rex'
--  ?

'Seven Pillars of Wisdom'
--  T. E. Lawrence [of Arabia]

'Dams and Other Disasters; A Hundred Years of the Army Corps of Engineers in Public Works'
--  Arthur E. Morgan

'The Sovereign State of ITT'
--  ?

'The Proud Tower'
--  Barbara W. Tuchmann

'A People's History of the United States'
--  Howard Zinn

Problem Solving Skills -- Note 9 -- The Final War; Surprise!

     Every expert in the arts of conflict, past and present, emphasizes the importance of the element of surprise.  With this element, superior numbers and overwhelming force can be defeated; history is full of celebrated examples.  Surprising an opponent is achieved by camouflage, covert action, sneak attack, or diversion, etc.  Using ruse and subterfuge to hide your own strengths and intentions, using diversion to obscure your positions and goals to confuse your opponent are famously successful strategies in war, business, and politics.  Surprise maximizes the chances of victory, both to reap the benefits of conquest and to minimize the cost to one's own side.  The success of this principle is so prevalent, we can call it the Rule:  Victory Goes To The Most Devious.  The triumph of the Devious is so obvious, almost invariable, it's become a given in open conflict.  In Human vs. Human contests, everyone seeks to command the element of surprise against their foe, and to guard against the foe's use of it, to be vigilant and quick with counter-measure.

     How much more certain victory is, then, if one engages an opponent in a conflict which is not even recognized as conflict by that opponent.  A secret victory might be quickly consolidated and enforced by the victors with little notice taken by the 'target,' the victors assuming as camouflage the guise of those so conquered by stealth.  The conquered may be convinced by Diversion that they are themselves identical with their conquerors.  The victors in such a covert, even bloodless operation, having achieved dominance, are then free to exploit, undetected, the 'conquered' people, their allegiance, their labor, lands and other resources, and to obtain tribute as a matter of the course of conquest.  Once dominant, such victors are also free then to write 'history' as they wish, and to prescribe further definition of anything and everything, also in accordance with their own primary interests, and to further their goals.  Thus, those so covertly conquered may have their governments quietly subverted, their markets manipulated, their media supervised and censored, their institutions of higher learning 'sponsored' into compliance, their very thinking and ways of Life influenced, slanted for the conquerors' benefit, all to the victors' growing advantage, all at the growing expense and with the cooperation of those so conquered.

     Here, the prudent victors, in a kind of assimilation-by-confusion, might continue to obscure their original takeover, encouraging the conquered to identify with their new, covert captors, and to miss entirely the discontinuity between their pre-conflict and post-conflict circumstances.  This 'spell' might be reinforced, its reach extended by further engaging those already subjugated in more violent, open conflicts with other Humans...and by exploiting and aggravating any simple differences between Peoples (race, sex, class, culture, religion, country of origin, political 'parties,' etc.)...the ultimate Diversions.

     Surprise!  This is not a hypothetical, fantasy conquest;  it has in fact already, in the United States of America.  The covert coup accomplished by the Corpirations during the American 'Civil' War, and as announced so clearly by Abraham Lincoln in 1865, has changed nearly everything about the world we live in.  When the Corpirations began 'calling the shots,' the distinction between their 'principles' and those of Humans became of paramount importance.  Yet little notice of this crucial distinction has been made, then or since.  It is fundamental to the Corpirate interests that this difference remains obscure, that their interests continue to be defined as identical with ours in the minds of Humans.  Obscuring this distinction works to camouflage the original coup and its perpetrators, continuing on through today.  Observing that in fact there is such a distinction immediately makes several things starkly clear, among them:

     1.  The distinction between Corpirate interests and the interests of Humans does in fact exist, and is so vast as to be the salient feature of our present 'civilization.'  The sole expressed 'principle' of the Corpiration, maximizing next quarter's earnings, disallows any Human sensibility, denies any Human Right which comes into conflict with it.  A Corpirate officer or agent is required by law to make decisions which maximize profits ONLY, to the specific exclusion of all other 'principles.'  This has resulted in rife examples of things which make so many millions of dollars, no one seems to care or notice they make no sense (the Nuclear Mistake, for instance).  The presence in our midst of nuclear power generation is one of the foremost of these glaring examples.  We have largely come to think of nukes as somehow necessary to meet 'our energy demands,' widely ignoring that they are history's most dangerous way to boil water, and history's most costly, both immediately, and in the Long Run, for us Humans and for the rest of our Biosphere.  A Corpirate officer or agent must therefore remove themselves from Human sensibility far enough to execute their duties to the Profit Imperative, rendering themselves fundamentally Unhuman in the process.  A nuke meltdown is not an accident;  it's a mistake.

     This Unhumanizing process has been the main contributor to our catalog of 'Synthetic Problems,' mentioned previously.  Yet we Humans have so closely identified ourselves with the Corpirate organism, we readily assume the blame for these artificial disasters because, well, we can't seem to help being fallible;  the infamous Human Error gets all the bad press which would properly be tagged to the Unhuman processes of the Corpiration, our secret, remote-control Ruler.  I believe it's crucial to make this most important distinction and to get used to making keep right on making it.  In fact, viewing the long list of Synthetic Problems properly, we'd say that these difficulties were not really created by Humans, but by the Unhumanizing processes of the Corpiration.  People contribute to these problems only to the degree they've been Diverted by these Unhumanizing processes.  This is not to entirely absolve Humans of all responsibility, but to Redefine the Problem toward a more manageable grasp.

     2.  The traditional success of the camouflage of this distinction has made possible the dominance of Human affairs illegally by Corpirate interests on a global scale.  Whenever we buy a gallon of gasoline, we subscribe to the Corpirate definition of 'our energy demands,' hooking ourselves to the addictions enforced by the Corpirate organism.  This is no simple puzzle.
     Were we to become widely aware of this difference, to recognize the basic Unhumanity which has secretly come to rule us, we'd be quickly Redefining our world, how we think about, and how we act in it, each of us, for our own Good, and for our People.
     For instance:
     Did Corpirations then (during the American War Between the States) in fact do willful violence, quietly, to the American system of givernment, dissolving the Sovereignty of the People of the United States of America, and of other countries elsewhere?  Yes, they did.  Do they continue to do so?  Yes, they do.  The horror of September 11, 2011, was a direct and predictable result, among many others.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Problem Solving Skills -- Note 8 -- Exercising Redefinition

     To redefine a growing problem toward a more accurate grasp would tend to make solving it possible.  This would liberate us from the problem's dangers and from ways of thinking and acting which contribute to the problem.  This changing of definition and how it determines thought and action may prove to be Revolutionary;  that's my goal here, to have even some small effect.
     My personal, vital connection to Creation is the Base Criteria for redefining our 'Problems,' here.  As such, it is no more and no less than any other Humans'.  This Base Criteria quickly makes several things evident;  among them:
     1.  This redefining process will take some real effort over a period of time, since it is notably different than definitions currently accepted.
     2.  While liberating, I anticipate that this process will cause some disturbance (disturbing to myself and/or to others).  Objective:  Place this 'disturbance' where it belongs...on 'Diversion.'
     3.  Engaging in this process alone is no more than an isolated mental exercise.  While personally gratifying and liberating, no real, wide effect could be achieved without others working in the same or similar processes.  I have to believe this is now happening widely and that communication among us will have cumulative effects toward lasting, positive change.
     4.  It may be too late.  The Old Definitions' destructive momentum may already have overtaken us, rendering positive solutions futile in the long run.  This can't and won't stop this effort.  We can't know until we try.  The Old Definitions of 'The Way Things Work' depict our growing problems as a Big Train Wreck Waiting to Happen on a global scale.  Almost everyone knows this, or feels it instinctively.  The New Definition says flatly, "It's not waiting, this is The Way Things Do NOT Work, with a vengeance."

     The Base Criteria -- our shared mortal interconnection with Creation and each other -- is clearly the wellspring of my life and will be my guideline here.  Adhering close as possible to it properly informs thought and action, and supplies accurate definition and firm foundation of principles.  I do this simply because it makes Good Sense, for my own Good and for my People.  As it happens, adherence to this Base Criteria is also consistent with all the great spiritual teachings -- 'Doing the Right Thing, For My Own Good and For My People.'  Since this Base Criteria is shared in common with all Living Things, the expression, 'my People,' as used here, designates all Humans, to the specific exclusion of any Corpirate Beings. 

     Where this Redefinition comes into conflict with previously accepted notions, Redefinition will take priority, superceding previous Definitions.  This will likely require rejection of dearly-held 'beliefs,' abandoning long-accepted dogmas which oppose Redefinition.  These opposing beliefs and dogmas are reclassified as Diversions.  These Redefining operations will take some effort to perform, and will take some time in which to adjust to them.
* * *
     We hear this phrase, 'our energy demands,' quite a lot.  Each of us uses energy in various ways throughout any given day, and we each have vague ways of defining those uses:  our 'needs' for energy; kinds of energy we use; sources of energy available to us; how we use those energies; what those energies cost immediately; how those costs seem to rise continuously.  Lately, it's been more widely discussed that about 80% of the average household budget goes for energy in one form or another, after taxes.  Also becoming more widely known recently is the fact that of an average household energy budget, where water is heated by an electric water heater, 80% of that budget goes to heat water.  Passive roof-mount solar water heaters cost about $5k, utilities usually offer $1k rebates, for a net investment of $4k.  Thus, saving about 80% of your household power bill for the first three years will pay for the passive heater and installation, and it will last for another 17 years or so, supplying FREE energy.  This example is liberating in two very important ways.  First, having taken the Old Definition of 'energy demand' from merely vague to specific and detailed, this Redefinition has locally realized the use of FREE power to save a lot of money.  Second, and maybe more important, this Redefinition has shown that this household was previously shackled to a centralized energy that devoured most of the budget.  Further, being thus trapped in a taken-for-granted 'energy demand' makes slaves of consumers, who are then forced to pay for the privilege, not just of using the energy there, but of perpetuating the energy-slave system itself.  Utilities suppliers won't be found encouraging consumers to Redefine their own 'energy demands' toward sources of FREE and CLEAN and DECENTRALIZED energy, because their Bottom Line would suffer quarter's earnings would plummet like a lead duck.  They will instead be using some of your hard-earned money for Diversion, painting themselves, 'green,' and otherwise dolling themselves up as just plain folks, concerned as anyone else about all this global warming business...diverting our attention, subverting 'our' leaders.
     It must not go without saying also, that utilities suppliers usually generate the power they sell us so dearly by the dirtiest, costliest, most dangerous means known:  Fossil Oil, Coal, and worst so far, Nuclear fission reactions.  These resources lent themselves to monopoly exploitation from the start.  And from the start, Corpirations controlling these resources have wielded undue influence in all levgels of 'our' governments, gaining and consolidating power over us illegally, with our money.  Cleaner, more user-friendly energy sources have been suppressed and sidelined, patents cornered and overpriced.  Addiction to Fossil Means and the Slow Bombs that are nuke reactors has been imposed and enforced by habit, by propaganda, and by government subversion.  These nefarious forces have supplied us with our Old Definitions of 'Our Energy Demands,' and of how to fill those demands.  The Old Definitions have their hands deep in our pockets and then some;  they've had us Over the Barrel, forcing their Definitions into us from behind for so long, we've grown accustomed to it.  We still sign up for their 'energies' eagerly ('we have to...don't we?'), and the best we can come up with is to whine about how much they're charging us to get screwed.
     Recall the bright rays of optimism which briefly peeked through the rad-smog in 1973.  Remember our first 'energy crunch?'  When OPEC upped the price per barrel of petro then, American consumers did a most spectacular, even miraculous, thing:  They showed they could significantly kick the petro habit, with no planning whatever.  As a mere panic reaction, consumers automatically dropped gasoline consumption by a stunning 30%!  Think what this demonstrates about the Primary Power of the Consumer in this market and others!  Think what this means to the bean-counters who run EXXACO (and the White House, etc.)...  Imagine what creatively Redefining things like 'Our Energy Demands' could accomplish.
     Needs?  Car; other car; truck; SUV; dune buggy; snowmobile; jet ski; electric knife; hair drier; clothes drier; dish washer; water heater; boat; weed eater; lawn mower; hedge trimmer; motorcycle; other motorcycle; ATV; motor home; exercise machine; air conditioner; other air conditioner; airplane; swamp buggy; chain saw; chipper; leafblower; log splitter; computer; other computer; cel phone; other cel phone; video games; other video games; tv; other tv; other tv; heater; other heater; fan; other fan; lights; other lights; stove; other stove; refrigerator, freezer; other refrigerator; other freezer; washing machine; electric can opener; bbq grill; camp stove; drill press; jigsaw; table saw; circle saw; drill; planer; joiner; lathe; other lathe; air travel; trucked food; food production, harvesting, processing, marketing; trucked fuel; trucked waste; trucked water; fresh water supply; fresh water treatment; waste water treatment; various other communications and entertainment appliances; surveillance appliances; packing and packaging; paper (its harvesting, processing, distribution, use, waste-contribution); waste stream 'treatment, disposal, and recycling'; batters; other batteries; fuels; chemicals and supplies to support all this; paints; plastics; adhesives; synthetic textiles; synthetic pharmaceuticals; lubricants; additives; cosmetics; acquisition and exploitation of resources (forest; mineral; energy; food; Human); 'defense' apparatus; media 'news'; infrastructure (highways, bridges, dams, flood control, construction); infrastructure maintenance; government; government maintenance; personal political campaign contributions; personal share of Corpirate campaign contributions (what you pay in original purchase price of goods and services that is then spent by the Corpirations to manipulate government offices behind the scenes to keep you hooked); 'lobbies' (the vast business of special interests who herd the public around like tax-cattle); 'justice'; 'corrections'; advertising (public display of products and services, and publicity supporting the necessity of these products and services; expansion of all the above in the name of 'growth'...
     Are all these really needs?  When we buy them, what are we getting for our buck?  Buy a gallon of gas for $4, it gets you down the road maybe 25 miles.  It also gets you a subscription to a system that's centralized specifically to be beyone your control.  This system illegally controls 'your' government, carefully maintaining the illusion of 'democracy' at work.  It defines 'Our Energy Demands' and how those demands will be met.  It generates a barrage of propaganda to trivialize and discredit warnings about global warming, acid rain, petro-cancers, and the calamitous effects and massive hidden costs of nuke power.  It determines government policy, up to and including the use of armed force to secure resources here and there around the world for profit.  This system makes undeclared (illegal) war, under the Stars and Stripes, putting 'our' troops in harm's way (killing our People and others) on intelligence which ranges from Poor to None, for profit.  These war crimes fit the Definition of Highly Organized Crime, funded by our tax dollars, bathed in blood.  'Collateral Damage' is the cynical euphemism applied to the hundreds of thousands of innocent bystander, women and children...we've not bothered to memorialize by their names, their number, or even by the pound.  It is the greatest apparatus for betrayal, murder, slavery, and theft for cash and prizes in all of history, so far.  Others around the world are ominously taking the Yankee Hint; lucky us.
     T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) saw this coming in 1917, warned about it in 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom,' and did all he could to prepare People within his reach for it, then.  The sordid, bloody history of Yankee involvement in Saudi Arabia from the start is chronicled by the adventures of Kermit Roosevelt.  He intentionally committed People there to 'deals' which they could never fulfill except by giving up control of their petro resources.  'Confessions of An Economic Hit Man' (author?) confirms this policy of covert coercion in some chilling detail.  It has become The Rule in 'our' foreign policies.  The resulting emergence of 'Muslim Fundamentalism' was not only predictable, it was predicted.  We don't need a crystal ball or 1-900-psychic number to tell where these Oil Wars and foreign 'terrorists' came from, and where all this is heading.  It's an ongoing Crime Against's the way they do business.
     What is the cost of a gallon of gas beyond your original $4, and beyond the ongoing and escalating violence it requires?  The CO2 contamination of the atmosphere will cost you and your children and theirs the air you breathe; it will cost you the weather, the rain, the crops, the rivers and lakes and oceans, from the effects of global warming and acid rain, to say next to nothing about rising radiation levels.

     After taking this mess into consideration, realizing you've gotten used (!) to paying and paying for it, making it all possible, even 'inevitable,' think about this:  You've paid into this system after you paid your taxes.  This system uses your taxes to run 'your' government which is actually illegally in the control of the Corpirations, for the benefit of their Bottom Line ONLY, to the express exclusion of all other benefits...and these same commercial interests generally don't pay any taxes whatever.  Not to be stopped there, the Corpirations then help themselves to Mega-Welfare in the form of Oil Depletion Allowances, and so on...and your expense.

     If any benefit is to be realized by Redefining our Problem, it will be in manifesting the True Power that resides in the Consumer, and always has; this is the Cleverly Guarded Secret of the Marketplace:  WE hold the purse strings; all wealth comes through the hands of People who create it.  WE only turn over this wealth in ways we are conviced are appropriate, or 'needed'...ways we are trained to.

     Where could be found someone to plant trees to soak up CO2, to shade and cool the planet, to make some oxygen?  Where could be found someone who might see the need?  Where could be found someone to convert their air-cooled motorcycle to ethanol fuel?  Who might suggest that fuel crops, instead of stealing ground from food supply, could be decentralized and planted in and harvested from the right-of-ways of freeways, railways, 'extra' parking lots, roof tops, abandoned industrial and military sites?  Who might suggest cancelling the Corpirate-Welfare State, like Oil Depletion Allowances, and applying that cash to developing means to take advantage of the FREE POWER that fall on the ground all around us unclaimed, as yet?  Who might suggest stopping the use of fossil resources for our very survival and that of the planet?  Who might suggest putting to work those who've profited so mightily from these vicious Diversions in works of reclamation, restitution, and renewable energy resources, to say little about criminal and civil justice?  Who might suggest convening Public Grand Juries to provide indictments for War Crimes, calling for criminal charges against these Corpirations, their officers, agents, operatives, and major stockholders?  Who might suggest charges of Treason against those in American public office, sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution, who've betrayed that trust in covert service to those Corpirations?  Who might imagine that we even have such Power...that we have these Rights?  In the absence of lawful mechamisms to effect these changes, where might we find the means to establish such lawful mechanisms?  When?  In accordance with our Redefinition, I suggest the answers to these questions are:  Us.  Here.  Now. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Problem Solving Skills -- Note 7 -- Mission/Diversion

     Currently supplied definitions of our Problems/Solutions are mostly failures.  The growing seriousness of the consequences of these failures compels redefinition, and compels us to be quick about it.  Asking that you correct me if you think I'm wrong, I humbly submit the following suggestions:

     I call this planet Good; since it's the only one within reach in the known universe capable of producing and sustaining Life; since my personal existence springs from it and will return to it, and is sustained by it in the meantime.  I call this planet Good enough to be glad for, Good enough to pay attention to for its own Good on its own terms, for my own Good and for my People.
     This is a direct link, by blood, between myself and Creation and its Author(s).  I acknowledge that all living beings have this identical link, however various its appearance and expression.  I count these variations among our great benefits, not only to be tolerated, but to be celebrated, to be thankful for.
     This relationship's clarity and simplicity supply (1) definition of appropriate paths in Life (my 'Mission'), and (2) distinction between that Mission and Diversion from it.
     I am Free, then, to distinguish between Natural Problems (ones we confront just being alive on Earth), and Artificial Problems (ones caused by actions I, or we, take).  Since no sane person would add to our famous Natural Problems by contriving synthetic ones, I'm Free to see all Artificial Problems as results of mistaken definitions and the erroneous actions which flow from those mistakes.  If I then make two lists of Problems, one Natural, the other Synthetic, and compare these lists, I immediately see huge, glaring differences:

     Natural Problems are, by the present Definition, processes outside our control which are necessary parts of the fabric and dance of Creation.  We may avoid them by removing ourselves from their vicinity, or we may minimize damage from them by taking shelter, putting on appropriate clothing, or otherwise adapting for surviving them.  [veredict:  survivable]
     Synthetic Problems are, by the present Definition, processes within our control, that are made by hand, in error;  courses of chosen action, ignoring any man-made, unnecessary dangers.  These artificial problems could be avoided by simply not making them.  Then to wilfully create these difficulties puts avoiding them out of the question.  With these 'extra' problems in our midst, to then try adapting or adjusting to them accommodates them, institutionalizes them, perpetuates them.  Accommodation requires rejection of the definition of these contrived troubles as problems at all.  We are encouraged to define them even as solutions.  [verdict:  not survivable]

     Natural Problems are relatively few, and have always been so.  Wildfire, volcano, earthquake, hurricane/tornado, tsunami, flooding, even disease problems, have long been with us.  These have been isolated and localized, with limited consequences for most of our history, even before we learned to write.  Awareness, planning, prudent action, and reasonable hygiene have successfully minimized damage from these problems.  [verdict:  survivable]
     Synthetic Problems are very many, rapidly increasing in number and severity, and began arising coincidentally with the 'agricultural revolution.'  What we call written history is a record of Humans creating synthetic problems they called 'civilizations' which then killed those same civilizations, time after time, every time.  Overpopulating our resources, over-exploiting our resources, warfare, pandemic diseases, individual peril, and social and ecological destruction are not unfortunate side-effects, they are the certain, invariable consequences of accommodating synthetic problems in larger Human populations.  Erroneously calling such synthetic problems 'solutions' denies the very possibilities of awareness, planning, prudent action, and reasonable hygiene as means of protection.  [verdict:  not survivable]

     Natural Problems have always been widely recognized as such.  Wildly different means have been devised here and there to successfully avoid their dangers and minimize their toll.  We see this with some pride as the Mark of our Species; we communicate, adapt, adjust, and prevail.  [verdict:  survivable]
     Synthetic Problems have almost never been so recognized, neither as artificial nor as problems.  From the first armed thugs and warlords, synthetic problems have been the means by which the bully gained and maintained power over his victims.  When 'royalty' came along, born likewise of betrayal, murder and theft, these synthetic problems took on the camouflage of the 'will of god.'  Divine Right guaranteed loyalty, even Belief in the rightness of the course of Synthetic Problems.  These systematic, 'Holy' Synthetic Problems have always relied directly upon a mass of victims or subjects, compliant and docile enough to subscribe to and cooperate in the Synthetic Problems of the Realm, a population not willing or able to define the Ruling structure as a Synthetic Problem.  It is often said that 'if people keep doing it, it must be natural...'  We are even encouraged to accept Synthetic Problems as part of our inherent makeup, that warfare is part of Humans' most fundamental nature.  [verdict:  not survivable]

     Our highly-regarded American Revolution was a concerted effort by Humans to outlaw Synthetic Problems.  It resulted in a Law in black and white specifying how a lawful government would look and what a lawful government could do and could not do.  It guaranteed in writing that Humans would thenceforth be Free to act individually and in concert to deal with Natural Problems and to prohibit Synthetic Problems.
     So, what happened?!
     The BIG Synthetic Problem, the Corpiration, sneaked in under the tent, got itself secretly crowned King of America, and has been running the Show by remote control ever since, that's what happened.  And almost no one has recognized it.  Few who do can even believe it.  Too bad.

Problem Solving Skills -- Note 6 -- Coming Home to Roost

     Who knows what Honest Abe expected when he announced the Coronation of Corpirations in 1865?  His last photos don't show a happy camper.  He'd lost his son; his wife had gone crazier than ever; he'd lost the Union...the largest standing military and the baddest navy in history were gone into the hands of the newly ordained Life Form, Corpirations; gone were all the gains of the 'Civil' War, the American Revolution, the Constitution and all; gone were 620,000 Americans, two thirds to disease and infection; gone were the senators, congresspeople, officers of the Courts, administration officials, all deep into the pockets of the Military Industrial Cult.  Did Lincoln think anyone would take notice of his proclamation, or care enough to do anything whatever?
     In 1896, Wm. Jennings Bryan ran for President against McKinley, the Sugar Trust's candidate.  The intervening 30 years (since the War Between the States) were about the same length of time between our Vietnam 'war' and now, long enough for the new King Corpiration to rear up on its back feet, look around at the planet and say, 'Don't bother wrapping it up...I'll just start devouring it right now!'  The pillaging, genocide, and enslavement already near accomplished in North America was unleashed across the globe.  When Republican 'fundraiser' Mark Hanna was asked what he thought of Bryan's candidacy, he said, 'You don't think we'd let that fool in the White House, do you?  You know you can hire half the people in this country to kill the other half, and we've got the money to hire them.'  Hanna may well have seen his world through homicidal glasses, but this was no empty assertion.  The Military Industrial Cult immediately set about showing the world just how it worked.  McKinley would soon say, 'I should probably have gone to the penitentiary than the White House.'  I would say, 'certainly.'
     Eight years later, April 13, 1904, the Anti-Imperialist League (Mark Twain and others) released the confession of Major C. M. Weller, U.S.A., on trial for genocide in Samar, Philippines:
     Q:  Had you any orders from General [Jacob H.] Smith to kill and burn?  If so, state all that he said.
     A:  "I wish you to kill and burn.  The more you kill and burn, the better you will please me."  Not once only but several times...
     Q:  Did you ever ask General Smith whom he wished you to kill?
     A:  Yes.  He said he wanted all persons killed who were capable of bearing arms, and I asked if he would define the age limit.
     Q:  What did General Smith say?
     A:  "Ten years."
     So, what's all this 'ancient' history have to do with now, with Japan's reminder today of the Nuclear Fix we're still in? 
     What does it have to do with the emergence of Militant Islam, and the growing Problem of Terrorism?

Problem Solving Skills -- Note 5 -- Stepping Off the Juggernaut

     The prevailing Quest for Power acquires a momentum and direction of its own, gaining ever more mass, taking up more of the Stage, all in its own interest.  We are conditioned and encouraged to identify our own interests as Humans with that of this Quest for Power.  This is false.  Is this OUR economy?  No.  Is this OUR government?  No.  Is this OUR military?  No.  Are these OUR media and information networks?  No, and again, no.  The economy, government, military, energy policy and media have been swept up, along with us, in the Quest for Power.  These have become nothing more than elements in a behemoth machine whose only purpose is the further acquisition and consolidation of Power.  This machine acts to centralize Power, to corner all markets, to capture and monopolize all resources and populations solely for the gain of the very few Most Powerful, and damn the consequences.  One does not need a crystal ball or a 1-900-psychic number to see that this is going Nowhere, Fast...and faster still. 
     Q:  Who can possibly do anything about this supersonic tailspin?
     A:  WHO IS PAYING FOR ALL OF IT...and paying and paying?!
     Wealth does not 'trickle down.'  Every grain of gold, every crumb of coal is first dug up by Human hands before it's turned over to any Market.  What 'flows downhill' in the famous sewage saying is not wealth, I assure you.
     We often hear those yearning to 'get our economy back on track.'  Imagine it back 'on track,' the way things were going that led us to these Times of Multiple Crises...look out your window as you hurtle along...notice the big signs in Stop Sign Red, saying, 'GO BACK!  YOU ARE GOING THE WRONG WAY!'

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Problem Solving Skills -- Note 4 -- "Civilization As A Hole"

     The Quest for Power has always been a pain in the posterior for us Humans, if you'll pardon the expression, or even if you don't.  Since the first surplus basket of grain, there's occasionally been a criminal element who wanted more than they needed.  Before Adam and Eve, there was Gilgamesh, and before him, there was undoubtedly some other sticky-fingered weasel short on Principles.  The expression 'pain in the posterior' as used here is not just a figure of speech.  All of what we call our histories are laced with this problem gnawing at our nether extremities.  Earlier cultures had notable success defining property rights and dealing with thievery, otherwise we Humans would never even have arrived at the celebrated point we fondly call the Dawn of Civilization.  After this famous point, the Big Puzzles have been:  How have we defined Civilization, and How does Civilization define us?
     Successful cultures, unlike this one, have usually arrived at these definitions by the free involvement of their members in common agreement.  Styles of action could then be pursued along courses which proved viable in the original sense:  capable of sustaining life in balanced populations.
     Lately, what makes our version so starkly unsuccessful is that we have allowed and subscribed to spurious definitions blindly, not of our own devices, but as imposed upon us by the aberrant forces of the Quest for Power.
     Consider our word, civilization.  We inherited this little jewel from the tongues of Rome.  They considered it their great defining gift to Humankind.  In practice, as demonstrated on the ground, civilization was imposed by force; it's what happened after the dust settled and the blood soaked into the earth.  What had been prehistory's sneak-thievery had become the Rule, the Defining Feature of Human 'advancement.'  Ancient scriptures were transcribed and interpreted to reinforce the notion that these criminal processes are an essential part of Humans' very nature.  It's been whipped into us by priestly repetition that these deviant features are so much a part of us, we've accepted them almost as though they were originally tatooed into our DNA.  Until now.
     The growing problems caused by the Quest for Power were already ancient, becoming ever more prevalent over time, (largely because they've been such a damned hard act to follow) even before the arrival on the scene of Machiavelli.  This infamous little mole-rat simply put the old curses of betrayal, murder, and theft into concise form in his book, 'The Prince,' as a blueprint for 'success' in the Quest for Power.  As required reading in institutions of 'higher' learning and for practitioners of the 'arts' of war, it's played an ever more prominent role in defining success, civilization, and Human advancement.  Consider the recent Yankee dictum, 'No problem is so great it can't be solved with high explosives.'  This heartwarming little homily should be a clear indication that the ultimate goals of our present 'advances' as well as our most salient means toward those goals, are violent chaos, waste, and destruction.  Benefits along the way, crumbs of the Pie, are dribbled out as bait to keep us in the trap of the Quest for Power.  Far from recognizing it as a Problem, we are encouraged to regard it as the solution, and discouraged from seeing otherwise.  Why do you suppose Ghandi, when asked what he thought of Western Civilization, answered, 'I think it would be a good idea.'??
     The Eternally Errant Quest for Power tends to take on a life of its own, achieving its own direction and momentum, gaining mass exponentially, much like a Black Hole.  It's extremely attractive, hard to resist, and harder yet on everything in its path, up to and including the Biosphere.  Never in history has this been expressed more clearly and loudly than in present day North far.  Did 'America' emerge on top of the heap after the bloodiest 200 years in history just because it's 'God's Will?'  No.  God did not do this.  And it's of no comfort whatever to see emerging powers like China take so enthusiastically to the example set by the criminal Miliatry Industrial Cult of the West.
     At no time in the long, sordid history of the Quest for Power had its minions been so entrenched as when corporations were enthroned in North America in the early 1860's.  Then, they were granted legal recognition as an Official Life Form, living citizens with all the Rights won by Humans, but with none of Humans' responsibilities or sensibilities.  This transition of corporations from temporary paper agreements to Life Forms with Full Rights marked a turning point the importance of which has largely escaped the notice of Humans.  What has been the significance of this transition, and why has it gone almost totally ignored?
     On the Corpirations' Coronation Day, the goals and accomplishments of the hard-won American Revolution were reversed.  America, as the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, simply ceased to exist.  Abraham Lincoln's simple announcement that this had in fact happened was drowned out in the clamor that arose when he was promptly shot by a 'lone gunman.'  Most of what's followed has been nothing but smoke and mirrors.  The entire Federal government, senators, congresspeople, presidents, and courts ever since have been firmly in the outlaw grip of the corpirations, along with the largest standing military forces in history.  These armed forces, then carried by the Opium Clippers which had already seized primacy on the seas, immediately set about the predations of Empire, at home and abroad.
     Where do you think.....
     Hitler got the idea that, 'If you tell a big enough lie long enough, everyone will believe it.'??
     Stalin got the idea that, 'If you kill one person, it's murder; if you kill a million, it's a statistic.'??
     Mao got the idea that, 'Political power comes out of the barrel of a gun.'??
     Answer all three of these questions with one guess.
     Where do you think our modern world got the idea that we could somehow use nuclear power safely??
     Same answer.
     Glimmer of Hope:  Humans here and there still rise up and insist on deciding for themselves what's good for themselves...and act accordingly.

Problem Solving Skills -- Note 3

     Public perceptions have a lot to do with Problem Solving skills.  They bear on how, and even whether civilization makes any advance whatever.  For instance, it was widely seen in the West for some time that the world was flat.  This public perception was equated with Common Sense;  any fool could confirm it by simple observation.  This example demonstrates that public sense can be breathtakingly wide of the mark of Reality, that Common Sense frequently is in fact insensible.  This shows clearly, in turn, the urgent need for different points of view.  The importance of different points of view is further clearly demonstrated, famously proven, by the ancient military concept of 'fields of fire.'  The smallest, simplest military position may only be secured by being certain that attention is focused in each and every sector of one's 'perimeter.'  Thus, vigilant observation is required in all directions for any hope of complete coverage.  Conversely, ignoring any sector would obviously then leave one's position vulnerable from that direction.  It follows, then, that the more different perspectives there are available, the better.  So, it's a really good thing there are more than one of us, and that we're all different.
     Any narrowing of Public Perceptions can and does have tragic consequences for the public at large and on more private, individual levels.  The late, infamous racist apartheid system of South Africa was held by its proponents as an expression of the Natural Order of Things; it amounted even to a Belief System for those who subscribed to it.  The Crying Shame of it was shown not only by the way blacks were treated under apartheid, but by some whites' reactions when that system began to collapse.  The incidence of white mothers killing their children, then themselves in a panic over the dissolving of their perceived 'natural order' jumped by 400%.  I see this as significant.
     As catastrophic as this narrowing of Public Perceptions can be, there are several ways in which this tunneling of our vision can occur.  One of these ways could be called a natural, 'gravity' kind of process, whereby one's views are influenced by the vision of the group.  It is famously troublesome to entertain notions which don't match those of the crowd.  This can also be reinforced by conflicting Belief Systems, leading to differing views being actively discouraged, even prohibited, criminalized.  The mere possibility that this funneling of public sense could be dangerous to society and/or the individual is then rigorously ignored.  Another way in which public perception may be narrowed is by outright manipulation, the engineering of public opinion for specific ends not necessarily in the interests of the public in general.  This fabrication of public perception can be accomplished by the subversion of public servants.  Their sworn loyalties to the public interest are then secretly put at the service of said private ends.  This suborning of public offices can be reinfforced by the seizure of public means of communication, rendering these media also in the illegal service of covert forces.  My point here is that this false manipulation of public perceptions, this engineering of our vision of the world has indeed occured not just once, as an anomaly, but has become the Rule.  We've grown accustomed to it.  We say, 'This is the Way Things Work,' in spite of the obvious facts showing that this is The Way Things Don't Work Worth a Damn, And Never Did!

Problem Solving Skills -- Note 2

     (Responses to Note 1 have been encouraging; thank you all)
     If someone important (like my children or theirs) should ask, "Why didn't someone do something?", I want to be able to tell them, "We did."  To take effective action, we must first find an accurate definition of the problem.
     Accurately defining a problem won't guarantee an effective solution, just make it possible.  Likewise, a simple definition of a problem will not mean whatever solutions then available will also be simple.  The Nuclear Problem continues to redouble, largely because (1) we have not clearly defined it, its true nature and root causes, and (2) in the absence of this accurate description, efforts toward solution are misdirected, complicating the problem and causing others additionally.
     As we approach what I think is a clear, accurate definition of the Nuclear Mistake, I believe answers to other Big Questions will become more evident, i.e., How did this happen?  How does this clear definition of one Big Problem relate to other Big Problems?  And not least, Why has this clear definition not been made before?
     When our dependence on Nuke and Fossilized Fuels is compared to an addiction, this is starkly true, an addiction imposed by commercial interests for gain, monopolized and enforced through 'regulations' written by those same commercial interests.  These vast markets then take on a snowballing life of their own, acquiring direction and momentum that carries us along in their train.  Yet this is still merely a description of our SYMPTOMS;  what, simply, is the underlying CAUSE?
     In answer to this question, I suggest Clue #1:
     "Because of the war, corporations have now been enthroned.  This will mean corruption in high places, the aggregation of all wealth in a few hands, and...the end of the Republic."
--  Abraham Lincoln
     I suggest further that this clue has almost everything to do with, not only our dependence on the most dangerous energy sources around, but bears directly upon the undeclared (illegal) wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and a whole lot more.  
     Please let me know what you think.  If this effort toward 'accurate definition' is anywhere close, it will take a LOT of input on prospective solutions.  Thanks, again.  rw

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Problem Solving Skills - Note 1

[Some of these 'notes' previously posted on major social site]

     I'm puzzled;  maybe one, or some, of y'all can help me here.  It's about the unpleasantness now in Japan, and about how we define Problems.  Generally, it seems that how a problem is defined determines the solution.  That is, if one defines a problem accurately, one then may arrive at some positive solution for that problem.  Conversely, if one does not define the problem correctly, no real solution would be possible, and further, action then taken in ignorance might well aggravate the original problem, and create further ones.  Have I got this right so far?  If so, I'd like to make some further observations, and get what feedback is available here, if you please...and thank you. 
     Japan's current dire circumstance has been described as a triple disaster (earthquake, tsunami, multiple nuclear reactor 'events').  The quake and wave damages have popularly been termed 'natural' disasters.  Yet these natural events occur whether there are people present or not.  They're only disastrous when there ARE folks in the vicinity.  It might be more accurate, then, to say that these 'natural' disasters are actually the results of people mistakenly getting in the way of natural processes, assuming the famously obvious risks.  This is not to fault the judgement of anyone (no pun whatever), or to trivialize their hardships, but to try to DEFINE the problems more clearly.
     The Nuclear Problems, though, are a whole 'nother kettle of fission (this pun entirely intentional).  The Public Perception seems to be that these nuclear events do fit the description of a Problem.  A good deal of air time is being devoted to what exactly is going on and how to fix it [this, early in the sequence of events].  Many other kinds of attention are being paid from many other places to address the situation there.  Largely, these reactor events have come as a great, unpleasant surprise, prompting people to ask repeatedly, 'How did this happen?  How do they, and of course, WE contain the terrific damage?'  These questions are, I believe, of the utmost importance to be answered very clearly if there is to be any hope of (1) knowing what the Problem really is, and (2) how to go about solving it.  It must not go without saying that there are now some 180 people on the ground, in and around those damaged nukes, giving it their ALL to solve their immediate emergencies in Ultimate Peril.  I'm hoping their names will be made known and remembered.  I'm also hoping it will be more widely recognized that all our world is in the same boat with those 180, but a little more remote.  Nor must it go without saying here that the Largest, most Expert Forces in the Nuclear Arena, those most responsible for selling all of us on the Very Bright Idea of nukes, are conspicuously absent in any of these Damage Control efforts...they're totally silent.  Their concept of Damage Control is limited to sending some lobby weasels into closed-door meetings with 'our' Senators and Congresspeople to sway their continued support, and to shore up the false public perception that nukes are somehow acceptable, even necessary...that Unnatural Disasters are unavoidable.
     First, about the present public perception that this nuke disaster comes as a big surprise:  No, it's not.  There have been warnings loud and clear for decades in print, video and radio; your friends, neighbors, workmates, acquaintances, and strangers on the street have consistently sounded alarms for years about this very thing, so stop acting so surprised.  Second, the notion that nuke power was a great idea, clean and safe and cheap, was SOLD to us (Japan and all of us) by SOMEONE, for cash and prizes...and we (most of us) BOUGHT it.  When the public signed on to this Big Mistake, we put ourselves on the line as well as future generations, and then some.  It's too late to bet your ass that this will all be o.k....that's already in the pot.
     So what then is the simplest, most distilled way to state the underlying Problem?  To truthfully answer this question, I believe a lot of our preconcieved notions and fondly held beliefs must be set aside.  And it might be a good idea to take your're gonna need all the personal fortification you can get.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Distinction Exercise -- 1

     Many of our mythologies, folk legends, and fairy tales contain archetypes of horror which have fascinated and terrified us for centuries.  I suggest that these usually are metaphors which reference the monstrosities of tyranny in its many forms.  Until the industrial revolution, tyrants could be caricatured in this way without putting the storytellers in direct danger of retribution.  Having discarded enough of their own Human sensibilities to victimize others, ancient despots and their networks of spies and traitors could be pictured as man-eating giants, werewolves, vampires hidden from the light of day, and so on.  Until 'modern' times, the predations wrought by these ghouls were more or less localized, limited by the reach of their transport and the range of their weapons.  With luck and some effort, people might stand a chance of surviving if they could put some distance between themselves and the organized criminal troublemakers of their day.  This chance of survival of course shrank as the several Imperial Robbers' global reach expanded.  The Horrors have since been depicted as 'interplanetary' in works of science fiction.

     The one brief glimmer of hope for Human self-determination and freedom from such tyranny, the American Revolution and its foundation documents, lasted not quite 100 years.  The tragic Coronation of the Corpiration in the United States in 1865 came at a most unfortunate time, for us Humans, and for other living things in general.  These synthetic commercial organisms then came into possession of the largest standing military in history, the largest, fastest navy, vast natural resources, and a large traumatized population almost totally unaware their government had been unlawfully seized by a new, artificial species.  This new species lost no time in having our Supreme Law interpreted to recognize Corpirations as an official life form, giving them all the Rights so dearly won by us Humans for ourselves.  This official recognition ominously omitted requiring any personal responsibility whatever of these new unhuman beings.  Most ironically, this interpretation was rooted in the very Amendment which was supposed to have freed African Americans from bondage.  These artificial beings then immediately set about imposing slavery, genocide, and thievery here (here) and there around the world.  They have been almost totally successful in obscuring their takeover of the United States then, and in hiding the true nature of their criminal rule since.  Our age is saddled with a 'truth' far stranger than science fiction.  The success of Corpirate rule depends upon our not recognizing it as such. 

     I anticipate that making a real, workable distinction between Corpirations and us Humans might be difficult, even dangerous, to put it mildly.  Could it possibly be more difficult or dangerous than the  past 150 years in which we have not made this distinction?  Are we even capable of breaking the spell of the Military/Industrial Cult in sufficient numbers to call it a 'reawakening' among us Humans?  I believe we are so capable.  Is it likely?  We shall see.

     Today, we're up to here in the archetypes of horror.  Compare the constant gobbling up of 'collateral damage,' and of our own young fighters, with the crimes of a Jefferey Dahmer;  see what I mean?  These grisly, unhuman crimes are made all the worse since they are traditionally covered with ribbons, decorations, buntings, brass bands, and 'justified' with fake patriotic talk about 'liberty, freedom, democracy...,' and other such treacherous drivel.

     I'm just getting started...