Friday, December 18, 2009

The Fallacy of Good vs. Evil in Afghanistan

All the wars since at least WW2 have NOT been self defense, these have all been aggressions. The U.S. has killed millions of innocent people in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq. Those people never attacked the U.S. So why did we kill them? And why do we kill, throughout Afghanistan today and onwards, into Pakistan? Did those people attack America?

90% of those people killed, were noncombatants, even in Iraq it has not changed. Children, elderly, bystanders. The U.S. Congress, the President, and the military command knowingly kills innocent civilians because they regard the lives of U.S. soldiers more valuable.

These are horrific deaths-- burned to death, buried under buildings, shot with automatic weapons, artillery, blasted by high explosives, often dying lingering deaths from infection or disease, or starvation.

I strongly disapprove of the entire US military. For shame. They are not defending us. And they know it.

Why do we allow the militarists to define their business as "honorable" when we can so easily disprove and destroy their myth? Stand tall, every day, and explain that all their killing is dishonorable and a disservice to America.

The US congress and President are institutions out of control. Their activities are obviously immoral. They are in an illegal status, violating laws and treaties. They aren't defending the U.S. --they're defending "U.S. interests" i.e cronies and contributors in corporations, many not even in the U.S. These wars are actually making the rest of us *less* safe.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

More Lieberman and Cyber-Security tonight, CSPAN

More Lieberman and Cyber-Security tonight, CSPAN, for 3 hours... this goes on continually....

Question: WHY are these, most clever, these most cunning and willful in maintaining the concentration of power in NY-WashDC worried about "cyber-security"?

Answer: Because it is so abundantly clear that the Internet would provide methods of social and political organization so superior to "voting" to send "representatives" thousands of miles away, and allowing them absolute power of lawmaking. In other words, it's obvious that some sort of applications running over the internet will replace government itself, and the use of money as a medium of exchange.

The internet will not only replace banking, not only replace elections, polling, media... it's bigger than that. We will eventually use it to organize our activites, replacing the apparatus of money, finance and government.

The problem of managing the legislative process at the federal level has proven intractable. Things are getting worse and worse, from generation to generation. Instead of reflecting the human needs of the population it continuously concentrates money and power to a political and economic elite who control the Parties, congress and the whole system of propaganda at the federal level.

In my judgment the NY-WashDC "thing" is *so* dysfunctional and unjust, and harmful, there's no need for further comment and the real question is HOW to devolve powers from the national unit to the local level-- most importatnly the money and banking powers, the tax collection power, and certain powers related to making war. These powers can and should be devolved back to lower units where we have some hope of controlling them to human priorities,

The dotcom industries were well advanced in building a whole new thing, when they were finally overcome and defeated by the BAMs and global finance-- the same movement that coincided with the toppling and banishment of neoliberal structure from NY-WashDC circa 2000, and installation of the neocons, the Bush administration,

So they lie to us, and shut down the Internet, telling us we are under attack by terrorists, by criminals, by sin itself-- by child pornography. Watch them lie their asses off again, tonight,


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Need: better automation of events calendars in the region

Just Imagine, if you had a program that would go out and get all the events from all these Activists' Calendars and arrange them on your computer so that you could see it in a rational way, including locations, and topical interest areas.

For example, I am interested in a separate list of the events, for every future day, and I want them ranked 1,2,3... according to my formula for geographic distance and the subjects I am interested in, such as war and peace, imperialism, economic reform. etc.

I do not advocate merging all the separate calendars into one. That would be a terrible situation. Its operator would soon know more about you than Google!!

I do however, advocate that all calendars should publish electronic interfaces and make their calendars machine readable with standard syntax. Thereby, anybody who wanted to keep up with what's happening could have our computers come and fetch the events/dates automatically like we do with RSS for our RSS readers or news aggregators.

There have been a lot of standards for publishing Calendar events, over the years.

Monday, June 1, 2009

We have been working to stop wars. Implicit in *every* action we have done, or word spoken, is an assumption that what we have done has helped stopped war, within a bunch of other assumptions about what causes wars. Right?

Maybe it is time we stopped asking the question, "What are the causes of wars", and simply investigate the *process* of wars.

If you have ever done much reading on the topic of causality, itself, you'll agree that determining the "cause" of anything is is a challenging question. For the briefest time, please look at the Wikipedia article on Causality.

To my mind, the word "Causality" itself, or at least my concept of its meaning, is a dead end. It gets you going off on the wrong direction, somehow. it almost implies purpose, or meaning, or some sort of cosmological order to the universe. Of course, there are many principles that are quite reliable in understanding or predicting the world--we are not living in a chaos. But there are unknowns.

I have been studying the Wikipedia article on War, finding it quite deficient and unsatisfying. TO understand my comments, please spend a few minutes reading the article.

There have been at least 10,000 revisions to the page in the last 3 or 4 years alone. Go ahead and page through some of them, with the History function shown on the Article.

Obviously, there are many people and organizations with a great deal of money and other things at stake, should the public ever achieve a general, well-balanced understanding war.

Here is a much better examination of the causes of war, On the Causes of War. New York, Oxford University Press, 1996. 235 p."on+the+causes+of+war"+Hidemi+Suganami

And another, Download FREE .pdf version of "On The Causes of War," 289 pages, (1.35Mb). An outline of the book chapters can be seen below. ...

War can be understood and described at the physical and mechanical level, without difficulty. The movements of people and weapons, the places where it happened, and the dates and aftermath are so easily recorded. Historians and other observers, do this quite reliably after every war.

Unsurprisingly, authors of the Wikipedia article have published a decent definition of war, in the physical sense.

Similarly, before and during the process of war, a vast collection of physical things and events are easily observed having direct contact or connection with the physical war. Obviously, people and weapons and material are organized, produced, transported, etc. before and during the fighting, bombing, killing, etc. The processes immediately preceding or adjacent to war itself, are easily observed.

In any investigation of causes, a problem of boundaries always arises.

Determining the causes of things always has this problem, it's not unique to investigation of wars.

The war process is not easily distinguished from the indigenous process of the country. The origins of every bit of physical material and every person involved in fighting and supporting the war can be traced back in time, to less and less connected people and things, to a point where they are indistinguishable from other people and material indigenous to the land and people of the country that are not involved in war.

Recognizing this fact, one should trace, and analyze, the material process of war only so far as necessary to answer necessary questions. You have to have a clear idea of what questions are necessary to ask. For example, I would suggest, the most important question is *whose* actions are effective and determinative in the stages of the war process, at which the pot boils over, and the train has left the station, etc. I assume neither that these people are numerous, nor that they are few (i.e. conspiracy theory) but rather, those people *must* be identified at least as a class, in order for the next phase of inquiry which is at the level of motivation, psychology, will.

As i said above, the processes of the wars engaged in by the U.S. during my lifetime have not been hard to observe or describe. The definition of "war" is available and accessible.

A process once recognized, is susceptible to interruption, impedance, resistance, attenuation, blockage, redirection or 100 other things.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The idea of top level strategy

A government does many things, often unrelated or even contradictory. However. It't top-level strategy is so visible and slow moving that it's impossible to miss.

Since 2001, the top-level strategy of the US government has been war in the persian gulf and afghanistan, based on the premises that the top-level problems facing the country are oil and defending against terrorists, and that large-scale military operations in Iraq and Afghanstan are just the right thing to ensure more oil, and ensure less terrorism.

By now, everybody can see that the wars are yielding neither oil nor security. It is fairly clear that we have been deceived, and manipulated, by the true beneficiaries of the wars (global oil and financial interests, the weapons industry, and senior US military and civilians, among others.)

The top level strategy of the national government under Obama or McCain will be the same.

Accordingly, thinking people need to formulate top-level strategy of our own-- one that is capable of realizing our values and goals.

Those include global justice instead of wars, exploitation and greed, and stopping the needless destruction of our global air, water, and lands.

To achieve these, will require top-level strategy so large and visible, that it will be impossible to miss. A form of action that recognizes governments and corporations for what they are, and abandons all fantasy that they will save us.

A form of action that goes beyond the entire institutions of the state, and beyond the money economy and private contract. And I would submit, one which goes beyond individual NGOs or nonprofits.

Now--- what do you think our top-level strategy is? Surely, it is already underway, since it must be very large and visible and glacial, by the very nature of this problem. Don't you think the pattern is becoming clear, as to the BIGGEST problem(s) that the US population actually faces, and the MOST obvious and clear strategy to deal with them?

HINT: we know from the unvarying experience of the past 200 years, that neither presidents, governors, or federal or state legislatures are going to solve the underlying problem we have.

We're also in a pickle because there are no institutions such as unions, or academia, or the press, that are going to save us, either.

So, I think the present disastrous policies of the US, and behavior of global corporatoins will continue for some time, even as the painful consequences become worse and worse. So where does it all end?

I think there are many thinking people, people who are actually quite influential and active in their own circles of influence.

And in the aggregate, these non-participants are more powerful than special interests... of course. It goes without saying.

Needless to say, we find the duopoly parties and most other institutions, a dead end. People with normally developed thinking abilities and compassion tend to be under-represented in executive or powerholding roles in corporations or government. So, the direct assertion of power is fairly limited, and it is insufficient. It is systematically, decisively, critically insufficient.

Now-- these invisible people seem to have concluded, or resolved for themselves, to work in isolation. They think, they read, they brood, and you don't see their faces publicly except in times of very unusual crisis. That is one thing we can observe.

I seem to observe the top-level strategy of these people--the great bulk of them-- is to directly influence public opinion, and to prevent the corporate state from controlling, without criticism, the propaganda message that today, rolls out from the media, the pulpit and the school system, and the duopoly parties.

To restate this-- we have a corporate state controlling the propaganda message in three main institutions of mass culture (schools, pulpit and media). And in the other corner, we have the people criticizing this message in millions of personal and internet interactions, every day.

It is worth considering, whether this can succeed. I don't think it is sufficient.

Our top-level strategy has been to argue back hard, persistently, in so many detailed areas where policy has been corrupted by the greed and violence people, --- and to provide instead our own solutions and policies that are consistent with our own values.

We have been waging a battle of ideas. A battle for hearts and minds. And it goes far beyond the issue of war, itself. When we neglect a hundred smaller things, from economics to environment, neglecting the cause of justice, the larger policy choice of war became inevitable.