Thursday, May 17, 2007

The United States of America is only as good as its laws

Now, first and foremost, realize that this is another thought exercise of mine. I cannot claim to know that each source I list is valid, nor that all information contained herein is valid. I can claim to know that it is human nature to exhibit favoritism, cronyism, and that people who attain power without checks and balances from people with power over them quickly form into terrible things. We might call them dictators.

My summation is at the bottom of this post.

We Are Not the Country We Once Were

As Bruce Ackerman, professor of law at Yale and author of Before the Next Attack: Preserving Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism, puts it:

“Buried in the complex Senate compromise on detainee treatment is a real shocker, reaching far beyond the legal struggles about foreign terrorist suspects in the Guantanamo Bay fortress. The compromise legislation, which is racing toward the White House, authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights.”

Congress has now granted the president the powers of a dictator. The rest of the story of our slide into absolutism is merely a matter of filling in the details. [source]

The real reason for all of this is to have better control over the American people. As one can clearly see, it is not to protect their freedoms because their freedoms are actually being taken away and their constitution is being systematically weakened.

History shows us that fascism starts up with prison camps, right? We'll apparently we've got those already.

How Health Helps Control People
"Public health has almost nothing to do with your personal health. In fact, totalitarian governments place the control of your health options at the top of their list." - Byron J. Richards.

In the article, "Fight for Your Health: Exposing the FDA’s Betrayal of America" by Mr. Richards, I found this chilling:
The government, especially the FDA, is actually a major contributor to the obesity epidemic. The FDA condones massive adulteration of our food supply to protect the profits of multinational agribusiness and junk food producers at the expense of human health, which are actually a major cause of obesity. Metabolism of our children is seriously damaged by government condoned chemicals. How can the FDA possibly define disease or judge fraud when they are actively causing disease and promoting real fraud?

There is no question that nutritional supplementation offers hope to undo the massive damage our government has done, help restore energy production in the human body, and help repair the human body to get some level of functional health back. The truth is nutritional supplements have a major ability to prevent many diseases and the science to back up the claims.

From Byron J. Richards, Founder/Director of Wellness Resources, a "Board-Certified Clinical Nutritionist" Apparently all of this leads to a whole conspiracy theory that Canada, Mexico and the U.S.A. are planning to form a North American Alliance, which would include the health agencies. How far does the rabbit hole go?

In researching Windows Vista DRM, it appears the same people who are scared by Companies' ability to hinder freedoms are the same people who are scared by the Government's ability to hinder freedoms.

It seems I have come across a lot of websites that are "on the fringe" so to speak - some blatant conspiracy theorists, some vocal and concerned. Therein, somewhere, lies the truth. But what is truth?

Truth is something that actually happened. At some point, I sat down and typed this out on a computer and posted it online. At some point, you had sex with a girl, or saw a shooting star. You had a car crash, but didn't tell anyone you were distracted. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 struck Jupiter in 1994, and would have even if there wasn't any intelligent life around to observe it. Most truth is not written, but it happened in the physical world.

Language can convey truth, but really I think it conveys ideas.

Back to what's really going on. I'm a big believer in following a very simple principle:
  • Do not pay attention to what people say.
  • Do not pay attention to what people do.
  • Instead, observe their behavior, for behavior belies true intent.
It's very difficult to do because the human mind seems to ready to listen to words or actions, but behavior tells me this:
  • President Bush seems easily frustrated with differences in his opinion.
  • The reports about laws being proposed or passed (that I was hitherto unaware) all coincide with his behavior and the plan that behavior might put into action.
  • The plan, I believe, is as selfish as it seems, but really it's about the idea that control is good.
That's it. Control is good. Selfishness takes root from there, because to be truly manipulative and controlling, you have to be partly selfish - by definition, you are putting your desires before others.

It is a system of thought humans can't seem to escape, and it's very seductive. If we just had control of guns, our gun problems would go away. (No, we just have different gun problems.) If I don't micromanage my work-force, I don't feel right. That's all it really boils down to.

But what we are watching is the dissolution of the United States of America, and it's about time for that decline anyway, because just as we can predict that humanity as a whole can't escape the allure of controlling others, history tells us that nations have a finite lifespan - one which I've judged to be around 400 years on the outer end, before becoming something different. Sometimes, another country, sometimes the same ethnic populace with a new system of government.

So I think there is truth in these scandalous reports, but I'm not prepared to say how much. It follows both human nature and the time-line of the lifespan of the United States of America.

Welcome to the realization that human nature wouldn't surprise you anymore than a dog's, if you would just buckle down, research it, understand it, and abandon your preconceived notions about how things ought to be.

Jerome Corsi, listed as a good source author, it turns out, gets a reliability rating from David as: Zero. Why? Nevermind that he might not have co-authored a book he says he did, let's skip to the heart of the insanity and say that he believes oil comes from things scientists say it doesn't, simply because that would mean we're not about to hit a peak oil limit. Now wouldn't that be nice to believe? And you are that type of personality, than your whole life is colored by things you'd like to believe, like writing a book, or conspiracy theory.

It goes to show - truth exists outside of words. The only inherent truth in words is that they are written.

PS part 2
The article goes on (I stopped reading at "But fortunately, some congressmen have taken it upon them to officially get these developments discussed in Congress:") to infer that Pearl Harbor was a conspiracy. Whoa. Hold on. Stop the train.

I'd need to see some better evidence; I'm not saying it's not possible. It did get us in the war, and there were some questionable things - issue is, there may or may not be answers, and I don't know them.

I made an addendum to this post after a night's reflection.

The Impact of the Highly Improbable

First, gentle reader, educate yourself about how the human brain assesses risk, using relevant examples such as Virginia Tech and 9/11.

The Virginia Tech massacre is precisely the sort of event we humans tend to overreact to. Our brains aren't very good at probability and risk analysis, especially when it comes to rare occurrences. We tend to exaggerate spectacular, strange and rare events, and downplay ordinary, familiar and common ones. There's a lot of research in the psychological community about how the brain responds to risk -- some of it I have already written about -- but the gist is this: Our brains are much better at processing the simple risks we've had to deal with throughout most of our species' existence, and much poorer at evaluating the complex risks society forces us face today.

Novelty plus dread equals overreaction.

Tie this into an obvious truth:

In other words, proximity of relationship affects our risk assessment. And who is everyone's major storyteller these days? Television. (Nassim Nicholas Taleb's great book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, discusses this.)


I tell people that if it's in the news, don't worry about it. The very definition of "news" is "something that hardly ever happens." It's when something isn't in the news, when it's so common that it's no longer news -- car crashes, domestic violence -- that you should start worrying.

You have today's lesson! Read it again, and think how it applies to you.

Also Useful:
Word of the Day
Salient means:

1. Projecting or jutting beyond a line or surface; protruding.
2. Strikingly conspicuous; prominent. Noticeable.
3. Springing; jumping: salient tree toads.