Tag Archives | Politics

Fear is the Mind Killer

Fear-is-the-mind-killer-Dune

Via Don Hazen at AlterNet:

“Fear is the mind-killer” – Frank Herbert, Dune

People cannot think clearly when they are afraid. As numerous studies have shown, fear is the enemy of reason. It distorts emotions and perceptions, and often leads to poor decisions. For people who have suffered trauma, fear messages can sometimes trigger uncontrollable flight-or-fight responses with dangerous ramifications.

Yet over time, many interlocking aspects of our society have become increasingly sophisticated at communicating messages and information that produce fear responses. Advertising, political ads, news coverage and social media all send the constant message that people should be afraid—very afraid.

In addition, television and film are filled with extreme violence and millions of fictional deaths, far out of proportion to what happens in real life, as researchers have pointed out. And more recently, we have witnessed the massive militarization of local police departments with equipment, gear and attitudes that treat citizens as if they were terrorists, as recently evidenced by events in Ferguson, Missouri.

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Astrology could help take pressure off NHS doctors, claims Conservative MP

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Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

 

Via The Guardian:

A Conservative MP has claimed that astrology could have “a role to play in healthcare”.

David Tredinnick said astrology, along with complementary medicine, could take pressure off NHS doctors, but acknowledged that any attempt to spend taxpayers’ money on consulting the stars would cause “a huge row”.

He criticised the BBC and TV scientist Professor Brian Cox for taking a “dismissive” approach to astrology, and accused opponents of being “racially prejudiced”.

The MP for Bosworth, in Leicestershire, who is a Capricorn and in 2010 paid back £755 he had claimed in expenses for software that used astrology to diagnose medical conditions, told Astrological Journal: “I do believe that astrology and complementary medicine would help take the huge pressure off doctors.

“Ninety per cent of pregnant French women use homeopathy. Astrology is a useful diagnostic tool enabling us to see strengths and weaknesses via the birth chart.

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Google Becomes Ministry of Truth

Carlos Luna (CC BY 2.0)

Carlos Luna (CC BY 2.0)

There’s no way this can go horribly wrong, right?

Jon Rappoport via War is Crime:

“…if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth.” (George Orwell,1984)

The New Scientist has the stunning story (2/28/15, “Google wants to rank websites based on facts not links,” by Hal Hodson):

“The internet is stuffed with garbage. Anti-vaccination websites make the front page of Google, and fact-free ‘news’ stories spread like wildfire. Google has devised a fix — rank websites according to their truthfulness.”

Great idea, right? Sure it is.

The author of the article lets the cat out of the bag right away with his comment about “anti-vaccination” websites. These sites will obviously be shoved into obscurity by Google because they’re “garbage”…whereas “truthful” pro-vaccine sites will dominate top ranked pages on the search engine.

This is wonderful if you believe what the CDC tells you about vaccine safety and efficacy.

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‘The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one’

thierry ehrmann (CC BY 2.0)

thierry ehrmann (CC BY 2.0)

Robert Frisk writes at The Independent:

Uri Avnery is without doubt the most intellectual, philosophical, prescient leftist Israeli seer I have ever met. Like TS Eliot, he has a habit of using the fewest words to tell the greatest truth. Every essay he writes, this reader always says the same thing: Exactly! Yet, for the first time in 40 years, I disagree with the great man.

He has just suggested that Benjamin Netanyahu’s agreement to address the US Congress at the invitation of Republicans tomorrow– two weeks before an Israeli general election – and Barack Obama’s decision not to see the old rogue, has destroyed Israel’s bipartisan support in America. For the first time, says Uri, Democratic politicians are allowed to criticise Israel.

Absolute Tosh.

Congressmen of both parties have grovelled and fainted and shrieked their support for Bibi and his predecessors with more enthusiasm than the Roman hordes in the Colosseum.

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Get a Liberal Out of America

Max Hertz is a liberal, college professor, and artist — and he wants out of America. To do so, he’s set up a crowdfunding campaign. Hertz explains that he’s asking conservatives to put their money where their mouths are, as they are known to say things like: “If you don’t like America, you should just leave.”

Hertz explains, “I am worried about the growing anti-liberal, anti-art and anti-intellectual trends in America and I am actually concerned for my well being and safety.” A little melodramatic, maybe, but he seems hellbent on getting the hell out of here. By donating to his campaign, you will receive hate filled, right wing bumper stickers.

“I would like to leave America before the next scheduled installment of a right-wing president takes place.” Hertz explains.

You can check out his website/donate here.

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The Logical Space of Democracy: A Map

Finnish_Parliament

This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions.

John Danaher is an academic with interests in the philosophy of technology, religion, ethics and law. He blogs at http://philosophicaldisquisitions.blogspot.com.

Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms which from time to time we have tried. Granting this, we might be inclined to wonder what sorts of democratic decision-making procedures are possible? This is a question that Christian List sets out to answer in his paper “The Logical Space of Democracy”. In this post, I want to share the logical space alluded to in his title.

To do so, I need to briefly recap my previous post, which looked at something called the “democratic trilemma”. This trilemma is a generalised version of the Condorcet voting paradox. It applies to any collective decision-making procedure in which inputs (i.e. attitudes towards propositions) are taken from individuals and then aggregated together to form some collective output.… Read the rest

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Reptilians: A Breakdown of the Political Conspiracy

ReptiliansObama-2

Alex Abad-Santos at Vox explores one of the more interesting conspiracy theories: reptilians. “The idea of shape-shifting lizards taking human forms in a plot to rule America and the world has become one of the most majestic and marvelous conspiracy theories created by mankind (or lizardkind, if you will).”

Alex Abad-Santos via Vox:

Last November, the political fate of America was once again put to a vote. But for the millions of Americans who believe in lizard people, this vote had bigger implications — like thwarting an ongoing plot of world domination.

The idea of shape-shifting lizards taking human forms in a plot to rule America and the world has become one of the most majestic and marvelous conspiracy theories created by mankind (or lizardkind, if you will). In 2008, “lizard people” found its way onto the Minnesota’s midterm ballot with some controversy.

As pundits continue to extrapolate on what the Republican win in the midterms means for the country, there are people around this country who hope their votes did something crucial — kept the country safe from lizard people for the next few years.

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Florida Officials Push New Kratom Education Initiative

"Kratom tree" by ThorPorre - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Kratom tree” by ThorPorreOwn work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Keith Edley via entheology.com:

A recent Sun Sentinel article marked a potential turning point in the hysteria that has recently engulfed West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, and nearby Florida towns regarding kratom. A herbal supplement that has risen in popularity, kratom is now offered at Florida kava bars, convenience stores, and gas stations [7]. The suicide of a 20-year-old Boynton Beach man, Ian Mautner, is promising to become a flashpoint for the issue of kratom’s safety and regulation after several news reports highlighted the fact that he was a kratom user, a factor his mother has argued led him to take his own life [7]. However, the most recent developments in the story indicate that Palm Beach County officials are backing away from an outright ban on kratom and may instead implement educational initiatives to teach consumers about kratom, its effects, and its potential risks [7].

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Emerging victim testimonies of child abuse by British MPs

There have been many allegations of child abuse made over the past couple of years against various members of parliament and prominent media figures in Britain. But the media coverage has been minimal. Perhaps their silence is due to big media and the government being potentially implicated in this long running cover up.

Since the iconic British celebrity Jimmy Savile was posthumously uncovered as being a serial pedophile, necrophile and procurer of children in 2013, there have been more and more victims coming out about abuse in the 70s and 80s by figures of power both in politics and the media in Britain. It’s likely that the victims hadn’t spoken up until recently because they were put under the impression that nobody would believe them — they also feared for their and their families’ safety.

From this video you can see that Jimmy’s sexual appetite was common knowledge to anybody in the know.

Late last year there were a couple of video interviews released through ExaroNews, a news company which, and I quote, “investigates issues that are important to business in particular and to the public in general, but which are being inadequately covered – or ignored – by the mainstream media.”

It is crazy how little coverage this issue, which is clearly so deeply burrowed in British politics and media, has received.… Read the rest

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Unauthorized Government Attacks Are Murder

Unmanned

Via Ivan Eland at Antiwar.com:

Although U.S. drones firing missiles at suspected bad guys in faraway places – such as Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia – have gotten much publicity in recent years, it was recently revealed that the CIA assassinated top Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mugniyah with a good old fashioned car bomb in Damascus, Syria with President George W. Bush’s strident approval in 2008. Because of an executive order, signed in 1975 by President Gerald Ford, prohibiting assassinations by the CIA, presidents usually get around that order by using the military to kill an enemy bigwig and then make the disingenuous claim that it was merely taking out a “command and control” target rather than an assassination. In this case, Bush, never one to observe constitutional or legal niceties, became incensed that the CIA director was being too timid in carrying out the hit using the exploding car. The real issue in such cases is not whether it is more dangerous to liberty to kill the enemy using a high tech drone or a more traditional car bomb, but whether it constitutional to do either.

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