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Old March 10th, 2017, 02:21 PM   #41
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Seems like you don't know what you are or where you fit; kind of lost.
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Old March 10th, 2017, 02:59 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
Seems like you don't know what you are or where you fit; kind of lost.
The key word in your posting is: "seems" ---
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Old March 12th, 2017, 03:16 PM   #43
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America's Vast, Right-Wing Conspiracy of Billionaires: Koch, Scaife, DeVos, etc.

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As we watch Donald Trump tear up the Republican Party like a spoiled kid breaking all his new toys on Christmas morning, we should recognize exactly what created the toxic political atmosphere that enabled Trump’s improbable rise in presidential politics, and made radical right-wingers like John Kasich, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio seem mainstream.

Money.

Secret, untraceable, anonymous contributions by a tiny group of billionaires to a dizzying array of PACs, super-PACs, think-tanks, and vaguely named “institutes” that taken together spend more money on politics than either of the two mainstream political parties.

Jane Mayer’s new book, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (Doubleday 2016), is an exhaustively-researched and well-written study of the influence of a small group of extremely rich individuals and families organized and led by Charles and David Koch, brothers who together have a net worth of over $80 billion.
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Old March 12th, 2017, 04:21 PM   #44
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The Cardinal Sin of America is lying. Every facet of American life is pervaded with lies, half-truths and double-talk. As a result, most Americans, to a greater or lesser degree, have become mentally deranged. There is so little truth and so much deception that they believe their own lies.
----Ahem! Modesty forbids!

The most striking contradiction of our civilization is the fundamental reverence for truth which we profess and the thorough-going disregard for it which we practise.
----Vilhjalmur Stefansson

Human beings are essentially irrational animals, not rational spirits.
They are much more comfortable with illusion and fantasy, half-truths and deceit, than with cold, hard facts and impersonal truth.

No one would think for a moment that the skills of a professional athlete could be acquired without years of unremitting effort. Yet few of these same people feel that the skills of a thinker require the same ceaseless effort and training. Indeed, most think that they themselves possess these skills of thinking to a high degree of perfection.

Consciousness reigns, but does not govern.
----Paul Valéry
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Old March 12th, 2017, 04:22 PM   #45
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Can you outline what would have been done actually differently?

Also, "Radical right" is an oxymoron.
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Old March 15th, 2017, 04:45 PM   #46
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Gun Control and Violence in Canada

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Robert J. Mundt, of the University of North Carolina, points out that "Crime in America is popularly perceived [in Canada] as something to be expected in a society which has less respect for the rule of law than does Canadian society...."

"Living in a frustrating, stress-inducing environment like the United States every day of your life makes many people walking powder kegs...."

From the study conducted by Sproule and Kennett, the rate of violent crimes was five times greater in the U.S than Canada, and "almost double the rate of firearm use in American than Canadian homicides"....

In short, the use of firearms "in Canadian homicides has declined since the legislative changes in gun control in 1977"....

They also noted that the "American murder rates for handguns are higher than the total Canadian homicide rate"....
This is a reason why I am constantly emphasizing the tetchiness of Americans, and how common hysteria, or near hysteria, is in the history of America. There is something essentially wrong with America, and it is very deeply engrained.

I think there is a deep sickness in the sense of morale of the country.
Moreover, I think the most important first step in dealing with that sickness is getting rid of the old, sclerotic horse-and-buggy Constitution and creating an up-to-date constitution from scratch, fit for the conditions of the 21st century.

As long as Americans do not deal with their own mental and moral sickness, they have no business messing about in the rest of the world.
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Old March 20th, 2017, 03:36 PM   #47
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The cold, hard facts (to which Americans seem so averse) are these:

List of countries by intentional homicide rate

0.44 --- Japanese murder rate per 100,000 per year

5.40 --- American murder rate per 100,000 per year


Americans are more murderous than people in Yemen (3.98), Palestine (3.85)[ ! ], Philippines (3.82), and Uzbekistan (3.16).

However, looking toward happier and better lands, our hearts must be cheered when we see the relative sunlight and goodness of northern, western and central Europe.

At the low end: Norway (0.71), Austria (0.73), Denmark (0.88), Germany (0.88), Sweden (0.89), Netherlands (0.91) and Greece (0.98)

At the high end: Portugal with a whopping 2.5 per 100,000 [Spain is just at 1.2, however].

Switzerland is not far behind, at 2.26 murders per 100,000.
[So much for the canard that the armed-to-the-teeth Swiss are models of reason and peaceability!]

Britons, who never, never will be slaves, are in murderous third place at 2.03 murders per 100,000.
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Old March 20th, 2017, 03:44 PM   #48
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When we look within the United States, we must be struck by the considerable variability in murder rates between different regions:

Crime in the United States

Naturally, you are more likely to be murdered if you are in a big American city. Giving figures at murders per 100,000 people per year, Baltimore (46) and Detroit (45) have no trouble competing with third-world mayhem, and the District of Columbia (35.8) is neck-and-neck with its namesake, murderous Colombia (36) --- as is New Orleans (35).

Curiously, the Bible-obsessed South and West contain the the most dangerous states in which to live: Louisiana (12.7), Maryland (9.4), New Mexico (8.9), Mississippi (7.8), Nevada (7.4), Arizona (7.2), South Carolina (6.9), Georgia (6.9). All the rest of the old Confederacy are in the 6's and 5's.

Utah is interesting. A Bible-obsessed place, it has a European murder-rate: 1.9. But it has a much higher than average rate for rape.

In general, the closer you are to the Canadian border, the safer you are. Apparently, the radiance of Queen Victoria still has power to sooth the wild and savage American heart --- at least, to some extent. [Canada (1.83)]

Maine, New Hampshire and North Dakota all have murder rates of 1.4 per 100,000 --- quite respectable, even by European standards. Iowa (1.6) is not far behind.

Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming are all in the 2's, and could be considered civilized, if it were not for other factors.

You are less likely to be murdered if you live in the central wastelands of the USA, though I suspect that is mainly because the region is so sparsely settled that you have to drive a long distance to find someone to shoot, and therefore have time to cool down.
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Old March 23rd, 2017, 04:02 PM   #49
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INDIANS of CALIFORNIA - American Period

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The period after the US conquest of California was a horrible time for the Native Californians, given the sheer magnitude of what happened during that half century: scalpings of men, women, &children; incarceration in jails with the only way out being enforced indenture to whites for unspecified lengths of time; the kidnapping &sale of Indian children; the massacres of entire Indian villages; the military roundup of Indians and their enforced exile on military reservations where even the most basic of living amenities were lacking; their complete legal disenfranchisement. The outcome of all this was that during the first two decades of the American occupation, the native population of California plummeted by 90 percent - in short, a California version of the WWII Holocaust.
Just another of the black crimes and horrors of American history that most Americans refuse to face up to.

How very different things might have been if the Terrorist Uprising of 1776 had been squashed, and good Queen Victoria had presided over her 19th century American Empire!! (No Civil War, for one thing)

During her Jubilee celebrations Queen Victoria saw Buffalo Bill Cody's show and was much taken with the Native Americans. Afterwards she addressed them: "All over the world I have seen all kinds of people; but today I have seen the best-looking people I know. If you belonged to me, I would not let them demean you by taking you around in a show like this!"

Hurrah for politically correct Victoria!
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Old March 23rd, 2017, 04:35 PM   #50
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Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media

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Robert Mercer very rarely speaks in public and never to journalists, so to gauge his beliefs you have to look at where he channels his money: a series of yachts, all called Sea Owl; a $2.9m model train set; climate change denial (he funds a climate change denial thinktank, the Heartland Institute); and what is maybe the ultimate rich man’s plaything – the disruption of the mainstream media. In this he is helped by his close associate Steve Bannon, Trump’s campaign manager and now chief strategist. The money he gives to the Media Research Center, with its mission of correcting “liberal bias” is just one of his media plays. There are other bigger, and even more deliberate strategies, and shining brightly, the star at the centre of the Mercer media galaxy, is Breitbart.

It was $10m of Mercer’s money that enabled Bannon to fund Breitbart – a rightwing news site, set up with the express intention of being a Huffington Post for the right. It has launched the careers of Milo Yiannopoulos and his like, regularly hosts antisemitic and Islamophobic views, and is currently being boycotted by more than 1,000 brands after an activist campaign....

On its website, Cambridge Analytica makes the astonishing boast that it has psychological profiles based on 5,000 separate pieces of data on 220 million American voters – its USP is to use this data to understand people’s deepest emotions and then target them accordingly. The system, according to Albright, amounted to a “propaganda machine”....

“The danger of not having regulation around the sort of data you can get from Facebook and elsewhere is clear. With this, a computer can actually do psychology, it can predict and potentially control human behaviour. It’s what the scientologists try to do but much more powerful. It’s how you brainwash someone. It’s incredibly dangerous.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that minds can be changed. Behaviour can be predicted and controlled. I find it incredibly scary. I really do. Because nobody has really followed through on the possible consequences of all this. People don’t know it’s happening to them. Their attitudes are being changed behind their backs.”....

One of the things that concerns Howard most is the hundreds of thousands of “sleeper” bots they’ve found. Twitter accounts that have tweeted only once or twice and are now sitting quietly waiting for a trigger: some sort of crisis where they will rise up and come together to drown out all other sources of information.

Like zombies?
“Like zombies.”


Many of the techniques were refined in Russia, he says, and then exported everywhere else. “You have these incredible propaganda tools developed in an authoritarian regime moving into a free market economy with a complete regulatory vacuum. What you get is a firestorm.”
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Old March 27th, 2017, 01:40 PM   #51
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A description of the ideal American consumer-unit :

L'Automatisme Psychologique

Janet related the origin of subconscious phenomena in hysterical patients to the narrowing of their field of consciousness. This concept refers to the reduction of the number of psychological phenomena that can be simultaneously united or integrated in one and the same personal consciousness. Some register in conscious awareness, others are relegated to a subconscious area in much the same way that central and peripheral items in a visual field are noticed. In Janet's view, narrowing the field of consciousness is one of the two basic characteristics of hysteria. The other is dissociation....

Dissociation and mental dissolution...denote the manner in which this narrowing of the field of consciousness occurs in hysterical patients. Dissociation occurs when different factors disturb the integrative capacity. This disturbance leads to the splitting off or doubling (dédoublement), separation and isolation of certain psychological regulating activities. These dissociated systems of activities (states of consciousness) vary in complexity from a simple image, thought or statement and its attendant feelings or bodily manifestations, to the alter personalities of patients with multiple personality disorder....

While clinicians such as Bemheim and Babinski regarded hyper-suggestibility as the basic characteristic of hysterical patients, Janet stated that hyper-suggestibility depended on the narrowing of the field of consciousness and the predisposition to dissociation. The patient is suggestible because dissociated parts of his mind lack the higher mental functions of critical judgment. By distracting the patient, the hypnotist is able to communicate directly with these parts....

Janet introduced the concept of "psychological misery" to denote the mental status of patients in whom the field of consciousness was narrowed and whose integrative powers were strongly diminished, thus allowing dissociative phenomena to occur....

...vehement emotion such as the fear and anger inherent in traumatic experiences are primary causes of "psychological misery." This state is marked by a serious decline of the integrative power of the mind and, in hysterical patients, an increase in dissociative phenomena.

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