meus intuitus

Archive for the ‘current events’ Category

idiocracy

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I have deleted my bookmarks to news sites.  I do not want to read commentary on this idiotic nation anymore.  The ignorance of this nation, be it symptomatic or willful, is something that I have no control over and no amount of news-following and being irritated on my behalf will resolve it.  There are online communities and forums where the informed can gather to debate and share ideas, but this is is a minority population in our nation.  The majority population is one that is violently content with anti-intellectualism, fairy tales, and obesity.  I will not have their misadventures fouling up my daily psychology anymore.

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January 26, 2012 at 7:17 am

elections

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“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum—even encourage the more critical and dissident views.  This gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.” –Noam Chomsky

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January 8, 2012 at 11:39 am

Posted in current events

rapture

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Even belief beyond the shadow of doubt can not stand against fact.

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May 21, 2011 at 1:05 pm

corporatocracy

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Corporations are more powerful than governments are now. Their power will only beget them more power. For the time being, there are still several dozen truly competitive corporations in the global game of power—WalMart, the oil giants, ING financial, Koch Industries, etc. However, just as millions have consolidated into hundreds and hundreds into dozens, the dozens will consolidate into a handful. This handful will be powerful in a way humanity has never seen.

Empires have a rise, a golden age, and a decline. Just like empires, corporations have a life course—one that we are not familiar with because we have never seen their end. Thus far, what we have seen is:

  1. Genesis: A corporation is created by a group of investors who pool their assets to share the risk of a novel and potentially profitable venture.
  2. Self-sufficiency: A corporation lays claim to a resource or develops a product that becomes an “essential” in the corporation’s market (see: lumber, oil, bananas, radios, televisions, and iPads).  In providing or developing a product that the people will always buy (an essential), a corporation matures beyond risk-sharing.  It becomes self-sufficient.
  3. Monopoly: A corporation’s existence is threatened by competing corporations. It is in the corporation’s best interest to eradicate all its competitors. Any arguments appealing to abstract virtues (like free market competition) are null before the corporation’s need ensure its survival.
  4. Symbiosis: Governments hold the power to disrupt corporate accumulation of power. However, government is an entity of its own with its own needs and ambitions. It partners with the corporations to the advantage of the governing parties (i.e. Democrats and Republicans). This symbiosis improves the security, power, and wealth of both government and corporations.  This symbiosis is a gradual process. It begins with small deals facilitated by lobbyists and ends with overt partnership—such as that seen in today’s corporate-political-media complex.  See:  Revolving door, iron triangle, and captured agencies.
  5. Power Accumulation: As the symbiosis matures, power increases. The developing symbiote realizes its potential. It exercises its power to further ensure its power, to expand its power, and to benefit its members.  The Citizens United decision is an overt example of the symbiote’s use of power. The corporations make a bid for power, the government grants the bid, and the media plays the deal down.  However, the vast majority of the symbiote’s uses of power are much more insidious than these.   An example of “insidious” power use is the military-industrial complex.
  6. Conquest: The symbiote does not yet have absolute power over the people. The people are still somewhat conscious and cry out against corporate governance. They make petty appeals to “freedom” and “democracy.”  Fortunately, they are too many and of too many minds.  They are easily divided.

The most interesting part is that there is no person or group in control of the symbiote’s rise.  Today’s corporate power complexes are the result of centuries of growth, development, and mergers—driven steadily by business economics, population dynamics, and human nature.

Addendum (7/4/2012):  As power consolidates, an “agenda” will become more and more evident.  When the players are many, systemics and dynamics drive the changes.  When the players are few, there is greater capacity for deliberate collusion, corruption, and conquest.

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March 30, 2011 at 5:07 pm

comedy central is no joke

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The Daily Show, with John Stewart, featuring recent guests like Tony Blair, Jimmy Carter, and King Abdullah II (of Jordan)–discussing extremism, distortion in American media, and the middle east peace talks.

I watched the Daily Show today and caught Mr. Stewart’s interview with King Abdullah II. I was extremely impressed. Television is bullshit. History Channel, Discovery Channel, Scifi, CNN, FOX–it’s all bullshit. Then, there’s Comedy Central… oh my there is Comedy Central. Comedy Central is a troll in the idiocratic sea of cable television. With the premise of providing shits and giggles, Comedy Central engages viewers who laugh, at first, but think… and think critically, at last. It’s subtle. It’s smart…

Jimmy Carter: “I’ve heard about a rally. So you’re getting involved in politics?”

John Stewart: “No, but it’s going to be pretty funny.”

…It’s the seed of exactly what America needs.

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September 23, 2010 at 8:26 pm

buick is the new honda

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It trumped Lexus in reliability in a 2009 study by J.D. Power!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/19/jaguar-buick-reliability-_n_176755.html

Thank gosh American cars are catching up. I’m tired of driving Japanese. They’re just so bland. A Buick would be a great commuter car–very comfortable ride, reliable, and cheap! BMWs and Benz’s are sport and luxury rolled into one. I think what I like is more differentiated roles in my cars. Well, for now, the plan for a decade from now (lol) is a Regal and an Evo!

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September 16, 2010 at 8:59 am

Posted in current events

You Have No Right Not To Be Framed

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Two African-American boys were convicted of murder 25 years ago by an all-white jury, a witness who was a “known liar and perjurer,” and prosecutors who withheld good evidence that pointed to a white suspect who happened to be the brother-in-law of a local fire chief.  They were released, recently, when the Iowa Supreme Court overturned their convictions.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120098210

While the police have no immunity from framing suspects, prosecutors do seem to have that immunity.  They are free to convict based on “good evidence, bad evidence, or no evidence at all.”  That sounds terrible as is, but what about “fabricated evidence?”  Well, prosecutors across the country say that people have “no freestanding constitutional right not to be framed.”  The argument is that if prosecutors could be sued, then every person who felt they were wrongfully convicted would sue their prosecutors.

Really, though, prosecutor accountability is an excellent idea.  It’s one thing if prosecutors examine, appeal to the jury’s morals, use bad evidence, or use no evidence at all, but to fabricate evidence and to conspire against innocent men when good evidence points elsewhere–that is a completely different story.  Admittedly, prosecutors need to be free to do their jobs and lawyers have to be shrewd for a reason, but they can not be entirely without honor, without accountability; a line must be drawn somewhere–perhaps somewhere just before evidence fabrication and conspiracy.

Of course, “fabrication of evidence” can have gray areas, but that can be tolerated.  It is important for prosecutors to know that, under no circumstances, is it acceptable to outright frame an individual.  And when it is not so obvious–when bad evidence is embellished to fit–then prosecutors would know that the more they embellish it, the more danger they put themselves in to be convicted.

This kind of accountability is exactly what a justice system needs.

Speaking more broadly, this case makes me very bitter.  The profession I am entering holds a more rigorous level of accountability than any profession:  Medicine.  One mistake, and a doctor is liable to be sued.  A carpenter can make squeaky windows.  Police officers can shoot black kids.  The “justice” system can sentence innocent people to their deaths (it has happened).  However, physicians have to be perfect.  Any mistake, any human error (let alone deliberate dis-service/injustice), and he or she is liable to be sued.

Physicians-to-be endure rigorous coursework, cultivate their enthusiasm for life, people, and medicine, and apply to medical school only to have their motivations scrutinized.  In selecting applicants for admission, medical schools take a great deal of effort to make sure that the applicant is entering medicine for genuine reasons.  Applicants have to earn high marks, gain health care experience, perform on the most difficult professional school admissions test, and write essays just to have a chance at an interview with a medical school.  Then, at the interview, applicants have to prove themselves apt in communication, pure in self-reflection, loving of people, and passionate for medicine.

Doctors, as a group, are decent people–albeit a little egotistical, but decent nonetheless.  Despite this, they are one of the most sued groups of people in America.  Do law schools conduct interviews?  Rarely.  Instead of integrity, prosecutors have immunity.

Of course, that is not a fair statement!  I just could not resist.  Many prosecutors are fine individuals and they do need some level of immunity to do their jobs, but they still have to be accountable for any injustices they dare to commit.

P.S.  Go medical tort reform.  It would lower healthcare costs too.

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November 4, 2009 at 9:20 pm