geomoo's blog

Is Gleeful Slaughter of Children a "Red Flag"?

All this is plenty disturbing on its own, but in a sense it distracts from the larger question: is gleefully murdering civilians, journalists, and children a red flag of sorts? Is there any room in our criminal justice system for addressing such behavior? Is there any money to spare for a program aimed at training people to identify potential war criminals within the military and the government? Would it make sense to criminalize neglecting to report activity that might lead someone to suspect a fellow soldier as a potential rapist or war criminal?

To focus on one contrasting example, fewer than 5% of rapes within the military are reported, less that a third of those reported result in imprisonment, and the terms of imprisonment are generally quite short. The war crimes revealed by Bradley Manning and others have resulted in no charges being filed. The government's record on arresting, sometimes torturing, prosecuting, and convicting whistleblowers is much stronger. The quaint word "values" comes to mind.

Would it be threatening for me to suggest that a few million dollars should be spent training government employees in basic constitutional gurantees so that behavior which threatens to undermine the constitution may be reported promptly before too much damage is done? I would favor such a program even if it sometimes happened to help the underdog. (I can say this without fear of being reported only because I don't work for the FBI.) Obviously, the aim of Insider Threat is precisely the opposite of this: to nip in the bud attempts to reveal the ways in which the USG, in partnership with its corporate sponsors, has declared permanent war on the world, including most of its own citizens.

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The Wretched, Hopeful Lessons of Complicity

Let's start with a near certainty.  In most cases most people will do what it takes to stay alive.  It's called the survival instinct and it operates unconsciously.  Fight or flight is the most coarse, outward manifestation of the evolved instinct.  A social survival instinct, also largely unconsious, develops as well.  Many scientists believe pressures from the importance of social skill to survival created the large human brain.  If this is so, then much of our brain is likely devoted to sorting social relations, largely on an unconscious level.  Many of us will smile at a murderer before

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What YOU Need to Know About Corporatism

It is important to understand the forces at work, not through a paranoid lens but rather through an understandable human behavior lens.  I like the way Assange describes the process here.  He first reads from the screenplay of a movie purportedly about Assange and wikileaks to be released this November.  The film opens with a lie-filled scene claiming that Iran is close to developing nuclear weapons and would sell the technology.  He reads 2 or 3 lies embedded in the film, then goes on to say,

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SBIFF Opens Tonight

The best time of my year is always the 9 days of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. I go to 4 or 5 films a day, last year having seen 38 recent releases in all.  The more I go, the more unwatchable I find the predictable dreck coming out of Hollywood.  The day is long and tiring, but I have found that I am often able to scribble off a review of the most outstanding films I see, and I'll be attempting to do so here.  I focus mainly on documentaries, fictional films with a social message, and foreign films which convey something of another country.

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Why What I Think Matters on the Internet

Editor's Note: A snarky look at discourse on the toobz!

1) I want what's best for everyone, therefore everyone should do as I say.

2) The problem with the world is all the people who are not like me. If everyone were like me, then all the problems would be solved. I have the kind of human nature that is good and that never leads to problems while those who disagree with me have the kind of human nature that is bad and that wants people to suffer.

3) I'm quite certain that I am right.

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