Democracy or Dominionism?

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Here’s a scary little article from The Daily Beast that looks at presidential candidates Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry’s ties to Dominionism:

Of the three most plausible candidates for the Republican nomination, two are deeply associated with a theocratic strain of Christian fundamentalism known as Dominionism. If you want to understand Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, understanding Dominionism isn’t optional.

Put simply, Dominionism means that Christians have a God-given right to rule all earthly institutions. Originating among some of America’s most radical theocrats, it’s long had an influence on religious-right education and political organizing. But because it seems so outré, getting ordinary people to take it seriously can be difficult.

Read the article for much more and learn about this creepy philosophy that’s pretty much diametrically opposed to the principles our nation was founded upon through Wikipedia.

The photo was taken at the Torture Museum by Ben Sutherland. See more in his torture museum slideshow.

$10 in Taxes? Sign me up

Lee Camp is my new hero.

He comes closer than anyone to capturing my anger for the wholesale sell-off the nation that all of us and our parents built with his video Corporations Pay Less In Taxes Than YOU, Yeah YOU. This is absolute bullshit and I cannot imagine how we continue to stand for this as a nation. Remember, evil people have plans (and office supplies).

Cyberwar 1.0 beta

singularityCan you believe it?

People are voluntarily joining botnets!

I mean. Botnets? Intentional zombification of your computer? Are you sure that’s … you know … wise?

If Wikileaks broke the Espionage Act, so did the NYT!

Because they got the data too. Others who have broken the 90 year old Espionage Act include e.e. cummings.

Don’t worry – Congress is ready with the SHIELD act!

That’s the Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination Act for those of you who were worried that there wasn’t an awesome acronym!

Houston. We have a little problem handling our approach to the Singularity, please advise.

The photo is by sf à gogo and you can see her work in the Flickriver.

2012, Monument Six, Bolon Yokte & using the End of the World to sell a movie

ChichenItza Sun God by Mananetwork

In 2012 Isn’t The End Of The World, Mayans Insist, the AP’s Mark Stevenson took a look at mounting 2012 hysteria:

It may sound all too much like other doomsday scenarios of recent decades — the 1987 Harmonic Convergence, the Jupiter Effect or “Planet X.” But this one has some grains of archaeological basis.

One of them is Monument Six.

Found at an obscure ruin in southern Mexico during highway construction in the 1960s, the stone tablet almost didn’t survive; the site was largely paved over and parts of the tablet were looted.

It’s unique in that the remaining parts contain the equivalent of the date 2012. The inscription describes something that is supposed to occur in 2012 involving Bolon Yokte, a mysterious Mayan god associated with both war and creation.

However — shades of Indiana Jones — erosion and a crack in the stone make the end of the passage almost illegible.

Archaeologist Guillermo Bernal of Mexico’s National Autonomous University interprets the last eroded glyphs as maybe saying, “He will descend from the sky.”

Spooky, perhaps, but Bernal notes there are other inscriptions at Mayan sites for dates far beyond 2012 — including one that roughly translates into the year 4772.

You can go a lot deeper into the hysteria – including that manufactured (this site for one) by the 2012 movie promoters – along with the actual archaeology at Monument Six on the Toltec I Ching Blog.

Be sure and check this out bigger in Mananetwork’s Mexico slideshow and see a lot more of his travel photography on his blog.

Home from the War

Welcome Home, War from Mother Jones talks about how the technologies pioneered in overseas military action seem to always find their way home. From centralized data, covert penetration, and disinformation developed during the first counter-insurgency campaign in the Philippines up to the present day, it’s a chilling look at what a democracy doesn’t want coming home from the war.

Pushing ever closer to the boundaries of what present-day technology can do, by early 2008, US forces were also collecting facial images accessible by portable data labs called Joint Expeditionary Forensic Facilities, linked by satellite to a biometric database in West Virginia. “A war fighter needs to know one of three things,” explained the inventor of this lab-in-a-box. “Do I let him go? Keep him? Or shoot him on the spot?”

A future is already imaginable in which a US sniper could take a bead on the eyeball of a suspected terrorist, pause for a nanosecond to transmit the target’s iris or retinal data via backpack-sized laboratory to a computer in West Virginia, and then, after instantaneous feedback, pull the trigger.

This kind of stuff creeps the crap right out of me, especially when I read that the Obama Administration is expanding (rather than rolling back) a lot of the national security measures developed during the Bush administration.

The photo is Warrior Spirit by country_boy_shane. Shane has some amazing photoshop & photography skillz – check his work out via Flickriver.

Accidental Theatre presents Elite Snowstorm of Lies III: Attack of Pyramid Squad

Somehow I ended up watching How The Elite Control Politics on YouTube. While I was watching it, I was inadvertently playing Snow (Hey yo) by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The result was a pretty mesmerizing 5:50. You could try it by clicking those links … if you want.

If not, how about this?

Sunday Funnies: The October Surprise Gang

Is it an October Surprise if you are expecting it?

The more I read the daunting litany of the challenges facing the McCain Campaign, the repeated missteps and almost comic cluelessness, the secrecy surrounding his medical condition and the awesomely bad selection of Sarah Palin, the more  certain I become that there is no way that McCain-Palin will be the Republican ticket when November rolls around.

Palin’s nomination cleared the way for a complete reset of the ticket when it becomes clear that McCain cannot continue due to health issues or simply being 20+ points down in the polls.

I don’t even see this as requiring the tinfoil hat anymore – the deck is so obviously stacked against McCain right now that it seems delusional to believe it can make it to November. I think the questions are “when” (shorter is probably better, Oct. 15 is my bet) and “who” (Michael Bloomberg plus some respected military figure).

Shadows in the night

Through Wired I learned of Trevor Paglen and his photography of “black satellites”. Paglen has an exhibit at UC-Berkley, where they explain something about him:

Paglen’s nearly constant subject is the “black world” of the United States government, and through research and visualization he attempts to outline the edges and folds of this hidden world of military and intelligence activities. Whether photographing secret military bases from fifty miles away, or imaging spy satellites in the heavens from earth, Paglen’s photographs embody the limits of visibility, imposed both by the realities of physical distance and by informational obfuscation, that keep us as citizens from seeing and knowing these subjects on our own.

If you head over to paglen.com you can see all kinds of Things That Maybe Should Not Be Seen including code names, limit telephotography and his book I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Black World and an interview with Paglen from The Colbert Report. There’s also a link to a New York Times review of his book that includes a slideshow of the patches. Here’s a couple excerpts:

…The classified budget of the Defense Department, concealed from the public in all but outline, has nearly doubled in the Bush years, to $32 billion. That is more than the combined budgets of the Food and Drug Administration, the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

…“Oderint Dum Metuant,” reads a patch for an Air Force program that mines spy satellite images for battlefield intelligence, according to Mr. Paglen, who identifies the saying as from Caligula, the first-century Roman emperor famed for his depravity. It translates “Let them hate so long as they fear.”

…What sparked his interest, Mr. Paglen recalled, were Vice President Dick Cheney’s remarks as the Pentagon and World Trade Center smoldered. On “Meet the Press,” he said the nation would engage its “dark side” to find the attackers and justice. “We’ve got to spend time in the shadows,” Mr. Cheney said. “It’s going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal, basically, to achieve our objective.”

Huge black budgets, US military units taking their mottos from one of the most terrifying figures in history and a growing shadow government … not the cheeriest things to contemplate.

Freedom’s License

a bike that can only run on special roads by vrogy

Is The Listener License Coming? on Mashable introduced me to Tales from the Afternow, a pretty dark look at a future ruled by mega-corporations and powerful governments. I really encourage you to listen to the first episode, a sort of podcast from the future that looks at the rise of this dystopia with a frighteningly plausible fiction at its heart: the Listener’s License.

Mark Hopkins writes that there are a lot of positive developments, but that the silvery cloud has a dark lining:

Then on the other hand , you have weeks like this week that truly give you pause to wonder where exactly it is we’re headed, as global media companies tighten their grip on the freedom of humans to communicate and share information … Just in the last few clump of days, France’s President Sarkozy has vowed to criminalize file-sharing and America’s Congress has decided force Universities to enforce copyright law in order to receive Federal funds, and while Canada has OKed piracy for personal use, the announcement comes hot on the heels of a number of high profile take-downs.

Now the MPAA has created a very invasive piece of software designed to target illegal copyrighted materials on a university’s network and servers, a release that very suspiciously coincides with the proposed legislation currently before Congress. I’ve got good money that should the Federally mandated copyright enforcement become law, a mandate to use this MPAA software (that, incidentally, opens up the entire university’s private data to the MPAA) will be soon to follow.

Mark writes that though he doesn’t wear a tinfoil hat and that he’s not tryng to shill for any organization that will end legal abuse of humans trying to communicate. He says:

I think, though that we are at the dawn of a new age where everyone is not only a consumer of media from creators big and small, but also creators themselves. Right now is a pivotal point where we can either take ownership of what we create and consume, or see that ownership taken away from us by either corporations or governments acting on behalf of them.

I’m not a tinfoil hat wearer, but I do think that speech – communication in text, images, video and music – is the vital heart of our freedom and we all need to work where we can to expand our rights to speak freely and share our speech all over the world. A new world is being born, and the last thing we need to do is allow elected officials who couldn’t surf their way out of their default homepage to lay the foundation.

The photo is titled a bike that can only run on special roads, and it’s part of vrogy’s DRM is Like set.