Now, what do you get when you get a Finnish church organist who loves both classical music and progressive trance? Enjoy; it's out of this world. It's amazing.
Petri Alanko you are the legend of the day. Just when you thought all hope was lost, something like this comes around to restore your hope in civilisation. Western Civilisation.
Josef Gobbels: Nazi Propaganda Minister
I don't expect the government as a whole to come clean about 9/11; they're going to stick to the story line that's been advanced concerning the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon buildings. What I'm hoping will happen is that individuals in the F.B.I., C.I.A., reporters, airline representatives, firemen,policemen, and all others who were at or near the World Trade Centers on that day tell what they know. I hope they will show more loyalty to the American people than to any political party or government administrations. This especially goes for the news media and it's coverage of this event that was shameless, dispicable and treasonable. There are simply too many unanswered questions, too many loose ends, and too many incidents on 9/11 that defy logic and common sense.
There has been much talk of plots, intrigues and conspiracies as to what actually transpired the day the World Trade Centers collapsed. Did a plane really hit the pentagon and did a plane actually crash in Pennsylvania? Why did the buildings fall and especially why did building #7 fall into a nice little neat pile when no plane even hit #7.
I could expound my own theories and speculate about the motives for such a horrendous act as many others have done to try and justify a new look at 9/11. However, I don't think it's of much benefit to put my theories on top of the mountain of theories and speculations that has grown constantly since the 9/11 tragedy.
I only know this: When I look at the events surrounding 9/11 there are alarm bells going off in my head and red flags waving with every twist and turn of the 9/11 scenario that was laid out in the media and through government sources. A new investigation into the tragedy of 9/11 eight years after the fact is in my opinion eight years over do and should be commenced immediately.
Basically my assertions were that:
1) That in cases of rape, there is a degree of legal and social prejudice which renders the presumption of innocence ineffective.
2)Women interpret things differently to men.
It's on this second point that I wish to concentrate since the discussion itself turned out to be a fascinating example of my second point.
It is my belief, that men and women process information differently and this in turn affects the way that the they interpret events. Male/female misunderstanding is a common enough experience which seems to confirm my belief, but where this misunderstanding can lead to potentially tragic outcomes is in the area of human sexual relations, where frequently consent is not explicitly given but implied
Now in normal human intimacy, sexual escalation does not usually proceed through negotiation, the partner does not explicitly ask if he can kiss the woman, he proceeds and then waits for her response. If the man initiates actions which the woman finds agreeable, the combination of non-resistance, moans, etc. is enough to imply consent. The point here is that the escalation of human intimacy usually occurs through implicit rather than explicit communication.
Now the point of all this is that men are frequently terrible at understanding implicit meaning. A girl may be quite friendly to a man and having only friendly intentions while the same man may think the girl's actions are an attempt to initiate a relationship. This of course may cause offence to the girl and embarrassment to the man without any malice actually being present. For example a man my wish to complement a woman but she may interpret it as a form of harassment, once again without any malice being present.
Communication between parties can be though of as occuring in a first and second order manner. First order communication is unambigous transfer of information without implicit meaning. Implicit communication is what I would term as second order communication, perception is dependent on both the mental make up of the perceiver and the message. So for example a woman who is a militant feminist may interpret a complement as sexual harassment another woman who is not, won't. The point here is that the signal has a different effect depending on the "software/culture" of the receiver.
When Viagra first came on the market, I was surprised at the number of women who would not let their husbands take it or got angry when their husbands did. Initially, I interpreted this as the woman not wanting to be sexually bothered by the man. Until one day I was having a discussion with a lady who was unhappy about her husband using Viagra and I asked her why. "I should be able to get it up for him without him needing medicine". Upon further questioning it became apparent that this woman was unhappy about her husbands Viagra use because it confirmed her self-perceptions of unattractiveness. The husband, whom I knew well, thought his wife was gorgeous and he felt that his wife--whom he felt other men regarded as gorgeous--would leave him if he did not sexually satisfy. Now this was a classic situation where two people drew different conclusions from the same situation. Anecdotally, when I now prescribe Viagra I tell my male patients to go home and reassure their wives. The men are frequently quite perplexed when I point this out but surprised when they find out that their wife was anxious about their sexual allure.
Now what seems to have become apparent to me in my years of practice, is that human thinking tends to be a mix of first and second order communication. While both sexes are capable of both, men in general seem to operate more on a first order basis while women on a second order basis.
Now second order communication has both its benefits and its drawbacks, and these will be dependant on the culture of the recipient of information. Now, if a woman is obsessed with sexual politics she is going there is going to be a very wide variety of "signals" which she is going to interpret in sexuo-political way. More importantly, prejudices of any kind have a profound impact on second order thinking, since information is interpreted in context of the prejudice.
Where second order thinking assumes a dangerous dimension is when the second order thinker asserts that their interpretation is objective and not subjective.
A perfect example of this second order thinking is expressed by Clio in my exchange with her. Clio consistently imputes to me opinions which I do not hold. Now I can see how she could interpret my comments in such a way, but I would ask the reader to go over our little exchange and see if I explicitly make any of the claims she imputes to me.
Here’s a snippet of what you said to me in your last comment:
(The Social Pathologist)Now a sane and rational man would look at the facts in toto with due regard to each of them and come to the conclusion that this woman was grossly irresponsible in her behaviour. She did not deserve anyone’s sympathy or support. Yet your interpretation of the facts would nullify pertinent features because the conclusions would be “distasteful”.
(Clio) This is the comment to which I was responding when I took your words “personally” and argued in support of my own detachment. It certainly implies that I had been irrational and unreasonable.
It logically implied nothing of the sort, yet Clio perceived it to. Now it could also mean that a sane and rational woman would look at the facts differently. It does not logically follow that a different opinion is necessarily the opinion of an an insane or irrational person. Now it is possible that my writing was ambiguous, but if there was any lack of clarity on my part I suppose the appropriate thing would have been to seek clarification. I am quite capable of stating that women are idiots(even though I don't believe it) or utter other disagreeable comments if the situation arises. The point here is that Clio attributed sentiments to me which I did not posses and then proceeded to vigourously assert that I possessed them. Interestingly she self-identified with her position, perceiving an rebuttal to the subject at hand as an injury to her self.
This is the typical Men are from Mars, Women from Venus, stuff and quite frequently both the source of both mirth and marital misery. A fair portion of my time is spent counselling couples who are in marital strife because of the differences in their perceptions of their marriage.
Now this type of thinking assumes dangerous implications when it comes to sexual harassment (and rape) Suppose a man makes an ambiguous comment which is interpreted as an unwanted sexual advance by a woman. Now the man may have meant one thing but it has been interpreted as another. Whom do the courts believe; the woman who has "experienced" sexual harassment, or the man who has not intentionally offended? A man is dead in the water if his legal system is feminist prejudiced.
The point here is that we as a society need to recognise that men and women both think and perceive differently and take account of it. This does not mean that one is superior than the other. In fact, both forms of thinking have both the benefits and drawbacks, the point is however, that non-recognition of this fact does an injustice to both sexes and is a source of much male female grief.
Here is a LINK to a video by Deborah Tannen, a linguist who has studied how men and women miscommunicate. It's well worth the view.
Further proof that masculinity and femininity are not social constructs; they are innate.
Under the "Black Codes", blacks could not rent or lease land and were prohibited from buying property. In many southern states blacks could not vote, hold office or live in cities without a special permit. Tax laws were passed that forced blacks to pay a poll tax if they were allowed to vote at all and an occupation tax that crippled them economically. The state was allowed to arrest them for non-payment and send them to forced labor camps where they would be worked for up to a year free of charge. White plantation owners could also pay the taxes for the black man who would have to work the plantation until their debt is payed in full to the owner.
When these "Black Codes" were ruled unconstitutional it wasn't long before the first "Jim Crow" segregation laws made there appearance on the scene. Separate but supposedly equal under law. Separate drinking fountains, bathrooms, not being served in many establishments such as restaurants, hotels, hospitals and having to sit at the back of the bus or the balcony of movie theaters. Then came the literacy laws, more poll taxes and educational test as requirements for voting. Even state institutions for the blind were segregated. Color was distinguished where no color could be seen! Incredible!
Just as the social and economic discrimination continued in various forms from slavery to the "Black Codes" and through to "Jim Crow" laws that forced blacks to live in Ghetto's and work at menial labor jobs, these indignities are alive and well in the 21st century. Under various names the same social and economic injustices were advanced and the desired result of keeping the blacks and other minorities down were achieved in the past and are being successfully perpetrated today. It should be noted that some of these same laws governing literacy test and poll taxes were used against poor whites to prevent them from voting as well. The plantation owners and power brokers of the south had no intention of losing their grip on power and privilege because of disenfranchised poor folk of any color.
The "Jim Crow" laws and "Black Codes" of yesterday are the Criminal Offender Record Information (C.O.R.I.) reports of today and serve the same purpose: To keep the people of color and other poor minorities marginalized, sidelined and powerless to improve their position in society. The C.O.R.I. report effectively eliminates anyone with a criminal record (no matter how minor or long ago) from full participation in society for the rest of their lives and are used as a perfect excuse to deny the rights of millions of American citizens. With these C.O.R.I. reports you can be denied housing, employment in many fields like child care, banks, foster parenting, most state and federal employment, government contractors and prevented from getting a bank loan and the list goes on and on.
In this slick back-door manner the status quo has found a new way to practice bigotry, racism, discrimination and hate. With this C.O.R.I. information readily available to local, state and federal government agencies as well as employers, doors are slammed shut legally under the guise of protecting society. Under the banner of public safety and preventative measures to preempt the breaking of primary laws; every Tom, Dick and Harry, butcher, baker and candlestick maker can access these C.O.R.I. records, use them as legal tools of racism and turn an entire segment of the U.S. population into practically non-existent entities. C.O.R.I. is nothing less than government mandated institutional racism. It is lynching without rope; an electronic lynching and a subtle way of killing people slowly without literally whacking them. It is a new kind of cleverly disguise slavery, "Black Codes" and "Jim Crow" laws all rolled into one legislative act that turns American citizens into ghost and should be struck down as discriminatory and unconstitutional. At the very least the C.O.R.I. laws need to be modified and these records strictly limited, controlled and accessible only under the most stringent guidelines. Support C.O.R.I. reform.
Is there any truth
Storied tales or lies?
High handed words
I feel the blood boil
My heads on fire
My body a funeral pyre
Mind blown up
Fast asleep at the wheel
Clean out of luck
Tell me what's real
Say hello when you take the trip
Snakes alway's in a coil
The spirit will strike lickity-split
I get tired
As the blood boils
And the flames move quick
As the blood boils
Lord Walker of Gestingthorp
The sectarian violence will spike not because the Iraqi army and police forces are poorly armed, badly trained or ill prepared. The violence will not return because U.S. forces pull back and take leave of the situation. The violence will return because of what the U.S. military brass will take with them as they withdraw from Iraq. You see George W's "Surge" was more smoke and mirrors than brilliant tactical maneuver despite the hooey expounded and served up by mainstream media outlets. Regardless of the "Neo-Cons" that hail the "Surge" as a success story, this is not even close to the truth. The truth of the matter is the violence calmed down for one reason and one reason only.
That reason was the initiation of a strategy (Most of the time a failed strategy) out of an old play book and used by many a businessman, industrialist, corporations, military's and countries throughout the world from time to time. This strategy is used many times when options are few and all else failed. It's used when the product fails to meet expectations, when the assembly line is producing more scrap than saleable merchandise and used when wars or occupations take a disastrous turn. This strategy comes into play when the know-it-all smart-asses running the show realize they aren't as smart as they thought they were. It's used when the best laid plans go haywire and options have dried up and blown away.
The strategy is simple and easy; the strategy is to throw more money at the problem, usually more money than the problem is worth. As they sent more troops in to quell the violence in Bagdad, Kirkuk and other Iraqi cities they simultaneously sent in a "Bag Man" with plenty of cash to spread around. The violence in Iraq didn't slow down because of the influx of new troop concentrations. The violence tapered off because of the bundles and bundles of cash the military (With the blessing of Washington) brought with them to appease various factions responsible for the bombings and killings.
The number of U.S. troops brought in actually had little to do with the relative calm of the Iraqi streets. It was the amount of money brought in and being doled out as payment to various sects in Iraq to stop fighting. This is why the supposed "Awakening Councils" were formed in Iraqi neighborhoods. Not to promote peace as claimed by the media, but to serve as regional paymasters to disperse these funds to the local warlords. Like they say: "Money talks and bullshit walks".
When it came to collecting easy money and I'm talking about thousands and hundreds of thousands of good old American "Green Backs" that are being thrown at the warring factions in Iraq, things changed. Suddenly it becomes very profitable and fashionable for all sides to hold their militias in check and stop blowing people up for awhile. But as the troops pull back, Uncle Sam's purse strings will pull tight and the flow of dollars will stop. The fat payola enjoyed by the Sunni, Shite's, kurds and Turks is slowly shrinking and will soon be gone. The day the United States stops paying the various sects and militias not to fight, all hell is going to break lose. The only "Surge" that worked was the surge of American money not American might.
This war was a foolish and reckless undertaking from day one. No matter what beautiful pictures are shown or optimistic commentary comes out of the talking heads on mainstream corporate television, the United States involvement in Iraq can only end with a rude awakening and realization that far more harm was done on many levels than good because of the invasion of Iraq, regardless of how our involvement ends. In my opinion Civil War in Iraq is almost assured and no amount of troops, guns or propping up of puppet regimes from the United States is going to make a differance in the outcome. The future of Iraq must be in the hands of the people of Iraq as it should have been from the start. The only reasonable solution the United States has to their involvement in Iraq, is the only solution there ever was: GET OUT AND STAY OUT!
The Vietnam War was the polarising issue in the U.S. (and Australia) in the 1960's, the cultural and political forces that were unleashed as a result of the political and cultural debate on the matter were one of the principle motive forces that powered the cultural change of the 60's. And for what its worth, from my perspective, the cultural changes really started happening about 1965 and ended about ten years later. The America that entered the 60's was a totally different America than the one that emerged from it. In the space of a decade America was transformed from a country that was sure of itself, its sense of destiny and power to an America that seemed totally unsure of itself an powerless, an America as epitomised in the Carter presidency.
What had changed? What had so sapped American potency and might?
The rot was a long time gestating and began to make it appearance well before the 60's, however the old world still tenaciously hung on, hung on at least till the Kennedy Administration came into power, after which the old world was thoroughly swept aside. The Kennedy Administration was to the U.S what the Whitlam Administration was to Australia; transformative. The "Best and Brightest" of a generation gave their services and enthusiasm to the new administration. The hope was that new, young, enthusiastic men with transformative ideas were going to change America and the world into a better place. The hope was misplaced.
Chief amongst these "Best and Brightest" was Robert McNamara. His biography can read at Wikipaedia. The war in Vietnam was known as McNamara's war and rightly so, as he set out to fight it. And there was the problem, he was not a combat commander, he was a business analyst.
Indeed McNamara was one of the first of the new breed of "scientific managers'(currently today's MBA's) who ran things according to key performance indicators. Body counts, tons of bombs dropped, number of acres of forest cleared, etc. Errol Morris's Fog of War manifestly illustrates the point. He instituted corporate management for the military, not only in the orginisation of the American Military but in the conduct of its operations. To put this more bluntly, given the vast resources of the U.S, its superpower military, its total tactical domination of the enemy, the question is why didn't the U.S win the Vietnam war? The U.S lost the war because it was being run by accountants, not soldiers.
McNamara's evil lay in not knowing his limitations. Prior to McNamara, the Secretary of Defence's job was to provide the military with what it needed to get the job done. With McNamara, he was going to tell the military how to fight the war. Indeed in Morris's Fog of War, McNamara frequently refers to himself as a commander and of the strains of command. The problem was that he was not militarily trained. To quote his arch enemy; a good hospital administrator is not necessarily a good brain surgeon. McNamara dabbled in the surgery. He moved beyond his circle of competence. But he did more that just that, he made sure that surgeons operated according to how he wanted them to. If they didn't, they were isolated or fired and new more "compliant" surgeons were employed who were prepared to do their masters bidding.
His lasting legacy was in the transformation of the "culture" of the Pentagon. Yes-men generals and admirals were hired to replace military who were too outmoded in their thinking. He ensured that the president only got the advice that the he felt that the president wanted to hear. He maneuvered to have the Joint Chiefs of Staff politically isolated from the President so that dissenting voices would not heard. A good account of the politics of the time can be read in the book "Dereliction of Duty" by Robert McMaster. He did what no foreign tyrant was able to do to the U.S military, he "decapitated" its head and replaced it with soldiers and academics who were politically acceptable. Competence took second place to loyalty and ideology.
McNamara did not just lose the war, he broke the U.S. military by shooting it in the head. He destroyed its culture of success.
There was however a lone voice in the wilderness. McNamara's pathology was well understood by this man. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who believed in the sanctity of civilian control of the military, he was powerless to stop McNamara. Though, in no uncertain terms expressed his views at McNamara's ineptitude in private and amongst his peers and in official reccomendations, He was powerless to speak out in public as a result of his soldiers oath. However upon retirement wrote a book on the subject, warning his fellow Americans of the dangers that the McNamara and his ilk were exposing America to. The book, aptly titled "America is in Danger" is out of print, though is still worth the effort reading. Reading it is chilling especially especially in how it predicied intelligence failures as a result of McNamara's changes under the guise of efficiency. In light of the intelligence failures of September 11, the book is prophetic The author recognised that military affairs cannot always be quantified and that a military leader must always operate knowing that his decisions are clouded by the "fog of war". Furthermore he realised one tampered with a successful culture at one's peril since it was very difficult to produce a culture of success. Indeed this man was so worried about his country that he was prepared to tarnish his unblemished reputation in order to get a public audience for his message by running as a vice presidential candidate with a morally repugnant man. He was McNamara's arch enemy, his antithesis. He was Curtis LeMay.