Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Partially Hydrogenated Thanksgiving

While I had a particularly morose and introspective Thanksgiving, I still did like I do every year and go to my relatives house for the annual Turkey feast.

The one thing I did differently this year, was arrive early this year to help my Aunt out with the dinner preparations. What I saw her doing appalled me. I had no idea...

Everything that went into the dinner that she was making, was somehow pre-prepared, pre-cooked, frozen, canned or boxed. Of course, even though I already knew what I was going to find, I still surreptitiously looked at the ingredients of all the "food" products she used. This year, everything...and I mean EVERYTHING had partially hydrogenated oils in it (not to mention MSG). The gravy, the dinner rolls, the stuffing, the pre-made pie crusts for the pumpkin pie...and of course, "low-fat" and "cholesterol free" margarine in place of butter for the mashed potatoes and to spread on the rolls. Even the Turkey was pre-basted with a coating that included this vile franken-food in it.

I tried my best to limit my intake of the foods containing it...I ate turkey meat without any of the skin (oh how I LOVE crispy turkey skin that has been basted with real butter while it's baking....) and used the high fructose corn syrup cranberry sauce instead of the pre-made gravy. I scooped out the pumpkin pie filling and threw out the crust. But in the spirit of the holidays, I did have some stuffing and mashed potatoes, and I spooned the drippings from the turkey pan onto them for a makeshift, non-thickened gravy.

It was a literal "pick your poison" meal.

Since my Grandmother died several years ago, my Aunt had taken over as the host for Thanksgiving every year. My Grandmother used to make everything from scratch. Everything. She would have thrown a fit if she saw my aunt use all of that pre-made garbage....but for my Aunt, who has a big family, convenience and time-saving is more important than actually preparing real, nutritious and wholesome food.

Now, I largely eat a "paleo" diet, but I do follow what Mark Sisson calls the 80/20 principle. For me...Thanksgiving is a real treat. A splurge. It's the one time I indulge in dinner rolls, pie, cake, bread stuffing, mashed potatoes and all the other carbs I normally limit or avoid. But this partially hydrogenated, monosodium glutemate-laced, processed food crap really put a damper on my enjoyment of my annual, much relished carb-binge.

Some might think I may be psychologically ruining my enjoyment of the meal...that one wouldn't notice the difference if you only ate a single meal loaded with that stuff.

As someone who avoids it like the plague, I notice a very real difference in how the stuff affects me over time...namely, asthma and allergies.

Ever since I changed my diet and began eating healthy, focusing on healthy sources of fats, and avoiding processed foods and Omega 6 imbalanced hydrogenated crap, my asthma and allergies that I've suffered from for almost my entire life, have virtually disappeared. For three days after Thanksgiving, I've had multiple asthma and allergy attacks. Is it psychosomatics or a very real inflammatory response to that processed crap?

My allergies and asthma symptoms are largely due to my allergens to dust and dust mites. So the day after Thanksgiving, I cleaned all of my bedding and sheets and vacuumed up my living space. In the past, when I did start to experience mild symptoms, a quick wash in hot water and a vacuuming of my bedroom usually did the trick and my symptoms would disappear.

Not this time. I've used more asthma medication in the past week than I have for the entire year. I believe it really is related to the overdose of hydrogenated vegetable oil that is largely responsible.

I'm finally, completely symptom free again, 5 days later.. I'm thoroughly convinced that the pro-inflammatory hydrogenated oils is responsible for my adverse reactions...especially since asthma is primarily a problem of the inflammation of the bronchial tubes.


Consumption of high levels of partially hydrogenated oils can increase inflammation in the body. In addition, they also can inhibit the enzymes necessary for reducing inflammation, compounding the effect. Inflammation within the blood vessels can trigger the buildup of plaque and damage blood vessel walls.

I'm thinking of offering to host Thanksgiving next year, just so I don't have to eat that poison again...either that, or just eat my own meal with my wife before going over to there house.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Does a Former Drill Sergeant Make a Terrible Therapist?

I've had some heavy shit go down in my life this past week and a half...a long time friend, who I considered a brother, killed himself.

I've been alternating between grief and extreme anger at the selfishness of his action ever since I heard.

The first smile I had since I heard the news, was seeing this commercial while watching NFL Football:

Seeing that commercial brought a passage from the Book of Zed (pdf - p.31) to my mind...

The entire secret of life, of power, of everything, was taught to me when I was a teenager, by a man, a farmer. And he taught it to me in the way that is so typical of men: three sentences, no more...

...The farmer's name was Griff. I was a "townie" (population 300) and made good money for a teenager as a "hired hand". One day when I showed up for work he said "We're going to pick up a new truck." We got in his car and the entire 40 minute ride to the dealer passed without either of us saying a word: One of those easy comfortable silences that men often use to communicate more than words ever can.

We picked up a new 4-wheel drive ¾ ton pickup and headed back to the farm. When we got back, he pointed to a large gravel pile by the barn and told me to fill the truck bed with gravel and go fill in a hole in the entrance to one of his fields. I said "But that gravel will ruin the paint on the bed of this brand new truck." He looked at me silently for about a minute, his expression eloquently saying that I was the worst idiot he'd ever been burdened with having to tolerate in his life.

Without saying another word he picked up the shovel and, with a swing that would be the envy of every major league baseball hitter, he swung it around and smacked the side of the truck sending paint chips flying in every direction and leaving a huge dent. He looked at me again with that same "I can't believe you are such an idiot" look and said: "City boy this is a FARM truck. I didn't buy it to look pretty, I bought it to DO WORK, same reason I'm payin' you. Now it ain't new no more, so shut up and shovel the fuckin' gravel." Then he turned around and walked off, leaving me to feel foolish and gain wisdom.

Of course it took the entire context and circumstances for me to understand the full significance of the lesson: not with my head but with my spirit. In the same way, cultures worldwide and throughout history have used ritual space to teach the great lessons to the young. Complexity and too many words destroy the lesson, because the very heart and soul of the lesson is that words accomplish nothing.

Words do not put in crops.

Words do not harvest them or get them to market or prepare them or put them on our plates.

No one eats unless someone shuts up and shovels the fuckin' gravel.

The entire secret of male power is that men do, men have, shut up and shoveled the fuckin' gravel.

I gave myself one day to get all maudlin and get thoroughly drunk on a bottle of Scotch. I lamented the senseless waste of life and the legal issues he left for his children...two of them who are still young children under the age of 10.

But now it's time to put the grief aside and shovel the fuckin' gravel. The only thing I can do, is help his children to deal with the mess he left behind in an expedient and pragmatic way.

Men must do what men must do in times of great emotional turmoil.

Shut up, get up, and get what needs doing, done.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Defining Characterisitics of Fascism

Dr. Lawrence Britt examined various fascist regimes in recent history around the world such as of Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy, Franco's Spain, Suharto's Indonesia, and several other, lesser known Latin American regimes. From this examination, he came up with 14 defining characteristics (illustrated above) that make up a Fascist regime.

Are we there yet? Here's the explanations Britt offered for each point:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

This one is obvious...check.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

Bush gave us both Patriot Acts, and Obama affirmed them and even added the power to assassinate American citizens abroad. Check.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

There's a difference nowadays, as many of the communists, socialists and liberals in this country are every bit the fascists of today. Perhaps Dr. Britt is another one of those who believes that Fascism is a right-wing ideology. Fascist regime use the left-right dialectic to maintain it's control over a divided populace. The Democrat liberals, communists and socialists in America today are just as fascist as the neo-cons, fundamentalist, capitalist Republicans.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread
domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.


5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

Ok, I suspected that Britt is/was a leftist...and this feminist talking points confirms it. However, he's not necessarily wrong here either. The traditional fascist regimes he studied - especially Germany, Italy and Spain - all had a racial component involved. As the leaders of those regimes who governed their respective countries, they definitely promoted "rigid traditional gender roles." This is because they were advocating nationalism to largely heterogeneous nations. Breed more Germans for Germany...more Italians for Italy...more Spaniards for Spain.

Our modern, 21st century Fascist America certainly has it's own rampant sexism - and it's the precise opposite of what Britt describes. The government of our fascist nation is exclusively FEMINIST dominated. It's an exercise in idiocy to simply look at the gender of a nation's leaders and declare them to be "MALE" or "FEMALE" dominated. No, look at what laws are enacted, what policies are promoted, and for whom they benefit. Our current Fascist regime is definitely feminist dominated...and the sexism they promote is one in which traditional gender roles have been largely overturned and rendered obsolete. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are celebrated and promoted, and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the FEMINIST institution...the single mother household.

Since Britt is obviously a leftist, I'm sure he assumes that most people read "Sexism" and think of misogynistic men abusing and exploiting the womynz by keeping them barefoot and pregnant in the kitchens making sammiches.

Ahhh, but the rampant sexism of today is really the misandrist feminists and manginas who exploit the menz by keeping them in forced labor for child support, alimony, and ever-increasing taxes to pay for wealth redistribution schemes to subsidize the single mother household.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.


7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

Have you had the opportunity yet to make your latest choice in the name of National Security? Did you choose radiation or sex assault?

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
Of course, while the corporate mass media and public schools all brainwash the masses to think that we live in a country for which the separation of church and state is one of the greatest indicators of freedom..what we really have is a Government intertwined with the secular-humanist-liberal religion. The rhetoric, terminology used to manipulate the public opinion are all based on globalist, communitarian, sustainable, equal and multi-cultural. Instead of exhorting the masses to think "What Would Jesus Do?," the mantra is now anything found at Stuff White People Like.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
In my opinion, this is the most significant characteristic of a fascist regime. It actually works in precise conjunction with no. 13, Rampant Cronyism and Corruption. Corporate power is protected, because the corporate interest are the very power that is behind the cronyism and corruption.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
More evidence that Britt is a leftist incapable of seeing how the left-right divide is effectively used by the fascist regime. Labor unions are no threat to our current fascist government. They've been harnessed quite effectively to keep the masses of unionized workers firmly stuck in their socio-economic class and easily exploited by the Corporations.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
Not in 2010. The intellectuals and the arts of academia are now bastions of fascism. Of course, they don't think so...it's because they are thoroughly entrenched in the left side of the dialectic, they think they are opposing fascism...unknowingly contributing their part as useful idiots in implementing the goals of  the fascist state.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
Under the guise of wars on terror and wars on drugs, we've now almost completely militarized our nation's police forces and have allowed them to violate the Constitutional rights of the citizenry at will.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
This one and number 9 need to be numbers one and number two on this list. Check.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

So of the 14 characteristics of a Fascist nation, I think it's safe to say, America (and the rest of the Western Countries) has been subverted and converted into a Fascist state.

We are all Fascists now.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Impressive Feminist Commentary

One reason I installed the "recent comments" widget from blogger was so that I would be able to see whenever someone would read and comment on older, past postings.

Today, I find a so-called feminist followed a link to my post "Changes in Family Life" which expanded on some commentary from the Chateau.

I was delighted, as I don't often get blue-pill-addled sheeple-bleatings here.

Here's what "MLM" had to contribute...prepare to be impressed!

This might be the grossest, most ridiculously ignorant and misled post I have ever read about feminism.

Emotionally overwrought ad hominem shaming language.


The writer here clearly does not understand even the most basic precepts of feminism.

The no-true scotsman fallacy. How amusing. I understand far more than the basic precepts of feminism, deary. Much more than you THINK you know.

I saw some banal commenter from another site link to this, and I'm sorry I lost brain cells reading it.

Well since you're a feminist, you've already been told what to think, so you don't need those extra cells anyhow.

I leave this comment to reassure anyone else who gets to the bottom of this post that yes, it is ridiculous, and yes, it is sad that there are people in this world who really believe this crap.

I'm sure you're reassured that your indoctrination has remained intact despite reading ideas that run counter to your programming.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The True Purpose for Obamacare: The American Dang'an

Most people either support or oppose Obama's health care bill usually based on the collectivist argument. Either you support socialism or you oppose it. Essentially it's being argued in terms of economic policy.

I think that's the red herring.

The real issue is the continued development of our technocratic surveillance society - one more building block in constructing the 21st century Panopticon.

It's easily the most insidious component of the bill...it's going to create the American version of the Dang'an.

The Dang'an doesn't sound so bad based on the wikipedia desciption I linked. Here's how John Taylor Gatto described the Dang'an in The Underground History of American Education:

The Western-inspired and Western-financed Chinese revolution, following hard on the heels of the last desperate attempt by China to prevent the British government traffic in narcotic drugs there, placed that ancient province in a favorable state of anarchy for laboratory tests of mind-alteration technology. Out of this period rose a Chinese universal tracking procedure called "The Dangan," a continuous lifelong personnel file exposing every student’s intimate life history from birth through school and onwards. The Dangan constituted the ultimate overthrow of privacy. Today, nobody works in China without a Dangan.

If you read the Obamacare bill, and you pay close attention, you'll see that the new bill calls for a consolidation of personal information and documentation into a single, accessible record.

Take a look at page 161 of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The standards and protocols for electronic enrollment in the Federal and State Programs described in sub-section (a) shall allow for the following:

(1) Electronic matching against existing Federal and State data, including vital records, employment history, enrollment systems, tax records and other date determined appropriate by the Secretary to serve as evidence of eligibility and in lieu of paper-based documentation.

Once you enroll, they will crosscheck your enrollment info with all other info the Government has on you in various computer systems.

(2) Simplification and submission of electronic documentation, digitization of documents, and systems verification of elegibility.

Once they cross check all of your enrollment info with all they data they can find in State and Federal computer systems, they'll compile it all - including digitizing documents that only exist in hard copy - and compile it all into a single record...all under the guise of "assessing eligibility."

(3) Reuse of stored eligibility information (including documentation) to assist with retention of eligible individuals.

See, that documentation - all of it that they used to cross check your enrollment info - will be available for "reuse."

(4) Capability of individuals to apply, recertify and manage their eligibility information online, including at home, at points of service, and other community based locations.

So if a person is able to access this compiled information from the internet...what do you think this will do in terms of identity theft? Or do you really TRUST the government will be able to securely keep all this compiled info private and secure?

Ah, but here's the real kicker:

(5) Ability to expand the enrollment system to integrate new programs, rule, and functionalities, to operate at increased volume, and to apply streamlined verification and eligibility processes to other Federal and State programs as appropriate.

Essentially other Federal and State programs will than be allowed to use all of that compiled private info as they "deem appropriate."

Do you think this is appropriate?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Manufacturing Consensus

Reading The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America and The Underground History of American Education were watershed moment in understanding our current reality regarding society, culture and the way in which our country really operates.
They opened my eyes to the reality that in fact there does exist an elite class of people who really do make decisions that affect and effect all of our lives.

These are the same people George Carlin called The Owners of This Country.

While digging into the research to figure out the methodology they employ to socially engineer society to suit their purposes, I discovered the way in which they use the Hegelian Dialect to create our modern dystopia.

The Hegelian Dialect is the overarching framework for advancing their goals to control the masses...but I recently came across another social engineering technique that was implemented to get communities across the country to accept the changes in the educational system decades ago that have contributed to the brainwashing and deliberate dumbing down of the kids today. This technique is called the Delphi Technique.

An article entitled: Educating for the New World Order - The Role of Behavioral Psychology, details how a group of educators who were puzzled by the vast institutional and curriculum changes that had occurred in the early 80's that shifted the focus from academic achievement to behavioral programming. They assumed that the Federal Government was unawares of these changes...until they started investigating the files of the Department of Education to determine just where the mandates for those changes had originated from. What they found were research documents from the RAND corporation that showed the US DOE used tax money to fund research into behavioral programming and how to manufacture consensus out of groups who may have opposed the educational program changes they were implementing.

What Pennsylvania Group researchers did not expect to find was a how-to manual with a 1971 U.S. Office of Education contract number on it entitled Training for Change Agents; or seven volumes of "change agent studies" commissioned by the U.S. Office of Education to the Rand Corporation in 1973-74; or scores of other papers submitted by behaviorist researchers who had obtained grants from the U.S. Office of Education for the purpose of exploring ways to "freeze" and "unfreeze" values, " to implement change," and to turn potentially hostile groups and committees into acquiescent, rubber-stamp bodies by means of such strategies as "the Delphi Technique. "

No longer was it mere speculation that federal funds for education were being used to pursue behavioral objectives instead of academic ones; here were official texts and documents, solicited by the U.S. government, saying so specifically. With the training manual in hand, it was learned also for the first time precisely how sophisticated psychological manipulation techniques were being used to defuse potentially hostile elements - like parent groups (PTAs), teachers, and community watchdog organizations - so that they are maneuvered into accepting programs and strategies of which they really do not approve.

To say that the Group was shocked by this find would fail to capture the essence of the moment. The room that first examined Training for Change Agents looked like a mass dental examination - every mouth was open.

Change agent training was launched with federal funding under the Education Professions Development Act (1967). The original purpose of the Act was to provide funds to local education agencies to attract and train teachers because of the then-critical shortage. But by the early seventies, these funds were being used by the U.S. Office of Education, under the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, "to award grants to colleges and universities for the training of change agents." The Office of Education even ran one elementary school in Gary, Indiana, jointly with the Behavioral Research Labs to test change agent theories! It is not known whether parents knew anything about it.

By following up references on "behavioral strategies," Pennsylvania Group researchers stumbled onto a series of documents about "how to gain social acceptance for an innovation."

That series of documents essentially outlined the use of the Delphi Technique to overcome resistance from parents.

One of the first papers the team read was Clyde Hall's 21-page "How to Implement Change." In it, he explained "the science of planned change," which translates to legislated and managed change. In one passage the reader learns that:
[i]n a managed change process an outside agent is usually involved which is referred to as a 'change agent' and the population with which it works is called the 'client system'.
The Hall paper goes on to discuss the techniques of "freezing" and "unfreezing" attitudes - today called "programming" and "de-programming." But he was not talking about students' attitudes; he was talking about teachers' attitudes being changed - through teacher workshops, inservice education, and revised college/university teacher education programs. The change agent, he states, would only be withdrawn when "the new attitudes are stabilized."

 To brainwash the children, you must first brainwash the teachers.

To implement a curriculum, the change agent will instruct the teacher by launching the pilot program.

To gain community and/or parental support for a policy, mandate, or curriculum, the change agent will form a committee comprised of the people from whom support is sought. He or she will serve as a lightning rod to draw out the objections (and, more important, the objectors) so that the target group can be manipulated toward an affirmative consensus.

This is why the change agent must be an "advocate-organizer-agitator...

The change agent's primary role was to be a facilitator...to facilitate change. (Change you can believe in.... I guess Obama is our current Chief Executive Change Agent). To do this, the change agent would facilitate a community meeting and take on a three part role of advocate, organizer, than agitator.

As an "advocate," the change agent gets the target group to trust him (or her), by making the group believe he/she is on their side, a "good guy," someone who really cares what each individual in the group thinks. If the group is composed of teachers, the change agent will say: "I know how much time you spend on paperwork." If the group is parents, the change agent will commiserate: "It's so hard to get kids to want to learn, isn't it."

The change agent goes through the motions, acting as an "organizer," getting each person in the target group to voice concerns about the policy, project, or program in question. He listens attentively, forms task forces, urges everyone to make lists, and so on. While he is doing this, the change agent is learning something about each member of the target group. He is learning who the "leaders" are, who the loudmouths are, which persons seem weak or noncommittal, which ones frequently change sides in an argument.

Suddenly, Mr./Ms. Nice Guy change agent becomes Devil's Advocate. He dons his professional agitator hat and pits one group against the other. He knows exactly what he is doing, who to pit against whom. If the change agent has done his homework, he has everybody's number, as the saying goes. He deftly turns the "pro" group against the "con" group by helping to make the latter seem ridiculous, or unknowledgeable, or dogmatic, or inarticulate - whatever works. He wants certain members of the group to get mad; he is forcing tensions "to escalate." The change agent is well trained in psychological techniques; he can fairly well predict who will respond to what. The individuals against the policy or program will be shut out.

This is called the Delphi Technique.

This is the basic framework for how the Delphi Technique is facilitated by a change agent.

Another way to use the Delphi Technique to manufacture consensus is to use a survey approach. From BEWARE - the Delphi Technique Trained Facilitators in public meetings:

The survey approach, when used, is supposedly anonymous. It is done with a group of people who may never come face to face. A knowledgeable person has little opportunity to get exposure of his or her views or ideas to the entire group. It is a technique used by the educational establishment (often financed by the U.S. Department of Education) for reaching a supposed consensus on curriculum goals, content or instructional methods. Widely used as a technique for developing programs "to meet the needs of an individual state or community" the results often turn out to be almost identical, even in wording, to those adopted in other communities or states.

How Delphi Works

Using a series of surveys to develop a "consensus" was the original technique. A 100 page report using a Delphi technique survey done in 1989 is typical. The study was titled, Teacher Perceptions of the Effects of Implementation of Outcome-Based education. It was financed and distributed by ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) of the U.S. Department of Education. The report described the method used. It said: A random sample of 60 teachers was selected from 600 teachers in an Iowa school district. The 60 teachers were given a "survey" which included 39 "statements" concerning educational goals and implementation of OBE. Those surveyed were given a choice of six responses from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. Space was provided for writing any comments or reactions to each statement.

When the surveys were returned, those conducting them tallied the results and analyzed the comments. An effort was made to determine the degree to which at least 75% of those responding would accept each of the statements. On the first "try" 75% or more of those responding agreed to (or would go along with) twenty of the original thirty-nine statements or premises. Those twenty statements became a part of the "consensus."

Try, Try And Try Again

A month later the sixty participants were surveyed again. They were asked to rethink their positions and then were again given the nineteen statements on which there had been no "consensus." When these tabulations were done, there was a consensus on twelve of the nineteen. Thirty days later, a third survey was done on the last seven points. By the time the third round was completed and the written comments were tabulated, it was found that a consensus was achieved and at least 75% of the participants were "in agreement" on the pre-determined package of statements. When the Delphi "consensus" is achieved, a lengthy and comprehensive report can be prepared and released using the "consensus" to support the goals and techniques of OBE or a tax increase or some other new project. When experienced teachers, or citizens, or business leaders, etc. have come to a "consensus" anyone disagreeing, must obviously be uninformed or out of step and may be an odd ball. The technique avoids the possibility of informed people with conflicting views influencing others.

 In a nutshell, the Delphi Technique is a psychological technique to use peer pressure, and group think to ensure that resistance to change is minimized, and hostile opposition is marginalized. But it's not just limited to effecting change in education. I suspect it's now a common technique to facilitate change in community meetings, townhall meetings or any other sort of public meeting for which a "consensus" was reached and some program or fundamental change is justified by the consensus reached at such a meeting.

A group of interested citizens, community leaders, pastors, labor and business leaders, etc. are invited with the announced goal of "getting input" to develop a community "consensus on the problem of XYZ." The session starts with a general assembly addressed by an "expert" from Washington, a college, etc. He or she sets forth the "problem," the "opportunity" and general goals all can agree upon. There may be 50, 75, 100 or 250 in attendance in the general session.

When the general session ends, attendees may be instructed to check the package of materials they received when they registered to find a numbered or colored card -- red, blue, green, orange, etc. This determines the breakout session they will attend with 10 to 40 others. There will be a "facilitator' running each breakout session. There may be a panel of lesser experts to help in the discussion. When the time comes for input (comments and suggestions from the group), a call may be issued for a volunteer to serve as the "recorder" or "secretary." Normally one has already been chosen to "volunteer." This person may work at a chalkboard. As suggestions and proposals are made, the "recorder" will say, "I think we can simplify that to say" Or "I think what you are saying is ...." Or "Can we say it this way..." An unwelcome comment or question can be disregarded by the recorder who says "That's outside the scope of what we are dealing with today."

They will usually get five to eight such suggestions, at which time there is a break before going back to the general session. The "recorders" from each group get together and construct a joint "consensus" of the ideas and agreements from their sessions. A list of "agreed upon" goals, etc. is presented to the entire group. There will not usually be opportunities given for additional comments or disagreements in the general session when the "consensus" is presented.

Through the entire process, of course, care is taken to isolate the informed, opinionated individual who could sway the entire group if given an opportunity to speak. If there are half a dozen such people in attendance, the odds are they will be in different breakout sessions so they cannot support one another. In the final report on "consensus," a conservative or traditional answer may be thrown in. However, it will be presented in a way which indicates it was probably a joke. Everyone will laugh at how impossible that approach would be. This will serve to further intimidate other right thinking people. Many in attendance may be uneasy with the "consensus" but they don't want to appear stupid or out of step so they go along with the group's "consensus."

In hindsight, I recall very vividly the experience of being subjected to this technique while I was in college. I had to attend a workshop to maintain eligibility for the academic scholarship I had been awarded. When I had gone through it at the time, I do remember a vague feeling of unease, and after wards, I never could understand why we had to go through such a lengthy meeting in which nothing substantial came of it.

Now I know exactly what was intended. While it wasn't a political goal this scholarship program wanted to achieve, what they were after was instilling a communitarian ideology in we, the scholarship recipients. (I'll be writing more on this topic in the future...currently awaiting the Anti-Communitarian League to finish their renovation of their website before I go any further. Nikki Raapana's extensive work is indispensable in researching and writing on this topic).

Does any of this sound like an experience you may have gone through in attending any public forums or meetings?

Please share your any experiences you may have had with the Delphi Technique in the comments.

I will be writing further on this topic in the near future, and I'd like to gather my readers thoughts on this matter so that I can incorporate it into a future survey so that I can gain a consensus on what this blog's readers would like to see written about here in the future...

Monday, November 1, 2010

TSA to Travellers: Get Radiated or You Will Be Sexually Assaulted

Have you heard the latest announcements regarding airline passenger screening by the TSA?

In some cases, TSA agents will be allowed to touch body parts that were once off limits.

"The way you used to pat down a passenger in the airport was with the back of the hands. Now we've switched it to the front of the hands. You go down the body, up to the breast portion, and if it's a female passenger, you're going to see if there's anything in the bra," said Charles Slepian of the Foreseeable Risk Analysis Center.

So...if you walk through the metal detector and somehow set it off, TSA is going to ask you to submit yourself to the new Full Body Scanners.

If you "opt out," they will take you on the side and have a same-gendered TSA agent give you a thorough groping.

So why would you opt out?

For one, no one really knows the long-term health consequences from being exposed to whatever energy these machines expose your body too.

According to http://www.dontscan.us, here's the potential health risks:

Backscatter X-ray uses ionizing radation, a known cumulative health hazard, to produce images of passengers bodies. Children, prengant women, the elderly, and those with defective DNA repair mechanisms are considered to be especially susceptible to the type of DNA damage caused by ionizing radiation. Also at high risk are those who have had, or currently have, skin cancer. Ionizing radiation's effects are cumulative, meaning that each time you are exposed you are adding to your risk of developing cancer. Since the dosage of radiation from the backscatter X-ray machines is absorbed almsot entirely by the skin and tissue directly under the skin, averaging the dose over the whole body gives an inaccurate picture of the actual harm. In their letter of concern, the UCSF faculty members noted that "the dose to the skin could be dangerously high". The eyes are particularly susceptible to the effect of radiation, and as one study found allowing the eyes to be exposed to radiation can lead to an increased incidence of cataracts.

Another type of device uses millimeter wave technology, which if improperly calibrated can cause burns. Less is known about the potential health risks of the millimeter wave devices than those of backscatter X-ray, and as with the backscatter devices, no independent testing has been conducted.

There you go...get radiated, or let a TSA agent fondle your genitals. Some choice, eh?

Of course, this is supposed to be alright that the person doing the pat down is your same gender. Gee, how comforting. What if the same gender groper is a closeted homosexual getting their jollies off? Or is no one supposed to even think about that possibility?

Of course, the larger point to be gleaned here is that this latest implementation of technocratic police state measures is the perfect example of how things REALLY work in our Corporatist/Fascist state.

Remember: Government Regulation + Industry = Cartel

Just like the way Monsanto gets their executives appointed to the FDA so that the FDA passes regulations favorable to the multinational agribusiness giant, so too is the corporate cronies seeing a chance to score a lucrative Federal Government contract through Regulatory action.

Enter former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and now consulting firm executive representing the scanner's manufacturer...

Heading up the renewed push for those controversial, clothes-penetrating scanners at airports is former homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff. His consulting firm represents companies who make the scanners, but you wouldn't know it from reading the papers.

In 2009, Chertoff founded the Chertoff Group, a security consulting agency. The Chertoff Group's client list is unknown—Chertoff refused to talk about it in an interview—but he admits in the clip above that some of his clients manufacture full-body scanners.
Yet when he appears in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and on NPR to advocate for full-body scanning, Chertoff is identified only as a former secretary of homeland security. No mention is made of the Chertoff Group. ("If they'd been deployed, this would pick up this kind of device," he tells the Times.) Did Chertoff 'forget' to tell reporters about his connection to the industry he's pimping in their stories?

As if we didn't know it before...but the NYT, WP and NPR are all organs of our corporatist fascist state willfully disseminating propaganda to scare we the sheeple into accepting more and more police state violations of our privacy and well-being.

So the next time you fly the friendly skies, what are you gonna choose, radiation or same-sex fondling of your private parts?