Saturday, May 31, 2008

Countering Propaganda. Clearing Fog With the Close-up: The Lesson of the Microcosm

How to Counter Propaganda.

Instances where presenting the specific got across the broader idea well.

An effective way to counter propaganda is to find, explore and present a concrete case and let it speak for itself.

1. Global warming.

Talk talk. But to show the polar bear, show it sliding off, drowning, hits the gut. Talking points fail at that sight.

2. Iraq.

See the 2007 "Body of War", :// Watch the Bill Moyers program on it - at We can't listen to all the talking points any more, without getting into the microcosm. One soldier, Tomas Young, paralyzed from mid-chest down. A day in the life. A year in the life. The family.

That family remains divided as to the worth of the war, but that was in 2007; and also makes the film more credible - they did not go out to find a family united against the war.

Co-directors - Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro - see ://

3. Next Microcosms:

Please, Mr. Donahue and Ms. Spiro, and Mr. Moyers:
  • A specific soldier's story, where the soldier committed suicide. Here is a start, with the personal: :// Or, from CBS, ://
  • A specific soldier's story, where he or she was killed. Was there adequate armor, training for an unidentifiable enemy, the constant regroup so the "enemy" is never defeated in his or her time frame, but merely lays low, to attack another day. Compare that soldier's pay to Blackwater. Privatizing again - who benefits. Then again, what choices do our leaders have, given the givens, see Blackwater at ://
  • Show the tentacles of war. Entrenched bureaucracies in the military as elsewhere, co-dependence, mutual backscratch.
  • Show the effect of Failure to Innovate - the military wearing its concrete boots, not even teaching its people the language, etc. Military strategy and evolution - See the focus on the "valor of man" in the 2003 "Military Theory and the Force of Ideas," at :// Four years later, would they please update? Then read all the military strategies listed at :// And click on "The American Way of War" and get a bibliography including on issues like the need for innovation.
In that light, read how India began to address a similar issue, of how to incorporate innovation into a military structure, in 2003 or so. See

4. How to spot the propaganda in the first place. Propaganda From High Places:

What information can you trust.

Can you trust this: "Irregular Enemies and the Essence of Strategy. Can the American Way of War Adapt?" 2006, from our own US Government at ://

Then go to the Strategic Studies Institute, at ://; and download away. Public domain.

Then, read about military people not offering neutral assessments, but only parroting White House policy and selecting what supports that, and weep. See ://; and :// Rosa DeLauro, Congresswoman D-Conn, thank you.

But if we cannot counter propaganda with facts we get because the sources are tainted, how do we counter propaganda? It is still coming.

Samples of The propaganda:

The war is going better. Casualties are down.

For that one, note the flaw. Our time frame for success measures in months or innings; while that of the east is measured in years, even centuries. See Joy of Equivocating, Cultural Time Frames and Measuring Military Success.

Continuing: The enemy is on the run. Just give it more time.

Engaging in the debate does not work. No, it isn't, we say; and cite this and that. Etc. Noone changes position. . We know we cannot counter propaganda with more propaganda, but we can show it fall of its own weight, when we focus on the heart of it.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Fatal Denial of Random: All Things Are Not Sinister. Culture Wars and The Drive for Patterns.

Dictatorship of the Pattern

Culture Wars: The Drive to Find 
or Impose Patterns. 

Embrace or Deny the Random.

If there is no pattern, do we have to articulate one anyway - make one up.
Does that work? Feel better?

I.  The Book. The  Experiments.

Look up " Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and the Markets," by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, earliest edition 2001.  Find that no chart used to predict the behavior of the market does any better than mere random.  No matter how much scientific analysis goes on, picking stocks is art, not science, and you do as well with the random jabs, if you could ever set up that. Is that the gist?

Join us now, in the lab, where heavy but certified humane experiments are in progress.  We see lots of spacious, clean cages, with rats inside, and little levers attached to opaque food pellet dispensers. Some cages have dispensers that take only one swat on the lever to release the pellet; others have dispensers that require a pattern of swats; and others a random number of swats to get the pellet. Then the pellets stopped. Food anxiety!

And, predictably, the rat that learned it only needed one swat to get the pellet, tried it a few times, then gave up.  The rat that learned the pattern number of swats, tried that for a longer time. The rat with the random lever kept at it and kept at it -  the intermittent reward rat took longest to unlearn.

See The Motley Fool's Best of 2000 at ://

Does that mean that the investor, or the gambler,  gets hooked because of the intermittent pellet; and the one who hits the slots for a lark stops easily at the early failures? Or the abused person who gets occasional rewards from the abuser sticks around, but other people would leave, thank you, at the first cuff.

How is this like people learning patterns? What does it take to unlearn something.

The People Experiment:

Look at the finding of patterns.  If we luck out and find a patterj somewhere, who can get off it and skip it; and who keeps looking for it more and more, even in silly areas that don't really apply. Moral: Don't plant patterns. Don't foster patterns. Don't impose patterns.  Use sparingly, with care, when required and the circumstances are well vetted.  Pattern only when clearly and convincingly justified.

If you only find that your pattern works once in a while, will you stick with it anyway if you are a pattern-needing person, and just keep looking and looking under the foliage for it, even when you don't find anything, because surely you'll win out sometime.
  • If you see that many terrorists are photographed wearing black and white scarves with fringes, is that a pattern that persons wearing those scarves aanywhere re terrorists. Is that the pattern. Or are they using a comfortable garment, originating for climate reasons?
Sometimes you might be right. If you are an ideological patterner person, you stick with your theory and don't unlearn it very well.  If you are not an ideological patterner person, you see you are wrong a couple of times, and abandon the pattern theory. Is that so?

Let's test.

And keep in mind that even where the experiment offers patterns to the rat, the rat prefers the simple pattern to the complex. See ://  Do people tend to the complex because the simple is just too simple?

Enter Ideological Patterner Columnist Michelle Malkin and the Rachel  Ray Dunkin' Donuts Scarf Redaction Event. 

Malkin spotted the Recipe Maven wearing a keffiyeh type scarf, because it was black and white and had a fringe.  Malkin decided, without information as to the process of wardrobe choice for the ad, as Meaningful, Symbolic, Foreign, Arab-culture supporting. Nebulaphobia on the loose - fear of fog - fear of the ambiguous - See ://

Read the story at :// extreme "homichlophobiac." See p://

That means the category of personality that appears apparently hard-wired to need patterns, have to impose even a fabricated meaning on every aspect of experience, force predictability. Is there even panic if there is no structure that can be imposed to control what others think.

The scarf is comfortable, very soft, very functional, goes with everything. It is probably an actual keffiyeh, do an Images search for keffiyeh, second page. See more at But congratulate the people who developed it for a job well done.

Do we censor wardrobe based on phantom leaps? Why not defuse the censorship by everybody wearing it. FN 1

Pushing the Lever Even After The Pellets Have Stopped

Dedication to ideology:  Does this mean that proponents then develop the tendency to look for and have to find secret messages that threaten the ideology? Do ideologies regenerate by use of fear.

The outcry was huge. We ought to look into why.  Why does an ambiguous wardrobe choice, the use of a soft scarf with fringe in black and white, become the cause for more propaganda against everyone Arab-looking, see Joy of Equivocating, Guilt by Association.  Is there even a danger danger in presuming an intention where there really is too little information.

  • Once a pattern is asserted and accepted, do we see it everywhere. Why do we have to?

Example of pattern: The dry drunk.  Take the dry drunk concept. Once you know about it, and if you agree it may be a valid concept, you may see it everywhere, in leaders, in neighbors.

That may be justified, maybe not. See ://; and a partisan view at ://

Theory: Let's say that 60% of the things we experience have meaning and fit a pattern; and 40% do not.

How to know which is which.

Is the Scarf Panic part of the 60% scarf events correctly identified as worn by a terrorist; or is it part of the 40% where somebody just picked out a scarf - with a black and white pattern.

If we acknowledge the random in life, let's say at the 60/40 for discussion, take it further: does that also mean that 40% of the judgments and structures and dogma we impose on our own experience are really meaningless. Just the "drunkard's walk" and not "revealed" truth at all.

Speak, O Rat.

II.  Is this our real Culture War - 
Between those who need set containers for events; and those who do not.

Has the Malkin Detonation really pointed to the crux of our national discontent - Those who fear and cannot tolerate the idea of the random, and must box events and people in their own boxes.

Enter the Random Noisers - who can live without other people's categories, and can accept "random noise." See :// - how some insist on seeing a pattern where there is just "random noise." FN 1. Like the old battleground of boxers vs. briefs. For some, meaningful and deeply significant and to be judged. For others, picking underwear for the weather. Does the boxer vs. random distinction fit the political parties.

This by way of lookback: We are now fastforward to February 2009, and President Obama, who does not fit into a box, prevailed. The Stimulus Package just passed.  Some can live with the idea that no set of approaches can be certain, there is no need to characterize the use of every dime, ideology fly a kite and look for solutions; and others appear to approach apoplexy at the idea that maybe so maybe not and all cannot be controlled.

Then analyze. It is not Dunkin that is the issue. It is Malkin.

Malkin is saying here
  • that all who wear the keffiyeh to support the Palestinian cause are terrorists. That is Flaw One here.
  • that it is better to get media attention and assume in a loud, flamboyant way (has she taken shaking lessons to prove her point?), than to act in a civil way and find out, then draw conclusions.
Then, with all the information you can get, form an opinion yourself. The louder the columnist or talking head, the less reliable their views.
FN 1 Guilt by association. Subversion by Boxing In.

See Joy of Equivocating, Guilt by Association. Shall we now ban and renounce all fringey keffiyeh style scarves as terroristic, not just as fads here, or permissible identification of a political view, or a culturally preferred (and climate-sensible) item of clothing there.

Then it is a short walk to banning all scarves. Follow.

Fear from association. Do not freak her out any more than you have to. Do not tell Michelle that, by my very own true birth name, I have or had a last name that must make me a terrorist. I am a "scarf." Like a candidate having a middle name, "Hussein," like someone else's last name, am I tainted forever by the alphabet?

Shall we then purge all of us, just like Rachel's scarf. Find me a hole in the ground. I enter now.

Michelle: I will tell you myself.

I am a Scarf, a/k/a/ skarf, as in Skarfskerry, or skariff, erstwhile Scharf, a/k/a Scharfe with the "e" to aid the postman in keeping the families separated on the rural routes. Skarf - in the Icelandic sagas Burnt Njall - find "son of Skarf" (ooh - must be a brute and fearsome and handsome), the Orkneys, the Vikings, skarf meaning "cormorant" or the rocky shale cliffs where they nested. Or the iron forgers working with the shale.

Shall I denounce them all, webbed of feet or horned of head, and dim of wit, but beloved because they loved a joke, and because of Michelle v. Rachel? Have we lost our wits?

For fun, see Ireland Road Ways, Scharfe-Scarf-Old Norse. Perhaps it's a good thing that I married and, as used to be the custom, took the Other's Name. Am I better off with the stolid Swedes? The refined Wiltshire-Mildenhall-Mendenhall English? Doubtful.

So: What if this scarf is indeed neutral, and Rachel's was neutral, your wardrobe choice on Tuesday has no particular agenda. Has Malkin's imposition done us harm? Yes. But to the mini-Malkins, a wrong call and having to admit it, is in itself subversive because it puts the Scarf Police out of work, and that could be anti-capitalist, anti-free market, and pro-socialist by discouraging enforcement against those who live without needing people in boxes.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Propaganda by Magnifying Small Errors. Buchenwald, Auschwitz. Auschwitz, Buchenwald. Equity and Substance. Obama is Correct on Substance

Propaganda Techniques Again
Take a Minor Mis-Speak and Magnify It

This is a plea for discrimination and perspective when it comes to Election Onslaughts. Without a sense of both, volume and repetition take over.

So, fellow citizens, start here and exercise daily for 20 minutes with the news.

What is just plain junk, and what is a real issue.

Up to you, team. We, the Sheeple, have nothing to lose but our independent decision-making. They would like that. Who? Who?

1. The Land of Misspeak.

Barack Obama, and which camp was liberated by a family member in WWII - Buchenwald, the forced labor camp in Germany, or Auschwitz , the death camp in Poland.

Literalism over substance. He said Auschwitz. It was Buchenwald. See pictures below. Both killed people. The methods differed.

Should that technicality matter? But this is an election year. Off with someone's head, as in Alice. See :// Worse than that, says the GOP - unfit on grounds of tongue twist! See "right-wing blogs" and GOP at ://

No, see them first. The camps. Is the name important, as to the GOP, or what happened at both.

2. More important to the issue of the misspeak, is this: which of you would know which camp was which, just based on the photos.

A ventured guess would say that none of you have bothered to go to either. Is that right? Poll time.

Here is one of our photos from Auschwitz, Poland; see the rest at Poland Road Ways, Auschwitz, a death camp now sanitized, tourist-tidy arrangement of clean barracks, medical torture-experiment buildings, watch towers, a railroad track, ovens to burn bodies, but still worth the trip.

Here is Buchenwald, in Germany - for the rest, visit Germany Road Ways, Buchenwald. We were there on a foggy day. A forced labor camp, where the inmates were killed by their work quarrying, hauling, horrendous to see. See the little bear zoo where the Aryan children played while inmates were behind barbed wire, starving, beaten, just a short distance away. A death camp in its way, by random shooting, torture, but not by set-ups like gas or ovens.

There, the barracks were torn down long ago, appropriately, and in rage; with foundation outlines remaining, and plaques with stones on for remembrance; and a long-house museum of piles of eyeglasses, and passports with eyes staring at you. And the poles for tying people and beating and worse, and wagons for hauling to the death. We prefer this Buchenwald for its stark reality, to the Auschwitz.

But each has its place.

The point is the remembrance. Not necessarily which specific place.

Are you listening, you equity avoiders and legalistic hammers? Are you Rushing into the Billows of fog yourselves, and taking us with you?

3. Issue here: How to approach a misspeak in a democracy in a constructive way. We can choose the legalistic - the all or nothing. Each parsed section of each sentence to conform. Punish!

Or, another approach. The equitable. Substance and intent as much as technicality. Narrow watchers and enforcers; vs. the broadly inclusive. Save for me or share with you. Which is appropriate?

4. We have parallel resolution contexts. The legalistic one we have come to adopt where statutes are involved: the equitable, where human relations are involved, or a "sentencing" phase, the ameliorating circumstances idea.

The equitable concept says that, in part, the substance supersedes the technicality. See a collection of maxims, and this one in particular: intent matters, and a small technicality undone or misdone, will not defeat consideration of the whole. See, e.g., ://

5. That means that if someone, like Barack Obama or anyone else, states that a relative helped liberate a death camp, intending to convey a point; and the name of the camp was X. And it turns out that the name of the camp was Y, the substance of the intent remains unviolated. The relative helped liberate a death camp. The intent was to communicate that truth. Respect it.

Sounds fair to us. Is fairness to be valued or do we do whatever is needed to get it all for ourselves.

Bring Back the Maxims: Equity Principles as "Legal" in Weight.

Budapest: To, Through or Around The Castle District

Routes to Justice is the issue here. Moving away from incarceration, or money as the basic remedy. Overcome attitudes, tunnel under attitudes, drive around them, fly, or how else to rethink our justice system to better serve the community and individuals. Money and jail don't do it. So, consider choices.

Equity has principles, and remedies. We address the principles here.

The Modern Place for Equity Principles. Its Time-Honored "Maxims."

A. So what is "equity:" Not in the stock context, but the judicial system.

The Maxims are Principles of "Equity," see the "Maxim' site at FN 1. The Dudley-Do-Right idea, and snicker if you like, but we all know what that means, much as we ignore it in favor of the "legal." Two currents, weaving but not totally commingled.

Laying It Out: Two basics come to mind, in equity considering what is fair, not just what is legal.
  • "Clean hands" - specific proofs on that (see below) and
  • "Laches" to the detriment of the other (see below).
Go to the "Maxim" site's primary four maxims, and expand from there. See :// Click on the link safely: that site itself allows.
There are more maxims than listed there - see :// at page 16.

Equity is not about making nice.

The criminal side of the old English Equity Court was, until 1641, the Court of the Star Chamber - torture just short of death was fine. Equity evolved as a way to punish dissenters and Puritans, whose situations did not fit neatly into "law." and the technical writs that were then required. See that site at page 14. So, torture sanctioned by courts has a long history, eh, W? Still back there, are we, eh?

B. The Maxims (basic principles of equity).

Learn these and see how they can be incorporated in any legal issue.

B.1. Maxim:
Equity "follows" the Law.*

That has often been interpreted to mean that equity "backs up" or "supplements law. " It therefore comes into play, in practice, in a way that comes after, and is secondary to "law."

Law-legalism may show what statute or contract was broken, by whom, and with what affect; but law-legalism could only jail or maim people (in criminal matters) or make them pay money damages (in civil matters).

There used to be different courts even (Delaware at last we knew still had a Chancery Court with equitable jurisdiction for certain matters) and a litigant in the old days, like the middle ages, had to run around finding which court fit his or her case. Good luck. The Star Chamber was ready to inquire. Find a technicality and you're out. Confess? You're out. Get a bad result, and more luck needed to apply to the Conscience of the Sovereign. Conflicting results? Which prevailed?

Our proposal is that this idea of "equity follows the law" shall be properly seen as a shadow or circular concept, not a separate linear procedure in a hierarchy, or up a pyramid, down a line of what comes next. Instead, wherever law goes, equity goes also. Buddy system, whether it serves what you want or not. See Ruth. The Whither Thou Goest idea. If you are inclined to check that out, go to ://

And for each later translation, refer back to the KJV or the Douay Rheims (Catholic) translations, to check on cultural editing, as a start. See how the KJV or the Douay Rheims differ from later translations in the 20th Century. How to know what is reliable, or self-serving on the part of a translator. See Martin Luther's Stove, Michelangelo and the Sistine, foggy texts.

That is the idea - no severability as to law or equity at any time. We say we made progress in uniting law and equity courts, faking the idea that both are heard in one forum, but equity gets short shrift. From here on: from the outset - Where law goes, there shall equity go also. Etc. We used to have to memorize verses back in the day. There is one. Do not go ruthless.

Equity, "abhors a forfeiture," and if "law" says the contract was breached, equity will look toward how much of the contract was performed acceptably. That means, there may be a technicality or reasonably small bit left to be done - or never done - but there will not necessarily be a giving up of all compensation. this comes up often in land title cases, and contracts. See Maxim - "equity Abhors A Forfeiture."

B.2. Maxim: "Equity acts Specifically".*

This is the beauty of equity. It is not limited to putting money on the table, moving it around. Too many industries could care less - pay it and keep it up. Equity can order people to do things, not just pay money. Or give things back. Make the opera singer sing after all, specific performance idea, but then you are stuck with the croaks that may result. You could go to equity when you knew "law" is inadequate from the start (there used to be multiple judicial systems, each with their own requirements and processes) - whenever the nature of a case does not fit "law" and requires a remedy more than, or other than, merely money changing hands to make an injured party whole again.

B.3. Maxim: "Equity regards substance rather then form".*

Clear enough. If you mistakenly wrote in Sunday when it was really Tuesday, you are not out of luck necessarily.

Equity also looks toward a total resolution - Maxim - "equity Delights To Do Justice And Not By Halves."

Where there is a wrong, there will be a remedy. Maxim - "equity Will Not Suffer A Wrong To Be Without A Remedy."

Equity will not play favorites. Fair shares. One in a category receiving compensation, for example, does not take all, leaving the others. Maxim - "equity Is Equality."

Equity leaves parties where they are, if neither can prove a superior right. Maxim - "between Equal Equities The Law Will Prevail."

First in time, first in right. If both have good cases, the one whose right arose first will prevail. Maxim - "between Equal Equities The First In Order Of Time Shall Prevail."

B.4. Maxim: Equity Does Not Aid A Party at Fault.

This is a brake on floodgates litigation. If you seek a fairness result, you must yourself have been fair. Maxim - "he Who Seeks Equity Must Do Equity."

This is also a "clean hands" idea. You may be in a bad way, but you may also be stuck with it - if you cause your own predicament, if you are careless, if you created your own hardship. Maxim - "he Who Comes Into Equity Must Come With Clean Hands."

You must also be prompt in seeking your remedy. No sleeping on your rights - laches idea. Maxim - "equity Aids The Vigilant, Not Those Who Slumber On Their Rights."

Time to recognize that vehicles and their engines are not reasonably severable. Ya got a car, ya got the engine with it. So, make equity operate in this new real world. Inseparable from the vehicle, the law. operate like a shadow: It follows right there wherever the law goes, and cannot be severed from it unless you are dealing with Dracula, see Romania Road Ways, Vlad Tepes - history and fiction.

C. Implementing.

Don't just drag in tired old arguments about fairness that Type A people eat for lunch. Make the fairness arguments part of the action itself. Legislate that equity, the historic corrective compass in human relations, precede the law, not follow it. Refurbish and Reinstate Equity

D. Background. How has all this evolved. We have two sides to our system of justice - law and equity.

Now, most states blend the two, in one proceeding, that incorporates two: law, which is in essence whether the requirements of the letter of the law are met; and equity, which is a lookback at fairness to see that the remedy is appropriate.

The proposal here is to further that blend: legislate that equitable maxims are an implicit component of each statute, each case in chief, each regulation, each aspect of common law, and all governing functions. No back seat, no waiting until the end of case, or until a sentencing phase.

As it is now, the law side usually hears the case - the elements, the actors, the events. Equity steps in in a stronger way when it comes to remedy. But still, "law" has two ways to get somewhere in a civil case - make the identified lawbreaker pay money to make the injured party whole again, in a civil case; and deprivation of liberty (jail) in a criminal case.

The money remedy - damages: How often does it bring justice, and at what cost. Identify exactly which law, does it apply, exactly who did what, and the expense financially and psychologically can be devastating. And does money really do the job. Is it ever fully paid. Or do appeals, legal fees, expert witness costs and third party sharks, including in the family, consume it. See how the corporate response undermined the system in John Grisham's novel, "The Appeal," ://

The incarceration remedy: How often does it bring justice, or real deterrence to someone else, and at what cost to society. Would not the "equitable" remedy of "restitution' - money or services to restore what has been lost, even for a lifetime of giving service instead of locking up as "punishment", be more sensible. Even more of a deterrent. Loss of freedom can mean doing works outside, rather than a cage. Yet we, apparently, incarcerate more people than anywhere else on earth. Are we crazy? Or just dyed-in-the-wool "patriarchal"with its preoccupation with status, position and turf, rather than community, see a quasi-religious discussion on patriarchy at Martin Luther's Stove, Third Disobedience, Patriarchy. Different angle on old issues of punitive attitudes and aggression. Do we really have to do it that way.

Some cases are already subject to "equity" remedies - bringing "justice" in ways other than money or incarceration. We explore here how that may be used in expanded ways, with protections, and if that is feasible.

Could we require the lawbreaker to do certain things, actually do it - a grand scale community service; or in torts and products liability, make the industry use its Board and resources to set up a trust to manage the award for the lifetime of the maimed one. Now there is a constant reminder of the cost of not making nail guns safer, for example.

Ongoing acts - a Board of Directors taking on the role of caretaker, as one of the remedies open to the Court, Jury and the injured one; or seeing that it is done, and paid for, when the company's acts or omissions produced the need. Make the bad guy do something. We have found as a society that money damages alone fails. Money makes little difference to too many.

Idea. We need equity's power to craft a remedy for wrongs - get to the castle by going through, around, up, but not just one way. Money hasn't worked for us. Nothing changes.

We complain about big government and high taxes and corruption. Let's look at how our focus on "legality" has led us there; and how easy it is for the big guys to avoid proof of "illegality" to begin with. Could it be that legislating that equitable maxims are an element of each civil and criminal offense, could expand our reach into corporate and government and private wrongdoing. Maybe not. Ride along.

We think so far that capitalism, free market and democracy are sustainable over the long term only if equity is implicit; and a basic set of behaviors (the maxims, see below, lead there) are required in order for someone to claim "legality." That may be all wrong. Maybe. See FN 2.

Proposal. Equity to the Rescue. Seriously. We can't just add more "illegal" acts to the compendium, because those can be gotten around. See an overview of equity at ://, sketchy as it is.

Time to adjust the mindset: that whatever you want to do, you can do it so long as it is not specifically, provably illegal. And even if it is illegal, you know you can sit back and make the other guy take you to court and prove it, while your buddies keep doing the same thing in their stores, hoping not to get caught.

And when you do get to court, the "legal" standard comes first, exactly who did exactly what and with what effect. The "equitable" side is often not even an element of the act at all. It comes in often only as the caboose - when it is time to show mitigating circumstances or something else in the whiney category, compared to the macho "elements of the offense." Then the "winner" has to try to collect. Or force the behavior change.

Setting things right is iffy and slow.

So: Give less wiggle room for doing bad; or big and small-time bullying. Get over it. Quit it.

Expand the "legal" standard in all the statutes, regulations, to include an implicit and explicit requirement of equity on both sides - as part of the case in chief - plaintiff and defendant, petitioner and respondent, taxpayer and tax collector, government entity and citizen. If people were legally required to act with equity, it would surely reduce the need for litigation: the bad guy would lose more often. Gasp. And, that would mean - let the jury hear equity issues, not just the judge.

Why bother? Hey - We're doing fine. Let the other guy suffer for coming in second and I win! Not good enough. We need more than "illegal" to address current hot-button issues: universal healthcare, wars, immigration, corporate profiteering, Enron, obesity, toxins in medicines, and toys, bad breath, broken bridges, etc.

So, if we reinstate our own judicial heritage's concept of Equity, in ways to meet today, we will increase citizen-consumer satisfaction, and reduce the Gross National Agida. For that, see ://

FN 1 For more details:
* Their full link is Maxim - The Foundations Of Equity, "he Who Seeks Equity Must Do Equity.", "he Who Comes Into Equity Must Come With Clean Hands." - "Equity follows the law.", "Equity acts specifically.", "Equity regards substance rather than form."
  • Look up other free legal encyclopedia sites by clicking at the top menu of the Maxim site.
  • For a good overview narrative on common law (judge decisions and evolving principles), statutes (legislatures enact) and our favorite, equity, see ://
This is also a way of making the fiduciary mindset concrete - courts have dealt with equity for centuries.

FN 2 - How It Can Work - Legalizing Equity

Basic idea: our focus on "legality" is doing us in. We look to a narrow niche for what is illegal and then everything else must be legal. And when something is illegal and the person is caught in most civil cases, money damages is the only thing a jury can award to set things right.

Cases do not necessarily fit that mode any more. We need the flexibility of "specific performance" (see below - currently, where a judge can order someone to "do" something corrective) if behavior really is to change. Right?

To access "specific performance" we need to look at the historic other side of the justice coin - "equity." Big government and high taxes are directly related to having to force people to do right, for the common good. So let's expand our remedies and our standards.

How do we benefit as a democratic, free market-articulating capitalist gang? Is this right also: That capitalism as a concept actually costs us more, when we allow people to go to extremes in beating down competition instead of level playing-field competition. See Joy of Equivocating, Capitalism and Rock, Scissors, Paper; the free market is a pipe-dream when information about the product (source, political position, ingredients, testing record) is concealed in the interest of sales and profit. See Joy of Equivocating, Fiduciary Approach to Sales, Politics.

The Chewbacca Defense - just confuse the jury and you win. See Joy of Equivocating, Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt; and the Chewbacca Defense".

Friday, May 23, 2008

Meme: Benign and Malignant Ideas, Spread Without Contact

The Meme. Ideas on the loose.
Uncontrolled Contagion of Thought. 

Acronym. Can we find one to fit?
Try today's SARS:  Spontaneous Avatar Radiation Syndrome.

Read on, O kingly turtle.

1.  Meme:  Define meme.  

A meme is an element of culture that seems to copy itself and suddenly appear here, there, everywhere, the way that genes can transmit biologically, without actual contact between the poppers, a word from the Greek "mimiesthai" says this dictionary site, at :// A British biologist first used the term "meme" -- thank you R. Dawkins in 1976/

Governments and politicians and salespeople of products may worry about the lack of control in how "Memes" move around populations that otherwise have no connection, in actual communication or contact.

Or, they take delight in their new tool for persuasion. If a government, or a candidate, or Think Tank, or set of backroom operatives or users of motor oil for evening delights can succeed in fostering a favorable meme, who is to say where it originated, or it if is even true. Somebody just might believe it; and even if that person does nothing, the idea somehow appears somewhere else.

Email or multiple posts on the internet makes it concrete, but it is an idea springing up elsewhere and anywhere that makes it a meme.

SARS became a meme about Armageddons, theories of global demise. Also see Le Sars, a town in France.

2.  Memes and How They Run

How to describe how memes move:

For some, it is almost magical. How did this idea here, spring out there, when we only heard of it here.

Think Cosmic Keyboarding, but nobody at the keys. Or, if that is disturbing, imagine Something not seen at the keys.

  • SARS.  Disease.  A real disease; but it suddenly was on many tongues and talk shows because of what it suggested, not just its own symptoms. The meme: An Armageddon one. Count the ways we can all be done in. And people started talking about End Times.
  • Avatar process.  Try the concept of "Avatar," see :// That, apparently (not our tradition) is a Hindu concept, regarding the descent of a deity to earth in some manifest shape. The deity, of course, can be various in its natures, and in whether its intent is benign or malignant as to humanity.
3. Catchy Acronym - SARS

Now look back at SARS.

Our culture likes acronyms, so our SARS now can become, Spontaneous Avatar Radiation Syndrome.  SARS.  We know what spontaneous means, and Avatar now, and the concept of things just radiating out, and syndrome.  SARS. By repeating it like this, maybe you will remember despite yourself, also a useful concept in starting memes.

Try it here. Ideas. Descending here or there, by no determinable mechanism; and it works for the good or the bad - depending on your perspective. The Avatar process here, ideas from somewhere, entering our consciousness.Cosmic keyboarding.

A meme encapsulates things that are amenable to the culture at the time. The fields are just fertile for it.

How to encapsulate the phenomenon of the meme: a  SARS, a Spontaneous Avatar Radiation Syndrome. It sometimes happens, despite efforts, it sometimes not.. It is out of the blue. It moves about, has its own pattern. The new SARS.

See the new SARS in action: The spontaneous, magical spread of ideas. An infection, in the negative. A common good motivator, in the positive. Radiating out. A pattern. People receive out of nowhere. Our individual antennae, receiving. Love it. Each candidate trying to rev up his own.

5.  Media SARS -- The cutting edge of disinformation, propaganda -- getting the tentacles of a message out

How Media Sars works. Perhaps these ways:

5. 1. Fake News.

Not the comedy kind. That disqualifies because it is labeled as a comedy show, people expect stuff; although apparently even labeled fake news finds hearers who do find truths in it, and a meme can be primed.  Be careful, comedy central, you are heard as real news sometimes.

For analysis here, start a really fake news flash somewhere, or a rumor with no basis in fact, like someone being born in Kenya and not Hawaii, or gossip, or a lie, and watch it appear all over, merit or not. See Joy of Equivocating, Fake News.

Hear the clinical investigation of falsified news:  Or, think of a manufacturing company that wants to sell its motor oil as massage facilitator.

Description - 

Announcer says, "There is a newly recognized collection of mental-psychological symptoms related to toxic transmissions. These often originate from governmental or special interest sources, but once out of the box, their impact can be humanity-devastating. Viewers are advised to alert their antenna monitors to filter out false emanations."

5.2. Professional Recognition.

Have somebody add it to DSM MMVIII or whatever number. See :// Our culture, our minds, our Memes, ideas going like little itches, plagues of newness, truth and lies both, instant communication now possible, while some people relax and expand, and others boil and swat. The Bubonic metamorphosis.

5.3. Provide your own Clinical studies. 

Create a Sample Meme Index.  Take tilted polls.  That's a good one. Blare the results!

The concept of "memes" has emerged in a number of social and political contexts. Here provided is our index for the meme idea. And how it moves about. FN 1.

Subheadings for this new index of memes, to make it look really professional.  Add lots of labels.

Index topic a.


Memes are like tumors, rooting in some, not in others; some benign, some malignant.

Benign memes are intended to be, and function as constructive, and educational, even recreational - whether you agree or not with the ideas. Examples of benign memes:
  • Ideas Counter to or Expanding the Culture: That Michelangelo intended certain messages or communications as to his views, when he included text and figural anomalies in the Sistine Chapel, The Vatican, Rome. See Joy of Equivocating, Meme Running, Secrets of the Sistine Chapel. New and sometimes critical ways of thinking, given so subtly that many never noticed.
2.2  Index topic b


Other memes are malignant. These are ideas that are intended to spread as a narrow idea, intended to foreclose further discussion, misleading in itself, and without its full context - like Swiftboating - or Jeremiah Wrighting.

Update: That Corsi book? Need a way to protect yourself?

Hold out your forefingers - straight out, then hold arms out and cross the fingers out between you and the offender. Say, Hah!

Or, wear garlic. Do the gesture any time you don't want an idea near you. Start a meme.
  • These are often set out in a sound-bite loop format so they easily reproduce over the airwaves and emails again and again. With advertising savvy behind them, they get repeated over and over, without neutral valuation of merit, just hammer loud an idea home, and profit.  The candidate gets free air time -- the ad gets put on over and over as "news
  • A talk show repeating malignant memes is liked by the talkers, because they do not have to think. They can just report what is out there. And the minutes just fly by at their hourly rates.  Memes slide in where angels fear to tread, is that it, music mavens?
Techniques supporting the Malignant: The definition here includes those that are self-serving, regardless of a common good. Here is an index for that, evolving, changing:
  • Setting the stage meme, by suggestion so third parties will resolve your problems. See FodderSight: Meme as Mind and Body Snatcher (plant idea of how a situation can be resolved, a "deus ex machina," as in assassination, for example);
  • A secret wish, once articulated, becomes a meme
King Henry: "Will No One Rid Me of This Meddlesome Priest!" That was, in substance, King Henry speaking, in 1170, wishing out loud for a way to remove the human obstacle to his plans, the Archbishop of Canterbury. And, surprise surprise, his minions duly did. And the King duly expressed regret. See the story at ://

Those looking for handles against others, start up your memes.

FN 1 Memes as Interest clusters.

See how they run. See:// The process, the movement of interest clusters in a population. Migratory ideas.

How do ideas - both destructive and benevolent - take hold so quickly in so many brains, some without a known prior contact point. Many, of course, are spread by Email in the Morning. Either way, they stick and become factoidinous in the mind of the receiver. Factoid - something fictitious presented as fact, publicized in some way, and repeated until swallowed. :// Idea Foie Gras. Force it down. Rush. Don't Rush. Enjoy life. Interest clusters. Each chooses.

Take this movement of ideas to Memes. Memes present thought itself as viral, a product of ripe times, fertile fields, universal sowers with some taking root, some taking rot. Study the Meme.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Meme Running - Secrets of the Sistine, Anomalies, "Sistine Secrets," and Kabbalah. Michelangelo's Intent.

Mental Pole-Vaulters
A Review of Anomalies

Ideas leap. Memes* go from brain to brain, unconnected.

A recent meme is this: that there are anomalies in Michelangelo's paintings at the Sistine Chapel, The Vatican, Rome; and interpretations of those are varied.

We have been working on the issue of the anomalies, as have others, and now there is another full book on the topic - "The Sistine Secrets - Michelangelo's Forbidden Messages In The Heart of the Vatican," by Benjamin Blech and Roy Poliner. See ://; and ://

The "Sistine Secrets" book apparently focuses on two ideas essentially -
  • Michelangelo's knowledge of Kabbalistic imagery in the Jewish tradition; and a more familiar one to us,
  • his inclusion of Papal insults, or other denigrations of established religious practice.

One of those alleged insults is hard to see from the floor below, but you can see it in the section with the Cumaean Sybil, an ancient prophet from pagan belief, said to have prophesied Christian matters; and see the hand gesture of the little fellow behind. ://

See the little guy's fist, with thumb protruding between index and third finger joint. That is known as giving someone the fig, or some such.  See it there?

Then read "Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling," by Ross King, Walker & Co., NY 2003.

At page 171 he notes that the little fellow is rudely "making the fig" at her - and describes the gesture as obscene.

He goes on to note other "sly jokes" inserted by Michelangelo into the fresco. Michelangelo had been known for his "sarcastic wit," page 174. Here, see not only humor, but a skepticism about "proclamations about the pope and the golden age." He took a dim view of other matters papal as well, including "divine" missions to retake territory. Page 174.

Follow along the paintings at that site, or at the Vatican's own website - with pictures at :// At that site, click on "central stories," then on "creation of sun and moon."

Good library reference for middle-of-the road (no waves) narrative and fine reproductions of the frescoes: "Michelangelo and the Creation of the Sistine Chapel," by Robin Richmond, Crescent Books, NY 1992, reprint 1993.

Sun and Moon are at page 70; but that source on odd bits in the Sistine leaves out the Cumaean Sibyl, the object of the rude gesture.

The snake, who suddenly is female, is at page 80, and Adam is grabbing his own apple even before Eve has hers handed to her.  Note that Eve comes from behind Adam's back, as though she had simply been hiding, instead of deriving out of his rib, at page 73.

Then see that Adam is already clearly well alive, although lackadaisical about it, at the time of the reaching touch (that never makes it, you may note) and other interesting anomalies.

Adam in a later career, behaving badly (Michelangelo's Sistine opinion)Paris print bought by my parents, stroll by the Seine in 1937.
 Think again.

1.  The touch never made it.

What if there is no connection at all - the attempt to reach Adam was not to give "life" - Adam obviously is alive there already - but the reach out was to give wisdom or caring or perspective.  The tap, perhaps, was to fix a control on the domination-fixation qualities in the dirt at the time of the moulding of Adam.  And that effort to ameliorate the mistake, the predatoriness, simply failed, and that explains a lot.

2.  What is life.

The Bible says life is at the taking in of breath.  The deity CPR, the old CPR of direct breath.

Michelangelo probably agrees, because Adam is already alive there. Then what is the finger tap? It has to be the attempt to pass on something else - some other qualities. 

If life comes with breath, or even if life comes with a tap to a fully formed finger on a completed hand on a completed, thinking body, what does that do to theories or theologies on when life begins. 

Abortion issue complexified but solved.

Moving on:  Any tourist to Rome finds genitalia overdose, and you soon get accustomed.

More anomalies at FN 1


FN 1 What we found. Michelangelo Anomaly Background index, our informal research.
Add to these ideas the ones that came to mind as we researched earlier: the more we look at the pictures up close, the more we see, with interpretations over the map.


1. FodderSight, Religious Argument in Legal Issues - California, Exodus 33:23 and Gay Rights. The Sistine Defense.

2. Joy of Equivocating, Propaganda by Translation: The Sistine Defense, and KJV, California and Sealing Relationships. How the deity sealed his relationship with Moses, until it was was edited out.

3. Martin Luther's Stove, Foggy Texts are for Decorating Up: Michelangelo's Intent and the Celestial Mooning. Reformation climate.

4. More Michelangelo, His Anomalies at the Sistine, Texts Ignored. Criticism of literalism?

5. World War I, World War 3, Other Battlegrounds: Ideological Battleground at the Sistine Chapel. The battlegrounds of ideas.

So, Michelangelo was indeed
a) critical of church policy, text interpretation and institutional practice, as would have been part of the Reformation era interest at the time. And he incorporated that criticism in the paintings, but we do not have enough information yet to conclude "insult." Even the "mooning" seen at the Creation of the Sun and Moon, seems to us to be a re-placing of the pose actually described in Exodus 33:23, when God seals his relationship with Moses with an intimacy, for Michelangelo's own reasons. Scholars, we look forward to other sides. Yet,

b) he was also on a frolic of his own, with such a big project, suspicious of it, and not wanting to do this work at all. It was by command. He sees himself as a sculptor, not a painter. He also seems to be pinioning the literalists in taking liberties with texts, and tucking little gestures of disrespect where they cannot be easily seen from below.

Memes. Have to love them.*

The Kabbala, see overview at ://, is a new idea for us as to the Sistine, so we are now getting into that; but the Papal insults we did find. There are crude hand gestures, see any library book with the scenes (the crone Sybill with the nasty angel behind is one, and things like this cannot really be seen from below - get the book, or check the internet).

Our view was, however, that rather than "insult" necessarily, Michelangelo could have been more benign, in putting out his personal views and criticisms (he had to be subtle).
* Meme. A contagious idea. Spreads like a virus. See definition at :// They stay in your head and keep you from your work. See ://, and :// Not necessarily admirable. See ://
  • Positive meme: People wearing Phrygian Caps, old symbol of freedom, very historic, and still included in famous governmental seals, and that of our Army, Senate, several States - See FodderSight, Phrygian Caps, Meme On The Loose.
Here is a Phrygian cap.  It is fair use of a teeny part of one frame in millions of frames in Zits, cartoonists Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman; or perhaps a transformative use, with Jeremy here being used for academic purposes.  This is a clipping out of a drawer from several years ago somewhere, but find more of Zits at Surely this doesn't breach anybody.

New meme: Ordinary people can research great art and history on their own and come up with interesting ideas.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Schmeer on Experience. Experience Wars. Experience vs. Preparation

Road Map for the Inexperienced
Assessing The Experience Wars.

Q. When is Experience Not Preparation?

A. When the task is different, or changing


A. Theories on Experience

Conclusion - Experience is helpful if the same situations recur. Going up Everest, for example. The various solutions to Everest problems become ingrained, useful. Quick decisions can properly follow that experience. They worked before.

That same experience that worked going up Everest can be a hindrance when the touring party - and the guide - does not know what is next. Navigating the Amazon? Regime changes? Cultural understanding issues? Plague relief? Perish the thought - climate change, manmade or not. Whatever. Unknown. The old familiar mindsets won't work. Yet there is a human pull to repeat what worked before, and that bars perception of new solutions. Looking for a guide there? Find someone with the ability to formulate policy for new times, and implement the new - not the old experiences.

This man knows when the fish are biting. Fisherman, Trebon Gate, Trebon, CZ

B. Overview of Experiences in Candidates and Others

Includes possible effects of different kinds of negative experience: abuse, humiliation, powerlessness and torture; issues of cycle, recurrence, triggers, see Joy of Equivocating, Abuse Experience and Brain; then

C. Discussion. What kind of experience is needed for success; and

D. History Game: Can you match the experience with the person; then

E. Caboose - Role of the new job requirements. Does the past "experience" enhance or obstruct creative performance in the new setting?

F. A Little Test- showing that experience limits perceived options, does not expand solution possibilities.


A. First, the theories that people have about experience:

1. Experience in any form matters. The weight of the person's resume equals the ability of that person to meet any need.

2. The value of a person's experience. This is measured by numbers of years that person has survived.

3. What positions a person held. These matter more than what the person did to get there, with what funding or other backing and from whom, with what tactics. The positions held matter more than the accomplishments while in that position.

4. Experience is a shortcut. Consider the experience as a general concept rather than have to analyze qualifications for future needs. Look no further. We have a resume here. See FodderSight: Toxic Memes.

5. Having "experience" means you don't have to look at the particular job, or specifics of the claimed "experience" - generalized claims of experience is all that is needed.

Is that the schmeer on experience, FN 1:


B. Overview on different sets of experiences:*

Let's compare:


1. Sarah Palin [8/08 update: newly candidated]


+Middle class family, more exotic non-mainland, remote, wilderness biparent upbringing experience

+ multi-racial spousal experience [spouse partly Native American]

+ unireligious [fundamentalist] / multicultural experience with Native American population

+ educational through college, Journalism major

+ political, not professional, experience - mayor two terms of town of 5-7,000 where she grew up; 20 months into governorship of state with population 700,000, few roads

+ monospousal spouse experience

+ multiple (5) children experience, including needs of now-pregnant 17-year old (family supportive) and 4 month old Down syndrome child

+ husband, an outdoorsman, won big snowmobile race, the Tesoro Iron Dog that follows the dog Iditerod route; and oil field worker (?) cares for the children

+began reforms of party in state, to be seen what "takes"

+revs up followers

+seldom out of Alaska

+no foreign or national domestic policy experience. No idea about policy ideas except to follow McC, not believe global warming, creationism to be included in schools, no women's right to make decisions re pregancies. Enjoys ridicule as technique in public speaking

= follow me

2. John McCain:


No info on upbringing (ask Noah),

+uniracial experience

+ admirable, even incomparable military experience

+ sequential spousal experience (married up, Wife does not need help)

+ any religious experience?

+duo-cultural experience (North Vietnam)

+ extensive elected federal government experience (any jobs? actually manage anything?)

+ huge flip-flop experience on policy now when expedient, from 2000 stance

+zip charisma. No humor except at others' expense and with effect to humiliate

+ abused, POW, time line and actual events being reconstructed, see Joy of Equivocating, Abuse Experience and Brain.

= follow me

3. Barack Obama:


More exotic, non-mainland and US islands upbringing experience

+ exposure to Muslim culture experience, Indonesian, Hawaiian populations, Africa visit

+ poverty

+ father abandoned

+ single mom with extended family environment experience

+ biracial experience

+ giant educational steps

+ monospousal relationship experience

+ social activist-conscience experience

+ extensive state government

+comparatively brief federal government experience

+ charisma and eloquence, and fistbumps that now (update 7/2/08) even Prez Bush copies. Nice humor.

= follow me

4. Joe Biden


+ middle class blue collar town, working upbringing, two-parent experience

+ experience through political office and related activities 30 years, global cultural experience

+ not poverty but no extras

+ multiracial experience - upbringing included blacks

+ giant educational steps

+ monospousal relationship experience

+ social activist-conscience experience

+ extensive federal government (senator) experience

+ charisma and eloquence, complete with gaffes but hard to hold that against him. Nice humor.

= follow me

And now:



Lower class rural biparent (triparent?) upbringing experience

+ unknown educational experience (known: off-charts teaching for several hours at age 12 experience, mother and step-father believed him lost)

+ fatherhood not agreed by all, matter of belief not proof (Joseph? Pantera? Deity?)

+ two decades mystery ripening experience in unknown location / vocation

+ unknown but debated spousal experience (MM or not MM?)

+ social / religious activist inspired experience

+ no governmental experience

+ off-charts charisma and eloquence

= follow me .


C. What is needed for success?

1. Example: To Get Married, or Bring Home Babies

Wedding get-away car, Avranches, France

What experience is suggested by the brooms on the wedding car. Do all the brooms mean that one partner has to know how to use them, or will learn on the job? Or is a beating in order? Or is this broom-jumping, a custom signifying the wedding vows, with roots in Celtic, and Wicca cultures (Wicca - are these brooms for riding?), not just African American, see :// There also is a French traditional broom dance, see the French Canadian performance at ://


D. Play Games With Experience:

Match the list of qualifications, column A, with the names, column B.

Column A

  • This one was beaten regularly as a child, humiliated

  • This one has 24 years' experience in martial arts, now entering a competition, hopes experience offsets age

  • This one just seems to have been a good, faithful person

  • This one was Age 25 when began governing, after 2 other short-lived hopefuls before

  • This one had a baby

  • This one lied, cheated, to get in position
Column B

  1. Hitler, see //

  2. Prophet Elias, see ://

  3. Mark Kurano, see ://

  4. Queen Elizabeth I, see //

  5. The entire population of parents. No child-rearing experience needed before having one.

  6. Jacob

E. Caboose. But how about the job to be done? Analyze the particular experience offered by resume vs. what is needed.

See update on abuse experience, those who have been subjected to torture, and how that may affect their objectivity, at Joy of Equivocating, Abuse Experience and Brain.

Missing here is any reference to the job to be done. What experience did any of these people have for what was asked of them? What experiences are anticipated, that the person is supposed to be prepared for. Can we ever be prepared? Go back to the brooms on the car. Is a dance intended, or kitchen work, or sealing vows, or is the lady supposed to fly - the experience needed varies with the job.

What role does fresh thinking play in that job, or are old patterns, old dances with old partners, old views that may be ingrained after years, the same ones needed here.

When does experience become a limitation: good only when the same situations arise again, bad when new situations arise.


F. Take a little Test. Test yourself on this aspect of experience: does it broaden horizons, open options, or shut doors because something worked for you before.

There was a "New Approach" type test in the Sunday Hartford Courant (I think it was) where people were asked to form little words from a tabletop of blocks with letters on them. Young ones had no trouble. Old ones got frustrated at not finding the last letter needed for CAT. What did the young ones do? Answer below


Don't look.

To distract you: Our own bent up picture of Prophet Elias, do an Images search for him and you will see this in many different forms and colors.

Give up? The younger ones made the "T" in CAT out of 3 or 4 other blocks to make the shape. The oldies just got frustrated and kept looking on the table for the t. Still want the oldie with all that "experience?"


FN 1 Schmeer - Schmear - Shmear - see :// Lumping many things together, as in buying the whole schmeer. Or, for New Yorkers, cream cheese ordered, for example, with the bagel. See://

Shmeer in Politics. Lump it with "experience" to produce a word like schmearience, with many spelling variations. Do a search for that - you will see bombast and making light of experience-schmearience. Is that justified?


* Hillary Clinton: [not in running after the convention, but there]


Middle class family mainland biparent upbringing experience

+ uniracial experience

+ unireligious / unicultural experience

+ giant educational steps experience

+ high-power big lawfirm professional experience

+ monospousal spouse experience (on one side)

+ Husband Political Assistance experience

+ some two rounds of elected federal government experience

+revs up followers

= follow me

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Phrygian Caps - Symbolism. Proud Hat. From Servitude to Freedom

 The Phrygian Cap
From Servitude to Freedom
A Peaky Cone Style, Top Flipped Over to Front

Fair use, see  Visit Ostia Antica at Italy Road Ways, Ostia Antica.

  • 2014, Update: Did the cap originate with Catalans?  Which is first, the barretina of Catalonia, or the red cap of the Phrygians. A recent comment suggests that this style hat originated with the Catalans.  Keep the discussion going. I found, however, support for the first idea -- that the cap, as Phrygian, predates Catalans, unless Catalans stem from Phrygia, as they may.  See Persian astronomers so enhatted, in mosaics found in Ravenna, as inspiring the barretina, the red cap of the Catalans. See  More on the two hats:  Catalan figure, the Caganer, doing what he does at the nativity, at  The name Catalunya is documented only since 1070? See  Ancient and independent Phrygia, not yet a colony of Rome, dates in the realm of 10th-4th Centuries BCE. See  Did any migrate?

This flopping humana hat has a long history. See it from ancient times, to now: FodderSight: Fodder Wear - Phrygian Cap, or at FodderSight: Phrygian Caps in the Senate, or at FodderSight: Phrygian Caps Jump the Fence.

Our America adopted the symbol of the Phrygian cap at our outset. See some on heads, some on poles to rally the followers, like flags or banners, some red, some yellow, others we have seen are blue (revolutionary war here) and some green - do an Images search for Phrygian cap.

By way of American immigration update and The Cap, we now find it in the culture of a 19th Century immigrant group, from the Spree River area in Germany, Lusatia, to Texas - the proud but set-upon Wends. As Slavs, much of their history has been servitude:  See their history as Wends, one of the towns that built a fortress against them (Korsor, Denmark)  and the cultural cap in their folklore.  See  Did the Wends take kindly or easily to the servitude imposed by the Germanics?  Hardly.  See the response to Henry the Lion and his Wends Crusade -- on orders from the Pope, convert them or kill them.  See Luneburg, Germany. Conquered Wends Greet Henry the Lion

I. Spotting the Phrygian cap

A.  As political symbol of freedom and patriotism

Find it in the crests of West Virginia, New York, the Army, the Senate, and more. Find it in company with the French Revolution

Phrygian Cap, United States  Army Seal

Phrygian cap, WWI poster

A message is motivational when you are fully informed and approve the topic and technique of a sales tactic; it is propaganda when you have to watch out for who is selling what and why.

Phrygian Cap, United States Senate Seal

Phrygian Cap, West Virginia State Seal

  • Portion, representation of Seal of the State of New Jersey - see whole at ://
Phrygian Cap, New Jersey State Seal

  • Portion, representation of New York State flag - see the whole at

Phrygian Cap, New York State Flag

II.  Meaning of the Political Phrygian Cap

From servitude to Freedom.

What is freedom.  See the detail of Franklin D. Roosevelt's eloquently described basic Four Freedoms, in full text at; and in focused form at The freedoms apply to everyone anywhere in the world, says Roosevelt:
  • Freedom of speech and expression
  • Freedom to worship God in one's own way
  • Freedom from want: a healthy peacetime life
  • Freedom from fear
Add a Fifth Freedom -
See another excerpt of the Four Freedoms Speech, FN 1.  Which party will adopt the Phrygian Cap as its symbol now?

    B.  As a religious symbol

    Ancient Mithra, Mithraism. Clue: Timeless headgear.

    C.  Casual humor, convenience, schlepping.  Cultural folk tradition.
    Also seen on Smurfs, a truly Wendic tradition.

    D.  Originally, Servitude

    Slavs, in their great migrations, extended into the lands of many warlike peoples, who enslaved them. The word "slave" derives from "slav," see See it in the Slavic folk culture of the Wends, Korsor, Denmark; defense against the Wends(scroll to end for cultural video)

    • Phrygians also known for music. Here: Sketch of Phrygian mode interval cadence, see original at



     FN 1.  Update with Excerpt of President Roosevelt's Four Freedoms Speech to Congress, January 6, 1941

    " ****Just as our national policy in internal affairs has been based upon a decent respect for the rights and the dignity of all our fellow men within our gates, so our national policy in foreign affairs has been based on a decent respect for the rights and the dignity of all nations, large and small. 

    And the justice of morality must and will win in the end.

    Our national policy is this:

    First, by an impressive expression of the public will and without regard to partisanship, we are committed to all-inclusive national defense.

    Secondly, by an impressive expression of the public will and without regard to partisanship, we are committed to full support of all those resolute people everywhere who are resisting aggression and are thereby keeping war away from our hemisphere. By this support we express our determination that the democratic cause shall prevail, and we strengthen the defense and the security of our own nation.

    Third, by an impressive expression of the public will and without regard to partisanship, we are committed to the proposition that principles of morality and considerations for our own security will never permit us to acquiesce in a peace dictated by aggressors and sponsored by appeasers. We know that enduring peace cannot be bought at the cost of other people's freedom. ****"