Sunday, December 6, 2015

Election coverage and omissions: Failure to share propaganda techniques with voters. History. How people are manipulatede. Edward Bernays, Managing the Masses, and Teabagging

Election coverage withholds essential information:
How people can be manipulated by propaganda techniques, yes, even today.

Share Edward Bernays 1891-1995
Propaganda History. Updated 2015.



 
Edward Bernays:  Theft-meister of independent assessment and choice.  Marketing by technique, not merit. "News" as carefully fed interpretation and opinion, concealing complete underlying facts.  Persuasion in America. Do People have a chance against it. See Obituary of Edward Bernays 1995, NYT/.  See how they grew: The Public Relations People and Advertising Techniques.  Edward, Take a Bow.

Voters:  Is your judgment really independent, or, when issues are beyond your ordinary experience, do you rely on others.  If so, how do you know whether your Information-Meister is acting in your interest.

Edward Bernays is a prime manipulator.  He is the subject of extensive film and other analysis, even free on YouTube, subject to its own caveat (don't download) at The Century of the Self at Century of the Self, full video/.  That is a program in four separate viewing parts, under an hour for each, so spread it out.
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Early Bernays, Later Bernays. 

Look back at the early 20th Century.  It was Edward Bernays who got marketing and propaganda going -- even as to Woodrow Wilson. President Woodrow Wilson used him to help sway the country to WWI.  We like to think we know what we want, and that we pick it, whereas in reality our strings are pulled.  Is that so.  Then see Calvin Coolidge -- nobody liked him much, as a person, until Edward Bernays reshaped his image.  These mechanics for public persuasion have deep roots. See the panorama at ://www.nndb.com/people/802/000113463/.

Think Hitler and the propaganda section of Mein Kampf. See Mein Kampf, Unser Kampf, Our Struggle, Propaganda in Civil Life.  That was 1925 - within a few years of Bernays.  There is a new edition now, see http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/02/world/europe/scholars-unveil-new-edition-of-hitlers-mein-kampf.html?_r=0.  There was then, and is now, something in the wind that wants that work examined, and reexamined.

For your own protection, spend time meeting and learning about Edward Bernays, the Father of Public Relations. Dead but alive and controlling and current.  1891-1995. See an analysis of persuasion at http://www.propagandacritic.com/  The graphics are dated and inappropriately cute, but forge ahead.

Bernays' Theory.

Bernays' idea, stemming from concepts developed by his famous uncle, Sigmund Freud, is for marketers in commerce and government to
  • trigger ordinary people's needs and desires, 
  • meet those desires, or let people think those desires are being met -- feed the birds -- and then
  • continue on the power path getting what marketers and government want out of people without resistance, because the people are distracted and sent in the other direction, like the Mall or Fox. Is that so?
Bernays is an integral part of our history:  Always ask who is controlling our perceptions, our "unconscious",  our desires, how, and why.  Have you met that nice Mr. Rove?
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Why study Bernays. 

What's in it for you? Learn how marketers of policy and goods maintain the relations of power.  Is it so that they can do that by continually stimulating the irrational self in the people: the fears and desires of us, as the masses, so leadership can keep on doing what it wants to do. Terror alert! Soft on terror!  Meanwhile, our cancers bankrupt our families, our cash goes into their bonuses.

How did we get transformed into "constantly moving happiness machines" - seeking it, wanting it, with government and business rousing and harnessing our reactions to pain and fear.  How do they run mass democracy by manipulating the people's consuming self. Symbols and slogans, group psyche.

K Street?  An Elite must rule because ordinary people are lacking?

Count the ways.

Bernays' accomplishments:  He beat the taboos.  He got women to smoke in public - break that taboo. What does the teabag mean these days? The town halls.  Break the taboo against public displays, adult rudeness.  Hey - it's fun! Put people on provided buses and have a party.

The course of public relations is under the radar because we take for granted that industry and government are selling us.  

Democracy is tied to consumerism (get out there and buy to support the recovery),  free and unfettered capitalism is an idea that starts the adrenalin and the hand over the heart; but how does it affect fact-based citizen participation in government. So what.

There is a what.  Look again at the process of distracting people - us - rousing our hidden innards, then selling us stuff to fill our new-found voids, so the powerful can continue as is, at our placated expense.

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Can a culture's trauma history produce collective PTSD? if not PTSD, how about collective cement shoes?

Ideas of epigenetic inheritance; or, less dramatic, trauma in lore, passed on.
Family or community problems and secrets passed down the line until someone gets it "right" or fixes it.
Direct Cultural Trauma Producing PTSD.
Indirect Cultural Trauma Producing Cement Shoes.

If the premise is reasonably valid, that a people's collective experience with religious, political or physical violence, trauma, can lead to behavioral and mindset ramifications restricting their volition and judgment ongoing, examine the cultural history of traumatized nations and groups to test it out.  Research is already tending to show actual genetic alterations in children of traumatized past generations, or generation, see Jewish children reflecting the trauma of their parents as in the Holocaust, see http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/aug/21/study-of-holocaust-survivors-finds-trauma-passed-on-to-childrens-genes.

A.  PTSD.  Look at PTSD as part of a cultural mindset where the trauma experienced is or has been direct.

Start with a very large nation of many disparate parts:  Russia.  What in its history has been humiliating, traumatic, how did rulers respond, what choices did people have, with what effect on their behavior, confidence, submission, willingness to challenge, ability to confront authority with reasonable safety and not debilitating fear.  The topic is not new, but has slid off the radar.  Is there a slant to groupthink, and fear.

Refresh recollection. See the BBC podcasts, first, at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p014knyn; and another at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p014vrkst.  The issue is discussed, with the pods, at  The Why Factor: Cultural Memory and PTSD, by Laura Kerr PhD.

For Russian history, I am trying to learn it better, but so far putting timelines together, there is plenty of invasion and oppression trauma. Check a possible feasible overview of Russian history *.  Can an analysis of groupthink, its origins, and fear, and PTSD involitional conditions, help in international relations in some way?

B.  Cement shoes.  Look at another response to trauma indirectly experienced; or pending-feared.

When finished with considering PTSD in Russia, including its leaders who enter into the circular abuse pattern, sudden unpredictable violences, look here at home for another cultural reaction, the donning of concrete footwear as a defense to anything that suggests autonomous thinking, not groupthink, is a good thing. 

The United States.  What in our collective religious, political, physical history, including Western Europe from whence we originally stemmed, has been humiliating, traumatic.  This includes present-day fear of unspeakable loss for some -- loss of privilege, status, no more supremacism based on tint or not.

 How did our leaders respond, what choices did our people have, and so on.  How do they.  The premise in the case of the United States is not PTSD, because we are insular, geographically removed, have never been invaded (until now), and enjoy a lofty perch from which we judge and bewail.  The premise instead is that such groups who see or have experienced trauma in the past (then moved here for safety, opportunity), still live with it and show it by wearing cement shoes.

We have the most absolutist, most recalcitrant, most religiously authoritatively convinced of Universal-Unquestionable-Rightness set of legislators nationally and overall in the states, that we have seen.  Ever?  Well, hardly ever.  You'd think that Dear Brother James, who ought to know because he was there, wrote that wisdom is willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits or something, without a trace ot partiality or hypocrisy (where is that anyway?  look up James 3:13-4:3, 7-8.  Oh, no.  None of that.  We are right, we will bring everybody down before we, the Great We, yield to a common good. We like our cement shoes!  They fit, they are firm, they enable us to stand taller than we are.  We have no interest in moving.

Rigidity.  Fear of change, new information. Was our behavior in the crusades, then and now, worse than others?  See http://www.firstthings.com/article/2000/03/rethinking-the-crusades There is still fear, collective recollection of crusades now painted as mere benevolence on horseback to persuade the recalcitrant to become Christian, thank you, inquisitions, wars exploiting people as part of a cultural mindset that produces the no-budgers.  I will not budge, I will stand firm right here regardless of anybody else, and does that emerge where the trauma experienced or has been more indirect. If I lose my privileged position, what is left for me? Pre-traumatic stress disorder.

 Can education help? Is this mindset because people want to fall in line instead of vet what they are told to believe?  See a timeline for the US at http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/american.html.
Add the trauma in lore factor.  Stories, urban legends, currently anticipatory trauma in warnings of jack-booted government thugs coming for your guns. What are we doing to our children with that, and everything else we pass on about our fave activities. See adult activities victimizing children. Even well-intentioned infliction of pain may affect them.

Cement shoes.  Choosing to deathgrip what you think you must have or deserve, instead of assessing problems and opening up to solutions.   Cement shoes. Thinkware for sinkers. Environmental factors, like what adults tell children, affecting the children's in ways devastating to their autonomy. See Study above. Spooky.

And now to the House....

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* Is this accurate as to Russian history:  For full laundry lists of names, events, see http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/russians.html

Overview of Russian History.

1. Slavs, other groups, and then the dominant Scandinavians, Varangians, Vikings. Rurik and the Rurikids rule and intermarry with Slavs and others, pre-750 to1237, the Mongol invasion.  The Rurikid Dynasty is established. Rurikids moved to and ruled from Kiev, trading down the rivers to Constantinople and even Baghdad, with ongoing and brutal warfare against strong nomadic and Slavic and other groups at home, who were brutal in return, but the Rurikid Dynasty and its succession mechanisms survived. Then came the Mongols: decimation of populations and cities that refused to surrender immediately.  Kiev.  Gone. Princes. Put on leashes. See http://www.sras.org/the_effects_of_the_mongol_empire_on_russia

2.  1237 - 1480 when the last Mongol was out of power, the last Tatars (Turks converted to Islam) who replaced them were displaced. Tsars exercise power again.  Under the Mongols, Princes and others were forced into full submission (except Novgorod that was beyond the Mongol reach for a variety of reasons).  Yet, once the Mongols were in control and the Princes on leashes, actually conducted reasonable governance so long as nobody failed to pay the tribute, undergo the humiliations inflicted to show who was really in charge.  There was a census, postal service, help for the poor, for example.  No ongoing pogrom-type activities by the Mongols, I think.  Era:   When the doors of power were open again, the old ways were long gone and not revived.  The Tsars showed they learned their lessons well in controlling the people for the benefit of the Mongolsl: and began to impose controls, drastic tribute requirements, autocracy where there once was -- yes, there was -- deliberation, input, restraint.  The rural people? How about them?  Not sure.

3.  1480-1590 or so.  Rurikids still rule, but with increasing absolutism.  Serfs up for some freedom were put back down, is that so? Then came succession issues, called the Troubles,with the death of Ivan IV Grozny, Ivan Thunder, Ivan the Terrible says the West. Was he any worse than anyone else of the era West or East?  Probably not, given the militance of the Western church and Crusades, Inquisitions, etc., on top of kings' other wars. Another topic.

1590-1613:  The Troubles.  And ultimately election of the first Romanov Tsar,  Mikhail I.

4.  1613-1918  Romanovs rule. St. Petersburg is built out of a bog. And flourishes. What about the people? Gaps widen in distribution of wealth, interest in looking to the West for anything at all, and so on.  More absolutism.  Refusal of Tsars to consider what is happening elsewhere, and perhaps reining in their own power and allowing parliament-type assemblies at least.

Last Romanov killed, Tsar Nicholas II.

5.  1918-date. Enter Bolsheviks, Communists, push and pull, Church shunted and forbidden (but survived well in the required shadows), wars, forced collectivization keeping rural people well under heel, and unheeled.  And so on.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Religious belief and conscience, when used to deprive others, is cultural not sacred.

Conscience is a flawed ground for depriving others.
Religious belief is cultural where it becomes used for superiority, control: the false sacred. 
Conscience gives no carte blanche.


With news of a Kentucky county clerk refusing to issue marriage licenses to same gender couples despite law requiring such, and on grounds of her own sincerely held religious belief, the issue becomes how to discern a false sacred and therefore a cultural ground from -- what -- verifiable deity position and naming of enforcers so this clerk is a chosen one to enforce what? Based on what?  Where is the boundary between sacred and culture in religious belief and practice, given wide variations in interpreting same texts so as to benefit one group or another.

Role of rationalism.  Can it be avoided by belief in a plural society. If sacred is merely a matter of belief, how to prioritize competing sacreds with equal fervor in a multi-ethnic society.  Turn to rational bases for the law or rule in issue, may be best alternative to competing claimed and unbending sacreds.

Background, and some clerks electing to withhold state activities from some citizens on one' own religious moral grounds.  Some say, in denying others rights of access that the denier has access to, such as the state of marriage, or abortion, roughly this:
  • "I can deny others these rights that I can enjoy because t is my sincerely held religious belief that a) my religion is right and supreme;  b) my Deity has chosen me and my group to act, as though we were the Deity and to oppose other views and interpretations; and accordingly,  c) I and we may impose our own view of the Deity's rules on others in our own timing and manner and according to our ongoing interpretations, regardless of State or Federal Law. And by the way, we do benefit because we get a status and benefits and rights of choice that others cannot."

 A. Principles evolving:

1.  No sincerely held religious belief shall suffice to deny to another a right that the denier already enjoys, or has access to and elects not to choose.

2.  A sincerely held religious belief, however, may and in many cases already does, undergird seeking rational balancing of interests: in time, place and manner restrictions on that right; but shall not unduly hinder others' rights of enjoyment or access.

3.  Denial of one's own rights to others is thinly veiled cultural and religious supremacism, a drive for automatic status based on attribute, not ideas or contributions on the merits.

4.  A cultural stake in preserving supremacism, or where the denial of rights has that effect, demonstrates that the issue is not religious but a matter of culture. 

B.  Specific resources: 

1.  Sincerely held religious belief, as any other opinion, is easily manipulated as a matter of mere persuasion technique, not necessarily related to merit.  See http://www.uvm.edu/~jleonard/AGRI183/propoaganda.html

2.  Sincerely held religious belief offers no stake in the outcome.  It is only another sincerely held religious belief that leads the believer to think he is chosen by the deity above all others and others' interpretations to speak for the deity.

3.  Sincerely held religious belief, in denying rights to others where the denier has access, is dimly disguised supremacism.  If others had the same favored position, perhaps the denier would find the competition on the merits places him less than first.

4.  Sincerely held religious belief does not justify turning others into vehicles for the status, property (including heirs) and control agendas of others. See  Marge Piercy poem Right to Life and its argument about whose life counts and when on a reasonable in utero spectrum. See Roe v. Wade.

5.  Moral decision-making and role of the genders: See http://martinlutherstove.blogspot.com/2008/10/edens-mystery-job-description-helper.html?q=same+gender+marriage
 Eve's omitted job description

6.  Is marriage cultural or theological? With no marriage in Eden or recorded thereafter, until Jerome mistranslated "woman" as "wife", marriage appears to be cultural: See http://kngdv.blogspot.com/2012/09/no-genesis-marriage-jerome-added-wife.html

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* Henri Matisse, The Music, 1910, at The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.  My photo.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Vet infant PTSD from surgery without anesthetic and adult behavior

Baby PTSD. Other PTSD. Link to later political, religious leanings?
Conclusion:  No definitive way to find out?  Keep on table.
And everyone is damaged in some way, is that so?

The effects of baby surgery without anesthetic before 1986 or so:  Who as an adult is affected?  How?  Is there Baby PTSD. The New York Times highlighted an emerging concern in 1987, see http://www.nytimes.com/1987/12/17/opinion/l-why-infant-surgery-without-anesthesia-went-unchallenged-832387.html; and now the use of anesthetics in infants is again being challenged, as more damaging to brains than the trauma of helplessness amid pain, see 2012 article, http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/news/20120820/anesthesia-may-harm-childrens-brains  Narcotic, anesthetic negative result vs. trauma result.  How to weigh.

As for adults with PTSD including those who were subjected to medical trauma (or other trauma), are they less open to new experiences, changes of mind with new facts, feeling less safe with a variable environment. Is that reflected in their political and religious leanings, see The Psychology of Political Ideology, GoodTherapy.org.
  • How to test? Note this issue: "... for whatever reason, an individual's conception of their ideological position often differs from that predicted by a policy question." That is from Dr. James Rockey, economist, in a University of Leicester Dept. of Economics long-term study (136,000 subjects, 82 nations, 20 years), 2010, Political Leanings: Who is Left Wing and Who Just Thinks They Are, at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100714113110.htm

And as a tool for understanding political and religious behavior of adults, is it feasible to ask if such early infant trauma, where it resulted in PTSD, affects the degree to which an adult seeks safety, avoids change, feels threat, engages in sudden rages, goes to the barricades.

1.  First, vet facts underlying the premise that anesthetics were not used on babies until 1986 or so.  That seems clear.  Such no-painkiller surgery was apparently common. See FN 1.   Get more US data from professional sources, like http://ether.stanford.edu/library/pediatric_anesthesia/neo%20natal%20anesthesia/NEONATAL%20SURGERY.pdf; not just anecdotal, self-reporting or summary. Further resources are listed at Snopes.  

2.  Then vet the emerging anecdotal, and now an incipient, but scientifically supported, idea, about whether an infant stress disorder can have stemmed (if it exists), from that  a) surgery conducted on babies before 1986; if  b)  if that was done without anesthetic, as was common before 1986.

Appreciate the difficulty of testing the idea. How to determine or measure if there to be seen today a syndrome of fear-filled, anxious behavior patterns in some adults operated on as children without anesthetic, now as adults. Is there a baby PTSD, infant PTSD.
  • How to identify the triggering event. And why it persists in some medically traumatized persons and not others, as is probably the case. 
  • Look at the totality of the person. Where the syndrome is found, does that syndrome reflect in the adult's political and religious leanings as fear-generated, what will make me safe, how can I avoid change, how can I preserve me.  
    • Does the idea of behavior in beliefs defy analysis because of inaccessible records, flaws in self-reporting, unprovable neonate memory.
    • And if there is such a thing as baby PTSD, with memories erupting at odd times, what behaviors stemming from it, mind freezes, danger-danger.
    • Politics and religion as related to stress response. Is it also logical to think that the ideological and political and religious leanings of those people medically traumatized as babies would tend to safety, rejection of change because change is dangerous, status quo, fear of the unknown.
  • Research.  Some professional sources on the issue of pain in babes have been updated as recently as 2015, a good sign, see Perioperative Pain Management, http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/980222-overview
2.  Start here:

 2015
-1986
     29

Who is in that population. This is odd arithmetic, but with a purpose, and directed at people born before 1986. If you are one of those people, and if you underwent underwent surgery as a baby-toddler, you might not have been given any anesthetic. That is traumatic, stressful, and the issue is whether infant trauma can lead to PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
  • From the wings: Q. Can't babies just rebound? Operations without anesthetic sound impossible now.  A. Some do; and, agree, no anesthetic sounds barbaric.  Need more information, however, on the alternative harm of the anesthetic on the brain.  
3.  Symptoms:  PTSD in vulnerable persons we know from battle PTSD, disasters, abuse, can result in a complex of behaviors, See http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml 
  • fear or fright even when not in observable danger. This can also result from battle experience, of course; disasters; violence and abuse; see http://www.ptsd.va.gov;
See laundry list at http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_Families_Pages/Posttraumatic_Stress_Disorder_70.aspx

Ask if you dare if politics and religion for some relate to a stress response, a personal PTSD.

4.  Anecdotal meme sites abound already. This concept affects how many. Perhaps the broad recognition is only because if a diagnostic term gets used, someone will latch on to it.  Surely some professionals can figure out how to test the theory of infant PTSD in adult behavior.  Rage, depression, cutting off self from body, the disconnect?

The medical profession may not want to engage. The idea ranks 10 in the Horrific Scale. Who, then? Yet, there is a head start. This idea is part of assorted memes out there, including the informal (not by a medical person) http://differentdream.com/2011/03/can-you-imagine-infant-surgery-without-anesthesia/ and anecdotal blogs that so far appear to put too much in that diagnostic basket without controls, but may be tuning into something useful, see http://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2013/07/12/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-in-babies-and-toddlers-what-are-the-symptoms/; http://myincision.wordpress.com/category/infant-ptsd



5.  Physical effects of trauma:

Go further.  Is this so about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in general:  Traumatic stress can affect brain volume in areas of the brain that usually regulate fear and anxiety, see PTSD study at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105161355.htm/  A kind of deflate-gate.  Can the brain recover?  Of course, we think. Especially in little ones. Just pump it up again. Get on with it. The pre-conscious, pre-verbal one will literally not "know" the difference.



There are already some studies of medically induced torture-trauma on little ones, that appear to lead to later physical and psychological damage, see http://www.nytimes.com/1987/12/17/opinion/l-why-infant-surgery-without-anesthesia-went-unchallenged-832387.html/
Discussion:

6.  Combine the contexts for broader social analysis.

With the similarities among traumas, including the inability to counter the event, the helplessness, the agony, the horror, would be similar.  It should not be surprising, then, to find parallels to military PTSD in such children, together with heightened fear, anxiety. Explore further this aspect affecting later adult development, learning abilities, phobias, depression, fear and anxiety, all feared or actual.  ADHD:  This kind of stress may lead also to the child's body producing low levels of the hormones needed for attention, see The Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute, newsletter 2011 article, The Long Life of Early Pain http://hms.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/HMS_OTB_Winter11_Vol17_No1.pdf/  Treatments can help the early pain survivor; but take the issue a step further.

8.  The hot button.  Vet politics, ideology and traumatic stress, recalled or not.

Political views, regimentation, conformity. Does fear of change, miasmic anxiety, affect our politics, religion, polarization, fear of loss of status in the traditional hierarchy, fear of the Other.  Michael Steele, will you look into roots here?  Is fear of others' autonomy indicative of nothing other than preference.

PTSD.  Traces of violence. Was there survival? With what compensating conditions.

9.  Back to brains: Trauma and brain size.

If the amygdala brain-part regulates fear and anxiety response (animals have been more studied on this than humans, see the Science Daily cite above); and that area is substantially smaller in Baby PTSD folks as well as other PTSD folks, a cause and effect is not necessarily so, but should be explored.  Did the smaller amygdala come before the abuse, or after. Interesting.  Do people with smaller amygdalae either get into bad situations easier, without the ability to get out (not so for infants, of course); or did the bad situation lead to a reaction leading to a smaller amygdala -- did it give up.

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FN 1

For evidence of the lack of anesthetic for babies before 1986 or so,  see for example this 1989 article acknowledging the issue of ongoing withholding of pain medication for neonates, the little babies.  See Pain Perception in the Neonate, from Canada's CFP-MFC, publication of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2280358/ The article calls for change in procedures, now to recognize responses of the neonate to pain, and provide relief.

More recently, in 1991, an American Ph.D., (where are the MD's here?) wrote an article, Babies Don't Feel Pain, a Century of Denial in Medicine, in a circumcision symposium paper, see http://www.nocirc.org/symposia/second/chamberlain.html; but that smaller snip does not match the violation of, say, abdominal surgery without anesthesia. Where are the papers on that here?

Unthinkable idea.  See an example of the nonmedical memes out there, http://differentdream.com/2011/03/can-you-imagine-infant-surgery-without-anesthesia/
 and http://myincision.wordpress.com/category/anesthesia/

Are anecdotes just hype?  Find someone who had pyloric stenosis as an infant before 1986, was operated upon without anesthetic, see the scar, look at life patterns, ask the question.  Data begins with anecdotes.  Foster them, and analyze with science, reason.

The issue remains:  if most everyone experiences some trauma when very young, and most cope, why focus on medically induced trauma of infant PTSD.  How to identify them specifically for purposes of treatment. At least, start and see what evolves. Are there mindsets in adults who experience these traumas, or harbor reactive behaviors as personality adjuncts or patterns, and if there is no other explanation, why not ask about infant surgery.  Canada seems to do a better job than the US in addressing PTSD professionally, see http://bodyandhealth.canada.com/condition_info_details.asp?disease_id=194


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hillary Stump Speech First Draft Found

Trompe News Services.  Three Values Video.  Hilary Clinton. Advance distribution lays out basic values for a society that serves all:

1.  Fact-based debate; and a broadly educated electorate to vet persuaders.
2.  Generosity over hoarding.
3.  Unwind exploitation.

Soundtrack:  I am Hilary Clinton and I am here as a candidate for the great office of president of the United States.  I have, as you know, a wide range of experience in government service and its processes.  More important, however, is what convictions and perspectives emerge as a framework for the future of our evolving democracy.  Every election presents a tipping point opportunity to influence complex and conflicted political, social, and global issues. I am convinced that resolution of those issues requires not bombast, but a return to the voter's perspective, and voter access to issue information, education, and opportunity in the voter's own life.


The vote remains the great power of this democracy, and it is persistently sought by persuaders seen and unseen in every media. Persuasion can only be countered by fact-dissemination and education, especially in the techniques of persuasion. Without that awareness, a voter cannot adequately assess what information is enough, first, to determine the voter's own interest; and second, whether underlying special interests of the persuader are acceptable.  Do they broadly conform to the personal and financial interest of the voter. Has partisan-ruled voting become reflex and a group exercise.  That has not worked out well for ordinary people.  Convictions, value determinations, these can inform voters. 

1.  First value determination.  Fact-based debate. An educated electorate. That democracy flourishes with dissemination of reliable fact; and that it is difficult for a voter to vet facts without a broad, balanced literary and pragmatic, universal, analytical education.  Voters need the tools to weigh what is presented, and to assess independently when an opinion, a position, is obstructive, repetitive, or useful.
  • Without ability to vet, votes can become reflex, a mere matter of group identity.  With vetting, a voter might decide that good arguments can be made for constructive compromise.  Prevent voter vetting, and it is easy to present compromise as weakness.  FN 1

2.  Second value determination.  Generosity over hoarding. That resources used for widening opportunity are not zero sum.  A gain in one area such as education, transportation, health, livable employment, put within reach of one group, can result in broad other benefits to those and also to other groups. A national hoarding, defensive frame of mind diminishes the hoarder and the nation.  Venture your capital into human capital.  See what happens.  Without that, government will remain the default provider of basic sustenance.  To get the government out, you need to step in.  Consider.

A hoarding cultural mindset will be our undoing, and runs counter to Founders of great religions and wise political systems.  They found increased returns in mutuality of respect and responsibility. 

3.  Third value determination.  Unwind exploitation. That it is time to critique our own history and learn from our best, shelve our worst.  Debate whether our origins in conquest, by empire, then feudalism, then colonialism, have led to an overdose of exploitation in our current capitalism.  This is a loyal debate, a patriotic debate.  

  • Then recognize that instability here and elsewhere has deep roots in not only sectarian and cultural divisions in other nations, but also here.  Has a history of exploitation, forced conformity to some political or religious agenda, supremacism as a value passed down the generations as to ethnicity or gender, weakened us all.  Exploitation in those areas persist, to the detriment of economies and social productivity.  With education and free access to debate these matters, I believe that voters may turn from the reflex, obedience vote, where it may occur, to a wiser, individual assessment vote.  Is it the fear of those restricting voting, that real competition based on merit may arise?  If so, re-energize to open the vote.

Start here, now, at home.  Debate exploitation, whether social restrictions, corporate practice, voter hindrance. How much, if any,  is acceptable.  If acceptable, what off-ramps to a life of opportunity can and will we build.  Our self-interest is in solutions for the future, not buttressing the past.   
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FN 1  Conviction that democracy requires broad education.

Turn to education and information access. Despite complex and conflicted special interests, it is possible for a workable decision to be made by a voter faced with persuaders.  With education, and analysis, you, a voter, can assess whether the financial and other interests of the candidates still broadly conform to your own individual and family interests, aspirations.  How much of life needs to be page-referenced for that decision to be made will always be a partisan issue.  We are back to education, skills in analysis.  Without that backdrop, an adoption of another's opinion is reflex, not necessarily wise for that voter. 
  • Scout out carefully news sources outside your usual loyalty circle, challenge any opinion that fails to present clearly and reasonably verifiably the underlying facts on which the opinion is built.  How much challenge, investigation, is enough for the issue? 
  • Demand full quotations, not relying on excerpts.  Demand documents, not summaries alone.  And remain vigilant.  There is a point where issues must be decided, then rest.  Voters, not persuaders, can make that determination.
* Photo:  Cathedral, Sibenik,  Croatia









Friday, February 6, 2015

Cognate Game. Guess the Surname: Who Am I

A Journalist Living for Old News.
The Clues.
A Bondsman in Thrall to Whom?


From hamor Old English
Through hamaraz hamue hamer hamar
Proto-German Old Saxon, Middle Dutch, Old High German, to
Old Norse hamarr!
A stone!  A rock!  A crag!
O work-out, laboriously,
Ye 14th Century 1580's, say,
Then how get to imbibery 1986?
Come to hammer
Tool with a stone head.
Wherefore how now the sour cabbage
Mit salt und barberies
To keep untouched unchanged
All yere
Krut kruthan.
Sawerkrant
Uses? Check Klinike
James Hart, Diet of the Diseased.
Recur then, more German.

Who am I?
The Given: A male.
From ceorl
Perhaps churl
A 13th Century bondsman.

Your reward?
A journalistic retrograde leap backwards
To preserve at all costs the overworked Cog pickle-cabbage
Mindsets
Of yesteryear.

Sample old war news 1. NYT.

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Etymology in Modern Life. Etymonline. A line! a line! Save us!