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Above: Lake Geneva, Switzerland. At Montreux.

Fodderize v.t. 1. To break down individual components; to make fungible; to disregard difference; to render one easily substituted for another 2. To impose sub-quality goods or services upon, with little recourse 3. To cap role choices, hinder access to resources regardless of merit, and so avoid competition 4. To manage perception by propaganda-spin techniques, while concealing dispositive facts 5. To manipulate, lure, exploit, deceive

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Politics. Reactions to authority, permission for aggression, who retains autonomy

Election Issues.
 What temperament and judgment do politicians show when cornered.

Who remains autonomous, who susceptible to influence, punishing.

How do they behave in the face of threat.
Emergent rudeness and intransigence: identify with the controller.
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Character keys to leadership. 
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Standard Bearer:  Father Jerzy Popielusko
Man of courtesy, leadership and resolve.
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Vote for noone rude.
Vote for noone who shape-shifts
To suit cause du jour.
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Character in candidates and other politicians shows when they are cornered, when an ideology of powerful interest groups threatens their survival. How do they behave when all seems lost.
  •  The Stockholm Syndrome: Extrapolate. Some candidates or elected persons, faced with political annihilation if they retain autonomy against the ideology that is in or gets power, may do an about-face and, absorb the values of those in power. The support for those in power may be expressed in sycophantic ways, I am so sorry I opposed you, I will do better. And so the loser may hope to survive. Fawn, fawn. 
    • This is an 'internal emigration', the change in anchor for the inner life that enables ongoing political life, as time goes by either in hopes the power can be displaced by others, or truly accepting it as the new way for the self.
    • A political PTSD:  For others, the requirement to conform to an unacceptable new standard, is traumatic. The drive to be true to oneself, the old behavior, to stop falling in line, remains in the head, to be triggered like so many shards in the brain, with mere key words.
      • Who offers a model of what happens under force, stress:  John McCain. Residual instabilities, the having 'talked' under torture, but who could blame him. He returned to regain some autonomy from a successor force-ideology, Tea Party. 
        • And then they turn around and bite him. 
  • The hero, unbending, persisting.   
    • Who can stand for autonomy in the face of overwhelming forces? 
      • Try Father Jerzy Popielusko, Poland, under communism, standing with Solidarity. 
  • The Milgram Study: Many elected persons otherwise not inclined to aggression, become so upon demand from a base, or with permission they perceive (An official overtly denigrating those above him: The president is stupid, you lie).  Watch emboldened busloads of mild neighbors carrying guns and posters, as at a fete, etc. all met with cheers from the power-worshipping opponents).  Milgram. Give permission for aggression, inflicting pain, and it will be done, even by the mild. Is that so?
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I.  Topics and Studies
II.  Examples
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I.  Topics and Studies for Candidacies

A. Susceptibility to authority. Why followers follow, and if given permission to do worse, do it.
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We have seen evidence that persons who are ordinarily mild and averse to violence, aggression and bullying, may well engage in it if ordered by authority, give permission to do so. Does the permission merely remove the barrier for the person to do what the person really wants to do. See Milgram Study reference at Shocking Study Finds Most Will Torture If Ordered, see http://uk.reuters.com/article/burningIssues/idUKTRE4BI0VQ20081219/  Is hazing an example, harassment of opponents, exploitation.
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B. Currying favor with inescapable authority

We also see evidence that cornered persons faced with threatening authority will try to flatter or fawn into the authority's good graces, identifying with its goals, and including even love.  See Stockholm Syndrome, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1920301,00.html
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C.  Reaction to aggressive authority
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We also see evidence that substantial abuse and exposure to violence can lead to post-traumatic stress syndrome, where shards of memory (think Bourne series) suddenly erupt in the mind, triggering protective, violent response related to survival, inability to do otherwise.  WWI called it shell-shock. Domestic violence may trigger such a response.  It can also, in bullying, lead to self-destruction of the target.
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D.  Heroism:  maintaining principled behavior, returning to aid others even in the face of punishing, even life-threatening aggression.
Meet Father Jerzy Popielusko 1947-1984. Poland.

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This priest supported the trade union in Poland, Solidarity, at a time of brutal repression of labor. Father Popielusko was opposed by the governmental power, the Communist regime, see biography; commentary; and tribute.
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His endurance was extreme:  he was incarcerated, interrogated, over a period of years, then released. Then in one night, taken again, he was beaten, but this time killed.
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Heroism for having endured, even if not having withstood.  This was of interest in the last election cycle with John McCain, then a candidate for the presidency, who endured torture and (this said without blame) provided information in order to get the torture stopped.  Did that work? He did talk. Background of trauma and torture, and he did show a pattern of combativeness after, episodes of rage.
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In an era that requires stabilization, can he stabilize, or polarize. See New Bump Key, Stabilize. He went through strong polarization; is he now modifying back.
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PRINCIPLE I.
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Vet every candidate as to temperament, autonomy, self-control
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John McCain failed the test, but others present more subtly similar issues of lack of self-control, assessment.   Issue of John McCain's Temperament and Judgment raised at democratic convention. Choice of Vice Presidential Pick - Sarah Palin.  The use of the term "erratic" by Obama people, to describe Mr. McCain, appears apt. See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27034817/ How does that apply to the changes in behavior of candidates in 2012. Under ideological pressure, who has shape-shifted.  McCain has.
.See "Dangerous and Unstable," by Josh Marshall http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/208141.php.  This was picked up by partisans on YouTube - (this is a partisan view, but excerpts from real people statements, observations first hand) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAyK-enrF1g . Temperamentally unsuited.
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Candidate Temperament. Let Light Into Dark Places
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Is is there a connection between trauma experience and temperamental outbursts. Aggression. What is simply a personality trait, and what was fostered, what developed as a result of extreme pain and powerlessness. Our concern includes issues raised about John McCain, see ABC News - at http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=4301022.
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Do your own search for specific behaviors and the name McCain.
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A. Is political ideological stress, for example, as imposed by the NRA in furtherance of its objectives, in any way comparable to traumatic stress on the psyche of those threatened with physical death?
.1. Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome or PTSD is already familiar. It became familiar because people talked about it.
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1.1 Avoiding An Issue Enables It.
A founder of the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture encountered disbelief and denial as to the actual extent of torture, thus many professionals rejected establishing protocols to address torture issues. See also http://www.hrschool.org/doc/mainfile.php/lesson07/117/.
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Psychic stress, being forced with no way out except to accept annihilation of the self. Is there a comparison.  Has ideological stress replaced torture stress among our own elected officials.
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PTSD Nightmare - To Be Captive In Places Beyond Rescue
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We need to look  Generalized avoidance in looking at an issue and its effects on the individual fosters a) torture and b) continued force to control by ideology. Looking away enables torture and ideology-control to continue, even thrive.
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See http://www.ccvt.org/effects_torture.html For an everyman's overview, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychology_of_torture#Social_effects.
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1.2  Our ignoring the issue enabled our government to torture.  Ignoring force as a factor in modifying behavior and mind is counter to our own self-interest.
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Many of those people, held in secret prisons or Guantanamo, will go home and take their experience with them. That practice affects those who do it, those victimized by it, and the rest of us when those persons with that specialized experience go back in "regular" social settings. See Human Rights Watch at http://www.hrw.org/doc/?t=usai_torture.
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If the government is correct, and there is no issue of after-effects, at least we raised the issue in time for decision. If the government is wrong - and in case the government is wrong, we ask the questions now.
  • Which candidates will promote torture in the future -- how they withstand ideological force now may clue us in.
1.2 Temperament is an important issue in assessing leaders. We, who are safe in our commons so far, have a keen interest in how candidates' past experiences with trauma affect their present.
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The coexistence experience.  One way to heal after ideological force
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Abused persons have been studied, the Stockholm Syndrome is a known entity (many captives in fear or pain will seek to appease their captors) so there is data, commentary. See Stockholm Syndrome and an extended review of torture and considerations of its possible effects on people and their later functioning at Joy of Equivocating, Abuse Experience and the Brain: Distorts Perception?
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The ideologically indoctrinated respond to trigger situations, like John McCain apparently did.  We see already increased incidents of killings of fellow-citizens, investigations into ideological/ethnic grounds ongoing.
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Some outbursts by McCain were horrendous. This is not to blame him: who could have withstood what he endured.  Still see http://rawstory.com/news/2008/McCain_temper_boiled_over_in_92_0407.html. Is this the issue in a macho culture:  A man, who should have power, is paut into the powerless position, as is a woman in most circumstanaces. That must be intolerable. Does that fear, of being powerless as a woman, underlie same-gender reaction of anger? .
  • Who will study. Cycle of abuse. The once powerless, subjected to an intolerable experience, in turn forcing others into powerlessness. McCain has made sure that he will not be powerless again, even at the expense of his wife, whom he has disrespected in front of others. She has maintained her dignity, but also cannot respond publicly, of course. 
  • He wins. Enforcing powerlessness on others who stand by, plastic. That is like others today who publicly abuse others, name calling, bullying. 
  • Shall we as voters respect that. Does all this mean that there a gender difference: look at residual repercussions from prolonged powerlessness.
  • In men, is there, and can we expect, a reduced ability to adjust once in safety, where the culture so values self-determination, independence, fight; and the person knows he fell down (as anyone would). He won't let that happen again..
B.  Do our leaders, candidates, understand torture, the effects of stress, particularly if their own party's ideology holds them in thrall.

Does ideological imposition make them feel powerless by outside interests forcing his or her hand. Who maintains autonomy, who becomes part of a non-voter ideological constituency from outside the jurisdiction.
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If a leader is in any way impaired as to autonomy, predisposed to fall to outside influence, is that person subject to a residual imprinting, a fear of recurrence. 
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How do people react to prolonged powerlessness and threat, we need to know. The issue of torture is not immediate in this 2012 election cycle, but we need to know it in terms of who we are releasing back to the world, as we need to do.  We created the problem, we need people who can lead us out of it. See
http://www.ijoa.org/imta96/paper55.html.
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McCain is in microcosm what we are releasing back to countries our prisoners came from.  What will trigger them, how to address, neutralize. many of our soldiers show latent mental disorders, showing up even months after return from Iraq. See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8743574/. These issues were not a focus after Vietnam because they were concealed. We need people in office now who understand, and not fall in with an ideological view. Autonomy, autonomy. Democracy depends on it.
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Some people do gain strength. See discussion of resiliency at http://www.lcmedia.com/mind186.htm How to assess resilience, by more than just outer behavior, or is that enough.
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C.  A candidate's position on the policy of torture is vital in wartime and any time.
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Mr. McCain voted against legislation that would have outlawed waterboarding, see http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=2&vote=00022. But in 2005 he opposed torture including examples like sleep withholding, or withholding medical attention, see http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/11/29/100012.shtml. That site uses McCain's experience as showing that torture works, but we also know that Mr. McCain gave false information, so it did not work. See below, listing football players instead of names of other soldiers.
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Other candidates who opposed the monolithic NRA now embrace the NRA.  Stockholm, who holds the keys, what needs to be done to survive, if I want my political career, I have to toady any which way.
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III. Focus here: Start Out Broad.
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We check out here the effects of any kind of abuse, on an adult's mind, or a child's mind; and the later lives and behavior of both.
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Update today: McCain's "misrecollection" of events in torture, his error in recalling whether it was the Steelers or the Greenbay Packers team that he cited under torture. Is this just short term memory issue, long term memory, or is he using his past torture publicity to pander. Pick the team whose city you are in. See http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/07/in-pennsylvania.html.

Ideological, groupthink, physical pressure. Some break.
















2.1 What we know: Reactions vary. Wide extremes, latent and patent, as a repercussion of powerlessness. See http://www.psychosocial.com/IJPR_8/Psychotherapy_for_Torture.html. We need to know how forced victimization and pain affects later judgment, decision-making; and is the person necessarily aware of an ongoing impact.
Even a formerly nice person like Senator Grassley will find himself with strings being pulled, calling the president stupid.  Does that curry favor with the ideological controllers? Of course.  If I were a voter in his district, would I vote for the one who cares more about the controllers than human sensibility? No.
Tectonic plates are shifting. This will be a global stage. Elect noone inept.  See Podium 101, Required Course. FN 1
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FN 1.  Watch all the news sources, written, visual

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America in an age of ideological force
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So, ask the questions. Torture is part of western culture and we are no exception. See Romania Road Ways, Sighet Prison, Museum of Arrested Thought. Do after-effects dissipate over time, no trace.
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How about those forced into ideological obedience.  Will that experience, if it is contrary to the "self", have repercussions, or result in more extreme avowals of loyalty, like Senator Grassley's transformation.
Last big election, there was a different issue, and we disregarded that then, to our lasting damage. We disregarded whether it was important that a candidate have experience in really fending for himself or herself, ever been held personally accountable for anything. Mistake.
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Ask the questions now, while ideologies are raging. How are candidates reacting:  conformity, shape-shifting, or with autonomy, transparency.
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Aging. Old candidates. Aging itself means a reduction in the barriers, the protections we put up before. Fewer inhibitions. We need to know more. People as they age have many losses - loss in flexibility, loss in sensory perception. Loss of self-control, inhibitions, ability to retain facts. See ageing at http://www.fortherecordmag.comf/archives/ftr_03052007p28.shtml: and at http://www.arclab.org/.


Effects of force, under the rockpile

Recurrent concern:  Is there a particular fear of powerlessness in a male-oriented culture, and reactions to the other gender rising in its power, or as to same-gender activities.

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Reproductive rights, equal pay, issues that all serve to enhance the power of the other gender.  Temperament for governing.  Who has it.
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One who has been powerless or who fears powerlessness, loss of power - does that trigger a cycle of abuse - enforce powerlessness in others. The poor, the immigrant. Refusal to acknowledge ancient and current ways that people seal relationships. Is it "authorized." See Michelangelo and the Sistine. Issues longstanding.