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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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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Political Flocking Behavior. What Boids and People Flock. Manual for Flocking. Why. The Stray. Lieber-Stray.

Manual for Flocking Behavior.
 People and Boids.
Who benefits from what patterns.

Political Theory.

The Unflocker. Which parties allow leaving the flock.
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What is achieved by flocking behavior:
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1.  V Formation, Get aerodynism, saving individual energy. Leader voluntarily falls back when fatigued, another emerges. Less watchfulness in individuals, eyes on keeping in position. Identifiable laggards. Laggards lose.
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2.  Cluster non-formation. Pigeons, for example. Get less enegy efficiency for the individual, but allows for individual control in a dense group ; and facilitates food-spotting. Each is a watcher. Clusters  deter predators. No identifiable laggards. Individualists still have some protection. See http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v474/n7352/full/nature10164.html,  See also Smithsonian Magazine September 2011 at p.12, in "Observed, the Pigeon", at Wild Things, Life as We Know It.
I could not find that little piece online.
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3.  Solo.  Least energy efficient, most dangerous. Birds of prey may be non-flockers, see http://birdquote.com/quote/birds-of-prey-do-not-flock-together/.
The unaccustomed to being alone, or in a reduced group, also may suffer, unable to change in time. The passenger pigeon went extinct in 1914, a large-flok bird that could not accommodate loss of that environment. See http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/aroundthemall/2011/09/martha-the-worlds-last-passenger-pigeon/. In 1813, there were a billion estimated in one flock alone.  Passenger pigeons constituted some 25-40% of all American birds, see site. Sold for meat, habitats cut down.
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4.  The Collection:  No organized followers to a set leader. May evolve or not into a flock. Occupy!
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PEOPLE - Political parties, ethnic groups, familial
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Flocking style: For defense, navigation. V Formation in political parties, or the Cluster.  What creativity, options, are lost in what formation.  Who second guesses the lead goose? Who vets?  Here we looking at group behavior; and when and why some deviate.  Who doesn't take off with the others. despite the honking. Flocking is how and why individuals move in a group,  stay together, delegate the direction -finding to others and flap away after.
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V Formation Flocking is a behavior with rules, promoting common welfare, as everyone goes in the same direction, roughly; and nobody asks why. How much is instinct, with reaction fast. One looks up. There goes Harry -- Harry!  Wait for me! Little conscious thought takes up time. Take off and follow.
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In people, will fear make flocking instinctive, so that solos will join in the takeoff, whether V formation conformist, or cluster flap. Flee, Fleance, Flee!
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Human Cluster Flocking Behavior: Good when voluntary, for good cause.

2.  Nature flocking. Not just boids.
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Schools.  Fish.. See some schooling at Thought Equity dot com,  http://www.thoughtequity.com/video/clip/1B05662_0001.do/
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Swarms.  Bugs.
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Herds.  Hoofed animals, others.
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Directing a flock: 
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Enter the Controllers of the Flocks. If sticking together is instinct over formal individual thought, how to rouse the flocking instinct to go in the direction desired? .Emerging formula: Set an agenda, position a leader, fund the leader, fund some more, hide the real agenda, use the latest persuasion research, apply, send out ready-made legislation to be cut and pasted in to legislatures, pay the elected ones, buy buses for supporters and provide free trips with placards. Wolves in sheep's clothing. See the original Aesop on deceiving appearances, at http://www.bartleby.com/17/1/39.html
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Flocking Researh
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Read article by Thomas G. Grub at http://www.riversoftavg.com/flocking.htm.
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3.  Researcher Thomas G. Grub 
Behaviors in Flocking:  
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Mr. Grub plotted behaviors of things moving in groups, specifically birds, at  http://www.riversoftavg.com/flocking.htm
  • separation, 
  • alignment, 
  • cohesion, and 
  • avoidance.
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Behaviors of Boids According to Mr. Grub

A boid member of a flock as an individual is known as a "boid." Is Mr. Grub from Brooklyn? We will vet. A successful boid will
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a) keep a minimum distance from other boids in the flock,
b) try to go in the same direction,
c) huddle in to its own flock, but
d) not get too close to boids in another flock.
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4.  Researcher Craig Reynolds
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Craig Reynolds first identified three of these behaviors in flocking in 1986 (we do not see "avoidance" in his list),

See  overview is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flocking_%28behavior%29.  In flocking, individuals do not necessarily give up individual identity. Each retains an autonomous perspective and even in the V formation, can move forward or back. The cluster nonformation permits most deviation. A common goal, going the distance, however, is very important. There is safety with one's flock; that is common sense. And there is a consequential jeopardizing of self if an individual leans too close elsewhere. You get in trouble if you stray. Solo predators.
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 5. Expand the theory.  
The boid in Jeopardy by Stray.
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Jeopardy by Stray means trouble for the individual going too far afield.  This is also a political phenomenon among humans:  a legislator, instead of voting as constituents want, goes on a conscience-frolic of his own; or deviates from the constituents for lucre, being paid by lobbyists, or whatever other reason.  That legislator will be in jeopardy of ouster. 

That is a human recourse management issue, not available to nature boids. But nature birds will not have a leader who intentionally takes them where they do not want to go. In Connecticut, there was heard, from constituents, for example, loud cries of Ach du Lieber. Lieber?  Lieberman?  Not our Joe!  Lieber meaning what? 
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Boids cluster about:  Look at the name. Leben sie in Liebe means something like are you living in love. Is a Lieber-Man a lover? How were we to know?  Of what? Who loves Lieberman after he goes on a frolic of his own? At constituents' expense. What is the place of conscience, and how does anyone else know if the motivation is conscience carefully appled to lucre.  Lieberlovers. Fortunately, this individual is retiring, but others similarly wanting leadership positions will also be inclined to sacrifice the flock will emerge. The issue for the flock remains: What does the flock do when one of their own turns against them?  Say, the leader of the flock leads them into the swamp where the hawks are.
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Some lieber boids have been known to stray, and this is known senatorially as the "Lieber-lean."  What happens to an elected official when he or she tilts off. Can a regular Joe angle away too far from his flock and be sustainable. Sustain himself. Sustain others.
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6.  Follow the Jeopardy by Stray.
Is the bad deed justified by later "common good"? 
Who decides?
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Here we look deeper at our own leader of both V Form and Cluster Constituents, in Connecticut:  His Jeopardy by Stray is embodied in the Senator who would not vote for single payer although his constituents in the majority favored it. But what harm came to him?  None.  He probably would have retired anyway, and now he is even better financially situated to do so, at our expense. Mr. Lieberman received vast sums from the insurance companies in order to steer his flock where he and they wanted, is that so, see http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132x8719491; and that worked, is that so? http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/15/health/policy/15lieberman.html?_r=1
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Jeopardy by stray.  It depends on how we define the flock; and is there any jeopardy for the rewarded strayer. Lieberman casting off from his Flock, the Dems, to identify with GOP's voting Dem to muck up the works, and we ask:  Is there another flock nearby that the lieber-boid in lieber-lean can latch onto, for a period of time indeterminate at the time.
  • The Senate and the Lieber-Lean: Joe Lieberman changing from Democrat to "Independent" but caucusing with the Democrats. If we define flock narrowly, as a party, or a particular position on somebody's view on "moral" behavior, then a Lieber-lean from one party or moral position to another is trouble. It looks self-serving. Personal advancement at the expense of others who were relying on you.
Why are the Lieber-not Boids Unhappy?  Payoffs exacerbate partisanship, breed resentment, spark betrayal noises. Reds and Blues, literal evangelical and less literal humanitarian, dyed in the feather.
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For the Lieber-Strayer, however, the move was brilliantly self-serving. If we define flock broadly, however, as the common good, for the human race, he can argue that all we need is a fiduciary standard applied to industry, and he will have been right.  See?  It is all our fault. Cloudy areas lie in between.
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Collection, not a flock.  Leader could muster no followers







7.  The Collection that surrounds a Stray
is not necessarily a Flock
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Observing the move from collection to flock.  Occupy:  see Washington Post, History of Occupy, Leaderless Movements 
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A mere collection of people can be an incipient flock, if their motivation changes. Is this group never in its own mind to become a flock? Then we see individual goals paramount for each individual. No group identity motivation at the outset, sometimes never. How to discern when a collection is becoming a flock. Who made the change. How was it effectuated to turn a collection into a political force, a flock.  Occupy! Flocking behaviors in humans require observers at a meaningful, no feathers barred, observation post.  What to observe:.
  • Transparency. Who is paying for the activities of the component parts. Who benefits. Whose money passes where. What led to a decision. Where are the emails. Who attended the meetings setting policy. Whose film was dumped on because it got too close to telling truths that a flock wanted kept secret, and where is it now.
Flocking behaviors are highly protective.  Is this the moral:  Trust no flocking and join no flock without transparency demanded and provided. Tweet.
  • Co-dependence.  What else is affecting the behavior.  Flocking is not independent of other factors. Think air streams, beyond the control of the group, and the behavior of the flocks - the impact of air streams on which individual leads.
  • Resource:  "Induced Drag of a Bird Flock," article by J.Higdon and S. Corrsin in The American Naturalist, vol.112, No.986, July-Aug. 1978, pages 727-744 if you want to pay JSTOR. Look up the abstract online at least.
  • Teaching it.  Migrating and flocking is not all instinctive - it has to be taught to those bred in captivity, to a degree - see http://www.operationmigration.org/work_story.html. Education, education, education.  People have to be taught to flock.  Their heads must be messed with.
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  • How to get people to flock?  This is done by propaganda.  People can be forced into flocking behaviors, by others with sales skills. PR.  Make the people want it.  Or is this simple herding? People do have more independent thought at least than the birdbrains, we think; people are supposed to be able to resist the flock if they have educated themselves in when and how to do so.
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So we return to those in lieber-lean.  One in jeopardy by stray flipped, flipped the boid, skipped this flock for that.  This, in order to be acceptable, takes PR.  Who will teach the people whether to want that quality or not. Who can persuade them that the boid-flipper is acting in their interest.  Should the boid care?  Who will teach their flock that they should welcome the Lieber-lean.  Were supporters there all the time, just not transparent about the luring relationship, coaxing the lieber-one in secret, then having him pounce?
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Connecticut asks.
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Some flock-sponsors then shift gears in mid-flight.
Are they then Flock-Wreckers, With a Purpose.
Do Flocks fear Independent thinkers 
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Some people foster, some sabotage, the flock, or themselves.
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Controlling the flow of information is an excellent way to prevent people from learning, communicating, sharing, forming a flock that may challenge the existing flock.  Look at the increase in websites now requiring long forms to agree to, that include people waiving their rights to fair use of content -- and fair use has been part of copyright law for decades.  Waive our right to fair use?  Require us to agree before we are even allowed to see what is there? For years access was there, subject to fair use.  Now even fair use is barred by those who -- is this so -- see their flock's ideology threatened if people can vet it. 
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Is this site, speaking of "flocks" --See http://www.scripture4all.org/.  Still welcoming to us boids? We tried to see something yesterday and suddenly came up a big Adobe agreement that said, as I recall, you can see if you sign here first, but you cannot use, summarize, review. 
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Are we missing something, or do we have to download the whole thing now, instead of just seeing what we want?  I don't want a download.  I want fair use, as has always been available.

You try. Have they always been in the Netherlands, this Scripture4all Foundation? Who are they?  http://www.scripture4all.org/donations/donate.htm. The format was useful, see http://www.scripture4all.org/ISA2_help/intro.html.  Checking to see how much of the site is available just by clicking, not trying to see the whole thing:  here is the good Greek overview, at http://www.scripture4all.org/ISA2_help/DatabaseInfo/GNT_intro.html

Got that far, and the site disappeared.  May be harmless. sigh.
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At the time, the consequences or intent are not clear. People only can infer intent by results. Was it reasonably foreseeable that X would happen.  In the middle, can see little.
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Flocking is also seen in screensavers. Or is that simple bandwagon applied to consumerism?
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9.  Flocking and Fear Theory
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Safety in numbers. When in doubt, and no time to think, follow your neighbor. Fear-mongers can create Flocks that then flock to "safety" as the leader directs, often to the lightening of their pocketbooks and the weighting of the leaders.  See Fear Theory; Second Amendment Meets Placemaking. Nate Rudy and the Gun
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Boids who stay. Boids who stray.  Who can think independently.  Do Institutional Flocks fear that most? Fear that one, ye FlockMasters.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Same texts; wide interpretations. Vet Dogma Add-ons, Apps

Authoritarian Fear of Autonomy
Vet Dogma Add-ons, Vet Dogma Apps
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Find a text roots of our faiths;
vs. apps for profit, turf, supremacism. 
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Scriptural footprints. Who walked this way before. Need Paleo-Hebrew to track sources.
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I.  Background Need for a Religious Position Fact Check
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Religious interpretations underlie many social, political issues:  roles of women, helping others, is human life and breath superior to other beings' life and breath (dominion misconceptions), qualifications for education or oil subsidies, etc.
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Text bases are important. Is the degree of authoritarian authority claimed, really justified by a group's own texts. Authoritarian mindsets who benefit from cultural bias fear autonomy in others. Is that the ancient battleground, whether on gender issues, economics, policy for the common good, or to benefit a special interest as a kind of Economic Darwinism.
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If so, how to go back to original texts, so that interpretations by cultures can be isolated from them.  In what language were the first records reported; was that the language of the Founder-Speaker. Aramaic? what languages, Greek later?)  Is any "Faith" more faithful to original texts, or are they all cultural spin on old foundations.
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Crazy House, Sopot PL. Dogma built on a now invisible foundation (we were there, but this is from an anonymous viral email later)
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Is ideology merely mankind doing its Community Organizing, and for status, turf and profit. How did their gardens grow?
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So:  do your own research.
  • With this additional Wall Street Journal mainstream approval, any family can -- at home or in the library -- check out what the "leaders" say. Or their own "books."
  • In politics, where any candidate or other official cites "faith" as reason for an exemption from civil obligations, vet whether their original text religion itself really exempts them, or is that an add-on, an app.
  • Proposal:  Where the religion is engaging in commerce, making profit, taking in money for services, then that is in the civil arena, no exemption from state obligations, see http://www.cbsnews.com/8300-503544_162-503544.html?tag=hdr.
  • For that discernment, there shall be a scholarly Religious Fact Check. 
II.  RELIGIOUS FACT CHECK

This Religious Fact Check shall explore the merits of positions against real sources for each particular belief.  The designation "faith" shall be insufficient to justify exemptions from legal and civic duties. Is there one "faith". Is everyone to wear the same size shoe. Welcome, please, the Religious Fact Check: Sources of the Faith. Where to find a neutral source. This one has an inflammatory beginning, doctrinal; but does put Paleo Hebrew in line with other forms, see http://www.bayithamashiyach.com/scriptures.html
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1. Paleo-Hebrew.
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Early Hebrew is being taught today, see, for example, http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/ahh/index.html.
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 It derives from early Phoenician and other early Semitic sources, see http://biblescripture.net/Hebrew.html. See its alphabet there, and at http://www.hebrewoldtestament.com/. Look up something familiar. In the beginning, who did what?  See Gen.1:1 --




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There.  All set.
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Wait a minute. Wait. Where is God. These folks weren't Hebrew yet, not one-God people. What did they mean by "God".  Poor Rush. What if the name is Gaia. Sumerian roots, see History-World, show throughout our Creation. Check that. See Kharsag and Sumerian Genesis.
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What did the text say. Find http://biblos.com/genesis/1-1.htm.  Click on 430, the word identifier number for God, and find http://concordances.org/hebrew/430.htm.  Word 430 can also mean goddess, and the plural gods, judges, might, rulers, etc.  Somebody made a choice to use "God" -- already original meanings are shaped later to fit dogma. 
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Do this kind of analysis on every concept:  woman. When and why did the word for woman become "wife" as though there had been a ceremony, all that, in order to make her property and not autonomous.  Back to Biblos and the Concordances.
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Can we live with ambiguity, permit differences of opinion, acknowledge that much of religion is really cultural?  We can, but are not allowed to do so by the authoritarian repeaters among us.  Ambiguity fails to make money, to entertain.  Yet, a few looks reveal it. Go back to the Paleo transliteration site we have so far, at http://www.bayithamashiyach.com/Genesis_1.pdf. There.  Elohim, not "God", but Elohim is translated El of All.  Where did that come from? Sounds doctrinal again.
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Paleo-Hebrew (Before 585 B.C.) Visit the strokes and angles at http://hebrewoldtestament.com/B01C001.htm.  And who decided a translation into Hebrew after 575 BC. Try this site: not as in-your-face as the bayithamashiyach. See http://www.bethashem.org/torah_docs/Genesis/SepherMaoshahBeRashshith%201-4.pdf . 
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But this is complex, drawing on numerology and other matters unfamiliar to too many of us, probably. On the other hand, if the original is also this intricate, and that is its meaning, then all of our Genesis is a makeover. The room emptied out and filled again by the experts. HGTV in the pulpits.
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2.  Truth lies in roots, as a beginning for discerning what is valid dogma, a clear outgrowth of a clear religious position vs. human power dogma. If institutions deviate, just because they say their position is religious, do they get exemptions from civil obligations? Faith in an exploitive position? Apply reason, not authoritatianism. Is Mr. Santorum listening?
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3. A dominant faith, Roman Catholic, holds, we understand, that faith is based on a three-legged stool of tradition, reason and belief. But what if the tradition is punitive, exclusionary, murderous in crusade and inquisition, see http://italyroadways.blogspot.com/#!/2012/02/salvation-or-marketing-religions.html.  Does that turn the foundation into sand. What if "faith" is based on flawed transliteration or transliteration.  More sand sold to the gullible.
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4. Those of us raised in families with centuries of clergy behind, now observing the institution from an outside window, remain interested in the process, but not impressed with the exclusion of education and direct information to believers.

What happens when stone stands still. Here, Ireland, monastery now golf course
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Black is white and white is black. Same entity.
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Heraldry, Chillon Castle, Switzerland
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There is no consenses and should be none, and can never be consenses about what faith is, in what, to whom. Life and scripture are ambiguous. And all are equally loved, is that so?  Religious fact-check.  If you can't decide who is right, then leave the issue alone. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Elder Care. Wheelchaired Fodder. Old Folks at the Home.

Old age, as it should be.
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Old Folks at the Home
Aging on the Fringes of American Life.
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Needed:
Autonomy, Care, Community.




   

Concern for our elderly has again reached the top of the wheel. What does it take to keep it there until the issues are addressed: are old people artificially made dependent, too often inadequately cared for, and isolated even in nursing homes. Money may keep our attention. If there is money to be saved, politicians might look closer.

The obvious lure for the younger. The elders in our nursing homes might be you. 
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Emerging now are alternatives to the warehousing evident even in nice places: seen as the lined-up wheelchaired, nodding; and the able soon disabled.  Home care and modified environments to meet the residents' needs are proving viable, financially and with positive effects on the health outcomes of people.  Speak of them as clients, residents, not patients.
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A.  In-home care at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/24/nyregion/managed-care-keeps-the-frail-out-of-nursing-homes.html?scp=2&sq=nursing%20homes&st=cse
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B.  Modifications to design of the living space: persons hospitalized in some enlightened places have rooms designed for their needs, not for the convenience of staff. See Health Outcomes Driving New Hospital Design, NYT at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/health/19hosp.html/.
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C.  The Intransigence elsewhere.
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C.1  Old people usually do not make good optics.
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Elder care. Less visibility than the young. Certainly less visibility than "Invisible Children," a kind of movement supporting abused children, caught up in genocides, now with sites, books, film on the internet.* And not as emotionally appealing as the Save the Foetus idea, with the cute ultrasounds. The no-breath unborn get far more attention in media and religion than the breathing born, adults and elders; the breathing are to sacrifice themselves for the nonbreathing. Craft a balance, but absolutes?  Absolutes are easy when those affected do not or cannot vote, or contribute to campaigns, or make for good optics.
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C.2  Quality of life of old people is not worth priority.
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Old people are on the way out anyway, so why bother, is that so?  But research shows that life is not a steady progression of anything.  It unfolds and folds up again in differing areas as a result of the person's qualities as well as the environment.  We expand and contract, we move in and out of stages, and that human creativity can be squashed as well as fostered, see Montessori for Grownups.
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Are there societal benefits to fostering creativity in elder individuals. Would modest adjustments to environment result in more productivity: afford privacy, quiet, optimal sleep, and visits or other socializing. Would healthcare costs go down with addressing the needs of the whole person.  Caging hens can be a crime. Why not make wheelchairing elders a crime, when that is for the ease of the caretaker, not the panorama of human needs of the resident?

Exercise, autonomy, place, continuity. Work as productivity, excellent. Work where the alternative for elderly is starvation, not so. Not clear here.

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  • Anecdote:  The elder group home. We took a road trip, last fall, north of Quebec City to Chicoutimi-Jonquierre, asked directions at a big house - somebody rolled up to the door in her wheelchair, opened it up, and what a sight.
  • Others were behind her actually having conversations and laughing. Was that a little glass of wine?  Sure.  All in their own wheelchairs, or seated or ambling. Party. And this was a retirement-nursing home. A weeknight.
  • Dear godinheaven, may we all end up in a place like that instead of the fancy-chain franchise, shareholder-profit-serving, long-corridored Bleak House, that is nearby our house at home.
  • Or, recall The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the baby born old, put in an elder-group home from the 1920's.  The point here is the natural lives of the people living there.  Autonomy, care, community. Some die, life goes on.
D. How can we get the elderly back in community, into houses where somebody could actually mistake it for a home and not an institution, into group settings where they can continue experiences in Living, where condition permits.
  • At our town:  convert Dakota's Restaurant,  now vacant, into an elder group home. Feasible? Perhaps not, but see http://avon.patch.com/articles/what-restaurant-or-business-should-move-into-former-dakota-s#photo-6388932
  • Promote town or regional taxis. Reliance on vans meets many needs, but not autonomy where the vans require such advance planning and transport groups. 
  • Foster aging in place, as far as medically feasible. Make it financially feasible. Do posters. Age in Place. Or Age in a real place in a real community.
D.1. First step. Live it.
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Awareness. Acknowledge the abysmal environments of our even upscale nursing homes. No autonomy, little feel of community, or individuality; and is there overmedication?
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Start a program: each shareholder in a for-profit nursing home has to live there, strapped in the wheelchair, eating the stuff, for one month, with a random roommate. Everybody in the Depends.
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Staff and shareholders both have to dod this. Then and only then do the shareholders get a dividend; and the staff a paycheck.
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D.2. Second step. Face the stats.
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We already know that our culture offers appalling aging environments overall, see US News and World Report at http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/2008/12/19/nursing-homes-10-best-states-for-overall-staffing.html/.
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Staffing ratios are dismal, and quality of life as measured by staff dedicated to program, field trips, classes, are hard to determine because Medicare doesn't measure those. Yet many people are in these facilities for the rest of their lives. What lives?
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Our familiarity: The nursing homes we know are suburban, probably very upscale compared to urban poor facilities: clean, trays on carts appear at the proper times, TVets are like background. as people nod off, but they are in Bleak Houses.
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We looked up a friend's nursing home nearby, in response to that new study on staffing and quality of care offered in our country's states' nursing homes.  We agree with our friend that there's nothing to do in that place. Life is sustained, but expansion of the mind stops at the door.  What other statistics applied to that nursing home?
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D.3.  Finding Statistics Near You
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We couldn't find the home we were looking for at the Medicare site, see "Nursing Home Compare" at http://www.medicare.gov/NHCompare/Include/DataSection/Questions/SearchCriteria.asp?State=CT0|Connecticut&Type=County&pagelist=Home&dest=Nav|Home|Search|SearchCriteria&search_dest=Nav|Home|Search|SearchCriteria&version=default&browser=IE|7|WinXP&language=English&CookiesEnabledStatus=True&Type=County#astep1a/
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So we did our own search for it by name at the UCompareHealthcare site at Nursing home stats.  This was our finding, this in 2008:
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  • Stats for an upscale nursing home. How would these differ for a nursing home serving urban or rural poor?.
This is a for-profit facility:
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73 beds (I could not count the wheelchairs)

8 full time housekeeping, (add 2 for part time)

5 full time food service (add 3 for part time)

1 full time RN as director of nursing

1 full time social worker

1 full time occupational therapist (add a .4 for part time; and add 2 for part time aides)1 full time physical therapist (add .4 for part time)

No full time dietician (add .2 for part time)
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D.4.  Question.

Why could we not set up group group homes in the community for a lot less, and better service and even, gasp, participation and productivity and mental growth as possible for the individual in Life. Add the big screen computers, big letters, teach them how to use it before they get medicated out.
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That is the roster: What is the daily life that this outlines for the clients. Bodies fed, clean, housed. Where is the nurture? The attention. Attention must be paid to any human life. We learned that from old pictures of orphanages with babes left in cribs, atrophying, despite food and warmth.
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What of the rest of human existence?
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Republicans when I was there visiting my friend were fostering "news discussion groups" and processed absentee ballots. Gasp!  But smart. Who's to question consent or voluntariness.
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Missing:  Non ideological expansion of intellect, exercise, mobility, independence as far as possible, companionship with those of similar wits, etc. Fun. Laugh until your cheeks hurt. The unexpected. Delight. Exploration. Skills development. Accomplishment. Praise. Like at Jonquierre, next to Chicoutimi.
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How do these places provide that? Is that human or inhumane. Did we get the stats right
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Layout:  Like a hospital. Look instead at Dakota's -- nice front porch, big windows, easily reconfigured for a home-family feel. Will they check it out? How about several families going together to finance their elders there?
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The nursing home. Long corridors. No place to roll even to your own doorway and relax as on a porch, chatting, looking around, autonomous. Where is a recreation director, program person. One social worker for 73 people? Compare: Case loads. Children in foster care, departments of children and families, families at risk, have social workers 1:15-20 cases or so. Is that still so? Even that is inadequate.
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So, they are fed something, there are lots of tray servers, but only a .2 person to decide what each of the 73 people eat. Not everyone got the chicken. What dietary rules kept the chicken away? Were there any, or just the ones without connections did without? Are impressions fair? My friend has since died, so I have not been back lately.
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Still, ask.  A for-profit institution wants to eke out every penny for shareholders. Does the puree mush that look like leftovers through the cuisinart go to people without advocates, or visitors, no people as friends or ombudsmen who can press for information on their behalf?
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Still, the beds are changed. Is there recreation offered, classes, discussions, program, field trips, movie afternoons? Any caring family would want to know. Maybe it is. But it is not on the comparison website. And shareholders in profit institutions lose in return on their investments, the more is offered to the clients that is not mere physical sustenance. Is that so?
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That will be $_____________ bucks per year, for folks with means (or something - we have no idea - this is an extrapolation from another home that we did know) thank you, or on the government tab. It's a wonderful life. Why do we do it? See Framing Aging for Persuasion.
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This is certified under Medicare. What are the standards for certification under Medicare: see http://www.cms.hhs.gov/certificationandcomplianc/12_nhs.asp/ We can't figure out what they require, but this is a certified facility so no full time dietician and 1 nurse for 73 people must be just fine. Is it just sustenance.
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E. Relate to an actual client.
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The downgrade we saw.
People may enter physically able - our friend had a fall due to an error in a medication-administerer's dose - not her fault - and came in after a hospitalization. But she was reasonably strong.
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Soon she, too, was wheelchaired up. Easier that way, we suppose. And she does have serious heart issues now (don't know her other history).
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But she would love to get out, and no van is there to take her as part of the regular program. Others of us who could, fear the liability.
  • Overall impression. Nobody walks. Walking is good for you. Nobody is allowed. There is a population in the halls in wheelchairs, no stimulation, is the degree of drugging necessary for their health or convenience, or is this a myth? How is a family to know. Nothing on the website.
F. Ask for information.
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Are we killing off our elderly because they are inconvenient? Nursing home survival in Ireland - also terrible. See Dublin Times:
"Nursing Home Survival Rates Half That of Those in Community" at http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/health/2008/1216/1229035764032.html/
Are we any better? Who will study that? Can we open our eyes now?
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Even elephants do better in the wild, despite poachers and the rest, than they do in zoos. Our elderly in the zoo. Few visitors anyway. See "Zoos Consuming Elephants From The Wild," at http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16257-zoos-consuming-elephants-from-the-wild.html
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G.  What do other states do?  We have a clue:
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In Alaska, see the US News article, there are only 12 nursing homes. And, although the number is small (everybody else must still be in the community?) that state has the highest rank for five-star staffing and quality.
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Alaska. Community survival rates for the elderly must be very high. Perhaps because of homogeneous communities, close family ties still? Nursing home survival there also must be high. But elsewhere?
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We see the difference when someone is allowed to age in place, with supports.
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At home testimonial.  We have another elderly friend - another of many - who just had her 101st birthday, at her home, in a wheelchair that she can get in and out of herself, to the armchair, the toilet, the bed, the dinette. Has wits. Daughters check in daily, overnights on her own. Winters, a daughter and husband move in upstairs. Lots of crosswords, chatty, doing great. Lucky, yes.
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That dedication of daughters all those years took its toll on them and their families, and perhaps there was little choice for a number of reasons, but look at the positive result for our elder friend. She entered a nursing home only for the last 2-3 weeks of her life.  Stay put. If you can. This is the home where she raised her children, one floor, small, well water (even the tropical fish get tap water).
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Liberty and justice stops at the door. Is that right? Can we add "sustenance" and "attention" to human rights?
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Revise the pledge.
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Next?
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* In response to the emails on "Invisible Children," that came to this post, do see http://www.invisiblechildren.com/about/history/ and related sites. An eye-opener for these kinds of issues anywhere. Africa is not alone.
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Children: yes, an issue. Their care. And, their devastation in war, see Studying War, Warfare Against Children; Havoc. Here, however, we focus on what we do, with similar cavalier disregard, to the elders.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Why of the Lie - The Big Lie. Right to Lie?

Update February 2012: Add to this examination of areas of lying and why, this NYT Op-Ed: The Official Lie; the Police Lie; Why Police Officers Lie Under Oath, by Michelle Alexander.  They lie from incentive: to justify illegal searches, for example; to take advantage of a jury's tendency to believe the policeman over the defendant; rewards for statistical arrests, etc.


Vetting The Big Lie - or The Little Lie
Military Honors faked;  other?
The Cut-and-Paste to make a new ersatz quotation.
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What Repercussions. Supreme Court: 
Consider the Context of Xavier Alvarez.
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1. Why lie? Who, if anyone, has the right. Is the right subject to time, place and manner restrictions, as any other right.

Is it a lie to take a quotation, cut and paste it or several of them, and come up with a new, ersatz quotation.
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1.1  Military Honors.

Has someone a free speech right to lie about receiving military honors.  The issue is before the Supreme Court, see http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-court-lies-20120221,0,7834524.story.  Fast answer:  no one has the right to lie about anything when that person is selling himself or a product to one who may buy in reliance.  Sales puffing -- that happens.  Misrepresentation as to a material issue, should not happen. Commercial speech applies in all sales, even selling oneself.  It may be not right, but it may go unpunished.
This issue of truth competing with free speech is of broad interest, see Opinion,  Opinion, NYT, Is there a right to lie?  The proposed remedy there is not legislation against false speech, but more speech -- get all the information out, transparency, full disclosure.  The purpose of the speech, however, is dispositive.  If the speech is casual cocktail puff, or seduction central, let it go.  The speech to gain a wrongful higher status for economic gain, no.
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That viewpoint for merely more speech is excellent in theory, but ineffective.  Where speech is commercial in nature, commercial speech restrictions should apply.  This would apply whether selling a product, and this should extend to selling candidates as well as  job applicants, or a person selling his or her skills in order to obtain something of value from another, 

A consumer or investor or employer who justifiably and reasonably relies on the claims, the sales speech is already regulated as to truth, misrepresentation. See http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/commercial.htm. More speech will not help because by then the consumer has purchased -- or not. 
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Vote to make selling candidates like commercial speech -- as it is.
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But if transparency or the commercial analogy cannot be implemented, is there a role for some monitoring and at least identifying "false speech."
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1.2   Misquotations; the changed quotation.  Death by ellipsis. Dreaded dot dot dot.

Also lies.  We are familiar with lies. We even give them colors and sizes- the white ones, the little ones, the big ones. Go back to Aldous Huxley - the book, "1984." The Big Lie is drumming an idea, all the time, read Mike Wallace interview Aldous Huxley at Read My Mind,  http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2009/03/aldous-huxley.html.  Further back, to World War II and events leading to it:  Mein Kampf.  To study it is not to tout genocide, but rather to help defend against the techniques of propaganda from taking over again.  See http://sassafrastree.blogspot.com/2011/02/unser-kampf-our-struggle-paraphrase-of.html
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Our culture defines lies extensively - see http://dictionary.die.net/lie - To tell an untruth, pretend, with intent to deceive.
The white lie. Caught!
That is ordinary, expected. That is what lies customarily do.
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2.  The Propaganda, Public Manipulator Big Lie.
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How about other forms of "lie." The Big Lie in particular  - see http://www.answers.com/topic/big-lie.
  • The Big Lie as propaganda.  This has deep roots in Adolf Hitler who used the technique and it is worth examining.
  • The Big Lie, in the historically devastating sense, as an impossibility so gross, so colossal, that the people just cannot believe that someone could actually be making it up - so the people do believe it.
Examples of this kind of Big Lie can be: black is white. Jews are Satan. Islam is "evil." Obama is Muslim. A terrorist. Wonderful. Do read the site, unlikely as it is for the depth it shows here. See http://www.answers.com/topic/big-lie/. See discussions of Goebbels, Aldous Huxley. The topic of lying is more complex than you thought. An appalling tradition. And Roving right along.
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The danger of the Big Lie lies in its deceit, to take advantage.
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3.  Aldous Huxley overview:
  • Aldous Huxley and Newspeak.  Start at the Answers site, an Everyperson's general source, at http://www.answers.com/topic/big-lie/, for Aldous Huxley: Read about "Newspeak" - speech claiming that one thing is another that it is not, in contradiction to fact. To lie deliberately, to forget the truth, to forget inconvenient opposite facts, use it as long as needed.
  • Repeated distortions of truth on a grand scale. Something like that. Until enough people believe.
4. Relationship lies. 
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An alternative "lie" is gentler, things in relationship.
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The lie about the lie
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The "lie" there means something in relation to something else - like the lie of the billiard ball. Or, the lie of the golf ball. Perhaps a choice, go this way or that way, see the lassie. Is it a choice between two negatives, which is least worst to do.
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4. The deflection lie.
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The other is a fatigue state, either stemming from a state of rest; or outright exhaustion, the get me out of the spotlight idea - here is the lie of this situation. Now what.
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The attempt to deflect.  Can a small lie facilitate your retreat into the woodwork, a half truth. Then someone follows it up. A simple attempt not to be the center of attention, brings you down.
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Better:  truth.  I am just too out of it to participate right now, I don't want to be any center of any attention right now. That deflection lie is not intent to deceive. Is that so? Or is the deceit that you really don't want to be there. That is intent to duck any attention at all at that particular time, and it backfired.


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5.  Politics. The expediency lie.

Anything to get elected, tailor to the audience, then change mind and claim change in circumstances.

6.  The kitchen lie  

More leftovers in the meatloaf than admitted.  Oh, the guilt.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rome: Last in Early Time. Filing Cabinet of Interests. Power by Force

Filing Cabinet of Interests re Early Smackdowns.
Rome's Power by Force
Is that so?
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Explore Exclusions in the Canon; Who is Heretic;
Subservience of the Believer to the Institution.
Withhold the texts, the scriptures, from ordinary people.
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This is in the nature of a filing cabinet of questions that arise from forming a chronology of a religion's evolution.  I am not Roman Catholic, and it is so dominant in art and culture in Europe, that I wanted to flesh it out myself.  I found these ideas, to check further:  As with Bishop Gregory of Nin, see Historical Dictionary of Croatia at page 146, opposing the Vatican led to dire consequences.  Have we not grown beyond all that?

1. Religions can evolve from a belief system focused on salvation and leading a good life, to the marketing of an institution and social controls.  For believers in any system, if they are not allowed to question, how will they discern. Churches, religions evolve from Founders through interpreters to implementing of systems that may or may not relate to the original Happenings.
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2.  Salvation becomes marketing.  How to discern?
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Can or should the sheep stay "faithful" without vetting;  or can they, as intelligent individuals, separate out the venal side from the godhead? 
  • Vet the shepherd. Follow the money. Follow the power.
  •  If the effect of a core set of descriptions and text interpretations demean half the population (women), is that not its intent, and is that not a power ploy.
  • Ask and explore. Is there a political function to the "edicts" -- who ends up controlled, and on the basis of what. Is fear at the root -- fear that the underclass may wake up.
The analysis is applicable to any religion:  lay out the chronology, lay out the evolution of dogma, find the texts claimed to support it, and vet.
3.  A trip to Italy brings a great deal of Roman Catholicism to the attention of a non-Catholic flaneur. 

Explore Italy's Empires' Traditions: Roman Military, then evolving into Roman Religious. The concept of empires past and present pervades the country, and the Catholic world. What mindsets are taught. What relationship does the trained follower now bear to the modern world?
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4.  Current politics also involve candidates' beliefs.

The topic of religion comes to the fore particularly with issues of contraception, abortion, in US politics. Bishops find themselves ignored, is that so.
  • When deeply held convictions about those and other issues stem not from original theology, but from later recruitment interests, a "believer" follow?
5.  This idea of a "settled" or core position is alien to me.
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Why is a core belief never to be questioned? Times change, understandings change, and we have brains. How, morally, can one person impose his own core belief on another? Can a believer sort out, like a sorting hat, what is really Founder-based religious precepts, core, from those that are not really core at all, but evolve as later efforts of an institution to gain and keep traction. This is current in the US. Again. And Again. Is anything to be considered "core" and absolutely unchanging.
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Current news: Abortion, contraception. Core or not core? If it is core for you, why does it have to be core for someone else.
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6.  Update to healthcare and providing health to reproductive areas.  What parameters? Roe looks good still - what is the problem?

Catholic and some Evangelical Churches oppose making contraception available for employees in their public-service places, although many of their individual churches and members approve and have even funded such for years. A little late, mitred ones speak: see http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/us/catholic-bishops-criticize-new-contraception-proposal.html?scp=1&sq=catholic%20bishops%20criticise&st=cse
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6.  Italy's cultural history. Dominated by the Vatican; and its majority Church.
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Much of Italy's art, architecture, literature, and warfare against dissenters or interlopers center on its Roman Catholic religious history. In modern times the same issues arise: is this or that ecclesiastical position taken for salvation of the flock, or is it marketing for the empire. Can humans gain in power without that power taking power over them.
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Ask: What has the Roman Church done by its edicts to survive, rather than hold to an original stance of a founder? Has "teaching" changed? Why are human tradition and human teaching held equal to original texts, if it is. Is a claim of "inspiration" enough? What is done for institutional might, and what for demonstrable salvation for the flock. Is any salvation demonstrable. The Roman church, as any other, has not been an ideological constant; but its recruitment techniques are probably unsurpassed.
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It has not been an overall positive, in terms of total violences committed in its name, and the way that ideology that was killed for, later wafts away, see Western Ethnic Violence Timeline. The religious empire's uses of threat and force generate many cons among the pros. For an overview of the evolution of doctrines, see the timeline at http://www.eaec.org/cults/rc/timeline.htm. That is an evangelical site, but it offers a clearly-presented chronology. I do not focus on merits of doctrine here, and do not endorse them by reference to that particular chronology.
At least now the rest of us understand what is happening. All those tour buses on pilgrimage tours are required.
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7.  Salvation or Marketing.
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If marketing, is that acceptable because it has a worthy goal: salvation (whatever that is) for more people? Or is marketing always empire-driven, in itself a power issue at the root, and that taint of the human and influence does not fade. What is salvation, other than someone's ideologically constructed criteria.
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  • How do sheep, trained as sheep, vet the shepherd? Is it allowed? Why not. Must people be told they are sheep and must follow the leader in order to be religious.
  • Is not the shepherd, who herds them as sheep, primarily earning a living; or enjoying a high status as Decider.
Who are the sheepdogs? Who do they work for?
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Muse on:  It pays to be nice to the sheep. They fatten. We fatten. Religious empire as a for-profit endeavor; the sheep are not kept for altruism's sake, etc.
Check: How have the shepherds benefited financially from the role.
What have any of the shepherds said about abortion, contraception. How might regular people figure? See http://martinlutherstove.blogspot.com/#!/2008/08/abortion-life-rights-to-ol-harry-and.html
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Believers do have protections.  A Pope speaking ex cathedra may or may not bind by his words.  But they carry weight. There are divided doctrines, however, as to what is esssential core to be received by faith; and what is still undefined and can be questioned. So if a Pope has said that this or that issue is core, it will bind.
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8.  Rome was last among the ancient cultures to adopt Christianity. Armenia, Ethiopia, other places came before, many continue as part of the Orthodox tradition. Other beliefs than those espoused by Rome were called hairesis, or heresies, a neutral term at the time, a description. See http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/bible/heresies.stm
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As Rome moved beyond mere description of other beliefs, into forging a unified system, it did so largely by declaring, in a new sense, that those other beliefs were "heretic": to be purged in the interest of the Roman Church's dominance. Many of those beliefs declared heretic are still part of other Christian Churches in those earlier traditions.  most directly connected to Yeshua and his words:  apostles who knew Yeshua (Paul did not) and their students, wrote and drew conclusions that Rome then declared heretic.
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.History does not give Rome a first place in Christianization, yet it has assumed preeminence in the West.  Of interest is this: cultures that adopted their form of Christianity before Rome became interested, look closer in time and concept to the original events.
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9.  Abortion. Latest weapon in the salvation or marketing wars. Nobody wants it, the abortion, we are confident; but the issue is who decides.  The woman, who then takes the consequences, if any; or someone outside probing.
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Organization. Edicts. Its military empire, its religious Holy Roman Empire, its Vatican.  And fighting again now to control a multi-cultural society.  How did Rome hone its message to such simple authoritarian do-nots? Those of us on the outside have to be interested, because those others seek to decide what we can and cannot do. Do the do-nots bear any relation to original teaching.  Abortion, for example, is not a Biblical issue. "Murder" is a term used only as to breathing humans, yet the issue is emerging as though all that matters is institutional "teaching"
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What is the role of early training in an adult's flexibility. Dare to ask.
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10.  Other religious issues. End Times are important to Evangelicals.
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 Roman Catholics are not as clear, see http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/ac0993.asp
Rome is not as clear when it will happen, but believe that it will. Read American Catholic site. Current candidates:  ask their views on an AntiChrist.  We do not know. There are full sites on Catholic prophecies, see http://www.cogwriter.com/catholicprophecyantichrist.htm

11. Start by asking a mass of questions. Study the process of  the spread of ideas in a time when committed belief is asserted as controlling in a person's politics.  How are hearers to weigh what is said by those who say they promote those same beliefs.

For an overview of the issues in religious texts that may have led to differing conclusions theologically, see, for example, http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_ntb1.htm. What accounts of religious events were left out, disregarded. Why were they? What is the place of ambiguity in a real life?  What is the obsession with visions, Revelation in particular. Vet them.
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12.  Pretend this is a courtroom, with evidence being weighed, and the believer as the jury.  That only works if the believer has full access to all credible information, however.  A judge is needed to sort through some of those issues.
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Should an absence of verifiable authorship, identity, make a difference in weight, or is "inspiration" enough. Was the speaker at the "lookin' post" with a first hand view.  What first hand views are reliable. Can merit be questioned when there is obstructed access to other viewpoints. How to measure whether the idea relates to the origin of it: or has fabrication for profit and power taken over. Do we have a right to know, before we commit.
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Was there a first hand vantage point at all? What was recorded at the time. What and other events elapsed between the Happening, and the Recollection and internal narrative filling in gaps, and the Writing. Did the seer do the writing. Who wrote it, who said it, who gave the money for it, who chose to purvey it and sell its content, all count. We know that in politics, and marketing; and fight for the right to vet those who would persuade us. Religion is no different. Who wrote it, who said it, who gave the money for it, who chose to purvey it and sell its content, all count.
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End Times for Evangelicals. Of current political interest, in the religious text area, Book of Revelation, the Apocalyptic literature included in the Western Bible, attributed to a John of Patmos, prophet, may have been John the Disciple. Visions of apocalypse.
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And the Book of Daniel, some of the Dead Sea Scrolls (how to access all of those?). Apocalyptic literature was commonplace in those days: texts from 250 BC, for Jewish texts, and through the first few centuries after Jesus. These answer important questions for the cultures, through religion: reassure people that their suffering is right and proper, that the faithful will be rewarded, and the cause will triumph. Scare them into compliance with certain behaviors so they will be in the chosen when choosing comes. Methodologies of the Apocalypse, the final judging in apocalyptic literature, BC and AD, vary but are graphic.
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In the news:  and news, and in particular, we want to know more about Coptic Christians, attacked in Egypt recently and in history, indigenous to Egypt and Ethiopia -- clearly predating the Roman forms -- and other east-moving strains of Christianity, in Iraq, Iran, and spreading to the Far east, then abandoned by Rome.
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13.  If Rome was last, go back to those earlier churches.  What did they believe? What did Constantine of Constantinople believe, the first convert to turn Christianity in a state religion, the Holy Roman Empire.  Once the Church focus relocated to Rome, what did the rest of Eastern Orthodoxy do and believe.  Why is Eastern Orthodoxy not followed by Rome. Eastern Orthodoxy is closer in time and tracking belief to origins, than militant-Rome.
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14. Beliefs are easily manipulated to serve agenda. Who can ascribe merit as to belief, since a belief by definition is unprovable.  If it is proven, to the satisfaction of the believer, it no longer is belief but fact.  Belief itself may relate to interpretation of fact. But the belief in the interpretation is not fact, but rather belief in the "inspiration" or "chain of authority" of the one(s) supposed to be believed. Once so convinced, the believer can sit back and let others critique the facts or non-facts underlying the belief, while he critiques the critics for criticizing what is believed. Bertrand Russell:  test the trustworthiness and untrustworthiness of belief.  A believer who will not do that gives up independent thought.
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With that, who first believed what in the ancient world. Who rejected what, and on what ground? If the belief stemmed from those there at the time, the recording or oral tradition is no less reliable than for other issues in "history,"  then there is other institutional agenda behind the Dump.  Rome's angle clearly prevailed once the state religion took over, as to Western Europe, at least until the Renaissance-Reformation.
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15. What beliefs remained strong in the East?
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Basic chronologies, starting with easiest-access preliminary framework (while looking for confirmation, more scholarly sites), could help with understanding.  Trying to find out how beliefs varied is complex and land-mined with interest-sites.  Back to Wikipedia. Is that so?



Jail 'Em. The Non-Solution. The Myth of Benefit.

 They're In The Jailhouse Now. *
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Update.  There are signs of reform in some prison systems, in restricting use of solitary confinement.  Behaviors improved with fewer harsh measures, not more.  See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/us/rethinking-solitary-confinement.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=solitary%20confinement&st=cse.  Authoritarianism backfires not only in prisons, but in religion and politics, is that so.  Respect for autonomy, allowing degrees of personal decisionmaking,  brings about more productive behaviors. Authoritarianism or Autonomy.  Autonomy works better in the long run.
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Can a next step apply the same principle, less harshness, more tailored approaches to discipline, be applied on the outside, to prevent imprisonment in the first place.  For example, zero-tolerance policies promote a school-to-prison pipeline, see http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/05/14/3074606/zero-tolerance-policies-fuel-school.htmlDepriving people of their identities, dignity, support systems, friends, even in, or especially in, the name  of discipline, has resulted in increased depression, suicides -- in this study, among students, see http://emu.edu/now/peacebuilder/2011/08/harsh-discipline-may-contribute-to-youth-suicide/; but the principles are
Adding to the tragedy in Honduras, the prison fire that killed hundreds, is this global topic:  how many are incarcerated but are innocent, should and do jails offer remediation, who has been over-sentenced for the transgression, and who is there solely for political punishment. See NYT Blaze at Prison Kills Hundreds in Honduras.  Is prison now a warehouse industry, and one that brings out the worst in jailers and jailed.
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The topic of ethnicity and race correlating with incarceration rates and capital punishment cases is close to the surface again in this country specifically, see that prejudice again addressed in an Opinion at the New York Times, NYT Race and Death Penalty Juries. In 2009, North Carolina passed the Racial Justice Act so that inmates could question the role of race in their sentencing; and the jury selection process, and other elements of crime and punishment.
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The concept of costly, fruitless incarceration is gaining traction, this by way of update 2012.  See Hartford Courant op-ed, for example.  The home edition, Tom Condon editorial, is entitled, Prisons Too Costly, No Bar to Crime. The online edition, however is sanitized to remove the concept that incarceration is not a bar to crime.  That allows the theory of putting people behind bars continues uninterrupted, is merely too costly.  Dare not tell people it also does not work. That would attack the myth.  Gendarmism:  the cultural mindset that one group has the duty to monitor and control others just because.  One group sees itself as more exceptional than the others, and asserts its mindset to prove it. See Domestic Gendarmism
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1.  Background. Is this true: That some ironies in our civic habits cross into self-delusion.
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The land of the free boasts the highest incarceration rate in the world.
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We have indeed attained Global Supremacy in that regard. See the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, at 2006 Factsheet, Incarceration,
  • Our incarceration rate is 4X to 5X higher than the global average. Some of our states go 6X higher.
  • We are 5%  of the world's total population, but we boast 23% of the world's total incarcerated people. 
  • We put more women in jail than any other country does.
  • And these incarceration rates do not correlate with crime rates. We just put people in jail at a higher rate per incident overall.
  • Our "system" costs 42 billion a year, but inconsistently funds areas of health, safety, rehabilitation, reentry, repair. That is some $25,000 per prisoner, see below.
 See also the "Global Perspective" article at a corrections professionals site, at http://://community.nicic.org/blogs/corrections_headlines/archive/2006/11/16/Global-Perspective-on-US-Incarceration-Rates.aspx
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Get precise:  out of 100,000 people, Russia jails 607, Cuba 487, Singapore 360, France 88, UK 145, Canada 107, Germany 96, Sweden 78, India 31, United States 738. American exceptionalism in incarceration, in vengeance.
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2. Why do we do it?  
  • Surplus people and unemployment  - both play a role. One reason - in the old days, people were needed. Not now. People in the old days meant productivity. People could populate places. Provide labor. Countries could ship their prison populations to colonies in servitude, or just to fill it up, push the indigenous out. 
We have run out of colonies as destinations for our unwanted. We have to face what all those people are doing in prison forever, and is anyone willing to prevent what brought some of them there, or is there too much satisfaction in seeing them below our station. 
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We have more surplus people than factories need, and no jobs to speak of.  Emptying prisons of the nonviolent, blendable inmate adds to unemployment, see discussion below, so some will oppose it for their own job security.  Adding minorities to the main population increases competition, may jeopardize superior status of some, leading to more resistance to assimilation.
    Myth of protection. We are told we need jailings to preserve a quality of life. We are told that locking everybody up makes us safer. 
 It may make us safer from that particular person kept inside, by definition, until the person gets out, untended, unskilled, and very pent-up. A numbers reviewer may say, without looking closely, that some countries have fewer in jail, but their quality of life is lower, measured as living standard. Or they may point out that their society has a religious system of laws that is far more harsh in certain individual cases, so fewer people offend.
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Protection? By incarceration? Not necessarily so on all counts. http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=ask_this.view&askthisid=00301. Take away the religious forms of laws in theocracies that may impose a fixed punishment on a fixed act, without equity to soften or tailor the result; and look at countries without those laws, and their incarceration rate still is less. Check the other lists of countries - and find that politically "repressive" countries still incarcerate less than we do, except for Russia incarcerating more individuals specifically for robbery, see below. Incarceration is a complex matter, but must be examined, see http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/inc_iandc...
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Capital punishment. Does capital punishment keep us safe. We thrive on capital punishment, as opposed to other countries including Romania that abolished it, see the list at "The Abuses of Punishment," by Robert Adams, now a Google book at page 150. Full address at
But it is an error-ridden, brutal system, and states without capital punishment have lower homicide rates, see Common Dreams site at http://www.commondreams.org/headlines/092200-01.htm/  Protection? Not really.
Do we really maneuver a penal system into cultural control mode, aimed at minorities in increasing numbers over the last century, without even lip service to "corrections." Don't solve the problems underlying. Imprison the person caught, in the problem's trap. Does it look that way? 
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3. What to do?
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Reallocate the funds we are already spending.
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Get people productive again with what we spend.
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Prevention: Set the vested interests aside for a while, and consider anew if lack of safety net sustenance, basic food, clothing, shelter, healthcare insufficiency -- economics -- may underlie the activities that lead to prison. Consider whether the same or even less money spent elsewhere decreases jail. Is our ideology out of sync with reality, with our own benefit. What can anyone do to be productive if in bad health and no service? See The Economist's View at http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2006/11/welfare_spendin.html/. What if we find that blacks and hispanics are not naturally more criminal.
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Use the funds for community, manageable facilities. Yes, in everyone's back yard. Or next to town hall or the police station.
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4.  Expect opposition.  
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Think of the financial and cultural opposition to change.  Look back at the Hartford Courant opinion, supra.  Deleted from the online version is the proven observation that incarceration does not stop crime. Vested interests and vested points of view run the place, just like in familiar Washington , not the country's best interests in neutralizing anti-social or aggressive behavior, including by addressing root causes.
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Read about the societal forces served by incarceration, unrelated to "protection" of the society.

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Recidivism, encouraged by dysfunctional and underfunded resosurces, is green. It pays to recycle inmates. The more inmates, the more people in eternal supervision somewhere, the more jobs for other people. Is that so.
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We underestimate how this penal system works for many: for middle and low income people, it does indeed reduce unemployment, making jobs a little more available to other people. We simply put and keep people in jail where they can't look for work, for example.
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But who really counts all the related costs, including for the family outside, and the costs of supports upon release.
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Saturation law enforcement. Is the solution in a new direction - saturation law enforcement, concentrating law enforcement in poor areas. No, says this site, Neil Websdale, author of book "Policing the Poor: From Slave Plantation to Public Housing," at page 218, address at http://books.google.com/books?id=v9sp_U861X4C&pg=PA218&lpg=PA218&dq=poverty+incarceration+rates&source=web&ots=K6tySum7pY&sig=ehKoJHjBDCU8K2OQgPC6OVaecGs&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=result
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Fair use scary quote: 
The rise of US imprisonment rates since 1994 tends to lower unemployment. The criminal justice juggernaut and its community policing arm continually create a need for their own services, thereby increasing job opportunities for police officers, dispatchers, correctional officers, probation officers, parole officers, counselors of all kinds, and so on.  Poor (increasing minority) inmates are divided from juggernaut employees, both groups rendered increasingly vulnerable by the globalization of capital. At an ideological level, the penal "solution" also provides a scapegoat, an outlet for increasingly overworked, alienated, underpaid, and angry working people.
Continue on.
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We exacerbate the problem. Read how "community policing" works, among people jobless, in a "subterranean economy," family breakdown, violence. Same page 218, from Neil Websdale's "Policing the Poor." Those observations from a Nashville housing project surveillance study.
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This site agrees -University Press of New England -  no to saturation law enforcement in targeted areas, see review at http://www.upne.com/1-55553-497-X.html/,  The effort is geared to manage stigmatized populations, much like the outriders or slave patrols in southern plantation areas, and the criminal justice system (this is the reviewer talking about the book) in rooted in slavery and racism systems that destroy black families and even fosters a kind of selective breeding. Civil rights gains, gone. Heavy reading. Apparently this is one of the first to assess community policing from the viewpoint of the policed, not the police.
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Conclusion:
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The Fact Sheet site and many other sites call for a review, enumerates how we got here -  including "misdirected laws, policies and practices" - and those areas are not just judicial, but in the media, and politics. From whatever cultural and economic circumstances, no matter how deprived, watch us let it all drift until young men (mostly) get to acting-out and vice-drug-violence and then off to the lock-up. Not all in jail were deprived, however. That is an oversimplification. The point is - no addressing basic sustenance floors for everyone, no addressing healthcare and conditions, and watch the prison system thrive.
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Recycle inmates. It pays.
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Add religion - some have spoken up against stepping on others to reach higher yourself, others tout the faith of accumulation. Selah. But even Cain was not killed for his murder of Abel. Marked, but continuing in life, even productive.In most cases, financial restitution, shorter stays, work. Some pardoned or otherwise released people will be recidivists, but as many as we are told to fear? And what help did they have before being released, or assistance at facilities after, or even could they get a job.
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Back to the money. It costs $25,000 per year to supply a prisoner with "3 hots and a cot" and bad healthcare. The Hartford Courant op ed (Mr. Condon) finds $50,000 expended. Per client, per year.
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Compare that to what is needed to supplying people on the outside, with enough for 3 hots and a cot and good healthcare.  The form can be welfare. Or a job. We enable less than $25,000 per year to them, and then pay that extra $25,000 to the ones who get caught doing what they do, poor or not. See "Charts" on poverty rates, at http://www.angelfire.com/rnb//y/poverty.htm/ Continue to read at that site about the affect of bad healthcare on all the systems we live under.
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We don't want a solution. Is that it? We know what has to be done, but then maybe we would have competition if everyone had a safety net. Better to set millions of people on the shelf, than have people on an equal footing to begin with.
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We ask for it. US global supremacy in incarcerations is no accident.
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1. Stop jamming all the testosterone together. Testosterone: see http://sassafrastree.blogspot.com/2009/03/testosterone-marching-review.html#!/2009/03/testosterone-marching-review.html.  For religious buffs, does that concern relate to the Basic Disobedience of "adm"the human, later the "man". He was supposed to leave his father and mother and go with his wife, but instead, she had to leave hers and come to his.  That kept the testosterone in his family, no dilution out.
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2. Educate about violence: it is addictive, as entertainment -- programs about the lock-up -- and as a means to solve problems without addressing issues.
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3.  Educate about form criticism, "scripture" eye for eye: cherry-picking dogma. When
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4.  Offset ratings with discussion of common good.  What is reported, for what reasons, shareholders or the process of a functioning democracy. What the shareholders want to see. What the ad-buyers demand. What is left for our media if we take crime off the front page, the adrenalin of others' misfortune.
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Could we at least do this: small, community based facilities, keep people productive, in touch; winnow down who really needs to be isolated in the testosterone factories we love so dear.
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Last irony: Old Newgate Prison, Granby, CT.  Prisoners were kept in the mines, no escape, and still a healthier, more comfortable place for people to sleep than above-ground. Steady, cool temperatures, winter and summer, away from epidemics. The folks upon release were in better shape often than those they returned to. We can't even say that. The Newgaters did not spend all their time underground - they slept there, and some mined, but others had other occupations in the yard. At night? Down the hatch.
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* In the Jailhouse Now - see and hear Blisters & Gray at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEisFhLY5MI