September 2007 archive

My APA Paper on Isolation, Sensory Deprivation & Sensory Overload

This essay is a reprint of a posting made a while back on my own blog, Invictus, and over at Daily Kos. Given the emphemeral nature of blog pieces, and the importance of this well-researched essay and the material herein, I am reposting it for the readers of Docudharma.

As an added bonus, I’d like to give a link to a site where for a small fee you can download the entire 1977 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Hearings on MKUltra in Adobe format. (Thanks to an anonymous commenter for this link.) For those interested in researching or studying the covert actions of this government, this is not only an important historical document, but a crucial resource for understanding what has happened to the U.S. government since World War II.

In the opinion of myself and others, the move to total war in the struggle against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan initiated a major shift in power within the United States to the Department of Defense, and increasingly, the intelligence apparatus of the government. Both became inextricably intertwined with the scientific, educational, and medical establishments, until today, it seems there is no severing the connection and control of the government over civil society.

When reading what follows, in essence you are studying an important case history — of much significance in and of itself, of course — of this overarching influence of military-government design covertly taking over an entire portion of the intellectual establishment, e.g. the fields of behavioral psychology and psychiatry/neurology.

I hope you will appreciate the reposting of this most significant presentation.

The Top Tier on the Near-term Future of Geopolitics: I Got Nothin’.


I really can’t say what we’ll inherit.  Sure, I spent 8 years in the White House with Bill, but I wasn’t really paying attention to geopoliltics and shit.  And that was a while ago, anyway.  Besides, my head is full of rocks.  You saw my vote on the AUMF.  That Iran vote was pretty mindless, too.  [Cackling noises].

Waxing Nostalgic – “I want to interview your nigger son that beat up the White boy…”

A Docudharma Exclusive — The Sixties were an exciting, revolutionary, turbulent time of great social and technological change — front-page fashions, unique musical styles, a call for sexual freedom and gay rights, a controversial and devisive war, a strong anti-war movement, civil rights confrontations….

Hold on a minute! Did I say the Sixties?

Well… they’re back!

October 1, 2007 — JENA, LA. — Things went from bad to worse for the Blacks of Jena and especially for the Jena 6 the day following the rally where more than 20,000 Blacks converged on the little town in LaSalle Parish, La.

Friday, just one day after the rally, Tina Jones, mother of Bryant Purvis, began receiving phone calls from individuals claiming to be from the KKK and other hate groups.

“This is Michael Burks. I’m with the American National Socialist Workers Party,” said one caller, bold enough to leave his name. “I want to interview your nigger son that beat up the White boy with a gang, just like a coward. So you can call me at 502-474-5373. White Power.”

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I’ve stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains,
I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways,
I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests,
I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans,
I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard,
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard,
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

A Love Supreme

I remember when I first heard Coltrane blowing on “A Love Supreme.”  Was in the courtship phase with my ex-husband, went over to his apartment uptown in Spanish Harlem for the first time, we smoked some pot and he played me some music.

Up till then, although I knew almost all the standards from listening to Billie and Ella during my early adolescence, I had been sucked into the disco age with its hypnotizing mechanical beats and desperado misfit desires to dance oneself right out of reality.

This was quite a different scene, and one I took to immediately.  The first record my ex played for me was John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.”  I had never heard anything like it.

My ex told me that all the musicians were tripping when they first recorded the tune – well that is an apocryphal tale, but perhaps it’s true.

I am not any kind of authority on jazz — even as I’ve listened to so much of it, heard the jazzmen talk endlessly about it, I don’t remember half the names of the folks or half the anecdotes I heard.

So this is a personal reflection on Trane.

Four at Four

This is an OPEN THREAD. Here are four stories in the news at 4 o’clock to get you started. An egg cannot break a stone.

  1. John Solomon and Juliet Eilperin report for the Washington Post that Bush’s EPA is pursuing fewer polluters and probes and prosecutions have declined sharply. “The Environmental Protection Agency’s pursuit of criminal cases against polluters has dropped off sharply during the Bush administration, with the number of prosecutions, new investigations and total convictions all down by more than a third, according to Justice Department and EPA data. ¶ The number of civil lawsuits filed against defendants who refuse to settle environmental cases was down nearly 70 percent between fiscal years 2002 and 2006, compared with a four-year period in the late 1990s, according to those same statistics. ¶ Critics of the agency say its flagging efforts have emboldened polluters to flout U.S. environmental laws, threatening progress in cleaning the air, protecting wildlife, eliminating hazardous materials, and countless other endeavors overseen by the EPA.” What did people expect when they voted for Bush?

  2. Okay, it is Sunday, so I’m putting in some lighter fare. If you’re looking for the Blackwater summary, it’s below the fold. First from The Observer, the BBC is set to screen lost film charting Bob Dylan’s performances at 1960s Newport Folk Festivals. “Music history will be made as reclaimed footage of Bob Dylan’s fabled performances at the Newport Folk Festivals in America is broadcast. ¶ The filmed sequences from the three key years 1963, 1964 and 1965 have been released from a Dylan film archive for the first time and will demonstrate the bodyshock delivered by the young singer’s arrival on the folk music scene. The footage also shows the extraordinary change that took place in his performance style. On 14 October, BBC4 viewers will at last be able to witness the power of his quiet initial appearance in front of an eager crowd and to contrast it with the confidence of the rock star who takes to the same stage with an electric guitar in hand in 1965.”

  3. The New York Times has a fascinating look at what positive things technology can achieve in A Painting Comes Home (or at Least a Facsimile). “Can — and should — technology right a historical wrong? That’s a question Italians have been asking since a facsimile of Veronese’s 16th-century ‘Wedding at Cana’ was installed on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore a few weeks ago. ¶ At the heart of the debate is the digital re-creation of this vast 1563 painting, which Napoleon’s forces removed from the refectory in the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore 210 years ago and took back to France as war booty. ¶ The facsimile, by the Madrid enterprise Factum Arte, is a stunningly accurate replica of the 732-square-foot canvas. Details are reproduced down to the most minute topography, including the raised seams rejoining the panels that Napoleon’s troops cut the painting into when they transported it to France in 1797. (The original hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris.)”

  4. The Los Angeles Times brings the tale of the ‘lost’ Siqueiros mural. Argentina has pledged to restore a ‘secret’ work by the famed Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros, “in which his revolutionary zeal gives way to ‘an obsessive and desperate love'” Siqueiros met the poet Blanca Luz Brum in Uraguay.

    “I don’t believe that other human beings, man and woman, have loved each other with so much force, so much pureness and magnitude,” Blanca Luz Brum, whose given name means “white light,” later wrote of her early days with Siqueiros.

    After four tumultuous years of la vie bohème in Mexico, Los Angeles and South America against the backdrop of the political and artistic upheaval of the 1930s, jealousy and mistrust would devour their grand passion. But Siqueiros left behind a startling homage to Brum: a kaleidoscopic mural showcasing multiple voluptuous incarnations of her body with Betty Boop eyes.

    This vibrant paean to passion has endured decades of assorted indignities — defaced with acid, smeared with whitewash, sealed away from view and eventually divided up and deposited in metal containers. Now, almost three-quarters of a century later, Argentine authorities vow that the singular work will be brought out of storage, reassembled, restored and displayed publicly for the first time…

    Siqueiros painted the mural in the basement poker room of the mansion of a shady publishing tycoon who reigned in the political and cultural hothouse of 1930s Buenos Aires…

An extensive summary of Blackwater news and op-eds is below the fold…

Rights for everyone, yes, everyone

crossposted from dailyKos

Recently, the historically important Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) had one important clause part removed: It no longer protects transgender people.

To this straight, white person, that’s a bad idea.  It goes in exactly the wrong direction.

We need more voices, not fewer.  We need to sing a chorus, not a bunch of solos. 

When does an orchestra sound good? When each instrument is tuning up, alone, or when all of them are playing together?

more below the fold

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Society’s Child

Plots, Characters, Novel Writing and Politics

Novels tell a story lived by characters. These characters? They pull us into their worlds. They show us what their worlds from the inside.

Some fictional characters stick with us for a variety of reasons. Characters like the Wife of Bath, Captain Ahab, the white whale, Alice, Holden Caufield, Gandalf, Jay Gatsby, Celia Garth, Beowulf, Hamlet, and so many others inspire us to ask questions about the worlds that exist both within and around us. Some, like Rosencrantz and Guilderstern offer us bits of humor amidst the darkness and tragedy. Others, like Peter Pan, Charlotte, and D’Artagnan, offer us insight into our better angels while still others–Voldemort, Big Brother, Cardinal Richelieu remind us of the darker shadows that surround us.

Feed Your Head!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Since I have found myself in the midst of such brilliant people such as yourselves here at DD, I would like to take a few moments of your time to share with you some  excellent ways to improve and strengthen the most important muscle in our bodies-the brain.  While at the same time curbing depression, better bodily function, and improving immune system responses.  I feel it is just as important to feed your brain through certain amino acids and nutrients  for better neuro-transmitter synopses as reading is to learning.

A Complement to Armando’s….

The Importance of Not Discussing What We Have Faith In

The following essay is re-posted to Docudharma from July 22, 2007 posting on my own blog.

Is the One Required of the Other?

I am intrigued by the gulf between God and religion.

Can anyone doubt that a superior intelligence must have created the sun, the stars, the planets, the entire universe, life …the forms notwithstanding?  But what is the origin, the source of the intelligence powerful enough to create the Creator?  This is a mystery much greater than the sequence within the chicken or egg controversy.  Maybe in the terms of that great warlord, Donald Rumsfeld, the answer to that mystery is unknowable.

I just saw Nancy Pelosi

on Wolfie’s Show.

Is she on something?

The Importance of Not Discussing What We Have Faith In

In discussing John McCain’s outrageous statement that he won’t vote for Muslims, Atrios makes a good point:

We’re at this absurd spot in our political discourse where “faith” somehow matters but the specifics of that faith do not. And even this obscures the fact that what this really means is Christian faith matters. If religious beliefs matter, then surely it’s the substance of those beliefs which matter and not simply some meaningless nod to “the importance of faith.”

I wrote something along those lines last December:

While Bill O’Reilly celebrates and defends the secular American Christmas holiday from imagined attack, he and the evangelicals we see on Meet the Press, you know the ones, they are the folks Barack Obama is courting, NEVER actually discuss what it is they supposedly have faith in. It is relatively insignificant politically, but illuminating intellectually. The reality is the intersection of religion and the State never REALLY happens – radical social conservatives are NOT acting based on any true religious beliefs – on abortion, sexual orientation or anything else. It is a conceit that we grant extremists for no good reason frankly. But there it is.

If “faith” is going to be an issue in politics now, then let’s debate it. What is Christianity? What is Mormonism? What is Rudy’s standing in the Catholic Church? Otherwise, keep religiion and “faith” in churches, homes and in the decisions and actions of individiuals.

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