Monday, January 21, 2013

Stage-Managed Reality?

The images from Sandy Hook are gripping and deeply disturbing. Anyone whose emotions have not been totally desensitized by this violent culture can't help but react with a combination of compassion for the victims and disgust for the perpetrator. We can't help but ponder again the essential question of what kind of depraved mind would want to take down innocent children.

As rational humans, we also need to detach from our emotions long enough to analyze the larger scale picture. There have been too many other events...Columbine, Aurora, Tuscon, and many smaller scale tragedies that don't rate media sensationalizing. Are these all simply random, disconnected examples of human depravity?

There are allegations that Sandy Hook was staged by actors, but that's too far out there for even this seasoned conspiracy theorist. However, as typically seems the case with large-scale tragic events, there are a number of anomalies that are difficult to explain.

I won't focus here on conspiracy details; there are plenty of sites on the Internet for exploring that. I am more interested in the big picture, and trying to connect some dots.

Many conspiracy theorists have long suspected that tragic shootings could be somehow promoted or at least manipulated by the PTB to build public support for more restrictive gun control. As it so happens, that would be a likely outcome. But are the shootings totally random and isolated?

One common factor in most, if not all shootings appears to be an unstable personality being treated with psychoactive medication. Dr. Ann Blake Tracy has done considerable research on this.

The next question would be, are the shootings the random result of drug-crazed minds? Dr. Tracy points out that many homicides and suicides resulting from prescription drugs don't make the headlines, because Big Pharma tends to keep a tight muzzle on this sort of disclosure. They often pay out large monetary settlements to the families with the stipulation of not publicly discussing the case.

It seems to me that some mass shootings could be genuinely random, as a result of the destabilizing effects of psychoactive drugs. However, it's not implausible to suggest possible involvement by agents provacateur in deliberately setting up these tragedies in order to manipulate public opinion.

There is a long, sordid history of involvement by the CIA and other agencies in mind control experiments. Despite the secrecy, an amazing amount of documentation is available on mind control programs. MKULTRA and Project Monarch were actually investigated by Congress in 1995, although Richard Helms destroyed most of the documentation. Many details have been provided by mind control victims, such as Cathy O'Brien and the Hersha sisters. One notorious figure that emerges is Dr. Ewen Cameron, a psychiatrist funded by the CIA for developing mental dissociation techniques for mind control.

A primary objective of the CIA was development of the perfect assassin, as verified by Cheryl Hersha. The movie "The Manchurian Candidate" depicted this with chilling plausibility, starring Frank Sinatra in 1962, later remade in 2004 with Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep.

It's a fair assumption that if the CIA were successful with the crude techniques of the 50's and 60's, a much more sophisticated technology must be available to day. Assassins such as John Hinkley Jr. and Sirhan Sirhan would be prime candidates to consider for mind control possibilities.

The point is, the technology exists, and is probably being applied in cases no one suspects. It's quite plausible that "lone nut" assassins such as Jared Lee Loughner and Adam Lanza were manipulated by some shadowy federal agency. It's a known fact that the CIA still has psychiatrists under their employ, like in the days of Ewen Cameron. It's also known that the CIA and other agencies covertly fund journalists and professionals in many other fields to help shape events and public opinion. To what end, you might ask? To answer this, you must accept the plausibility of a "shadow government" that is the ultimate authority in control. In this regard it helps to be a conspiracy theorist.

My contention is that reality is staged for public consumption on many levels. The recent spate of mass shootings could be one such example.

As for the increasing tendency for violence between humans, this is a topic in itself. I will explore this further in future blogs.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Obama's Executive Orders on Gun Violence

President Obama's recent executive orders addressing gun violence have kicked up a lot of dust. Those hopeful for more meaningful measures to restrict guns will likely be disappointed, while those who are convinced that Obama is after their guns are no doubt feeling their fears confirmed.

Let's have a look at exactly what the executive orders spell out:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background-check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background-check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background- check system.

4. Direct the attorney general to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a Department of Justice report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the attorney general to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun-safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to healthcare providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency-response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within Affordable Care Act exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental-health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

So what do these 23 orders entail?

They all appear to be directives to various federal agencies, which is the proper and legitimate use of presidential executive authority. Just as in corporations, the CEO often directs subordinates via memos.

There is nothing hinting at unconstitutional usurpation of power, such as would be the case if the president were to bypass congress and attempt to enact new laws on his own. Many of the orders involve tweaking procedures for gun purchase background checks. Others seek to clarify standards on safety, or emergency procedures. Some appear to be silly and of little use other than to say "we are doing something about gun violence. Doctors are "not prohibited" from asking patients about guns at home? Please. If that's the biggest threat to the gun lobby, they can all take a collective sigh of relief. "Yeah, Doc, I got an AR-15 in the closet and a Glock under the bed. Any pills for that?"

#22 sounds cryptic - what the hell are "mental health parity regulations", and what type of "dialog" on mental health is being proposed in #23? I suppose it would be naive for me to think they might be reviewing the tragic role that psychoactive prescription drugs play in gun violence. No, that would make too much sense, and threaten billions in Big Pharma profits.

#14 is really ludicrous - ask the CDC to investigate the causes of gun violence? If any lab coat-wearing professional ever unravels the age-old question of what causes violent behavior between humans, it would mean Nobel Prize big time. Not likely to result from presidential executive order, however. He can direct them to find a cure for cancer while he's at it.

So, the gun lobby fanatics can rest easy. Obama isn't coming for your guns, and couldn't do it through executive order even if he wanted. Passing even a modest assault weapons ban through congress looks doubtful at the moment, and soon the headlines will turn back to the critical budget negotiations. Although the haters still think Obama is planning a Communist takeover, he certainly would need to muster something more convincing than these 23 executive orders.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Gun Culture: A Nation Divided

Disgruntled and discouraged after losing the election, conservatives have found a target to vent their anger and angst at. In the wake of several mass shootings, public opinion is firmly in favor of increasing some common-sense restrictions on firearm possession. For the NRA and the extreme right-wing, this is tantamount to an attack on something they hold sacred.

The extreme Right has hated Obama from the very beginning. Start with racial animosity, add a twisted worldview that portrays Obama as a Socialist, bent on destroying America, and now he also wants to take their guns away...what's not to hate for these folks?

Of course, any rational analysis quickly demolishes the hater's arguments. Obama has been liberal on some issues, but overall has maintained a fairly moderate record. (Just ask progressives about their disappointments). The accusations of radically boosting the national debt must be tempered with realization that Republicans didn't complain when Bush pushed up the debt and started two wars while pushing tax cuts that favored the rich. Besides, with a serious economic collapse underway as he took office, Obama only continued with stimulus policies that Bush started and would have most certainly continued with.

While many folks in red states seem too math-challenged to understand this analysis, an emotional issue such as gun ownership is easy to embrace. But once the testosterone settles, what issues are really at stake?

Fact number one, there is no realistic chance that responsible gun ownership will ever be banned in this country. Zero, nada, zilch. All that I have seen proposed are common-sense restrictions on assault weapons, and an improved background check system. Whether or not one interprets the 2nd amendment language regarding a "well regulated militia" as a constitutional guarantee of gun owner's rights, guns are far too deeply embedded in our culture to imagine any serious attempt to remove them.

Still, social media forums are buzzing with angry emotional hysteria. Comparisons are drawn to Stalin and Hitler disarming the populace. Come on, do these bozos really think hand guns and hunting rifles are the only thing stopping the next tyrant? One right-wing TV talking head suggested that if German Jews had only been armed, the holocaust could have been prevented. Sure, like that would have stopped the Nazi blitzkrieg? It took the combined firepower of the Allies several years to stop Hitler. Modern armies have high-tech weaponry beyond our imagination in their arsenal. Get real.

We must conclude that the extreme Right simply enjoys venting on an emotional issue such as guns. It takes their minds off the fact that the economy seems to be actually improving, despite the best efforts of extreme Republicans in Congress to derail the recovery.

The real danger to the nation is the deepening sense of division. The gun issue is just one more major fault line to be concerned with. A powerful meme is circulating about, which presages the possibility of divisions turning violent, or even revolutionary. Any rebellion would hardly have lofty ideals behind it, and would threaten what progress we have made toward a free and just society.

Astrological alignments favor an increasing tendency toward social upheaval. Uranus will square Pluto 3 times this year, and 2 times next year. Saturn moved into Scorpio last October, and will remain there until the end of 2014. The American and French revolutions took place under similar auspices.

For those of spiritual persuasion, the hope is that the chaotic forces of change can be channeled into peaceful evolution toward a higher state of vibration. Old institutions must crumble and fall in order to make way for the new. Hopefully it can be done without setting everything back to the stone age.

The inexorable trend is for centers of power to lose relevance, as society rebuilds along the lines of local cooperatives. Regardless of the fears of conservatives, the future does not portend increased power for the federal government, but rather the opposite. The divisions forming among us must be looked at in that light. However, anger and hatred will not help build a better society, and could cause a mess that no one gains from.