Distorted reality

March 3, 2013

WaterInteresting, though, I don’t know if it’s real or not — can’t read Cyrillic. Some photos of supposed-fragments off the famous meteorite that flamed across the Chelyabinsk region of Russia last month can be seen here  (via The Reddit Edit this morning).
And why that’s interesting, I don’t know either — just some coal-looking rock chunks.

My eyes has always had trouble the words ‘reality,’ and ‘realty.’ Grade school and beyond before I fully understood about the “i’ in reality, a perception/concept.

(Illustration found here).

A near-exact opposite to ‘realty,’ which is about something physical, usually a plot of actual ground. I think I understood the total difference between the two words, it was just the words themselves — can’t remember any social faux pas over the years, or any real damage done in regards to not understanding the definition of the words. One is what you understand/think is real, the other is actual real.
So, that which exists objectively and in fact occurs is when ‘reality’ and ‘realty’ become one and the same.
Dude…

An example of real ground and empty air — John ‘The Boner‘ Boehner and hearty-bottom-feeder Mitch McConnell offered near-opposite sound-bytes this morning on the sequester incident.
The Boner: “It’s going to mean hundreds of thousands of jobs lost,” he said. “That is real. We’re not making that up. That’s not a scare tactic, that’s a fact.” And… “I don’t know whether it’s going to hurt the economy or not. I don’t think anyone quite understands how the sequester is really going to work.”
Mitch’s pitch: McConnell struck a different tone on CNN’s State Of The Union, calling Friday’s cuts “modest.”
“We have a $16 trillion national debt,” he said. “Our debt is as big as our economy. That alone makes us look like a Western European country… I think the American people know we have a spending addiction in Washington.”
Reality to some is a form of delusion – wrapping actual dirt into a flour shell and claiming it’s a horsemeat burrito.

Or maybe ungrounded reality (via USAToday): Ann Romney conceded she is having a tougher time recovering from the election loss, and admitted that she has found herself crying at times because she believes her husband would be doing a better job than Obama. “I’m mostly over it … but not completely,” she said. “You have moments where you go back and feel the loss.”
And feel the pain, whatever.

Or on the blind side of reality, with Bradley Manning’s statement last week during his pre-‘trial’ hearing for treason, and on how he understood the video-horror of an US helicopter gun crew ‘gleefully’ slaughtering innocent people — the revealing of a crime now has become worst than the crime itself.
Read Manning’s full statement at Salon.
An emotional snip:

The fact neither CENTCOM or Multi National Forces Iraq, or MNF-I, would not voluntarily release the video troubled me further.
It was clear to me that the event happened because the aerial weapons team mistakenly identified Reuters employees as a potential threat and that the people in the bongo truck were merely attempting to assist the wounded.
The people in the van were not a threat but merely “good samaritans.”
The most alarming aspect of the video to me, however, was the seemly delightful bloodlust they appeared to have.
The dehumanized the individuals they were engaging and seemed to not value human life by referring to them as quote “dead bastards” unquote and congratulating each other on the ability to kill in large numbers.
At one point in the video there is an individual on the ground attempting to crawl to safety.
The individual is seriously wounded.
Instead of calling for medical attention to the location, one of the aerial weapons team crew members verbally asks for the wounded person to pick up a weapon so that he can have a reason to engage.
For me, this seems similar to a child torturing ants with a magnifying glass.

During early hours at work, I listen to NPR, which includes ‘Democracy Now‘ — and on Friday, Amy Goodman played segments of Manning’s statement of intent in releasing the information. You can detect an emotion missing even from the stark written words.

Although Manning has already offered guilty pleas to 10 charges (and possible 20-year sentence), including being the leak to Wikileaks, government prosecutors are going be be assholes with the boy, and instead ‘…will proceed with a full court martial, bringing the most serious charges against the soldier — including “aiding the enemy,” which could carry a life sentence without parole.’
Eugene R. Fidell, who teaches military law at Yale, explains: “They want to scare the daylights out of other people.”

No shit, Sherlock. Noted item similar currently oozing from the tragic case of Aaron Swartz — politics created a desire to go after Swartz based completely on an old ‘manifesto.’ US Department of Justice being greedy and cold-hearted, and Swartz’s partner, way-mad:

Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman said she was “angry and really upset” when she learned from congressional staffers from the government oversight committee that a document written by Swartz five years ago was a key element in his prosecution.
“I was surprised that the Department of Justice would be so bold, that their motivation was so political,” Stinebrickner-Kauffman said.
“That it wasn’t just one prosecutor run amok, that it was about Aaron’s political views.”

The news made her more angry than she had been since Swartz died, she said.
“This is not the Department of Justice, it’s the Department of Vengeance.
If you look at the Department of Justice they are not interested in admitting their mistakes, they are interested in covering their asses.”

Swartz committed suicide in January — he faced trial on 13 felony counts and a possible long prison sentence. And supposedly, for a prosecution akin to “…trying to put someone in jail for allegedly checking too many books out of the library.”
Another startling disappointment from Obama, which could have ramifications way on down the line — he’s done nothing more than continue the horrifying legacy created by George Jr. and The Dick. Obama could have halted or at least slow-down the pace a bit, from drones to transparency.
But noooooo…

And in that regard, this further note on the Manning bullshit from the UK’s Guardian :

It will be the sixth time the Espionage Act has been unleashed against the source of an official leak of classified information under the Obama administration — more than the total number of times it has been deployed under all previous presidents since it was enacted in 1917.

The invocation of the “enemy” in the Manning trial has potentially huge ramifications for press freedom in the US.
In addition to charge 1 that invokes the Espionage Act, specification 1 of charge 2 on Manning’s charge sheet, to which he has pleaded not guilty, accuses him of “wrongfully and wantonly [causing] to be published on the internet intelligence belonging to the US government, having knowledge that intelligence published on the internet is accessible to the enemy”.
The charge in theory casts a prosecutorial net around any leak of official classified information that ends up on the internet, implying that as it could be accessed by al-Qaida it is therefore aiding the terrorist network.
The point was made explicit in the court at Fort Meade when one of the prosecution lawyers was asked whether the same charge could have been brought had Manning leaked to the New York Times instead of WikiLeaks.
“Yes,” the prosecutor replied.

In reality and terror, which is more terrible?
Should I be more afraid of al-Qaeda or the guy down my street USA with an AR-15?
Osama bin Laden may be in a watery grave, but he won the day — Americans are scared shitless, but of what?
In the Washington Post on Friday, Tom Diaz, a former senior policy analyst at the Violence Policy Center, looks at the phony fright of terrorism, and the horrifying monstrosity of US gun violence.
Diaz, author of “The Last Gun: How Changes in the Gun Industry Are Killing Americans and What It Will Take to Stop It,” concludes guns are the real terror, the reality of which is grounded in burial plots.
Some snips:

Then ponder this: Americans suffer assaults on their privacy — they are groped in public and wiretapped en masse — and surrender their constitutional protections against unwarranted searches in the name of the war on terror, yet they cannot muster the will to protect children from mass murder with military-style weapons.
We have spent more than $1 trillion on homeland security since Sept. 11, 2001, yet have withheld annual funding of less than $3 million for research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on gun violence.
Why are the First, Fourth and Fifth amendments subject to erosion in the name of homeland security, but the Second Amendment is beyond compromise in the name of saving innocent lives?
The risks of terrorism are not so much greater than the risks of gun violence that a disproportionate response is justified.
Between 1969 and 2009, according to a 2011 Heritage Foundation study, 5,586 people were killed in terrorist attacks against the United States or its interests abroad.
By comparison, about 30,000 people were killed by guns in the United States every year between 1986 and 2010.
This means that about five times as many Americans are killed every year by guns than have been killed in terrorist attacks since Richard Nixon took office.

Our perception of the relative dangers of terrorism and gun violence is distorted.
We don’t know it, and our leaders don’t bother to tell us.
Indeed, they conspire with the gun industry to hide it.
Beyond immediate danger, humans are poor judges of risk — witness texting drivers and iPod-entranced jaywalkers.
Yet, with education, risk perception can change.
We’ve altered risk perceptions about smoking, unprotected sex, seat-belt use and the need for police to wear body armor.
These changes were driven by fact-based research and clear advice on how to lower risk.

We value ignorance over knowledge of a threat that takes more lives than terrorism many times over. Congress and two presidents — Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — have presided over this flight from fact. It has been politically safer to pander to the visceral fear of terrorism than to stand up to the gun industry.

A must-read.
The smoking gun grounded in reality, distorted by tragic bullshit.

And on similar word/words — Tomdispatch has a good post up on the word,”Homeland,” as its usage flowered in the last decade — another horrific George Jr. legacy.
A distortion of the worse kind.

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