Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Inciting Violence V Peaceful Democratic Advocacy

"...the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and towns and halls...."

I've always interpreted that phrase by Simon and Garfunkel to mean that the truths of the common people are inscribed in their graffiti, literature, art, etc. And these truths reveal the world as lived and experienced by the majority of the people.

I am one of those people who reads the words of the people, as expressed in student stories and online social media issues and value orientations.

The words of the people this last 6 months have expressed more crises and tensions. Chaos. Turbulence.

And anger. Last night I saw a comment to a story on alleged academic censorship on Blacklisted News that clearly incites violence against academics (here). I can tell you that the academic world described in that article has nothing to do with the reality I've experienced at 3 major public universities and one private one.

What worries me the most is the emotional economies of the comments.  I have seen a trend toward more comments inciting violence at "alternative" news sites, also including Zero Hedge and SOTT.

It seems to me that some agent or agents are deliberately inciting violence within the populace, directed at the intelligentsia (particularly female and African American academics) and other social groups, to DEFLECT ATTENTION from worsening environmental catastrophes, growing economic precarity and inequality, and structural adjustments designed to de-collectivize risk, returning to nineteenth century Darwinian logics of government.

There are multiple centers of power that seek to engineer public opinion using propaganda tactics, as I've discussed quite frequently at this blog. I'm sure that there are many agents of corporate, government, and private power circulating the web planting comments aimed at inciting outrage, which lessens inhibitions against violence (e.g., see

This discussion of propaganda bent on division does not presuppose that the culture of the common people is free from conflict.

Cultural fragmentation is at some level inevitable, given we have different interests and politics always infuses our relations, but messages that incite violence are a foundational threat to democracy.

The French have it right when it comes to standing up and expressing their voice.

The process of expressing voice is key to democratic politics.

Breakdowns in understandings can be addressed through demonstrations, but the key is civil disobedience and no violence.

These are strategic imperatives, not merely ideological ones, because the state will always win when it comes to the power of its policing, especially today.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Lights in Fukushima Daiichi's Harbor

The last two days I have seen (presumably) boat lights in Fukushima's harbor.

One would imagine seeing lights in the harbor would be a routine occurrence, but has been for me an unusual experience.

You can see two lights (red and green) in the background of units 1 and 2 in this screenshot from Cam 1:

Today the lights are red and green but yesterday they were white:

My guess is that some work is being conducted in the harbor. Years ago the media reported that hot nuclear debris were bulldozed into the harbor immediately after the disaster.

There has never been any authentication of this report, but over time I've seen some strange light from the harbor.

Here is a screenshot from 2014 from Cam 4 that illustrates what I mean by strange lights