Case Study: The Colonial Hegemony of Latin America

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Legitimacy, the recognized right to rule, was a primary force behind maintaining the hegemony of Latin America during the colonial era. A hegemony of the white male minority maintained the power through the systems of Catholicism, castes, and patriarchy throughout the region. Everyone either worked within the system, bettering their own lives at the expense of their native ideologies, or dissented and were dealt with by institutional coercion.  This is not to say there was a political elite ruling Latin America, rather there was a culture of conformity that shaped the regions to the benefit of the white male minority.

Simon Bolivar

Some fall in line, some question the legitimacy of an illegitimate state

The Catholic Church backed the legitimacy of the colonizers through its “religious authority”.  By converting the populations of Latin America to Catholicism it was culturally instilled that the Church, and the whites who ran it, were the true leaders.  Everything from the time of day, the names of towns, and the afterlife fell under the Church’s power.  This influence pushed the colored peoples of Latin America towards the hegemony.  Racial castes further supported this political development.

These castes broke people into groups based on the colors of their pedigree.  Those with more white in their blood had more privileges and prestige those with less white were worse off.  This placed a cultural imperative for families to pursue white relationships over others.  Putting the white families on a pedestal gave the hegemony even more influence.  One caveat to this situation is that exceptional families, with much wealth, could buy a white legal status if they were willing to pay for it.  While this undermined the color scheme of the castes it further enforced that white was best as colored people jumped for the legal title.

Another force backing the small white male leadership of the country was patriarchy.  This principle, instilled by the Church and economic forces, placed the father in the head of the family.  Women, especially curious and potentially intelligent women, were shut away.  Honor grew in importance as patriarchy grew in strength.  Duels were common, hindering transculturation especially among the upper classes by killing anyone not white or prestigious enough to marry “up.”

Coercion, political power stemmed from the use and threat of force, dealt with problems that the Church, the castes, and the patriarchy.  Nonconformists who threatened the framework of the Catholic and patriarchal state were silenced and in some cases physically confronted.  The Spanish Inquisition, using the “religious authority” of the Church silenced dissonance.  Controversial books were banned and indigenous religions and rituals were stamped out with accusations of witch craft.

The hegemony of white males ruled Latin America till the end of colonial rule.  The forces of legitimacy, The Church, castes, and patriarchy, influenced the ideals of society towards conformity.  Swift coercion disciplined dangerous renegades.  This study can better help us understand the duality of legitimacy and coercion in a sound, but not necessary moral, political system.  The legitimacy of power can create a political atmosphere which a specific group can benefit.  With this legitimacy that group can use coercion to eliminate threats to their political power.  As legitimacy strengthens, due to coercion of nonconformists, the reach of coercion lengths, as lessening dissonance strengthens the status quo.  I imagine both of these forces would be necessary for an authoritarian state, such as those in colonial Latin America to maintain control.

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Kickstart(er) Solar: Small Panels, Big Dreams

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I believe that passionate and invested inventors are the best innovators. Now it is time to add Alex Hornstein and Shawn Frayne to the ranks of the Wright Brothers and Alexander Fleming.  Our two new revolutionaries are pushing the boundaries of solar energy.  They are not pushing them upwards for large panels, instead they invested in small hyper efficient solar panels which can power every small object in any home.

PhotonSynthesis to recharge phone

Micro Solar Panels, A Plethora of Opportunities

Small solar plates are increasingly becoming an integral part of the world’s solar supply.  In the past, only devices like throwaway calculators and a few outdoorsy tools were powered by small solar panels.  Today, there are already niche solar markets arising; everything from cell phone chargers to glow in the dark bricks are powered by the sun.

Most small solar panels are produced in a slow and inefficient manner.  There are whole factories dedicated to outdated and time-consuming.  Panels are hand glued together; as many as one in five are discarded due to workmanship faults.  The annual output of one factory is around a 300,000 units.     These  panels will last approximately two years, under the best conditions.

Currently, our two new inventors are gathering funds to finalize their invention, the Solar Pocket Factory.  Just one of these table-top factories can produce a whopping 2,103,793 panels in a year; a panel can be produced every fifteen seconds.  These durable have a ten-year guarantee.  The factory can fit in a pickup and run anywhere in the world or even on the go.

This project is currently a favorite on Kickstarter.  This grass-roots site connects inventors, innovators, and artists with people who want to support their causes (and get nifty prizes).  For instance if you give our lauded innovators a scant $35 they will ship you everything you need to build a few small solar devices with their patented plates.  Big spenders can select the $10,000 option; with this prize our inventors bring their micro factory to your hometown and crank out hundreds, if not thousands, of plates and products.  A whole town could be powered by one little trip.  The future looks sunny.

Wanna help the cause?  Their Kickstarter Project continues until September 14, 2012.  Click here to green up your home!

The Iran – Israel Crisis: Part 1, The Stakes

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F16 jet swirl

How long till war?

All eyes are on Iran and its nuclear program.  The Iranian government has stated that it pursues only peaceful ends in its new-found interest in uranium enrichment.  Israel and the United States have accused Iran of building nuclear WMDs.  In this article, Part 1, we will review how Israel and Iran are igniting the next world war and how conventional methods of defusing this situation have failed.  In Part 2, we will examine the diplomatic failures which have allowed this situation to persist and worsen.  In Part 3 we will review unlikely alternatives which might be able to prevent the United States from being dragged into a 21st century Vietnam.

Why are Iran and Israel Moving Towards War?

Iran and Israel have the keys to peace or war in the Middle East; they both choose war. we can see the rational explanation behind this absurd decision by looking into game theory and the Prisoners’ Dilemma. Both sides have the option of backing down; however, if either side took enacted peaceful measures it would open itself for attack from the opposition.  Without mutual trust or a shared allied superpower to help negotiate a thawing of relations these nations are locked onto the war path.

How Will the War Begin on Our Current Course?

Israel has talked openly about a preemptive strike.  With a surprise attack Israeli fighter jets plan to cripple the Iranian nuclear program beyond repair.  Iran will doubtlessly strike back; igniting a regional war against Israel.  The United States will most likely be dragged into the conflict with the inevitable Iranian retaliations.  In an American military war-game codenamed Internal Look, which played out many possible scenarios following an Israeli preemptive strike,  United States ships were attacked by Iranian planes attempting to intercept the retreating Israel fighters.  This is one of dozens of possibilities which could throw American into a pan-Arabian war in one of the world’s most volatile and important regions,

Why is It Important to Prevent War?

Life and energy.

It is of primary importance to maintain peace to prevent wholesale slaughter on a scale not seen since the end of World War Two.  Iran uses human waves of millions of loyalists to crush enemies while Israel decimates invaders with overwhelming air power and possibly nuclear.  A conflict would kill thousands; if there is an alternative, it must be pursued

Second, oil is something critical to the Middle Oil flow will slow to a trickle if war explodes across the Persian Gulf; either blockades of the Straits of Hormuz or wholesale destruction of regional oil tankers could cut off the world’s energy supply.  International blackouts would cause unprecedented chaos.

The question becomes that if war would be so disastrous why would the powers that be allowed it to deteriorate to this strained point?  Find the answer in Part 2; it will be up tomorrow.

All comments are appreciated and will be answered promptly.

U.S. Solar Panel Manufacturers Declare War On Chinese Imports For (Justified) Protective Tariffs

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Solar Panels

The American-Chinese Trade War Heats Up

After years of American solar panel producers giving the cold shoulder to sizzling Chinese competition sequestering colossal sales with unscrupulous warlike tactics.  Now at the brink of extinction seven American solar panel producers banded together to defend American manufacturing.

How Will the Americans Save Their Industry?

Seven Solar companies, led by SolarWorld Industries America, have filed a broad trade case before Commerce Department to institute tariffs that would double the price of imported Chinese solar panels.  This protectionist tax wall would inflate the price of Chinese imports.  Demand for Chinese solar panels would elastically erode with the price increase.  The supply of Chinese solar panels in the American market would also deteriorate.  Meanwhile, American panels would be substituted into the fair playing field.

Critics question the damage this move could do to the blossoming solar market.  This will doubtlessly raise the price of solar panels and reduce quantity.  However, everyone agrees it will funnel money to American industry and build American jobs to compete with the Chinese.

Chinese solar panel manufactures have already captured over fifty percent of the international market and eclipsed the United States’ production.  Only a scant six percent of sales remain in American hands.  However, with recent blows to domestic companies such as the bankruptcy of Solyndra, it appears the Chinese seek to monopolize the market.

This cannot stand.  America is in a trade war with China; mobilizing in support of the American companies is the first step in retaking our own economy

How are the Chinese Acting Illegally?

Nationally, the Chinese government is stacking the deck.  Chinese companies are able to outbid American manufactures at extraordinary rates that far outpace Chinese technical development.  Their government sabotages laissez-faire and gives the Chinese produces a disproportional advantage with no interest loans and free land.  This is a definitive trade violation.  America reaps bittersweet sorrow with the Chinese criminality. Early solar energy adapters are excited by the prospects of cheaper solar panels in the short-term.  Meanwhile, their neighbors lose their domestic alternative energy jobs and cannot afford anything more than unemployment will allow.

Each company itself is also rife with corrupt affairs.  Accusations of corporate fraud against Chinese companies rival the gross output of #OccupyWallStreet.  Chinese panel output is hampered intermittently by furious strikes that threaten Chinese manufacturing and international sustainable energy.

Bernie Madoff would be proud; not since his bankrupting of charities has such wholesale criminality at the expense of the American public.  The Chinese parallel this infamous criminal on a transcontinental scale.  First, trust is built on the quicksand of an inflated currency and illegal tactics.  Second, in the darkest days of the recession the criminal is unmasked.  An empty husk of charitable hopes and broken panels of the alternative energy dream are all that remain.

How Must America Retaliate?

America is in a trade war with the Chinese.  Action must be taken.  Currently, Both sides symbiotically cooperate for shared prosperity.  However, nibbles of this analogy are being eaten by the Chinese as they consume the American economy for their own benefit.  Already, China has simply cut off trade of rare-earth metals to the United States.  In Libya, they opposed NATO by attempting to arm the Pro-Gaddafi forces with over two hundred million dollars in weapons.

Whether the politicians like it or not America is at war with the Chinese.  Protect our own industries is the only way to insure the continuation of the American dream.  The only alternative is to watch the lights across the United States go dark, one by one, as we are blotted out by the Sino smog.

The Revolutionary (Cell) Service: Katrin Verclas Invents Phone Application To Protect Leaders of the Arab Spring

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Samsung CDMA Phone

Do encrypted and safe phones mean the Arab Spring uprisings are In the Clear?

The American Government is funding cell phones designed to guard grassroots rebellions; don’t worry; these measures are not counter intuitive.  This technology was designed to empower the rightful leaders in oppressed countries to coordinate victorious revolutions.  Grants from the State Department have now launched this cell phone application called In the Clear.

This initiative gives the people’s leaders quick disposable communication that could be electronically wiped at the flick of a switch.  This function protects everything that would be endangered if the phone fell into enemy hands;  list of critical contacts, locations of weapon caches, and planned actions. In addition rudimentary encryption provides a powerful shield against cyber warfare and government snoops.

Previously, caught rebels were forced to swallow their SIM cards to protect their friends, now they can save freedom without the toxic indigestion.  These phones are already in use in Arab Spring battlegrounds.

Why Are Cell Phones Critical to Revolutions?

The keystone to the fall of Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya has been one innovation: instant communication.  Cell phones and social media networks have allowed public rebellions to ignite, flourish, and defeat oppression.

Uncensored slaying videos circulating over YouTube, massive coordinated protests through Facebook, and revolutionaries are mobilizing protesters, and militias, through cell phones.  Without being able to quickly react and take advantage of opportunities not only would have these righteous revolutions lagged, they might have even been crushed.  The Libyan rebels have been using cell phones since the beginning of their rebellion to battle Gaddafi.  In the coming revolutions in Syria and Yemen the handheld technology will continue to play a crucial role in mitigating bloodshed in the transfers of power.

Who Innovated These Phones?

The mastermind behind In The Clear is Katrin Verclas.  She runs an inventive activist group called MotiveActive, whose primary goals surround easier access to instant communication and knowledge proliferation.  The technology behind In the Clear was funded by grants from the State Department in association with a rapidly expanding Internet Freedom and accessibility.

Internet access is a basic human right, according to the United Nations; these cell phones are a crucial step in defending this right in unstable nations. Verclas’s phone application will play a major role in empowering the people where they need it most.

Perhaps they will be used domestically in the future, hopefully not in violent forums.

Terrorists Sprung: 1000 Criminals, Notorious Mai Mai Commander Gédéon Mutanga On the Lam In Congo

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MEDFLAG 2010, Medical Skills Exchange, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, September 2010

2 Dead Following Disastrous Prison Break

Eight gunmen have sprung notorious Mai Mai Terrorist Commander Gédéon Kyungu Mutanga from death row in a Congolese prison.  At least one thousand inmates exploited the security breach, spilling out into the nearby Lubumbashi, the second largest city in the country.

National authorities are being mobilized  to contain the criminals, police are converging on the prison with close support by military forces.  Fast responses from authorities and local residences have recaptured 152 of the escaped convicts before the search had even begun.   United Nations spokesperson Madnodje Mounabai, from the mission in Congo to defeat roving bands of militants, has expressed great concern for this explosive development and urges national support for the country-wide manhunt.  Prospects are uncertain if the commander of the “triangle of death” will be brought to justice.

How was the Raid Conducted?

A miscellaneous minivan slipped by the security of a high security Congolese prison. Eight armed gunman sprang from the vehicle once it breached the walled perimeter, making a beeline for Gédéon. One guard and one visitor were killed before guards were able to retreat to safer position outside of the occupied jail.  Upon rescuing their leader, saving him from an imminent death sentence, the gunman encouraged all the other prisoners to make a break for freedom.  It is estimated that roughly 1000 escaped before the guards, reinforced by military and police, where able to secure the prison.

Why is Gédéon Dangerous?

During the Second Congo War, which officially ended in 2003, sporadic fighting destabilized Congo and central Africa as various countries vied for power and resources.  Mai Mai terrorists fought against the established government.  Since the war was resolved these militants have remain armed and dangerous throughout western Congo. Child soldiers, militants, and government forces have fought for power throughout the region since the official end of the war.  Mass rapes and firefights are commonplace.

Gédéon is a notorious terrorist; his name is associated with the Congolese “Triangle of Death” where Mai Mai militants wrought anarchy during the war and continued unrest since.  When he was captured it was a blow to their terrorism.  It was a landmark act of justice in Africa when he was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death.  If he was able to retake leadership of the militant organization again it may perpetuate more painful years of civil war.  This threat could cause the deaths and rapes of countless more innocents.

Of Fleas and Fungus: A War of Amphibian Survival, the Chytrid Fungus, and Zooplankton

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Aquatic Bacteria Samples

Aquatic Zooplankton: Savior of Frogs?

The fungi are striking back; amphibians are under a cancerous siege from the Chytrid Fungus.  This aggressive microorganism has killed off several  frog species and has infected myriads of other amphibian species.  Scientists have so far failed to counteract the ecosystem destroyer.  Multiple North American and Australian biomes have been poisoned; the Chytrid Fungus has already identified 343 countries around the world and 36 States of America.  Now, scientists have come forward, claiming that “Aquatic Fleas” will counteract the pandemic.

What is This Fungus?

Its scientific name is Batrachochytrium Dendrobatidis.

Its origin is in the exotic jungles of Africa.  Merchants trading African Clawed Frogs spread these fungus across the world, unknowingly seeding spores in habitats unprepared for an invasive species.

Spores float in the water and latch on to animal’s skins.  They steal resources and clog up the pores of the amphibians.  The skin acts as the lung for amphibians and this parasitic attack disable it. Inability for hydration and respiration ensues, the amphibians suffer from heart attacks or death by their skin flaking off.  Small resilient populations and select species survive these purges.  Several species have been completely wiped out.

Metaphorically, this is Seal Team Six breaking into the Osama Compound: the advanced and evolutionary streamlined fungus was able to steamroll natural defenses of amphibians unprepared for such alien attacks.

The results have been about the same: the Chytrid Fungus and other environmental threats have killed 100 million amphibians.

What is The ” Aquatic Flea” Solution?

The protagonist in this article is Daphnia Magna.

Oregon researchers discovered this fresh water zooplankton eats Chytrid Fungus spores.  This plankton is a filter feeder: consuming spores is its purpose.  It eliminates Chytrid where it currently lives, pushing spores down to manageable levels.  These fleas are not a magic bullet, however they will be able to counteract the problem wherever they are introduced.  They are also the only effective counter agent.

How long Till the “Aquatic Fleas” Will Be Implemented?

Introducing invasive species was the origin of the fungus plague; scientists are unwilling to intentionally do the same thing unless they are sure the zooplankton are compatible with infected environments.  Quarantined experiments and months of analysis are to be expected.  Till then amphibians will continue to die in large numbers.  Even if the Chytrid Fungus does not consume too many species loss of natural habitats, the primary cause of amphibian annihilation.  Amphibians will survive, with sustained casualties.

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