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Friday, November 30, 2012

Biblical Economics

Biblical Economics

An irony of modern politics is that many conservative Americans
view themselves as devout believers in the Bible yet they ascribe
to right-wing, dog-eat-dog economic theories that Jesus and other
Biblical figures would condemn.

By Rev. Howard Bess
Consortiumnews.com
November 30, 2012

The Bible has an identifiable view of economics.

Whether or not we take the point of view seriously is a matter
of choice, but for those who give some sort of special authority
to the Biblical writings, the viewpoint cannot be ignored.

One cannot not say “I believe the Bible” and lightly dismiss the
perspective developed by Israelites in an ancient setting.

The Israelite understanding of economics was developed over
a period of nearly 1,000 years, from the Israelite escape from
Egyptian slavery to the cruel years of slavery in Babylonia.

Putting together the story of their development of economic theory
is like following the plot as a well-written novel. In its final form it
was laid out by a group of Israelite priests in the Sixth Century BCE.

Priests in ancient Israel were taken seriously.

They were not hampered by theories of separation of church
and state or keeping religion out of economics and politics.

When priests spoke about wealth, property and God, no one
would dare tell them to keep their noses out of the public
square. They WERE the public square.

The summary of their economic theories is imbedded in the book
of Leviticus in the Old Testament. The essence of Biblical ethics
is at times captured in short phrases.

Memorize these short phrases and a person has enough guidance
for a Godly life.

Examples are “am I my brother’s keeper?,” love mercy, do justice,
and walk humbly with God,” and “love your neighbor as yourself.”

A controlling and precise statement about economics is found
in Leviticus 25:23 – “Land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for
the land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants.”

When we look at the development of the Israelite nation, it is very
clear that they were not a capitalist, consumer-oriented society,
whose first order of business was to spend and use material wealth
on themselves and to pursue the getting of more so they could spend
more lavishly on themselves.

Jesus pegged the Israelite tradition correctly when he said the
greatest of all commandments was to love God with heart, mind
and soul.

All ethical behavior and the handling of all wealth were subservient
to the command to love God.

The priests developed not-so-simple rules about how the control
of land was to be handed down from generation to generation.

The Year of Jubilee was meant to be a once-every-50-years
complete redistribution of land among the Israelites.

But the redistribution as written in Levitical law was never
enacted. I suspect that those who controlled land were a bit
reluctant to turn it over to “lazy” folk who had not taken good
care of the family farm.

Yet, whether or not the system was ever implemented is not
the point. A principle was set.

All people were to have access to and use of the resources of
the earth.

This basic right was to take priority over any person or group
to claim private ownership and use of those resources.

One can argue that these standards are from an ancient agrarian
economic system that cannot be reasonably applied to modern
economics.

Essentially, that is the view of leading American politicians,
whether President Barack Obama or his Republican rival
Mitt Romney.

They were both more in line with Ayn Rand than the Bible.

However, as a Christian who takes the Bible seriously, I
am suggesting that there are principles from Leviticus
25:23 and other economic references in the Bible that
can be applied to modern economic practices.

The first principle has already been mentioned but needs
to be restated and is foundational to everything else.

The resources for the support of life must be available to
and enjoyed by all.

To cut off people from basic life needs is immoral.

It is an affront to the God who claims ownership of all things.

All possessions are gifts from God, and those gifts are not
reserved for a select few.

A living wage, clean air to breath, quality health care, and
potable water all become demands from the Almighty.

The second principle is related. I make no suggestion that
everyone have exactly the same resources at his/her disposal.

However, just as the less fortunate in life must have basic
needs met, limitations on accumulation must be put in place.

The second principle is that Biblical economics limit the
permanent control and ownership of wealth by the few.

In a modern economic system, Biblical economics demand that
such accumulation and control of wealth be brought to an end
through taxation, anti-trust laws or other legislative remedies.

Jesus was quite blunt. You cannot serve God and money.

The arrogance of today’s super-rich makes the point.

Super-rich people are in big trouble with God.

The third principle raises the question “who is to benefit?”

In the Biblical economic system and ethic, the highest concern
is focused on right where people live.

Economics must serve the smaller of our social units.

A social unit may be understood as a family, a clan,
a neighborhood or a community.

The point of Biblical economics is that the concerns of God
will never be found on Wall Street or in the corporate suites
of Bank of America.

The Bible does indeed present an economic system with
underlying principles.

They are pounding at our door.



Rev. Howard Bess is a retired American Baptist minister,
who lives in Palmer, Alaska.

http://consortiumnews.com/2012/11/27/biblical-economics

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Black Friday

American Wage Slaves Fight Over Chinese Slave Goods

By Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
November 28, 2012

How does it make you feel when you see people fight like animals
over something like a new iPhone5 or Samsung Galaxy mobile phone?

You can tell the health of the tree by the quality of its fruits.

America, as is evidenced by this week’s annual materialistic ritual
known as ‘Black Friday’, has produced this particularly rotten fruit,
consistently.

It’s getting way too predictable for our liking.

The name “Black” joined with Friday, in itself, is worth looking at
in all its Satanic symbolism.

Why do they try to market this event as some sort of national holiday
and call it “Black”?

It’s important to point out first, that in America, shopping is not
just a basic human need, it’s a national sport, where people root
for brands like a football team and as you will see, it's a very
competitive sport.

On Black Friday, it moves up the ladder to become gladitorial.

It all started with the Cabbage Patch Doll uprisings back in the 1980′s.
It seemed like a fluke at the time. But the trend has raged on and on.

An epic battle for a load of cheap plastic made in China and Vietnam,
mostly by women and children on a dollar a day.

Quite simply, it’s a victory for worldly goods, over humanity, as
people worship brands like gods for sale.

The devil’s handiwork, no less.

In reality, Black Friday is nothing more than a collective con, a
nonevent, made to appear as an event.

American wage slaves who have witnessed such riots should know by
now that America’s once coveted status as the progressive world’s
cultural leader has come and gone.

More and more it’s looking like ‘American exceptionalism' could be
the stuff of 20th century history already.

Those who have taken part in the Black Friday ritual should also
know that their rulers are indeed laughing at them right now as
they watch their social engineering master plan come to fruition.

Segments of the population all but reduced to a shallow pulp of
mindless consumerism, currently in the process of eating itself.

The remaining, mentally challenged chattering classes, will
also watch these ugly scenes and then sit and argue whether
Black Friday riots are the result of an Obama or Romney victory.

As if this level of sub-intelligence is what killed American democracy,
another victory for the elite.

On a foreign policy note, if you are Arab and you are now watching
these scenes, you might want to ask yourself, if this is what Barack
Obama and Hillary Clinton were talking about when they waxed lyrical
during your Arab Spring (that wasn’t) about the virtues of exporting
”American values of freedom and democracy?"

Imagine when the dollar collapses how ugly would that look.

Empty supermarket shelves. How would Americans treat each
other then?

It’s become a pathetic tradition, in what is way past the point
of national embarrassment, but it’s not instead, they promote
it.

http://21stcenturywire.com/2012/11/25/american-wage-slaves-
fighting-over-chinese-slave-goods/

Monday, November 26, 2012

Creating A New Paradigm

All the darkness of the world cannot put out the light of a single
candle.

By Want To Know.info Team
Monday, November 26, 2012

The Old Paradigm

Together, we are creating a new paradigm on Earth.

Yet in order to give meaningful suggestions to further support
this, we first need to speak candidly about the old paradigm.

It appears that there are factions within the world's power elite
which still desire to exert as much control as possible over the
world.

Their primary means for establishing control are through promoting
fear, secrecy, and polarization, and through distracting people from
their deeper purpose in life.

When these factions gain greater power and control, our freedoms
and liberties are increasingly taken away, sometimes without our
even realizing it.

Fear is used as a powerful tool of control by these factions of the
global elite.

"The terrorists want to kill us all. Your job, home, and retirement
are no longer secure. You are either for us or against us. We might
be attacked at any time."

All of these messages push us towards fear.

And by encouraging us to focus blame on others such as terrorists
and "evil" leaders, the global power brokers push us away from
feeling in control of our lives and towards the role of powerless
victims, so that we look to them for protection.

The more we slip into fear and being victims, the easier it is for us
to be manipulated.

Secrecy leads to control through preventing the exposure of hidden
agendas, and through breeding distrust, suspicion, and paranoia in
the world.

In the name of "national security," we have been told ever more
frequently that we should not know what is happening behind closed
doors in government.

Yet we are encouraged to keep vigilant watch over our neighbors,
over those who question the government, and over those who
look or act different from us, as they could secretly be terrorists
in sheep's clothing.

Rampant suspicion and secrecy cause us to lose touch with the
common humanity we share with all around us.

Polarization leads to "us vs. them" ways of thinking.

Divide and conquer is a tactic that has been used successfully
by the power elite of the world for centuries.

As long as people focus on blaming and attacking "the enemy,"
they are not likely to look for the deeper causes of their
problems.

Controlling factions of the power elite work to keep public and media
attention focused on issues which divide us into two polarized camps,
so that their greatest concerns of power and control go unnoticed.

The power brokers then control both sides of the divided public by
assuring that corporate ownership of the media and key candidates
from all political parties support their deeper power and polarization
agendas, which often involve war profiteering.

A final subtle, yet powerful method of gaining control is to distract
people from their purpose in life.

Consider that television, radio, and movies have been filled with
ever more greed, violence, and empty sex.

Our educational system has increasingly prioritized passing tests
over developing intelligence and creativity.

Excessive corporate control of the media has limited what news
we receive, and often shaped our decisions and the way we think.

Our attention has been subtly diverted from our deeper purpose
in life to the more superficial attractions of sex, consumerism,
and money.

When we succumb to fear, secrecy, and polarization, and when we
lose touch with our sense of purpose in life, elements of the global
elite are able to exert ever more control over our lives and world.

The New Paradigm

What can we do about all this?

Ultimately, it is the collective fear, secrecy, polarization, and loss
of purpose within all of us that has allowed leaders to take power
who would subvert democracy, and who would take away our
freedoms and liberties.

By each one of us making a commitment to work on these issues
both inside of ourselves and out in the world, and to inspire others
to do the same, we are changing our collective direction and building
a solid foundation for a new paradigm. Several actions can help us to
take firm steps in that direction.

Develop purpose and intentions for your life.

To live full, rich lives in today's complex world, it's vitally important to give your life clear direction by exploring what is deepest and most meaningful to you, and by developing life purpose and intentions based on this.

Then choose to live your intentions and follow your purpose to the best of your ability every day.

By choosing to live with clear direction and focus, life becomes deeper and more meaningful.

This then weakens the seduction of consumerism and media hype which distract us from our purpose, and allows us to more effectively focus on creating a new paradigm.

Choose to transform fear into acceptance and love.

When we notice ourselves feeling fear, we can trace the roots of
that fear, so that we are able to identify our core challenges and
deal more consciously with them.

We can open to guidance from friends, teachers, and spiritual sources in helping us to move from fear to acceptance and understanding.

We can also transform our fears through welcoming the ever-present love of our divine creator, and the love that lies always deep within our own hearts, and in the hearts of those around us.

In doing this, we begin to recognize fear as an invitation to growth.

Become aware of when you are playing the role of victim, and choose
instead to take personal responsibility for creating a new paradigm.

In blaming others for our problems, we often avoid taking
responsibility for how much we are involved in creating these
problems through the choices we make.

Whenever we catch ourselves playing the role of victim by blaming
others (including the power elite) for everything that's wrong in our
lives, we can choose to take a look inside ourselves, and to explore
and take responsibility for our role in what's happening.

By focusing less on blaming others, and more on improving
ourselves, every one of us can make a difference both in our
lives and in our world.

Avoid secrecy and encourage openness and transparency.

An important way we can do this is to work together to inform
friends and colleagues about the major cover-ups being hidden
from the public.

Then in our personal lives, when we notice ourselves keeping
information from others, we can examine our motives for this
secrecy.

Are we withholding information out of our own self-interest, or
because this is really what's best for all involved?

And on a deeper level, where are we avoiding being honest with
ourselves?

Move beyond polarization and the focus on "good vs. evil" and
"us vs. them."

Consider the possibility that all of us are doing what we believe
to be right based upon our beliefs, circumstances, and upbringing.

Each of us has a place in our heart that wants only to love and
be loved.

As we focus less on blaming and judging "them" and more on
supporting the highest motive in all people, including members
of the power elite, we increasingly come to see that we are all
one human family, and that we can choose to transform our world
by working together for the good of all.

And finally, come together in groups and communities to
support each other in making these positive changes.

In these groups and communities, we support each other
in transforming fear into acceptance and love.

We exchange information about all that is being hidden from us
and explore ways to move beyond polarization.

We also share our life purpose and intentions and encourage each
other to live these as fully as we can and we inspire each other to
take responsibility for our lives and to be the best that we can be.

When we gather in community to support each other in these
intentions, we join in building a growing network of inspiration
and empowerment around the planet.

These suggestions emphasize changing the collective consciousness
of the world by transforming both our own personal lives and the
world around us.

Let us do all that we can to stop destructive behaviors of the
global power elite.

Yet let us not overly focus on changing the outside world without
first having a solid internal foundation, lest we fall into blaming
others, and into the polarizing "us vs. them" ways which only
further divide us.

By reminding ourselves that the most powerful change starts
inside each one of us, we can develop more balance and
strength to then work towards positive change out in the world.

As we change ourselves from the inside out, we send ripples of
inspiration and healing out into the world.

By joining together in groups and communities to support each
other in this, those ripples become waves which are powerfully
helping to create a new paradigm for all of us.



The Want To Know.info Team is composed of researchers and
concerned citizens from around the globe dedicated to empowering
transformation of our lives and world. Some of these team members
have written key books which are summarized on this website, while
others have sent valuable information revealing major cover-ups.

All are courageous citizens who venture where many dare not go.
We share a deep commitment to inspiring us all to work together
to strengthen democracy, and to build a brighter future for us all.

http://www.wanttoknow.info/070707newparadigm

Friday, November 23, 2012

Giving Back To The Future

Giving Back To The Future

By Randall Amster
Common Dreams
November 23, 2012

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night; he was alive as you and me,
although that’s not saying much anymore.

Maybe it’s a dose of 2012 cynicism creeping in, but it’s hard to
shake the escalating feeling that we’re here merely on borrowed
time.

The strangest part of this sensation is that if one said it openly
even just a few short years ago, it may have seemed irrational
and alarmist; now, with empirical observations and the grim
predictions of most credible scientists firmly in hand, it seems
more irrational not to hold the view that the paradigm in which
we’ve been living is rapidly approaching its prophesied closure
point.

This does not, of course, relieve us of the obligation to get
up every day and keep trying to promote the values of peace
and justice in our lives, communities, bioregions, and the
larger world.

The apocalypse is perhaps the ultimate “off day,” but that
doesn’t mean it’s also a day off.

Whatever the ineluctable combination of fate and free will
has in store for us mere mortals, it remains incumbent upon
us to roll up our sleeves and work to avert the self-inflicted
cataclysm we’ve been relentlessly courting.

Or, at the least, we might strive to appreciate the blessings
we’ve enjoyed and pass through the eye with love in our hearts
and a song in our souls.

After all, why not?

If we could do even that much, I surmise that the days ahead
might not turn out so bad in the first place.

Establishing a predominant ethos of “compassion and beauty”
in our outlooks and livelihoods gets pretty close to the root
of the matter and could be the ticket for righting the ship in
the nick of time.

The good news is that we already know how to do this, and once
it takes hold it will likely “go viral” to use the modern vernacular.

Us hominids have lived in relative harmony with each other and
the world around us for more of our time here than we’ve been
egocentric, militaristic dominators.

The post-industrial arc that is pushing to the limit the planet’s
capacity to continue supporting us is but a mere blip in the cosmic
spectrum of existence, even in the time span of our brief human
experiment.

I don’t want to sugarcoat this by any means.

Simply being kind and appreciating the wonder of it all won’t
apply the brakes to our collective immolation overnight.

We also need to immediately wean ourselves off the consumer
addictions that have turned most of us into the agents of our
own destruction, and we likewise need to promptly abandon both
the hardware and software of devastation with which we’ve
laced the culture.

Dismantling the weapons of war and violence may be easier than
abolishing hatred and aggression, but the two go hand-in-hand
(much like capitalism and militarism), and have become mutually
reinforcing over time. The act cultivates the attitude, and vice-
versa.

Again, there’s good news to be found here as well.

The very same processes that create positive feedback loops in
our economic and political arrangements, and in our ideologies
and actions, can also be made to yield mutually supporting
“good” results as well.

Greater appreciation for the environment lessens our
rampant consumption, and transcending our imposed
identities as consumers opens up the prospect of being
co-creators instead.

Being purveyors of peace creates fewer conflicts around us,
and fewer “hotspots” in turn promotes greater feelings of
peaceableness.

Experiencing relationships based on trust and mutual aid cultivates
instincts toward greater trustworthiness and adduces behavior
motivated beyond the narrow confines of egocentrism and unbridled
self-interest.

In this sense, a potential “self-fulfilling apocalypse” can just
as likely become a self-fulfilling utopia.

It won’t be easy, and it will require a reinvigorated spirit of sacrifice
and collective responsibility; it will also demand of us an eternal
vigilance in order to keep the positive feedback loop, well,
“positive.”

Whatever the challenges, they pale before the ones already
beginning to manifest in our midst.

In the end, we can either choose to alter course and turn crisis
into opportunity, or have the same (for all intents and purposes)
imposed upon us by the inescapable laws of nature. I for one prefer
the former.

What will the future hold?

On the occasional clear night, I can almost see it in my mind’s eye.

People work for sustenance and pleasure; education and labor are
intertwined lifelong pursuits; children are reared collaboratively and
joyfully; wealth is measured in relationships and one’s willingness to
share.

The basics of food, water, and energy are firmly entrenched as the
collective assets of humankind, and in even more enlightened terms
are no longer seen as resources to be consumed but rather as
blessings for which to be grateful.

Tools replace technologies, actual people supplant abstract politics,
conflicts are welcomed as “teachable moments,” and the virtues of
meaning supersede the value of money.

The planet’s inherent regenerative processes are celebrated as
mechanistic thinking falls into disrepute.

Humans willingly take their place among the vast web of life,
not in relegation but in celebration.

Violence in any manner is an extreme aberration, and is treated
restoratively so as not to beget more.

We can get back to this future.

We MUST get back to this future, for the sake of ourselves and
our progeny.

Perhaps, in the end, it’s simply a matter of making peace with
the generations yet to come…



Randall Amster, JD, PhD, teaches Peace Studies and chairs the
Master’s program in Humanities at Prescott College in Arizona.
He is the Executive Director of the Peace & Justice Studies
Association, and serves as Contributing Editor for New Clear
Vision.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/11/23

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

An Open Letter to Every Kid in America

An Open Letter to Every Kid in America

By Bernie Suarez
Activist Post
November 21, 2012

This is an open letter to every kid in America.

Hello and welcome to the global empire that you never knew
was there.

It’s the government your teacher in school taught you about;
the government that was supposed to be more important than
your own parents.

We are talking about the same government that taught you
to fear its power and might; the governmental system that
has been trying to control your life for as long as you can
remember.

Yes that one!

Are you awakened yet? Relax; I have really good news for all of you.

First, you should know that almost everything the failed educational
system taught you is a lie.

Yes a lie; almost every piece of American history you were taught
was a lie.

Every piece of political news you’ve been trained to believe was
real, actually came from a very small group of private, for-profit
media organizations that fronted as real news, but it turned out
not only were the “news” stories synchronized, but this small
group of privately owned media giants are actually known as the
4th branch of government.

In case you are wondering, here in the U.S. the first three
branches are the executive (president and vice president),
legislative (Congress consisting of House of Representatives
and Senate), and the Judicial branch (Supreme Court).

Without the 4th branch of the synchronized controlled media
the government would never get what they want; make sense?

You may have noticed they kind of say the same things on
TV no matter what news channel you flip to? No coincidence.

The system, including Hollywood, the mass media and
the government controlled board of education has been
teaching you to shut up and do as you are told because
you are nobody unless you pay your taxes, obey the
government and have a good credit score, right?

This is the same system that had you believing that “taxes”
are as sure as death itself.Now just think for a minute how
untrue that is.

I have good news; you are life and you are special all by
yourself. You have the power in you to do whatever you
want.

You were not born to be a slave to a government or any
breathing person because they wear some uniform; not
at all.

You don’t have to be a huge movie star or a professional
athlete to be a hero.

You don’t have to have a good credit score to be considered
a good or “responsible” person and if you are financially
poor that doesn’t mean you are a terrorist, a useless eater,
or less worthy than a rich person.

That is all part of a large package of lies you’ve been fed
since day one.

You are the hero, not the person on American Idol, and you
don’t need to be an NFL player or world famous basketball
player to think you are successful.

Having a good credit score is NOT the measure of responsibility
in this life any more than being rich, putting out the garbage or
paying your bills on time is.

You are free and the only thing that can make you a slave is
your choice to believe the lies that you have been taught and
your choice to believe that you are nobody.

The system that has trained you is not interested in your
humanity; it doesn’t care if you are happy or sad, sick or
in good health.

The system that has guided your mental growth for so
many years doesn’t care what your personal values are
and it doesn’t care what you want to do with your life.

It is determined to guide your belief system and the system
wants you to shut up and do as you are told.

The system that has controlled you doesn’t want you to think
on your own because it knows that if you do, you will call out
the system for the evil oppressive control mechanism that it is.

Believe it or not, the system that has bred you doesn’t even
care if you get the flu or not, only that you shut up and take
your flu vaccine.

Fact of the matter is that the system is a dying system,
whereas you are a living creature with a free will, free
thoughts and free desires.

It (the system you were led to believe was real) doesn’t
want you to realize you have naturally given inalienable
rights to express yourself in any way you want as long as
you don’t harm others in doing so.

It doesn’t want you to acknowledge that there might be
a higher power much greater than any government whose
natural laws could never be challenged ethically by any man.

Now can you see why every single war is a crime?

One of the biggest lies you were taught was to believe in
and support war; yet did you ever stop to think, what is war?

War is the process of cold murder of other human beings
just like you.

In the political process of war this murderous process is
colorized and packaged using a marketing technique known
as ‘propaganda’.

Yes, all those ceremonies at the beginning of every college
football game were a lie.

You know the ones where they always portray military people
to be more honorable and worthy of praise than all the heroes
throughout history lumped into one.

Using this marvelous technique any criminal agenda can
be portrayed as a good, noble, necessary and even
important agenda even if it means killing hundreds,
thousands or millions of innocent men women and children.

Your freedom begins right here and right now.

Say NO to all forms of murder and violence and you will
be free.

Look at yourself in the mirror and remind yourself that
every single person murdered in the ‘war’ propaganda
campaign is YOU, or someone you could know or be a
friend to.

The true psychopaths that are uncontrollably violent
will behave violently and that is why we have a justice
system to address the crimes they commit.

War, however, has nothing to do with legal process
of punishing local criminals; it involves cold blooded
murder at a wide global scale for a political agenda.

Think of this the next time you are watching a college
football game or you go to a stadium and you see the
system glorifying military personnel as heroes and saints.

They may have good intentions, but unfortunately they
are part of a much larger evil operation that murders
people on a large scale. The horrors of war are too much
for even a kid like you to truly comprehend unless you’ve
been there.

That is why love, compassion, truth, honesty, humility,
honor and good will for all of humanity, not just the ones
that wear OUR uniforms, is the only way to live your life.

Life is not a sport; it’s not a soccer game or a football
game where you can wish for the loss of one team (by
murdering them) while cheering for the victory of another.

Say YES to the future of humanity and dump the lies that
you have been taught. Save your life now and get on the
path to freedom and truth.

Turn off your TV and violent video games and find
new constructive and productive ways to stay occupied.

Learn a new hobby, play an instrument, question things
and read books and articles about true history, do your own
research on things, build something or find new exciting
ways to use your mind other than allowing the system to
pour their messages into your head every day of your life
with their video games, commercials, TV shows and movies.

Unplug from the matrix of lies and realize the greatness that
is in you.

This greatness that is in you is the greatest thing on Earth;
it’s the greatest threat to big corrupt governments, and
realizing this greatness in you is the key to unlocking the
freedom humanity is crying for.

Look at the clock and try to see if you can sense the desperation
humanity is in.

Try to feel the pain and suffering humanity has sunken into
because of the mass control the system with its 4 branches
has done to all of us.

You may not see the suffering because the matrix you’ve
been surrounded by doesn’t want you to see it, but it’s
very much there.

Take a trip to the Middle East, a small ‘third world’ country or
anywhere around the world if you are old enough and try to see
how different the world is from how it has been presented to
you.

If you do, you will begin to notice that the ‘war on terror’ is
really a ‘war on freedom’.

Discover the true nature of your government's partnership
with the same people you were told were supposed to be the
‘terrorists’.

Step back and try to see how words like ‘terrorist’ have
the same political use as the word ‘communist’ had in your
parents or grandparents' days.

These words are just buzz words to get you to feel anxious and
fearful so that you shut up, willingly give up all your freedoms
and do as you are told in exchange for a perceived government
'safety' from this engineered threat.

Consider how easy it is for government to use this tactic
to destroy freedom.

Notice how government then replaces this loss of freedom
with fascism, totalitarianism, tyranny and big government
ideologies that disregard all forms of basic human rights.

Try to see how government uses this blueprint to continue
expanding this fascist ideology.

When you see the difference in how people from different
parts of the world see the world and how these perceptions
of the world are determined by your own personal experience
(which in your case has likely been entirely controlled by
TV, Hollywood, the Public Education System and corporate
media) this awareness will change your life forever.

You will then see that you are the answer to the problems of
the world today; you are the hero that can stop the arriving
global government that looks to destroy all forms of human
freedom and expression, even if you don’t understand it yet.

The hero inside you is like a time bomb waiting to go off.

Can you hear the ticking? Can you feel the power?

Your time to stand against the global government that hates
humanity is now; you are the future, you are the unidentified
hero humanity is waiting for.

So what are you waiting for, take the leap of faith now; nothing
can stop you, except you.



Bernie Suarez is an activist, critical thinker, radio host, musician,
M.D, Veteran, lover of freedom and the Constitution, and creator
of the Truth and Art TV project.

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/11/my-open-letter-to-every-
kid-in-america.html

Monday, November 19, 2012

Poverty and the American Two-Party System

Poverty and the American Two-Party System

By Kate Randall
WSWS.org
November 19, 2012

Nearly 50 million people are living in poverty in the United States.

This was the dire news delivered eight days after the presidential
election in a report from the US Census Bureau.

The new report’s findings, which factor in expenses and
government provided benefits, providing a more accurate
picture of US poverty are a damning indictment of
American capitalism.

Based on data from 2011, three full years into Obama’s first term,
the report is also a commentary on the reactionary character of the
administration and its response to the worst economic crisis since
the Great Depression.

The shocking news that nearly one in six Americans is living in
poverty prompted virtually no comment on network or cable news
broadcasts.

It was met with silence in Washington, where Democratic and
Republican politicians are conspiring to implement draconian
cuts to social programs that will throw millions more into the
ranks of the poor.

Barack Obama has made a practice of all but excluding the word
“poverty” from his political vocabulary, and his first post-election
press conference, held the same day as the release of the Census
report, was no exception.

He felt no need to note the dire growth of poverty as he
set the stage for negotiations with the Republicans over
a multitrillion-dollar austerity package that will savage
basic social entitlement programs such as Medicare and
Social Security.

The sharp growth of poverty, homelessness and hunger in America
over the past four years is the result not simply of purely economic
forces.

It is above all the result of a calculated drive to utilize the crisis
to lay siege to the living standards and democratic rights of the
working class.

Obama’s first term was devoted to protecting and expanding the
wealth of the financial-corporate oligarchy at the expense of the
vast majority of the population.

His second term will be focused on carrying through a historic
retrogression, in which all of the gains won by the working class
over a century of struggle are to be reversed.

The multitrillion-dollar bailout of the banks on the one side,
and the attack on wages, pensions, health care and working
conditions on the other, inaugurated by Obama’s wage-cutting
restructuring of the auto industry, are to be intensified and
combined with an assault on what remains of social welfare
programs.

The most significant finding of the Census report is the sharp
growth in the ranks of the working poor.

The report takes as its starting point the 144 million people
who worked full-time or part-time year-round in 2011.

Some 9.4 percent of these workers, an estimated 13.6 million
people, were living in poverty according to the official poverty
threshold, which is absurdly low and dramatically underestimates
the real number.

Of the 97 million workers working full-time, 5.1 percent or
about 5 million people, lived in poverty.

The poverty rate among the estimated 46.7 million part-time
workers was a staggering 18.5 percent, or about 8.6 million
people.

According to the Census Bureau, more than a quarter of those
living in poverty had a job, but they earned so little, either due
to low wages, scant work hours or a combination of both, that
even if they were able to qualify for some sort of government
benefits, they still subsisted below the poverty line.

For those without jobs, the situation was even grimmer.
Of these, fully a third were living in poverty.

And with the agreement of Obama and Congress, federally
funded extended unemployment benefits are set to expire
in January, depriving 2 million jobless workers of cash
assistance and plunging even more households into poverty.

The Obama administration has implemented no policies to
provide jobs for the unemployed or alleviate the suffering
of millions of workers, young people and seniors that is
brought into focus by the Census report.

No measures have been implemented in the wake of the
Wall Street crash and economic slump to provide relief to
those who have lost jobs, gone into foreclosure or struggled
under the weight of medical bills or massive college debt.

Meanwhile, the rich have grown richer and social inequality
has soared.

The new poverty statistics should serve as a stark warning.

The mythical “American dream” has become a social nightmare
and this is only the beginning, it is not a temporary change.

This poverty wages and brutal exploitation, is the “new normal”
under the profit system and the political domination of two parties
controlled by the financial aristocracy.

Decent jobs and living standards are incompatible with the “free
market” system routinely eulogized by Obama and defended by
both parties.

The fight for jobs, decent wages, education, health care and
housing is a fight against the capitalist system and all of its
political defenders.

The urgent issue facing working people and youth is the building
of an independent mass socialist movement to fight for a workers
government and the socialist reorganization of economic life.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/nov2012/pers-n17.shtml

Saturday, November 17, 2012

After The Flood

Requiem For A Friend, Death Knell For A Dying Paradigm

By Phil Rockstroh
Dissident Voice
November 17th, 2012

So much has been lost to the hubris and cupidity inherent to the
hyper-industrialization and commercial hustler that defines the
Anthropocene Epoch.

To take it all in, to allow oneself to feel the full implications of the
dire situation, of the ecocide and humanity lost to endless war and
economic exploitation, one would be knocked to one’s knees with
sorrow or compelled to give voice to bursts of full-throated rage.

Therefore, as the grid-decimating tide of Sandy recedes and the
power and lights have been restored to our East Village, fifth floor
walk-up flat, I sit at my writing desk, and I am staring down the
scope of my cerebral cortex, desiring to unload both barrels into
the delusional asses of climate change deniers.

This mutant strain of hurricane (that has inflicted much disruption
in our lives and a great amount of stress on my six month, pregnant
wife, Angela) was caused by changes in the Gulf Stream, wrought by
manmade greenhouse gasses.

Personally, I’m done with attempting to persuade idiots by
intelligent discourse and fools by plying them with common
sense, finished with issuing reasoned warnings to dissemblers
and dimwits who claim the iceberg directly in the path of our
ocean liner is simply an ice dispenser, conveniently located to
refresh our beverages.

Sandy (as did Katrina) reveals, how tenuous the grid work of final
stage capitalism is… how rapidly it comes unraveled by nature’s
impersonal fury.

While composing the first draft of this essay (pre-Sandy) — as I
was writing the following lines, “Often, the soul is forced to get
your attention by guiding you into situations that serve to open
your heart by means of breaking it.

Closed off from the temptation and tumult …” — I received a phone
call bearing the message that my best friend in this breathing world
was dead.

The next lines I wrote were: Alright then, soul, you have my full
attention, although my eyes are blurred and scalded by tears.

After inexplicable and heart shattering events, one’s mind searches
for deeper meaning…even when there can be none gleaned from
quotidian tragedy.

In this case — a fall involving a bicycle, and a friend, a brilliant
artist, a vivid soul, a warm, passionate human being, a generous,
compassionate companion has been forever lost.

Meaning is an ad hoc, flimsy structure…erected of metaphysical
eggshells…convictions garnered from happenstance, the traumas
of early life, books happened upon, chance meetings, misheard
advice, friendships lost and cultivated.

In the presence of death and in the aftermath of great storms,
we apprehend how vainly we cling to the illusion of certainty
and permanence.

Yet, deep down, we know how insubstantial our constructs are.

How fate and circumstance can intervene, and can leave us
staring into the indifferent maw of eternity.

“For in much wisdom is much grief, and he that increaseth
knowledge increaseth sorrow” –Ecclesiastes 1:18

To John, my departed friend:

I’m not going to allow you to travel too far away from the realm
of the living without your soul glistening with my abundant tears.

As Sandy raged around our home and then departed, I stood in
grief’s dominion.

There are empty spaces here — graceless voids — torn into the
hours of the day after a person close to you has been, suddenly
and without warning, taken by death.

John, you and I spoke often and for long durations about
the necessity of artists and writers allowing themselves to
be undone by life and remade by creative choices.

For me, your sudden death has accomplished the primary.

Through, our perpetual dialog, we explored the interplay of polis
and ecosystem, and how this essential criteria was absent from
so much current day art and curation e.g., how in art one might
limn New Orleans’ ragged (yet vividly alive) grandeur — the city’s
alluring, dangerous, vitally alive character — its crumbling agora
and the forever living, always dying nature of the bayous and
wetlands that surround the city.

And the manner one might merge and express those elements in
one’s aesthetic. (Apropos: Much of the city of New Orleans itself
was comprised of swamp land that was drained, thus creating the
city’s familiar crescent shape and susceptibility to deadly flooding.)

In John’s art work and curation, he desired to evoke a dialog
between the ghosts of the past and the living present, human
beings and nature, cityscape to backwater, brain to gut, beating
heart to eternal moment, phantom to flesh, memory to heavenly
fire, compost to possibility, possibility to fruition.

John was driven to entice the individual artists out of his/her prison
of enshrinement/exile of hyper-individualist alienation …to bring the
work of an individual artist into a broadening dialog with the work of
other artists…to create the affect of a vital agora.

He grasped that art does not exist alone; it is not an embalmed
corpse, but a living (and dying) thing; hence, it must share common
space and communion to be fully alive as well as decay to compost
(and therefore be granted renewal) when it dies.

John desired a dialog between passion and putrefaction.

He grasped the nearer an artist drew to expressing the impossible
was made possible by exploring the realm of the possible. But, in
addition:

Messing with things quotidian, breaking them apart, caressing,
tormenting, tweaking …reconfiguring all available material into
new forms…Like lover’s, battling and entwined, whose love fuses
the familiar and the alien, thus broadening the lives of both
parties, by allowing them to become greater than the sum of
their parts, art must challenge our verities; it must induce one
to become more like one’s essential self by the dissolution of
safe, but soul-defying, habitual thinking.

An awareness of the ongoing (and exponentially increasing)
catastrophic changes to the ecological balance of our besieged
planet can serve the same end.

Otherwise, one would risks being as devoid of character as those
reality-adverse creatures — monsters really — possessed of
inexplicable self-regard, who wield power in this age of hype and
hubris.

Conversely, one’s suffering unites the psyche with the sorrows
of the earth; teaches us that we are bound by its limits and laws.

The knowledge grounds us in humility, by revealing that eternity
is boundless, but we are not.

Because eternity treats us with such callous disregard, we feel
an affinity with other vulnerable things.

One recognizes the commonality of suffering, thus one gains
empathy.

Yes, death is implacable; the only thing close to matching death’s
tenacity is the persistence of memory and the urgency of the soul
to make every moment holy.

Often, in the locations where one’s heart has been wounded by
circumstance, thus seized by novel (even agonizing) apprehensions,
as is the case in the sections of a forest that have been scoured by
fire — new life, nourished by ash, will grow.

Have you ever walked through a field of bright wild flowers,
risen from the charred ground, where a wild fire has blazed?

Over the last few years, many people close to me have died.

A firestorm has run riot through my heart. In its wake,
regions of my soul are vivid with eternity’s wild flowers.

The view is breathtaking.

History is a story of bitter grace and pain-wrought wisdom. In
this tale, we learn:

Collective trust is a catastrophic misjudgment, made possible
by its partner in crime, an artist of legerdemain, who goes by
the moniker, Hope.

Once you have had your heart shattered into pieces, and even
though time has mended it back together, because all of the
shattered pieces and scattered shards can never be retrieved,
you, as a result, will never be the same.

And that is a propitious development, because room has been
made within you for novelty and wisdom.

The process allows for transformation, for one remains oneself, as,
all the while, alien elements are merged with one’s own uniqueness.

Accordingly, providence favors those whose faith has been shattered.

“A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not
prove anything.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Life begins in mystery, what lies after life ends is unknowable —
and, in between, we experience constant bafflement. Yet, how
exquisite the landscape is as it rolls by; what exquisite sorrow
we yield by being part of it all.

My best friend was plucked from this tormented world.

My father died last May…I’m buffeted, shattered by circumstance,
but Angela, my dear wife, is more than half way through the
second trimester of pregnancy.

The event has engendered much soul-searching for a certain
father-to-be i.e., wandering in awe and bewilderment through
the landscape of his psyche, and forays, in his better moments,
into the image-rich landscape of Animus Mundi.

Art is merely artifice, if it is not sown from the soul’s
veritable soil.

What is the song of the night bird sans the night?

A thousand gradations of green comprise a swamp’s canopy.

The heart is just a pump, sans a loving/embattled (both are
borne of libido) connection to the soul of the world.

My recent proximity to the realities of birth and death has
forced me close to the living heart/inhuman abyss of the
soul of the world.

Yet amid this startling landscape the mind abides greater,
even agonizing truths.

Climate chaos. Dying oceans. The degradation of U.S.
corporate/militarist empire and the concomitant collapse
of the global, neoliberal order.

Our child will be born into a world where there will be a
paradigm shift — or there will come mass tragedy.

My father was born on an Indian reservation.

My mother escaped Nazi Germany on a Kindertransport, shortly
after her father was taken to a concentration camp for anti-Nazi
activity.

Angela, was born in a small, rural home, a sharecroppers shack,
in the South Carolina Low Country that housed generations of
cotton-harvesters and tobacco-croppers.

Our people, sharing the fate of multitudes born into this world,
have endured and even flourished under terrible conditions.

The Tyler/Rockstroh whelp will be afforded the same opportunity.
Who is his grim augury-prone old man to deny him the chance?

That would be the very emblem of hubris, because, among the living,
there exists no bottom line — only how you choose to write the book
of your life.

“Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes. Life
has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it,
than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes
to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate
or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty,
painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength,
if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for
him who has the vision to recognize it as such.” — Henry Miller



Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in
New York City.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/11/after-the-flood/

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Global Awakening

The Global Awakening

By Nick Margerrison
Disinformation.com
November 13, 2012

Currently a huge change in human consciousness is
undeniably underway.

In terms of the number of people effected its scale
is unprecedented.

Its most obvious cause is the internet, or more accurately
the “communications revolution” which also includes mobile
phones and other technologies.

Some think it is connected to ancient prophecies relating to
“the great year,” an astrological concept describing the passage
of time recorded by a phenomena called the procession of the
equinox.

Most people from that background refer to this change as
“The Awakening”.

However, even without recourse to mysticism, it is obvious
people are dramatically changing the way in which they think.

Humans are shaped by their technologies and, just as the
invention of fire helped evolve our digestive systems, new
methods of communication are altering the way your brain
processes information.

According to a recent study it is possible parts of your mind
have already been subcontracted out to the online world.

Furthermore, it is likely you are viewed with suspicion
in the minds of others if your existence is not validated
by the internet and an online profile of some sort.

These are just a couple of many possible examples where
the internet has fundamentally, and possibly permanently,
effected human consciousness.

Staggering progress for a relatively new technology, the
developments caused by fire took significantly longer.

The speed of these rapid changes is a unique factor.

Unlike any generation before, it’s likely your understanding of
the world was shaped by reference points which have now been
rendered almost hopelessly old fashioned in the space of less
than ten to fifteen years.

Notions received from your elders are antiquated in a way
unlike any previous generations’ have been.

This is because there is almost no area of human life which has
not been either rendered irrelevant or enhanced significantly by
the all pervasive web.

In a sense it’s incredibly exciting but on the other hand
the accompanying uncertainty is quite frightening.

“There is a theory that history moves in cycles. But, like a spiral
staircase, when the course of human events comes full circle it does
so on a new level. The ‘pendulum swing’ of cultural changes does not
simply repeat the same events over and over again. Whether or not
the theory is true, it serves as a metaphor to focus our attention.”

Does God Play Dice?: The New Mathematics Of Chaos

I believe the pattern emerging in the wake of the internet
has been seen before.

In its time the printing press caused similar huge changes
in the way people were able to think:

“What gunpowder did for war the printing press has done for the
mind.” - Wendell Phillips, abolitionist and orator, 1811AD-1884AD

There is a direct line of cause and effect which goes from
the printing press, to books such as the “Encyclopédie, ou
dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers”
onto “The Enlightenment” and finally into the period of wars
revolutions and bloodshed which began with the French revolution
and, in truth, has only recently ended with the Second World War.

Nowadays “the Enlightenment” is looked back upon as an age
of almost unbridled intellectual development and progress.

A huge change in consciousness which was facilitated
and necessitated by printing presses that allowed mass
communication on a scale previously impossible to imagine.

This made the free flow of information and accurate exchange
of scientific discoveries possible like never before.

Sound familliar?

In my opinion “The Awakening” could easily be described
as “The Enlightement” put to the power of ten.

Massive upsurges in the technology of communication are once
again leading to our intellectual abilities being given a dramatic
boost.

I will confidently assert that your level of intelligence has
increased thanks to the internet.

The cynical view that it’s all porn and facebook updates
is utter nonsense.

Sure, that stuff plays its part but the reality is that these
days news stories emerge with counter narratives only
seconds behind them in their comments section.

You now have access to more perspectives on the world
than any previous generation.

You’re likely to have encountered more concepts online
than any of your ancestors did, through more orthodox
means, in their entire lifetime.

This brings us to another unique factor in this new age
of enlightenment and “awakening”, the question of scale.

“The Enlightenment” was something which took place
in the minds of a small group of European intellectuals.

This time around, the modern mental equivalent of what
happened them may well be about to take place in the
consciousness of a worldwide audience.

In other words, this time round it includes ‘serfs’ like
you and I.

Firstly put the change of consciousness which they went
through in the 1700′s into context.

At the start of King Louis XV of France’s reign it was thought
that his touch alone could cure diseases such as scrofula.

This was because The King of France was put there
by God in accordance with The Divine Right Of Kings.

By the end of, The Enlightenment, his son was being
put to death very deliberately as ‘a common criminal’.

That’s quite a dramatic turnaround in terms of the certainties
of the old world being replaced by the absurdities of the new.

On a large scale we can see the recent “Arab Spring,”
unthinkable twenty years ago, as its modern expression.

However on a smaller scale, the important thing here is not events
which happen to others but instead what is happening to you, inside
your mind, as a result of these new communications technologies.

Imagine going through an equivalent head change to that of a 17th Century French philosopher but from the point of view of your own perspective.

Imagine a certainty of yours equal to ‘The Divine Right Of Kings’
being abolished inside your mind.

We live in an era where such a thing is not only possible but likely.

Explore that reality by picking a core belief of yours, which is
so obvious it’s currently taken for granted, and picture it
being totally reversed and turned upon its head before you’re
a hundred years old.

There won’t be anyone reading this article who cannot at some
point admit to leaving an internet session knowing their world
view had changed forever.

You’re likely to have a good number of sessions like that online
again in the future, the compound effect of this is beyond calculation.

If you can deal with this thought easily you are likely suffering
from a failure of the imagination.

The sheer scale of change on the horizon allows no room for
complacency.

The words of the philosopher Socrates echo across the ages
with a new significance:

“The only true knowledge lies in knowing you know nothing”.

Stand in that void for a moment and embrace the possibility
that “everything you know is wrong”.

The feeling you should get is in my opinion one of consciousness:

[O]nce, in the Greek New Testament class on Sundays, taken by the
Head Master, I dared to ask, in spite of my stammering, what some
parable meant.

The answer was so confused that I actually experienced my first
moment of consciousness—that is, I suddenly realized that no one
knew anything.

Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of Gurdjieff and
Ouspensky By Maurice Nicoll

I believe the abolition of certainties, “knowledge” and higher
authorities is one of the most obvious positive consequences
of the “communications revolution”.

The fact no one other than yourself can tell you what to believe
puts us into a fascinatingly “conscious” position in our near future.

There is literally nothing we can rely upon intellectually in the future and it’s easy to fall into a void of endless speculation as to where collectively we might “wake up” once “the awakening” takes hold.

Furthermore, this is an ongoing process and it is effecting
everyone on the planet.

“Do we presently live in an enlightened age?” the answer is,
No, but we do live in an age of enlightenment.”

-Immanuel Kant (“What Is Enlightenment?” 1784)

Perhaps this experience we’re collectively having is best compared
to that of someone who ingests a “mind altering” hallucinogenic drug
and then announces nothing will ever look the same to them again.

The difference is again one of scale, a psychedelic user returns
to a world and people who have not changed.

Only the drug user’s perceptions have altered. In our instance
this trip touches everyone.

Perhaps the pioneers of the psychedelic age have something
to teach us here though:

“LSD and other psychedelics function more or less as nonspecific
catalysts and amplifiers of the psyche. This is reflected in the name
given by Humphrey Osmond to this group of substances; the Greek
word “psychedelic” translates literally as mind-manifesting.”

Stanislav Grof
November, 1993

The above description of mind altering psychedelics suits our
comparison with the internet.

It too acts “more or less” as a nonspecific catalyst and amplifier
of your psyche.

This article, as an example, will in the main only be read by those
whose minds were already headed in its direction. It will be used
to confirm thoughts or re-articulate them more forcefully.

Those who are not on our wavelength will have ignored it as irrelevant.

It is a digital manifestation of aspects of my mind and yours.

It is part of a larger thought process which is gradually unfolding
onto a unique and truly “psyche-delic” or “mind-manifesting”
map of the collective human mind.

This is of course true for the writers and readers of all online articles.

Furthermore this article’s polar opposite will likely exist in some other corner of the ‘net, perhaps written in a different language.

There each of the points I raise here will have been utterly
destroyed in the minds of another by an intellect driven equally
far in a different but incompatible direction.

It is possible, or perhaps even desirable, that such an article
will even be linked to in the comments section.

This serves to demonstrate my earlier point that nowadays ideas exist with an equally potent counter narrative only seconds behind them.

The internet’s ability to act as a non-specific amplifier means it
is able to squeeze every last drop of psychic energy out of even
the most inconsequential of moments.

A panda sneezing, a boy getting his finger bitten, a mad
comedian being all racist.

On the flip side of this it’s no surprise that mass hysteria
moves through it like an electric current.

Grievances both legitimate and otherwise can find an audience
online and bubble over into acts of violence, as happened during
the civil disturbances of last year in the UK.

In that instance the amplifying effect of the net acted as a
magnifying glass upon the hot rays of the summer sun and
frankly it appeared to catch the establishment completely
off guard.

Despite the positive tone of this piece the possible
future revealed by our comparison between the printing
press and the internet is quite daunting in places.

If the pattern of history holds true “the awakening” is
likely to bring a very violent and dangerous period
along in its wake as the establishment tries desperately,
like King Cnut, to hold back the tidal wave of change.

During the time of the French revolution debate was stoked
by a group of people collectively known as the pamphleteers.

The most notable of these in France was a character called,
Jean-Paul Marat, who used the new media opportunities
provided by printing presses to stir up revolutionaries and
attack people in power.

He’d write vitriolic attacks aimed at the prominent figures of
his age publishing the names and details of anyone he deemed
a “traitor” to France.

Nowadays characters like him spit their bile and ideas into the
net with blogs, youtube videos and podcasts that lie outside the
censorial power of an increasingly worried hierarchy.

Without doubt these neo-pamphleteers are only just getting
going, their teeth are in the main blunted by exposure to the
media of the old world.

I suspect their younger successors will be the ones with the
sharp teeth which humanity displayed during the times of
Marat.

Go google him if you’re political blogger, it’s he who sets your example not the likes of the MSM’s mealy mouthed political commentators.

Finally a note of caution, for some the above vision of our future
is woefully misleading because it is guided by and rests upon the
existence of external technologies.

Some believe that “the awakening” is a process which will
occur more mystically and without such artificial aids.

In this version of events the “net” or “web” literally becomes
a trap designed to carry the mark of the beast into the sacred
mind of humanity and, by extension, God.

Here the internet, as a mere extension of the big brother
state, becomes enslaver as opposed to liberator calcifying
the world order and freezing us into a position of eternal
subjugation.

For me it is worth filing this idea as a maybe and keeping
it in mind when my optimism goes too far.

In conclusion there’s something quite thrilling to me about
this vision of our times that I’m attempting, with the blunt
instrument of my own inarticulacy, to spell out for you.

I think it’s the smell of inevitable change.

I think it’s the fact we can at least inarguably see an early
dawning of a long predicted “awakening”.

I also think it’s the fact that I’ve just told you a story which
we both know we can’t know the end to.

http://www.disinfo.com/2012/11/the-global-awakening/

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Invitation

The Invitation

By Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Inspiration Speak.com
November 10, 2012

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.

I want to know what you ache for and if you dare
to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are.

I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love,
for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.

I want to know if you have touched the center of your own
sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have
become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own,
without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you
can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips
of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful,
to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.

I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to
yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not
betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore
trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty,
every day and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine,
and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver
of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much
money you have.

I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief
and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what
needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to
be here.

I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire
with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you
have studied.

I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when
all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you
truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.



Ms. Oriah Mountain Dreamer is a Canadian Teacher and
Author and "The Invitation" is taken from the book The
Invitation by Oriah © Mountain Dreaming, published by
HarperONE, San Francisco, 1999 All rights reserved.

http://www.inspirationpeak.com/poetry/theinvitation.html

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Lull Before the Social Storm

The Lull Before the Social Storm

By Jack Douglas
Lew Rockwell.com
November 08, 2012

Vast social revolutions and wars are often preceded by periods
of giving up on reforms, despairing withdrawal from public life
by the best and brightest, and even peacefulness which seems
to have become the normal condition in spite of deep conflicts
and growing crises beneath the surfaces of public life.

Often, earlier periods of intense conflicts and crises have
been overcome and resolved, so it comes to look like that
is the normal in life.

This lulls most people into assuming their worse fears cannot
happen, but this leads them to lowering their guards against
growing conflicts and crises, so small ones can more easily
cascade down into massive ones.

If people expected they could become vast wars or revolutions
or implosions, they would take more precautions to prevent that.

But when lulled in expecting the worst cannot happen, the
worst than they could ever imagine often explodes suddenly.

The cataclysmic French Revolution came after many decades
of attempted reforms and conflicts which people had come to
think of as unending.

It started with new attempts at reforms, then incidents that
did not seem so important, then all of it a sudden it exploded.

WWI came after so many decades of peace in Europe, in spite
of imperial conflicts around the world and an arms race, that
most people thought a major war was impossible.

Then a single murder in the far away Balkans set in motion
an explosive cascade of events that led to a cataclysmic war.

The Russian Revolution was preceded by such a long "lull"
encouraged by European peace and reforms by the Tsar
that even Lenin was near despair and was living abroad.

After several years of WWI and growing poverty at home, the
Russian front imploded and a small event at home triggered a
revolution that started small and democratic and then exploded
into one of the vastest social revolutions in history.

The beginning of WWII on the crucial German-French front was
quiet for so many months after France and Britain had declared
war on Germany after it invaded Poland that it was called the
"Sitzen Krieg" in Germany, the sit-down war, then it exploded as
Germany invaded through the Ardennes.

This was repeated near the end of the war as Germany built
up its forces secretly for attacking through the Ardennes again.

The American Revolution looked very unlikely until that fateful
British march to Concord and Lexington to enforce gun control
laws. Then it exploded.

The conflicts between the North and South had been so intense
for so many decades, off and on, and then resolved again and
again by major compromises that the Ante-Bellum period of the
1850's seemed another replay of that scenario.

Then all of a sudden there was a small incident near Charleston,
moves to secession, calling up the Northern troops and an explosion
of war vastly more ghastly than Americans imagined possible.

War between Japan and Germany and the U.S. had been put off so
many times and so long that Pearl Harbor came as quite a shock to
most Americans.

The 9/11 attacks on the U.S. were just as shocking all over again.

In the early years of this new century, the U.S. had used soaring
paper money and paper-asset inflation to fuel a great Bubble and
apparent "prosperity."

Over twenty years and repeated crises [1980, 1987, 1990, 2000]
were ended by pumping out more paper money and inflating
assets [both paper and houses after the Nasdaq Crash in 2000]
that the Fed and almost all economists and Bankers and speculators
declared we had entered an Age of "The Great Moderation" in which
financial crises were impossible, as Bernanke declared with gusto.

Then housing and stocks started slowly cascading down, then did
so more rapidly.

Then one Big Bank was hit by a sudden crisis and had to be "saved"
from implosion, then others followed.

Then suddenly one weekend Lehman imploded and the whole
top of the U.S. financial system imploded and had to be taken
over by the U.S. government to save it from what looked like
total implosion.

The Great Moderation was suddenly replaced by "The Greatest
Global Financial Crisis" in history.

Europe and the rest of the world soon followed the U.S. into
growing crisis.

By putting out vast and soaring trillions and using vast distortions
of the System [such as Quantitative Easing by the Fed] to hold
the System up, they managed in the past several years to stop
the accelerating cascade down and have kept it bumping along
the bottom in official statistics like the GDP and unemployment,
while the debts and distortions and all the real crises keep growing.

The apparent bump up in the official stats on GDP are an illusion,
below the real rate of inflation for GDP, while real unemployment
and all the other real economic crises keep growing.

We're now in a lull before a vast, revolutionary storm.

The U.S. is sinking faster and faster in all the ways vital to
the future of our society, from the The Great Global Economic
Financial Crisis which the U.S. produced with insane Big Bank
speculations and corruption, to educational decline and
bureaucratic strangulation, to losing imperials wars around
the world, to political deadlock.

I'm sure any intelligent American who is honest with himself
can quickly write down a long list of the crucial ways in which
the U.S. is declining now.

Maybe half of Americans are too ignorant about the world or lack
the intelligence to see all of this Big Picture of Crisis and Decline.

They are confused and mad and despairing and see no way out,
but assume the "Republicrat System" will go on and on and are
trying merely to fit in and keep or get a job with a livable wage
for them and their families.

Even some knowledgeable and intelligent people see what is
happening but see no exit and despair and simply withdraw and
hide from it all, implicitly or explicitly assuming "The System"
will just keep getting worse and worse and never end.

But nations, like individuals and groups and companies, cannot
simply drift downward faster and faster into worse and worse
crises they patch up, but cannot escape or reverse.

We've been doing that now for decades, as France and Russia did
before their vast social Revolutions, as the nations did during long
decades of peaceful imperial conflicts before the utterly immense
conflicts of the American Civil War, WWI and WWII.

There comes a time finally when the accelerating crises and
sufferings and rages become too much to bear and something,
often a seemingly small event like a murder of a young man
in the Balkans or an attack by "hotheads" on a small fort near
Charleston sets off an explosive cascade of events that quickly
leads to a vast social explosion.

The U.S. is now rushing downward along all vital dimensions
of social life.

If this continues much longer, the U.S. will simply implode
and that will lead to vast social revolution or revolutions.

But maybe the vast social revolution will come before implosion.

The one thing we can be sure of is that we have sunk so far for
so long and are now accelerating down so fast, that this cannot
continue long without producing an implosion or a vast social
revolution.



Mr. Jack D. Douglas is a retired professor of sociology from the
University of California at San Diego. He has published widely
on all major aspects of human beings, most notably The Myth
of the Welfare State.

http://lewrockwell.com/douglas/douglas66.1.html

Monday, November 5, 2012

American Holocaust

American Holocaust

By Lee Burkett
OpEdNews.com
November 05, 2012

It's happening all around us, right before our eyes.

We are spending an average of 19.3 million dollars an hour,
24 hours a day, 7 days a week to wage war.

This is "The War On Terror" a portable, pre-emptive war that
ignores both domestic and international law, crosses borders
of sovereign nations reigning death by drone and imposing
occupation anywhere, at any time, for any reason.

It is nebulous, indefinable and unwinnable.

Unwinnable because, by definition it will continue until any and all
resistance to American policy and American interests has been laid
to rest.

Unwinnable because each time we move to crush resistance,
we create martyrs and survivors who feed more resistance.

It is not meant to be won. It is meant to go on in perpetuity.
There's profit to be made, tremendous profit.

We have given further billions upon billions to Corporations.

The very people who created the economic crisis have been
the ones to benefit from it.

"Too big to fail" is a sort of short hand for "support the artificially
inflated market."

Keynesian economics has created a boon by negating the zero sum
total principle of economic models. Zero sum total is the combined
value of all resource within a given economy.

This figure represents the maximum growth to be had.

On a chart it be the classic bell curve, with the peak representing
the point where all available value and wealth has been reached.

The down slope represents the point where currency becomes
ever more inflated, of less value because it's worth is derived
from finite resource value after peak growth has been achieved.

Our current economic model derives value from debt.

Debt is at it's heart a promise to pay over time for goods or
services used today.

We have attached the value of today's dollar to the value of
promissory return in the future. Growth is achieved by the
application of compound interest.

We are borrowing value from tomorrow.

No one seems to be asking how many tomorrow's are available
before the debt becomes a never to be paid sum.

Not because the debt will be walked away from, but because
the debt will exceed all value to be had from every resource
available today and into the future.

We're hovering at that point right now. But again, there's
tremendous profit to be made right now.

American policy, American government, American legislation
is now being dictated by a handful of wealthy people.

Only the blind or the willfully ignorant are unaware of this.

This is what the unholy marriage of democracy and capitalism
has brought us corporate welfare, where the risks and losses
are passed on to the tax payer while the profits are privatized.

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because
it is a merger of state and corporate power" -- Benito Mussolini.

I will not argue the definition of fascism with one of it's modern
day practitioners.

While the corporate controlled media spoon feeds us
infotainment, while media legally makes up news out of
thin air, while consumerism is fueled by easy credit and
debt slavery becomes the norm, an American Holocaust
is being waged.

The numbers of poor grow on a daily basis.

Despite government attempts to cook the books, and to redefine
what poverty means, they admit that those in need are reaching
historic proportions, but even then such admissions are hidden
from most of us, buried, marginalized, lost, hidden in rhetoric,
buried in diversion.

Food stamp applications have risen dramatically, which in turn
means that the available help is diminishing dramatically.

These people are lazy. It's astounding how many Americans
buy into that, not openly, but in a hidden way.

How many talk about the need to help, then do nothing?

How many try to pass the ball along to a do nothing Congress?

How many phone call actions, petitions, e-mails to Congress need
to fail before this passive/aggressive approach is abandoned?

I call it passive/aggressive behavior, recognizing the need, then passing it on to someone else to handle.

Yes, okay, so these people need help, but I passed it on and I let
my government know because I have other, more important things
to deal with...

And thus we can deny their suffering even as we acknowledge it.

Today, this very day, children will go to school hungry. Parents will
skip meals to stretch what little food they have. Elderly people will
go without medicine to buy oatmeal.

It is a Holocaust, but hidden.

The number of jobless grows on a daily basis.

Corporations have outsourced, down sized, moved production to
countries where labor costs are tallied in pennies a day.

Our government has used our tax dollars to subsidize these profit
producing moves.

These are the newly poor, growing every day, I've seen estimates
that for every job available there are between 5 to 7 unemployed
seeking that position.

This puts the Corporations in the position of being able to offer less
pay, no benefits, and to expect full time output for part time work.

These newly poor who now face an entirely new definition of
disposable income.

They face hard, impossible choices, and our government not only
allows it, they promote, protect and defend it. How many of us
pass this along, too?

On a daily basis I see repeated calls, repeated demands "We Need
Jobs" then nothing happens, until the next day when the chorus
begins again.

Where once America felt it's place was to raise the barre, to lift
third world people to our level of existence, now it has become
a matter of lowering the barre so that the American people are
willing to work for peanuts, less than minimum wage with no
benefits, all to profit a handful.

This is a Holocaust, but hidden.

The homeless, a large percentage of whom are veterans of our
illegal wars, will try to find a dry, warm place to sleep.

The numbers grow on a daily basis; good, honest people, people
who trusted those in power, are now living in hotels, cars, shelters
or in the streets.

When the crisis hit, our government's reaction was to pour billions
of dollars into bailing out the Corporations.

Meanwhile, the architects of this misery are enjoying record
profits, historic bonuses, and we allow them to tell us how to
fix the problem.

This is a Holocaust, but hidden.

There are people dying from lack of even minimal health
care. People who have lost, or never had, health insurance.

An estimated 46,000 Americans will die this year, in the richest
country on earth.

We have Obamacare, formerly Romneycare, the result of a mutual
capitulation to medical, pharmaceutical and insurance interests.

The problem? People can't afford healthcare insurance.

The solution? Pass legislation requiring them to buy it.

Holocaust.

There are veterans committing suicide in record numbers.

These are the people who stepped up to place themselves
in danger to protect what they believed America to be,
and having been injured, damaged, having to do things no
person of conscience should be called upon to do, are now
abandoned.

A resource, exploited and discarded.

Holocaust.

The number of gay teen suicides is appalling. Conservative
Christian agenda, supported by Corporate millions, made real.

The purpose?

To further divide us, to give us yet another emotional knee-jerk
distraction.

Holocaust, not directed at race, or creed, or religion, but at the
poor, the sick, the homeless.

The great divide is now The Elite versus all the rest of us.

What is not so hidden is the Holocaust being waged on our
national psyche.

We have allowed our Constitution and Bill of Rights to be thrown
away with the passage of The National Defense Authorization Act,
and we have legitimately passed from Republic to Empire.

We have allowed Homeland Security to take away one civil liberty
after another.

We have allowed illegal wars to waged in our name, we have
allowed torture, and assassination to be used in our name. We
have allowed protest to be called terrorism.

It is a Holocaust on our own humanity.

We have been forced into a dark ghetto, where the bad news is
simply overwhelming, where we are forced to address immediate
needs, real or perceived, and we allow the larger questions to
remain unanswered.... Holocaust upon holocaust upon Holocaust.

The poor suffer, the homeless suffer, the sick, the homeless, the
damaged, all suffer in plain sight, but it is unaddressed, ignored,
brushed to the side, and passed on for others to handle.

What price Freedom? What price security?

The death of innocents, the suffering of many, the loss of civil
liberty.

Four hundred citizens of the United States now earn more in a
year than the bottom fifty percent of wage earners combined.

The benefits belong to them. The government belongs to them.
We belong to them.

It is time.

For every Holocaust we allow, we become less than human.

We all have a personal responsibility to create change.

If you do nothing, then you signal your approval.

Silence is consent.

Feed someone, give someone a blanket, share a little human
kindness.

Resist this society that allows all these Holocausts.

No act of resistance, no small bit of defiance is ever wasted.

It is time.

Rise to the call of what we should be.

Stop allowing what we have become.



Lee Burkett is a proud member of The Screen Actor's Guild and a
writer/activist.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/American-Holocaust-by-Lee-
Burkett-121105-375.html