Monday, December 31, 2007

What Subcomandante Marcos says about The Shock Doctrine book

Sunday December 30, 2007, 1:38 pm Many thanks to activist Dorinda Moreno for passing along these words from tierra_y_vida@yahoogroups.com from TierrayVida Subcomandante Marcos fo the EZLN said at a recent gathering in Chiapas: "I will recommend this book to you. It is this one. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, by Naomi Klein. It is one of those books that is worth having in your hands. It is also a very dangerous book. Its danger resides in that it is possible to understand what it says. As I write this I suppose Naomi Klein has already explained the central axis of what's exposed in her thought, so I won't repeat it. I only note that it deals with aspects of capitalist functioning that are overlooked or ignored by more than a few theorists and analysts from the left in the world."...... "The signs of war in the horizon are clear. The war, like fear, also has a smell. And now we can begin to breathe its stench in our lands. In the words of Naomi Klein, we need to prepare ourselves for the shock."

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sing - You Are Naked And You Know It

You are naked and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap) . You are naked and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap) . Though your clothing doesn’t show it, There’s a world of skin below it. You are naked and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap) . You are naked and I know it kick your heels (kick kick) . You are naked and I know it kick your keels (kick kick) . In my mind, I see your body as it is but not so gaudy. You are naked and I know it kick your heels (kick kick) . I am naked and you know it twirl around (twirl twirl) . I am naked and you know it twirl around (twirl twirl) . No more pretense, no more worry. We are equal in a hurry. I am naked and you know it twirl around (twirl twirl) . You are naked and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap) . You are naked and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap) . When you go to bed and eye it, You no longer can deny it. You are naked and you know it, clap your hands (clap clap) . by Robert M Wilson

Saturday, December 29, 2007

**An Appreciation Of The Nude In Art**

Although I very much appreciate it you in a welder’s mask but precious little else your nakedness totally unafraid of flame or spark as you solder bits of scavenged metal to create impossibly beautiful metal men sentinels to guard our bedroom as if we were the tomb of Tutankhamen. You take the mask off and your hair unfurls like a red banner laugh and tell me to: “F**k off! ” You love the implements of your art the sheer physicality of it whether it be welder’s torch or chisel or chainsaw. Chainsaw? You rev it up ! (in the buff) - totally unguarded - tell me to shut up stand still as you shape (oh the roar of the naked blade) some poor tree into a fantastically futuristic portrait of me in wood. I catch my breath and have to admit: “It’s good...it’s more than good! ” and I am no prude but why do you have to do it in the nude! Dónall Dempsey

Friday, December 28, 2007

Video: Bhutto said bin Laden was dead

Benazir Bhutto said Osama bin Laden was dead

And right on cue, shortly after former Pakistani premier Bhutto's own slaying, two key al-Qaeda news items appear. First, "senior US officials" are checking into an al-Qaeda claim of responsibility for the assassination, and—lo and behold—"Osama" himself will soon release a message regarding Iraq.

Bhutto asserted to David Frost less than two months ago that bin Laden had been murdered by Omar Sheikh, whom the Sunday Times once described as "no ordinary terrorist but a man who has connections that reach high into Pakistan's military and intelligence elite and into the innermost circles" of bin Laden and al-Qaeda. (Watch video starting at 5:33 for mentioned part.)


In a Prescient Interview, Bhutto Fingered Assassination Suspects

By Sarah Lai Stirland December 27, 2007 | 3:59:21 PM

The world reacted with horror today at the cold-blooded assassination of Pakistan's former prime minister and opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

Heading up the populist Pakistan People's Party, Bhutto was a leading contender in the country's general election, which was scheduled for January 8.

In this YouTube clip below from a November 3 Al Jazeera interview with British television presenter Sir David Frost, Bhutto discusses who she thought was responsible for the prior assassination attempt on her. (She even discusses the fact that her kids found out about the attempt before their father could tell them through text messages from their friends.)

Bhutto said at the time that the assassins could have come from "a gang from the Afganistan warlord Baitullah Mehsud, or Hamza bin Laden the son of Osama bin Laden, or the Pakistani Taliban in Islamabad, or by a group in Karachi."

"I sent back a letter [to President Pervez Musharraf] saying that while these groups may be used, I thought it was more important to go after the people who supported them, who organize them, who could possibly be the financers, or the organizers of the finance for those groups and I named three individuals who I thought could be their sympathizers," she said.


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Art Boo kCut O utsOn T heFloor


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

15-year-old bomber stopped at Bhutto rally

By staff writers December 26, 2007 11:33pm

Police in Pakistan have stopped a 15-year-old boy they say was carrying a bomb made of dynamite and nails from gettnig into a rally by opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

The boy got past the first of four security checkpoints set up outside the rally in the northwestern city of Peshawar but was caught at the second, said police officer Rahim Shah, according to the Associated Press.

In October, suicide bombers struck a parade celebrating Ms Bhutto's return from exile, killing more than 140 people in the southern city of Karachi.


Electromagnetic Resolution for 2008?

Delightful Devra Davis, Director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at UP’s Graduate School of Public Health,1 has provided me with a basis for one of your New Year’s Resolutions. I hope.

One of the problems with studies of cell phones, according to Dr. Davis, is that the issues they are trying to understand are inherently complex. Science works best, apparently, examining one thing at a time, as we do routinely with drugs in clinical trials.

The problems posed by cell phones in the real world are like are like huge simultaneous equations — mathematical formulas of relationships between multiple unknowns. She asks how we can determine the role of one factor, such as cell phone exposure to the skull, when others like diet, workplace conditions and local air pollution, are changing at the same time and at different rates.

Studying brain cancer, for example, is one of the toughest jobs in epidemiology, according to Devra (Let’s provide a cozy sit-down, holiday ambiance here, okay?) because it is a rare disease, takes years to decades to develop, an impairs the very systems that might give us clues, a person’s ability to recall and describe past activities and exposures that might have put them at risk.

The disease can take forty years to develop, and very often researchers have to rely on the very unreliable recollections of family members… respecting what elements a given relative might have been exposed to way back when. Try remembering on that count for your own life. Very difficult, to say the least.

When it comes to sorting through the risks of cell phones, we have lately been assured that there are none based upon reports from what appear to be independent scientific reviewers. Devra points out that researchers from the Danish Cancer Society reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2006 that they found “no evidence of risk in persons who had used cell phones.”2

Headlines around the world boasted of this latest finding from an impeccable source published in a first tier scientific journal. The press coverage of this study tells us a great deal about what journalists and the rest of us who depend so heavily on these phones would like to believe. The following were all posted between the 6th and the 10th in 2006:

“Cell Phones Don’t Cause Brain Cancer” — Toronto Daily News

“Cell Phones Don’t Raise Cancer Risk” — Reuters

“Big Study Finds No Link Between Cell Phones, Cancer” — San Jose Mercury News

“Study: Cell Phones Don’t Cause Cancer” — Albuquerque Tribune

“Study: Cell Phones Safe” — Newsday3

“Cell Phones Do Not Cause Cancer” — Techtree.com, India

Most people — in the absence of well-publicized official clarification/intervention — will run with those positive findings… for a number of reasons. Continue with their lifestyle as is. Keep their hands on their habits.

But…what did the researchers actually study? I can hear Santa Claus going “Ho, Ho, Ho” in the background:

1. They reviewed health records through 2002 of about 421,000 people who had first signed up for private use of cell phones between 1982 and 1995. 2. A “cell phone user” in the study was anyone who made a single phone call a week for six months during the period 1981 to 1995. 3. The study kicked out anyone who was part of a business that used cell phones, including only those who had used a cell phone for personal purposes for eight years.

Dr. Davis asks:

1. Why did they not look at business users — those with far more frequent use of cell phones? 2. Why lump all users together, putting those who might have made a single cell phone call a week with those who used the phones more often? 3. Why stop collecting information on brain tumors in 2002, when we know that brain tumors often take decades to develop and be diagnosed?

There are NO legitimate explanations for such indiscretions.

It would have been better to compare the frequent users with non-users, omitting the limited users altogether. Devra notes, “Lumping all these various users together is like looking all over a city for a stolen car when you know it’s in a five-block radius.”4

The Danish Study was designed to appear definitively thorough — Imagine, 421,000 people!!! — but in fact it was biased against positive findings from the start.

Anyone who’s interested in receiving data which definitively damns the use of cell phones is invited to contact this author. Short of that, if you’re interested in the health of society and your own health on this count, I recommend the “Presumed Innocent” chapter (Fifteen) of Dr. Davis’ latest book.5 For the purpose of coming up with a possible… New Year’s Resolution.

Regardless, I do have one other anecdote to share, which hints at WHY findings (you’ll keep coming across) are likely to gloss over the gross, horrific aspects of cell phones.

A major international study of brain cancer in wireless phone users has been underway for quite some time, headquartered at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization in Lyon, France.

The large study was designed to combine more than 3,000 cases of brain tumors from around the industrial world and was supposed to release its results in 2006. In Canada, Daniel Krewski, a respected epidemiologist who heads that country’s national study of cell phones, receives much of his funding from the industry. Some have asked whether this constitutes bias. Krewski is also part of the IARC study.

The former director of the IARC, Lorenzo Tomatis, is concerned about the lack of independence of this important work, according to Dr. Davis. He complained publicly in 2004 about the close cooperation that was developing between the cell phone industry and those who were studying brain cancer that could be associated with cell phones’ use.

When Dr. Tomatis returned to the facility in Lyon to meet with colleagues with whom he had worked, he was treated like no other former director: he was ordered to leave and security guards escorted him from the building. Much along the lines of how Will Ferrell’s “Buddy” (a loving character) is roughly escorted out of his Scrooge-like father’s office building — denying him deserved refuge — in the laughable movie Elf.

I end on this funny cinematic note because more readers are likely to be able to relate to that Moloch-like image than they can to delineated dangers of cell phone use.6 And I do so want readers to stop stagnating with/suffering through the commercial imagery surrounding cell phones, push past the powers that be, and resolve to make changes in their lives. Our lives.

  1. She is also a Global Environmental Advisor to Newsweek, and was the founding director of the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the National Academy of Sciences and Services, as well as Scholar in Residence at the National Academy of Science. Her traditional credentials are impeccable, but the real basis for her credibility lies in her unswerving embrace of what’s right, unencumbered by any self-serving financial and/or career agenda. #
  2. Devra Davis, The Secret History of the War on Cancer (New York: Basic Books, 2007), pp. 401-402. This is a monumentally important/well-respected/useful book for the layman. I urge one and all to delve into Devra’s opus. #
  3. Interesting to note that Dr. Davis is Global Environmental Advisor to this publication. Whoops, that’s Newsweek, not Newsday! Still, the point is that the vast majority of independent scientists do not concur with the “reassuring” headlines. Documentation upon request. #
  4. Davis, op. cit., p. 403. #
  5. Her 2007 book (cited above) begins Chapter Fifteen with a photo of Donald Rumsfeld, posing as CEO of the Searle Corporation… when FDA approval was granted prematurely to market aspartame in 1981. The fact that scientific reviewers were overridden in that case should be highly instructive. Across the board, our decision-making authorities have been dropping the ball for decades. It’s time for the pubic to come up with a new way of looking out for themselves. To put it mildly. Again, this author has recommendations upon request. #
  6. Which include, of course, the electromagnetic dangers for non-users associated with cell towers. #

Marcelle Cendrars, freelancing daughter of Blaise Cendrars, can be reached at: bcendra@yahoo.com. She is the "Provost" of San Jose, California's Free Underground College to Kindergarten Educational Retreat, a home school network of dissenting citizens who encourage parents to have their children drop out of mainstream institutions, and make use of alternative educational options. Read other articles by Marcelle.


Radio For Revolutionaries!

B26434 / Tue, 25 Dec 2007 14:41:58 / Media

I just wanted to plug a new radio project that will be launched on New Years day:

Tune in to the Revolution!

Tune in to the Peace & Justice Radio Network!

Coming Tuesday, January 1st, 2008 at Noon, Fear No Arts Media will launch a new internet radio station geared to activism and awareness.

Commercial and corporate free, THE PEACE & JUSTICE RADIO NETWORK has been created with the hope of inspiring, promoting and motivating progressive change in the world. Talented DJ’s and an impressive library of old & new political music & poetry give the station a unique and entertaining feel. In addition, PJRN’s news line-up features the best of independent, unembeded programming, to include Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, Free Speech Radio News, Anti War News, Prison Radio News, Palestine Today, Prensa Latina, reports from National peace & justice organizations, political action announcements, and independent documentary reports.

We are in the midst of a huge fascist build up in the U.S. which strongly mirrors the early establishment of Nazi control in Germany in the early 1930’s. The more voices, resources and information we can provide to the public, the more we can arm ourselves with awareness and fight against the apathy our government and corporate CEO’s thrive on. Pick up a sign, write a letter to the editor, sign a petition, attend a march, write your representative, start a newsletter, a blog, a web site, a radio station (and because this is my blog, I would add to this list, TAKE DIRECT ACTION!). Free expression, and an unbridled media is poison to a fascist state. Be a voice. Take a stand. Be the media!

Go to www.fearnoarts.com on January 1st, click on “Listen Now” and tune in to The Revolution on The Peace & Justice Radio Network!

Here is the rest of my online radio listening, which you can always find on my blog page:

Rabble Podcast NetworkGreen Monkey RadioOne People’s RadioHealing the EarthAudio AnarchyCircle-A RadioKill RadioPirate RadioEnemy Combatant RadioLiberation RadioFreak RadioRadical RadioLiveRadio IndyMediaRadioActiveLA Sound PossePirate Cat RadioFree Radio NetworkRadio4AllAnarchy Radio with John ZerzanAbolition RadioSlave Revolt RadioRadio ZapatistaRadio InsurgenteBioneersEco-Shock RadioRadioPowerAir AmericaThe Power Hour


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Cosmic Bird? Triple Cosmic Collision Of Galaxies Stuns Astronomers

[Thanks to Fernando and Grischa for this link] ScienceDaily (Dec. 20, 2007) — Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, an international team of astronomers [1] has discovered a stunning rare case of a triple merger of galaxies. This system, which astronomers have dubbed 'The Bird' - albeit it also bears resemblance with a cosmic Tinker Bell - is composed of two massive spiral galaxies and a third irregular galaxy.

The galaxy ESO 593-IG 008, or IRAS 19115-2124, was previously merely known as an interacting pair of galaxies at a distance of 650 million light-years. But surprises were revealed by observations made with the NACO instrument attached to ESO's VLT, which peered through the all-pervasive dust clouds, using adaptive optics to resolve the finest details [2].

Underneath the chaotic appearance of the optical Hubble images - retrieved from the Hubble Space Telescope archive - the NACO images show two unmistakable galaxies, one a barred spiral while the other is more irregular.

The surprise lay in the clear identification of a third, clearly separate component, an irregular, yet fairly massive galaxy that seems to be forming stars at a frantic rate.

"Examples of mergers of three galaxies of roughly similar sizes are rare," says Petri Väisänen, lead author of the paper reporting the results. "Only the near-infrared VLT observations made it possible to identify the triple merger nature of the system in this case."

Because of the resemblance of the system to a bird, the object was dubbed as such, with the 'head' being the third component, and the 'heart' and 'body' making the two major galaxy nuclei in-between of tidal tails, the 'wings'. The latter extend more than 100,000 light-years, or the size of our own Milky Way.

Subsequent optical spectroscopy with the new Southern African Large Telescope, and archive mid-infrared data from the NASA Spitzer space observatory, confirmed the separate nature of the 'head', but also added further surprises. The 'head' and major parts of the 'Bird' are moving apart at more than 400 km/s (1.4 million km/h!). Observing such high velocities is very rare in merging galaxies. Also, the 'head' appears to be the major source of infrared luminosity in the system, though it is the smallest of the three galaxies.

"It seems that NACO has caught the action right at the time of the first high-speed fly-by of the 'head' galaxy through the system consisting of the other two galaxies," says Seppo Mattila, member of the discovery team. "These two galaxies must have met earlier, probably a couple of hundred million years ago."

The 'head' is forming stars violently, at a rate of nearly 200 solar masses per year, while the other two galaxies appear to be at a more quiescent epoch of their interaction-induced star formation history.

The 'Bird' belongs to the prestigious family of luminous infrared galaxies, with an infrared luminosity nearly one thousand billion times that of the Sun. This family of galaxies has long been thought to signpost important events in galaxy evolution, such as mergers of galaxies, which in turn trigger bursts of star formation, and may eventually lead to the formation of a single elliptical galaxy.

The findings presented here are reported in a paper to appear in a future issue of the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ("Adaptive optics imaging and optical spectroscopy of a multiple merger in a luminous infrared galaxy", by P. Väisänen" et al.).

Notes

[1]: The team is composed of P. Väisänen, A. Kniazev, D. A. H. Buckley, L. Crause, Y. Hashimoto, N. Loaring, E. Romero-Colmenero, and M. Still (SAAO, South Africa), S. Mattila (Tuorla Observatory, Finland), A. Adamo and G. Östlin (Stockholm University, Sweden), A. Efstathiou (Cyprus College, Nicosia, Cyprus), D. Farrah (Cornell University, USA), P. H. Johansson (Universitäts-Sternwarte München, Germany), E. B. Burgh and K. Nordsieck (University of Wisconsin, USA), P. Lira (Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile), A. Zijlstra (University of Manchester, UK ), and S. Ryder (AAO, Australia).

[2]: The final resolution was better than a tenth of an arcsecond, that is, the angle sustained by a 2-cm coin seen from a distance of 40 km. This is roughly a factor 600 better than what a keen human eye can distinguish.

Adapted from materials provided by ESO.

APA MLA
ESO (2007, December 20). Cosmic Bird? Triple Cosmic Collision Of Galaxies Stuns Astronomers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 25, 2007, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2007/12/071220195632.htm
The 'Cosmic Bird.' A 30-min VLT/NACO K-band exposure has been combined with archive HST/ACS B and I-band images to produce a three-color image of the "Bird" interacting galaxy system. The NACO image has allowed astronomers to not only see the two previously known galaxies, but to identify a third, clearly separate component, an irregular, yet fairly massive galaxy that seems to form stars at a frantic rate. (Credit: ESO, final color image by Henri Boffin)

The Joy of Revolution

Chapter 1: Some Facts of Life

Utopia or bust Stalinist “communism” and reformist “socialism” are merely variants of capitalism Representative democracy versus delegate democracy Irrationalities of capitalism Some exemplary modern revolts Some common objections Increasing dominance of the spectacle


Chapter 1: Some Facts of Life

“We can comprehend this world only by contesting it as a whole. . . . The root of the prevailing lack of imagination cannot be grasped unless one is able to imagine what is lacking, that is, what is missing, hidden, forbidden, and yet possible, in modern life.”

—Situationist International(1)

Utopia or bust

Never in history has there been such a glaring contrast between what could be and what actually exists.

It’s hardly necessary to go into all the problems in the world today — most of them are widely known, and to dwell on them usually does little more than dull us to their reality. But even if we are “stoic enough to endure the misfortunes of others,” the present social deterioration ultimately impinges on us all. Those who don’t face direct physical repression still have to face the mental repressions imposed by an increasingly mean, stressful, ignorant and ugly world. Those who escape economic poverty cannot escape the general impoverishment of life.

And even life at this pitiful level cannot continue for long. The ravaging of the planet by the global development of capitalism has brought us to the point where humanity may become extinct within a few decades.

Yet this same development has made it possible to abolish the system of hierarchy and exploitation that was previously based on material scarcity and to inaugurate a new, genuinely liberated form of society.

Plunging from one disaster to another on its way to mass insanity and ecological apocalypse, this system has developed a momentum that is out of control, even by its supposed masters. As we approach a world in which we won’t be able to leave our fortified ghettoes without armed guards, or even go outdoors without applying sunscreen lest we get skin cancer, it’s hard to take seriously those who advise us to beg for a few reforms.

What is needed, I believe, is a worldwide participatory-democracy revolution that would abolish both capitalism and the state. This is admittedly a big order, but I’m afraid that nothing less can get to the root of our problems. It may seem absurd to talk about revolution; but all the alternatives assume the continuation of the present system, which is even more absurd.

Stalinist “communism” and reformist “socialism” are merely variants of capitalism

Before going into what this revolution would involve and responding to some typical objections, it should be stressed that it has nothing to do with the repugnant stereotypes that are usually evoked by the word (terrorism, revenge, political coups, manipulative leaders preaching self-sacrifice, zombie followers chanting politically correct slogans). In particular, it should not be confused with the two principal failures of modern social change, Stalinist “communism” and reformist “socialism.”

After decades in power, first in Russia and later in many other countries, it has become obvious that Stalinism is the total opposite of a liberated society. The origin of this grotesque phenomenon is less obvious. Trotskyists and others have tried to distinguish Stalinism from the earlier Bolshevism of Lenin and Trotsky. There are differences, but they are more of degree than of kind. Lenin’s The State and Revolution, for example, presents a more coherent critique of the state than can be found in most anarchist writings; the problem is that the radical aspects of Lenin’s thought merely ended up camouflaging the Bolsheviks’ actual authoritarian practice. Placing itself above the masses it claimed to represent, and with a corresponding internal hierarchy between party militants and their leaders, the Bolshevik Party was already well on its way toward creating the conditions for the development of Stalinism while Lenin and Trotsky were still firmly in control.(2)

But we have to be clear about what failed if we are ever going to do any better. If socialism means people’s full participation in the social decisions that affect their own lives, it has existed neither in the Stalinist regimes of the East nor in the welfare states of the West. The recent collapse of Stalinism is neither a vindication of capitalism nor proof of the failure of “Marxist communism.” Anyone who has ever bothered to read Marx (most of his glib critics obviously have not) is aware that Leninism represents a severe distortion of Marx’s thought and that Stalinism is a total parody of it. Nor does government ownership have anything to do with communism in its authentic sense of common, communal ownership; it is merely a different type of capitalism in which state-bureaucratic ownership replaces (or merges with) private-corporate ownership.

The long spectacle of opposition between these two varieties of capitalism hid their mutual reinforcement. Serious conflicts were confined to proxy battles in the Third World (Vietnam, Angola, Afghanistan, etc.). Neither side ever made any real attempt to overthrow the enemy in its own heartland. (The French Communist Party sabotaged the May 1968 revolt; the Western powers, which intervened massively in countries where they were not wanted, refused to send so much as the few antitank weapons desperately needed by the 1956 Hungarian insurgents.) Guy Debord noted in 1967 that Stalinist state-capitalism had already revealed itself as merely a “poor cousin” of classical Western capitalism, and that its decline was beginning to deprive Western rulers of the pseudo-opposition that reinforced them by seeming to represent the sole alternative to their system. “The bourgeoisie is in the process of losing the adversary that objectively supported it by providing an illusory unification of all opposition to the existing order” (The Society of the Spectacle, §§110-111).

Although Western leaders pretended to welcome the recent Stalinist collapse as a natural victory for their own system, none of them had seen it coming and they now obviously have no idea what to do about all the problems it poses except to cash in on the situation before it totally falls apart. The monopolistic multinational corporations that proclaim “free enterprise” as a panacea are quite aware that free-market capitalism would long ago have exploded from its own contradictions had it not been saved despite itself by a few New Deal-style pseudosocialist reforms.

Those reforms (public services, social insurance, the eight-hour day, etc.) may have ameliorated some of the more glaring defects of the system, but in no way have they led beyond it. In recent years they have not even kept up with its accelerating crises. The most significant improvements were in any case won only by long and often violent popular struggles that eventually forced the hands of the bureaucrats: the leftist parties and labor unions that pretended to lead those struggles have functioned primarily as safety valves, coopting radical tendencies and greasing the wheels of the social machine.

As the situationists have shown, the bureaucratization of radical movements, which has degraded people into followers constantly “betrayed” by their leaders, is linked to the increasing spectacularization of modern capitalist society, which has degraded people into spectators of a world over which they have no control — a development that has become increasingly glaring, though it is usually only superficially understood.

Taken together, all these considerations point to the conclusion that a liberated society can be created only by the active participation of the people as a whole, not by hierarchical organizations supposedly acting on their behalf. The point is not to choose more honest or “responsive” leaders, but to avoid granting independent power to any leaders whatsoever. Individuals or groups may initiate radical actions, but a substantial and rapidly expanding portion of the population must take part if a movement is to lead to a new society and not simply to a coup installing new rulers.

Representative democracy versus delegate democracy

I won’t repeat all the classic socialist and anarchist critiques of capitalism and the state; they are already widely known, or at least widely accessible. But in order to cut through some of the confusions of traditional political rhetoric, it may be helpful to summarize the basic types of social organization. For the sake of clarity, I will start out by examining the “political” and “economic” aspects separately, though they are obviously interlinked. It is as futile to try to equalize people’s economic conditions through a state bureaucracy as it is to try to democratize society while the power of money enables the wealthy few to control the institutions that determine people’s awareness of social realities. Since the system functions as a whole it can be fundamentally changed only as a whole.

To begin with the political aspect, roughly speaking we can distinguish five degrees of “government”:

(1) Unrestricted freedom (2) Direct democracy ____ a) consensus ____ b) majority rule (3) Delegate democracy (4) Representative democracy (5) Overt minority dictatorship

The present society oscillates between (4) and (5), i.e. between overt minority rule and covert minority rule camouflaged by a façade of token democracy. A liberated society would eliminate (4) and (5) and would progressively reduce the need for (2) and (3).

I’ll discuss the two types of (2) later on. But the crucial distinction is between (3) and (4).

In representative democracy people abdicate their power to elected officials. The candidates’ stated policies are limited to a few vague generalities, and once they are elected there is little control over their actual decisions on hundreds of issues — apart from the feeble threat of changing one’s vote, a few years later, to some equally uncontrollable rival politician. Representatives are dependent on the wealthy for bribes and campaign contributions; they are subordinate to the owners of the mass media, who decide which issues get the publicity; and they are almost as ignorant and powerless as the general public regarding many important matters that are determined by unelected bureaucrats and independent secret agencies. Overt dictators may sometimes be overthrown, but the real rulers in “democratic” regimes, the tiny minority who own or control virtually everything, are never voted in and never voted out. Most people don’t even know who they are.

In delegate democracy, delegates are elected for specific purposes with very specific limitations. They may be strictly mandated (ordered to vote in a certain way on a certain issue) or the mandate may be left open (delegates being free to vote as they think best) with the people who have elected them reserving the right to confirm or reject any decision thus taken. Delegates are generally elected for very short periods and are subject to recall at any time.

In the context of radical struggles, delegate assemblies have usually been termed “councils.” The council form was invented by striking workers during the 1905 Russian revolution (soviet is the Russian word for council). When soviets reappeared in 1917, they were successively supported, manipulated, dominated and coopted by the Bolsheviks, who soon succeeded in transforming them into parodies of themselves: rubber stamps of the “Soviet State” (the last surviving independent soviet, that of the Kronstadt sailors, was crushed in 1921). Councils have nevertheless continued to reappear spontaneously at the most radical moments in subsequent history, in Germany, Italy, Spain, Hungary and elsewhere, because they represent the obvious solution to the need for a practical form of nonhierarchical popular self-organization. And they continue to be opposed by all hierarchical organizations, because they threaten the rule of specialized elites by pointing to the possibility of a society of generalized self-management: not self-management of a few details of the present setup, but self-management extended to all regions of the globe and all aspects of life.

But as noted above, the question of democratic forms cannot be separated from their economic context.

Irrationalities of capitalism

Economic organization can be looked at from the angle of work:

(1) Totally voluntary (2) Cooperative (collective self-management) (3) Forced and exploitive ____ a) overt (slave labor) ____ b) disguised (wage labor)

And from the angle of distribution:

(1) True communism (totally free accessibility) (2) True socialism (collective ownership and regulation) (3) Capitalism (private and/or state ownership)

Though it’s possible for goods or services produced by wage labor to be given away, or for those produced by volunteer or cooperative labor to be turned into commodities for sale, for the most part these levels of work and distribution tend to correspond with each other. The present society is predominately (3): the forced production and consumption of commodities. A liberated society would eliminate (3) and as far as possible reduce (2) in favor of (1).

Capitalism is based on commodity production (production of goods for profit) and wage labor (labor power itself bought and sold as a commodity). As Marx pointed out, there is less difference between the slave and the “free” worker than appears. Slaves, though they seem to be paid nothing, are provided with the means of their survival and reproduction, for which workers (who become temporary slaves during their hours of labor) are compelled to pay most of their wages. The fact that some jobs are less unpleasant than others, and that individual workers have the nominal right to switch jobs, start their own business, buy stocks or win a lottery, disguises the fact that the vast majority of people are collectively enslaved.

How did we get in this absurd position? If we go back far enough, we find that at some point people were forcibly dispossessed: driven off the land and otherwise deprived of the means for producing the goods necessary for life. (The famous chapters on “primitive accumulation” in Capital vividly describe this process in England.) As long as people accept this dispossession as legitimate, they are forced into unequal bargains with the “owners” (those who have robbed them, or who have subsequently obtained titles of “ownership” from the original robbers) in which they exchange their labor for a fraction of what it actually produces, the surplus being retained by the owners. This surplus (capital) can then be reinvested in order to generate continually greater surpluses in the same way.

As for distribution, a public water fountain is a simple example of true communism (unlimited accessibility). A public library is an example of true socialism (free but regulated accessibility).

In a rational society, accessibility would depend on abundance. During a drought, water might have to be rationed. Conversely, once libraries are put entirely online they could become totally communistic: anyone could have free instant access to any number of texts with no more need to bother with checking out and returning, security against theft, etc.

But this rational relation is impeded by the persistence of separate economic interests. To take the latter example, it will soon be technically possible to create a global “library” in which every book ever written, every film ever made and every musical performance ever recorded could be put online, potentially enabling anyone to freely tap in and obtain a copy (no more need for stores, sales, advertising, packaging, shipping, etc.). But since this would also eliminate the profits from present-day publishing, recording and film businesses, far more energy is spent concocting complicated methods to prevent or charge for copying (while others devote corresponding energy devising ways to get around such methods) than on developing a technology that could potentially benefit everyone.

One of Marx’s merits was to have cut through the hollowness of political discourses based on abstract philosophical or ethical principles (“human nature” is such and such, all people have a “natural right” to this or that) by showing how social possibilities and social awareness are to a great degree limited and shaped by material conditions. Freedom in the abstract means little if almost everybody has to work all the time simply to assure their survival. It’s unrealistic to expect people to be generous and cooperative when there is barely enough to go around (leaving aside the drastically different conditions under which “primitive communism” flourished). But a sufficiently large surplus opens up wider possibilities. The hope of Marx and other revolutionaries of his time was based on the fact that the technological potentials developed by the Industrial Revolution had finally provided an adequate material basis for a classless society. It was no longer a matter of declaring that things “should” be different, but of pointing out that they could be different; that class domination was not only unjust, it was now unnecessary.

Was it ever really necessary? Was Marx right in seeing the development of capitalism and the state as inevitable stages, or might a liberated society have been possible without this painful detour? Fortunately, we no longer have to worry about this question. Whatever possibilities there may or may not have been in the past, present material conditions are more than sufficient to sustain a global classless society.

The most serious drawback of capitalism is not its quantitative unfairness — the mere fact that wealth is unequally distributed, that workers are not paid the full “value” of their labor. The problem is that this margin of exploitation (even if relatively small) makes possible the private accumulation of capital, which eventually reorients everything to its own ends, dominating and warping all aspects of life.

The more alienation the system produces, the more social energy must be diverted just to keep it going — more advertising to sell superfluous commodities, more ideologies to keep people bamboozled, more spectacles to keep them pacified, more police and more prisons to repress crime and rebellion, more arms to compete with rival states — all of which produces more frustrations and antagonisms, which must be repressed by more spectacles, more prisons, etc. As this vicious circle continues, real human needs are fulfilled only incidentally, if at all, while virtually all labor is channeled into absurd, redundant or destructive projects that serve no purpose except to maintain the system.

If this system were abolished and modern technological potentials were appropriately transformed and redirected, the labor necessary to meet real human needs would be reduced to such a trivial level that it could easily be taken care of voluntarily and cooperatively, without requiring economic incentives or state enforcement.

It’s not too hard to grasp the idea of superseding overt hierarchical power. Self-management can be seen as the fulfillment of the freedom and democracy that are the official values of Western societies. Despite people’s submissive conditioning, everyone has had moments when they rejected domination and began speaking or acting for themselves.

It’s much harder to grasp the idea of superseding the economic system. The domination of capital is more subtle and self-regulating. Questions of work, production, goods, services, exchange and coordination in the modern world seem so complicated that most people take for granted the necessity of money as a universal mediation, finding it difficult to imagine any change beyond apportioning money in some more equitable way.

For this reason I will postpone more extensive discussion of the economic aspects till later in this text, when it will be possible to go into more detail.

Some exemplary modern revolts

Is such a revolution likely? The odds are probably against it. The main problem is that there is not much time. In previous eras it was possible to imagine that, despite all humanity’s follies and disasters, we would somehow muddle through and perhaps eventually learn from past mistakes. But now that social policies and technological developments have irrevocable global ecological ramifications, blundering trial and error is not enough. We have only a few decades to turn things around. And as time passes, the task becomes more difficult: the fact that basic social problems are scarcely even faced, much less resolved, encourages increasingly desperate and delirious tendencies toward war, fascism, ethnic antagonism, religious fanaticism and other forms of mass irrationality, deflecting those who might potentially work toward a new society into merely defensive and ultimately futile holding actions.

But most revolutions have been preceded by periods when everyone scoffed at the idea that things could ever change. Despite the many discouraging trends in the world, there are also some encouraging signs, not least of which is the widespread disillusionment with previous false alternatives. Many popular revolts in this century have already moved spontaneously in the right direction. I am not referring to the “successful” revolutions, which are without exception frauds, but to less known, more radical efforts. Some of the most notable examples are Russia 1905, Germany 1918-19, Italy 1920, Asturias 1934, Spain 1936-37, Hungary 1956, France 1968, Czechoslovakia 1968, Portugal 1974-75 and Poland 1980-81; many other movements, from the Mexican revolution of 1910 to the recent anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, have also contained exemplary moments of popular experimentation before they were brought under bureaucratic control.

No one is in any position to dismiss the prospect of revolution who has not carefully examined these movements. To ignore them because of their “failure” is missing the point.(3) Modern revolution is all or nothing: individual revolts are bound to fail until an international chain reaction is triggered that spreads faster than repression can close in. It’s hardly surprising that these revolts did not go farther; what is inspiring is that they went as far as they did. A new revolutionary movement will undoubtedly take new and unpredictable forms; but these earlier efforts remain full of examples of what can be done, as well as of what must be avoided.

Some common objections

It’s often said that a stateless society might work if everyone were angels, but due to the perversity of human nature some hierarchy is necessary to keep people in line. It would be truer to say that if everyone were angels the present system might work tolerably well (bureaucrats would function honestly, capitalists would refrain from socially harmful ventures even if they were profitable). It is precisely because people are not angels that it’s necessary to eliminate the setup that enables some of them to become very efficient devils. Lock a hundred people in a small room with only one air hole and they will claw each other to death to get to it. Let them out and they may manifest a rather different nature. As one of the May 1968 graffiti put it, “Man is neither Rousseau’s noble savage nor the Church’s depraved sinner. He is violent when oppressed, gentle when free.”

Others contend that, whatever the ultimate causes may be, people are now so screwed up that they need to be psychologically or spiritually healed before they can even conceive of creating a liberated society. In his later years Wilhelm Reich came to feel that an “emotional plague” was so firmly embedded in the population that it would take generations of healthily raised children before people would become capable of a libertarian social transformation; and that meanwhile one should avoid confronting the system head-on since this would stir up a hornet’s nest of ignorant popular reaction.

Irrational popular tendencies do sometimes call for discretion. But powerful though they may be, they are not irresistible forces. They contain their own contradictions. Clinging to some absolute authority is not necessarily a sign of faith in authority; it may be a desperate attempt to overcome one’s increasing doubts (the convulsive tightening of a slipping grip). People who join gangs or reactionary groups, or who get caught up in religious cults or patriotic hysteria, are also seeking a sense of liberation, connection, purpose, participation, empowerment. As Reich himself showed, fascism gives a particularly vigorous and dramatic expression to these basic aspirations, which is why it often has a deeper appeal than the vacillations, compromises and hypocrisies of liberalism and leftism.

In the long run the only way to defeat reaction is to present more forthright expressions of these aspirations, and more authentic opportunities to fulfill them. When basic issues are forced into the open, irrationalities that flourished under the cover of psychological repression tend to be weakened, like disease germs exposed to sunlight and fresh air. In any case, even if we don’t prevail, there is at least some satisfaction in fighting for what we really believe, rather than being defeated in a posture of hesitancy and hypocrisy.

There are limits on how far one can liberate oneself (or raise liberated children) within a sick society. But if Reich was right to note that psychologically repressed people are less capable of envisioning social liberation, he failed to realize how much the process of social revolt can be psychologically liberating. (French psychiatrists are said to have complained about a significant drop in the number of their customers in the aftermath of May 1968!)

The notion of total democracy raises the specter of a “tyranny of the majority.” Majorities can be ignorant and bigoted, there’s no getting around it. The only real solution is to confront and attempt to overcome that ignorance and bigotry. Keeping the masses in the dark (relying on liberal judges to protect civil liberties or liberal legislators to sneak through progressive reforms) only leads to popular backlashes when sensitive issues eventually do come to the surface.

Examined more closely, however, most instances of majority oppression of minorities turn out to be due not to majority rule, but to disguised minority rule in which the ruling elite plays on whatever racial or cultural antagonisms there may be in order to turn the exploited masses’ frustrations against each other. When people get real power over their own lives they will have more interesting things to do than to persecute minorities.

So many potential abuses or disasters are evoked at any suggestion of a nonhierarchical society that it would be impossible to answer them all. People who resignedly accept a system that condemns millions of their fellow human beings to death every year in wars and famines, and millions of others to prison and torture, suddenly let their imagination and their indignation run wild at the thought that in a self-managed society there might be some abuses, some violence or coercion or injustice, or even merely some temporary inconvenience. They forget that it is not up to a new social system to solve all our problems; it merely has to deal with them better than the present system does — not a very big order.

If history followed the complacent opinions of official commentators, there would never have been any revolutions. In any given situation there are always plenty of ideologists ready to declare that no radical change is possible. If the economy is functioning well, they will claim that revolution depends on economic crises; if there is an economic crisis, others will just as confidently declare that revolution is impossible because people are too busy worrying about making ends meet. The former types, surprised by the May 1968 revolt, tried to retrospectively uncover the invisible crisis that their ideology insists must have been there. The latter contend that the situationist perspective has been refuted by the worsened economic conditions since that time.

Actually, the situationists simply noted that the widespread achievement of capitalist abundance had demonstrated that guaranteed survival was no substitute for real life. The periodic ups and downs of the economy have no bearing on that conclusion. The fact that a few people at the top have recently managed to siphon off a yet larger portion of the social wealth, driving increasing numbers of people into the streets and terrorizing the rest of the population lest they succumb to the same fate, makes the feasibility of a postscarcity society less evident; but the material prerequisites are still present.

The economic crises held up as evidence that we need to “lower our expectations” are actually caused by over-production and lack of work. The ultimate absurdity of the present system is that unemployment is seen as a problem, with potentially labor-saving technologies being directed toward creating new jobs to replace the old ones they render unnecessary. The problem is not that so many people don’t have jobs, but that so many people still do. We need to raise our expectations, not lower them.(4)

Increasing dominance of the spectacle

Far more serious than this spectacle of our supposed powerlessness in the face of the economy is the greatly increased power of the spectacle itself, which in recent years has developed to the point of repressing virtually any awareness of pre-spectacle history or anti-spectacle possibilities. Debord’s Comments on the Society of the Spectacle (1988) goes into this new development in detail:

In all that has happened over the last twenty years, the most important change lies in the very continuity of the spectacle. What is significant is not the refinements of the spectacle’s media instrumentation, which had already attained a highly advanced stage of development; it is quite simply that spectacular domination has succeeded in raising an entire generation molded to its laws. . . . Spectacular domination’s first priority was to eradicate historical knowledge in general, beginning with virtually all information and rational commentary on the most recent past. . . . The spectacle makes sure that people are unaware of what is happening, or at least that they quickly forget whatever they may have become aware of. The more important something is, the more it is hidden. Nothing in the last twenty years has been so thoroughly shrouded with official lies as May 1968. . . . The flow of images carries everything before it, and it is always someone else who controls this simplified digest of the perceptible world, who decides where the flow will lead, who programs the rhythm of what is shown into an endless series of arbitrary surprises that leaves no time for reflection . . . . isolating whatever is presented from its context, its past, its intentions and its consequences. . . . It is thus hardly surprising that children are now starting their education with an enthusiastic introduction to the Absolute Knowledge of computer language while becoming increasingly incapable of reading. Because reading requires making judgments at every line; and since conversation is almost dead (as will soon be most of those who knew how to converse) reading is the only remaining gateway to the vast realms of pre-spectacle human experience.

In the present text I have tried to recapitulate some basic points that have been buried under this intensive spectacular repression. If these matters seem banal to some or obscure to others, they may at least serve to recall what once was possible, in those primitive times a few decades ago when people had the quaint, old-fashioned notion that they could understand and affect their own history.

While there is no question that things have changed considerably since the sixties (mostly for the worse), our situation may not be quite as hopeless as it seems to those who swallow whatever the spectacle feeds them. Sometimes it only takes a little jolt to break through the stupor.

Even if we have no guarantee of ultimate victory, such breakthroughs are already a pleasure. Is there any greater game around?


[FOOTNOTES]

1. Ken Knabb (ed. and trans.), Situationist International Anthology (Bureau of Public Secrets, 1981), p. 81 [Revised Edition pp. 106-107] [Geopolitics of Hibernation]. Here and elsewhere I have sometimes slightly modified my original SI Anthology translations.

2. See Maurice Brinton’s The Bolsheviks and Workers’ Control: 1917-1921, Voline’s The Unknown Revolution, Ida Mett’s The Kronstadt Uprising, Paul Avrich’s Kronstadt 1921, Peter Arshinov’s History of the Makhnovist Movement, and Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle §§98-113. (These and most of the other texts cited in this book can be obtained through the distributors listed at the end of the Situationist Bibliography.)

3. “The journalists’ and governments’ superficial references to the ‘success’ or ‘failure’ of a revolution mean nothing for the simple reason that since the bourgeois revolutions no revolution has yet succeeded: not one has abolished classes. Proletarian revolution has so far not been victorious anywhere, but the practical process through which its project manifests itself has already created at least ten revolutionary moments of historic importance that can appropriately be termed revolutions. In none of these moments was the total content of proletarian revolution fully developed; but in each case there was a fundamental interruption of the ruling socioeconomic order and the appearance of new forms and conceptions of real life: variegated phenomena that can be understood and evaluated only in their overall significance, including their potential future significance. . . . The revolution of 1905 did not bring down the Czarist regime, it only obtained a few temporary concessions from it. The Spanish revolution of 1936 did not formally suppress the existing political power: it arose, in fact, out of a proletarian uprising initiated in order to defend that Republic against Franco. And the Hungarian revolution of 1956 did not abolish Nagy’s liberal-bureaucratic government. Among other regrettable limitations, the Hungarian movement had many aspects of a national uprising against foreign domination; and this national-resistance aspect also played a certain, though less important, role in the origin of the Paris Commune. The Commune supplanted Thiers’s power only within the limits of Paris. And the St. Petersburg Soviet of 1905 never even took control of the capital. All the crises cited here as examples, though deficient in their practical achievements and even in their perspectives, nevertheless produced enough radical innovations and put their societies severely enough in check to be legitimately termed revolutions.” (SI Anthology, pp. 235-236 [Revised Edition pp. 301-302] [Beginning of an Era].)

4. “We’re not interested in hearing about the exploiters’ economic problems. If the capitalist economy is not capable of fulfilling workers’ demands, that is simply one more reason to struggle for a new society, one in which we ourselves have the decisionmaking power over the whole economy and all social life.” (Portuguese airline workers, 27 October 1974.)


End of Chapter 1 of “The Joy of Revolution,” from Public Secrets: Collected Skirmishes of Ken Knabb (1997).

Chapter 2: Foreplay
Personal breakthroughs. Critical interventions Theory versus ideology Avoiding false choices and elucidating real ones. The insurrectionary style. Radical film. Oppressionism versus playfulness. The Strasbourg scandal. The poverty of electoral politics. Reforms and alternative institutions. Political correctness, or equal opportunity alienation. Drawbacks of moralism and simplistic extremism. Advantages of boldness. Advantages and limits of nonviolence.
Chapter 3: Climaxes
Causes of social breakthroughs. Postwar upheavals. Effervescence of radical situations. Popular self-organization. The situationists in May 1968. Workerism is obsolete, but workers’ position remains pivotal. Wildcats and sitdowns. Consumer strikes. What could have happened in May 1968. Methods of confusion and cooption. Terrorism reinforces the state. The ultimate showdown. Internationalism.
Chapter 4: Rebirth
Utopians fail to envision postrevolutionary diversity. Decentralization and coordination. Safeguards against abuses. Consensus, majority rule and unavoidable hierarchies. Eliminating the roots of war and crime. Abolishing money. Absurdity of most present-day labor. Transforming work into play. Technophobic objections. Ecological issues. The blossoming of free communities. More interesting problems.

Udderly Ridiculous

From: http://www.grist.org

U.S. EPA proposes easing reporting requirements for factory farms Posted at 3:28 PM on 21 Dec 2007 The U.S. EPA has proposed a "better approach" to making factory farms report their levels of air-polluting emissions -- don't make 'em report them at all! Under a proposal put forth today, commercial livestock operations would not have to report hazardous chemical pollution if the source was animal waste. The rule change, which would exempt Big Ag from three separate laws, would "reduce the burden on the regulated community of complying with ... reporting requirements," says the EPA. Oh, the poor burdened agriculture industry! "Residents have a right to know when these factory farms spew health-threatening air pollution in their area," says Ed Hopkins of the Sierra Club. "EPA should seriously reconsider its proposal and perhaps give some thought to the purpose of these laws, which is to protect public health, not corporate interests."

Tomgram: Rebecca Solnit on Hope in Print

[Thanks to Star Vox for this wonderful link]

From: http://www.tomdispatch.com I first met Rebecca Solnit on-line. She sent an essay in to Tomdispatch in 2003, not long after the invasion of Iraq began, just as so many who had demonstrated against the onrushing war were packing their bags and heading home in despair. It was called Acts of Hope: Challenging Empire on the World Stage, and, soon enough, it would expand into a little gem of a book -- one that changed the way I looked at the world -- Hope in the Dark, Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities.

Consider that work the secret thirteenth companion to Solnit's 12 book choices below -- her "secret library of hope" -- which offer a reader encouragment not to curl up in despair when faced with a grim world. And here's a bit of small-scale synergy that brightens my own life. My favorite bookstore on the planet, City Lights in San Francisco, is putting up a "Secret Library of Hope" window display of Solnit's suggestions, with most of the books specially stickered and available inside (along with this essay).

As someone who regularly wears a "City Lights Books" baseball cap in New York City, I can hardly imagine a more enjoyable response to a Tomdispatch post -- except for your e-letters which pour in regularly. I always read them and I try my best to answer, when I'm not swept away. I've taken to calling them "the university of my later years." So let me offer Tomdispatch readers a small thank-you for every one of those letters, for all the support, encouragement, and criticism you've offered this year, for the tips on articles or books I might have missed, for the descriptions of lives I'd otherwise never know about and places I'll never get to, for the just-after-publication catching of mistakes and errors, for passing Tomdispatch posts on to friends, colleagues, and those who disagree, for every small act you've taken to mitigate the damage being done on, and to, this planet, for every small space for hope you've created in me. Tom

The Secret Library of Hope

12 Books to Stiffen Your Resolve By Rebecca Solnit

Hope is an orientation, a way of scanning the wall for cracks -- or building ladders -- rather than staring at its obdurate expanse. It's a worldview, but one informed by experience and the knowledge that people have power; that the power people possess matters; that change has been made by populist movements and dedicated individuals in the past; and that it will be again.

Dissent in this country has become largely a culture of diagnosis rather than prescription, of describing what is wrong with them, rather than what is possible for us. But even in English, a robust minority tradition can be found. There are a handful of books that I think of as "the secret library of hope." None of them deny the awful things going on, but they approach them as if the future is still open to intervention rather than an inevitability. In describing how the world actually gets changed, they give us the tools to change it again.

Here, then, are some of the regulars in my secret political library of hope, along with some new candidates:

Monks, Slaves, Prisoners and the Power from Beneath

When the monks of Burma/Myanmar led an insurrection in September simply by walking through the streets of their cities in their deep-red robes, accompanied by ever more members of civil society, the military junta which had run that country for more than four decades responded with violence. That's one measure of how powerful and threatening the insurrection was. (That totalitarian regimes tend to ban gatherings of more than a few people is the best confirmation of the strength that exists in unarmed numbers of us.)

After the crackdown, after the visually stunning, deeply inspiring walks came to a bloody end, quite a lot of mainstream politicians and pundits pronounced the insurrection dead, violence triumphant -- as though this play had just one act, as though its protagonists were naïve and weak-willed. I knew they were wrong, but the argument I rested on wasn't my own: I went back to Jonathan Schell's The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People, by far the most original and ambitious of the many histories of nonviolence to appear in recent years.

When it came out as the current war began in the spring of 2003, the book was mocked for its dismissal of the effectiveness of violence, but Schell's explanation of how superior military power failed abysmally in Vietnam was a prophesy waiting to be fulfilled in Iraq. Schell himself is much taken with the philosopher Hannah Arendt, whom he quotes saying, in 1969:

"To substitute violence for power can bring victory, but the price is very high; for it is not only paid by the vanquished, it is also paid by the victor in terms of his own power."

I hope that his equally trenchant explanation of the power of nonviolence is fulfilled in Burma. Schell has been a diligent historian and philosopher of nuclear weapons since his 1982 bestseller The Fate of the Earth, but this book traces the rise of nonviolence as the other half of the history of the violent twentieth century.

That's what books in a library of hope consist of -- not a denial of the horrors of recent history, but an exploration of the other tendencies, avenues, and achievements that are too often overlooked. After all, to return to Burma, much has already changed there since September: Burma's greatest supporter, China, has been forced to denounce the crackdown and may be vulnerable to more pre-Olympics pressure on the subject; India has declared a moratorium on selling arms to the country; a number of companies have withdrawn from doing business there; and the U.S. Congress just unanimously passed a bill, HR 3890, to increase sanctions, freeze the junta's assets in U.S. institutions, and close a loophole that allowed Chevron to profit spectacularly from its business in Burma.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was elected as Burma's head of state in 1990 and has, ever since, been under house arrest or otherwise restricted. She nonetheless remains the leader of, as well as a wise, gentle, fearless voice for, that country's opposition. Since the uprising, her silencing has begun to dissolve amid meetings with a UN envoy and members of her own political party; some believe she may be on her way to being freed. The Burmese people were hit with hideous, pervasive violence, but they have not surrendered: small acts of resistance and large plans for liberation continue.

The best argument for hope is how easy it ought to be for the rest of us to raise its banner, when we look at who has carried it through unimaginably harsh conditions: Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom recounts his unflagging dedication to his country's liberation (imperfect though it may still be); Rigoberta Menchu dodged death squads to become a champion of indigenous rights, a Nobel laureate, and a recent presidential candidate in Guatemala; Oscar Oliveira proved that a bunch of poor people in Bolivia can beat Bechtel Corporation largely by nonviolent means, as he recounts in !Cochabamba!; and Nobel Laureate and Burmese national icon Aung San Suu Kyi radiates -- even from the page -- an extraordinary calm and patience, perhaps the result of her decades of Buddhist practice. She remarks, toward the end of The Voice of Hope, a collection of conversations with her about Burma, Buddhism, politics, and her own situation, "Yes I do have hope because I'm working. I'm doing my bit to try to make the world a better place, so I naturally have hope for it. But obviously, those who are doing nothing to improve the world have no hope for it."

For a book about those who did their bit beautifully long ago, don't miss Adam Hochschild's gripping Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves. It begins with a handful of London Quakers who decided in the 1780s to abolish the institution of slavery in the British Empire and then, step by unpredictable step, did just that. It's an exhilarating book simply as the history of a movement from beginning to end, and so suggests how many other remarkable movements await their historian; others, from the women's movement to rights for queers to many environmental struggles, still await their completion. If only people carried, as part of their standard equipment, a sense of the often-incremental, unpredictable ways in which change is wrought and the powers that civil society actually possesses, they might go forward more confidently to wrestle with the wrongs of our time, seeing that we have already won many times before.

Indians, Environmentalists, and Utopians

One spectacular book along these lines already exists: Charles Wilkinson's Blood Struggle: The Rise of Modern Indian Nations. For us non-native people, Native Americans became far more visible during the huge public debates around the meaning of the Quincentennial of 1992 -- the 500th anniversary of Columbus's arrival in this hemisphere. They reframed the history of the Americas as one of invasion and genocide, rather than discovery and development. But the story was not a defeatist one; simply in being able to tell their own stories and reshape their histories, native people of the Americas demonstrated that they were neither wholly conquered, nor eradicated; and, since then, the history of the two continents has been radically revised and indigenous peoples have won back important rights from Bolivia to Canada.

In the United States that reclaiming of power, pride, land, rights, and representation began far earlier, as Wilkinson's book relates. A law professor and lawyer who has worked on land and treaty-rights issues with many tribes, he begins his story of ascendancy with the 1953 decision by the U.S. government to "terminate" the tribal identities, organizations, and rights of Native Americans and push them to melt into the general population. This represented an aggressive attempt at erasure of the many distinct peoples of this continent and their heritage. Told to disappear, "Indian leaders responded and by the mid-1960s had set daunting goals… at once achieve economic progress and preserve ancient traditions in a technological age…. Against all odds, over the course of two generations, Indian leaders achieved their objectives to a stunning degree."

Wilkinson's monumental history of the past half-century concludes:

"By the turn of this century Indian tribes had put in place much of the ambitious agenda that tribal leaders advanced in the 1950s and 1960s. They stopped termination and replaced it with self-determination. They ousted the BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs] as the reservation government and installed their own sovereign legislatures, courts, and administrative agencies. They enforced the treaties of old and, with them, the fishing, hunting and water rights. Nowhere have these changes been absolute and pure. In most cases the advances represent works in progress, but they have been deep and real."

Late this November, Canada set aside 25 million acres of boreal forest as a preserve to be managed, in part, by the Native peoples of the region, a huge environmental victory for the largest remaining forest on Earth -- and for all of us. How did it happen?

I am still looking for an environmental history with the strength and focus of Blood Struggle or Bury the Chains. An exhilarating 2006 article in Orion magazine by Ted Nace describes how a bunch of North Dakota farmers killed off Monsanto's plans to promote the growing of genetically altered wheat worldwide. The essay concludes:

"On May 10, 2004, Monsanto bowed to the prevailing political sentiment. It issued a curt press release announcing the withdrawal of all its pending regulatory applications for [its genetically altered] Roundup Ready wheat and the shifting of research priorities to other crops."

We need books on victories like this, books that tell us how this dam was defeated, this river brought back from being a sewer, that toxin banned, that species rebounded, that land preserved.

In fact, a broader history with some of those threads did appear this year, geographer Richard Walker's The Country in the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area. It describes generations of struggle to preserve something of the richness of this extraordinarily diverse region by defeating some of the most awful proposals most of us have never heard of -- to, for example, completely fill in the San Francisco Bay -- back in an era when water and wetlands were just real estate waiting to happen.

The book does justice to a whole unexpected category of unsung heroines -- the often-subversive affluent ladies who have done so much for the environment and the community -- then moves on to document the emerging environmental justice movement that took on toxins, polluters, and the overlooked question of what ecology really means for the inner city. It's a great, hopeful history of a region that has long created environmental templates and momentum for the rest of the nation -- and Walker makes it clear that this trend was not inevitable, but the result of hard work by stubborn visionaries and organizers.

A decade ago, Alan Weisman wrote a profile of a town in the inhospitable savannah of eastern Colombia, a miraculous community in which that unfortunate nation's turmoil and our age's environmental destruction was replaced by a green, utopian approach that involved reinventing the roles of both technology and community. It worked, though Weisman ended his 1997 book, Gaviotas: A Village to Reinvent the World, on a prophetic note of caution:

"[The] fading of the Cold War has revealed clearly that a far more incandescent and protracted battle -- a potentially apocalyptic resource war -- has been stealthily gathering intensity throughout the latter part of the twentieth century…. Yet a place like Gaviotas bears witness to our ability to get it right, even under seemingly insurmountable circumstances."

Weisman's deservedly successful 2007 bestseller, The World Without Us, takes an extreme approach to getting it right, by showing how the planet might -- in part -- regenerate itself if we were to go away, all of us, for good. The chapters on nuclear waste and plastic are dauntingly grim, but the descriptions of New York City reverting to nature go two steps past Mike Davis's Dead Cities in praise of entropy, weeds, and the power of natural processes to take back much of the Earth as soon as we let go.

While Gaviotas stands out as a rare, realized utopia, our choices among the unrealized ones -- except as literature -- are legion. In 2007, I finally got around to reading what has already become my favorite utopian novel: William Morris' News from Nowhere. Best known during his life as a poet, Morris is, unfortunately, now mostly remembered for his wallpaper. He designed it as part of his lifelong endeavor to literally craft an alternative to the brutality and ugliness of the industrial revolution through the artisanal production of furniture, textiles, and books -- all as models of what work and its fruits could be.

That attempt had its political and literary faces, which is to say that Morris was also a prolific writer and an ardent revolutionary. He was more anarchist than socialist, as well as an antiquarian, a translator of Icelandic sagas, and so much more. News from Nowhere, published in 1890, portrays his ideal London in the far-distant future of 2102, a century and a half after "the revolution of 1952."

It's a bioregional and anarchic paradise: The economy is localized, work is voluntary, money is nonexistent and so is hunger, deprivation, and prison. The industrial filth of London has vanished, and the river and city are beautiful again. (They were far filthier in Morris' time, when every home burned coal, while sewage and industrial effluents flowed unfiltered into the Thames.)

Most utopias, of course, aren't places you'd actually want to live. Admittedly, Morris' is a little bland and mild, as life on earth without evil and struggle must be. But his utopia is prophetic, not dated, close to many modern visions of decentralized, localized power, culture, and everyday life. It is, in short, an old map for a new world being born in experiments around the globe.

Dreams on the Southern Horizon

Morris provided the name for the present-day News from Nowhere Collective, a group that has edited one of the more rambunctious handbooks for activists in recent times, We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anticapitalism. A visually delicious, horizontally formatted little chunk of a book, it features a lot of photographs, a running timeline of radical victories in our era, and short, punchy essays from people immersed in changing the world all over that world (from Quebec and Nigeria to Bolivia and Poland). Playful, subversive, and far-reaching, the book -- even four years after its publication -- demonstrates the scope of constructive change and activism around the planet.

There are other such handbooks, including my brother David's Globalize Liberation: How to Uproot the System and Build a Better World, out from City Lights Books a few years ago. It was in the course of editing some of the essays in that book that I discovered the beautiful, hopeful voice of Marina Sitrin, a sociologist, human rights lawyer, and activist who has spent a great deal of time among the utopian social movements of Argentina. Her encounters become ours in her new book Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina.

That country's sudden economic collapse and political turmoil in December of 2001 was largely overlooked here, but the crisis begat an extraordinary grassroots response -- about as far from shock and paralysis as you can imagine. Neighborhoods gathered in popular assemblies to protest the political structure, and then stayed together to feed each other during the fiscal crisis; factory workers took over shuttered factories and ran them as cooperatives; the poor organized and mobilized; but more than these concrete actions, Argentinean society itself changed.

People began to talk across old divides and create new words for what mattered now -- none more valuable than horizontalidad, which Sitrin translates as "horizontalism," a direct and radically egalitarian participatory democracy, and politica afectiva, the politics of affection, or love. The 2001 crisis was soon transformed into an opportunity to overcome the legacy of the terrifying years of the Argentinean military dictatorship, to step out of the isolation and disengagement that fear had produced, to reclaim power and reinvent social ties. With this, Argentina moved a little further away from hell and a little closer to utopia.

It's not a coincidence that Weisman's Gaviotas is in South America (though it is a surprise that it's in Colombia). After all, the most powerful voice coming from the Spanish-speaking majority of the Americas is that of the Zapatistas, and Our Word Is Our Weapon: Selected Writings of Subcommandante Insurgente Marcos, edited by Juana Ponce de Leon, is still the best English-language introduction to that indigenous movement's non-indigenous spokesman and raconteur Subcommandante Marcos. Via his poetic, playful, subversive, and ferociously hopeful manifestoes, tirades, allegories, and pranks, he has reinvented the language of politics, pushing off the drab shore of bureaucracy and cliché, sailing toward something rich and strange.

Ponce De Leon's book, however, only covers the first several years of Marcos's contributions. City Lights recently brought out his The Speed of Dreams: Selected Writings 2001-2007. On page 102, he advises an indigenous audience: "It is the hour of the word. So then, put the machete away, and continue to hone hope." By page 349, he's quoting a possibly fictional elderly couple in San Miguel Tzinacapan, who say, "The world is the size of our effort to change it."

Not that all resistance, all hope, comes from the south. It can be found everywhere, or at least on many edges, margins, and in many overlooked zones -- and one of the most exhilarating histories of it is The Many Headed-Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic by Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker. Their book traces a plethora of acts of resistance to capitalism, exploitation, authoritarianism and the generally sorry lot meted out to the poor in the eighteenth century. That resistance was exuberant, inventive, and occasionally ferocious, and it found its own utopias. The book begins with a 1609 shipwreck in Bermuda, in which the shipwrecked sailors and passengers begin to form their own convivial utopia that the Virginia Company forcibly disbanded. The Many Headed Hydra covers some of the same ground -- and ocean routes -- as Hochschild's book, and they make good joint reading.

I wish Linebaugh's The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All was out in time for this list, but look for it in February. (I read it in manuscript for the University of California Press, loved it, and learned a lot from it.) Beginning with Bush's breach not just of the Constitution, but of Magna Carta's grant of habeas corpus, Linebaugh returns to that moment at Runnymede when King John was forced to concede rights to England's citizens. Linking that despot to the one in the White House, he ventures back and forth between the two times to explore the once evolving -- and now revolving or maybe even regressing -- territory of rights and liberties.

The Climate of Change

One thing becoming increasingly clear in this millennium: Human rights and the environment are all tangled up with each other -- and not only in environmental injustice hotspots like Louisiana's Cancer Alley or oily places like Nigeria. Democracy and an empowered citizenry are the best tools we have to make progress on climate change in this country. The issue of climate change may be global, but in the U.S. a lot of the measures that matter are being enacted on the local level by cities, towns, regions, and states. Together, they have pushed far ahead of the recalcitrant federal government in trying to take concrete measures that could make a difference. Global measures matter, but so do local ones: The change here is likely to come as much from the bottom up as the top down.

One common response to climate change is to try to limit your own impact -- by consuming less. An issue, for instance, that's front and center in Britain but hardly on the table in the U.S., is taking fewer airplane trips. (The state of California, however, did recently start looking into ways to regulate and reduce airplane carbon emissions.) So there's personal virtue, which matters. Then there's agitating and organizing like crazy, which might matter more. Certainly, Bill McKibben makes a rousing case for it in his introduction to Ignition: What You Can Do to Fight Global Warming and Spark a Movement. The book, edited by Jonathan Isham and Sissel Waage, covers a lot of ground when it comes to how policy gets made and how to make it yourself, as does McKibben's own Fight Global Warming Now: The Handbook for Taking Action in Your Community.

Maybe the best news of 2007 is that we're finally doing something about the worst news ever: that we've royally screwed up the climate of this planet. After all, the rest of that news is: We still have a chance to mitigate how haywire everything goes, even though no one is yet talking about what a world of low to zero carbon emissions would look like.

Maybe one thing we really need (just to be a little more visionary and less grim about the subject) is a modern version of News from Nowhere portraying what a good life involving only a small carbon footprint might mean -- most likely a more localized, less consuming life with some cool technological innovations, including many we already have (some of which are described in Weisman's Gaviotas). In ceasing the scramble for things, there would be real gains; we'd gain back time for sitting around talking at leisure about politics and the neighbors, for wandering around on foot -- and for reading. But you don't have to wait for everything to change: change it yourself by seizing these pleasures now.

Rebecca Solnit blurbed a lot of books this year, wrote the foreword for Marisa Handler's Loyal to the Sky, and provided editorial services on another book of her brother's, this time with conscientious objector Aimee Allison: the counter-recruitment manual Army of None. Her own book for 2007 is Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics, a collection of 36 essays including several that first appeared as Tomdispatches. She is the author of Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities.

Rebecca Solnit's Secret Library of Hope:

Jonathan Schell, The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People; Aung San Suu Kyi, The Voice of Hope; Adam Hochschild, Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves; Charles Wilkinson, Blood Struggle: The Rise of Modern Indian Nations; Richard Walker, The Country in the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area; Alan Weisman, The World Without Us William Morris, News from Nowhere; News from Nowhere Collective, We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anticapitalism; Marina Sitrin, Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina; Subcommandante Insurgente Marcos, The Speed of Dreams: Selected Writings 2001-2007; Peter Linebaugh, The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All; Jonathan Isham and Sissel Waage, editors (introduction Bill McKibben), Ignition: What You Can Do to Fight Global Warming and Spark a Movement.

Copyright 2007 Rebecca Solnit


Monday, December 24, 2007

Lakota Free State

From: http://revolutionaryenvironmentalism.blogspot.com I have not had the time to update lately, as I have been busy engaging in debaucheries activity here in Vegas. That and there is not free Internet anywhere in this damned town. To make up for that, I wanted to put up a recent news article that I have not heard too much about in the presses.

Sometime last week, a small group of Lakota Sioux Indians withdrew from all treaties and declared their land an independent autonomous zone. The actor, libertarian politicians, and Indian rights activist Russell Means stated that, "we are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us." The newly free Sioux country plans on printing its own currency, passports, and driver licenses all while remaining tax-free for all who renounce their United States Citizenship for the newly created Sioux Nations. Though the actions of Russell Means, a libertarian who has ran on the Republican ticket for Vice-President, and the small group of Sioux appears to be more of a media action than an actual threat to US power but it does bring up the importance of Dual Power in radical activism. Dual Power, is a Leninist phrase that is the revolutionary creation of counter-institutions within a state. The goal of duel power is to provide alternative institutions that undermine the state by questioning the states sovereignty over police and welfare actions. The anarchist federation, Love and Rage, first incorporated dual power into American anarchist politics during the early 1990s. The group, attempted to posit dual power as being the central component of a revolutionary politics; taking from the Zapatista's the lesson that dual power organizing can threaten the state while revolutionaries engage in a protracted war against the state. What does this mean in relation to the Lakota Sioux? In my opinion, the Sioux action has the potential to invigorate the importance of dual power within the Anarchist milieu for the first time since Love and Rage and also provides the first opportunity, since the height of the AIM movement in the 1970s, to provide the indigenous community of the US with community control. I personally see dual power to be an important part of Anarchist politics as it provides a much-needed space to create revolution spaces and allows for experimentation. As activists we can try different programs and engage in different tactics and see what works. It also allows for us, as a community, to set up community run programs organized to provide mutual aid, all while weakening the dependence of people on the state and empowering people to take their lives into their own hands. I personally, hold very little hope for this action. It is not because the Sioux cannot take care of themselves, it is more along the line that I do not trust Russell Means to provide any radical or revolutionary inspiration for the movement. This, if anything, appears to be a more legitimate and inspirational version of the Patriot Movement throughout the West. I hope that I am wrong and that the newly freed spaces do more for the people who live there and do more for the radical movement in the US more generally, I just do not see that happening. So Sioux nation prove me wrong!


New Energy Bill- Working People will Pay, by Stewart A. Alexander

Stewart A. Alexander Socialist Party USA Nominee for Vice President and candidate for nomination by Peace and Freedom Party December 23, 2007 The new energy bill, approved by the U.S. Congress, will drastically increase the profits of the petroleum and ethanol producers over the next decade; the energy bill will also increase the cost of food, fuel, consumer goods and transportation. Over the next 15 years, the bill will cost working class people trillions of dollars while making the billionaires richer worldwide. This energy bill, which was signed by President Bush, will require automobile manufacturers to increase the fuel efficiency of cars, SUVs and small trucks by 40 percent by the year 2020. This mandate will require automobile manufacturers to spend billions to design and build new products in an automobile market that is presently in the worst slump since the Great Depression. The bill requires cars, small trucks and SUVs to maintain fuel efficiency of 35 miles per gallon. Some members of Congress suggest this will eventually save motorist $700 to $1,000 in fuel cost. Unfortunately, with higher petroleum and ethanol production cost, working class people will eventually pay $800 to $1,400 more for fuel and even a greater amount in the long term. America's trucking industry will also take a big hit with the higher fuel costs. Due to the oil refinery process and the cost of research and development of new technologies, there will be increased cost for all fuels which the nation's truckers and trucking companies will be forced to pass onto consumers. Presently diesel fuel has stayed above $3.00 a gallon; however, the new government requirements will more than double the price of all grades within the next 3-5 years due to the future increase energy production cost. The production levels of ethanol are currently at 6 billion gallons annually; to meet the new federal standard, the ethanol industry will be required to produce 36 billion gallons a year by 2022. Congress has set this standard for increased production by relying on science and technology that is still in the development stages. The requirements outlined in the bill will result in spiked food prices due to the increased demand for the corn needed to produce ethanol. Food prices will likely increase 15 to 25 percent within the next three years when corn production levels increase to meet short term federal requirements to produce ethanol. With this bill, the Democrats, Republicans and Bush have given their ethanol and petroleum friends $100s of billions in profits that will be paid by working class people over the next 15 years. The bill falls extremely short in solving the nations energy needs and will only increase the wealth of the billionaires. There are presently enough oil reserves worldwide to last until the end of this century, at the present rate of consumption and presently there are no shortages in world supplies. What has become urgent is the need to develop cleaner technologies to protect the environment, to reduce our dependency on oil and to help prevent global warming. Socialists everywhere reject this energy bill because it will drastically increase the cost of living for all working class people. The bill will do nothing to address the nation's energy crisis and there is no strong emphasis on public transportation. Socialist Party USA and Peace and Freedom Party have continuously promoted conservation and the need for the development of solar and other renewable energy to replace nuclear power and fossil fuels. The two socialist parties also support the development of public transportation, light rail and high speed rail systems that will make public commuting much more affordable. Both parties agree that solving the nation's transportation needs and using clean technologies, offer an opportunity to provide socially useful jobs to 10s of millions of working class people. The Democrats and Republicans have made it clear that they are the corporate parties and they only represent the interests of the capitalists and the billionaires. The new energy bill is another long term payment plan that will be required of working class people while the billionaires continue to collect. For more information search the Web for: Stewart A. Alexander; Independent Voters Rejecting Democrats and Republicans. http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=39173 http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/04/27/18184851.php http://StewartAlexanderCares.com http://www.vote-socialist.org/ http://peaceandfreedom-sjv.org/home/ http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com/pres08.htm http://www.politics1.com/p2008.htm

homepage: homepage: http://StewartAlexanderCares.com


Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Pleiadians Speak

Pleiadians are from a star system called Pleiades. This star system is a small cluster of seven stars located in the Constellation of Taurus the Bull; it is 500 light years from planet Earth. They are a humanoid race who visits Earth often and whom we share a common ancestry. The Lyrans from Lyra are our common ancestors.

The Pleiadians

Awakening by Barbara Marciniak

Good evening. We are your ancient family. We come from the star system The Pleiades. We know ourselves as The Pleiadians and we, eons ago, millions of years ago, were your relatives.

When your Earth sphere, Terra, was being formed, there were many who expressed an interest to be pioneers and to go to a new area to learn to experience, to formulate, to create. That was the opportunity and many of our dearly beloved Pleiadians signed on.

The Pleiadian culture is ancient. [It] was seeded from another universe, a universe of love, a universe that moved back to All That Is. The Pleiadians seeded the Pleiadian star system within this universe before the Earth's sphere transfer became available. We formed a tremendous society. We operate with love. We operate with ideas and ideals that you are totally unfamiliar with.

Our technology in your terms would be somewhat similar. We are, in your terms, computerized. We like that term because it represents an overall picture of our abilities. The picture actually only represents one per cent of what we are capable of doing. However, from your point of view, think of us as a computerized society. We are collective energy. We are not of your dimension. The star system of the Pleiades has seven stars, six of which we believe, you may see from the naked eye. There are many planets and we are millions upon millions of miles from your system though we have transportation that can bring us here very quickly. We have many modes of transportation.

Mostly we come in starships. Often mother ships. The mother ships are gigantic, one of your miles, housing thousands. [They are] elongated, one of our fashions, [and] would take, in your terms, days to transport itself here. We have disc ships which can be here quickly, within portions of your day.

We have difficulty at times translating your time system, your hours, your minutes, into what is relative to our system, perhaps less than one quarter of your day. We are an advanced civilization. Our technology is ancient because it is coming from another universe that has evolved back to First Cause.

We chose not to evolve back to First Cause but to go on out of love, to assist the growth of this universe. We were allowed to bring that knowing with us because our technological development is totally in line with the First Cause and we would never operate in any fashion that did not support the love and development of humanity of all creatures in all of this universe. So we were allowed to be here. We were welcomed.

We are the ambassadors, in this star area, this universe, from another universe. We are working with many, not just with Terra, the Earth. We are working in other solar systems, with other planetary creatures, with other creations.

This universe is a vast and new experiment. Different options, we like that word, are being attempted here. Free will reigns in this universe. On Terra you think you have free will but you do not really understand what free will is. Free will encompasses the complete idea that whatever it is that you are wanting you may have. And your sole point in choosing to partake in the planetary system within this universe that has free will was so that you may do whatever it is that you wish.

Terra was formed with specific intents in mind. It was formed to be a center for this solar system, a trade center, a launching pad for ideas. Much like, as different portions of your globe have developed, and different port cities, or areas came into fashion and represented trends, cultural advancements, exchanges of ideas at different points in time, and then fell by the wayside.

The ideal of Terra's role would be the jewel within the universe for its beauty physically to the eye, and this physical beauty would be beheld not just in one dimension but in many dimensions. That it would be a center of tremendous beauty, of tremendous exchange, of freedom, of ideas and beauty and love and peoples, humanities, creatures from all of this universe and star system ideally would have come here and exchanged what it is they had, as goods would be exchanged in the marketplace, with others.

Now, as you know, that has not taken place. Fortunately that is changing. Unfortunately, eons in your past, events occurred that were not anticipated, for when one deals with free will one never knows. There are no expectations with free will, just intentions and hopes. And even intentions sometimes may be transmuted.

Now, that was the original intention. Then eons ago, millions of years ago, there was a disruptive force that became quite pronounced in this area of creation, experimenting as it would be, with another form of being. This experimenting was not evil, it was just another point of view. We speak in very neutral terms so as not to lay blame or prejudice on anyone.

This disruptive force effected Terra greatly. It threw the cosmic forces, the hierarchies into vast confusion. And it has been all these eons, these millions of years that this has been attempted to be righted.

Now, through the last thousands of years we have been assisting the higher spiritual forces, those from the First Cause. Our assistance we freely gave because original family members came to this experiment of Terra and then when those disruptive energies became prevalent and changed the intent of what Terra would be we lost contact with our family members. It was very sad for us, for we had never anticipated this loss.

Being that we as Pleiadians are highly evolved and of great knowing and great connectedness with the First Cause, we knew that this was a temporary loss of family members, though temporary in our terms was millions of years. And though the initial shock was felt literally throughout the universe and universes, we formulated a plan and knew that there would be a time when we would be reunited.

We are your family members who lost contact with you eons ago. We have come to retrieve you. We have come to reestablish contact, to assist you, so that you can now reunite with us, liberate yourselves and choose to come back to the Pleiades or to stay here on Terra and raise the vibration and allow Terra to become what it was originally planned to become, the international exchange, intergalactic international trade exchange center for the universe.

Now, as you may well know, that upon looking at your planet you can shake your head and say, goodness, we have ventured far from our original goal. And, indeed, that is true, you have. However, at this time events are manifesting on your planet that are about to change all of that.

It was known eons ago that there would be a point where the energies would be ripe for contact, for adjustments, for receiving energy for realignment. It was hoped that that juncture would be reached through the opening of the free will bodies, by their own choice, through love.

That is not the case. You have reached critical times. It began peaking 30, 40 years ago, and the activities that have been occurring on this sphere have been of grave concern to all within your universe. The lack of love for humanity, for one another on this planet. Separations of self from self. The missing of the message that you are all one, that you are all connected, that what one does affects the other.

Know that there are many millions on the planet out of the billions, who are awakened, who are moving toward the enlightenment, moving towards the acknowledgement of the First Creator, in whatever minuscule way they can conceive of this vast entity.

What is happening on your planet at this time is that the energy of the First Creator, is being presented to the planet as a whole. When we say "as a whole", there are no groupings that would be select over others. The opportunities exist for everyone. It is the individual humanity's choice to acknowledge the opportunity that presents itself.

[The awakened ones will be] assigned, so to speak, to awaken someone. First Creator energy is now being made available to the planet, on a vast level, vast. It's encircling the sphere. Light frequency is bombarding your planet, though only those who know how to use this energy can feel it. It is as if an invisible force is in your lives and if you are not aware of this invisible force, you will not see it.

Now, if the awakeners approach the awakenees with love, with intent of service, with intent of changing the planetary potential, the planetary history, and also are willing to bond unconditionally with the awakenee, it will be successful. In most cases, those that need now to be awakened are working about this in their dream state and they are in a state of confusion in their waking world and so they are welcoming something that will give them greater power and direction.

The awakenees will need guidance for a short amount of time because of the energy that is available [but] the knowings will happen very quickly, then they, too, [will awaken and empower others]. The more members, the greater members of humanity that are in knowing, the easier the times ahead will be.

We are working, sitting at the edges of our seats. When we say "our", we mean our beings, the star individuals, the star families, the spirit guides, the ascended masters, the callers from the great cause, the First Cause. There are many here. The skies, the atmospheres are full, so to speak, of who we are keeping Terra in force, keeping it alive and vibrant, glowing, and also respecting your free will at the same time.

That is why we say the awakenings are so important at this time. They are of prime concern. Individual awakenings. Word of mouth. It is the best way of accomplishing what it is that needs to be accomplished. Word of mouth. Books are fine. Tapings are fine. But one individual loving another individual liberates, frees. And that individual goes off and creates and effects many others. That is how the process will occur, as we see it.

We stated earlier that Terra is a free will district along with the entire universe, however, there is a code of honor that exists along with free will. And that code of honor represents the respect for life. All of life. The respect, and the commitment to no violation of life. The honoring of life is paramount, and allowing that life.

Now, millions upon millions of years ago when the disruptive forces came in and changed all of that, free will was granted still and we stepped back, and saw and watched, and knew that there would be a time when all of this would come to an apex, as it would be said when the changes could be made.

Disruptive forces have come again. This time they will not succeed. However, the energy is of great influence on the planet at this time because of the technological development and the extent of this technological influence throughout the planet.

We ask that each person individually speak to another. At this point very powerful individuals are being awakened. Those individuals who effect other people, who influence other people are those that are awakening at this time, and are being awakened by those who made agreements, contracts eons ago to perform this service. We see that there will be changes geographically, great changes. Because the changes represent the most benevolent way of realignment. If there were to be great destructions, and there will be some destructions along the lines of warrings, if that were to be the prevalent case upon the entire sphere, it would effect the cosmos so greatly, that in this case it cannot be allowed.

The changes that will happen on the surface of Terra are not definite. They will not be definite until they occur, until energy peaks. The energy will be peaking partially through what's happening on the globe, also through planetary and cosmic influences. The closer you may move towards the misuse of the technology, then of course, Mother Earth, a living, viable, breathing entity, would shift itself rather than destroy itself.

[The] shifts will be of a healing nature, much as the ill person may experience the tremendous fevers and burn and sweat and shake and then heal themselves. If Mother Earth did not shift herself and the misuse of technology would be [a] prevalent paradigm, do you know what would occur? It would be the destruction of the universe.

We do not wish to be annihilated and misuse of your technology on your planet could annihilate a universe. Contemplate on what we are speaking for it is profound.

Many of you are looking for blacks and whites and the universe exists in gray areas. It is not the way you think it is. There is life teeming everywhere that you cannot see. There are many dimensions, there are many forms of beings. What happens in your dimension would effect us all because the building blocks of the universe, of the cosmos are connected. The atoms, the elements are all one. They are universal. Universal tools, so to speak. And through the misuse of one, in one segmented area, it would effect many others. So that is why we say, we are tuning Mother Earth to this knowing. Mother Earth knows this potential happening and would shift herself when the time and the danger becomes great.

Understand that all of these changes are contingent upon the awakenings. If the awakenings happen very quickly and those within the governments, within the arms industries, those within the publishing, communicative areas, television, newspaper, movies, [if] those influential people on the planet are awakened quickly, all could shift. Mother Earth will do whatever is necessary to realign for her own survival.

We are saying that if your intention is to step into the times ahead with joy, and experience, and be a partaker, a conscious partaker of the movement that the planet is selecting, then clearly think of what it is that you want, intend it, plan on it, and then trust that the part of the body located in the solar plexus will guide you along with the heart, to be where it is you need to be. If you are clear in your plannings, if you count on it, if you state it matter of factly, step into the knowing, not the thinking, but the knowing beyond all shadow of a doubt that you will be here in joy, in harmony, in happiness, in creativity, and in greater rejoicing of building the world, the civilization that you all desire, then so shall you be.

Now, think of that for a few moments and choose what it is you want. Examine your hearts about what it is you are wanting. Throw by the wayside those things that are not important to you and put your energy, your thoughts, your hearts, into what it is that is most important. And do not, under any circumstances, be afraid of making a change, for change is going to occur whether you select it or not. So, by consciously selecting a change, whether it be a move, or what have you, [it] may be your method, your means, of moving into the times ahead. Do not resist change. Flow. It may come in the area of relationships, the breakings up or the coming togethers. It may come in the area of employment or a lack of. It may come in the area of sudden abundance presenting itself to you or lack of. All these events will motivate you towards something. We ask that you go inside, trust the feelings. Trust yourself. One of the most beneficial endeavors that you will be involved with is forming the extended families. With a networking of thirty to fifty people it will be very powerful. We also wish to speak of the availability of outside communication that is waiting to speak with many of you, that is speaking with each and every one of you though you do not acknowledge it. Vast numbers are willing to help.

We ask you to examine your hearts, relinquish your fears, move towards what it is that will be most important. We suggest, and we will assist in these endeavors, that through your dream states you dare to dream of possibilities that seem outlandish. Awakened ones and those becoming awakened are being fed information through the dream state from the vast numbers and given so called ideas. Instigated information. Potentialities of abilities that are far beyond what is available now on the planet. And these will be fun things. These will be joyful things. These will be loving things, healing things, successful things. Play with your dream states and when one of these crazy ideas comes to you, grasp onto it like a hot air balloon and ride it for a while over the topography of yourself and see where it will take you.

We ask you to approach these times with an open mind, a creative mind, a loving mind, to move into the self. To trust the self. Open the heart. To connect with humanity, to awaken the others. To be gentle with who you are. For your difficulties you will lay down as they are old clothes that you will no longer fit into or wear. Your aches, longings and difficulties can all be laid to rest as you move into this great new garment of being.

Many will be petrified of moving into this time for much must be relinquished. Much must be changed and given up. However, we are saying that if the Earth itself did not change in its seasons, it would be pretty dreary indeed. And so fall needs to come and the winter set to rest so that in spring there may be regrowth, revitalization and awakenings. This is what you'll be experiencing.

We have committed to guide you on this time. There are many who are here loving you, assisting you, doing whatever is necessary. Open your hearts. Open your eyes to what is coming. Do not be afraid. Know that you are surrounded by love and energy greater than at this point you can fathom. So great it is beyond your knowing, though a part of you knows that greatness and brings it to yourself.

We trust that what we have said empowers you, enlightens you, guides you to who you need to be. Move forward. Move in love. Feel the connectedness of all that is.

Look into the eyes of fellow humanity and see yourselves for you are there. Bless each one with the knowing that you have and your awakenings will be greater than you ever imagined.

Call on us for assistance and we will come to you. We send you our blessings, our dearly beloved friends.

THE SOURCE: The Pleiadians are a collective of extraterrestrials from the star system The Pleiades. The Pleiadian culture is ancient and was "seeded" from another universe of love long before Earth was created. They have formed a tremendous society which operates with love, with ideas and ideals that we are yet unfamiliar with. The Pleiadians call themselves our ancient family because many of us came here from The Pleiades to participate in the new experiment of Earth. The Pleiadians are now here as ambassadors from another universe to help Earth through her difficult transition from the third dimension to the fourth dimension and to assist each of us in our personal endeavors of awakening, remembering and knowing.

THE CHANNEL: Barbara J. Marciniak has been a student of Metaphysics for many years. She gives credit to the Seth material channeled by Jane Roberts for her insight into the necessity for conscious, intentional creation of personal experience. Barbara travels extensively. In Athens, Greece in May of 1988, she began channeling The Pleiadians after she and a group of friends experienced a spiritual awakening in the Great Pyramid at Giza. Barbara currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina where she gives class sessions and workshops with The Pleiadians. You may contact Barbara at:

Bold Connections Unlimited P. O. Box 6521 Raleigh, NC 27628

The Pleiadians

Pleiadians are from a star system called Pleiades. This star system is a small cluster of seven stars located in the Constellation of Taurus the Bull; it is 500 light years from planet Earth. They are a humanoid race who visits Earth often and whom we share a common ancestry. The Lyrans from Lyra are our common ancestors.

The names of the seven stars in the Pleiades system are as follows:1) Taygeta, 2) Maya, 3) Coela, 4) Atlas, 5) Merope, 6) Electra, 7) Alcoyne.

Because of the many wars on Lyra, many peaceful Lyrans left on their spacecrafts and traveled for many years till they came upon the seven cluster stars in Pleiades. They landed on a planet now called Erra, which is located around the Pleiades Star called Taygeta. Here is where they started their new civilization in the year 228,000 B.C.

The Pleiadians are a very ancient race of humanoids. They have kept a record of the complete history of Earth's human evolution from the very beginning to our present time. Pleiadians claim our Earth is 626 billion years old.

Around 225,000 B.C., the Pleiadians discovered a small sun system with a planet called Earth on one of their scouting missions away from the Pleiades. They discoverd on Earth, three groups of uncivilized people living there. The larger of these groups were light skinned and were of Lyran descent. The Lyrans had landed on Earth earlier and were forced to stay on Earth and enter into a uncarnational cycle, because of their ill treatment of the original brown skinned natives. This became their karma. At this time, the Pleiadians decided to stay and create societies on Earth.

The Galactic Federation allowed the Pleiadians to enter into a incarnational cycle with humans on Earth. The places designated for them to do this was Bali, Hawaii, Samoa and India. Civilizations came and went on Earth with many wars, peaceful cycles and natural disasters, between 196,000 B.C. and 10 A.D. The Pleiadians stayed with humans on Earth until 10 A.D. trying to help develop various civilizations such as Lemuria, Maya, Inca and a civilzation at Machu Picchu. They also were trying to guide humans toward a more spiritual path.

At about 10 A.D.; the last Pleiadian leader called Plejas left Earth for good, because Pleiadians finally achieved peace back home in the Pleiades. They felt it was time for humans to evolve on their own. Before leaving Earth, the Pleiadians left a spiritual leader called Jmmanuel, who later was known as Jesus. Jmmanuel was a very evolved soul, whose father was Gabriel of the Pleiades system and Mary who was of Lyran descent.

Earth continued to evolve on its own without direct Pleiadian leadership till our present time.

In the very near future, as Earth enters the Photon Band by year 2000, the Pleiadians are going to help bring all humans on Earth into the light.

The following is a brief description of Pleiadian Culture on the home planet of Erra. Erra is located around the star called Taygeta. Erra is 10% smaller than Earth. The Pleiadians are a Goddess Society (which worships family, children, women). They are on a fifth dimensional frequency, which is one of love and creativity.

About 400,000 people live on Erra, which the Pleiadians feel is the ideal amount for the welfare of their planet. The people of Erra are telepathic and therefore have no need for telephones. There means of travel around the planet is done by a tube system. The Pleiadians are primarily vegeterians, but on occasion eat some meat. They have no medical problems for they control their health by using their own mental powers. The average age of a P;eiadian is 700 years. Their skin is whiter and smoother than ours. The Pleiadians do not have blood, their memory matrix is in light.

The Pleiadians have no currency as we know it; they share the resources of their planet with all the people. All material goods are given to the people freely, based on their contribution to their society.

When children are born into the Pleiadian society, they are taught for the first ten years to understand the purpose of their lives. The children then spend the next sixty to seventy years being educated in various occupations.

Pleiadians travel in spacecrafts called a Beamship. They have different sizes for different useage. They are approximately 21 feet in diameter, can carry several people and have interplantary capabilities. Beamships can travel billions of miles in a part of a second by traveling in hyperspace. Because of this ability, the trip from Erra in Pleiades to Earth takes only seven hours.

The Pleiadians will land along with other benevolent extraterrestrials after the major changes have occured on Earth. When we are in The Photon Band by year 2000, th Pleiadians will bring in Mother Ships to help the survivors of Earth with food and temporary shelter. They have the technology to grow food immediately on their Mother Ships by using special soil and seeds. The plants grow immediately to full maturity. So people of earth, do not despair, help will be there when you need it. All you have to do for now is keep your body frequency to one of Love, so you can ascend to the fifth dimension by year 2005. You will then become part of the new civilization of light on a planet of light. See you all at the Cosmic Party in the year 2012!

More About The Pleiadians

The Pleiadians are a collective of extraterrestrials from the star system Pleiades.

Home System

This star system is a small cluster of seven stars located in the Constellation of Taurus, 420 light years from planet Earth. The names of the seven stars in the Pleiades system are Taygeta, Maya, Coela, Atlas, Merope, Electra, Alcoyne. The Pleiadians reside on the planet Erra, which is almost as large as Earth, one of ten planets that circle their sun, Tayget. Other pleiadians would live on the planets Semjase, Ptaah and Quetzal.

Origin

Around 225,000 B.C., the Pleiadians discovered a small sun system with a planet called Earth on one of their scouting missions away from the Pleiades.

The Galactic Federation allowed the Pleiadians to enter into a incarnational cycle with humans on Earth. The places designated for them to do this was Bali, Hawaii, Samoa and India. Civilizations came and went on Earth with many wars, peaceful cycles and natural disasters, between 196,000 B.C. and 10 A.D. The Pleiadians stayed with humans on Earth until 10 A.D. trying to help develop various civilizations such as Lemuria, Maya, Inca and a civilzation at Machu Picchu. They also were trying to guide humans toward a more spiritual path.

At about 10 A.D.; the last Pleiadian leader called Plejas left Earth for good, because Pleiadians finally achieved peace back home in the Pleiades. They felt it was time for humans to evolve on their own. Before leaving Earth, the Pleiadians left a spiritual leader called Jmmanuel, who later was known as Jesus. Jmmanuel was a very evolved soul, whose father was Gabriel of the Pleiades system and Mary who was of Lyran descent.

Earth continued to evolve on its own without direct Pleiadian leadership till our present time. In the very near future, as Earth enters the Photon Band by year 2000, the Pleiadians are going to help bring all humans on Earth into the light.

Habits

The following is a brief description of Pleiadian Culture on the home planet of Erra. About 400,000 people live on Erra, which the Pleiadians feel is the ideal amount for the welfare of their planet. The people of Erra are telepathic and therefore have no need for telephones. There means of travel around the planet is done by a tube system. The Pleiadians are primarily vegeterians, but on occasion eat some meat. They have no medical problems for they control their health by using their own mental powers. The average age of a Pleiadian is 700 years. Their skin is whiter and smoother than ours.

The Pleiadians have no currency as we know it; they share the resources of their planet with all the people. All material goods are given to the people freely, based on their contribution to their society.

When children are born into the Pleiadian society, they are taught for the first ten years to understand the purpose of their lives. The children then spend the next sixty to seventy years being educated in various occupations.

Pleiadians travel in spacecrafts called a Beamship. They have different sizes for different useage. They are approximately 21 feet in diameter, can carry several people and have interplantary capabilities. Beamships can travel billions of miles in a part of a second by traveling in hyperspace. Because of this ability, the trip from Erra in Pleiades to Earth takes only seven hours.

The Pleiadians will land along with other benevolent extraterrestrials after the major changes have occured on Earth. When we are in The Photon Band by year 2000, the Pleiadians will bring in Mother Ships to help the survivors of Earth with food and temporary shelter.

Witness

Billie Meier's Contact from the Pleiades

Billie Meier was contacted over 130 times between 1976 and 1982 by a female named Samjese who said she was from the star system Pleiades. She was the first to telepathically contact Meier and tell him where to go for the first physical contact. Meier had indepth conversations with Samjese. The contact notes are published in the following four books:

Contact from the Pleiades Vol I & II Photo Contact from the Pleiades Prilimary Investigation Report Contact from the Pleiades Supplementary Investigation Report Message From the Pleiades Vol 1 & 2 Light Years

Pleiadians: By Anna Hayes

The Pleiadians DO state in the books that they desire to “use us as living libraries” ...AKA use our bio-field grids and DNA to ACCESS the planetary grid, cellular memory banks and the Hall of Records crystalline memory download when it opens in 2012 A.D.

They represent the Beli-Kudyem- the mutated strains of the original Turaneusim race from Tara 560,000 million years . The original Turaneusiam race had portions of its original members genetically mutated with the Drakonian-reptilian codes carried by the Sirian Anunnaki (the Anunnaki are reptilian mutants of the original Lyran-Sirian Anuhazi pure strains). The Anunnaki and their Beli-Kudyem human mutants, who were the dominant force in the Templar Solar Initiates, were responsible for the original “fall of man drama” on Tara 550 million years ago.

(The earth human strains were seeded by the reverse mutated and once again pure strains of Turaneusiam, who are called the Adami-Kudmon.) The Beli-Kudyem since evolved in numerous systems, particularly the Pleiades. Some work with guardian groups, most with the Nibiru/ Middle Council “fallen Elohim” teams with repress human evolution agendas. The Beli’s call themselves the Pleiadians to hide their real identity, are associated with the Galactic Federation and its agendas, which are co-operative with those of Nibiru.

Pro-Sirian-strain evolution, repress-but-use-human-12-strand evolution. Again, as with the Nibiru crew, with friends like this we don’t need enemies. These guys work independently from the Nibiruians, and are most interested in "“atching onto” human bio-energetic field from the D-4 level, to access the coding of the 8th and 12th DNA strands which they lack. They desire to link into Kundalini energies of DNA activating humans so they can covertly and without permission host matrix into our bio-fields to pick up missing coding and gain access to the Amenti Star Gates.

In general they don’t mean to do us direct harm, but rather to exploit us gently while pretending to help us. They are intending to help themselves. Like most higher dimension ET groups, they represent portions of our own families of consciousness. One of the most misguided things they are teaching is for humans to indescriminently open to sexual encounter - they KNOW this leaves humans vulnerable to DNA contamination and “body snatching” by Black Sun DNA groups and the Nibiruian and Orion intruders. They need rapid kundalini activation in humans to secure their own agendas, and promoting promiscuity serves this objective.

If they cared really about human safety they would not endorse this activity. They have some “deals” with the Nibiru crew who are involved with the One World Order Earth agenda, and work closely with numerous renegade Zeta groups. The “deals” involve setting humans up via increasing vulnerability to DNA contamination (which they need to do anyway for their own agendas), which assists the Nibiruians in their DNA repression-mutation to 10 strand plan, and in return for the “favor” the Pleiadian Beli-Kudyem will get Galactic Federation and Nibiruian protection should the big nasties Drakonians from Orion and their Nephedem hybrids try to over-run their Pleiadian holds. Though their motivation is not a sinister as the Nibiruians or the Orionites, they are still exploiting humans under the guise of being our friends and setting us up for potentially dangerous manipulation from the Nibiruians and Drakonians.

Pleiadians

The Pleiadians are alien beings from the star cluster in the constellation Taurus known as the Pleiades. Barbara Marciniak claims that the Pleiadians chose her to be their messenger. She reveals this in her channeled book, Bringers of the Dawn. According to Marciniak the message is: "If you can clear people of their personal information, they can go cosmic." This message resonates with some people. For example, Kristine Barbieri gave the book 5 stars in her Amazon.com review:

This book really blew me away because it echoes the same ideas as other books I have read. As another reviewer mentioned, this book conveys the same message that David Icke's books do, that Reptilians are really in charge of this planet and keep us locked in fear for their own sustenance.

Another message is: Over 280,000 copies in print and another book, Earth, which sold 80,000 copies in its first eight weeks of publication. This message was not lost on Lia Shapiro, a.k.a. Lia Light, who claims the Pleiadians are also using her as a channel. Her book from the aliens on how they have come to help us evolve is called Comes the Awakening - Realizing the Divine Nature of Who You Are.

Billy Meier (Eduard Albert Meier-Zafiriou), on the other hand, has no book but does have many photos to back up his claim that the Pleiadians have contacted him and given him all the details inquiring minds need to know. Underground Video claims that an investigation of his photos reveals that Billy is a hoaxer. Karl Korff also exposed the hoax, claiming that some of the photos of spaceships were models with bonsai plants as background. One of Billy's photos is claimed to be that a Pleiadian named Semjase, but in fact the picture was taken from an old Sears catalog.* Billy also claimed that Semjase or some other Pleiadian gave him a piece of alien metal that was analyzed by some character named Vogel, but nobody seems to know where this otherworldly metal might be.* A check of Meier's website under "scientific evidence" yields nothing but a blank page.

Barbara Marciniak is an internationally acclaimed trance channel, inspirational speaker, and best-selling author of Bringers of the Dawn, Earth, Family of Light, and Path of Empowerment, which collectively have been translated into more than twenty languages and have sold over five hundred thousand U.S. copies. She has a BA in social science, and is the publisher and editor of the quarterly newsletter The Pleiadian Times.

Her extensive worldwide travels, astrological studies, and a lifetime of alternative free thinking augment her personal understanding of the material she channels.

The Pleiadians are a collective of multidimensional spirit beings from the Pleiades star system, and have been speaking through Barbara Marciniak since May of 1988. The Pleiadians are here to assist humanity with the process of spiritual transformation in the years leading up to December 2012. Their distinctive style blends wit and wisdom, common sense, and cosmic knowledge in teachings that encourage expansive thinking and personal empowerment, and which have been compared to native shamanism.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

IMPEACHMENT IS IMPERATIVE

http://www.wexlerwantshearings.com
The charges are too serious to ignore. There is credible evidence that the Vice President abused the power of his office, and not only brought us into an unneccesary war but violated the civil liberties and privacy of American citizens. It is the constitutional duty of Congress to hold impeachment hearings.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Sitting Bull's people break away from US

Sitting Bull's people break away from US From correspondents in Washington Agence France-Presse December 20, 2007 03:10pm THE Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the US. "We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,'' long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means said. A delegation of Lakota leaders has delivered a message to the State Department, and said they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the US, some of them more than 150 years old. The group also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and would continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months. Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free - provided residents renounce their US citizenship, Mr Means said. The treaties signed with the US were merely "worthless words on worthless paper," the Lakota freedom activists said. Withdrawing from the treaties was entirely legal, Means said. "This is according to the laws of the United States, specifically article six of the constitution,'' which states that treaties are the supreme law of the land, he said. ``It is also within the laws on treaties passed at the Vienna Convention and put into effect by the US and the rest of the international community in 1980. We are legally within our rights to be free and independent,'' said Means. The Lakota relaunched their journey to freedom in 1974, when they drafted a declaration of continuing independence -- an overt play on the title of the United States' Declaration of Independence from England. Thirty-three years have elapsed since then because ``it takes critical mass to combat colonialism and we wanted to make sure that all our ducks were in a row,'' Means said. One duck moved into place in September, when the United Nations adopted a non-binding declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples -- despite opposition from the United States, which said it clashed with its own laws. ``We have 33 treaties with the United States that they have not lived by. They continue to take our land, our water, our children,'' Phyllis Young, who helped organize the first international conference on indigenous rights in Geneva in 1977, told the news conference. The US ``annexation'' of native American land has resulted in once proud tribes such as the Lakota becoming mere ``facsimiles of white people,'' said Means. Oppression at the hands of the US government has taken its toll on the Lakota, whose men have one of the shortest life expectancies - less than 44 years - in the world. Lakota teen suicides are 150 per cent above the norm for the US; infant mortality is five times higher than the US average; and unemployment is rife, according to the Lakota freedom movement's website.

Not Without A Fight!

JohnGeorge's blog

"Well, ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seat belts; we're in for a very bumpy ride!" -Bette Davis

Merry Christmas from the people of New Orleans! With great bravery and in complete disregard for their own safety, the people of New Orleans stormed their city hall today, 20 December 2007, in protest to the wholesale destruction of public housing units as directed by presidential executive orders issued through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

This is one of the boldest showings of civil disobedience I have seen since the 1960s and I envy the courage displayed by these ordinary, everyday people. Still, their actions were not without cost; many were injured and hospitalized; and many were arrested.

This is also a wake up call for the rest of us who may think that we can implement change in America without making a serious commitment and without placing ourselves in danger.

With the looming collapse of the US dollar, continuing inflationary pricing targeting consumers at every level for every commodity, interest rates that make saving money counterproductive and with most of our elected officials blatantly unconcerned with The Will Of The People, the only alternatives left to us are continuing acts of civil disobedience, strikes, sit-ins and sick-outs on a national level.

Please join me in solidarity with the people of New Orleans by forming your own civil disobedience groups and organizing local boycotts in your city.

For The Republic! John George

Video of City Hall Protest


Thursday, December 20, 2007

NOLA: Police Attack Protesters With Mace, Tasers to Keep Them Out of City Hall

Infoshop News editor, Jamie "Bork" Loughner, tasered and removed by ambulance

Bork was released from jail in time to attend the protest at the City Council meeting. She had been arrested on Wednesday after locking down at the B.W. Cooper housing complex. Unfortunately, the city council today voted to tear down housing at all four complexes.

Washing out eyes after being maced by Darwin BondGraham Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007 at 4:16 PM darwin@riseup.net New Orleans Independent Media Center

First locked out of their homes for more than 2 years, and now locked out of the very City Council meeting in which the city’s politicians are set to vote for tearing down their homes, residents and activist today were attacked by police to keep them from entering the City Council chambers.

From Indymedia reports:

Police attacked opponents of the demolition who made it into the City Council chambers for speaking out and refusing to take their seats. Witnesses from inside said that anyone who vocally protested the proposed demolition, or the exclusion of people from the chambers, was descended upon by officers and summarily taken out. If a person resisted, the police attacked.

Maria Piamascaro, an NYC-based reporter for the Swiss weekly Hebdo, said she was inside the chambers, and was taking pictures of a woman being beaten by police, when "a police officer told me to stop, and threatened to arrest me. Then he pulled me out of the chambers. When I tried to get back in through another entrance, the police told me I'd be sent out of the country if I didn't leave. I've been in riots in New York and other places in the US, and I've never been treated like this."

Police Attack Protesters With Mace, Tasers to Keep Them Out of City Hall

by Darwin BondGraham Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007 at 4:16 PM darwin@riseup.net

Police Attack Protesters With Mace, Tazers to Keep Them Out of City Hall: Council to vote on demolishing 5000 affordable homes

Thursday December 19, 2007

The scene was described by many as a microcosm of everything that’s wrong in the city and America. The whole situation has been referred to as “high noon,” and “do or die time.” It’s decision day for public housing in New Orleans.

Underneath New Orleans City Hall, a huge office building topped with a neon casino-style sign, milled a growing group of public housing residents and supporters. They had arrived for the 10am Council meeting to speak against the demolition of affordable homes. They were locked out and told to “go home.” The City Council is expected to vote in approval of demolishing more than 5000 public housing units in 4 developments across the city today. The majority of the council has already pledged publicly to rubber stamp HUD’s highly controversial plans.

Locked out of the council chambers the protesters were quickly surrounded with dozens of police. Behind them stood eight horse-mounted police, and behind the gate keeping them out of the hall were many more heavily armed officers. Right in front of City Hall, behind the protesters is Duncan Plaza, which has been turned into an enormous homeless camp. Many Duncan Plaza residents came over to show their support for the cause. There are more than 12,000 homeless in the city today. Inside the chambers, the City Council proceeded.

First locked out of their homes for more than 2 years, and now locked out of the very City Council meeting in which the city’s politicians are set to vote for tearing down their homes, many of the residents began pleading with the officers to be allowed in. Pleading turned quickly to outrage as it was clear that the process would move forward without their voices or even witness. Receiving phone calls from their allies inside the chambers, the protesters were told that the Council meeting was being held up by chants and clapping until everyone was allowed inside. The Council members refused and called on their security forces to clear out the chambers.

In the desperation the group outside began shaking the large metal gates locking them out. The gate was easily broken open. Police moved in with pepper spray and batons, quickly beating back anyone near the entrance. Chants of “housing is a human right,” and “justice!” filled the air along with the putrid smell of the chemical weapons used by the NOPD. The gate was re-secured with handcuffs this time. Again the protesters chanted and demanded entrance. Some called into question the legitimacy of a “public” meeting in which the public was excluded.

As they pushed against the gates it suddenly became clear that something was happening inside the chambers. Dozens of police quickly sprinted into the building with their hands on their weapons. Outside this sparked concern among those gathered who began to slam against the gate once more. An ambulance arrived in the compound and a stretcher was taken into the building. Police would not communicate with those outside as to what was happening in the chambers. Protesters in the building began calling their allies and reporting that the police were forcefully clearing the room. It is confirmed by housing advocate Jay Arena that he, Malcolm Suber, Sess 4-5, and Endesha Jukali were arrested along with others. It is reported but not yet confirmed that Sess was tasered.

Outside the protesters again managed to break through the gates and pulled one side of it away from the officers. The police moved in and attempted to pull the gate back. Then came the pepper spray and tasers, this time much more forceful. At least two women were struck with tasers. On of them was simultaneously hit with spray and taser and then smashed between the pavement and metal gate. She was rushed away from the scene by friends who treated her nearby until an ambulance could be found. Here medical condition is unknown at this time. Another woman, Bork, the same activists who yesterday chained herself to a building at BW Cooper was tasered and taken away in an ambulance. The police fanned chemical weapons out over the entire crowd hitting dozens in the face and eyes.

Activists from the Coalition to Stop Demolition have put out a national call to allies: come to New Orleans, help stop demolition, take nonviolent direct action. The struggle, after today continues, but it has become glaringly apparent the lengths to which the City Council and their allies will go to tear down homes.

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NOLA: Police Attack Protesters With Mace, Tasers to Keep Them Out of City Hall | 3 comments | Create New Account
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NOLA: Police Attack Protesters With Mace, Tazers to Keep Them Out of City Hall
Authored by: Admin on Thursday, December 20 2007 @ 03:40 PM PST
People should understand that Bork has some long-standing health problems from previous protests. She has respiratory problems stemming from the Philadelphia police using chemical agents on her at a protest several years ago. Her foot was crushed by D.C. police several years ago when a half dozen officers tried to close a door on people trying to get into a hearing. Bork has also been through several back surgeries this year. So as you sit at home enjoying the holiday cheer, please don't ask what you can do to help. There are many ways you can help support the struggle in New Orleans. You don't have to do what Bork is doing, but I know that she'd say that every bit helps.
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NOLA: Police Attack Protesters With Mace, Tazers to Keep Them Out of City Hall
Authored by: Admin on Thursday, December 20 2007 @ 03:44 PM PST
One easy thing Infoshop News readers can do is to go to Nola.com, register to post comments, and give the racists there a piece of your mind. It's pretty disgusting to read the garbage being posted to Nola.com.
[ Reply to This | # ]
NOLA: Police Attack Protesters With Mace, Tazers to Keep Them Out of City Hall
Authored by: scott crow on Thursday, December 20 2007 @ 04:58 PM PST
THANKS TO EVERYONE who has stood up for basic rights of all--HOUSING. People like Bork and many , many of the unnamed others who have given much of their lives to do what is right in NOLA is applaudible and admirable to me on so many levels. The work on the ground for residents, displaced residents, allies and supporters is tremendous and often seems insurmountable. Your continued commitments to dignity , justice and support of all the dispaced peoples gives me hope for the greater future for all of us. If all of us locals and those from the outside had nothing--how would it have looked? If no one was able to stand up--who would have listened? Making the historically marginalized communities --those rendered invisible by the state, media and racist society in the gulf coast--visible --gives all of us a fighting chance towards a better future. Even in the face of short term losses. Thank you again for doing what is right despite what the government or the media has to say. Towards Liberation!!! --- 'dream the future know your history organize your people fight to win' scott crow

A.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology, by David Graeber

"First, it would have to proceed from the assumption that, as the Brazilian folk song puts it, ‘another world is possible.’ That institutions like the state, capitalism, racism and male dominance are not inevitable; that it would be possible to have a world in which these things would not exist, and that we’d all be better off as a result. To commit oneself to such a principle is almost an act of faith, since how can one have certain knowledge of such matters? It might possibly turn out that such a world is not possible. But one could also make the argument that it’s this very unavailability of absolute knowledge which makes a commitment to optimism a moral imperative: Since one cannot know a radically better is not possible, are we not betraying everyone by insisting on continuing to justify, and reproduce, the mess we have today? And anyway, even if we’re wrong, we might well get a lot closer" -David Graeber

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Spending Bill Includes $24 Billion Loan Guarantees for Nuclear Industry

The House is set to vote Tuesday on the $500 billion 2008 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Hidden in the bill is a major energy package that would boost government financing for the nuclear industry. It would provide loan guarantees of up to $25 billion for new nuclear reactors. We speak with Harvey Wasserman, editor of nukefree.org.

AMY GOODMAN: The House is set to vote tomorrow on the $500 billion 2008 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Unveiled on Sunday, the measure covers budgets for all cabinet departments except the Pentagon. It’s expected to pass both houses of Congress this week.

Hidden in the bill is a major energy package that would boost government financing for the nuclear industry. It would provide loan guarantees of up to $25 billion for new nuclear reactors. A massive grassroots campaign forced these taxpayer-financed loans out of the national energy bill earlier this month, but last week Republican Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico slipped them back into the budget vote.

Harvey Wasserman has been at the forefront of raising awareness about the dangers of nuclear power. He helped found the grassroots anti-nuke movement in the early 1970s, advises the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. He’s senior editor of the Ohio-based freepress.org and editor of nukefree.org. Harvey Wasserman has also co-authored two books on the 2004 election. They are How the GOP Stole America’s 2004 Election and Is Rigging 2008 and What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election.

Harvey Wasserman is here in New York with me at the firehouse studio. Welcome to Democracy Now!

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Great to be with you, Amy.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about this energy bill.

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Well, we beat Pete Domenici. With Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, Keb’ Mo’, Ben Harper, we put out a music video on nukefree.org. We raised 120,000 signatures and presented them to Congress in October. And Domenici was forced to pull these nuke loan guarantees out of the energy bill, but then slipped them back into the appropriations bill.

And the nuclear power industry is a fifty-year proven failure, and they can’t get independent financing to build their own new reactors, which they want to do now. And so, they’ve gone to the government. This is one issue where we’re in agreement with Forbes magazine and the Cato Institute, which is backing the opposition to these loan guarantees, because if nuclear power, after fifty years of huge government subsidies, can’t make it in the marketplace, why should the taxpayers fund another $25 billion worth of reactor construction?

We’re on the brink of a tremendous energy revolution in solar, wind, tidal, geothermal. You know, we’re looking almost at a solartopia of a renewable-based economy, which will be much more controllable at the grassroots, much more democratically oriented. And that’s why the nuclear power industry is desperately holding on here.

AMY GOODMAN: So who are its backers, aside from Pete Domenici?

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Well, we have Westinghouse, General Electric—the usual suspects—Ariva, a large French company, all wanting to go into the—to revive the so-called nuclear renaissance. You know, we’ve been trying for fifty years to drive the stake through the heart of an industry that doesn’t seem to have one.

And there’s absolutely no demand for new nuclear plants. There’s no reason to build them. They don’t work. Even with optimum conditions of licensing and so on, they couldn’t get a reactor online for another ten years. They’ve been saying the nuclear power plants are a solution to the global warming problem; we know they make global warming worse. You know, it’s a total scam. And they are continuing to take of taxpayer money, public money, to build reactors where we don’t need that kind of financing for wind, for solar, for tidal, geothermal, the other forms of green energy, which can be community-controlled.

And so, these subsidies, these loan guarantees in the appropriations bill, we are asking people, through the nukefree.org website, to call Congress, call the congressional leadership, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi—David Obey is very key as the congressional chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Mitch McConnell on the Republican side—and tell them: get these loan guarantees out of the appropriations bill.

AMY GOODMAN: So talk about how it worked over this last month—went in, went out, went in.

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Yes. Well, under tremendous pressure with the signatures that we brought in from nukefree.org to the Congress—we had Ed Markey, John Hall, Shelly Berkeley at our press conference, support from John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, other key green energy backers—Domenici was forced to pull these subsidies out of the energy bill. It was a very big victory for us.

Actually, there were much worse subsidies. There was a loan guarantee for the DOE that was essentially without any congressional appropriations oversight. Now we’ve got it down to a one-year $25 billion—down to a one-year $25 billion subsidy. Even that’s too much, way too much.

The nuclear power industry is a terror target just waiting to be hit. We don’t need these reactors. They’re devastatingly dangerous to the environment. They’re destructive of public health. It was shown forty years ago that regular so-called normal emissions from nuclear plants kill thousands of Americans every year. This was by head of the Atomic Energy Commission’s own medical research division. So, you know, this is something that is being prolonged at the expense of the public health and the public treasury.

The appropriations, as you say, they were pulled out of the energy bill due to public pressure, but Pete Domenici is the senator for nuclear power, and he’s very clever at congressional manipulation.

AMY GOODMAN: Why is he so wed to nuclear power?

HARVEY WASSERMAN: He’s the guy—he’s been their point guy for decades. You know, he is the senator from New Mexico, and he’s been the man that the nuclear power industry has gone to to further their interests in Congress.

AMY GOODMAN: And he’ll be leaving next [inaudible] in 2009.

HARVEY WASSERMAN: He will be leaving, not soon enough, as far as we’re concerned, but he’s been forcing these appropriations in—you know, he tried the farm bill. Now, we beat him on the energy bill. He tried to put them in the farm bill. Then he tried to slip them into the global warming bill, and then Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, pulled them out. We’ve gotten good support from Senator Pelosi—Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi, but we need more from Congressman Obey and from the Republican side. You know, these Republicans, who are supposedly conservatives, shouldn’t be for subsidizing industries like the nuclear power industry. It’s an obsolete proven failure.

AMY GOODMAN: What if the nuclear industry doesn’t get these loan guarantees?

HARVEY WASSERMAN: It’s a very big deal. They can’t build new nuclear plants. No—Wall Street will not finance new nuclear construction. We are actually in solidarity with the financial community here. Nobody wants to back nuclear power plants. They are a failure. They cannot compete now with wind energy or with solar or tidal or the other green forms of energy, even of flat-out marketplace. And so, if they don’t get these loan guarantees, they’re not going to be building new nuclear plants, and we will be going to wind and solar and to a solartopian, you know, energy version—vision. So we really—this is a very big deal to stop these appropriations. And, you know, like I say, we’re actually in conjunction with the old-time right wing here who actually believes in a free market.

AMY GOODMAN: You talk about King CONG madness.

HARVEY WASSERMAN: That’s right.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s coal, oil, nukes and gas.

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Coal, oil, nukes and gas.

AMY GOODMAN: The International Climate Change Summit in Bali ended with no new plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Astonishing. It’s astonishing. Here, they give the Nobel Prize to Al Gore for warning us all about global warming. You know, I’m waiting for Al Gore to get arrested at the Indian Point Nuclear Plant. That’s when he’ll really deserve the Nobel Prize. You know, but the power of the coal, oil, nukes and gas conglomerates—King CONG, as we call them—is astonishing. To have the whole world focused on global warming and then come to this conference and not be able to get even a simple agreement is astounding. And it’s really a terrifying testimony to the power of these corporations.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Al Gore went there and said, I name “the elephant in the room”: the United States.

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Yes. And, you know, it’s a disgrace. It’s an embarrassment to the world that the United States would stand—here we’re standing on the brink of a technological revolution that would really parallel the information revolution of the ’90s. You know, we had the spread of the internet, the boom in computerization that really brought us prosperity. We could have a repeat of that, if we got away from nuclear power, coal, oil, nukes and gas and went into green power. But, you know, the Bush administration won’t let it happen.

AMY GOODMAN: How would green power look? I mean, you have the oil companies fighting hard against alternative energy, but at the same time—I mean, like BP calling themselves “Beyond Petroleum”—at the same time, seeing the writing on the wall, trying to get right in there. Now, there is a way to do this in a centralized way, isn’t there? And isn’t that what they’re trying to get in on?

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Yeah. They want to centralize and keep control of their energy supplies, of our energy supplies. And nuclear power is the ultimate way to do that, and then coal, oil and gas let them keep control over it, where the model we’re working on—

AMY GOODMAN: But even alternative.

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: Even wind and solar.

HARVEY WASSERMAN: They’re not—but I think they’ve realized they can’t do it. Solar and wind cannot be centralized the way nukes, coal and oil can, because they are, of essence, decentralized technologies, and they can be community-owned. We’re working in Minnesota and other states on a model of community-owned wind power, which we now have $100 million worth of community-owned wind in Minnesota.

AMY GOODMAN: Doing what?

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Doing—generating cheap electricity, owned by the farmers on whose land it is and by the communities that get the electricity. This is the moment of terror for the coal, oil, nukes and gas industries, because they can’t control this energy. And if we get—that’s why we need to stop these appropriations, because if they can’t get the loans to build nuclear plants, all the money is going to go where it belongs, which is to green power. You know, with the information revolution, we didn’t have an institutional barrier. With the renewable energy industry and with, you know, getting to solartopia, we do have the institutional barriers of the coal, oil, nukes and gas industry, and the nuke industry is really the vanguard, because it’s the ultimate centralized—

AMY GOODMAN: And you have some environmentalists who are pushing nukes. They are saying it’s cleaner.

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Very, very few. You know, it’s been a miniscule—you look at all the money the industry have, they have only been able to pick up a few marginal players. We had a press conference in D.C., and all the major environmental groups were right there: Sierra, League of Conservation Voters, Greenpeace. You know, they’re with us. No major environmental group has gone to the dark side for nuclear power.

AMY GOODMAN: Where does Bush stand?

HARVEY WASSERMAN: You know, in a very deep radioactive hole, where—exactly where you’d expect. They’re pushing, you know, this industry. Actually, Dick Cheney has very serious interests in pushing nuclear power. And, you know, he’s been right behind the scenes with Domenici there.

AMY GOODMAN: What are his interests?

HARVEY WASSERMAN: His interests are very corporate, and he wants controls. You know, the nuclear power—as long as they’re putting money into nuclear power, we’re not going to get away from coal, oil and nukes and gas. Nuclear power is really the cutting edge for the fossil fuel industry. And if the nuclear barrier breaks, all the money—all the new money is going to go to renewables. And so, they are terrified—the coal, oil, nuke and gas industries—of renewables. And so, nuclear power is really their finger in the dam, because once everything breaks, it’s all going to go to renewables, and we’ll have a transformed world.


Sunday, December 16, 2007


Saturday, December 15, 2007

An Iraqi Woman's Scorn...(subtitle: Sweet Jesus I hate the US Govt!)

December 15, 2007 Breakthrough & Nostalgia When I say and repeat that you, Americans have destroyed everything in Iraq, I am met with scorn and anger. Some of you are too simplistic and equate destruction with buildings in ruins. Having a limited a vision, you can’t go beyond the material, the physical... I reiterate, you Americans have destroyed everything in Iraq. And I mean EVERYTHING. Since 1958 until 2003, Iraq, its government and its people strove relentlessly to build a modern nation state. The biggest developmental boom took place under the Baath regime and in particular under Saddam Hussein. Like it or not. In 1972, the oil was nationalized. By 1982, illiteracy and preventable diseases were eradicated. Education including higher education was free of charge. The government would disburse 5000 grants yearly for postgraduate studies abroad to England, Germany, Russia, France... By 2003, Iraq accounted for 30’000 scientists. Yes, you read me right, 30’000 scientists. And when in 2003, Bush said that Iraqis were very educated people, he knew what he was talking about. Now you understand why the targeting of academics, scientists and intellectuals was part of the American plan. It was actually no.1 on the agenda way before "sectarian warfare" broke out. Since, over 600 scientists and academics have been murdered in cold blood, the rest have fled and many are reported missing... University libraries and schools were booming with books and publications, the National library in Baghdad held the most ancient manuscripts ever to be found. Iraqis were known to devour books, and Baghdad was a publishing center. Books would even be distributed free of charge to other Middle Eastern countries including some parts of Africa. The Universities were equipped with the latest technology and labs. The student dorms were specially designed to accommodate the highest number of students – a lot of them came and studied and lived free of charge in Iraq. They came from Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Somalia, Algeria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt, Sudan... In the medical field, Iraq was considered the most developed nation -along with its educational system, in the whole of the Middle East . Both WHO and UNICEF stated that Iraq on these two fronts could be considered as having overcome "underdevelopment" and was ready to join the "developed world." All specialists were sent abroad for post-doctorate research and for further specialization. We had the most advanced hospitals, with the latest equipment, there were health dispensaries in every neighborhood. Medication was subsidized, and all you needed to do is pay a symbolic fee of 1 dinar. 1 Dinar for a medical visit and that was it. Infrastructures were diligently built. Roads, highways, bridges, sewage system, electricity, telecommunications, industry, commercial buildings, hotels, agribusiness...All of these were built by Iraqis. Not some foreign labor, but Iraqis themselves. In fact, Iraqis were the main asset. And the government under Saddam Hussein, invested heaps into the main riches of Iraq- its people. Women were particularly favored during that time. We had equal rights, equal pay, 2 years maternity leave, we could divorce when we saw fit, no one would tell us how to dress, 70% of us were working women, we had access to schools, universities, education, government institutions...We could travel, drive, and run our own businesses... Some of us were professors, others doctors, teachers, engineers, scientists, archeologists, financial managers, diplomats, judges, lawyers, artists, singers, writers, actresses... We could walk the streets alone, during the day and night, we could go out, dress as we pleased (within reasonable limits), marry whom we wanted in a civil court if we had so wished...Polygamy was forbidden and domestic violence was punishable by law. Our children had access to free schooling, free meals, free health care and were vaccinated free of charge. Iraq had the lowest child mortality rate in the whole of the Middle East. Our children went to good schools with heating, with desks and chairs, they had enough to eat, they had places to go to and play, they had parks and gardens, swings and playgrounds, they had a mother and a father and grew up into healthy adulthood... Those who had lost their parents were either taken care of by the rest of the extended family and were given a governmental pay allocation for that or placed in orphanages that were subsidized and supervised by the government. And trust me that government was quite strict with any form of abuse if it ever happened. The few gays we had, were tolerated and were not harassed or targeted and were not tortured or murdered in broad daylight. Minorities like the Kurds had their own regional autonomy. Saddam Hussein built them universities and schools where they could teach and learn in their own language. They were allowed their own press in Kurdish, their culture- music, customs and their own style of dress. They were free to circulate in the whole of Iraq, attend universities and live anywhere they wished. In fact a lot of them remained in Baghdad . They were allowed to be part of the government and were represented in it. We had Kurdish ministers and ambassadors. And intermarriage between Kurds and Arabs was very common. Kurdish even became a compulsory secondary language in Baghdad’s high schools. Other minorities like the Sabeans, the Yazidis and the Turkmen were allowed to form associations, practice their own religion, language or ethnic customs...And again, intermarriage was common. Christians were protected, particularly protected. They were given posts in government. Had access to all the Iraqi institutions, owned their own businesses, were free to worship as they pleased, the government even had a special budget for the construction of churches. They were allowed Sunday off instead of the traditional Muslim Friday. They celebrated their religious holidays in all freedom, they were Iraqis before anything else...They were even free to have their own hospitals, schools, and pension homes. The Shiites formed the bulk of the government employees and the army. They were considered as Iraqi citizens first and foremost, were allowed to worship in their own mosques and study in their own religious centers, they had access to education, housing, employment, higher studies, high governmental posts, ministerial posts, diplomatic posts... They were allowed to marry anyone they pleased. And the fact is that the rate of intermarriage between Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis is the highest in the Middle East compared to let’s say Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon or Saudi Arabia where Shiite minorities exist. There is not one Iraqi family which is not of mixed sects- Sunni/ Shia. Iraq produced Shiite doctors, professors, scientists, artists, sportsmen... Palestinians, and they used to call themselves Iraqi-Palestinians, numbered around 35'000 in total. They were specially protected by Saddam Hussein and his government. They were given equal rights just like the Iraqis, were allowed to own their businesses, marry -marriage between Iraqis and Palestinians was common, had access to free schools, universities, grants, medical services just like any Iraqi. Palestinians were considered the rightful owners of a just cause and they were fully and unconditionally supported -no matter the cost or the consequences. And that is the way to do it. Culturally and artistically, Iraq was a truly booming place. Baghdad was known for its poets, writers, artists, musicians, painters, dancers... And Saddam Hussein invested heavily in Iraqi art. There was a special Institute for plastic arts, sculpture and ceramics... The Iraqi school of Art was known to be the most prominent in the Middle East and produced many famous names that were later emulated by other Arab artists. Furthermore, to encourage both Iraqi and non Iraqi art, the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein, established cultural offices supervised by its cutural attachés abroad. For instance you had an Iraqi cultural center in London, one in Paris and another one in Geneva. These centers would promote Iraqi and non Iraqi artists, organize Iraqi dance festivals, Iraqi exhibitions of crafts and traditionally designed clothes, would invite traditional Iraqi musicians... The aim was to bridge any cultural gaps between the Arab world/Iraq and the West. And all these activities were free of charge. The government paid for everything- every single activity and covered all the costs it entailed. As some of you may know, Iraq is the land of the first civilizations known to humankind. The skeleton of the Alphabet started in Sumer with the first cuneiforms. Even cooking recipes were engraved on tablets. Techniques for civil construction, agricultural irrigation and also the preliminaries for urban planning - all took root in this ancient civilization. Epics, poetry, music, jurisprudence with Hammurabi’s over 700 codified rules, philosophy and metaphysics also took root in this land... I don’t want to go into Mesopotamian history right now, but suffice to say, that Iraq counts for the highest number of archeological sites in the world covering thousands of years, and bearing witness to different epochs of history. From the Sumerians right through to the monotheistic prophets and beyond... Before the sanction years and I will touch on the sanctions years in my next chapter, the government under Saddam Hussein spent millions of dollars in the restoration, preservation and protection of these sites that are considered part of the universal patrimonial heritage according to UNESCO’s definitions. The hanging gardens of Babylon were even considered part of the 7 wonders of the world. Not anymore. They have been replaced by Petra in Jordan. The Iraqi museum was home to thousands of priceless artifacts, numbered, classified and recorded...Experts in ancient history and archeology would spent unlimited hours excavating, restoring, preserving, protecting and teaching our Mesopotamian heritage that stretched all the way to the Abbasid Caliphate right into Modern Iraq. Right up to the sanctions years and despite the Iran-Iraq war, one can safely say that the Iraqi state was a fully modern functioning independent entity. When I talk about state I am not only talking of governmental institutions. There were these and there was the army, a modern strong capable army. But state also entails other aspects... State entails other societal institutions, like universities, schools, hospitals, cultural bodies, associations...infrastructural systems, civic society and national and cultural identity. The Iraqi State and its ideology overcame tribalism, sectarianism, ethnic chauvinism...And it was fully functional State without outside help. It was run by Iraqis for Iraqis. I am absolutely convinced that, had Khomeinism not appeared on the scene, and Khomeinism was greatly helped to accede to power thanks to the West... I am absolutely convinced had there not been this tumor called political Shiism, and Persianism. I am absolutely convinced that had Iraq not had such disgusting treacherous neighbors- Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait... I am absolutely convinced had Iraq been truly allowed to continue on its developmental path without having to constantly ward off outside influences, it would have become a fully fledged Arab Democracy with its own specificity... In fact Iraq had ALL the necessary prerequisites and ingredients to become so. It had a strong government with a vision, it had institutions, it had eradicated illiteracy and had a highly educated population, it was developed in more ways than one... And this, the West can never accept. Nor the West, nor the rest of the feudal backward Arab states, nor the criminal Israel and Iran. And it is with the objective of destroying what the Iraqi government and in particular Saddam Hussein took great pains in building in only 3 decades, and 3 decades are not much in the history of a country, the Americans came to invade and occupy... America’s objectives and the primary goal on its agenda was the erasing of the Iraqi identity because America understood that it was precisely that identity that proved to be America’s main stumbling block despite years of grotesque, criminal sanctions. Sanctions, previously unknown to contemporary mankind. Not since the League of Nations, has anyone witnessed such a collective effort to destroy and steal the soul of a nation that tried to stand on its own two feet alone with its own resources. And its resources were: 1) a hardworking, intelligent, educated people 2) its natural geography - a) the finest quality of crude oil gushing from the biggest, largely unexplored oil reserves in the world. b)sweet water flowing from two rivers. c) a fertile land and, 4) its deep, ancient, historical roots from which it drew pride and moral strength. A deadly combination for the covetous, barbaric West and for their bastard criminal whore mistresses the Jewish State of Israel and Persian-Iran. Here was an independent, progressive, modern, secular, strong, proud, Arab identity...that freed itself from the shackles of the Ottoman then British colonialism and on its way towards true economic, political, intellectual and moral independence...Here was a country who refused to be a lapdog, a slave that would bow down...And that was simply not acceptable. And the breakthrough that started as a dream and took root in reality, was forbidden to further unfold...Not only was it forbidden to unfold, it had to be smashed, destroyed to pieces. It was in fact a must. Painting : Iraqi female artist, Zainab Abdel Qader.

Link: arabwomanblues.blogspot.com/2007/12/iraq-grandeur-destruction-part-i.html

Friday, December 14, 2007

Historical Tidbits

Crockford provides some interesting third party historical tidbits:

In 1966, in a speech given in Frogmore, South Carolina, the Reverend Martin Luther King said, “You can’t talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can’t talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums …. we are treading in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong …. with capitalism …. There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.”

Reverend King’s astute observation of the need to move toward socialism did not come without scrupulous observation and study. Both he and Rosa Parks were trained at the Highlander Folk School, a labor organizing and training center with socialist underpinnings located in Tennessee.

Likewise, the Black Panther Party – known for its community programs to alleviate poverty – matured politically through the study and adoption of socialism and socialist ideas.

In the San Joaquin Valley, in the African-American community, in the Immigrant community, among the poor, the wage earners, and in our youth, we see an awakening to the oppressive and discriminatory nature of capitalism. More and more people are choosing to identify themselves and finding political solidarity as “anti-capitalists.”

Another thing which stood out in that article was something of which I wasn’t aware:

For the many socialist parties throughout the country – including California’s Peace and Freedom Party – discussions are underway to form affiliations that could ultimately lead to a unified socialist party within the U.S.

As a Libertarian, I know how difficult it can be, at times, to unite various ideological factions under the same roof. It may be interesting to see if such unification will occur.


Sonnet (1928)

I am in need of music that would flow Over my fretful, feeling finger-tips, Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips, With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow. Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low, Of some song sung to rest the tired dead, A song to fall like water on my head, And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow! There is a magic made by melody: A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep To the subaqueous stillness of the sea, And floats forever in a moon-green pool, Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep. Elizabeth Bishop

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Miracle on Pennsylvania Avenue: Santa Claus Confirmed as FBI Head

After a brief debate, the Senate voted 98-0 today to confirm Santa Claus, bag-toting icon of festive home invasions, for a lifetime term as director of the FBI. Upon learning of the decision, Mr. Claus let out a triumphant “HO HO HO,” shook his ample red belly, and handed out gaily wrapped presents to all, senator and page alike.

Santa’s appointment, along with the ouster of current FBI chief Robert S. Mueller, is hoped to quell decades of accusations that the Federal Bureau of Investigation abuses its power by spying on civilians. Last March, for example, the Inspector General’s audit found 22 possible breaches of internal FBI and Justice Department regulations, when the FBI made thousands of secret demands for private information on U.S. residents not suspected of terrorism.

“With Santa at the reins,” said President Bush, “no one can criticize U.S. intelligence again. Hey, what say we get Santa to take the fall for destroying those CIA interrogation tapes?”

During a half-hour confirmation hearing, Santa argued that, as an archetype of Western Culture’s bounty, with magic powers to look into the hearts of every U.S. resident, he needs no permission to monitor email, phone calls, or financial records. Simply by riding around in his sleigh, says Santa, he can circumvent the courts in a way previous FBI administrations could only dream of doing.

Senate Judiciary Committee member Tom Coburn (R-OK), reflected bi-partisan approval in stating, “The guy’s an investigative genius; he’s also a pagan symbol, so the church-state-separation loonies can’t hammer us. Plus, Santa’s so darn likeable, who could resist him? Look – he gave me this nifty HIV test kit.”

But Santa has a master plan, warn anonymous Santa’s Helpers concerned with a turn toward McCarthyism. In order to cut through surveillance red tape, Santa is creating one all-encompassing List, designating everyone as either “Naughty” or “Nice.” There are, say the Helpers, no legal safeguards to ensure that the List will be checked once, let alone twice.

Telephone companies, Internet service providers, and banks have sometimes been reluctant to surrender client information to the government. Now, in hopes of making the “Nice” list, most appear eager to be shaken down by a merry fat man. However, reactions of ordinary Americans are mixed.

Clyde Lichtenloafer, sequin placement manager for the Ice Capades, said he was delighted by Santa’s appointment, which makes routine intrusions into his privacy more appealing. “Now, whenever I pick up the phone,” said Mr. Lichtenloafer, “instead of the usual nasty hums and clicks, I hear the distant jingle of sleigh bells.”

But Memphis beautician Thelma Plattsburgh has qualms. “I don’t mind that Santa knows when I’m awake,” said Plattsburgh. “That’s his job, to catch the terrorists and all. But I don’t like that he can see me when I’m sleeping. I mean, who is he – Freddy Krueger? Like, last night, I had a dream that tiny red and green demons kidnapped me to the North Pole for interrogation. I woke up in a cold sweat, screaming, ‘I’ve been good, for goodness sake, stop HURTING me!’”

Prominent American intellectuals generally support Santa’s appointment, with the exception of the minority who employ irony and sarcasm. Noam Chomsky spoke for the caustic few when he stated, “In a country that seriously debates whether evolution should be taught in our schools, it makes perfect sense that Santa Claus is appointed head of the FBI.”

Chomsky, ever the current-events maven, cited the case of plucky, 8-year-old Billy Wiggims of East Lansing, Michigan, who has already been put on the “Naughty” list for writing a letter to Santa saying that he wanted world peace more than a new catcher’s mitt. Billy was kicked out of the Cub Scouts and will be tried as an adult on seven counts of terrorism and two counts of being a crybaby.

Yet no one appears to doubt that Santa Claus’s law enforcement methods are far superior – and kindlier – than those traditionally used by the FBI. Since its inception, the agency has been known for making wrongful arrests, illegally breaking into homes, vandalizing, stealing evidence, and hounding social justice activists including Albert Einstein, the Black Panther Party, and Dr. Martin Luther King.

Interestingly, denizens of the crime underworld, who have cooperated with the FBI, are familiar with its new director. “Sure, I know Santa,” said Turdface the Snitch, minor drug dealer on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, who declined to give his real name. “He’s a bagman. Also known as Nick, alias ‘Saint’ Nick, alias Pere Noel, alias Sinterklaas, alias Baba Christmas. Now, he’s J. Edgar Kringle. The dude’s got a rap sheet as long as your arm.”

Meanwhile, because of Santa’s busy new schedule, deposed FBI chief Mueller has been asked to fill in at holiday venues. Mueller currently appears as “Santa” at the Macy’s on 34th Street, dandling little children on his knee and emitting what has been described as a strained and rather disappointing “heh-heh-heh.”

Ultimately, say Justice Department insiders, until the government can put a jolly face on all its clandestine activities, every good little American will be well advised to (a) watch out, (b) not cry, (c) avoid pouting. Above all, cautions Turdface, “if somebody sneaks into your house late at night and cleans you out of everything, down to your very last cookie – don’t call the cops.”

Susie Day is a satire writer living in New York. Copyright © 2007. She can be reached at: suzetsky@gmail.com. Read other articles by Susie.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

*****Youseum.org*****

[I'm nominating my husband for the Solar Award] Our site offers you an opportunity to examine your life in ways that you may not have considered before. Please sample the Youseum website links for clues to discovering your personal aptitudes, traits and uniqueness. Have a look at the Youseum awards and how they might apply to you and those around you. Please review the Youseum award recipients and let us know if you care to nominate someone. The Youseum is about You. * YOU Recognition Awards The YOU Awards are designed to inspire a new awareness and appreciation of activities, events or traits that are not normally acknowledged or rewarded, but that have merit and are examples of courage, creativity, strength or wit. Awards are presented annually. The five awards acknowledge worthy efforts in a variety of categories, focusing on emotional and personal development and achievement in unexpected and untraditional ways. Candidates for the YOU awards are not routinely in the public eye and would not ordinarily expect acknowledgement for these particular situations, traits or activities. The public is invited to submit nominees for future YOU awards. The Solar Award Awarded to an individual who radiates warmth, cheer, or happiness and is a comfort or joy to those around them. The Knack Award Awarded to someone who empowers others or maintains something that benefits others, but whose ability and hard work may be unacknowledged. The Zig Award Awarded to an individual where a sharp alteration or change of direction in life, career or situation has prompted creative or courageous ways of coping. The Mettle Award Awarded to an individual who has shown the courage to take what action is needed in a difficult situation. The You Award Awarded to an individual whose unique traits or atypical approach to life merit positive acknowledgement; an award for just being you.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Planned Collapse of America

Peter Chamberlin

There is no shortage of speculation about "why" our leaders are still adamantly planning for the destruction of Iran, in the face of overwhelming popular opposition, even though everyone except the neocons and their allies believes that America would not survive our own actions. An irrational attack is planned and apparently the decision has been chiseled in stone. It may be for Israel. It may be for oil. Maybe it is for world domination?

We are launching a nuclear world war to save us from ourselves. "We have found the enemy and he is us." - Pogo. We risk blowing the world apart, to avoid watching America slowly choke on its own excesses.

The government has known for decades that America is on a countdown to self-destruction. Among the elite it is common knowledge that our "global economy" must one day collapse from its own dead weight. In 1974 an intensive research project was undertaken by the Stanford Research Institute and the Charles F. Kettering Foundation for the Dept. of Education. Their final report was released as the Changing Images of Man. http://www.skilluminati.com/research/entry/changing_images_of_man_in_pdf_format/

It was compiled by the SRI Center for the Study of Social Policy, Director Willis Harmon." This is a far-reaching investigation into how the basic nature of man might be changed. The Aquarian Conspiracy describes the implementation of their work in the real world.

The most reassuring part of "Images" is that it confirms my own conclusions about our crisis, but is also the most disturbing part, for it confirms my worst reservations about this time.

The object of the research

was the development of a plausible vision of the future in which democratic methods survive, major problems are managed successfully if not resolved, and the unfolding of the human potential continues to expand. In other words, the postulation of a "desirable future" including feasible paths to its realization...

The government was looking forward to a very troubling future, trying to figure out the best path through it. The plan was to find ways to shape and mold mankind into a new cultural image, complete with new ideas and ideologies, even religious ones. The root of the problem was human nature, and solution was to re-shape the competing forces of daily life, in order to forge a new image of a new human nature. The researchers were brutally honest in seeking all available knowledge pertaining to their research, and in assessing the current common image of man-on-earth.

The research revealed that there were a multitude of crises that were about to intersect in America's near future. Not the least of these converging catastrophes was a rapidly approaching breakdown of both American capitalism and democracy. The collapse was a natural result of globalism and monopoly capitalism. The basic greed that powers the system eroded the American political and economic structures, exposing the foundation of immorality and unfairness that amplifies the social unrest. The Stanford researchers clearly predicted that the American economy was destined to collapse from its own dead weight. The data also showed that that economic collapse was to be accompanied by disastrous social repercussions, such as rioting and upheaval, which would lead us into a "garrison state."

The thing about this research is that this work has confirmed that our economy based on parasitic capitalism, where the small elite sits atop the heap of men and gorges on their lifeblood, is destroying the social fabric of America. This system is based on a stacked deck, where the top elite always reap the profits that are made to rise to the top through the corporate profits-based system. The research confirmed that the growing inequities of such a system were ever increasing and with them, elevated social tensions. A system based on usury and putting everyone in the "poor house" is an economic order that is guaranteed to produce a democratic revolution, whenever the misery index of the armed populace exceeds the limits that they are willing to peacefully bear, without striking back at the source of their misery.

Changing Images of Man predicts an American economic collapse and a "garrison" (police) state," if the overwhelming inequities of our economic system are not corrected by powerful multinationals making more humane decisions. Alternatives to this doomsday scenario are discussed, all of which point to the need to devote all available resources towards transforming the image of man, changing man's nature, instead of altering the corrupted economic system which has brought America to this dire state. In this government study it was inappropriate to denounce the evil culprits behind all our troubles (who pull the strings on government itself), even though the task was to document and remedy the damage that they have done. Instead, they are cited as the hopeful "saviors," that we should look to for help and leadership. The hypocrisy of the hegemons! The authors admit that it is "utopian in 1974 to think of the multinational corporations as potentially among our most effective mechanisms for husbanding the earth's resources and optimizing their use for human benefit – the current popular image of the corporation tends to be more that of the spoiler and the exploiter."

Instead of charging the people who are responsible for our situation, (such as men like David Rockefeller) for manipulating our economy and our democracy to maximize their profits, the multi-national corporations and their owners were exalted as the potential saviors of mankind. Rockefeller and the elite have consistently taken steps to dominate the world by controlling people through "humanitarian" projects which, in the end, turn out to be profit mechanisms. The "green revolution" to spread corporate farming to the Third World has been the key to globalization's destabilizing of world labor markets, in order to create populations of "refugee workers," who are willing to go anywhere to find work for slave wages. This is the cause of the wave of illegal immigration into the US, from Mexico. This is part of the proof that there are powerful individuals who are using their economic power to undermine nations in a long-term scheme to gain control of nations and multiply their profits.

Here David Rockefeller admits media collusion with his one world plans:

"We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the light of publicity during those years. But now the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supra-national sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries." http://www.constitutionforum.net/main_good_government.html

Rockefeller writes on page 405 of his memoirs:

Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure - one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it," http://lonelantern.org/site/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=356

Everything that "Images" suggested to remedy shortcomings in the economic system was based on the assumption that men like this would acquire a new corporate benevolence, with CEOs gaining basic humanity. According to Rockefeller himself (who freely admits his efforts to replace America with a "one world" order), he has been working for the greater good of man, all along.

Their conclusions on American political shortcomings were that these would be tended to by the new improved humane politicians, sort of like Bush's "compassionate conservatives." Step 4 of their six-part strategy to "Bring About a Non-Catostrophic Transformation" –

"Encourage a politics of righteousness and a heightened sense of public responsibilities of the private sector...A politics of righteousness might have been laudable in any generation; it may be indispensable for safe passage through the times just ahead."

The report authors recognize the inevitability of the rising new image of man, describing it as a quasi-religious awakening within the collective mind of man, man's new human nature, relating it to the actual process of spiritual learning that has been going on within religions for thousands of years. They praise Freemasonry and the skills and disciplines inculcated within its members, speculating that their ways might be the key to shoring-up our free-enterprise democratic society.

They developed a strategy to revitalize America's motivational images, symbols and institutions, outlining five separate approaches to the problem, describing the pluses and the pitfalls of each, according to their effects upon society. These approaches are defined as "restorative, simulative, manipulative, persuasive and facilitative." Restoration of crumbling icons works best in the early stages of societal transformation (revitalization cycle). The simulative strategy introduces new ideas, whenever the collapse of the old order becomes apparent. The manipulative strategy seeks to limit individual freedoms. Persuasive propaganda phase is to be coupled with proven mind control techniques, to keep down the social upheaval and shape the emerging image.

"No doubt existing consciousness-changing, behavior-shaping, subliminal persuasion, and other conditioning techniques could be used to accomplish some sort of transformation of sobering proportions (we ought to be able to be more effective than Nazi Germany). After previously citing Nazi re-invigoration of the Germanic icons and ideals."

The transforming revitalization process mirrors the psychiatric process of leading a patient through a psychotic break and the restructuring of his life, but on a national scale.

Once the transformation becomes apparent, social stability will become a problem, especially when society feels pushed by over-extending the simulative stage. Actions taken to increase the polarization between "transformation enthusiasts and the conservatives" are called "constructive," except when it is desirable to take actions that "contribute to social cohesion." They were searching for the best path to bring about a controlled de-construction of everything that "America" means and the re-construction of a new improved vision of America. They are midwifes to the delivery of the "New World Order," as they go about the dirty business of guiding society through that predicted period of "friendly fascism."

The great anomaly is given as the great chasm between an efficiently functioning profit-driven capitalist society and the human needs and desires of that society which go unmet, so that "profits" can be taken. In fact, the "profit" really amounts to the bread that is taken from the poor. The inequities and the unfairness of the corporate system are causing the breakdown of American capitalism and American democracy. The American catastrophe is causing the breakdown of the world economy for the same reason, the basic inability of monopoly capitalism to meet the basic needs demanded by the world's people.

Bush's appointed task is to bully America through this turbulent period of upheaval, with as little disruption of corporate activity as possible. Government has taken the words of this study to heart, preparing a manipulative transformation, to divert or pre-empt the coming collapse of our nation with a massive war today. This is also one of the primary reasons for the coming world war, to serve as a prelude to American martial law. Instead of calling out the troops after the insurrection has begun, they plan to call out the troops first. If the American military is to forcefully control the homeland, including their own relatives, then the troops must first be convinced that the Nation's survival depends upon their patriotic actions. This is why the world war against Iran has not started yet, because our National Guard must first be convinced that its duty is to put down the American rebellion which will surely accompany the bombing of Iran. The timing for their great takeover is crucial, if they want to move America past (through) the social unrest as quickly as possible.

Here are the "Elements of a Strategy for a Non-catastrophic Transition:

1. Promote awareness of the unavoidability of the transformation.

2. Foster construction of a guiding vision of a workable society built around the new image of man and new social paradigm.

3. Foster a period of experimentation and tolerance for diverse alternatives

4. Encourage a politics of righteousness and a heightened sense of public responsibilities of the private sector...A politics of righteousness might have been laudable in any generation; it may be indispensable for safe passage through the times just ahead.

5. Promote systematic exploration of, and foster education regarding, man's inner life, his subjective experience.

6. Plan adequate social controls for the transition period while safeguarding against longer-term losses of freedom...Regulation and restraint of behavior will be necessary in order to hold the society together while it goes around a difficult corner.

There must be a new economics to deal with the "new scarcities." Arguing for corporate America to adopt a humanitarian aspect, the argument is made for an alternative "new socialism," where important sectors like energy might be nationalized for the good of the country, and greater pressure put upon corporations to mandate a sort of social awareness of employee needs, as much as shareholder profits.

"The appropriate question may be not so much how to bring about a transformation...but rather how to facilitate a non-catastrophic transformation." [page 195]

"Construct a guiding version of a workable society, built around a new positive image of humankind and corresponding vision of a suitable social paradigm. As the old order shows increasing signs of falling apart, some adequate vision of what may be simultaneously building is urgently needed for mobilization of constructive effort. The guiding vision has to include some way of providing for full and valued participation in the economic and social affairs of the community and society, especially for those who are physically and mentally able to contribute but find themselves in a state of unwilling idleness and deterioration of spirit."

Despite all the report's shortcomings and its hypocrisy, it does make some sound observations about what is needed for our immediate survival. We should take it as a guide to what our government knows about the coming mega-crisis and a template to help us see what changes we could make if there were truly a new economy, a new social contract, a new American state. For it is obvious to all those who take the time to look, that we are headed into period of national freefall, when American society plunges head first, into a dark abyss of uncertainty, as the old order passes away, and the New World Order rushes in to fill the void.

We are seeing the planned collapse of America, coming down the road we are on. What are we going to do to get our nation off that highway to hell?

-###-

December 6, 2007 By Peter Chamberlin


Sunday, December 09, 2007

*misc* lost thoughts

Jake Baddeley "The Fool" 2006
Putting Jake Baddeley's work on this site is a no-brainer. His paintings integrate tarot imagery with religious iconography and other hermetic allusions. Clever and beautiful.
"Chastity—the most unnatural of all the sexual perversions." -- Aldous Huxley -- "Graze on my lips; and if those hills be dry, stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie." -- William Shakespeare -- Interview with Huey P. Newton (1968) ... Threat from Reformers MOVEMENT: Kennedy before his death and to a lesser extent Rockefeller and Lindsay and other establishment liberals have been talking about making reforms to give black people a greater share in the pie and thus stop any developing revolutionary movement. Would you comment on this? HUEY: I would say this: If a Kennedy or Lindsay or anyone else can give decent housing to all of our people; if they can give full employment to our People with a high standard; if they can give full control to black people to determine the destiny of their community; if they can give fair trials in the court system by turning over the structure to the community; if they can end their exploitation of people throughout the world; if they can do all of these things they would have solved the problems. But I don't believe that under this present system, under capitalism, that they will be able to solve these problems. People Must Control I don't think black people should be fooled by their come-ons because every one who gets in office promises the same thing. They promise full employment and decent housing; the Great Society, the New Frontier, All of these names, but no real benefits. No effects are felt in the black community, and black people are tired of being deceived and duped, The people must have full control of the means of production. Small black businesses cannot compete with General Motors. That's just out of the question. General Motors robbed us and worked us for nothing for a couple hundred years and took our money and set up factories and became fat and rich and then talks about giving us some of the crumbs. We want full control. We're not interested in anyone promising that the private owners are going to all of a sudden become human beings and give these things to our community. It hasn't ever happened and, based on empirical evidence, we don't expect them to become Buddhists over night. ... "Your spirit joined itself with flesh, and in flesh, to experience a world of incredible richness, to help create a dimension of reality of colors and of form. Your spirit was born in flesh to enrich a marvelous area of sense awareness, to feel energy made into corporeal form. You are here to use, enjoy and express yourself through the body. You are here to aid in the great expansion of human consciousness. You are not here to cry about the miseries of the human condition, but to change them when you find them through the joy, strength and vitality that is within you; to create the spirit as beautifully as you can in flesh." ~Seth, through Jane Roberts

Friday, December 07, 2007

Congress Rushes Through Law To Protect The Children... And Make Open WiFi A Huge Liability

[Thanks to Sunshine Jim for this link] From the congress-folks-at-work dept

Congress was apparently busy on Wednesday moving forward with incredibly bad laws that are designed to look good to certain constituents, but are highly questionable in real terms. We already discussed the new PRO IP bill, but the House also rushed through approval of the SAFE Act, which is one of those ridiculous bills that everyone feels compelled to vote for to "protect the children." Only two Representatives voted against the bill (and, yes, for his fans, one of them was Ron Paul). As Declan McCullough's report makes clear, the backers of this bill rushed it through Congress for no clear reason. They used a procedural trick normally reserved for non-controversial laws -- and made significant changes from an earlier version, never making the new version available for public review prior to the vote. So what's so awful about the law? Well, like most "protect the children" legislation, it goes way overboard in terms of what people are expected to do, and like most legislation having to do with technology, seems utterly clueless about how technology works. The bill would require anyone providing an "electronic communication service" or a "remote computing service" to record and report information any time they "learn" that their network was used for certain broadly defined illegal activities concerning obscene images. That's double trouble, as both the illegal activities and the classification of who counts as a service provider are so broadly defined. McCullough notes that anyone providing an open WiFi network, a social network, a domain registry or even a webmail service probably qualify under the law. Glenn Fleishman describes what the law could mean in practice, points out that anyone who runs an open WiFi network for the public is now basically required to snitch on anyone they think may be doing anything deemed "illegal" in this act, including viewing or transmitting certain obscene drawings, cartoons, sculptures, or paintings. As Fleishman notes, it "sounds like viewing an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog could qualify." Even worse, part of the snitching is that beyond sending a report and the images to the gov't, you're supposed to retain the "illegal" image yourself -- which would seem to open you up to charges of possession as well if you somehow screw up (if you follow everything exactly to the letter of the law, you are granted immunity). If you don't snitch on anyone suspected of viewing or transmitting these images, then you, as the network "operator" are suddenly liable for huge fines. Honestly, the liability is so big that anyone offering WiFi is probably better off no longer doing so. This is one of those laws that politicians love to pass, because they think it makes them look like they're protecting children -- when all they're really doing is creating a huge and unnecessary headache for all kinds of service providers, from open WiFi operators to social networking sites to webmail offerings. But, of course, it moves forward -- with no public scrutiny and no discussion -- because almost no politician wants to allow a politician to accuse him or her of voting "against" protecting the children.


The Constitution, the Media and Kucinich, by Sean Penn

[Thanks to grischa for this link] Piano Wire Puppeteers By SEAN PENN

It’s been an odd week. For me, a particularly odd week. But that’s another story. So, wait a minute. Iran DOESN’T have nuclear weapon capability??? So, who are we gonna bomb? I want to bomb somebody!

Didn’t Senator Clinton just vote in essence to give President Bush the power to bomb Iran? If he had done it last week, would that have made her right? I mean, if she knew then what she knows now? Or am I getting that backward? Golly, I’m confused.

And what about President Bush? This week, Vladimir Putin, the man Mr. Bush said he “Looked into the eyes of and found to be very straightforward and trustworthy.” So much so, he was “able to get a sense of his soul.” Well that soulful fella has just successfully coalesced the most dangerous power base in Russia since the Cold War amid rumors that include allegations he ordered the assassinations of journalists and imprisonment of noted proponents of freedom (Oops).

Meanwhile, our President’s great enemy in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, that “totalitarian,” “authoritarian,” “dictator,” that “mad man run amok,” somehow was unsuccessful in his bid for the constitutional reforms that would have allowed him to be repeatedly re-elected for life…Hmmm?

Odd week, you know? Really.

What happened to Chavez’s “strong-arming?” His “electoral corruption?” His alleged “gagging of the press?” How in the hell could he have lost? I’m sorry, did I miss something?

How is it that this “Commie bastard” with 80% of his citizens having elected him in the first place was unable to prevail? Could it be that we’ve been lied to about him? I mean, Pat Robertson’s not a liar, is he? His god wouldn’t let that happen, would he? And god-forbid, our god would let the right-wing pundits, left-wing corporates, or our own administration send us a bill of goods!?

Is it possible, I mean I know it’s silly, but is it just a little bit possible that President Chavez is in fact a defender of his people’s Constitution? That, that’s how his referendum could fail? And that that’s why he accepted it with such grace? A constitution which I have read several times. Quite a beautiful document, not dissimilar to our own. You might give it a read. Oh, I forgot – he’s a “drug runner.”

Let me share something with you. Late one night in Caracas, I met with a couple of fellas, mercenaries I think you call them. Goddamit, I keep doing that. I mean “contractors.” They were Brits, their specialty: drug interdiction. These two were no great fans of Chavez. They called him “radical” and expected him to fall to an assassin’s bullet within the year. Like him or not, he had the cash to win their acceptance of his employ. And working alongside the Venezuelan military, these two, based in Caracas, had played the mountainous and jungled border between Columbia and Venezuela. A zone rife with paramilitaries, FARC guerillas, and mer…scratch that, contractors. What I was told that evening in Caracas by these piano wire puppeteers was that they had never worked for a government whose investment in drug interdiction was so genuine. “Yeah,” said one of the Brits, “I gotta give the bastard Chavez that.”

But I was talking about the Constitution. Most importantly, our own. And what an odd week it has been. Our culture is engrained with a tradition that blurs the line between what is right, what is just and what is constitutional, with what is a scam. That tradition is the cult of personality. What can TV sell, what kind of crap will we buy. And at what point are we buying and selling our rights, our pride, our flag, our children, and succumbing to meaningless slogans that are ultimately pure titles for un-Americanism. How do we know what’s American and what is not? Because John Wayne tells us so? Because Sean Penn tells us so? Susan Sarandon? Bill O’Reilly? Michael Moore? Senator Bull? Or Senator Shit? Ann “my bowel expenditure” Coulter? No. It’s our Constitution. We don’t use it just to win. We depend on it because it’s the only “us” worth being. And because it’s our children’s inheritance from our shared forefathers and the traditions that really do speak best of our country.

So, here’s the question. We got Iowa coming up, we got New Hampshire right on its ass. Do we sell it for electability? If Hitler were the only candidate, would voting for him be most American? Jump on a plane with me. Okay, we’re over the Middle East now…Let’s land. Take a deep breath.

Imagine the bodies, burned and mutilated, the concussive sounds of gunfire and explosives defining the last horrifying moments of the dying and the dead. Imagine the millions of refugees fleeing through the deserts of Iraq, the babies crying, and the stench of death in the air. Yuck. Let’s get back on the plane and head home.

Now, imagine American servicemen dead or broken, returning from a broken military to a silent casket or a broken veteran’s administration, to broken lives and broken businesses, broken wives, unspoken husbands, and devastated children. And what for? What have we gained?

Al-Qaida recruitment is up. Terrorism is up. Quality of life is down in our country and around the world. While the rich continue to get richer and the poor, poorer and more numerous. And on the verge of recession, we are witnessing the dramatic disassembling of the middle class amidst a flood of foreclosures and unpayable debts. To Osama Bin Laden’s infinite delight, we have become a country of principle breakers rather than principle bearers.

We are torturers and we too often, imprison only the weak. When our own administration chooses its bewilderingly un-American agenda (For the entitled people? By the entitled people?) over the Constitution in defining American values, principles, and law, Bin Laden laughs at the weakened sheep that we and our representatives have become.

High crimes and misdemeanors? How about full-blown treason for the outing our own CIA operatives? How about full-blown treason for those who support this administration through media propaganda?

While I’m not a proponent of the Death Penalty, existing law provides that the likes of Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld and Rice, if found guilty, could have hoods thrown over their heads, their hands bound, facing a 12-man rifle corps executing death by firing squad. And our cowardly democratically dominated House and Senate can barely find one voice willing to propose so much as an impeachment. That one voice of a true American. That one voice of Congressman Dennis Kucinich.

This is not going to be a sound bite. Not if I can help it. I’m torn. I’m torn between the conventional wisdom of what we all keep being told is electibility and the idealism that perhaps alone can live up to the challenges of our generation. Of the democrats running for President, only Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s candidacy is backed by a voting record of moral courage and a history of service to our country that has fully earned our support and our gratitude. And when I say support, I am not speaking to democrats alone, but rather to every American who would take the time on behalf of their children, our planet, and our soldiers to educate themselves on the Kucinich platform.

In the recent debate among Democrats in Las Vegas, the candidates, one after the other, placed security ahead of human rights. Benjamin Franklin once said “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” Then, there was good ole Patrick Henry. Remember him? “Give me liberty, or give me death.” These were the real tough bastards. The real John Wayne’s.

These are the traditions we should be serving. I found the debate infuriating, nearly an argument for fascism with few exceptions, key among them Dennis Kucinich. Of course as a strategic politician, Mrs. Clinton pulled out her set of Ginzu knives and dominated once again on “centrist” political strategy. In fending off attacks upon she, the front runner, she reminded the audience and her fellow candidates, “We are all Democrats.”

Wolf Blitzer asked each candidate if they would support the other should they themselves not be the nominee. One after another, the answer, yes. One exception: Dennis Kucinich, who with the minimal time allotted him, once again rose up beyond the sound bite and put principal ahead of party; argued policy rather than politeness. He has been the dominant voice of integrity on issues of trade, labor, education, environment, health, civil liberties, and the one endlessly determined voice of peace.

But is he too short? Does his haircut not appeal? Is he not loyal enough to a cowardly democratic platform? Does he not appeal to the cult of personality? And what if the answer is yes? What if Dennis Kucinich, the most deserving and noble of candidates, the most experienced in issues of policy and the least willing to play into the politics of personal power? What if we can’t elect a man simply on the basis of the best ideas, the most courage, and the most selfless service? What does it say about our country when we can’t rally the voices of the common good to support a man, like our troops, who would die for us, who would die for our constitution? Who, as mayor of Cleveland at the age of 31 stood up against contracts on his life. Three separate assassins whose intent was to kill him as he stood up for his constituency there.

Nonetheless, he carries on. He continues to serve.

I’ve been a supporter of Dennis Kucinich for several years. And I’ve been torn lately. I’ve been torn by the allure of “electability.” I began to invest some support in a very good man (one among Dennis’s opponents) who seems to be finding himself as a constitutional defender, but he’s not one yet. He is however, among those that we allow the media to distinguish as electable. But we’re talking about the Constitution here. We’re talking about our country. I have decided not to participate in proactive support on the basis of media distinctions. I have chosen to pledge my support to the singular, strongest and most proven representative of our constitutional mandate.

Dennis Kucinich offers us a very singular opportunity as we share this minute of time on earth. We, the people. It is for us to determine what is electable. And here’s how simple it is: If we, those of us who truly believe in the Constitution of the United States of America, all of us, vote for Dennis Kucinich, he will be elected. Could we call him electable then? If so, America will stand taller than ever.

Let’s remind our friends in the social circles of New York and the highbrow winner-friendly and monied major cities that support Mrs. Clinton, that this is not Bill Clinton. For all the misgivings I have about our former President, he raised up friends and opposition alike, his great gift as a motivator of interest and activism, of self-education and participation was, on its own merits, a unique gift. But don’t underestimate personal agendas, those that initiated NAFTA, betrayed Haitian refugees and gay rights in the military within a minute of his own election. Don’t underestimate that part of him when he gives his wife the face of his talent. Don’t underestimate the damage her poisonous ambition can do to this country. We can’t wait for the benefit of hindsight to service the benefit of Mrs. Clinton’s career.

Let’s raise up men and women of vision, of integrity, of belief in our principles. How exciting would that be to do? How good would that be for television? What if we turned this game around? Imagine watching on television, our country raising up a leader because he represents our Constitution.

Yes, good things can be good TV.

So, let’s give the Constitution another read, shall we? And then decide who its greatest defender would be. I suggest that Republicans, Independents, and Democrats alike will find that they know what’s really right in their hearts and minds.

Sean Penn's latest film is Into the Wild.

*

SEAN PENN TO ENDORSE KUCINICH ...


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Prayer, Creepy Songs, Leunig, & Lives

Is There Anything in Prayer? * Lyrics to a song from the 70's... * They're Taking the People's Treasure Written By: Scott Silver, Executive Director, Wild Wilderness http://www.wildwilderness.org/docs/private.htm "The People's Treasure is a wonderful poem by the Australian poet Michael Leunig which beautifully describes how the privatizers are stealing what we collectively own. It begins: They're privatising things we own together. And though we're still connected by the weather They say that sharing things is now unsound. They're lonelifying all the public spaces. They're rationalising swags and billabongs. They're awfulising nature's lovely places, Dismantling the dreaming and the songs." Wherever you look you can see the privatizers. Free-trade agreements, the prison industrial complex, terminator seed technology and corporate run school systems are just a few of the forms privatization is taking. It is the impending Corporate Takeover of Nature with its associated Privatization of Wildness where I have established my personal battle lines in this larger fight." * Cat Tales: The Meaning of Cats in Women's Lives

Libertad!

One of the defining voices of the Chicano/Chicana political art movement, Ester Hernández is known for her activist imagery in support of farm worker's rights in California, and for subjects concerned with Chicano culture and history. Of Yaqui and Mexican descent, Hernández was born in California, the sixth child of a farm working family. In Libertad, Hernández lays claim to the Statue of Liberty, which is an emblem of immigration, citizenship, plurality, and freedom. Carved near the base is the word "Aztlán" ("White Land"), the name for the Aztec land of origin, which legend locates somewhere north of Central Mexico-making the point that Chicanos have claim to the land that is now the United States. ***************************************************************** "Libertad! Igualdad! Fraternidad!", by William Carlos Williams * You sullen pig of a man
you force me into the mud with your stinking ash-cart! Brother! --if we were rich we'd stick our chests out and hold our heads high! It is dreams that have destroyed us. There is no more pride in horses or in rein holding. We sit hunched together brooding our fate. Well-- all things turn bitter in the end whether you choose the right or the left way and-- dreams are not a bad thing.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Lewis Carroll Logician and Mathematician

"Mathematical and Logical Works. Dodgson's considerable output of books and pamphlets of a mathematical and, to a lesser degree, of a logical nature shows that he was both a conscientious senior student of Christ Church and a mathematician of distinction. Prominent among these were The Fifth Book of Euclid Treated Algebraically (1858 and 1868), A Syllabus of Plane Algebraical Geometry (1860), An Elementary Treatise on Determinants (1867), and Euclid and His Modern Rivals (1879). Of the last, his contemporary, the English author and librarian Falconer Madan, wrote, "This is the most elaborate mathematical work produced by Dodgson and at the same time a piece of literature." Apart from pamphlets and small textbooks for students, Dodgson's only other important mathematical works were the two series of Curiosa Mathematica (1888 and 1802). Though he printed several logical puzzles, his only books in this area were intended for children, though logicians consider Symbolic Logic (1896) important. Dodgson is also remembered for his pamphlets and letters on "Proportional Representation," conveniently collected and assessed by Duncan Black in The Theory of Committees and Elections (1958); while Some Popular Fallacies about Vivisection (1875) is still quoted with approval. From Colliers CD Rom Encyclopedia

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Anarchism, Christianity, and the Prophetic Imagination 12

Anarchists do not only reject governments because of their centralization of power and the prevention of citizens from being able to directly participate in matters that affect them, but also because of what is seen as an inherently violent nature. Anthony Giddens (not an anarchist so far as I know), in The Nation-State and Violence, defines the state as a territorially-arranged entity that is able to successfully mobilize the use of violence to maintain its territory and identity. All governments use violence, whether it is in waging war, police actions against citizens, repression either through policing, prisons, or propaganda, or in other ways. Governments force people to fit into the mold they provide for society, reducing human beings to part of a system that is imposed upon them. Now, it is of course true that different governments do this in different ways – a dictatorship may use the bludgeon while a so-called democracy uses the manufacture of consent through manipulation of the media – but fundamentally the nature of a government is violent. For an excellent in-depth introduction to the history of elitism in American so-called democracy as well as an exposition of how the ruling powers control thought patterns and minimize dissent in the media, read Noam Chomsky’s Necessary Illusions as well Manufacturing Consent, by Chomsky and Ed Herman.

One of the “rubber-meets-the-road” sorts of questions I often hear is the eminently reasonable (though, I think, somewhat misguided in a sense) question of… does anarchism work? That is to say, is it viable as a way for people to cooperatively govern themselves in the absence of the machinations of state? While I might be tempted to say what’s really important are the principle of justice and mutual freedom on which anarchism is based, and as a Christian I am more concerned not with building some kind of anarchist “utopia”, but rather on following Jesus and examining the relationship between political ways of thinking and the Bible, it is still a valid question.

There are a few prominent examples of anarchistic societies based on mutual aid have been established. Perhaps the most well-known was in Spain in 1936-1939 where anarchist peasants and workers collectivized land and factories in a widespread movement before the uprising was crushed by a strange alliance of Stalinists, fascists, and US-supported business interests. Also, in the Mexican state of Chiapas the Zapatista movement is currently largely in force in the upper part of the state (since January 1, 1994), mostly populated by indigenous Mexicans descended from the Mayans. The Zapatista society is largely anarchic, influenced greatly by indigenous traditions in resistance to the machinations of the Mexican government and large farm owners who have historically oppressed the region’s peasants. If anyone is so interested, you can actually buy coffee from Zapatista cooperatives and support them.

This basically wraps up my discussion of the basics of anarchism. This has been a very basic introduction - there are a lot of nuances and different positions taken up by various anarchist schools of thought, so I encourage you to check out many of the fine resources available at the Jesus Radicals anarchism section and the amazing collection of primary resources at the Anarchy Archives. From here we will move on to a discussion of the relationship between Christianity and anarchism.

:: Written by Jason ::

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The World Inside the Devil, by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

In our previous discussion of Discernment, we have asked two question:

How in the world can we hope to win such a game, played by GameMasters who are clearly so much more powerful than we are?

Or are they?

The Cassiopaeans have said that "knowledge protects." They have also said that it is not "where you are but who you are and what you SEE" that counts in cosmic metamorphic terms. Obviously, "seeing" is somehow related to Knowledge and "conscious awareness."

C's: Remember, density refers to one's conscious awareness only. Once one is aware, ALL [many spirals of the planchette for emphasis] conforms to that awareness.

Note here: The obvious implication of this is that there is some "objective test" of one's awareness and that is the fact that one will experience significant changes in one's life and experiences as a consequence of a deep change in awareness. In other words, it is not an arbitrary, nebulous statement that cannot be held up to proof. If your awareness changes in a deep and significant way, then your reality will also change significantly. It is not enough to say "Oh, I see things so differently! I am at peace!" and so on. If "all" conforms to advanced awareness, that suggests a completely different dynamic interaction with reality than existed before. It also suggests that those who have a "different" awareness will be unable to even perceive the higher dynamic.

But here, before we get into specific techniques of developing this heightened awareness that can create a shift in reality, we want to discuss some of the basics, i.e. what it really means to "SEE" and the context in which this SEEing takes place.

As we have documented on this website, our research shows that most of what is passed off as "esoteric" teachings is based on a narrow and limited view of reality even if it is couched in terms that seem to be "spiritual." One of the chief failings of these teachings is that they promote the idea that one can achieve great "spiritual" advancement by "emulating beings at higher levels" or practicing "spiritual disciplines" that are purportedly designed to change one's state. What most people do not take into account is the fact that this amounts to is attempting to do advanced calculus before one has even learned basic math. It could even be considered hubris. Georges Gurdjieff commented:

"The idea of initiation, which reaches us through pseudo-esoteric systems, is also transmitted to us in a completely wrong from.

"The legends concerning the outward rites of initiation have been created out of the scraps of information we possess in regard to the ancient Mysteries. [...]

"Transitions from one level of being to another were marked by ceremonies of presentation of a special kind, that is, initiation.

"But a change of being cannot be brought about by any rites.

"Rites can only mark an accomplished transition.

"And it is only in pseudo-esoteric systems in which there is nothing else except these rites, that they begin to attribute to the rites an independent meaning.

"It is supposed that a rite, in being transformed into a sacrament, transmits or communicates certain forces to the initiate. This again relates to the psychology of an imitation way.

"There is not, nor can there be, any outward initiation. In reality only self-initiation, self-presentation exist. Systems and schools can indicate methods and ways, but no system or school whatever can do for a man the work that he must do himself.

"Inner growth, a change of being, depend entirely upon the work which a man must do on himself." [Gurdjieff quoted by Ouspensky in In Search of the Miraculous]

Like most other seekers of higher spiritual states, I was inculcated for most of my life with the ideas promoted by the "imitation systems" mentioned by Gurdjieff above. And it was from this frame of reference that my early interactions with the C's took place during which time most of my "sacred cows" were put out to pasture and I was divested of many errors. I, too, thought that I had to do advanced calculus when it was obvious, from my life, that I hadn't even learned the basic math of this reality. For this reason, some of the lessons the C's were trying to outline for me were difficult:

Q: (L) What is it about the oncoming wave that is going to make any given person aware? A: Not yet... First: your prophets have always used 3rd density symbology to try to convey 4th density realities. You are attempting to gather 3rd density answers to explain 4th through 7th density principles. This is why you are getting frustrated, because it doesn't "mesh." [...] You see, my dear, when you arrive at 4th density, then you will see.

Q: (L) Well, how in the heck am I supposed to get there if I can't "get it?" A: Who says you have to "get it" before you get there?

Q: (L) Well, that leads back to: what is the wave going to do to expand this awareness? Because, if the wave is what "gets you there," what makes this so? A: No. It is like this: After you have completed all your lessons in "third grade," where do you go?

Q: (L) You go to fourth grade. A: Okay, now, do you have to already be in 4th grade in order to be allowed to go there? Answer.

Q: (L) No. But you have to know all the 3rd density things... A: Yes. More apropos: you have to have learned all of the lessons.

Q: (L) What kind of lessons are we talking about here? A: Karmic and simple understandings.

Q: (L) What are the key elements of these understandings, and are they fairly universal? A: They are universal.

Q: (L) What are they? A: We cannot tell you that.

Q: (L) Do they have to do with discovering the MEANINGS of the symbology of 3rd density existence, seeing behind the veil... and reacting to things according to choice? Giving each thing or person or event its due? A: Okay. But you cannot force the issue. When you have learned, you have learned!

The point the C's are trying to make is that anyone who is IN this reality is here because that is where they "fit." And when one is in a particular reality, it is for the purpose of learning the lessons of that reality, NOT to try to learn the lessons of higher realities before one has arrived there! And one CANNOT "graduate" to a higher reality until one has mastered the lessons of THIS reality which the C's have described as karmic lessons and simple understandings - which are universal.

In trying to get to the issue in practical terms, the reader will note that I did have SOME idea of what the C's were saying in the above passage. I had been reviewing the writings of the Sufi Shaykh, Ibn al-Arabi at the time, and his exposition of discovering the "meanings" of the symbol system of our reality and "giving each thing his due" was what was on my mind. The reader who wishes to have a deeper understanding of this can refer to these writings or to our review and analysis of same in the Wave Series.

Discovering the "meanings" of things, in Sufi terms, means to "see the unseen truth."

But this perspicacity is more than that. The Shaykh writes:

Perspicacity is a divine light just like the light which belongs to the eye of sight. When a person has this perspicacity, its mark is like the light of the sun through which sensory objects appear to sight. The light of the sun enables the being to differentiate among sensory objucts. It discerns the large from the small, the beautiful from the ugly, the white from the black, red, and yellow, the moving from the still, the far from the near, and the high from the low. In the same way, the light of perspicacity discerns the praiseworthy from the blameworthy.

This light unveils the movements of felicity pertaining to the next abode and the movements of wretchedness.

Some of the possessors of perspicacity have reached a point where, upon seeing a person's footprint in the ground - though the person himself is not present - they are able to say that he is a felicitous person or a wretched person. This is similar to what is done by a tracker who follows footprints.

The possessor of perspicacity perceives the REALITY of the ALL. He perceives the good things and the evil which occur in matters of this world and the next, the blameworthy qualities and the praiseworthy, the noble character traits and the base, and what is given by Nature and by the spiritual domain. [Futuhat, Book II 235,35]

So, it seems that "who you are and what you see" is connected to seeing the unseen dynamic - discovering the meanings of the symbols of our world - in the events of our lives here in THIS reality, and utilizing this seeing to deal with karmic issues effectively, i.e. choosing. The Shaykh tells us:

Man gains the light of perspicacity through assuming the noble character traist in perfect harmon, balance and equilibrium. [...] In order to bring the traits into balance, man has need of the divine physician. It is his task to show the seeker how to employ his innate character traits, since nothing can be added to man's creation. The "assumption of traits" which a person should undergo can NOT mean that he comes to posses traits which did not already belong to him. On the contrary, the traits which he possesses innately are redirected such that they will always be "felicitous."

ALL character traits are of an individual's essence and cannot be "base" in an ontological sense because "everything that comes from God is good." Good and Evil have to be defined in terms of relative factors, which is to employ the Law of Three: There is good and evil and the specific situation in which it is to be determined which is which.

The attributes of human beings do not change and it is error to attempt to change them. These attributes include cowardice, avarice, envy, eagerness, desire, arrogance, harshness, seeking subjugation, and so on.

Since it is improper to try to change what IS, one must then find the proper application for such traits so that they can be directed according to one's soul orientation.

For example: One should be cowardly toward committing violence toward an innocent person or other violations of the free will of others because of the loss that one will experience as a consequence.

A positive application of avarice is that one should be avaricious in respect of seeking knowledge in order to "know God."

A person can be envious of someone who spends all his time and effort seeking God, and thereby seek to emulate him.

The seeker can be arrogant FOR God toward anyone who is arrogant toward God and the seeking of truth.

It is proper to be harsh toward, or to subjugate, anyone who is harsh or offensive toward or seeks to subjugate the seeking of truth.

The Shaykh writes:

I do not know how it is that people suffer hardships of self denial since nothing is forbidden and suppressing the attributes of the nature is not required. On the contrary, the Law of God requires the proper application of all one's attributes.

Of course, it is in the "seeing" that we come to the problem. How is one to KNOW when any action leads to felicity or wretchedness? How many times have people done their best (or so they thought) and everything ended in disaster? Why, indeed, do we have the saying that "hindsight is 20/20?" Why is it only AFTER we have made a choice for a certain action that seems, on the surface, and by all the indicators, to be so RIGHT, that we discover that it was SO WRONG?

It is because we do NOT have perspicacity. We have not learned to properly read the symbol system of our reality. And this is what the C's meant by "simple understandings" being the key to learning the lessons of this reality.

In order to even discuss what potential we, as human beings, may have, it might be useful to have a broader perspective on the problems we may be facing.

Canseliet, in his preface to the Second Edition of Fulcanelli's Dwellings of the Philosophers, writes:

Philippe de Mallery engraved with a delicate touch: 'Image of the World, in which Calamities and Perils are emblematically presented along with the opposition in feeling between the Love of God and that of man.'

The first emblem straightforwardly points to the original, if not unique, source of all ills of our Humanity. It is also underlined by the Latin inscription which, in the parenthesis, is another pun of phonetic cabala: 'Totus mundus in maligno positus est'; the whole world is established inside of the devil."

What does it mean, "the whole world is established inside of the Devil?"

P.D. Ouspensky was once discussing with G. I. Gurdjieff the problems of modern society. This was in the period immediately prior to World War I, and Ouspensky had just returned from London where he noted the "terrifying mechanization that was being developed in the big European cities."

In our present day, we have seen much more of the terror of this mechanization than Ouspensky may ever have dreamed was possible, and we are living in a technological powder keg, giving off sparks.

We certainly cannot say that a technological society IS the devil that Philippe de Mallery referred to because such a society - as we know it - did not exist at that time. However, what seems to be so is that there is a certain principle of "mechanicalness" that is part and parcel of this "Devil" inside which our world is established.

Ouspensky's speculated to Gurdjieff that, in the industrial age, humans were becoming more "mechanized" and had stopped thinking. Gurdjieff replied:

"There is another kind of mechanization which is much more dangerous: being a machine oneself. Have you ever thought about the fact that all people themselves are machines? ...Look, all those people you see are simply machines - nothing more. ...You think there is something that chooses its own path, something that can stand against mechanization; you think that not everything is equally mechanical."

At this point, Ouspensky raised what would seem to be a most logical objection:

"Why of course not! ...Art, poetry, thought, are phenomena of quite a different order."

Gurdjieff replied: "Of exactly the same order. These activities are just as mechanical as everything else. Men are machines and nothing but mechanical actions can be expected of machines."

At a later point in time, Ouspensky asked: "Can it be said that man possesses immortality?"

Gurdjieff's reply was fascinating:

"Immortality is one of the qualities we ascribe to people without having a sufficient understanding of their meaning. Other qualities of this kind are 'individuality,' in the sense of an inner unity, a 'permanent and unchangeable I,' 'consciousness,' and 'will.' All these qualities can belong to man, but this certainly does not mean that they do belong to him or belong to each and every one.

"In order to understand what man is at the present time, that is, at the present level of development, it is necessary to imagine to a certain extent what he can be, that is, what he can attain. Only by understanding the correct sequence of development possible will people cease to ascribe to themselves what, at present, they do not possess, and what, perhaps, they can only acquire after great effort and great labor.

"According to an ancient teaching, traces of which may be found in many systems, old and new, a man who has attained the full development possible for man, a man in the full sense of the word, consists of four bodies. These four bodies are composed of substances which gradually become finer and finer, mutually interpenetrate one another, and form four independent organisms, standing in a definite relationship to one another but capable of independent action."

Gurdjieff's idea was that it was possible for these four bodies to exist because the physical human body has such a complex organization that, under certain favorable conditions, a new and independent organism actually can develop and grow within it. This new system of organs of perception can afford a more convenient and responsive instrument for the activity of an awakened consciousness.

"The consciousness manifested in this new body is capable of governing it, and it has full power and full control over the physical body.

"In this second body, under certain conditions, a third body can grow, again having characteristics of its own. The consciousness manifested in this third body has full power and control over the first two bodies; and the third body possesses the possibility of acquiring knowledge inaccessible either to the first or to the second body.

"In the third body, under certain conditions, a fourth can grow, which differs as much from the third as the third differs from the second, and the second from the first. The consciousness manifested in the fourth body has full control over the first three bodies and itself.

"These four bodies are defined in different teachings in various ways. The first is the physical body, in Christian terminology the 'carnal' body; the second, in Christian terminology, is the 'natural' body; the third is the 'spiritual' body; and the fourth, in the terminology of esoteric Christianity, is the 'divine body. In theosophical terminology the first is the 'physical' body, the second is the 'astral,' the third is the 'mental,' and the fourth the 'causal.'

"In the terminology of certain Eastern teachings the first body is the 'carriage,' (the body), the second is the 'horse' (feelings, desires), the third the 'driver' (mind), and the fourth the 'master (I, consciousness, will).

"Such comparisons and parallels may be found in most systems and teachings which recognize something more in man than the physical body. But almost all these teachings, while repeating in a more or less familiar form the definitions and divisions of the ancient teaching, have forgotten or omitted its most important feature, which is: that man is not born with the finer bodies. They can only be artificially cultivated in him, provided favorable conditions both internal and external are present.

"The 'astral body' is not an indispensable implement for man. It is a great luxury which only a few can afford. A man can live quite well without an 'astral body.' His physical body possesses all the functions necessary for life. A man without 'astral body' may even produce the impression of being a very intellectual or even spiritual man, and may deceive not only others but also himself.

"When the third body has been formed and has acquired all the properties, powers, and knowledge possible for it, there remains the problem of fixing this knowledge and these powers. Because, having been imparted to it by influences of a certain kind, they may be taken away by these same influences or by others. By means of a special kind of work for all three bodies the acquired properties may be made the permanent and inalienable possession of the third body.

"The process of fixing these acquired properties corresponds to the process of the formation of the fourth body.

"And only the man who possesses four fully developed bodies can be called a 'man' in the full sense of the word. This man possesses many properties which ordinary man does not possess. One of these properties is immortality. All religions and all ancient teachings contain the idea that, by acquiring the fourth body, man acquires immortality; and they all contain indications of the ways to acquire the fourth body, that is, immortality."

"For a man of Western culture, it is of course difficult to believe and to accept the idea that an ignorant fakir, a naïve monk, or a yogi who has retired from life may be on the way to evolution while an educated European, armed with 'exact knowledge' and all the latest methods of investigation, has no chance whatever and is moving in a circle from which there is no escape."

"That is because people believe in progress and culture. There is no progress whatever. Everything is just the same as it was thousands, and tens of thousands, of years ago. The outward form changes. The essence does not change. Man remains just the same. 'Civilized' and 'cultured' people live with exactly the same interests as the most ignorant savages. Modern civilization is based on violence and slavery and fine words.

"...What do you expect? People are machines. Machines have to be blind and unconscious, they cannot be otherwise, and all their actions have to correspond to their nature. Everything happens. No one does anything. 'Progress' and 'civilization,' in the real meaning of these words, can appear only as the result of conscious efforts. They cannot appear as the result of unconscious mechanical actions. And what conscious effort can there be in machines? And if one machine is unconscious, then a hundred machines are unconscious, and so are a thousand machines, or a hundred thousand, or a million. And the unconscious activity of a million machines must necessarily result in destruction and extermination.

"It is precisely in unconscious involuntary manifestations that all evil lies. You do not yet understand and cannot imagine all the results of this evil. But the time will come when you will understand."

Again we note: Gurdjieff was speaking at the beginning of the First World War, in the opening rounds of a century of unprecedented warfare. And now, almost a hundred years later, humanity is on the edge of a precipice and no one knows what feather will plunge us all into the abyss.

Georges Gurdjieff has said that the chief problem of man is that he has no real "I." His description of what he meant by saying this suggests that he was talking about the many "programs" - or thought loops - that human beings "run" automatically throughout their lives, based on the belief systems that are inculcated into them as infants and children. This problem has been scientifically studied in some detail and we have described many of these studies and their results in the Wave Series published on this website.

Wilhelm Reich wrote about the same problems that concerned Gurdjieff and Ouspensky:

Why did man, through thousands of years, wherever he built scientific, philosophic, or religious systems, go astray with such persistence and with such catastrophic consequences?" […]

Is human erring necessary? Is it rational? Is all error rationally explainable and necessary? If we examine the sources of human error, we find that they fall into several groups:

Gaps in the knowledge of nature form a wide sector of human erring. Medical errors prior to the knowledge of anatomy and infectious diseases were necessary errors. But we must ask if the mortal threat to the first investigators of animal anatomy was a necessary error too.

The belief that the earth was fixed in space was a necessary error, rooted in the ignorance of natural laws. But was it an equally necessary error to burn Giordano Bruno at the stake and to incarcerate Galileo?[…]

We understand that human thinking can penetrate only to a given limit at a given time. What we fail to understand is why the human intellect does not stop at this point and say: "this is the present limit of my understanding. Let us wait until new vistas open up." This would be rational, comprehensible, purposeful thinking. [...]

What amazes us is the sudden turn from the rational beginning to the irrational illusion. Irrationality and illusion are revealed by the intolerance and cruelty with which they are expressed. We observe that human thought systems show tolerance as long as they adhere to reality. The more the thought process is removed from reality, the more intolerance and cruelty are needed to guarantee its continued existence. [ Ether, God and Devil, Wilhelm Reich]

Who or what is responsible for this state of mankind is a major issue, most particularly if we assume a benevolent God and a hierarchy of benevolent beings guiding the destiny of mankind. Gurdjieff commented on this in the following way (edited for clarity):

We must remember that the ray of creation... is like a branch of a tree. ... Growth depends on organic life on earth. ...If organic life is arrested in its development, in its evolution, and fails to respond to the demands made upon it, the branch may wither. This must be remembered.

To this ray of creation, exactly the same possibility of development and growth has been given as is given to each separate branch of a big tree. But the accomplishment of this growth is not at all guaranteed. It depends upon the harmonious and right action of its own tissues.

Organic life on earth is a complex phenomenon in which the separate parts depend upon one another. General growth is possible only on the condition that the 'end of the branch' grows. Or, speaking more precisely, there are in organic life tissues which are evolving, and there are tissues which serve as food and medium for those which are evolving. Then there are evolving cells within the evolving tissues, and cells which serve as food and medium for those which are evolving. In each separate evolving cell there are evolving parts and there are parts which serve as food for those which are evolving. But always and in everything it must be remembered that evolution is never guaranteed, it is possible only and it can stop at any moment and in any place.

The evolving part of organic life on earth is humanity. If humanity does not evolve it means that the evolution of organic life will stop and this, in its turn will cause the growth of our ray of creation to stop.

At the same time if humanity ceases to evolve it becomes useless from the point of view of the aims for which it was created and as such it may be destroyed. In this way the cessation of evolution may mean the destruction of humanity.

We have no clues from which we are able to tell in what period of planetary evolution we exist. We cannot know this but we should bear in mind that the number of possibilities is never infinite.

At the same time in examining the life of humanity as we know it historically we are bound to acknowledge that humanity is moving in a circle. It one century it destroys everything it creates in another and the progress in mechanical things of the past hundred years has proceeded at the cost of losing many other things which perhaps were much more important for it.

Speaking in general there is every reason to think and to assert that humanity is at a standstill, and from a standstill there is a straight path to downfall and degeneration.

A standstill means that a process has become balanced. The appearance of any one quality immediately evokes the appearance of another quality opposed to it. The growth of knowledge in one domain evokes the growth of ignorance in another; refinement on the one hand evokes vulgarity on the other; freedom in one connection evokes slavery in another; the disappearance of some superstitions evokes the appearance and growth of others; and so on.

A balanced process proceeding in a certain way cannot be changed at any moment it is desired. It can be changed and set on a new path only at certain 'crossroads.' In between the crossroads nothing can be done.

At the same time if a process passes by a crossroad and nothing happens, nothing is done, then nothing can be done afterwards and the process will contineu and develop according to mechanical laws; and even if the people taking part in this process foresee the inevitable destruction of everything, they will be unable to do anything.

I repeat that something can be done only at certain moments which I have just called 'crossroades' and which in octaves, we have called the 'intervals.'

The process of evolution, of that evolution which is possible for humanity as a whole, is completely analogous to the process of evolution possible for the individual man. And it begins with the same thing, namely, a certain group of cells gradually becomes conscious; then it attracts to itself other cells, subordinates others, and gradually makes the whole organism serve its aims and not merely eat, drink and sleep.

In humanity as in individual man everything begins with the formation of a conscious nucleus. All the mechanical forces of life fight against the formation of this conscious nucleus in humanity, in just the same way as all mechanical habits, tastes, and weaknesses fight against conscious awareness in man.

"Can it be said that there is a conscious force which fights against the evolution of humanity?" Ouspensky asked.

"From a certain point of view it can be said," said G.

"Where can this force come from?" Ouspensky asked.

There are two processes which are sometimes called 'involutionary' and 'evolutionary.' The difference between them is the following: An involutioary process begins consciously in the absolute but at the next step it already becomes mechanical - and it becomes more and more mechanical as it develops; an evolutionary process begins half-consciously but it becomes more and more conscious as it develops.

But consciousness and conscious opposition to the evolutionary process can also appear at certain moments in the involutionary process.

From where does this consciousness come?

From the evolutionary process of course. The evolutionary process must proceed without interruption. Any stop causes a separation from the fundamental process. Such separate fragments of consciousnesses which have been stopped in their development can also unite and at any rate for a certain time can live by struggling against the evolutionary process. After all it merely makes the evolutionary process more interesting.

Instead of struggling against mechanical forces there may, at certain moments, be a struggle against the intentional opposition of fairly powerful forces though they are not of course comparable with those which direct the evolutionary process.

These opposing forces may somethimes even conquer.

The reason for this consists in the fact that the forces guiding evolution have a more limited choice of means; in other words, they can only make use of certain means and certain methods. The opposing forces are not limited in their choice of means and they are able to make use of every means, even those which only give rise to a temporary success, and in the final result they destory both evolution and involution at the point in question.

Are we able to say for instance that life is governed by a group of conscious people? Where are they? Who are they?

We see exactly the opposite: that life is governed by those who are the least conscious, by those who are most asleep.

Are we able to say that we observe in life a preponderance of the best, the strongest, and the most courageous elements?

Nothing of the sort. On the contrary we see a preponderance of vulgarity and stupidity of all kinds.

Are we able to say that aspirations towards unity, towards unification, can be observed in life?

Nothing of the kind of course. We only see new divisions, new hostility, new misunderstanndings.

So that in the actual situation of humanity there is nothing that points to evolution proceeding.

On the contrary when we compare humanity with a man we quite clearly see a growth of personality at the cost of essence, that is, a growth of the artificial, the unreal, and what is foreign, at the cost of the natural, the real, and what is one's own.

Together with this we see a growth of automatism.

Contemporary culture requires automatons. And people are undoubtedly losing their acquired habits of independence and turning into automatons, into parts of machines.

It is impossible to say where is the end of all this and where the way out - or whether there is an end and a way out. One thing alone is certain, that man's slavery grows and increases. man is becoming a willing slave. He no longer needs chains. He begins to grow fond of his slavery, to be proud of it. And this is the most terrible thing that can happen to a man. [ISOTM, Ouspensky]

In Gurdjieff's comments above, we see a description of the two pathways that were introduced to the world by Elkins, Rueckert and McCarty in the Ra Material.

The understanding of Service to Self as the involutionary force, and Service to Others as the Evolutionary force has been discussed in great detail by the C's. We also detect suggestions of the 4th density STS reality in Gurdjieff's remarks when he said that there is a "conscious force" which fights against the evolution of humanity. He also describes the increasing mechanicalness of the STS path which the C's have suggested ends in a "black hole" that regenerates this sleeping consciousness as primal matter - and it's hard to imagine anything more "mechanical" than matter itself.

In Gurdjieff's discussion of the "consciousness" aspect of the STS pathway, he makes the point that the involutionary force is simply mechanical and part of the fundamental nature of the universe - a thought center of Non-being, as we have described it elsewhere - and that when it 'acquires' consciousness it is due to fragments of consciousness, or - as the C's call it - consciousness units - that have stopped in their development which thenn seek to be united with other consciousness units that have stopped in their development also, and - for a certain time - are able to "feed" themselves by struggling against the evolutionary process.

Here, we want to make a special note: As many physicists will tell you, all that really exists are "waveforms" and we are waveforms of reality, and our consciousness is something that "reads waves." We give form and structure to the waves we "read" either according to some agreed upon convention or because there is something "essential" about a waveform that gives it a certain perceptive quality. And so it may be that certain denizens of hyperdimensional space are "read" as more or less "reptilian" because that is the "essence" of their being, the frequency of their "wave form." Based on their "essence," they may be perceived as Reptilian, bird-like, insectoid, or anything in between. We just call the reptilian essences "Lizzies" for short. They are not necessarily physical as we understand the term, nor are they necessarily "alien" as we understand the term either. We suspect that the perceptions of these levels of reality and their "consciousness units" are what is behind many religious conceptions and mythological representations of "gods and goddesses and creatures of all sorts.

Having said that, and getting back to the issue of consciousness units that have "stopped" and seek to assimilate other blocked consciousness units to themselves, there are a few comments made by the C's that are relevant here in the context of what Gurdjieff has said about the possible evolution of humanity:

C's: And those who are described as the Lizards have chosen to firmly lock themselves into service to self. And, since they are at the highest level of density where this is possible, they must continually draw large amounts of negative energy from those at the third level, second level, and so on, which is why they do what they do.

This also explains why their race is dying, because they have not been able to learn for themselves how to remove themselves from this particular form of expression to that of service to others.

And, since they have such, as you would measure it, a long period of time, remained at this level and, in fact, become firmly entrenched in it, and, in fact, have increased themselves in it, this is why they are dying and desperately trying to take as much energy from you as possible and also to recreate their race metabolically.

Q: (L) Well, if we are sources of food and labor for them, why don't they just breed us in pens on their own planet? A: They do.

Q: (L) Well, since there is so many of us here, why don't they just move in and take over? A: That is their intention. That has been their intention for quite some time. They have been traveling back and forth through time as you know it, to set things up so that they can absorb a maximum amount of negative energy with the transference from third level to fourth level that this planet is going to experience, in the hopes that they can overtake you on the fourth level and thereby accomplish several things. 1: retaining their race as a viable species; 2: increasing their numbers; 3: increasing their power; 4: expanding their race throughout the realm of fourth density.

To do all of this they have been interfering with events for what you would measure on your calendar as approximately 74 thousand years. And they have been doing so in a completely still state of space time traveling backward and forward at will during this work. Interestingly enough, though, all of this will fail.

Q: (L) How can you be so sure it will fail? A: Because we see it. We are able to see all, not just what we want to see. Their failing is that they see only what they want to see. In other words, it's the highest manifestation possible of that which you would refer to as wishful thinking. And, wishful thinking represented on the fourth level of density becomes reality for that level. You know how you wishfully think? Well, it isn't quite reality for you because you are on the third level, but if you are on the fourth level and you were to perform the same function, it would indeed be your awareness of reality. Therefore they cannot see what we can see since we serve others as opposed to self, and since we are on sixth level, we can see all that is at all points as is, not as we would want it to be. [...]

Q: (T) Although, they're working on the false premise that they can do this. (L) 'Wishful thinking.' A: No, they are working on that false premise that they can seal realms into "4th" density and 3rd, 2nd, 1st STS for eternity.

Q: (T) They just want to [...] keep them STS to feed off of them. A: "Eternity" is the key word there. It is where the wishful thinking comes into play.

Gurdjieff was certainly getting very close to describing 4th density - hyperdimensional realities - and its denizens when he said:

Instead of struggling against mechanical forces there may, at certain moments, be a struggle against the intentional opposition of fairly powerful forces though they are not of course comparable with those which direct the evolutionary process.

These opposing forces may sometimes even conquer.

These last two remarks seem to be contradictory - that forces that are not comparable with those which direct the evolutionary process can conquer. However, if we do not think in earth-human terms, we can realize that human beings on Earth, in this sector of the Universe, might very well cease to exist and it will have little effect on the overall balance of the universe.

Sure, that's not a pleasant thought, but from where I sit, things on the Big Blue Marble aren't developing in a very positive, STO way. And we note the C's remark about "eternity" being the key word. It is entirely possible that planet earth WILL be "sealed" into STS for the next cycle with all the attendant misery and suffering and "feeding" for all of humanity that has not achieved some crystallization of the organs of higher consciousness.

Carlos Castaneda puts the problem another way:

You have arrived, by your effort alone, to what the shamans of ancient Mexico called the topic of topics. I have been beating around the bush all this time, insinuating to you that something is holding us prisoner. Indeed we are held prisoner! This was an energetic fact for the sorcerers of ancient Mexico. [...] They took over because we are food for them, and they squeeze us mercilessly because we are their sustenance. Just as we rear chickens in chicken coops, the predators rear us in human coops. Therefore, their food is always available to them.' [...]

"'I want to appeal to your analytical mind, ' don Juan said. 'Think for a moment, and tell me how you would explain the contradiction between the intelligence of man the engineer and the stupidity of his systems of beliefs, or the stupidity of his contradictory behavior. Sorcerers believe that the predators have given us our systems of beliefs, our ideas of good and evil, our social mores. They are the ones who set up our hopes and expectations and dreams of success or failure. They have given us covetousness, greed and cowardice. It is the predators who make us complacent, routinary, and egomaniacal.' [...]

In order to keep us obedient and meek and weak, the predators engaged themselves in a stupendous maneuver - stupendous, of course, from the point of view of a fighting strategist. A horrendous maneuver from the point of view of those who suffer it. They gave us their mind! Do you hear me? The predators give us their mind, which becomes our mind. The predators' mind is baroque, contradictory, morose, filled with the fear of being discovered any minute now. [...]

Through the mind, which, after all, is their mind, the predators inject into the lives of human beings whatever is convenient for them. [Castaneda, The Active Side of Infinity, 1998, pp. 213-220]

This, of course, takes us to Gurdjieff's story of the Evil Magician:

"There is an Eastern tale which speaks about a very rich magician who had a great many sheep. But at the same time this magician was very mean. He did not want to hire shepherds, nor did he want to erect a fence about the pasture where his sheep were grazing. The sheep consequently often wandered into the forest, fell into ravines, and so on, and above all they ran away, for they knew that the magician wanted their flesh and skins and this they did not like.

"At last the magician found a remedy. He hypnotized his sheep and suggested to them first of all that they were immortal and that no harm was being done to them when they were skinned, that, on the contrary, it would be very good for them and even pleasant; secondly he suggested that the magician was a good master who loved his flock so much that he was ready to do anything in the world for them; and in the third place he suggested to them that if anything at all were going to happen to them it was not going to happen just then, at any rate not that day, and therefore they had no need to think about it. Further the magician suggested to his sheep that they were not sheep at all; to some of them he suggested that they were lions, to others that they were eagles, to others that they were men, and to others that they were magicians.

"And after this all his cares and worries about the sheep came to an end. They never ran away again but quietly awaited the time when the magician would require their flesh and skins." [Quoted by P.I. Ouspensky, In Search of the Miraculous]

We ought to note particularly the fact that Evil Magician in the tale suggested to some men that they were "magicians."

In the present day, there are many "magicians" who promote the idea of "attaining cosmic consciousness." Ouspensky described "cosmic consciousness" as a "higher consciousness" possible for man. Gurdjieff remarked about it, and we have found much evidence to support his comments:

I do not know what you call 'cosmic consciousness. It is a vague and indefinite term; anyone can call anything he likes by it. In most cases what is called 'cosmic consciousness' is simply fantasy, associative daydreaming connected with intensified work of the emotional center. Sometimes it comes near to ecstasy but most often it is merely a subjective emotional experience on the level of dreams.

The question is, of course, if this is the true state in which we live, how in the world did it get this way? Where did we go so wrong as a culture, as human beings?

We are all taught to avoid uncomfortable realities. Human beings - faced with unpleasant truths about themselves or their reality - react like alcoholics who refuse to admit their condition, or the cuckolded husband who is the "last to know," or the wife who does not notice that her husband is abusing her daughter.

Denial is a complex "unconscious defence mechanism for coping with guilt, anxiety and other disturbing emotions aroused by reality." Denial can be both deliberate and intentional, as well as completely subconscious. An individual who is deliberately and intentionally denying something is acting from an individual level of lying, concealment and deception. What we are dealing with - in terms of the "Evil Magician" or the Predator of Don Juan - is denial that is subconscious and therefore organized and "institutional." This implies propaganda, misinformation, whitewash, manipulation, spin, disinformation, etc.

Believing anything that comes down the pike is not the opposite of denial. "Acknowledgement" of the probability of a high level of Truth about a given matter is what should happen when people are actively aroused by certain information. This information can be 1) factual or forensic truth; that is to say, legal or scientific information which is factual, accurate and objective; it is obtained by impartial procedures; 2) personal and narrative truth including "witness testimonies."

I should add here that skepticism and solipsistic arguments - including epistemological relativism - about the existence of objective truth, are generally a social construction and might be considered in the terms of the hypnotized man who has been programmed to think that there "is no truth."

Denial occurs for a variety of reasons. There are truths that are "clearly known," but for many reasons - personal or political, justifiable or unjustifiable - are concealed, or it is agreed that they will not be acknowledged "out loud." There are "unpleasant truths" and there are truths that make us tired because if we acknowledge them - if we do more than give them a tacit nod - we may find it necessary to make changes in our lives.

There are different kinds of denial. First, there is literal denial which is the type that fits the dictionary definition, the assertion that something did not happen or does not exist. This most often occurs in very painful situations where there are conflicts of love: the wife would say that the husband could not have molested his daughter, therefore the child must be making it up. This also seems to apply to denial of the state of our manipulated reality. Our love for our parents, our need for their approval, is often transferred to our peers, our employers, and the State. To think about stepping outside of the belief system that makes us "belong" is just too frightening. It assaults our deepest sense of security.

The second kind of denial is "interpretative." In this kind of denial, the raw facts that something actually happened are not really denied - they are just "interpreted." If a person is reasonably intelligent, and is faced with evidence of phenomena that do not fit into the belief system of one's family, culture, or peer group, there is nothing to do but to interpret - to rationalize it away. "Swamp gas" and the Planet Venus given as an explanation for UFOs are good examples. Another is Bill Clinton's "But I didn't INHALE" interpretation of his marijuana use. And then, there was the famous "I didn't have sex with Monica" interpretation.

The third kind of denial is termed by Cohen as implicatory denial where there is no attempt to deny either the facts or their conventional interpretation; what is ultimately denied are the psychological, political and moral implications that follow from deep acknowledgement. For example, the idea that America is being run by a madman with designs on the entire planet is recognized as a fact, but it is not seen as psychologically disturbing or as carrying any moral imperative to act.

Studies have established five different contexts of psychological denial:1) perception without awareness, 2) perceptual defense 3) selective attention, 4) cognitive errors and 5) inferential failures.

In States of Denial, (Cambridge: Polity Press; Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2001), Stanley Cohen remarks that "the scientific discourse misses the fact that the ability to deny is an amazing human phenomenon [...] a product of sheer complexity of our emotional, linguistic, moral and intellectual lives."

There is a little known fact about hypnosis that is illustrated by the following story:

A subject was told under hypnosis that when he was awakened he would be unable to see a third man in the room who, it was suggested to him, would have become invisible. All the "proper" suggestions to make this "true" were given, such as "you will NOT see so- and-so" etc... When the subject was awakened, lo and behold! the suggestions did NOT work.

Why? Because they went against his belief system. He did NOT believe that a person could become invisible.

So, another trial was made. The subject was hypnotized again and was told that the third man was leaving the room... that he had been called away on urgent business, and the scene of him getting on his coat and hat was described... the door was opened and shut to provide "sound effects," and then the subject was brought out of the trance.

Guess what happened?

He was UNABLE TO SEE the Third Man.

Why? Because his perceptions were modified according to his beliefs. Certain "censors" in his brain were "activated" in a manner that was "acceptable" to his "ego survival" instincts.

The survival of the ego is established pretty early in life by our parental and societal programming as to what IS or is NOT possible; what we are "allowed" to believe in order to be accepted. We learn this first by learning what pleases our parents and then later we modify our belief based on what pleases our society - our peers - to believe.

Anyway, to return to our story, the Third Man went about the room picking things up and setting them down and doing all sorts of things to test the subject's awareness of his presence, and the subject became utterly hysterical at this "anomalous" activity! He could see objects moving through the air, doors opening and closing, but he could NOT see the SOURCE because he did not believe that there was another man in the room.

So, what are the implications of this factor of human consciousness? (By the way, this is also the reason why most therapy to stop bad habits does not work - they attempt to operate against a "belief system" that is imprinted in the subconscious that this or that habit is essential to survival.)

One of the first things we might observe is that everyone has a different set of beliefs based upon their social and familial conditioning, and that these beliefs determine how much of the OBJECTIVE reality anyone is able to access.

Suffice it to say that, under ordinary conditions of reality, we almost never perceive reality as it truly IS. There are thousands of different little "hypnotic suggestions" that have taken hold of us from infancy on, that determine, in any given moment, what we believe or think or think we believe or believe we think.

In the above story, the objective reality IS WHAT IT IS, whether it is truly objective, or only a consensus reality. In this story, there is clearly a big part of that reality that is inaccessable to the "subject" due to a perception censor which was activated by the suggestions of the hypnotist. That is to say, the subject has a strong belief, based upon his CHOICE as to who or what to believe. In this case, he has chosen to believe the hypnotist and not what he might be able to observe if he dispensed with the perception censor put in place by the hypnotist.

And so it is with nearly all human beings: we believe the hypnotist - the "official culture" - and we are able, with preternatural cunning, to deny what is often right in front of our faces. And in the case of the hypnosis subject, he is entirely at the mercy of the "Invisible Man" because he chooses not to see him.

And it is in this sense that the "whole world is established inside of the devil."

"That is because people believe in progress and culture. There is no progress whatever. Everything is just the same as it was thousands, and tens of thousands, of years ago. The outward form changes. The essence does not change. Man remains just the same. 'Civilized' and 'cultured' people live with exactly the same interests as the most ignorant savages. Modern civilization is based on violence and slavery and fine words.

Esoteric studies teach us that we live in what is called the "Mixtus Orbis." That is, the whole world is established inside of the Devil.

And the C's suggest to us that we live in a world of lies and truth and that our REAL WORK here - in order to achieve higher awareness - is to engage in exercises in discerning the lies from the truth.

Knowledge Protects.

To be continued


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Tambu...Contrariwise Cat


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