Monday, November 9, 2009

On the Verge of Collapse

So I'm sitting back waiting for the world to collapse
thinking about the wars in afghanistan and Iraq.
Why cant we subtract all of the troops?
I don't think the middle east needs more boots.
The chickens flown the coop, nobody believes,
in US military plans and economic schemes.
And the market economy's totally inflated
and we can't even get a fair health care plan for the nation.
A third of the country lives in poverty,
while criminal ceos commit federal robbery.
In a place where the streets are run by gangs,
and nobody really cares if you want to make a change.
Very strange days in the land of the free,
trying to figure out who I want to be.
When will it change i really dont know,
its just that this is the place i call my home....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Notes and Smoke

Hitting notes
Remember phrases
While puffing blunts
Filling rooms with smoke
While writing pictures of the sacred
Fascination through lyrics with picture perfect memories helped make this
Its truly hard to fake this
Over rate this
Life of ours
And our end will come down crashing like the stars
Truly we all are blessed from our chest
To utter words, stupid or absurd listening to our hopes, dreams and emotions have you heard?
Picture perfect memories brought to life in a dream

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Hollywood is Burning

In 1953 Josef Stalin said that, if the Soviet Union had Hollywood, the whole world would be communist. Well, have Hollywood he did not, for Hollywood had Hollywood. Just as American culture spanned the countries of the globe—what Hollywood insiders termed their ‘territories’—so too did the culture of southern California. Sunny days, warm watered beaches, girls in skimpy bathing suits and that catchy, infiltrating slang inundated cinemas the world over. Be it the increased sales in hitherto unneeded household appliances, makeup and automobiles, which swept Europe in the post-war years, or the many other cultural nuances attributed to Hollywood film, southern California left its mark on the global brain.

But the current financial crisis—and impending societal collapse in the US—threatens Hollywood’s hegemony over the celluloid screen.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Stay TuneD

As I'm waking
the day, breaking
my eyes, opening up
options to hot to walk
barefoot tonight, my light is
only half bright, maybe
the wind will come and blow my site away
still I stay, My way bends
my friends are with me till the end
bending the histories together
letting the moment create an intuitive future for me
no need to own it
lets continuously clone it
sharing the love
looking for the hugs
caught between the drugs
looking for a day when
freedom rings

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Present

The Present
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places - Ephesians 6:12

Today is a window, tomorrow the landscape. All you need to do is take a look outside, to know what we’re bound to face. –Bad Religion

Global events now transpiring can be explained in many ways. What is crucial is the very historic nature. We live today in between two ages; in an age of global intimacy, terror and bountiful data and information that all too often overwhelm our emotions and instincts. In these times, the amount of change in any given period is exponentially greater than ever before. What once took one hundred years to emerge, now takes ten. This is a very simple but crucial point, for not only does it orient the disposition of the average person, but also direct the aims of government and business.

The present—life in the now— in a manner like so few other times in our history, is a bread basket stuffed with beauty, suffering, happiness, catastrophe, compassion and possibility. How do we harness the present? Deep within each of us there is an equanimity that evokes prescience as though it were the root of all things. However far away from this tranquil abyss we may live, it still resides within us and the entirety of being of which we are but a tiny susurration; in other words, programmed into us are incontrovertible truths of nature, and, promisingly enough, the socio-historic victimization of us by civilization has yet to strip us of these. Most likely it will not until programs designed to steer the course of genetic space—the hidden aim of such projects as the Human Genome Project—has been fully implemented.
Focusing does not come naturally for many of us. Our neuronal efficiency severely compromised due to tortured development, a fast life, propaganda, negative eugenics, malnutrition, general toxicity, pharmaceuticals, escapism, a penchant to depreciate happiness and the positive, lack of experience in healthy relationships, we latch onto the atomizing and egotistical elements of our socialization so as to justify our own increasing depravity. As adults we are supposed to be a sentient dichotomy: living life with the reckless abandon and wonderment of a child, but the serious and competent edge of a focused adult. We instead lose the natural confidence we enjoy as children—fostered by a sense of community and belonging—only to become lifeless ostrich cynics, who ignore the details and true state of affairs and yet presume earth to be a lost cause, without hope.

The quickening in the machinations and behaviors constituent of civilization is multifaceted. For simplicity’s sake, we can work within a “them vs. us” paradigm. On one hand, there is the increasing speed in which goods and services are centralized (for them). On the other hand, there is the rate at which people (we) are awakening to what factors attitudinize their environment; that being, social engineering, capital accumulation, power and control all developed over thousands of years within the civil hierarchy. The vector of civilization, an intermixture of human biopsychological processes and progressively established culture, is a diffraction—a phenomenon that occurs when there is an alteration in the properties of the medium in which energy is travelling—defined by Stanley Diamond as such: “Civilization originates in conquest abroad and repression at home.” The medium, in this case, is human agency.

Further, author Derrick Jensen ponders the question of what civilization is, [1]

If I’m going to contemplate the collapse of civilization, I need to define what it is. I looked in some dictionaries. Webster’s calls civilization “a high stage of social and cultural development.” The Oxford English Dictionary describes it as “a developed or advanced state of human society.” All the other dictionaries I checked were similarly laudatory. These definitions, no matter how broadly shared, helped me not in the slightest. They seemed to me hopelessly sloppy. After reading them, I still had no idea what the hell a civilization is: define high, developed, or advanced, please. The definitions, it struck me, are also extremely self-serving: can you imagine writers of dictionaries willingly classifying themselves as members of “a low, undeveloped, or backward state of human society”?

Jensen keenly observes the propagandous temperament of even the dictionary. What, then, is progress in civilization? Traditionally, we have envisaged “progress” as the act by which we or our modes of living improve and move forward towards some sort of, usually theocratic, utopia. If it is true, that the harnessing of oil and the consequential industrialization is man’s proudest leap forward, what implications should we derive for the concept of progress when considering our current pocket of reality? There have been many ‘human instants’ by which man’s population has increased. In the hunting and gathering period from 2 million B.C. (use of fire, tool-making) to 35,000 B.C (spear-thrower, bow and arrow), there was a 167% increase in population. In the horticultural period from 8,000 B.C. (cultivation of plants) to 4,000 B.C. (metallurgy or bronze) there was a 975% increase in population. In the agrarian period from 3,000 B.C. (plow) to 1,000 B.C. (iron tools) there was a 249% increase in population. By the advent of firearms, in around 1398 A.D., there had been, approximately, an increase of 176.4%. Between 1650 and 1850, merely two centuries time, the world’s population doubled. It had doubled once-more by 1930, in just eighty years. The following forty-five years saw yet another doubling. Here and now, on the threshold between industrial man and, most likely, post-industrial man, we have the unique opportunity of examining our human concept of progress, and one thesis, arrived at by reverse engineering the notion, stems from the wisdom of the ancients: the higher you climb, the harder you fall. Progress, within the context of a limited but useful paradigm, might very well be viewed as the process by which the human technological stage is set higher. Jensen goes onto define civilization for himself and his readership:

I would define a civilization much more precisely, and I believe more usefully, as a culture—that is, a complex of stories, institutions, and artifacts— that both leads to and emerges from the growth of cities (civilization, see civil: from civis, meaning citizen, from Latin civitatis, meaning city-state), with cities being defined—so as to distinguish them from camps, villages, and so on—as people living more or less permanently in one place in densities high enough to require the routine importation of food and other necessities of life… The story of any civilization is the story of the rise of city-states, which means it is the story of the funneling of resources toward these centers (in order to sustain them and cause them to grow), which means it is the story of an increasing region of unsustainability surrounded by an increasingly exploited countryside.

The quickening in the processes of civilization we are experiencing, accompanied by chaos as it is, is significantly anarchic. In fact, it exposes the generally anarchic nature of society. Adding to the anarchy is the notion held by most people that, contrarily, society is a highly ordered and lawful procession. In an age of ubiquitous corruption, the terms republicanism, democracy, fairness, equality, liberty, brother and sisterhood cannot be applied to our way of life. It could be argued, that one of the only ordered processes in the history of civilization is the top-down nature of violence and coercion—the story of conquistadores and the repressed.

The centripetal social evolution relegates the majority of power to a minority, resulting in far fewer conquistadores than repressed. After a certain movement of quantity over time a tipping point is reached at which a quickening in centralization—a leitmotif of this essay—ensues. The encroaching nature of power does not imply the dispersion of power amongst individuals, but rather the extension of powers influence over each good, service or participant tied to the nucleus. The shared belief in this matrix—which has as its heart paper money far exceeding true estimates of wealth (gold, silver, landbase and the conservation thereof)—constitutes common reality: a resounding testament to the power of mass psychology and, it should then follow, the power of communities. Not to mention propaganda.

This centralizing or centripetal pageant, eventually, cements the link between power accumulation and the few, causing an aberration or deviance in the community and a divergence of interests. Such power, accessible only to the few, gives rise the nefarious and more extreme elements of self-preservation, as opposed to a theoretical harmony of fairness.

Many emphasize the role elites play in the manipulation of markets and political theatre by movement of vast amounts of capital and clout, volume and volatility; many of these individuals—who oft are referred to ad hominem as ‘conspiracy theorists’—actively work, to varying degrees, for a more equitable world, however are discredited by mainstream culture and people who believe the current system of worldwide governance has any legitimacy other than as a massive control grid. Hoodwinked and withdrawn persons tend to underemphasize the relevance of top-down agency in government and business (people generally are inherently evil or our leaders are incompetent fools, they instead tell themselves): it is, nonetheless, there.

The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented. Banking was conceived in inequity and born in sin . . . Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them but leave them the power to create money, and, with a flick of a pen, they will create enough money to buy it back again . . . Take this great power away from them, and all great fortunes like mine will disappear, for then this would be a better and happier world to live in. . . . But, if you want to continue to be the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let bankers continue to create money and control credit.[2]

- Sir Josiah Stamp, Director of the Bank of England, 1927

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Masters of Infinity: Weather Manipulation, Nazis and Life in Present Future

Last week I attended my grandfather’s funeral in the Hollywood Hills, north of Los Angeles. It was a beautiful service at Mt. Sinai amidst the brush-laden rolling brown hills of southern California. Green shrubs and bushes dotted the landscape beneath blue skies and a salty ocean breeze was breathed by all living things—people tend to discount just how beautiful the earth beneath the concrete island of southern California is. Unfortunately, the saltiness was not the only thing southern Californians—including those who wished to honor the life of my Grandfather, a World War II veteran—were forced to breathe. Instead, jets terraformed the sky. I am familiar with the history of terraforming—otherwise known as chemtrailing—and an anger so pointed swelled inside of me, that I could not put my beloved Grandfather to rest without environmental terrorism, sponsored by my government, perpetuated clearly above. I kept one eye on the sky that day, and one eye on the grave.

Part of this aerosol project has been called Operation Cloverleaf. Its multipurpose operations include: weather modification, military communications, space weapons development, ozone and global warming research, as well as biological weaponry and detection testing. Consequences of these black ops include the dimming of the life-giving sunlight, and reduced atmospheric visibility with lung-clogging particulates and polymers, seriously compromising public health. [1]

In 2001, Dennis Kucinich brought the Space Preservation Act of 2001 to the House. In section 7 B he defines exotic weapons as such [2]:

(B) Such terms include exotic weapons systems such as--
(i) electronic, psychotronic, or information weapons;
(ii) chemtrails;
(iii) high altitude ultra low frequency weapons systems;
(iv) plasma, electromagnetic, sonic, or ultrasonic weapons;
(v) laser weapons systems;
(vi) strategic, theater, tactical, or extraterrestrial weapons; and
(vii) chemical, biological, environmental, climate, or tectonic weapons.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On the Edge of Genetic Control in US

In February of 2009, Forbes Magazine published the article, “John Holdren, Ideological Environmentalist: a most dogmatic member of Obama’s Dream Team.” The article goes on to outline what, in recent days, has lit ablaze the online press: John Holdren, Obama’s “Science Czar”, is a major proponent of hard-line eugenics policies. Forbes’ labels Holdren a “fierce environmentalist.” [1]

According to Forbes, Holdren’s environmentalism has been celebrated over the years. He has been the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at Harvard’s Research Center and a past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Holdren partook as a member of The Limits to Growth club. In his 1971 Sierra Club book, Energy: A Crisis in Power, Holdren writes “it is fair to conclude that under almost any assumptions, the supplies of crude petroleum and natural gas are severely limited. The bulk of energy likely to flow from these sources may have been tapped within the lifetime of many of the present population.” The science supporting notions of peak oil, regardless of Holdren’s confidence, has been seriously scrutinized, giving credence to Forbes claim that Holdren holds serious dogmas.

From Forbes,
"In keeping with his dogmatic (my italicization) limits-to-growth convictions, Holdren joined his frequent co-author, eco-doomster Paul Ehrlich, in a famous bet against cornucopian economist Julian Simon.
In 1980, Holdren, Ehrlich and Stanford colleague John Harte picked a basket of five commodities--chrome, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten--that they were sure were going to rise in price as they became increasingly scarce. They drew up a futures contract obligating Simon to sell Holdren, Ehrlich and Harte the same quantities of five metals that could be purchased for $1,000 10 years later at 1980 prices.
If the combined prices rose above $1,000, Simon would pay the difference. If they fell below $1,000, Ehrlich would pay Simon. Ehrlich mailed Simon a check for $576.07 in October 1990. Simply put, the combined real prices of the metals selected by Holdren and his colleagues fell by more than 50% during the 1980s, confirming cornucopian claims that the supply of resources over time becomes more abundant, not scarcer."

Holdren also held the view that, by 2040, the US population would reach 270 million, and that that would pose a “severe” problem. Today, in 2009, the population of the U.S. is about 304 million. In his 1975 The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Holdren slightly tinkered with his previous conceptions of limits to energy, writing that “civilization is not running out of energy; but it is running out of cheap energy.”
In his 1977 book Ecoscience, Holdren, Paul Ehrlich (head of science under Bush), and Anne Ehrlich write on page 837 that “Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society. Few today consider the situation in the United States serious enough to justify compulsion, however.”

Holdren also proposes “a comprehensive Planetary Regime (that) could control the development, administration and distribution of all natural resources…not only in the atmosphere and the oceans, but in such freshwater bodies as rivers and lakes.”
He states further, the “Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits…The Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits.”

Some syndicated columnists argue the claims made by concerned citizens are moot points, for the tome Ecoscience was written more than thirty years ago. Maybe so, until one learns that some of the suggestions are already utilized by the U.S. government, as over 250 different pharmaceutical chemicals have been found in the drinking supply of the unsuspecting U.S. population. Many of these chemicals are attributed to hyper feminization in women and demasculinization in men. In one example, Holdren states his belief that under the current U.S. Constitution, adding sterilants to the nation’s water supply was probably a good thing:

"Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control. Indeed, this would pose some very difficult political, legal, and social questions, to say nothing of the technical problems. No such sterilant exists today, nor does one appear to be under development. To be acceptable, such a substance would have to meet some rather stiff requirements: it must be uniformly effective, despite widely varying doses received by individuals, and despite varying degrees of fertility and sensitivity among individuals; it must be free of dangerous or unpleasant side effects; and it must have no effect on members of the opposite sex, children, old people, pets, or livestock."

Monday, July 13, 2009

if there is hope for today, take tomorrow: No Entities, No Establishments (or that movement to fit)

Telecommunications has rendered time and space yet more evasive than it naturally was. Thanks to the television, men and women and children were able to watch from the surface of the earth as three US citizens stepped foot on the moon, showing us for the first time images of our small, delicate world. Moreover, computers can store things nowhere and everywhere at the same time. As I sit and write this from my room now I know that, should it be needed, by simply sending the transcript to myself through e-mail I can access my attempt at composition from virtually any computer in the world. This is made possible, or so the authorities argue, by the nonexistence of such digital information in any place. The authorities have made use of this loophole, therefore interpreting it as not evasion of a citizen’s privacy, but, rather a justifiable anti-terror mechanism.

If there is hope for today, take tomorrow

Ninety-nine percent of all species that have ever existed on earth have gone extinct. If homo sapiens were to go extinct today—despite that we chose to call ourselves “the wise one” —we will have been, under our own scientific definitions, an index fossil: a widely distributed fossil, of narrow range in time, regarded as characteristic of a given geological formation. In fact, our species, two million years old, could exist for hundreds of millions of more years and still be considered fleeting by the standards of geological time.

*continued in comments

Learning for Success; ahem—excuse me—for service.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of
civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
--Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816.

When Thomas Jefferson refers to a state of civilization, one assumes he has his own in mind; that is western civilization, of course. Why, then, should an ignorant nation never expect to know freedom? Perhaps, as he penned this letter to Charles Yancey, Jefferson had in the back of his head the approximately 6,000 years of scorched earth policies that, within this state, were perpetrated by and for the vector of western progress. The institutions comprising western civilization, he concluded, predisposed agents of history to depravity and conquest. Therefore, it must be so, that the people enjoy the fruits of access to the voluminous amount of data available during any given epoch. Abraham Lincoln, while in office, echoed his forbearer, saying “let the people know the truth and the country is safe.” Like never before do the masses have access to a wealth of information. Many key players in the political and corporate arenas, recognizing this, are positioning themselves and events so as to make a case for further restriction of the internet, while increased supervision in the classroom is on the agenda under Obama.

continued in comments

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Naomi Klein Interview

Naomi Klein: 'The Wall Street Bailout Is the Greatest Heist in Monetary History'
By Joan Juliet Buck RSS
Alert me to Joan Juliet's new posts
Naomi Klein © Ed Kashi
Editor’s Note: Naomi Klein is the award-winning author of the international bestsellers The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies. She writes a regular column for The Nation magazine and The Guardian newspaper that is syndicated internationally by The New York Times Syndicate. Her articles have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Rolling Stone, The Globe and Mail and The New York Times. She wrote and co-produced “The Take,” an award-winning feature documentary about Argentina’s occupied factory movement.

As all the pieces of all the world’s economy started crashing around our heads, I realized that the person I most wanted to ask about it all was Naomi Klein, whom I had met briefly last year when Laurie Anderson put together a protest evening at St. Anne’s. Naomi Klein’s books, No Logo and The Shock Doctrine, examined the roots of what is happening now. Here’s what she had to say about the present crisis. -JJB

JOAN JULIET BUCK: You must be having some very intense reactions to everything that’s happening right now.

NAOMI KLEIN: It’s an adventure reading the paper every morning.

JOAN: Where does that leave the end of history?

NAOMI: So many of the debates that we were told are over are reemerging. That’s the good part of what’s going on right now. There were so many attempts to arbitrarily claim that ideas about social justice, about economic justice, were finished, and there’s only one model. In The Shock Doctrine I quote Larry Summers, from back in 1991 when he was a honcho at the World Bank. He was talking about the World Bank policies that used to be called The Washington Consensus. And he said, “Spread the truth — the laws of economics are like the laws of engineering. One set of laws works everywhere.” It was all about deregulation, privatization, the market is always best, the market’s always supreme. And there was the feeling of certainty — that we had figured everything out. Summers even said a couple of years later that there are many basic economic ideas that are “passé” — no longer worthy of debate. One of the issues that he listed as over was the idea that government could invest in programs to stimulate the economy. And here he is … right!

JOAN: What does the present moment mean?

NAOMI: It’s created space; there’s new oxygen to propose alternatives. One of the things that I try to show in my book is that these debates were not won on their own merits. They were often won using violence, by actually eliminating the left, in countries in Latin America, and then declaring ideological victory.

JOAN: In The New Yorker, you’re quoted as saying, “This is a progressive moment. It’s ours to lose.” What did you mean?

NAOMI: Capitalism is on trial. And you have an organic, grassroots, sort of spontaneous revolt against the elite – which is actually what we’re hearing with this rage at CEOs, and bonuses and government collusion with the elites. Rage is an opportunity. The rage is there, and the country is seething, the world is seething with rage. The question is, where is it going to be directed? I feel there’s a moral responsibility for the Left and for progressives to provide an alternative in this moment that is moral, that is principled, that is just, that is hopeful, because if we don’t, then that anger is so easily directed at “those damn Mexican immigrants,” at “the first African American president.” So I feel a tremendous sense of urgency. It’s not just, “Hey, our time has come.” It’s, “We’d better get our act together because this anger is going somewhere.”

JOAN: Now, who would the leaders of this Left be?

NAOMI: That is a very complicated question in the United States right now. Pretty much everywhere else in the world, besides maybe North Korea, there’s a really healthy distrust of those in power. You know, people are in the streets in this moment, as well they should be – whether it’s in France or whether it’s in Britain or Iceland. They may have a left-leaning government, like the government of Gordon Brown. But that doesn’t mean they’re giving him a pass. In Britain the choice is very clear. The anger is either going to be directed at the banks or it’s going to be directed at immigrants. I’m not afraid of it being directed at the banks. I’m appalled at news that there’s a 17-year-old girl who is facing jail time for having a few beers and breaking a window at the RBS Bank during the G-20 protests, when not a single banker is going to jail for burning down the global economy. What kind of a system is that? I think we should rally to this young woman’s defense. What you see again and again in Europe is that, in this critical moment, there is an opposition that is organizing with this healthy distrust of power. In the U.S., Obama mania complicates this.

JOAN: You said, talking about the Obama video "Yes We Can," "Now, finally, a politician is making ads that are as good as Nike."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Republicans For Sale?

The Republican Party is tottering on the brink of extinction, with scant a third party waiting in their midsts to fill the vacuum, despite that Ron Paul enjoys an underestimated, and perhaps broad, base of support. The topsy-turvy roller coaster of the Bush Administration tarnished severely the party worldwide, sending scores of voters to the Obama-Biden ticket. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Sector switched parties, shifting the balance in the White House’s favor. Moreover, participants of the tea parties have been slandered by pundits in the media, whilst the historical significance of the act goes unmentioned, betrayed. For, as a panoply of US Presidents have noticed, the American Revolution had as much to do with power of the money press, as it did with taxes. With polls claiming Obama has the support of 68% of the nation, a mossy rolling stone, indeed, it is crucial that the American public is justly informed on the policies of his administration.
Arlen Sector story:

Timothy Geithner, charged with the task of solving the financial crisis, has not pushed through an agenda drafted, in large part, by partners of what the New York Times euphemistically refers to as “the Finance Club.” Sector’s crossover seems to be a viable solution to that impediment in a congress that was, quite recently, threatened with martial law, should it have failed to pass the T.A.R.P bailout.

The economic policies of the Bush administration have been expounded by the Obama administration; that is, large handouts to financial institutions, devoid of real discussion of the direction of the manufacturing sector in the United States. In order to move forward, the United States must first develop a large scale mobilization of its resource base. Solar, wind and geothermal technologies, many of which do not face impediments in technology, offer promising futures, as does a full-fledged mobilization for a green transportation system. Without such plans, it would only take a further unraveling of Chimerica for the production capacity of the United States to contract significantly. Further, our attitudes, not only our policies, about resource use must evolve with our technologies, until society listens to man’s natural emotions so as to gauge right and wrong. Such adaptations would promote survival. Since wind turbines must be placed 1,000 feet apart from one another on wind farms, hemp presents itself as a practical export possibility; a task, perhaps, for a desperate Republican party, thereby completing the forty-year-party-shift for which we were due this past election.

We must, as a way of beginning a push to foment communities in our towns and cities, take our solutions, perspectives and helping hands to the analog world, where we are all in serious demand.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

We Are Our Words, The People's Press: the American Revolution and Vietnam GI Anti-War Movement

Man is not likely to salvage civilization unless he can evolve a system of good and evil which is independent of heaven and hell. –George Orwell

If you don’t like the news…go make some of your own. –Wes “scoop” Nisker

Ninety percent of any revolution is nonviolent, making ideas the nucleus of any true social movement and revision. There is much distress about the Obama administration’s persistent attempts to disarm Americans, despite that the right to protect oneself against a crooked government stands as the Second Amendment of the United States of America, while he simultaneously enriches further a new super class, thereby emmiserating the great mass of citizens. Furthermore, yielders of power understand perfectly well the importance of ideas to any form of ubiquitous popular reform; hence, recent federal pamphlets administered to many state police agencies accusing a majority of Americans of being terrorists. That’s right, if you support the Second Amendment—in fact, if you support the constitution at all—if you support Ron Paul, even the founders of this nation, you are in danger of being labeled a terrorist and being prosecuted. For those adept thinkers among us, FEMA camps await. Clearly, the US government and military have prepared for civil unrest.

What follows is an overview of just a couple popular counter-culture movements in this country’s history. Firstly, I present a caricature of the American Revolution, and the pamphlets which functioned as the crux of that essential moment in human history. Many estimates put the percentage of colonists active in—or supportive of—the Revolution at around four percent. A tiny amount when one puts the ripple effects of that revolution in perspective. Secondly, I present a little known topic among most Americans: The Anti-War GI movement during Vietnam. We will learn of the importance of the GI Press to that movement and the ending of the war.

The American Revolution (on paper)

As historian Bernard Bailyn notes, of all the shortcomings the foremost thinkers of the American Revolution may have had, reticence was not one of them. In a decade and a half—from 1750 to 1776—the leading colonists of the day compiled a rich literature of theory, argument, opinion, and polemic. The thirty-eight colonial newspapers were, by 1775, filled with columns of arguments and counter-arguments, official documents, extracts of speeches, and sermons.

Pamphlets, the medium by which much of most important writings of the revolution appeared, were of crucial importance to the revolutionary generation. The alternative news website of today, perhaps, can be viewed as their modern day equivalent. Pamphlets were a space in which the writer could experiment with ideas and presentations, for he or she enjoyed more freedom than within the pages of a colonial newspaper. George Orwell, a modern pamphleteer, wrote:

The pamphlet is a one-man show. One has complete freedom of expression, including, if one chooses, the freedom to be scurrilous, abusive, and seditious; or, on the other hand, to be more detailed, serious and “high brow” than is ever possible in a newspaper or in most kinds of periodicals. At the same time, since the pamphlet is always short and unbound, it can be produced much more quickly than a book, and in principle, at any rate, can reach a bigger public. Above all, the pamphlet does not have to follow any prescribed pattern. It can be in prose or in verse, it can consist largely of maps or statistics or quotations, it can take the form of a story, a fable, a letter, an essay, a dialogue, or a piece of “reportage.” All that is required of it is that it shall be topical, polemical, and short.

The middle sized pamphlet was most ideal for the needs of the Revolutionary writers. It allowed for the full development of an argument (investigating premises, exploring logic, considering conclusions, etc.), and therefore was where “the best thought of the day expressed itself”; where “the solid framework of constitutional thought” came to fruition; and where “the basic elements of American political thought of Revolutionary period appeared first.” Despite an author’s freedom to explore a multitude of topics in this form, these pamphlets were always pointed, focusing on immediate challenges and the most pressing issues. Envisaged as resolving obstacles and predicaments by the most relevant and effective means available, the pamphlets, in so many ways, made up the revolution’s cognitive orientation: namely, which problems were viewed as most pressing, and which solutions were considered most sagacious. The baggage of such a hardening in approach—as certain solutions were brought to the forefront and normalized—is the ostracization of less ‘mainstream’ opinions. In other words, Revolutionary movements form salubriousness or hygiene of their own, as less tidy or traditional resolutions go unacknowledged.

Such a predicament is difficult to avoid, though one such way of sifting through a chorus of voices is to organize on the basis of our disparate notions. The American character is a diverse set of values, morals and ethics. All of our voices must be considered relevant and accommodating, until proven otherwise. Those with similar ideas and yearnings ought to hash out their differences (more similar than their differences with those from wholly other schools of thought) among themselves, presenting thereafter other committees and forums with a united agenda.

The first Soviet—or council—was established in Russia in the province of Ivanovna-Voznesensk during the 1905 Textile Strike. It was incipiently a strike committee, but developed into an elected body of the town’s workers. Over the next months, Soviets of Workers Deputies were established in and around 50 different towns. These Soviets were crucial to fomenting the popular ferment of the early 20th century in Russia.

In St. Petersburg, approximately 500 hundred workers elected a single deputy, whereas in Moscow and Odessa 500 and 100 workers, respectively, elected a representative. The Soviets—in light of the failings of the Duma—were envisioned as the legitimate workers’ government; they challenged the authority of Nicholas II and sought to enforce promises made in the October Manifesto, such as freedom of the press, assembly and association.

In December, 1905, however, the Soviets were suppressed and leaders such as Leon Trotsky were arrested and imprisoned. Soviets were re-established during the overthrow of Nicholas II. Soldiers and industrial workers played a crucial role in the soviets established in 1917. The First Congress of Soviets that was held in June, 1917, had 1,090 delegates representing more than 400 Soviets, of which 285 were Socialist Revolutionaries, 248 Mensheviks and 105 Bolsheviks—Civil War awaited them in the offing, a fate we must avoid.

At the time of the November revolution, there were upwards of 1,000 soviets in Russia, the lion’s share of which controlled by the Bolsheviks in the major towns and cities. The Second Congress of Soviets was convened on 8th November; employing a variety of methods, the Bolsheviks gained control in on 14th June 1918, thereafter expelling Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries. Such a breakdown in unity must be avoided by way of broad axioms from which a modern-day American Reform Movement can spring: compassion, altruism and unity?

Back to the American Revolution: In the crisis decades of the 1760’s and 1770’s pamphlets appeared year after year and month after month. More than 400 of them, all of which weighed in on the Anglo-American controversy, were published between 1750 and 1776. 1,500, furthermore, had appeared by 1783. The pamphlets featured explanations of current events, and were at once of a declarative nature; expressive of the beliefs, attitudes, and motivations as well as of professed goals of those who led and supported the Revolution. The definitive literature of the event itself can be found within the pages of the Revolutionary pamphlets.

The American pamphleteers were prescient individuals, who expressed themselves in a gathered, cohesive and cogent manner. Though they imparted scorn, anger, and indignation, they rarely spread blind hate, panic and fear. They sought to convince their opponents of their viewpoints, instead of attacking and belittling them.

This of the upmost importance, for, in a society where violence has been targeted at individuals--instead of, say, towards pray for reward-- argument is war. The metaphors we use for argument, as well as the milder forms of debate, point in a similar direction: He attacked my argument for all it's weak points; a shortcoming that could have been avoided, had the weak argument been stronger. Your claims are indefensible. Her criticisms were right on target. I've never won an argument with him.

The American Revolution, the kernel of the American character and a turning point in human history, was not an overthrow of existing social orders or a traditional bloody revolution (though blood there indeed was), but instead the preservation of political liberties threatened by the corruption of the constitution, and the indemnity, in principle, of the existing conditions of liberty.

Instead of the disruption of society—with all the fear, despair and hatred traditionally attributed therewith—the American Revolution was the realization, understanding and emergence of the liberty believed to be America’s destiny in the scheme of world history. There can be no stark historical categorization of this instance in history, for the intangibility of the convictions of that time, arisen from emotions and sentiments, escape definition. Bailyn suggests a poem called “Mind,” by Richard Wilbur, as the ultimate depiction of the spirit of those Revolutionary times:

Mind in its purest play is like some bat
That beats about in caverns all alone,
Contriving by a kind of senseless wit
Not to conclude against a wall of stone.

It has no need to falter or explore;
Darkly it knows what obstacles are there
And so may weave and flitter, dip and soar
In perfect courses through the blackest air.

And has this simile a like perfection?
The mind is like a bat. Precisely. Save
That in the very happiest intellection
A graceful error may correct the cave.

The Revolutionary process, whereby a pool of ideas was deliberated by a diverse group of talented philosophers (I assume it is human nature to philosophize, pegging each and every one of us as a philosopher in his or her own right), enlarged the dimensions of our cognitive cave, transforming, and perhaps, even modernizing it. We are all a testament to the more spacious world shaped during the American Revolution, and now it is time we carry forth the legacy of our forefathers on a hitherto unprecedented scale: a global revolution in thought, for learning is contagious, and the Truth can be made endemic during these precarious times.

The Vietnam GI Press

The GI Press appeared between 1967 and 1970 as a part of an expanding GI peace movement which opposed US imperialism and, more pointedly, the war in Vietnam. These papers were in every way countercultural and were interested in the plethora of political struggles of the day. The papers also discussed local events such as record releases or rock concerts as if they were inherently political movements. Whereas Sunday morning talk shows revered politicians and generals as philosophers and great thinkers, the GI Press recorded remarks from Bob Dylan and others as political theory. There are, by and large, two forms of resistance which take form in the pages of the underground newspapers. The first, antimilitary, signifies oppositions to all form of military activity and those involved. Antimilitarist, then, signifies a stance opposing the synthesis of military action with the goals and needs of corporate imperialism. The latter cohort found Vietnam intolerable and rejected misinformation that heralded it as vital to their nation. The latter, corporate imperialism, stands as the dominant motif of 21st century warfare.

The GI Press’ goal was to promote ideas, not profits. It sought to challenge the dominate institutions in military culture and society at large, instead of justifying them: It spoke to a community of soldiers, not a base of partners and consumers. GI Press writers were participants in the events about which they wrote. Because of the large network of GI newspapers and the longevity of some of the publications, the GI Press was meaningful in nurturing along apprehensive soldiers unsure if they were alone in their thoughts or not: “The GI newspapers were my only access to free thought,” Professor of History and veteran Peter Buckingham said regarding his time in the service.

The movement, to those who worked on the papers, was synonymous with publishing the papers; the two were one in the same, and all were encouraged to participate. The newspaper staffs were not “sticklers for accuracy.” LN’S Ray Mungo wrote at the time, “…All we say: tell the truth, brothers, and the let the facts fall where they may.” Tom Forcade of the Underground Press Syndicate (UPS)—a network of countercultural newspapers and magazines formed in 1967—spoke before a Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, bombasting “the walking antiques…trying to stomp out our…working model of tomorrow’s paleocybernetic culture, soul, life, manifesting love, force, anarchy, euphoria…flowing new-consciousnesses media on paper, from our lives to the streets…So fuck off and fuck censorship,” wrapping up by throwing a pie at the panel.

The response to these independent newspapers was characteristic of the non-democratic nature of the US government. These papers were envisaged as part of the communist conspiracy to corrupt America’s youth. The Chairman of the House Un-American Activities Committee, Joe Polle, maintained that:

“The purpose of these newspapers…[is] to slander and libel everyone who opposes these traitors in their attempts to destroy the American government….These smut sheets are today’s Molotov cocktails thrown at respectability and decency in our nation. The plan of this underground press syndicate is to take advantage of that part of the First Amendment which protects newspapers and gives them freedom of the press… they will attract the irresponsible readers whom they want to enlist in their attempts to destroy the country.”

The editor of The Logistic envisaged his newspaper as filling an intellectual void in the military:

"What is lacking in the intellectual void of military service—what might be termed as an intellectual counterpart to military logistics...Our “mental” logistics will be characterized by facts and ideas. Instead of moving troops, we will move minds. Instead of supplying troops, we will supply the facts-about the army, about the country, about the world. Instead of quartering troops, we vow to make our paper a forum for your ideas and viewpoints. Then and only then will this post have a paper which brings the true issues into light. We aren’t interested in telling you what to think, but we do wish to inform you about what others are thinking so that you can make your own decisions and form your own opinions."

Instead of simply succumbing to daily racism, oppression, harassment and suppression, soldiers could be constructive with their time—namely by contributing their views to the Underground Press or by getting involved with a coffeehouse that stood “for GI’s dedicated to peace, equal rights and an end to the UCMJ,” or by demonstrating or donating.

"Most important of all do not be afraid to say what you think at every opportunity including while you’re at work—the Bill of Rights is not suspended during working hours although your 'superiors' may want you to think so."

The editors of the underground paper Connections, describes its relationship to the counterculture as such,

"The ‘Underground press’ is many things (Political freedom, human rights, protest, news, underground culture, revolutionary though, etc.) Most of all, it is the thousands of people who, like you believe in a better world free of war, hate, injustice, poverty and ignorance."

What is its relationship, then, to mass media?

"We exist as a counter-medium standing against other media which purport to have all the answers and solutions to problems; against all other media which would give the impression that systems of knowledge... We take issue in contrapunctual fashion, to those media which have a monopoly on right answers.”

Soldiers related to the personal nature of GI Press journalism, oft joining the resistance movement themselves after realizing there was such a thing to begin with. The context in which social movement journalism develops is key to understanding what it is in reaction to, and for what it stands. The US media has matured from a handful of newspapers scattered through a few major cities into our entire environment. It is to modern society what the natural environment is to agricultural societies. A cultural environment teeming in media, however, is by no means natural: It is a construction of people for the sole purpose of profit. Advertising has permeated every niche of sociality, including deep structures of social life: We now live in an age where “stealth marketing” turns movie plots, concerts, and even private conversations into marketing events.

To call corporate media control of culture “censorship” would be a gaff in ratiocination. On the behalf of, but certainly not the same as censorship, new techniques of cultural orientation, as Bob Ostertag observes, “frames news, entertainment, and advertising so as to limit the range of options for social change to those that are consistent with corporate interests.” Of all the lack in coverage of important cultural developments, none is so debilitating as the lack of counterculture treatment.

The GI Press was crucial as a space where GI’s could question the policies, laws and orders of those who controlled their lives. The Pentagon, White House and Military drafted vague guidelines for the “brass” to follow, which resulted in gross abuses of power such as assigning editors and writers to Vietnam or Ft. Leavenworth. Despite this coercion from the military, the GI press remained imperative to the anti-war movement within the military throughout the war in Vietnam.

They were able to refuse their group’s behavioral model and mold one of their own; a process which became easier as more and more soldiers began to refuse the orders of their superiors, thereby increasing the body of ideas and viewpoints from which the soldiers could cognize in such a creative—not only ingenuously, but also as inventers of digital data—manner. They rejected the view inculcated into them—inculcation being a certain array of actions and reactions liable to evolving a certain cognitive reorientation into the recruits —and began acting in a more moral and just way.

Towards a People’s Press and a Better Way

The 1960’s—that decade to which many of us look for hope—was, first and foremost, a black revolution. For that reason, obviously, any hope of social change in the United States of America rests in our ability to unite our multifarious communities, all too often separated by socio-economic status and subtly racist urban planning. Ideas vulnerable to change must be the platform of any social transformation, and a formidable underground network—both through the internet and in the analog world through local magazines—is our best prospect of uniting an unknowingly united population.

Bernard Bailyn, "The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution"
For more on the GI Anti-War Movement visit

Monday, March 16, 2009

The "Richest" Country in the World


The CIA recently published a list of the current account balances of 163 countries from highest to lowest. China, Japan and Germany respectively, are the countries with the highest account balances. Although this is not the surprising part of the list. The country that is listed at 163 is often regarded as the most powerful military and economic power the world. However, this country has a current account balance of $ -747,100,000,000, and no that is not a typo. I am of course referring to the United States of America. How can we hope to improve the state of domestic affairs and tackle issues such as education, healthcare, and poverty while being in hundreds of billions of dollars in debt? How are we even able to still fund our current military escapades in Iraq and Afghanistan with this kind of deficit? I think it is time we took a long hard look at the state of American politics, because something needs to be done. I don't feel that the current political candidates are effectively bringing to light the financial crisis our government is in, and if this problem is not dealt with soon the consequences will likely be uncontrollable.

CIA Ranking of Nations according to account balance:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fillin' in the blanks for the first time

The vessel of vernacular is entangled
In selves and bloody entrails of established mores:
History is your story, but you’ve left it to the others,
Filling in the blanks for the first time.
like kelp upon a foothold;
adrift, a prisoner of its own beginning.

The inroad of experience is tied and clotted.
The tango of the tonsil, nonetheless,
goes roundabout
like fluttering fish at the temporal end of lakes,
like granules in grains,
Like the absence in a window-pane.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hello, Is Anybody Out There? Famine, Neofeudalism and the New Dark Ages

The emotions are one of the most important ingredients in the evolution of consciousness and humanity. A wondrous technology, emotions make it possible for us to organize our goals according to importance. For instance, out there in the wild—you know among the lions and tigers and bears we fear as children—it’s not best for a parched and famished animal to stand betwixt by a berry bush and stream. Nor does it do the animal any good to nibble on a berry before mozying on over to the stream, and then onto the berry again, etc. ad infinitum til’ there’s nada of either. Rather, the best decision calls for the animal to prioritize, drinking water when it’s ideal to drink water and eating food when it’s ideal to eat food. Ecclesiastes says that to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to love, and a time to hate. Should he have also included, one wonders, a time to wake up? In the forest on a camping trip, we have different goals standing face to face with a lion than when nursing a wound or confronting strife among fellow campers. “It’s morning again in America,” said Ronald Regan, however ironically, in a 1984 campaign ad. Well, tis’ late in the ball game, and ones hard pressed to find those with the best cards—well, at least their money, stockpiled off shores and anonymously.

Many economists assure us the current recession will begin to subside by 2010, but the paradigm from which they conceptualize reality is incomplete, ignoring costs externalized by markets, such as the encroaching effects of habitat destruction. The fledgling and contagious social unrest at hand must be quickly organized, attitudinized and mobilized, for existing environmental, geopolitical and financial upheavals threaten the survival of many. Firstly, the outlook for food yields in 2009 is dismal: Many analysts have warned of a 20 to 40 percent drop in agricultural production, depending on the harshness and duration of the current global drought. (DeCarbonnel Two years ago, however, Science published predictions of “permanent drought by 2050 throughout the Southwest” of the United States, and forecasted levels of aridity akin to the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s that would envelope swaths of land from Kansas to California. The Hadley Center in the UK reported in November 2006,

"Extreme drought is likely to increase from under 3% of the globe today to 30% by 2100—areas affected by severe drought could see a five-fold increase from 8% to 40%."

This, of course, is a recipe for widespread desertification. The NOAA foresees drought of considerable duress—“largely irreversible for 1,000 years”—and identifies the following key regions as facing, insofar as our contemporary purviews are considered, permanent Dust Bowls: (Romm

• U.S. Southwest
• Southeast Asia
• Eastern South America
• Southern Europe
• Southern Africa
• Northern Africa
• Western Australia

Countries yielding two thirds of the world’s agricultural output are on the precipice of serious climate discontinuities reminiscent of the Global Climate Optimum of the 900 to 1300 variety. Food prices will soar, and, in poor countries where food is scarce, millions will starve. One thing we have to fall back on is our natural humanity—not just our braininess and knowhow, but also the fact that the collective wet dream that constitutes our social reality skews how many of us can actually exist now and in the future. Simply put, by downsizing and ditching the wet dream--exemplified by the belief in the anglo-saxon world that our homes and cars are our castles--we have much to gain. Unfortunately, there are plenty of atavistics (those who are like, so last dark ages) among us, like Dianne Feinstein, who said that it is Californians “god given right to water their lawns and gardens.” Southern Californian Scott Thill offers up, in an article published by AlterNet, a new definition of the front lawn: “Gorgeously tended middle fingers to reality, which, like death and taxes always, has a way of winning in the end.”(Thill

The California drought is anticipated to be the worst in modern times. Already thousands of acres of crops are fallow, with no sign of slowing. Furthermore, the Northern Sierra snowpack for this past winter turned out to be 51% lighter than usual. According to the Los Angeles Times, the state is nearly out of water, leaving it with prayers of rain and a dwindling Northern California supply. Los Angeles has already begun rationing of water, which, as Scott Thill points out, means water to the rich (north) and away from the poor (south). He then portends evacuations and realignments, “by 2100, you will not recognize it.” East of southern California, 18 percent of Texas is burdened by severe drought.

In some countries historical relief efforts have been undertaken. The Chinese government has allocated 86.7 billion yuan (roughly $12.69 billion) to affected regions, and, moreover, lent a helping hand not only to its western colleagues during the financial crisis, but also to nature itself. Officials in Beijing blasted silver iodide into clouds over northern China to create precipitation as a means of alleviating the most severe drought experienced by the region in half a century. Keep your fingers crossed (or maybe not, there’s no telling with these things!), as China produces 18% of the world’s grain each year. (Macartney

Australia has been in the midst of an unremitting dry spell since 2004, as 41% of the country’s agriculture suffers the worst drought in the 117 years of record-keeping. Rivers have stopped flowing, lakes are being eradicated by toxicity, and farmers have left their land.

Shall we proceed? Argentina’s worst drought in half a century has turned that country’s verdant landscapes to dust. The country has declared emergency. Soy plants are scorched by the sun and Argentina’s food production is set to go down a minimum of 50 percent. 2008’s wheat yield was 16.3 million metric tons, whereas 2009’s is projected to be merely 8.7 metric tons.

Africa faces food shortages due to lack of rainfall. Half the agricultural soil has lost nutrients necessary to grow plant. The Middle East and Central Asia, to boot, are suffering from contemporary nadir droughts and food grain production is at the lowest levels in decades. A major shortage of planting seed for the 2010 crop is expected.

Stocks of foodstuff are dangerously low worldwide. Agricultural commodities must rise in price so as to obviate even larger food shortages and famine. Wheat, corn, soybeans, etc. must become expensive enough so that every available acre is harvested with the best possible fertilizers. With food prices steady, production will continue to fall and millions would starve.

A spike in food price is likely to spark competitive currency appreciation in 2009. Foreign exchange reserves exist for this. Central banks the globe over would lower domestic food prices by either directly selling off their reserves to appreciate their currency or buying grain from the market. Appreciating a currency is the fastest way to control food inflation. The more valuable a currency the more monopolistic a nation over global resources—so, for example, an overvalued dollar enables the US to consume 25% of the world’s oil, despite only having 4% of the world’s population. Were China to sell off its US reserves, its population of over one billion would then suck up the world’s food supply. Prices soar around the world.

This process, however, would most likely not end up in the impoverishment of nation states per se, though almost certainly the disintegration of the modern middle class, already long past its youthful heyday. The American Dream has been repeatedly resuscitated over the last thirty years through portfolio insurance, Long-Term Capital Management, the internet, the housing market, and now the looters have taken to the streets—oh, excuse me; I mean to their theoretical electronic world—and pillaged the landscape.

Social unrest and soaring food prices go hand in hand, from sea to shining sea. Countries, so as to avoid revolutionary reform from the bottom up, would have no choice but to appreciate their currencies in order to cheapen food imports. China holds the best deck, and so then would sell off more of its reserves. The world’s reserve currency, the dollar, floats into precarious waters. As a fiat currency, the US dollar is, by its very nature, worthless. Trillions of US holdings could be liquidated in favor of food.

“We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger" (President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address 24 Feb 2009)

In Washington, talk of bailouts and relief are framed in the realm of economics and economics only, with no considerable deliberation of our species ecological outlook. The budget proposal is sold as a demand oriented New Deal-esque expansionary program, with health, education, renewable energy, investment infrastructure and transportation at its forefront. The hope is to stimulate employment, boost social programs and to revive the real economy. Michel Chossudovsky reports in a recent article published by Global Research, that —surprise,surprise— the “stimulus package” is the most substantial diverging of public spending ever, and serves the interests of Wall Street, in particular, the finance, oil and defense cartel. This in and of itself should cause social unrest, and certainly seems to increase the likelihood of the evaporation of the middle class. (Chossudovsky

The 2010 fiscal year, which begins on October 1st, will represent an increase in spending of 32%. The nucleus of the proposal inflates defense and the Middle East War funds, the Wall Street bank “bailouts that never end,” as the New York Times observed, and interest on a debt that exceeds tenfold the world’s GDP. The bailout—financed, in part, by the recipients themselves, the creditors, which, as understood by the Treasury and the banks in the first place, meant the FED enjoyed sweeping authority over how the money was to be spent from the onset of this collapse—continues under the new proposed budget. Unlike Keynesian style deficits, this piling on of debt through the proposed budget would not stimulate investment and consumer demand; there will be no expansion of production and employment, for the giveaway of tax dollars to the financial oligarchs is no more than a monumental concentration of wealth and centralization of world banking power.

Washington places defense spending at $739.5 billion, though some estimates assert aggregate defense and military related spending at more than $1 trillion. The total of both bailouts—Obama’s $750 billion, piled on top of Bush’s $700 billion dollar bailout—is 1.45 trillion dollars paid for by the Treasury. Virtually all federal government revenues would be expended to finance the bank handouts of 1.45 trillion, defense of $739 billion, and interest payments on public debt, $164 billion. And then the well is dry. There are no funds available for the social programs encapsulated in the stimulus package. Therefore, programs for healthcare and education will most likely be sold to private enterprise to fund the bankrupt state. Education is not the only state asset that is at risk of being privatized: Public infrastructure, urban services, highways, national parks, etc. are all at risk. The worsening fiscal collapse coalesces in the privatization of the state, tilling the land for a much more lucrative market in governance.

Monday, February 16, 2009

ECOnomy: The Stuff of Business, The Bounty of Other Exchange

Business has enveloped all aspects of culture. Not for a moment are we able to escape from a sea of messages with two common denominators: stimulate a spiritual sort of consumption and misinform the public. Whether it is in the kitchen with the tube on in the background or at a urinal on a Friday night at the bar, we are implored to hand over our hard-earned cash—or, more dangerously, our credit cards—creating demand and debt, in a vicious feedback loop that, through inherent processes such as interest and inflation, sets its own illusory stage higher; Proverb: the higher you climb, the further you fall. The monetary system at present, as the vehicle of business, is, for a multitude of reasons, insufficient for a modern thinking society. It cannot support itself, for it depends on chance asset bubbles—such as the .com boom or oil, just as the gold standard relied on chance gold discoveries such as the Gold Rush in California—and growth for the benefit of the top sectors at the expense of the lower echelons of society. Poverty is a must, for the entire system depends on our inability to pay back our debts. Just imagine if we all paid back our debts. There’d be no money in circulation. Private Banks such as the Fed (why the fuck is it called the Fed?) or the Bank of England, etc. would have all money.

Wages are falling due to soaring food and energy prices, while consumer debt and housing foreclosures are at historic highs. 600,000 American jobs are currently being lost a month, while 10,000 homes are being foreclosed. The criminal increase in the gap between rich and poor is conducive to social collapse by way of crime and genocide (genocide, by the way, is official Washington Policy). The threat of social turmoil further undermines our system of governance, while, meanwhile, England has already implemented the meat of a Police State. The United States military is already prepared to deal with social unrest, and, when we look to history for answers, we understand State violence against American citizens is the status quo. Oh, how the world begins to resemble feudal Europe! Excessive consumption—encouraged by cartels that set the agenda for a consumer society—is to blame for the collapse of ecosystems. All the while government responses have been enacted at the behest of multinationals, resulting in a considerable devaluing of the dollar: Almost ten trillion dollars—that is, simply speaking, upwards of 90 trillion, due to current reserve policies—has been spent by the US government alone to repair the economy. Foretelling of further systemic failures in our societal superstructure is congresses current irrelevance in face of empire sized corporations. Not to mention that, in today's America, the congress is routinely threatened with martial law, should it not pass Executive decrees. And you really think your congressman understands the ways in which our economy has been hijacked? Ha! Unless he/she is in cahoots with Bilderberg or a free-thinker like Ron Paul, fat chance! Culture gasps for air but comes up short. We are business, business is us.

It’s time for a new way of exchanging goods and services by evaluating economic performance against such indicators as healthy children, families, communities, relationships and natural systems.

Wall Street has historically claimed their trading activities create wealth for all, provide the funds that keep the business functioning, increases the velocity of exchange and stabilizes markets. The financial meltdown, however, has given us all a crash course in finance: a world of corruption based on speculation, the stripping of corporate assets, predatory lending, and asset bubbles is revealed. The 50 highest-paid private investment fund managers in 2007 averaged $588 million in compensation-19,000 time’s as much as average worker pay. One of the main purposes of the FED, as they will tell you, is to maintain stability within the economy, however, it has functioned just as a private corporation does, working only towards increasing profits.

The losses of the masses must be recovered. The Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington D.C. think tank, outlined in “A Sensible Plan for Recovery” some measures that ought to be heeded. In suggesting that Congress make Wall Street pay for both the bailout and a true economic stimulus package, the IPS recommended a securities transactions tax, a minimum corporate income tax, recovery of bonuses paid to Wall Street CEOs responsible for the crisis, an end to corporate tax havens, and an end to tax loopholes for CEO pay: Fair regulation of financial markets. Further measures will be needed to break up concentrations of corporate power. As David Corten suggested, market prices must internalize full social and environmental costs, trades between nations must be in balance, investment must be local, no player can be big enough to directly influence market price, power must be equitably distributed, the market must depend on the free flow of information (no intellectual property rights). For instance, conglomerations dishing out millions on greenwashing campaigns rarely implement the green protocols they champion. Such practices must stop immediately, and actual immediate change must begin to fuel a new economy based on resources and creative endeavors, with full transformation coming about slowly. (an economy changed hastily will end up authoritarian, with power accumulating among the most politically and economically powerful lenders.

Senator Bernie Sanders observed, “If a company is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.” Institutions must be vulnerable to challenge by uninstitutionalized groups of individuals forming specifically for the task of disputing illegitimate power. The work of these theoretical individuals would most likely be to disperse power among a greater number of people. Let’s work from the assumption that power corrupts, our founding fathers believed this to be so. So, all power is illegitimate, except for that of the parent protecting a child. Of course dominion will exist, though in a severely debased and checked form.

The current economic system posits consumers as slaves to be herded by their colonial master. We just happen to be awfully free these days. The Federal Reserve and Wall Street’s biggest players have control over the money supply, over predatory lending practices (Proverb: The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender's slave.), and over lobbying and campaign contributions used to suppress wages, dismantle social safety nets, and capture the value of productivity gains for themselves. The top 1 percent of the U.S. income earners increased their share of national cash income from 9 percent to 19 percent between 1980 and 2005, according to Charles R. Morris. Income for 90 percent of households fell relative to inflation, household savings rates dropped to less than one percent, and household debt soared as Main Street workers struggled to hold their lives together. It hasn’t worked. The base economic structure, the family, has failed in modern US society: fifty percent end in divorce and fifty percent of spouses find themselves in the sack with someone other than their partner. No wonder why we kids are so fucking mental! Drink, Drank, Punk! (Or you’re half-baked).

A distribution of wealth through progressive tax rates, increasing the minimum wage, containing health care costs, and regulating mortgage and credit card interest rates is crucial to moving forward. Whether we stay the current course or not, American free market capitalism is dead, so stop groping. Combine this with a debt free money system—or one based on resources instead of moneydebt—and Main Streets dependence on Wall Street financing is eliminated. To finance Main Street economies a network of independent and locally owned community banks will serve fine. They, in turn, would fund a projected central bank, whose power comes from the network of local banks, among whom power is dispersed equally.

Foreign Policy Advisor, as well as Bilderberg group and trilateral commission member, Zbigniew Brzezinksi admits that we live in a more enlightened world than ever. In such a world the only function of a legitimate economic system is to serve life. Currently economic success is gauged solely against financial indicators such as gross domestic product and stock prices, with social and environmental consequences going nearly wholly neglected. In our current economy 51 of the top 100 economies are corporations, and, in some cases, individuals. The new political and economic structure of America is an outcome thereof. Simultaneously, as many researchers note, happiness, and traditional indicators of social and environmental health, have declined while GDP increases.

We must change the way we create money. Wall Street benefits hugely from our current practice of money creation, whereby private banks create money through bookkeeping entries each time they make a loan, a process which creates only the principal, and not interest, save for when the economy grows at quick enough a pace for loans to create the new money needed to pay of the interest payments on previous loans. It is interesting to note that only three percent of money in the economy exists in physical form, the rest is theoretical, digital in "trans-nature." Interest, then, motors the economy, fueling inflation, while being totally dependent on growing inequality as well as Gross Domestic Product. The basis of our current economy--that is, the things we produce to make up our GDP's--are obsolete. Instead of producing disposable consumer goods, we, again, need an economy based on resources and creative endeavors, with an open system of education based on social experience within a human-community. New early pedagogy practices emphasizing the potential of the individual as a player in a community are a good place to start.

The likes of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin advocated replacing the system of bank-created debt-money with an alternative system in which the government creates debt-free money by spending it into existence to fund public goods like infrastructure or education. The main change in such a system is that the entry is made by government for a public good rather than by a private bank for private profit. The colonies, in fact, had their own debt-free money in the form of Colonial Scrip. This was unacceptable to the Bank of England (private corporation), and pushed through Parliament acts which stripped the colonies of their right to issue their own currency, effectively placing them on a gold/silver coin system. Hence, the revolution; your history teacher served you a nice fat fib, probably non-cognizant of it, when they said the colonists revolted over a tea tax.

The current debt-money system adds to debt and taxes, while also bearing responsibility for environmental destruction, not solely because it is based on unending growth, but because within a consumer society WASTE and PROGRESS are dear concepts to businesses with limited capacity to adapt within their own product space. Product space refers to the options a company has available to itself within an economy through time. For example, though apple has come up with a myriad of cool gadgets, it still remains there is only a limited amount of new ideas and capacity for production of new technologies apple can embark upon. That the Apple customer should want to throw away last years ipod is crucial to the perpetuation of the product space apple inhabits. If, instead of stressing the hyperupgrade of disposable consumer goods, stressed the extraction, production or discovery of clean energies (albeit completely new energies, considering current options fall short of what's needed) and nutritious resources for food, an ever expanding economy could benefit man.

Inherent also to the money-deby system is extreme inequality, since it insures the upward flow of wealth from main street to wall street, as well as instability within the economic system owing to the issuing of loans that promote reckless speculation, and therefore short term profits for banks. Aside from the debt-free money, desired because it greatly reduces debt, taxes, and environmental harm, is more equitable and increases financial stability, is the aforementioned economy based on resources. Mind you, money has no inherent value except for the belief in it by people. For that reason, we can use a plethora of stuff as our means of exchanging goods and services.

A world economy based on resources involves a full-fledged mobilization towards the development of new, clean, and renewable sources of energy: geothermal; controlled fusion; solar; photovoltaic; wind, wave and tidal power; and even fuel from the oceans. We must reorganize our cities, modes of transportations and industry on the basis of serving people... This sound ridiculous Justin, you’re a woolgatherer. Yes, true, I know; however, many ecologists and anthropologists believe that much of the Amazon is a human artifact, so…

Hitler laughed at the US military before and at the onset of World War II. What amateurs we were! (Tell that to post-world war 2 inhabitants of the Southern Hemisphere, where we’ve murdered ten million in explicit depopulation programs.) At the beginning of the Second World War the US had a scant 600 first-class fighting aircraft. In a short span of time, however, we were turning out more than 90,000 planes a year! (Oh, how the bankers who made the loans to the military industrial complex on all sides profited!) Did we have enough funds to produce the required war materials? No, we did not. We had the resources, though. Such resources and man power, unfortunately, are put only into high tech technologies geared towards social control and war. We’re okay with that, cause’ Al Qaeda and the Taliban are out there lurking in the night! (read: bogey men) Baaah.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

We Watch While the World burns

I write these words
with my pad and my pen
seeing the world through words
trying to make senSe
we open up our minds
with tones and symbols
looking for answers
held in the middle
of the rhythm state,
mind creates
enunciates words that
connect with me
stealing my attention
while healing my sanity
the vanity in the world
makes it hard to suggest
so theories are named conspiracy
when there is social unrest
the upset billions of the
worldly masses
pay for our sins with
flowers and open caskets
trying to react to industrialism
while we buy our cars in
our lavish living
taking everything and giving
nothing in return
we watch
while the world burns

Monday, February 9, 2009

THe CIA's Bizarre Plan to Win Hearts and Hard-ons in Afghanistan, by Jim Hightower

You've gotta love the CIA for always giving it the old college try. The "it" can be highly questionable, even criminal, but the agency's operatives keep trying all sorts of dandy, innovative tricks to do whatever the it is.

Take the plan years ago to assassinate Fidel Castro by getting him to light up an exploding cigar. Obviously, it fizzled, but the gambit did show a sense of humor. Or, was it stupidity? Whichever.

Every now and then, however, one of the CIA's tricks works. In Afghanistan, for example, agents have been trying to lure tribal patriarchs to stop protecting Taliban commanders and Islamist terrorists in their regions. They've tried offering cash, cars, jewelry, etc. - all with little success.

Then, last year, a CIA officer reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out a big one. He was wooing a 60-something-year-old chieftain in Southern Afghanistan who was suffering an embarrassing decline in something essential for a guy who has four - count 'em, four - younger wives: a firm sexual drive. "Take one of these," said the agent, "you'll love it." What he offered was four Viagra pills. Hey, if Bob Dole likes them, why not a needy senior in a remote Afghan village?

Indeed, the blue pills turned out to be golden. Four days later, the CIA agent returned to the village, and the old tribal leader was wreathed in a big grin that only sex can induce. "You are a great man," he exulted! And, while the chieftain had never before taken sides in the American offensive, suddenly he was a spewing fountain of information about the Taliban's movements in his area. All he requested in exchange was more of those blue pills.

Who says America's leaders have no rational policy in this complex and dangerous region? The CIA plans to lift us to victory - one libido at a time!

"Little Blue Pills Among the Ways CIA Wins Friends in Afghanistan,", December 26, 2008.

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the new book, "Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow." (Wiley, March 2008) He publishes the monthly "Hightower Lowdown," co-edited by Phillip Frazer.
© 2009 All rights reserved.
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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Revolt Spreads Across the Globe as "Crisis" Continues to Unfold

Unrest rocks the streets of China, France, Russia, Mexico, and elsewhere. And it is spreading...

“They say that the fires of revolt will spread everywhere, and we see acts like damage to bank branches or state buildings and claims of solidarity with the Greek rioters.”

After numerous European governments expressed fear that the unrest in Greece would spread to neighboring countries and perhaps around the world, the spreading global revolt has taken on another tone: that of confronting the elite for their manipulation of the economic “crisis” (which is really a systemic collapse) in order to consolidate yet even more wealth as the masses of the world suffer the brunt of the former’s greed. The spirit of the Greek revolt has not been forgotten, however, for it is clear whose interests the police serve and protect (as America was recently reminded in Oakland).

As Iceland became the first country to fall due to popular revolt against the economic elite, and then proceeded to elect their first female PM, who is also openly gay, things are heating up around the globe. Recently, over 1,000 protesters assembled illegally to protest the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, and while the protests were overwhelmingly peaceful, fear of unrest prompted the police to systematically target and arrest known and identified militants and revolutionaries.

As GNN’s Grady reports, in China “2,000 workers and farmers held wage protests for twelve days outside of Shanghai” in December 2008, “striking workers and security guards clash in a textile factory in Dongguan” on January 15th, and on January 16th, “100 police officers stage a rally in Shenzhen after being sacked from their jobs.” The Times Online also reportsthat in the southern province of Guangdong, “three jobless men detonated a bomb in a business travellers’ hotel in the commercial city of Foshan to extort money from the management.” In the 12 days of mass demonstrations last December, the Times reports:

...angry workers besieged labour offices and government buildings after dozens of factories closed their doors without paying wages and their owners went back to Hong Kong, Taiwan or South Korea. In southern China, hundreds of workers blocked a highway to protest against pay cuts imposed by managers. At several factories, there were scenes of chaos as police were called to stop creditors breaking in to seize equipment in lieu of debts.

In France, an estimated 2.5 million people hit the streets in a national general strike in response to the global economic collapse, and in disdain of the handling of the so-called “crisis” by their country’s ruling-class economic elite. The Telegraph reported that “the streets filled with flag-waving protesters and in Paris protesters clashed with police, throwing bottles, overturning cars and starting a fire in the street. After a day of peaceful protests, violence erupted on the fringes of the Paris protest. Dozens of young men wearing scarves across their face were charged down by riot police after throwing stones and bottles, tearing up manhole covers and lighting fires in the Opera district.”

Anger is growing in France and around the world

The Beeb reports:

Across Europe, victims of the economic slump who are losing their jobs in their tens of thousands are furious that public money is being doled out to the banks. In some countries, they are more willing to vent their anger. As huge crowds took to the streets across France this week, in a national day of protests and strikes, the far left points to a boost in the number of its supporters in times of financial gloom.

Certainly, ministers in Paris are wary of some form of insurrection. Recent intelligence reports talk about an “elevated threat” from an “international European network… with a strong presence in France” and a “new generation of activists”, possibly a “re-birth of the violent extreme left”. A spokesman for the interior ministry, Gerard Gachet, told the BBC that the threat was real. “The term ‘ultra-left’ was used by the interior minister to set this group apart from the extreme left who turn up for elections and keep within the parameters of democratic debate,” he says. But talking of more radical groups, he points to recent pamphlets and books published anonymously, but sometimes with a circulation of about 20,000, with titles such as How to Start a Civil War and The Insurrection That is Coming. “They say that the fires of revolt will spread everywhere,” he says, “and we see acts like damage to bank branches or state buildings and claims of solidarity with the Greek rioters.”

The Guardian reported that “the French government fears a wave of extreme left-wing terrorism this year with the possible sabotage of key infrastructure, kidnappings of major business figures or even bomb attacks. Last week hundreds of fly-posters around Paris called on young people ‘forced to work for a world that poisons us’ to follow the example of their Greek counterparts. ‘The insurrection goes on. If it takes hold everywhere, no one can stop it,’ the posters said.”

In another article entitled “Governments across Europe tremble as angry people take to the streets,” The Guardian reported: “France paralysed by a wave of strike action, the boulevards of Paris resembling a debris-strewn battlefield. The Hungarian currency sinks to its lowest level ever against the euro, as the unemployment figure rises. Greek farmers block the road into Bulgaria in protest at low prices for their produce. New figures from the biggest bank in the Baltic show that the three post-Soviet states there face the biggest recessions in Europe.”

Across Russia, thousands of protesters demonstrated against their government’s economic policies and response to the global economic crisis, echoing the grievances of others around the globe. Al Jazeera reports that “Russian police forcefully broke up many of the anti-government protests on Saturday, arresting dozens of demonstrators.”

In Mexico City, the BBC reports, thousands of people “protested against what they say is the inadequate response by the government to growing economic problems in Mexico.”

As the global economic collapse continues to unfold, the spirit of revolt and resistance is being rekindled within the hearts of the masses, and the people of the world are rising up. Resistance is spreading from Athens, Riga, Paris, Budapest, Kiev, Reykjavik, China, Mexico, and elsewhere.

Chris Hedges recently wrote that “the daily bleeding of thousands of jobs will soon turn our economic crisis into a political crisis. The street protests, strikes and riots that have rattled France, Turkey, Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Iceland will descend on us. It is only a matter of time. And not much time.” He continues:

At no period in American history has our democracy been in such peril or has the possibility of totalitarianism been as real. Our way of life is over. Our profligate consumption is finished. Our children will never have the standard of living we had. And poverty and despair will sweep across the landscape like a plague. This is the bleak future. There is nothing President Obama can do to stop it. It has been decades in the making. It cannot be undone with a trillion or two trillion dollars in bailout money. Our empire is dying. Our economy has collapsed. How will we cope with our decline? Will we cling to the absurd dreams of a superpower and a glorious tomorrow or will we responsibly face our stark new limitations? Will we heed those who are sober and rational, those who speak of a new simplicity and humility, or will we follow the demagogues and charlatans who rise up out of the slime in moments of crisis to offer fantastic visions? Will we radically transform our system to one that protects the ordinary citizen and fosters the common good, that defies the corporate state, or will we employ the brutality and technology of our internal security and surveillance apparatus to crush all dissent? We won’t have to wait long to find out.

Joshua Holland, in a recent piece on AlterNet entitled “The Whole World Is Rioting as the Economic Crisis Worsens — Why Aren’t We?,” reported that “explosive anger is spilling out onto the streets of Europe. The meltdown of the global economy is igniting massive social unrest in a region that has long been a symbol of political stability and social cohesion. It’s not a new trend: A wave of upheaval is spreading from the poorer countries on the periphery of the global economy to the prosperous core.” He continues:

Over the past few years, a series of riots spread across what is patronizingly known as the Third World. Furious mobs have raged against skyrocketing food and energy prices, stagnating wages and unemployment in India, Senegal, Yemen, Indonesia, Morocco, Cameroon, Brazil, Panama, the Philippines, Egypt, Mexico and elsewhere. For the most part, those living in wealthier countries took little notice. But now, with the global economy crashing down around us, people in even the wealthiest nations are mad as hell and reacting violently to what they view as an inadequate response to their tumbling economies. At least in Western Europe, cries of “burn the shit down!” are being heard in countries with some of the highest standards of living in the world — states with adequate social safety nets; countries where all citizens have access to decent health care and heavily subsidized educations. Places where minimum wages are also living wages, and a dignified retirement is in large part guaranteed. The far ends of the ideological spectrum appear to be gaining currency as the crisis develops, and people grow increasingly hostile toward the politics of the status quo.

How will the people of America respond to the systematic consolidation of wealth within their own country, coupled with environmental degradation and the unfolding police state? At what threshold will the people of America have had enough? At what point will we stand up and resist our own destruction? The choice is ours.

“You shouldn’t be so timid—you are not alone. There are millions of us waiting for you to make yourself known, ready to love you and laugh with you and fight at your side for a better world. Follow your heart to the places we will meet. Please don’t be too late.”— Fighting For Our Lives

Nathan Coe is a guerrilla journalist and rebel insurgent residing in the mountains of Southwest Colorado, who also works with SW(A)RM, subMedia, and Indymedia. He can be contacted at or via his blog at