Television May Be Doing Your Thinking

Television May Be Doing Your Thinking

by Lynn Berry

(NaturalNews) – The world’s biggest leisure activity is watching television. Not walking or reading, not playing games with our children, not engaging with others in outdoor activities. Most of us like to think that television has absolutely no effect on how we think or what we do. We believe that it is a way to relax. Many of us may be surprised to know that television is a controlling medium, relaxing us enough to switch off our analytical brain (the left side of the brain) so that we uncritically, or unlogically, process the information beaming from the television. This means we are less able to make decisions or judgments about what we hear on television.

Our brains undergo a similar process under hypnosis. The similarity between hypnosis and the effects of watching television is unveiled in Dr Aric Sigman’s book called Remotely Controlled. Sigman describes hypnosis as “an altered state of consciousness”; a form of sleepwalking where our mind is influenced by another (the hypnotist or practitioner).

Under hypnosis we become more open to the suggestions of the practitioner and this happens as we are asked to refrain from being critical and relaxed. As we do this, the frontal lobe in our brain alters becoming less connected with the brain so that we switch off. Hypnosis effectively causes a change in the brain so that we use the right side of our brain. What we switch off is the left side used for critical thinking.

While hypnosis may be considered an extreme or unusual solution to certain conditions, it only takes 30 seconds for us to be in a similar state when we switch on the television. Such were the findings from Professor Herbert Krugman in a study conducted in 1971. His conclusion was that we do not think about the information transmitted via television. In other words the way television communicates is a form of brainwashing.

Left in this state for some time can mean that we become less inventive in problem-solving and less able to concentrate. This suits some environments. In the UK, television is used to keep prisoners quiet. It is regarded as one of the best types of control mechanisms by the General Secretary of the Prison Governors’ Association. Prisoners are subjected to the tranquillising effects of television which subdues behaviour, and the other benefit is that it is a cheap and effective way to do that.

The frontal lobe also alters in the brain when watching television. The frontal lobe is an important part of the brain as it is a management type system ensuring that our self-control, moral judgment and attention is planned, organised and sequenced. The concern is that the frontal lobe may be damaged by watching television and this may happen in childhood because the frontal lobe is in a continual stage of development until around 20 years of age.

When children watch television, the frontal lobe is not doing anything with the result that over a period of time this part of the brain doesn’t develop which can then stunt development. A study in The World Federation of Neurology outlined concerns about the impact of visual electronic media (including television) on children because of stunted frontal lobe development which also impacts on their ability to control antisocial behaviour. Playing and interacting with others is recommended to encourage the fibres in the frontal lobe to develop and thicken and to make stronger connections to neurons.

It is not the information itself that causes the problem, but rather the medium. Somehow we are electrically wired to the television enabling information to be absorbed – any information. The medium induces within us a passive state for communication. If we are unconsciously absorbing information, then what is this information doing to the way we think and act? Of course, the medium is a perfect match for advertisers.

How much are we influenced by the opinions of others presented on TV? Ask how you came by that opinion – was it someone else’s opinion that you’ve unconsciously accepted. Is your view of the latest international news event – consider the Russia vs Georgia crisis – shaped by what you hear? For example, I started to believe what I was hearing regarding this ‘crisis’ (ie that one country was the problem), until I was reminded of the history and other related events. Do you find yourself arguing forcefully about an issue then wondered how, or even why, you had that point of view?

The other aspect of television to consider is the amount of negative information that is transmitted. There are a few stories that are uplifting and empowering. Some groups recommend staying away from television particularly the news because of what they see as it’s potential to negatively impact on enthusiasm, positive thinking, and self esteem. Do an experiment and stop watching television for a few days or a week, then assess how you feel in general. Once you start watching television again, reassess.

While we may look after our physical body, eating well and exercising, we also have a duty to look after our mental body, feeding it with positive stimulation. In a positive environment, we become positive, influencing others to be positive.

Source: ‘Weapons of Mass Induction’ an article in Kindred based on an excerpt of a book by Dr Aric Sigman called Remotely Controlled (Kindred 22: Aug 2007 see http://www.kindredmagazine.com.au)

Translating Propaganda and Thinking the Unthinkable

Translating Propaganda and Thinking the Unthinkable


By Max Kantar


When you go to a foreign country, it is common to bring a translation dictionary to help curb the confusion that comes with trying to understand a foreign language. Likewise, in American politics, we also need a translation guide to understand mainstream discussion given the universal double standards, egotistical national chauvinism, and internalized elite values.

Propaganda in the US rests mostly in what is not said, but rather assumed. Such a system of indoctrination is extremely powerful as it serves the purpose of making certain thoughts not so much undesirable, but unthinkable, strikingly reminiscent of Orwell’s depiction of totalitarian control and manipulation of the English language in his novel, 1984.

The language of US propaganda is indeed a foreign tongue to anyone who takes seriously the factual historical record, the nature of powerful institutions, and fundamental human decency with respect for human rights.

Included here is a list of commonly used terminology in American politics and the mainstream media. The definitions provided are the unspoken, assumed meanings of the terms, which are in fact quite different, sometimes diametrically opposed to their dictionary definitions.

For any serious social and political discussion to materialize, it is imperative that we understand the vocabulary put forth by our cultural managers in order to dismantle the prevailing system of thought control and indoctrination.

US Foreign Policy, Israel, and International relations

Peace Process

: Whatever the US is doing at the time [1]

Department of Defense:

Department of aggression and acceptable terrorism

Terrorism

: 1) Legitimate resistance to the terror/aggression of the US and its clients, or 2) Terrorism committed by those out of favor with Washington

Counter-Terrorism

: Terrorism and aggression carried out by the US and its client states

War on Terrorism

: Any violence the US or its client states use to advance the US agenda of global dominance by stifling independent nationalism, assuring control over natural resources, squashing ‘good examples’ of independent economic development, and creating conditions to benefit foreign (US) investors instead of the populations at hand. Basically the ideological twin and subsequent replacement of the rabid anti-communism of the Cold War.

Terrorist:

1) Anybody that the US fights against, 2) People who defend themselves from US attack, and 3) Perpetrators of terrorism whose terror doesn’t serve US power

Privately Contracted Security Forces:

Mercenaries or paid killers unaccountable to the public

“Protecting our way of life”

: A justification for US-based violence and economic exploitation that is driven by a desire to ‘protect’ private concentrated wealth of the richest 1% (‘our’) of the country. “

Failed policy”

: Usually refers to an unlawful war policy which has come to cost too much money. It reinforces yet again, the imperial rights of the US to use violence at will in violation of human rights, the public will, and international law.

Blunders, Mismanagement, Mistakes, etc:

Terms used to describe US foreign policy when large sectors of business power and the population turn against [the respective policy]…the implication being clear that US initiatives are by definition, rooted in morality and altruism, despite natural human errors of strategy, not of motives, meaning that US foreign policy “means well.”

To “Spread Democracy”:

To extend US control over a foreign country, usually in an attempt to undermine popular democratic efforts that threaten US political, business, and ideological interests.

“Support the Troops”:

Support our policy of unlawful aggression

“The Surge worked”

: The perceived success of the US escalation of the illegal occupation of Iraq renders our initial/continued illegal aggression legitimate according to this proclamation. Nevertheless, this catchphrase also ignores the actual reasons for the decrease in violence including the non-related cease fire maintained by the Shia resistance, increased segregation through extensive ethnic cleansing, and most importantly, significantly less people to kill as half the country is dead, exiled, displaced, mangled, or in prison. [2]

Democracy:

Refers to a foreign government that favors the interests of elite foreign (US)

investors instead of the respective population

Moderate:

a foreign leader who follows orders from Washington [1]

Extremist:

a foreign leader who pursues a course independent from Washington’s orders [1]

Human Rights:

Things that the US supports and that our enemies violate

Weapons of Mass Destruction:

Weapons (sometimes nonexistent ones) that are held by states out of favor with Washington. Notice that the US and its clients by definition do not possess anything or pursue anything that would cause “mass destruction.” Therefore the definition of WMD’s is purely ideological, void of physical facts.

Free/Fair Trade:

Trade policies that favor the ultra wealthy and trample labor rights, ignore environmental regulations, and prevent independent development for the poor nations involved and prevent meaningful democracy for the populations of both the rich country and the poor country in any given case.

Communist, Marxist, Socialist

(concerning foreign political parties or governments): Governments that pursue independent economic development without concern for foreign investor interests or the neoliberal development model.

Unilaterally:

A term used to describe the final measure taken by the US resort to lawless violence. In other words, when the Clinton administration noted they would act “unilaterally” if they “must,” they meant that the US will act in violation of the UN and international law if international law and the UN don’t support and conform to US military actions and US will.

Anti-American

(concerning various international opinion): 1) Those who oppose US crimes and exploitative economic policies, and 2) Open supporters of applying the standards of international law universally.

Anti-Semitism:

An accusation usually used to deflect criticism of Israel’s ongoing war crimes as cited uncontroversially by the UN, Israeli/Jewish human rights groups, and Amnesty International, all in accordance with the Geneva Conventions on human rights.

Israel’s “Right to Exist”:

Israel’s right to continue outwardly racist policies against its Palestinian-Arab citizens within its borders and Israel’s right to maintain a racist apartheid civil/military system in the Palestinian West Bank, a genocidal siege on the heavily populated Gaza Strip, and an illegal military occupation of both the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Hamas ‘Militants’ or ‘Terrorists’:

Anybody Israel kills in the occupied territories

Nuclear weapons:

Benevolent instruments of peace for US and client states, tyrannical instruments of genocide when held by everyone else.

Arab/Muslim:

Terrorist, usually inherently irrational, violent, and deceitful. A hater of freedom, democracy, Christians, and Jews.

Well, who is NOT an Arab then?:

According to the honorable McCain, “decent, family men” who we may or may not have “disagreements” with. By implication, an Arab then cannot be “decent” or family orientated. For further elaboration, see the above definition.

Domestic Politics: Economic policy and Authority

Wall Street Bailout:

Well, this means exactly what it sounds like, which is why the public was opposed to the whole thing. Publicly funded (we pay) bailouts for wall street, and polite condolences for workers, children, the poor, and the sick.

Socialism, Communism, Marxism

(concerning public policy and advocacy): Policies where the public’s tax money is spent on the public welfare, as opposed to transferring public funds to the ultra wealthy.

Market Based Solutions:

“Solutions” to social problems that put profit as the driving force, rather than human need by eliminating the public role in decision making, transferring additional and un-calculated costs to the public and forcing working families and the poor to bare most of the burden of market forces.

Business Community:

The richest of the rich, the elite millionaire/billionaire corporations, investors, and banks—the ones who own the country and are unaccountable to the public. Not a “community” in the friendly sense that we understand it to be. (Does not include small business owners like your local friendly family-run restaurant.)

Labor Flexibility:

Due to a significant level of desperation and sizable unemployment in the labor force, conditions are ripe for business managers and owners to slash living wages, cut benefits, disregard reasonable working condition standards, and destroy workers’ unions in order to increase their power and profits.

Entitlement:

The use of this word in referring to social programs for the public is chosen specifically to imply that those receiving the much needed social benefits are “freeloaders” and “sponging off of the government.” Refers exclusively to the poor, working class, and middle class. Entitlements for the wealthy, such as tax breaks and other gifts, are not included in this categorization.

Welfare:

Huge sums of money stolen from the pockets of taxpayers received mostly by rich blacks who cheat the government and are too lazy to work.

Corporate Welfare/Subsidies:

What? There’s no such thing! And if there was, it would never be exponentially larger than social welfare…

Personal Responsibility:

Social Darwinism or the ‘law of the jungle’ for the working class, poor, uninsured, and disenfranchised. Note that “personal responsibility” doesn’t apply to the elite, who enjoy government protection and public safety nets.

Economic Freedom:

Unrestricted free reign for multinational corporations, billionaire investors, and massive banking institutions to run the country in their interests at the expense of the general population whose role is to work, go into debt, and supply the funds (taxes) to erect barriers to market forces for big business. Also commonly known as “liberty“.

Small Government:

A massive government designed in the interests of military dominance and in the interests of the rich, while making sure public dollars cannot be spent on public interests and much needed social programs. Simply put, big government for sectors of power, small government for the needy.

Free Enterprise, Free Market:

An economic system of “public subsidy and private profit,” where the government intervenes in the market regularly to protect elite business interests from market forces. [1]

Privatization:

The removal of economic institutions from the public sphere into private, unaccountable hands. By definition, a radical reduction of democracy.

‘Hope or Change’:

Change of face and rhetoric, maintenance of the status quo

Democracy, Democratic Process:

Elections every few years between two factions of business representatives, public ratifications of concentrated power.

Balanced Media Coverage:

A lively debate between a “liberal” and a “conservative” within a narrow framework of assumptions that serve the interests of power.

Crime:

Refers exclusively to small criminals from the lower classes like drug dealers, petty thieves, some violent behavior. Does not include the massive crime and corruption on Wall Street, or the much bigger and more serious war crimes (which have kill millions of people) committed by presidents and congress.

War on Drugs:

a one-trillion-dollar-and-climbing policy of insanity (by Albert Einstein’s definition) which shamefully and disproportionally targets Blacks and Latinos…a policy which is no more a “war” on drug use than the t.v. show “Cheaters” is a “war” on infidelity.

Full Investigation:

a term used by government officials to calm down an angry population in light of police brutality, political corruption, government misconduct, etc. The “investigation” either produces no results or simply sacrifices a scapegoat for PR reasons, while neglecting to address the deeply rooted institutional problems. [3]

Getting public unrest “under control”:

Subjugating, often using violence, those who attempt to participate in decision making outside the ballot box.

Anti-American

(in the case that the accused is an American): 1) Those who love their country and aspire to improve it by challenging their government, and/or, 2) Americans who do not identify themselves or their moral values with the Washington-Wall Street power structure.

National Security:

An all purpose catch phrase used to justify US military aggression and restriction of civil rights.

National Interest:

Corporate interests [1] and lastly,

Universities:

Fronts for socializing the cost of Research and Development for corporations and the military. They also serve the invaluable function of making sure that the educated community understands the right version of history, world affairs, and of course, the proper meaning of relevant terminology and the rules of polite discussion.

Notes

1 Chomsky, Noam, What Uncle Sam Really Wants, Odonian Press, Berkeley, CA, December 2002.

2 Blum, William, “When is a holocaust not a holocaust? Counterpunch, October 2008

3 Abu-Jamal, Mumia, All Things Censored, Seven Stories Press, New York, July 2003.

The GM – Ford Deathwatch

The GM – Ford Deathwatch

By Alex Taylor, II I- Senior Editor, Fortune

\

GM plunges 31% as outlook dims

GM and Ford face credit downgrades after new report projects U.S. auto sales will hit recession levels this year; Ford slides nearly 22%.

NEW YORK (Fortune) – Investors cast a shocking vote of no confidence in the future of U.S. automakers Thursday.

After dropping sharply early in the day, GM (GM, Fortune 500) stock closed down 31% to $4.76 a share, while Ford (F, Fortune 500) fell nearly 22% to $2.08. A flurry of bad news was to blame, of which the latest was a declaration by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s that it was putting GM and Ford on credit watch negative “because of the rapidly weakening state of most global auto markets” and weak capital market conditions.

The stock selloff effectively puts both companies on death watch, and it’s easy to see why. The ratings warnings followed a new report by Global Insight that shows U.S. auto sales hitting recession levels this year – and then sinking lower in 2009.

“We won’t get back to where we were in 2006 until 2013,” said George Magliano, director of forecasting for North America for Global Insight. The economic forecasting and consulting firm based outside Boston is forecasting sales of 13.8 million units this year and only 13.4 million in 2009, compared with 16.1 million last year.

The impact of oil prices at the beginning of the year was mild compared to the squeeze from the credit crunch. As Nigel Griffiths, Global Insight’s managing director of global forecasting, points out, expensive oil merely meant that wealth was being transferred to oil-producing countries like Russia from oil-consuming ones like the United States. Now, the credit crunch is destroying wealth and making it impossible for customers to buy.

“The impact is worse than if the price of oil had been sustained at $200 a barrel,” he said.

No help from foreign markets

It turns out that auto finance companies were as guilty as mortgage lenders in providing loans to subprime borrowers – and their generosity is coming back to haunt them. Lenders dramatically cut standards for credit worthiness at the beginning of 2008 and now delinquency rates have been shooting up to levels not seen in 30 years.

“Some 18% of sales volume came from people with bad credit scores,” said Magliano. “Now the subprime buyer has been squeezed out.”

There is little relief overseas. According to Global Insight, at least half a dozen countries in Western Europe experienced greater house-price appreciation over the last 10 years than did the United States. Ireland led the way with a nearly 250% rise and the United Kingdom was not far behind. With that kind of wealth accumulation unlikely to be repeated, sales experienced a “total collapse” in July and have gone into a “violent downshift.”

Nor is Asia likely to provide a safety net. Sales growth in China is slowing markedly and vehicle demand in India is also ebbing. Even the much publicized $3,000 Nano car developed by India’s Tata Motors is off to a slow start. Plans for an assembly plant in India have been scuttled by local opposition and Global Insight says Nano “will only see a big build-up in volumes from 2010.”

“When will the credit crunch free up enough to allow consumers to finance again?” asked Griffiths. “That is the several-trillion-dollar question. It is the core assumption on which all forecasts will be based and it is unforecastable.”

To combat this flood of negative news, GM has adopted the Sarah Palin approach: bypassing the media by communicating directly with customers and investors. GM executives can now be seen in videos posted on its Fast Lane Web site talking about the company.

In the first video, posted Sept. 22, chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner responds to the question “What’s GM’s future look like?” by saying “GM’s future is actually quite bright.” After ticking off progress on new models, technology and sales in developing markets,” he concluded by saying, “though times are challenging, we’re really making sure that we keep planting the seeds for what we think should be a very exciting future for General Motors.”

Three weeks later, you have to wonder what he’d be saying today?

http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/09/news/
companies/taylor_death_watch.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2008100917

Argentina’s Economic Collapse-A Model for the People’s Response

Documentary on the events that led to the economic collapse of Argentina in 2001 which wiped out the middle class and raised the level of poverty to 57.5%. Central to the collapse was the implementation of neo-liberal policies which enabled the swindle of billions of dollars by foreign banks and corporations. Many of Argentina’s assets and resources were shamefully plundered. Its financial system was even used for money laundering by Citibank, Credit Suisse, and JP Morgan. The net result was massive wealth transfers and the impoverishment of society which culminated in many deaths due to oppression and malnutrition. If you want to stop the same thing from happening here, and it is happening here, right now, please join the revolution at the Kick Them All Out Projet http://www.KickThemAllOut.com and the Fire Congress Campaign.

Pentagon Wants Bugs That Can Tell If You Are Trying To Escape

robots.jpgThe latest request from the Pentagon jars the senses. At least, it did mine. They are looking for contractors to provide a “Multi-Robot Pursuit System” that will let packs of robots “search for and detect a non-cooperative human”.

One thing that really bugs defence chiefs is having their troops diverted from other duties to control robots. So having a pack of them controlled by one person makes logistical sense. But I’m concerned about where this technology will end up.

Given that iRobot last year struck a deal with Taser International to mount stun weapons on its military robots, how long before we see packs of droids hunting down pesky demonstrators with paralysing weapons? Or could the packs even be lethally armed? I asked two experts on automated weapons what they thought – click the continue reading link to read what they said.

Both were concerned that packs of robots would be entrusted with tasks – and weapons – they were not up to handling without making wrong decisions.

Steve Wright of Leeds Metropolitan University is an expert on police and military technologies, and last year correctly predicted this pack-hunting mode of operation would happen. “The giveaway here is the phrase ‘a non-cooperative human subject’,” he told me:

“What we have here are the beginnings of something designed to enable robots to hunt down humans like a pack of dogs. Once the software is perfected we can reasonably anticipate that they will become autonomous and become armed.

We can also expect such systems to be equipped with human detection and tracking devices including sensors which detect human breath and the radio waves associated with a human heart beat. These are technologies already developed.”

Another commentator often in the news for his views on military robot autonomy is Noel Sharkey, an AI and robotics engineer at the University of Sheffield. He says he can understand why the military want such technology, but also worries it will be used irresponsibly.

“This is a clear step towards one of the main goals of the US Army’s Future Combat Systems project, which aims to make a single soldier the nexus for a large scale robot attack. Independently, ground and aerial robots have been tested together and once the bits are joined, there will be a robot force under command of a single soldier with potentially dire consequences for innocents around the corner.”

What do you make of this? Are we letting our militaries run technologically amok with our tax dollars? Or can robot soldiers be programmed to be even more ethical than human ones, as some researchers claim?

Paul Marks, technology correspondent

ACLU Demands Information On Military Deployment Within U.S. Borders (10/21/2008)

ACLU Demands Information On Military Deployment Within

U.S. Borders (10/21/2008)

Deployment Erodes Longstanding Separation Between Civilian And Military Government

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union today demanded information from the government about reports that an active military unit has been deployed inside the U.S. to help with “civil unrest” and “crowd control” – matters traditionally handled by civilian authorities. This deployment jeopardizes the longstanding separation between civilian and military government, and the public has a right to know where and why the unit has been deployed, according to an ACLU Freedom of Information request filed today.

“The military’s deployment within U.S. borders raises critical questions that must be answered,” said Jonathan Hafetz, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. “What is the unit’s mission? What functions will it perform? And why was it necessary to deploy the unit rather than rely on civilian agencies and personnel and the National Guard? Given the magnitude of the issues at stake, it is imperative that the American people know the truth about this new and unprecedented intrusion of the military in domestic affairs.”

According to a report in the Army Times, the Army recently deployed an active military unit inside the United States under Northern Command, which was established in 2002 to assist federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities. This deployment marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command.

Civilian authorities, not the military, have historically controlled and directed the internal affairs of the United States. This rule traces its origins to the nation’s founding and has been reaffirmed in landmark statutes including the Posse Comitatus Act, which helps preserve the foundational principles of our Constitution and democracy.

“This is a radical departure from separation of civilian law enforcement and military authority, and could, quite possibly, represent a violation of law,” said Mike German, ACLU national security policy counsel and former FBI Agent. “Our Founding Fathers understood the threat that a standing army could pose to American liberty. While future generations recognized the need for a strong military to defend against increasingly capable foreign threats, they also passed statutory protections to ensure that the Army could not be turned against the American people. The erosion of these protections should concern every American.”

In order to assess the implications of the recent deployment, the ACLU requested the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Defense today to immediately make public all legal opinions, executive orders, presidential directives, memos, policy guidance, and other documents that authorize the deployment of military troops for domestic purposes.

Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the Department of Defense has dramatically expanded its role in domestic law enforcement and intelligence operations, including the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping programs, the Department of Homeland Security’s use of military spy satellites, and the participation of military personnel in state and local intelligence fusion centers. The ACLU has repeatedly expressed concern about these incremental encroachments of the military into domestic affairs, and the assignment of active duty troops to Northern Command only heightens these concerns.

A copy of the ACLU’s information request is available online at: www.aclu.org/safefree/general/37272lgl20081021.html

Pray For Me, Father

A Banquet For Death

Pray For Me, Father

By Sherwood Ross

October 22, 2008 “Information Clearinghouse

Pray for me, Father, mine is the sin of cowardice

For I do not set myself on fire at the White House gate

To protest murder. I am a glutton for God’s blue sky.

Pray for me, Father, for my tax dollars set a banquet for Death

With napalm and daisy cutters and snakelike missiles

That blow apart other men and their wives and children

While I walk secure along the shore of the tranquil sea.

Pray for me, Father, and I will pray for you

I will pray for a church that does not decry an Inquisition

Where men are broken and driven mad in the dungeons

Of Bagram, Kabul, Gitmo and Abu Ghraib

A church of priests that recall Golgotha

As if Jesus and Jesus and Jesus by the thousands

Are not being crucified now by the Masters of War

Are not shuffling home on artificial legs

Are not staring sightless from wheelchairs

In VA hospitals into God’s blue sky.

Pray for me, Father, and I will pray for you.

© Sherwood Ross

The Rules Are Set in Stone For the Rabble

The Rules Are Set in Stone For the Rabble

By Peter Offermann

October 22, 2008 “Information Clearinghouse — I am struggling lately with finding meaningful and rational events to provide a basis for sanity.

The world events that are currently happening are surreal in themselves but what I really struggle with is people’s reaction to them. It appears like most everyone is hypnotized to not see the predator terror birds currently in our living rooms. It’s business as usual as the birds wreak havoc and pick off choice morsels [victims] with impunity.

I guess people can’t cope with the emotional fall from grace of going from feeling invincible to realizing that they are but puny prey to a much more powerful predator. I rarely see anyone these days and when I do I am mostly at a loss for words because my reality is so different from theirs.

My neighbors are mostly nice people but simply see a different world than I do. A few of them are starting to get it and now take me a bit more seriously as they see [then unthinkable] events I told them were going to happen 3 years ago going on around them now. Almost all of them still see this as a temporary blip on the event horizon and continue on about their business assuming the terror birds will transform back into budgies and things will return to normal soon.

What people are going through now is similar to what I went through in 1999 when overnight I went from being wealthy and on top of the world to penniless without influence as a result of a bank fraud.

Current world events are at a stage relative to the first few weeks of my realizing in 1999 that I and 64,000 other people were caught in a bank fraud. First there was optimism that events weren’t as bad as they appeared but this soon changed to the grim realization that “yes” it was indeed that bad. Then for a few months there was hope that the protections built into modern society by our governments would save us from the worst of the events.

This is where the world is now; people realize their lifestyles are imperiled but they still have faith that justice will prevail and that the government they support to protect them will mentor their cause and put right an illegal wrong. There is still hope of returning to the past.

I’ll continue to describe the stages I went through after 1999 as I think world events taking place now will follow the same progression because the same group of people who perpetrated the fraud in 1999 are behind the events taking place now.

Once I realized that the events I was caught in were more than a temporary blip I became proactive in seeking justice. I very quickly came to the shockingly surreal realization from utilizing the official channels of justice that they [channels of justice] were not what they appear to be to naive people like myself. Instead of being constructed to provide justice for all it became obvious that they are designed to protect the privileged few from the rabble like me.

The order our courts keep is mostly to train the rabble to follow the rules. The rules are set in stone for the rabble; however it quickly became apparent that for the chosen few the rules are infinitely flexible. For this elite class of people the courts are designed to manipulate the rabble to allow them, the rulers, whatever they desire. Laws can be/are created, changed or ignored to suit their tastes.

Then as now my life was surreal as those around me continue[d] to live their lives as if the edifices of justice are real. Trying to explain otherwise to people just made them think I was crazy. Sure they saw what happened to me but they assumed I did something wrong and it would/could never happen to them.

I started to research those behind the “isolated” incident I had been caught in and soon came to the even more surreal realization that the incident wasn’t isolated and that the whole world was/is at the mercy of a small group of predators who can do whatever they please, wherever they please, whenever they please. I now realize that any sense of power we have while living within the system they control is nothing more than a mirage. We are completely at their mercy.

While this was playing out emotionally my physical circumstances were dire. I was a foreigner in Mexico with no lifeline to big brother. It was sink or swim on my own even for the most basic necessities such as food and shelter. Even the lowest of the poor were now above me as they at least knew how to get along without money and mostly had minimal shelter.

Obviously I survived. I was mostly shunned by those that had been my contemporaries although a few did give a helping hand in the form of work or shelter in the form of house sitting arrangements. This help was appreciated but it was a huge fall from grace as I now was dependent on the goodwill of others.

I went from being able to have virtually any toy I desired to having nothing but an old truck, a laptop and about $250 in a matter of weeks. It was an emotional struggle but surprisingly as I continued to survive without all the trimmings I began to appreciate that almost everything I had previously owned was excess baggage that weighed me down instead of making me more fit/powerful/happy. I began to rejoice in the freedom of not needing to carry all that weight.

I also realized that our sense of dependence on our “baggage” is what keeps us controllable by our masters. If we fear life without our toys we will tow the line no matter how onerous the task.

A lot of our baggage dependence relates to keeping up with the Jones’ and provides the means to the masters to profit from the labours of those who “need” to keep up with their neighbors.

After spending time among the poor in Mexico I realized that for them their homes and bodies were not temples to be garnished with bangles to make them attractive to their peers, they were simply maintained in usable condition with the least amount of effort possible. Even in Mexico only the very poorest of the poor live this way. Most mexicans have fallen prey to television and revel in conspicuous consumption.

Conspicuous consumption is the norm in the modern world and is what I struggle with the most since returning to Canada after 12 years away. I see the majority of people around me working their butts off in order to conform with some societal ideal of successful living. Most of their activity is now meaningless to me.

I have again become encumbered with a fair amount of baggage but it is with the clear realization that life can and does go on without it if one is prepared to take responsibility for their own lives. This means independence from those intent on managing others for their own benefit. My home and self are now maintained solely to provide maximum benefit/enjoyment to me, not to impress others with my success/power/wealth.

Knowing I can (prefer to) survive without excessive baggage allows me to consider not following the rules/norm of the masters and instead build a life according to my own desires.

It is currently still a very lonely endeavor as the majority still struggles towards a very different goal leaving little in common to communicate about. However I have hopes that as more people realize they have been robbed blind by those who control their society they will come to appreciate the aspects of life which are important to me.

Peter Offermann – peter@oceanfalls.org

Remember, remember the Fourth of November

Remember, remember the Fourth of November

By Gabriele Zamparini

“Everything has to change so that nothing changes.” - Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa, Il Gattopardo

The color of money. Senator Barack Obama’s campaign has now raised more than $600 million, almost equaling what all the candidates from both major parties collected in private donations in 2004.

Where do you think that awful lot of money comes from?

“Many of these large donors come from industries with interests in Washington. A New York Times analysis of donors who wrote checks of $25,000 or more to the candidates’ main joint fund-raising committees found, for example, the biggest portion of money for both candidates came from the securities and investments industry, including executives at various firms embroiled in the recent financial crisis like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and AIG. ( . . . ) More than 600 donors contributed $25,000 or more to [Obama] in September alone, roughly three times the number who did the same for Senator John McCain.”

Endorsements, or the big orgy.

Colin Powell, one of the major war criminals with the blood of millions of innocent people on his hands, has endorsed Barack Obama who, in exchange, has endorsed war criminal Powell: Obama told NBC television Monday that Powell was welcome to campaign for him and might have a place in his administration. He said Powell “will have a role as one of my advisers” and that a formal role in his government was “something we’d have to discuss.”

The (ex)change we can believe in.

All the President’s Men. Among Barrack Obama’s godfathers there are: Warren Buffett, the world’s richest man; George Soros, the multibillionaire Good Samaritan affiliated with the Council on Foreign Relations, International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch, etc.; the diabolical Zbigniew Brzezinski, and the notorious media mogul Rupert Murdock with his nefarious empire. The list goes on and on.

No doubt there will be advantages to having a liberal emperor. Alan Dershowitz explains:

“The reason is because I think it is better for Israel to have a liberal supporter in the White House than to have a conservative supporter in the Oval Office. Obama’s views on Israel will have greater impact on young people, on Europe, on the media and on others who tend to identify with the liberal perspective. Although I believe that centrists liberals in general tend to support Israel, I acknowledge that support from the left seems to be weakening as support from the right strengthens. The election of Barack Obama — a liberal supporter of Israel — will enhance Israel’s position among wavering liberals. As I travel around university campuses both in the United States and abroad, I see radical academics trying to present Israel as the darling of the right and anathema to the left. As a liberal supporter of Israel, I try to combat that false image. Nothing could help more in this important effort to shore up liberal support for Israel than the election of a liberal president who strongly supports Israel and who is admired by liberals throughout the world. That is among the important reasons why I support Barack Obama for president.”

Dershowitz is absolutely right of course. Not to mention Mr. Vice President Joseph “I am a Zionist” Biden, the man in charge of the implementation of an old Zionist dream, the partition of Iraq, and one of Obama’s top foreign policy advisers, Madeleine Bloody Albright, the modern Herod who proudly claimed the responsibility for the massacre of half a million Iraqi innocent babies.

Empires don’t elect presidents, they select emperors. The Empire’s Establishment picked up an unknown politician and made of him a star to save itself and control the masses with the American Democracy Show. Casting a handsome, charming black man (yes! the Establishment played the race card. Remember? Everything has to change so that nothing changes) to cover the ugly face of a bloody, ruthless Empire, the ruling class plans to rebuild the illusion of a respectable civilization, the stars and stripes mythology, the American way. The media — owned by those who control the political process, the same people who control the economy and our lives — played marvelously the game and another Hollywood movie is brainwashing the four corners of the planet.

Killing hopes. A self-complacent politburo with its well-funded progressive think tanks and publications has once again participated in this colossal work of whitewashing and propaganda. The King is dead. Long live the King! No surprise of course. Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan have shown the intellectual and moral collapse of the Western Left, a phantom that continues its long march toward irrelevance.

HYPOCRITE AMERICAN DIPLOMAT DEFENDS US POLICY OF ATTACKING PAKISTANI SCHOOLS

DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE PATRICK MOON GIVES MOCK PRAISE TO PAKISTANI WAR ON FAKE TALIBAN, WHILE DEFENDING US POLICY THAT ATTACKS SCHOOLS IN PAKISTAN IN ORDER TO DISRUPT PEACE NEGOTIATIONS.

Pakistan needs to attack militants: US diplomat

KABUL, Oct 23: Pakistan must attack militants in its northern areas and tackle extremists threatening its stability and complicating international efforts in Afghanistan, a senior US diplomat said on Thursday.

The United States was committed to helping Pakistan fight militants, deputy assistant secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Patrick Moon told reporters in Kabul.

“Pakistan needs to and is attacking insurgents in its northern areas,” Moon told reporters during a visit to Afghanistan to assess efforts to fight a growing Taliban-led campaign.

“Sanctuaries for Afghanistan Taliban in Pakistan complicate our security operations in Afghanistan. Pakistani Taliban elements and other extremists such as Al Qaeda are posing a threat to the stability of Pakistan,” he said.

Moon said the United States was committed to helping Islamabad by improving its army and providing development aid to stimulate economic activity and create jobs as an alternative to insurgent activity.

He said relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan appeared to have improved with the September election of President Asif Ali Zardari, but “much more needs to be done”.

The Pentagon said on Wednesday that fewer foreign fighters were slipping into Afghanistan since Pakistan launched its offensive in August against Al Qaeda and Taliban militants in border tribal regions.

[Pakistani policy of negotiating and attacking intelligence surrogates is helping Afghanistan, but it is still unacceptable.]

But the Pakistani parliament passed a special resolution on Thursday calling for an urgent review of the country’s anti-terror policy, including more talks with militants and a vow to defend its territorial sovereignty.—AFP

10 killed in US drone attack on seminary

10 killed in US drone attack on seminary

By Our Correspondent
MIRAMSHAH, Oct 23: US drones struck a seminary of an Afghan national in North Waziristan early on Thursday, killing 10 people and wounding three others.

The attack came hours after parliament passed a unanimous resolution pledging to defend territorial integrity of the country.

Locals said that two spy drones buzzing overhead targeted seminary Sirajul Uloom in Dandi Derpakhel on the outskirts of Miramshah at about 2.30am. They said that three loud explosions were heard as planes were flying over the area.

Sources said that some outsiders were among the dead. Three wounded persons belonging to Punjab were taken to a government hospital in Miramshah in serious condition. They were identified as Sangeen, Bekhtullah and Rehmatullah.

The bodies were immediately shifted to South Waziristan by their comrades.

The seminary is owned by Afghan national Maulvi Pir Mohammad who is stated to be a close associate of Taliban Commander in Afghanistan Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani.

“Pir Mohammad was one of the trustworthy commanders of Mr Haqqani during the Afghan conflict,” said a source.

Mr Haqqani’s residence and his seminary were targeted by unmanned US planes in the same locality on Sept 8 this year, killing 23 people including his family members and some Arab nationals.

The increasing attacks by US drones have caused anger and frustration among tribesmen. The area elders have threatened to scrap a peace deal with the government if the US attacks were not stopped.

Elders from North Waziristan met NWFP Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani in Peshawar on Thursday asking him that the government should take pre-emptive measures to halt drone attacks in the area.

“The jirga members were disappointed over intermittent drone attacks, resulting in the killings of innocent tribesmen and demanded protection from such attacks,” said a handout, quoting an unnamed tribal elder.

Governor Owais assured jirga of the Utmankhel tribe that the government had already realised concern expressed by the elders and it was fully aware of miseries and difficulties of people, and it was taking all necessary steps to rid them off these attacks.

“No doubt, it is a problem of grave concern and the government will address it,” he assured the jirga and reiterated government’s firm stance to protect the country’s frontiers at all costs.

“We must get united and strengthen our rank and file so that we face the challenges with the strength of our unity,” Mr Owais remarked.

“Our enemies are trying to destabilise Pakistan by creating rift in our rank and file and weaken it economically,” he said, adding that these elements would never succeed in their nefarious designs.

The governor was confident that the tribesmen would also take cognizance of the situation and would not only identify such elements but also flush them out. He said that certain misguided elements in Fata were playing in the hands of enemies and we would have to persuade them to come to the right path.

Mr Ghani reminded that right from the beginning Pakistan was stressing for a negotiated settlement of the issues instead of using force.

“Now the entire world is talking of negotiations and is admitting that clue to the solution of Afghan imbroglio can be achieved through negotiations. This is a big success of Pakistan’s principled stance in this regard,” the governor said.

He was hopeful that light could be seen at the end of the tunnel and chances of stability in the region were bright. He also hinted at the meeting of Mini Pak-Afghan jirga to be held in Islamabad next week, saying: “We are hopeful of its success.”

However, he said that Afghan Taliban and other opponent forces in Afghanistan were a reality and they have to be taken on board in any efforts for future political dispensation in Afghanistan.