Here Thar Be Monsters!

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27.4.13

Paying Through The Nose

What do you get from government?  I mean, in real unvarnished unblinking terms, what do you get for all the taxes you pay?

Most folks in most countries pay around half of their income in taxes, if you add up all the income tax, fees, sales tax, etc.  Half or more.  All that hard work and money you could be using to improve your family's life right now being sucked out of your pocket for...what exactly?

Most people might answer, "Safety, security, protection."

So, did all that safety, security and protection do any good during the Boston bombing or the Texas fertilizer explosion (bullshit bombing) or the Alabama fuel fire?  Did it protect anyone from riots in Greece and Spain, or school knifings in China?  Did it save all the folks who died in the ferocious winter storms this past season?  Did it stop the landslides in Indonesia?  Or the typhoons in the Philippines?  Or the earthquakes in Iran, China and Japan?  In fact, did a single penny/farthing/kroene/franc/yuan/rupiah save a single life of anyone you know?

On the other hand, how much of your tax money bought war planes and ships, weapons and armor, ammunition and nuclear fuel?  How much of your money paid for military and drones and bases and housing?  How much paid salaries and benefits for government officials?  How much paid for securing and maintaining government infrastructure?  How much paid for police that protect the government from you, not you from thieves/robbers/natural disasters/property loss?

And since governments are usually the ones starting wars either by policies or direct action, can it really be said that the militaries of the world protect anyone, since the need for them is caused by their existence?

How much of your tax money went towards protecting your investments when the stock market turned?  How much help did you really receive when your house was destroyed by fire/hurricane/earthquake?  How much security did all those tax dollars really buy?

The answer: None.  The extended answer: It caused more problems than it solved.

Governments and taxes serve only one purpose: to protect and enrich an elite at the expense of the labor and investments of the rest of humanity.

If, in fact, we receive no benefit and experience only loss from supporting government and paying taxes, then why do we continue to do it?  What does it possibly profit us to continue to support this system?

Promises.  That's all.  We get promises.  The only real security we receive...the only real service we receive from the layers upon layers of government we support and piles upon piles of tax money we surrender at the threat of bodily harm is the promise that someone will do something when some threat or real event may harm our lives or property.  That's it.  A promise.  And one that is rarely fulfilled, at that.

So why do we continue to serve this leviathan that we have created?  It's safe to say that the majority of people disagree with most of what their governments do with taxes, yet most of us continue to pay for and rally behind the single most perilous threat to our well-being that most of us will face in our lifetimes.  A few of us may end up in a position where we need a promise - unemployment insurance, disaster relief, etc. - but the reality is that those services are grossly overrated, when anyone actually receives them.

Unemployment insurance hardly covers all the expenses we have to avail ourselves of the necessities of modern life.  Most unemployment checks won't cover rent/mortgage, lights/gas/water bills, internet, car fuel and maintenance, and all the rest (not to mention food).  The ridiculous part of this is that we need power and internet to file and receive unemployment insurance.  We need transportation to seek new jobs.  We need a permanent address in order to get unemployment insurance and apply for jobs.  We need the utility bills to prove residence in many cases.  In other words, the whole thing is a complete circle jerk.  You need all these things in order to get the 'promise' and the new job, but the 'promise' doesn't pay enough to afford the things you need to receive it all.  Catch-23.

Ask victims of any natural disaster, or wars of profit, or NGOs how much benefit they received in relation to the taxes they paid for promises.

In the alternative, if governments only received taxes from import/export duties, how much more motivated would they be to improve business relations with other countries, and to keep jobs at home?  And if you were able to keep the 50% of your income that is appropriated for promises, how much more would you be able to secure your family and save for a rainy day?  If your money wasn't squandered on useless 'public education', how much better schools could you choose from for your children?  How much more money would you have to buy goods and services that improve the economy rather than destroy it?

And how much better would life be if your hard work wasn't supporting banksters, multi-national corporations and political elite who provide absolutely nothing of value to the local economy while gulping down large helpings of your tax dollars and paying little or nothing themselves?

When it comes right down to it, what's more important: the welfare of your family or the vacant promises of 'security' and 'safety'?  In nearly every single case, could you provide more safety and security for your family using all of your income, rather than just half?

Does paying for licenses, inspections and plates make the roads any safer, or are you just as likely to get into an accident at any given time?  After all, licenses are handed out to just about anyone, so how does that make driving any safer?  And does paying all that money every year provide security for you?  Does it reimburse you a single penny/farthing/crown/shilling/yuan/rupiah if your automobile is damaged in an accident that is not your fault - especially if it is caused by the infrastructure promised by the government?

And if any of the promises made to you in exchange for your taxes fail when you need them, do you get a refund?  If I buy something at the store and it doesn't perform as promised, I get a refund, or at least an exchange.

So the question is, what exactly are you supporting with all that money?  Is it just a promise of safety and security?  Does it materialize when you need that service?  If, after a number of years, you haven't accessed any of the services, do you get a refund?

On the flip-side, how much money has your country paid to banksters in bailouts?  How much tax do the multi-national corporations pay that are exploiting your country's labor and raw materials?  Are your children receiving a quality education for the money, or are they regurgitating slogans and putting condoms on cucumbers while being trained to rat out their families?

Suppose on January 1st of next year, all people everywhere decided to stop paying taxes at the same time?  Suppose we called it "Global Liberation Day?"

How much better would the world be at that moment?

25.4.13

The Great Escape

As the old saw goes, "'Merica, love it er leave it!"

I live in Indonesia.  That should give a fair answer.

I chose to live in Indonesia.  I considered my move carefully for the better part of 20 years.  I knew by the mid-80s, after having lived and traveled abroad for two years, that things were seriously wrong back in good ole 'Merica.

Being being born a Texan and raised by an historian and politician, I had a bit more perspective than most.  I knew what the Constitution said and that it was not open for interpretation.  My mother the English teacher gave me the ability to read plain, clear language, such as that used to write the founding document of the US feral gummint.  The part of me that was a seventh generation Texan just wanted to be left the hell alone to make a little money and raise a family.

Alas, that is not the direction the US has taken.  In fact, instead of leaving folks the hell alone, they are all up in everyone's business and the boundaries are shrinking by the moment.  It is to the point that the feral gummint feels perfectly comfortable telling the people what they can eat, drink and smoke, what activities can take place in their homes, and of course leaving the home subjects the individual to endless prying.  Hell, just to get and keep a job, they can legally require you to surrender bodily fluids and violate a number of rights established as far back as the Magna Charta.

The worst part?  The people just roll over and take it, then go so far as to put social pressure on others to do the same thinking, "If I gave up my right to privacy, then everyone else should have to, as well."  This mentality is akin to the lemming plummeting to his death looking back and saying, "Those bastards better jump too!"

It's a sad thing to see one's home country taken over by fascists.  Those of us who read history books saw the warning signs years ago.  Some of us tried to change things, while others bugged out early.  I gave up in 2008, and left for more favorable climes.

Since coming to Indonesia, I have had contact with police twice and both times were rather innocuous.  At home, twice a day was more the norm, and each encounter carried a 50-50 chance of going to jail for no particular reason other than out-of-control cops waving their night-sticks around.

In parts of Asia, you can still walk out on the tarmac, board a plane and pay the ticket from your seat, just like the States back in the 60s and early 70s.  The airport doesn't have metal detectors and little more than a handful of uniformed officials running around.  I feel safer there than with Homeland Security climbing up my posterior with a flashlight.

Yet Mericans don't seem to realize that they have lost more to their own 'authorities' than any 'terrorist' could ever have taken from them.  What kind of insanity is this?

There was no point in trying to change it.  The dead, vacuous stares in the eyes of the average Merican as they tell you about safety and security is enough to chase any reasoning person as far out of the borders as one can get.  I went as far as I could go without actually beginning the journey back again.

In all honesty, it's more comfortable to live in a neo-socialist country than to watch my native country devolve into Huxley-an nightmare around me.  At least here, I know what the rules are and I can avoid the pitfalls.  In Merica, there were some 50,000 laws governing my every waking moment, which meant that I could not step out of bed in the morning without becoming a criminal and subject to arbitrary arrest on the whim of some 'authority'.  At least Indonesians have the good sense to ignore innane and ridiculous laws...both the citizenry and the enforcers.

I used to get asked all the time by the folks back home why I left Merica.  Why would I choose to get out of such a haven of peace, love and freedom?  They don't ask anymore.  More often, I get asked to offer advice on how to get out.  "What should I do?"  "Where should I go?"  "What's it like?"  "Is it difficult?"

Honestly, how and where to go is as individual and the person making the choice to leave.

Is it difficult?  Absolutely.

It's not easy leaving lifelong friends and family.  It's not easy learning new languages and cultures.  It's not easy setting up house in a foreign environment.  It's not easy making all-new friends.  It's not easy breaking into the local business networks.

Locals tend to exclude you because you are a foreigner.  The ex-pats tend to exclude you because they were here first and want to protect their turf.  You have no idea who to trust and who is out to 'get ya'.  You have no idea where to go to buy basic necessities and you have to learn the numbers and names for things so you can find them and buy them.  Even then, you are likely to pay much higher prices because the locals mark you as ignorant and gullible, and they are right.

So why do it?  Because the risks and rewards are far greater than what you left behind.  Because it's a challenge that makes you feel more alive than you have in years.  Because living on the edge is what life is really about.  We are here to learn, to experience and to grow.  Moving to a foreign country is about as far into all three of those things as one can get.

Ex-patriotism is not for everyone.  There are plenty of home-bodies that abhor change and challenges.  They will go along with just about anything to get along.  Ex-patriotism turns your entire life on its head.  The most basic assumptions you make about your daily routine suddenly become the greatest challenges.  A great many people can't handle it.  One sees two types of ex-pats come here: those who run screaming for the exit after about two weeks, and the ones who stick it out and end up staying for years.  A few even become citizens after a while.

Ex-patriotism rewards those who stick it out.  You learn a completely different view of the world.  You pick up habits you thought were so foreign when you arrived.  You develop a taste for foods you couldn't even find at the market back home, if you even knew to look for them.  The unusual and outrageous become daily events.  You gain knowledge, experience and insight that would have been impossible to get even watching the NatGeo channel 24/7.

Best of all, you learn to rely on yourself and to trust that you are capable of meeting broad new challenges and adapting to new environments.  Ex-patriotism is a crash course in Self.  When it comes to self-exploration, there is no finer teacher than to remove yourself from all comfort zones and confront your fears and insecurities.

In all, ex-patriotism is a complex issue.  It is as much a running from as a running to.  The people who are willing to try it are as much escaping bad situations at home, as they are exploring new realms, both inside and outside.

At some point, most people think about what it would be like to live in another country.  Few actually try it.  But as the situation devolves in Merica, one finds more and more folks willing to take the leap.  It is not an easy choice to make and usually requires a strong push from the local situation to force one to consider it, much less actually do it.  But there are rewards equal to the risks involved, not the least of which is escaping intolerable socio-political environments at home.

Real freedom is not the choice between yellow mustard and Dijon.  It is the ability to change your situation in life and explore the inner and outer worlds.  Real freedom comes with a lot of risks, not the least of which the possibility of failure and losing it all.  The question is, how much are you willing to give up to keep it all?  Safety and security are elusive things and unobtainable without sacrificing most of what we use to define being human.

Ex-patriotism is a very real option for those finally tired of tyranny.  No place is perfect, but it is surprising how free much of the world is compared to places such as Merica.  Imagine going through a full day without once appearing on a surveillance camera.  And that's only the beginning.

It's something to consider the next time you feel panic at seeing a cop car behind you.

19.4.13

Pilot To Bombadier

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.
     - Niccolo di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

For those who don't read, a group that excludes the highly intelligent visitors to this site, Machiavelli created the philosophy of power, often malnamed 'political science.'  Though most of his writings, The Prince being most notable, were guidebooks for wise leadership.  It is his quote regarding the disarming of the populace that inspired the founders of the United States to include a ban on banning arms in the hands of the people.

One can think of Machiavelli as the Sun Tzu of the West.  Sun Tzu wrote a highly influential book called The Art of War nearly a millennium before Machiavelli was born.  Machiavelli likely got a copy of it from Marco Polo or other traders in the East.  Sun Tzu instructed warriors thusly:

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

Between the two quotes, we can see the design and execution of things such as the Boston Marathon bombing, 9/11, 7/7, and hundreds of other similar events throughout history.  To understand the gravity of the quotes, one must put one's self in the place of ruthless, power-mad 'leaders' and realize that We the People are the enemy.  We are the deceived.  We are the ones conquered without a fight by little more than simple symbolic manipulation.

Few people think of their 'leaders' as mortal combatants against their best interests.  So-called 'democracy' is a brilliant subterfuge that makes us think we have chosen those we call leaders, while at the same time finding all they do in places of power to be reprehensible and subversive to our best interests.

Josef Stalin, that great defender of human rights (tongue firmly in cheek), told us:

Ideas are more powerful than guns.  We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?

This is the self-same Stalin who killed more than 25 million of his countrymen and called it a statistic.  History hardly recalls that fact, yet Hitler, who only killed 4 million, has become synonymous with evil incarnate.

So how do we tie all this together?  Well, people will ignore things that do not serve their immediate needs.  Therefore, 'leaders' are free to act upon the populace in ways that subdue them without a fight.  This is done by controlling the ideas that the masses can and are allowed to have.  And the ideas are controlled via the media.

If you pick up a dictionary from before the 20th century, you will find that the word 'terrorism' was once defined as an act only perpetrated by a State actor.  Terrorism, as a policy, never serves the interests of a group fighting an evil power.

If Muslims are behind recent acts of terror, what purpose does it serve them?  They only alienate the masses who they logically want to enlist to their cause.  It creates animosity towards their message and themselves, and brings down even greater hatred and bellicosity on their heads.  Does that sound even remotely logical and beneficial?  Didn't think so.

On the other hand, a State actor can inflict acts of terror, clamp down on individual rights, tighten security, demonize large parts of the population, and create whole new industries for profit out of a single act.  While not exactly nice, it is a logical step for any group wishing to subdue a large population and consolidate power.

False-flag terrorism is as old as warfare.  It is a staple of morally bankrupt leadership and a highly effective technique for controlling large groups of people.  An act of terror causes people to act in their immediate self-interest, which causes them to rally to leaders, demand security and seek revenge.  This is exactly the reactions that 'leaders' want when consolidating power.  The best part is - from a certain point of view - that as soon as the masses start to figure it out, you can create another act of terror and completely wipe out the memory of the previous one.

Whenever we see an event such as Boston, we must ask ourselves, like good Romans, "Cui bono?" (to whom the good/benefit)  An act of terror does not benefit the masses.  They lose rights and freedom in exchange for vaporous promises.  It does not benefit the supposed perpetrator(s).  They alienate the very people they want on their side and bring down the wrath of greater powers on their heads.

The only possible benefit is to those in power.  It consolidates their power, allows greater intrusiveness into the lives of their 'followers'.  And it justifies even more theft of the labor and wealth of the masses in the form of taxes to support ever larger bureaucracies that peddle the all-elusive 'security.'

In the age of psychology and mass media, this technique has been honed to a fine edge.  A century and a half of study has led to an almost formulaic ability to induce fear and panic in large groups of people.  Madison Ave. and the like have mastered the application of psychological tenets to mass mind control.  Even without having watched a single minute of the media coverage of Boston, I can list the techniques used to control the ideas in the minds of the masses.

First, they float the multiple/single perpetrator balloon.  Whichever the masses glom onto the fastest is the one they run with.  Then, they float the Muslim/homegrown terrorist balloon.  Whichever the public buys first is the one they run with.  They artificially limit the choices we have to think about, then amp up our emotional responses to whatever 'choice' the instant polling and blogosphere sampling tells them is the most 'swallowable' explanation.  The rest is simply offering a bunch of canned responses that are designed to make people feel safer, while offering no real solutions and charging exorbitant amounts of money to implement the plan, whatever it is.

Back to Stalin and Hitler...Stalin killed six times more people than Hitler, yet there was no long-term political expedient outside of consolidating his power.  Thus, we know little or nothing about the atrocities he committed.

If fertilizer plants blowing up have little or no power to shock and awe, they are mourned and paraded, but little if anything will change in the aftermath, even though the safe operation of a fertilizer plant obviously has more benefit to the masses than stopping bombers at public events.  There is no emotional content to exploit with a fertilizer plant, but high-profile public feel-good events offer oodles of exploitable content.

Simple math for our erstwhile 'leaders.'

After all, the Russian people were evil, nasty Commies, so losing 25 million of them was a victory, not something to wail and gnash teeth over.

Cui bono?

The only way to fight this sort of manipulation is to guard our reactions when they happen.  Don't react immediately on fear and panic, but take a moment to consider who benefits.  This immediately takes the power away from the 'leaders' and prevents them from implanting ideas in our heads.

The concomitant action is to avoid all media contact.  Don't turn on the TeeVee.  Just read headlines online or in the paper.  Don't read the articles.  That will give you all the pertinent information you need and prevent the implantation of ideas.  Over the following week, the picture will be much clearer than if you ingest all the emotional rabble-rousing in the media.  Remember, the media is NOT your friend.  They are carefully controlled outlets for the party line.

The number of people doing this is growing.  Witness the talk of 'false flag' in the mainstream media.  Beware though.  When the media pick up on this sort of meme, it is because they have figured out a way to use it against you and control what ideas you have about it.  Note the event and keep moving.

Finally, harden yourself.  Yes, it is tragic when people die, but it happens all the time.  Don't let the 'leaders' use those deaths to control the living.  That is the worst form of cynicism and crassness there is.  Look at what has been done to the children in Sandy Hook.

Instead, note the tragic deaths of the victims and mourn for their families, but guard your feelings and don't let them be weaponized.  Only a psychopath or sociopath can not feel the death of others.  But it is equally sick to use death and tragedy for gain, and we would do well to remember that.  It may seem callous to turn off feelings, but how much more callous is it to use our feelings against us?

There will be time to mourn when the war is won.

Oh yeah, happy birthday Adolf.  Has anyone thought about all the strange things that keep happening on or around Hitler's birthday?

14.4.13

The Day The Laughter Stopped

The world is a lot less funny today.

The Funniest Man In The World has moved on to greener pastures.  I, among many, am mourning the passing of Jonathan Winters.  Even more than when George Carlin died, because I had a tenuous but real connection to Jonathan.  Not only was he my favorite comedian when I was a child, but I had the honor and pleasure to work with him on two occasions.

The first time I met Jonathan was in 1983.  I was on the tech staff - sometimes I WAS the tech staff - for a famous and now-defunct comedy showcase in Houston.  Sam Kinison was a regular there honing his act that would eventually become famous.  Many top-rank comedians had early successes at the club and it wasn't unusual for big names to drop in unannounced to play the house or join in on improv night.

It was a particularly stormy night in April.  A Wednesday, since it was improv night.  The crowd was light because of the storm and the house was about half full.  None of the box office crew noticed when a somewhat portly, unassuming man bought a ticket and came inside.

The show went up as usual and the cast was good, but it wasn't one of their best nights.  At one point in the evening, they typically asked if anyone in the audience wanted to join a skit.  Normally, these were not professionals and the cast mostly worked around them, using the unsuspecting guest as a straight man and fall guy.

This night, a somewhat timid man raised his hand and said, "Can I join?"

The cast, being blinded by the lights, could just make out that he was a fairly chubby, shy looking man and figured they had an easy mark.  The man made his way up to the stage and the cast was preparing to roast him when one of them said, "My God!  It's Jonathan Winters!"

Some of the looks on the cast members' faces were priceless in themselves.  The improv nights were recorded for later development into routines, and that moment became a favorite at the club, just watching the reactions over and over.

At first, the cast tried to out-laugh Jonathan, but he had a unique talent of stealing the spotlight with little more than a glance.  He had an incredible presence when he was "in mode".  It's as if he were the center of gravity and anyone else on stage could only orbit him.  And when it came to improv, there was no one better at the craft.

It didn't take long before the rest of the cast just pulled back and let him run.  They couldn't hope to compete.  No matter how funny they were, he could steal it right out from under them with little more than a twitch or a word or two.  His timing was impeccable.

The show ended an hour later and the audience left breathless from laughing.  It was probably more workout than most of us regularly received.  I sat in the booth the whole time howling in hysterics, trying my damnedest to stay conscious enough to check the light and sound levels on occasion.

After the house had cleared, the cast and crew begged Jonathan to stay on and talk with us, which to the amazement of most of us, he did.  We raided the bar (TABC be damned) and pulled some tables together and chatted with a legend.

Despite the fact he was a household name, he was one of the humblest and kindest people I've ever met.  One of his more famous characters was the Shy Man, and I suspect that character was more the real Jonathan than anything else he let out in public.

He offered advice, talked shop and regaled with anecdotes.  At one point, he stopped in mid sentence, picked up a cocktail napkin and launched into a 10-minute improv with the napkin that was one of the funniest moments of my entire life.  It's a very special moment when you are in the intimate presence of a master watching the craft up close and personal.

At some point long past sociable hours, he excused himself and said he had to return to his wife.  "Please don't tell her I was in a club," he said.  "She thinks I'm out chasing dames."  He shook each of our hands and thanked us by name, which was amazing to everyone.  Then he slipped out as non-chalant as he had come in.

The second time we met was in December of 1993.  He had been hired to do a series of skits as a wrap-around for some training videos.  It was very exciting because you didn't often get to work with big names on these types of projects, but this one had some serious backing.

It was bitter cold outside, unusual for a December in Houston.  Jonathan came in, cheerful and excited to work, which also was unusual for such a Big Name.  He made no demands, didn't bark any orders and simply asked where he could change into the first costume.

When he came out, he went around to each member of the crew and introduced himself.  You can only imagine how impressive that was, since most Big Names couldn't care less if you died on the spot.

When he got to me, he took my hand and looked me in the eye and got a strange, distant look on his face.  Then he said, "Bernard.  1983.  Comedy Workshop."

My jaw dropped.  I had been just a 'techie' at a small comedy club on an impromptu visit, yet ten years later he remembered my name, the year and the place we had met before.  This was so unusual that even other members of the crew stopped and gawked.  Needless to say, my stock went up at that moment.

We proceeded to work a full 10-hour day.  Jonathan played four different characters, and even though he had pages, he rarely stuck to them except as a launching point for his world-famous improvisations.  Normally, this would have been a real nuisance in this type of shoot, but not only did he hit all the points the writer and producer needed, the rest was hysterical.  Even the outtakes were the stuff of guffaws.

Even though it was cold in the studio, Jonathan never once complained.  When we paused to reset or fix a problem, he didn't run off to the green room.  Rather, he stayed in position and quietly rehearsed, thinking up lines and gags that would improve the scene.  On a few occasions, everyone would pause and just watch him work.  He was so involved that he hardly noticed that everyone had stopped, until someone would burst out laughing at something he had done.

At the end of the day, he changed back to his street clothes and when he came out, he once again went person to person and thanked each of us by name.  Then he stepped into the winter blast, got into his limousine and sped off.

It's hard to express, though you may well imagine, just how unusual a man he was.  Though one of the biggest names in comedy ever, though inspiration to comedians like Robin Williams and Carrot Top, though able to demand and get pretty much anything he wanted...yet, he was a humble, quiet professional.  He had a gift, he knew it, and he used it to try to improve the world just a little.

Of all the Big Names I have met and worked with in my career, he has left the deepest impression, not only because I so admired and enjoyed his work, but because he was also a wonderful and genuine human being.  He was a man who could literally find humor in everything - a stick, a napkin, even thin air (his pantomimes are legendary).  He was a consummmate professional, a master of his craft and a true gentleman off-stage.

I mourn his passing, both for the Big Name that he was, and for the human being he was.  I will never forget the brief moments our paths crossed.

He was one of my heroes - a face I knew from early childhood and whose comedy made me laugh so many times throughout my life.

God bless Jonathan for the gift of laughter.

11.4.13

The Answer In Your Pocket

Source: Kompas, Wed., 10 April 2013
In just 15 short years, the world has gone from the Asian Contagion to the Western Festerin'.  Back in 1998, most Westerners sat back with satisfaction and not a little mirth as the Asian economy tanked, making imported cars and electronics dirt cheap for the average American or European.

Meanwhile, such stalwart Asian engines as Japan saw their markets crash, real estate prices tumble and imports slow to a trickle.  One can clearly see from the above graph, however, that the tables have turned a bit.  The only measure showing any weakness at all is Southeast Asia (Asia Tenggara) taken as a whole.  By nation, though, the Asian economies are red-hot (headline: Wages Driving Consumption [no shit Sherlock]).

How to explain this complete flip-flop of fortunes?  According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the so-called Advanced Economies will experience growth of 1.9% this year, while the so-called Emerging Economies will have 5.9% growth in 2013.  Those are regional averages (US/EU vs. BRICS), and that's if we don't question any fudging on the part of a Western-biased reporting agency.

First off, I question the terms "Emerging and Developing Economies" and "Advanced Economies".  Seems they belie a certain amount of undue hubris and self-aggrandizement, given the 4% difference in growth rates.  Second, these raw data imply that one group is doing something right, while the other is not.

So, how to interpret the numbers?

The standard biz school economic interpretation would be that the growth rate for 'developing' economies is due to the expansion of new industry in previously 'undeveloped' nations, combined with the fact that Asia experienced its depression back in the 90s, thus clearing debt and malinvestment, thus positioning those nations' economies for growth and expansion.

This is a neat and tidy explanation that avoids the true underlying situation, which is a taboo subject in Western academia and public discourse.  What it doesn't explain is why the Asian economies, supposedly dependent on exports to the West, are growing at such a massive pace when the West's imports are drying up.

Sure we can write it all off to China's thirst for raw materials that in turn is floating all boats in Asia, but what is driving China's expansion?  After all, aren't they completely dependent on Western demand and money?  And hasn't that market deflated like an old balloon in recent years?

What you are about to read is top secret, known only to the deepest insiders and requires you to destroy your computer immediately after reading.  Be sure and burn your hard drive as an additional safety precaution.

The simple truth is that China's, and many of Asia's central banks are state-owned and issue credit-based money based on the national GDP.  Inflation in these nations is based primarily on over-issuance of currency vis-a-vis production, though some amount is due to charging interest on loans - a trick learned from the Western banksters.

Here's the crux of the matter: in the West, central banks are owned by private corporate cabals which issue debt-based money at high (compounded) interest rates.  In China, Indonesia and other Asian countries, the national productive surplus is converted to credit and issued as currency.

Now, you may think this is the same thing, but it isn't.  The former is a closed economic system that creates unemployment, scarcity and ultimately ends in disaster.  The latter fosters open-ended growth, full employment and, if properly administered, has no preset disaster at the end of the line.

Before we get into how this works, let's first look at how the first system collapses.  Debt-based currency always entails compounding interest.  If you have an economy with $100 in it, and someone borrows $100 with 5% interest, then you have automatically created $5 out of nothing, and since the entire economy consists of $100, there is no conceivable way to pay back the $5 interest.  Furthermore, with compounding interest, the 5% rate is applied to the remaining balance on a regular basis, say every month.  In effect, the actual cost of the loan can be far above the actual 5% (as much as 50% or more), depending on the length of the repayment schedule.

Since many transactions in the economy bear interest (savings accounts, loans, bonds, etc.), it doesn't take long for the original $100 to be diluted to nothing and for the entire economy to be based on nothing, and for those at the center of the system (banksters) to collect the entire $100 in bits and pieces called interest payments.

Eventually, this system becomes unstable as all the real wealth is transferred to the hands of the few.  Unemployment soars as real wealth vanishes and companies forego hiring in order to make interest payments  Prices soar as those at the center control availability of resources and profit from the rising prices on their assets.

The result?  Complete and utter collapse without constant expansion, first in new markets, later in new sources of raw materials.  At this point in history, the closed Western economies must either exploit 'emerging' economies and steal their resources - becoming increasingly problematic - or expand into space to find new sources of raw materials and create new markets for labor.

This is what is behind Obama's recent pronouncements on asteroid mining and space commercialization.

By comparison, the Chinese government issues currency based on the growth of its economy.  The GDP grows 7%, the currency grows 7%, and so on.  They also offer very low-cost or free loans to farmers and small industry (and even other nations) to expand operations and increase output.

Granted, they do charge some interest on some loans, so there is inflation in the Chinese economy, but it is far more controllable since it is public institutions causing it and a simple policy change can stop it.  In effect, however, the interest in this case is more of a tax on projected increases in output rather than usury charged by private interests in a closed system.

None of this is to say that the Asian systems are perfect, but they are more flexible and have better long-term growth outlooks than Western economies.

Historically, however, the Western bankster cabals don't like state-owned currencies.  Obviously, they don't benefit and are unable to corner the market on wealth.  How much don't they like it?  Well, look at Libya, Iraq and Syria.  Listen to the rhetoric on Iran.  Witness the long-term castigation of North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela.  Despite other short-comings, all these countries have/had open economies.

Want more examples?  How about the Continental Congress which preceded the current United States?  Or Lincoln's greenbacks, which financed his war against the break-away States.  Or Jackson.  Or Garfield.  Or Kennedy.  Jackson was impeached and nearly removed from office.  Lincoln, Garfield and Kennedy were both shot dead.  All of them had one thing in common: they wanted to issue credit-based currency controlled by the State rather than private interests.

How about Nazi Germany?  One of Hitler's first acts was to issue a state-owned, labor-based Reichmark that fueled Germany's astronomical growth in the pre-war years.

History argues that these men and countries were destroyed because they dared defy the bankster class, rather than any ideological differences.  Certainly, one look at the US today says that they had/have no issue with fascism, only who controls and benefits from it.  The same with genocide, since the US committed wholesale slaughter of the indigenous peoples of North America, thus negating any sanctimonious talk of holocausts.

From this argument, it would seem that the West has a vested interest in destroying the current systems employed in many Asian countries, including China.  So why haven't they?

As stated a number of times in these columns, one perceives a certain panic among the Western (read Anglo-American) oligarchies.  We must assume that this is so based on the threat that China and Asia pose to their closed economic system.  That panic can be laid at the feet any open war between China and the West would be one of attrition  and that the West would lose because its economy is imploding at a time when China's is soaring.

Therefore, direct confrontation is off the table.  Instead, we see covert cyberwars, proxy wars (North Korea, Venezuela) and other indirect attacks.  Some have speculated that scalar weapons affecting weather and geological processes have been deployed, and there is a good bit of circumstantial evidence in that regard.  In any event, the recent use of North Korea's lame rhetoric to position US military assets across the Pacific theater argues an increasing threat on the part of Asia towards Western hegemony.

The West cannot allow, under any circumstances, to let China's influence get out of control, especially in the southern hemisphere, where China has exerted the greatest influence.  The southern hemisphere not only contains a vast wealth of raw materials, it also is a major source of cheap, exploitable labor.  On top of that, China is exporting its open economics, which is the greatest threat to the Western oligarchies' long-term survival.

Most definitely, the oligarchies cannot afford to let the real people under their control figure out the benefits and problems of open and closed economics.  The ultimate nail in their coffins would be losing control of their own backyards (see note on Kennedy and EO11110).

Looking back at the chart at the top of the page, one can see that Asia is doing something right.  This article has attempted to put forth a reason for that astounding growth in an otherwise depressed global economy.  There is sufficient evidence in favor of the 'open economy' argument, but it does not argue that the extant systems are by any means perfect, only better.

For those interested in reviving the West economies and becoming competitive and prosperous once again, a thorough review of Continentals, Reichsmarks and Kennedy's silver certificates would be in order.  There is a better way and ironically, China is showing us the path.  We must deprogram the views foisted on us by the privately owned media that support the privately owned banks, and start examining the Iceland Miracle and other economic success stories for their common denominators.

Or we must face extinction quietly and with dignity, secure in the fact that we did nothing to change our lot in life.

10.4.13

The Danger At Hand

Obama Wants To Map The Human Brain


“[I]t is much safer to be feared than loved because ...love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.” 
― Niccolò MachiavelliThe Prince

Yes, it's true.  The government near you is doing everything it can to make you afraid, despite any and all rhetoric to the contrary.

Oh, sure, the so-called leaders pose and puff about 'safety' and 'security', but if they actually delivered on it, they would, according to Machiavelli, lose power.

All power is based on fear.  The power of religion is that it promises a way to not get thrown in Hell.  The power of government is that it promises to not let boogie men harm you and your family.  By extension, both must conjure up those things which are most feared in order to demonstrate their power to protect us.

Religions practice exorcism.  They create demons out of common afflictions and then 'cure' us of the demons through magic incantations and arcane rituals.  In reality though, it is all pomp and circumstance to produce fear.

By the same token, governments conjure up threats, whether they are physical or, as in the case of the US in the 50s, just imaginary bugaboos hiding under every rock.  Nowadays, it's not the Commies, but the Jihadists.  If that doesn't work, there are more esoteric threats, such as comets and meteors or alien invasions.

Regardless of what the perceived threat is, the whole thing is a Theater of Fear.  It is all a giant, real-life horror movie in which you never really see the monster, it's all just shadows and sounds and scary music.

"A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."
-- John F. Kennedy

It has been my experience that people who seek political power are insecure little weasels who are so terrified that their beliefs are wrong that they must impose them on everyone in order to feel secure.  In other words, governments are not about making us feel secure, they are about making the power-mongers feel safe.  These small little minds are so paranoid that they must make the entire society equally as paranoid to alleviate their fear that they are abnormal.  Think about it...it's true.

Don't we all seek people of like mind in order to make ourselves feel secure in our beliefs and mind-sets?  Politicians are the same as you and me, with one important difference - they want to create fearful, paranoid, insecure people in order to justify their own fears.  And in creating them, they grant themselves the power to lead all the loonies in the booby hatch.

Since the readers of this site are highly intelligent and self-motivated, we should ask ourselves, "What does government really do for us?"

Think about all the tax money stolen from your productive labor.  In most cases, a full third to half of the income earned by each person reading this column is vanished into a bureaucratic black hole.  And what do you get in return?  Brain mapping projects, militaries and more politicians.

And what does all that achieve?  Paranoia, enemies and more fear.

In other words, we are forced at gun point and by threat of imprisonment to pay for systems that do nothing more than create the environments that justify the existence of governments.  It is a closed loop of fear that keeps us in line through the use of fear to protect us from fear.  Makes perfect sense, right?

Think about it: behind every issue in the public discourse that the government offers a 'solution' to, and behind it you will find fear.  Fear of the unknown, strangers, pain, attack, poverty, and most especially death.  It is all fear.

Governments exploit fear in order to keep us in line.  The ultimate absurdity is that governments say they will protect us from fear, but then use fear to keep us in line.  If we don't follow the rigid guidelines set out for us by our 'leaders', then be afraid of retaliation in the form of incarceration, impoverishment and death.  In other words, we have another causal loop: using fear to make us believe that we can be protected from fear.

Perhaps Franklin D. Roosevelt said it best, "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself."  Ironic words coming from a man who used fear to remake an entire society from independent and self-reliant, to government slaves and dependents.

At the base of all power is the fear of death.  It is only by eliminating this fear that we can truly be free.  That is the ultimate message of all true religions: there is no death and so nothing to fear.  Though certainly that message has been obfuscated by the invention of eternal damnation and shadowy demons.  They need fear to keep the tithes coming, after all.

It is the elimination of the fear of death that governments and power-seekers fear the most.  Without that fear, we the people are ungovernable.  They have no tools to control us.  This is the motivation behind mapping the human brain, or the war on drugs/terror/poverty/etc.  'They' must keep us afraid or face their own worst fear: lack of control over their environment.

In the end, we can conquer the PTB by simply seeing them for what they are: small, fearful minds who seek to bring us all down to their level in order to justify their own fears.

And we can conquer all fear by simply realizing that we are immortal beings, in one form or another.  On the most basic level, the laws of physics demand that the matter and energy that defines our selves must go one forever.  On a higher level, consciousness is something far greater than the sum of our three-dimensional, physical world.

In either case, we have already conquered death.  Now it remains to conquer the fear and remove the means by which we are enslaved.

Map way, Big O.

9.4.13

Are You A Zero TeeVee-er?

"For Phelps, it's less about saving money than choice. She says she'd rather spend her time productively and not get "sucked into" shows she'll regret later." [emphasis added]

That's right, there's even a name for it now.  We are called the Zero TVers - people who don't watch, don't pay and don't follow traditional TeeVee habits.  What's more, we don't miss it and don't care about it.

Why pay for something I never use?  I don't have time for TeeVee, and when I have time for a little entertainment, I pull out an e-book, listen music or watch one of the 500 classic movies in my collection.  There is nothing in the insipid universe of broadcast/traditional TeeVee that even remotely interests me.  In fact, the last show I remember really following religiously was David Lynch's Twin Peaks, though I confess to the occasional Star Trek TNG or Stargate SG-1.

For the most part, though, I have always found reading to be far more enjoyable, and I can do it even when the power goes out, which is a rather common occurrence here in the Archipelago.

I pay for broadband internet access, yet despite the wealth of passive viewing activities available at my fingertips, I still prefer to browse the Gutenberg library or listen to interviews with thinking people, like those available on Radio Far Side.

It used to be I was a freak of nature.  One couldn't join in the office scuttlebutt without enduring extended conversations about inane TeeVee programs that I never watched, nor had interest to follow.  However, according to the article linked at the top, there are 5 million US households, and many more globally, I'm sure, that are turning away from 'traditional' viewing habits.

And this is scaring the shit out of the 'old media'.  Couldn't happen to a finer bunch of a**holes, as far as I'm concerned.

For two generations (at least in the States), a cabal of corporate interests has had a monopoly on the eyeballs and brains of millions of people.  They could fill our heads with their ideas and create demand for their products by putting us in alpha-wave states and zapping messages directly past our conscious defenses.  Their news outlets were the gold standard of social awareness, and they thoroughly abused us by telling us what to think.

Websites like this one, that aim to invoke thought rather than stifle it, are springing up like clover in the alfalfa.  The various video outlets, like vimeo.com, are delivering quality content produced far outside the constraints of corporate mind-control.  About as close to MSM as many people come is scanning the Drudge headlines before the first auto-refresh.

The monolithic media are scrambling to find a way to lure you back.  As the linked article says, this topic is one of the top priorities at NAB this year.  They are using shocking and lurid content.  They are trying new gee-gaws like 3-D.  They are testing pay-per-view sites in various pricing schemes to see which will attract the most eyeballs.

But with nearly half the global population online, and a significant number of those producing free or very low-cost quality content, who needs the high production-value mind-control rubbish foisted on us by the monolithic media?  Granted, there's a lot of equally useless crap out there, like teenagers lighting farts and such, but we control the clicks and the time and the content we will consume.

And a growing number of folks are opting for intelligent, informative content that by-passes the couch-potato crowd and adds quality to our limited amount of free time.

This is the revolution of which I often speak here.  Since the introduction of the radio set and the on-air soap operas, mystery shows and gangster goop a century ago, we the people have been immobile and willing victims of a technology turned against us.

Finally, at the moment when the monolithic media thought that they'd be springing the final trap with hundreds of channels, 3-D, HiDef, digital pablum, the crowd is turning away.  We have become jaded, overwhelmed and under-served by all this rubbish pawned off as entertainment.  And we're turning it off in growing numbers.

Think about the true depth of the revolution.  In the 80s, when I was getting my degree in media, you needed a massive camera, backpack recorder and a crew of three or more just to capture the video.  Then you had to have a million-dollar suite of machines to edit tape-to-tape, then the distribution was tightly controlled by the very few broadcast outlets that had very limited open slots for which you competed with hundreds of other producers.

Now, I can capture far better video using a tablet that has a couple of dozen other functions, as well, and fits in a satchel.  When I have the raw footage, I can transfer the files to my laptop where I can edit, sweeten, add titles and animation, and any other content I want.  Then I can upload it to any number of free sites or my own server and distribute it to the entire world.  And all with a crew of one for roughly $10,000, hardware and software included.

And I'm not limited to that.  I can write and publish books, news sites, entertainment in any media all from my humble little home office in Jakarta, or even the LFS World Headquarters in Borneo and South Java.  All with a crew of one for an amortized investment of roughly $2,000 per year over five years.

Simply revolutionary.

And this is only the open market.  There are many dark basements on the internet where even more subversive content lurks, though subversive is only a matter of perspective.  Speaking out against government idiocy and corruption is subversive in many jurisdictions.

The raw power now available and in the hands of the masses is astounding by historical measures.  The access to real information and knowledge is beyond comparison.  The ability of the individual to affect real change is magnified beyond all traditional means of control.  And this genie can't be recanted.  It is out in the wild and short of shutting down every possible outlet by pulling the power plug on the globe, it can't be stopped.

And perhaps that's why 'they' push global warming and limited resources so hard.  It is their one trump card left.  The only way they can stop, at least in their minds, this revolution is to literally pull the plug.

This revolution is taking place in the minds of the masses.  It is not a shooting war.  It is not a destructive event.  It is nothing like what has come before.

It is the revolution of ideas.

'They' are trying very hard to make it a shooting war because they can win that one.  When it comes to the war of ideas and attitudes the field of battle is much harder to define, much less engage the enemy.

The article that opened this screed is an admission on the part of the monolithic media that they are losing the war, and that they have no idea how to turn the tide back in their favor.  The front is far too broad and as deep as the imagination can go.  There is no longer a single rabbit hole to fall into, but millions.

To join this revolution requires a single, stunning act of defiance: turn it off.  Become a Zero TeeVee-er!

8.4.13

The Pyongyang Polka

You'd think that with North Korea being just a couple thousand miles from Indonesia, folks here would be all balled up in fear that at any moment the whole region would get lit up with the glow of nuclear night.

*YAWN!*

Wake me when Kim Jong-un looks serious.

You know what folks around here are really scared of?  They are scared that the US will use N. Korea as an excuse to come in an colonize the region once again.  'Colonize' because the US is a colonial power, though it may refuse to address itself as such.  And 'again' because it has taken over various parts of the South Pacific at least two other times in the past 150 years.

N. Korea is the barest slip of land sandwiched between two massive economic powers.  Because the country is little more than the jewel in the crown of a megalomaniacal family.  Granted they have a couple of nuclear pop guns, but compared to what would be raining down on their heads if they used one, even the Kim family isn't that stupid.

So they much be getting provoked.  In other words, someone is poking a stick in the hornet's nest in order to stir up the critters into a fighting mood.  And right now, there is only one power in the entire world that has shown the willingness and ability to use military might to get what it wants: Washington DC.

Now I use 'Washington DC' as opposed to 'America' because the country is not represented by its government.  The powers that slither through the halls of DC are a rogue bunch of banksters and oligarchs who have little or no connection to the average person in the rest of the country, save for the few that actually buy the propaganda, and they are relatively few.

The US, after World War 2, was the last man standing, based mostly on the fact that it had no land bridge to the rest of the world, and so was protected by the expense of projecting power that far at that time.  To a certain extent, South America enjoyed the same benefit, though it didn't have the technological infrastructure to become a surviving power at the time.

As such, the US felt it had the right of the conqueror, and to some extent the moral responsibility, to rebuild the world in its own image.  This position offered certain advantages in business dealings, which one can hardly blame them for exploiting.  And since America's culture was built on the mass-produced repeatable experience (McDonald's, Holiday Inn, etc.), it was ready-made for export to the prostrate world.  The world accepted with open arms, as something was better than nothing.

As a consequence, the US economy boomed like none before it.  Being fueled with loot and technology captured from Nazi Germany, and fanned by the City of London banksters and ex-colonialists looking to recapture past glory, the US quite easily took over the world, especially since its only major rival was the Soviet Union, whose political system was antithetical to most people's sensibilities.

All was good until the world started to recover.  By the end of the 20th century, a great many nations had grown technologically and economically to the point they were ready to find alternatives to the one-sided trade deals offered by the now-imperialistic US-UK axis.

Groups of nations found it in their interests to trade within their regional groups, thus by-passing the US-UK system of control, which tended to scrape a healthy bit of cream off the top of everything.  Enter trade blocs such as the BRICS now threatening the US-UK hegemony over world affairs.

Thus, a clash of interests.  The US-UK axis built a system in which they pictured themselves atop a global pyramid, while the rest of the world saw themselves as building a bunch of smaller pyramids where more folks could enjoy being on top.

These outsiders had copied and improved on the technology that the US-UK axis had exported when exploiting the cheap labor and lack of regulation in these client states.  As such, they had built themselves into booming economies that were increasingly outside the control of the US-UK colonialists.  Furthermore, these nations were limited by having to deal with each other in dollars, which not only gave the US-UK axis a cut of the pie, but injected control mechanisms into the burgeoning economies.

So they decided to break away and form their own trade blocs.  Perfectly reasonable and sensible under a capitalist system.  One always seeks deals that provide greater benefits to one's self.  This increases profits and overall well-being, which is the centerpiece of capitalism.

But the US-UK axis didn't see things quite that way.  They liked skimming profits from deals they had nothing to do with, and they enjoyed exerting control over nearly every transaction in the world.  Gee, who wouldn't, but that doesn't serve the interests of all parties, which again, is a central part of capitalism.

In order to protect their status, the US-UK axis had to exert force in order to maintain privilege.  Since the instrument of control was increasingly backed by nothing but hot air (i.e., the dollar), the banksters and oligarchs turned to the only tool they had left to maintain dollar hegemony -- the military.  Their chosen means of injecting their military power was to create tensions and conflicts where they didn't exist before in order to justify intervention and re-orientation.

Enter N. Korea.

It is no mistake that this latest flap in Southeast Asia occurs on the heels of the BRICS announcing the formation of a trading bank to compete with the IMF and World Bank, know as the International Development Bank.  It is little mystery that this new international bank will not trade in dollars and will actively seek the membership of as many emerging world economies as possible.

What to do if you are a US-UK bankster facing thsi sort of rebellion to your global system of control?  You could use the Libya/Egypt/Syria option, but Russia, China and India are a bit large and intimidating for that sort of direct interference.

Planted in the heart of the occident is a tailor-made situation.  The N. Korean leadership is...shall we say, unstable?  They have nukes as a result of left-over technology from Japan's WW2 development efforts.  And they have an ongoing war that has never been resolved.

Few folks think about the fact that the Korean War (1950s) never ended.  It was fought to a cease-fire, but neither side surrendered.  Thus, hostilities have simmered for lo these 60-odd years.

Enter the stick in the hornet's nest.

Stir up Pyongyang with covert threats, possibly even actual boots on the ground doing what covert ops do best.  Get Pyongyang to saber-rattle and move toys around in overtly belligerent maneuvers.  Use these events as justification to move your toys into Southeast Asia and position them in ways that would otherwise be roundly castigated.  Finally, use all the bluster and thinly veiled threats to distract attention away from other pursuits, such as, oh you know, setting up rival banks of international development that don't benefit the US-UK axis.

Sure, Kim Jong-un is a wild-eyed lunatic (runs in the family), but even he knows that people who don't eat or have productive labor soon rebel en mass.  He also knows his little firecrackers and underfed army are little match even for his southern neighbors.  The only thing that would provoke his current actions would be a direct threat.

That the aforementioned direct threat serves the purpose of the US-UK axis makes this scenario all the more credible.  There has been a low-level war going on between the US-UK and the BRICS for some time.  They poke and prod each other's defenses and test the sensitive underbellies looking for weaknesses.  N. Korea is just another poke and prod in that effort, but one designed to be a little bit hotter, so as to enable the US-UK to position some hardware in the area and demonstrate their resolve to be the only economic playground in the neighborhood.

What is disturbing about all of this is not whether or when the dollar will be deposed.  That is inevitable.  It is that all these events belie a sort of maneuvering of the global chess board for some major onslaught.  At some point, one side or the other will feel the time is right, or at least won't get better, to strike in open conflict to protect their back board.

If the US-UK axis feels that it is sufficiently losing its control over global trade and economics, it will strike at its best possible opportunity.  If the BRICS or other group grow frustrated enough and feel ready to challenge the existing structure in hot conflict, they will strike.  In the meantime, we will continue to see massive cyber attacks, regional conflicts, saber rattling, and positioning of belligerent hardware in strategic locations.

It is a given that the US-UK axis will not concede quietly.  It is also a given that the rest of the world is ready to stretch and do things their way, for a change.  These two polar opposites cannot co-exist and the boundary between them will continue to shift and change.

When one positions one's self as king of the mountain, whether in a child's game or in geopolitics, one is ripe for challenge.  Ultimately, whether game or global, the king is always toppled and new powers emerge, and they in turn are toppled as new powers emerge.  It is the nature of humanity to want to be on top even though history tells us that the top is the target.

So we close with one final question...

Have you ever noticed that every major city on the face of the planet has a China Town?

7.4.13

Pausing At The Threshold

As is our wont on Sundays, we will trip off into some heavy-duty navel staring today.  Contemplating the nature of reality is something most people don't do enough of and should.  After all, as creatures that inhabit this Universe, it is our job to figure out the nature of our existence and whether or not we can perceive, and even inhabit, other creations, natures and/or times.

A lot of folks are familiar with the yin and yang symbol.  Many are likely familiar, at least vaguely, with the meaning behind it.  It's safe to say most readers here will know that the black and white areas represent polar opposites...ANY polar opposites -- positive/negative, light/dark, heat/cold, etc.

The nature of these opposites is that they cannot exist without each other.  The one is defined by the fact that it is not the other.  We only know joy because we can distinguish it from sorrow.  We only know light exists because sometimes it is dark.  If any one of these conditions existed without its opposite, we would have no way to define it, much less experience it.  It simply would be the way things are, and like humans are prone to do, we would ignore those things without definitions.

What most people seldom consider is that yin and yang are actually THREE things -- light, dark and dusk.  In every instance of opposites, there is a dividing line that separates one from the other, like walking into an air-conditioned room on a hot summer day.  At the threshold, there is a line in which both conditions exist simultaneously before one of the other engulfs you.

Think about how many superstitions there are concerning thresholds and doorways.  On New Year's Day, you are supposed to kiss your beloved in a doorway.  Newly married grooms must carry their brides over the threshold.  One must never exchange gifts at the threshold.  The list is quite long.

Thresholds are magical places where two worlds blend in a mystical way.  "Threshold" is used to mean places of entry or beinning, though not always in a good way (pain threshold).  But in all cases, a threshold is the barrier between two extremes -- inside/outside, heaven/earth, etc.

This concept of a barrier between opposites suffuses nearly every culture one can think of.  Not only do we have yin/yang, but the Hindus speak of Shiva (destruction), Vishnu (balance) and Brahma (creation).  The Christians have the Father (creator), Son (creation) and Holy Spirit (the bond).  Many ancient religions have Sky, Earth and an implies boundary or threshold between the two.  Even our skin is a threshold between that which is within us and that which is without.  Our senses allow the inside and outside to blend across the barrier of Self.

In all these metaphors for Universe, there is always a balance between the two extremes, and this balance is the threshold.  It is through the threshold that we leave one and enter the other.  There is no sense of 'good' or 'bad', only one state of being or another.  And across all these descriptions there is the 'threshold', the boundary, the pivot where the two halves of Universe meet.

It's a fascinating concept, and what's more interesting is the idea always seems to imply some sort of finite and infinite acting in unison.  Our selves are defined as enclosed spaces separate from Universe with a threshold called skin and senses between the two.  We take parts of Universe into us by breathing, eating, etc., remove what we need and release the rest back into Universe.  In the same fashion, our cells are segregated from the rest of the body by a threshold called the membrane wall.  It allows oxygen and nutrients in while releasing waste, yet at all times maintains a separate identity as 'cell'.  Similarly, Earth and Sky, and so on.  Always with a finite entity separated from an infinite one via a threshold that allows both to exchange information in one form or another.

What's more, the scale of this system runs from sub-micron to vast distances.  Whether one speaks of quarks and gluons or galaxies and space, there is always some defined space, a threshold and the infinite outer space.  In all cases, balance is maintained between the two by means of the threshold.  Once that breaks down, the finite ceases to exist and it merges with the infinite once again.

I find all this rather fascinating.  It is an apt metaphor for anything -- closed and open economic systems, closed and open social systems, closed and open physical systems, closed and open conceptual systems.  Yet, in all these systems, one must have a threshold in order to define that which is closed and that which is open.

The Hebrews painted their thresholds with blood during Passover.  People remove their outer clothes at the threshold.  Superstitions and rituals abound across thresholds.  In fact, gates, doors and thresholds figure into just about every myth and legend one can think of.  There is some kind of crossing point, whether physical or spiritual, in every great cultural tale.  Hell, even in the abortion debate, there is the implied concept that a baby is tissue on one side of the vaginal threshold, and a human being on the other.

It's a remarkable idea to ponder because the implications are literally boundless.  It even has the ability to return magic into our daily lives as we become aware of all the times we cross thresholds every day, even as we cross the threshold from reality into dreams.

One of the most important things to fall out of this kind of thinking is that all thresholds can be crossed if we chose to do so.  We are only 'outside' inasmuch as we haven't yet gone 'inside', and vice versa.  Thresholds are only boundaries between one form of existence and another, not barriers.  Thresholds are not limits, only measurements.

Therefore, we are only limited beings insofar as we are not willing to cross thresholds.  However, as our superstitions, myths and rituals concerning thresholds would imply, crossing them is not to be taken lightly.  In the end, though, we can only know ourselves and our place in Universe by experiencing what is both 'in' and 'out' of our thresholds, in every sense of that concept.

Try spending one day thinking about the thresholds you cross and that cross you.  It's a very eye-opening experience.

Oh, and if you're really getting baked on this idea, remember that there is not only a boundary between yin and yang, but also a boundary around both that separates them from...something else.

4.4.13

Beware The Agitprop

"Insider Claims Obama Wants to Kill the Dollar!"

Ah, the smell of Hearstian news-making, rather than news reporting.  If that reference is a bit obscure for you, dust off the old history books and look up the Spanish-American War.  You might also want to watch "Citizen Kane" not only for its artistic value, but for the thinly veiled references to Hearst.

At any rate, the above-linked article brings the whole alarmist reporting issue to the fore.  People, especially Americans, reading that article might think that the death of the dollar is tantamount to the Apocalypse.  Certainly, most of the world has been brainwashed into thinking the Almighty Dollar has rays of golden sunlight shining out its proverbial hindquarters.

In point of fact, my respect for Obama, which can only go up at this point, would rise ever so slightly.  Nothing would do the world a greater good than to kill the dollar.  Nothing would alleviate so much suffering and horror in the world as the death of the dollar.  Nothing would go further to achieving world peace than the demise of that empirical tool known commonly as "the dollar".

In point of fact, the cited article is little more than 'mental manipulation' on the part of some group to achieve a certain public mind-set, at the minimum among nationalists.  That the article refers to an 'intel insider' makes me even more suspicious that this is part of a much larger effort to circle the wagons in the States.

It's a very common ploy of oligarchs and dictators to create an outside threat in the minds of the citizenry.  We humans have this instinctual response of closing ranks when we perceive a threat to our well-being.  We put aside our minor differences and join forces for at least long enough to fight off the threat before returning to our normal bitching and grousing.

This instinct is behind the use of children by the PTB.  They create a threat to our children, real or imagined, because they know people will rally to the cause until the threat passes.

In the same way, the extant article is using economic fear to cause people to drop their arguments with the empire and rally to the causus belli to save our economic hides.  In the minds of readers, the article creates the idea that, "Hey, I use the dollar to pay for everything...my house, my kids' education, my wife's hairdresser!  If the dollar dies, so do I!"  This fear, in turn, causes the reader to rally in defense of the dollar - and by extension, the PTB - in order to protect one's very way of life.

In truth, nothing would be better for Americans or the world at large than to see the dollar go down the tubes.  The dollar is a weapon and tool of the Anglo-American empire that, for the better part of a century, has been used to subjugate people and destroy cultures throughout the world.

In addition, the dollar is literally NOTHING.  It represents nothing, is backed by nothing and has no particular benefit to anyone using it, except the PTB, of course.  Frankly, the death of the dollar would be a brilliant moment in world history, as it would defang the PTB, destroy the Federal Reserve and neuter the Anglo-American hegemony.  The dollar's demise would collapse the IMF and World Bank and free great masses of human beings from abject slavery and poverty.

I see your jaw hanging slack because you think what I am saying is high lunacy, but think about it...

Without the dollar, the Western empire would not be able to control global energy, food and labor supplies - a central and key component of the Anglo-American hegemony.  The DuPont/Monsanto cabal would not be able to force GMOs down our throats (literally).  The Rockefeller/Rothschild oligarchs would lose complete control over global oil supplies and prices would immediately begin dropping as producing nations competed to replace their artificial incomes under the current regime.  And the demise of the dollar would open up the market to more currencies, creating more opportunities and cancelling slave-wage contracts in the third-world that are denominated in dollars, thus giving rise to better wages and more competition for all.

Another benefit of the 'death of the dollar' would be the demise of the global narcotics mafia.  Nearly that entire market is based on dollar cash trade, thus enriching those who control the flow of dollars and the means by which to launder such incomes.  In this way, the oligarchs and mafia dons sit atop a mountain of dollars and use them to kill, maim and control millions.  The death of the dollar would be the death of the War on Drugs, which is little more than a protection rack for those few families who control the authoritarian strings of governments.

At home, the death of the dollar would free Americans to seek out new and valuable currencies to replace the old.  In this way, they would see a vast increase in personal wealth, the death of oppressive taxation and an economic renewal unlike anything that country has ever experienced.  Ridding themselves of worthless debt paper and installing new, credit-based paper in its stead, would free up capital, increase the buying power of families, and return people once again to a mentality of saving, which is the engine of growth.

In the abcense of fear-mongering, the death of the dollar would be an event of such great importance to the growth and well-being of the world that words can hardly express how exciting such a thing would be.

One thing is absolutely sure...the Anglo-American empire is deathly afraid of killing the dollar.  Nothing could be further from the truth than to have their meat-puppet called Obama working on such an agenda.  They are certainly not yet prepared to replace the dollar system, as nearly every international contract of any importance is based on the dollar.  The death of the dollar would force the renegotiation of millions of important deals without the perceived power of the dollar backing the side of the oligarchs.  Thus, entire nations would be scouting about for better terms with more valuable backing than whatever the oligarchs would use to replace their precious dollar.

Obviously, the cited article is nothing more than a ploy to create fear in the reader, thus causing them to actually rally on the side of the banksters to save a worthless piece of paper called the 'dollar'.  In other words, all of us who know that the banksters are the cause of all the misery in the world today are being asked to rally around those very banksters because we perceive that the dollar is our only hope and salvation in these times of economic trial and trouble.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.  The dollar is the primary tool of the bankster class and the multi-national corporations that are destroying productivity, wealth and sovereignty worldwide.  That the article cites 'intel insiders' is yet another clue that this is alarmist agitprop designed to create fear and rally the populace even against our own best interests.

The death of the dollar would be an historic miracle of proportions we can hardly imagine at this moment.  Yes, it would create some very short-term pain, but in the long run, it would be of inestimable value to all humanity.  Lancing a boil always causes immediate pain, but it subsides quickly and promotes much faster healing.

It is in the best interests of all 'real' people to pray for the death of the dollar, especially before the banksters and globalists have an alternative system in place.  It would open a window of opportunity rarely seen in our world history.  It would destabilize the oligarchs and unseat the imperialists, giving humanity an unprecedented opportunity to raise the fortunes of all humans everywhere.

Let us hope that the article is correct in at least one assertion: “We’re just going to kill the dollar.”  To that, I respond, "Please do, and the sooner the better for all of us!"

(P.S.- Do NOT click on any ads on this page (other than the Amazon store.  I have not approved them, don't want them and do not endorse them in any way, shape or form.  Thanks!)