Here Thar Be Monsters!

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Custom-Fit Genes

For eons, humans have eaten the plants and animals that inhabit our surroundings.  At the molecular level, we are bound to our environment in a way few of us really think about.

When we eat something, we are ingesting everything that meal consumed, plus its DNA.  As our bodies digest the meal, its molecules are either directly used by our bodies, or are rendered into a form which can be used.  Everything about that meal becomes us in a most intimate and fundamental way.

UPDATE: How about custom assassinations using bioweapons tuned to individual DNA?

 Within the past 20 years or more, humans have learned how to manipulate the very structure of life.  We have cataloged its structure and begun rearranging it to suit our whims.  We are changing the very fabric of the reality into which we have spent millions of years assimilating, with little concern on the part of the masses for the long-term effects.  This is in spite of the fact that we are all aware on some level that every action has a consequence, good, bad or indifferent.  And it's usually the bad we don't prepare for that bites us in the tail.

Back in the 90s, I was witness to a series of experiments injecting the P53 Wild gene into tumor cells.  The gene was attached to the protein coat of a certain virus and then injected directly into the tumor.  The protein coat acted as a key to allow the gene inside the cell wall, where it was incorporated into the cell's DNA.  The tests were reasonably successful with the P53 Wild gene acting as a switch to turn off the run-away growth of cancer cells.

In those experiments, the P53 gene was 'wild', meaning it was a naturally occuring, though unmutated, gene found in all of our cells.

Today we have companies such as Monsanto and DuPont liberally mixing and matching genes of different species, turning them on and off, and even creating wholly new ones from the basic building blocks of DNA.  The chimeras created in this fashion are liberally sprinkled in the environment in the form of GMOs for the stated purpose of increasing food crop yields, or producing natural substances on a mass scalle, or even to provide antibiotics and antivirals within in the foods we eat.

There is no concern for consent or even basic information.  There have been no life-long controlled trials to see what the outcomes will be.  If anything, there is callous disregard for how these modifications will affect not only individual humans, but the global environment.  Some would suggest that this cynical disregard for consequences is motivated merely by profit, but I believe there is a far more sinister agenda at play.

There are numerous examples of companies such as Monsanto suing farmers for possession of their crops for the simple reason that the farmer's crops were cross-pollenated by neighboring GMO fields.  The pollen carried patented genes into the farmer's crops, thus allowing the mega-corp to claim ownership on the basis that the natural crop now contained their intellectual property.  Governments have issued patents and courts have upheld claims, so there's no reason to think things will change soon or easily.

Monsanto and others have also gone on pogroms to destroy 'heirloom' seed banks that preserve generational seeds that can be reseeded.  The GMO seeds switch off after one generation so that the crop cannot be reseeded without buying fresh stock from the corporation that owns the patents.

Some might see these actions as strictly profit motivated, others see an agenda to take control of food sources, and these are likely correct.  But I submit there is a much more nefarious agenda at work.

If it is conceivable that our bodies ingest the DNA of foods we eat, and that DNA can be manipulated to produce, say, viral protein coats.  Then it is easily within the realm of possibility that GMO foods could insert patented genes into the human genome.  If this is possible, then any number of outcomes can be realized.

For one, if a human is found to have patented genes in his or her genome, then legal precedent states that the owner of the patent can claim ownership of that person.  If that's the case, then the owner can claim royalty rights for the life of that human, as well as any offspring they have (presuming the gene is passed on).  In time, the mega-corps could legally claim ownership of the human race, forcing us to pay annual royalties simply to be alive.

If we take that scenario as a given, it is entirely possible for the inserted gene to cause things such as vastly shortened lifespans.  Presumably, the patent owner would have a remedy that could be sold to turn off the gene or forestall its expression for another year until the next payment.

Genes could also be inserted into our DNA making us susceptible to various diseases.  This would create a rather lucrative licensing opportunity with Big Pharma for cures or treatments.

At the highest level of the agenda, this kind of ability would grant certain mega-corps absolute authority over humankind.  They would have the ability to 'tax' us and the enforcement would be certain death or disability.  We would be utterly dependent on the patent owners for every aspect of our lives.  And the worst part is that all of this could be achieved before any of us is even aware that it was happening.

It seems rather apparent that the world is moving towards a global government and that the form of that government would be corporatocracy.  A select few mega-corps, which already operate above all laws, could congeal their iron-handed control within a couple of generations, depending on how fast they can infect the human genome.  And who could argue with their taxing scheme?

While this may seem like wild speculation, there are plenty of reasons to think this is quite plausible.  The P53 Wild experiments show that gene 'seeding' is doable.  There is a lot of research hinting that the HIV virus and others were manufactured to affect certain genetic haplogroups.  Courts have upheld patent ownership even in cases of 'accidental' cross-pollenation.  And even proposed laws, such as California's doomed Prop37, to label GMO foods have failed to protect humans from this insidious attack.

There is also sufficient reason to believe that at least some mega-corps are acting in such a way as to belie an egenda of global domination.  This has been visible for at least the past century or so.

From the standpoint of increased crop yields, GMO technology holds little promise of greater harvests.  There are plenty of failures to point to.  Here in Indonesia, cocoa growers were sold a bill of goods that promised trees with larger canopies, and more and bigger pod production.  However, the larger canopy came at the cost of an equal root ball and the trees have literally fallen out of the ground.  On top of that, the pods are hopelessly withered and undersized, though there are more of them per tree.  As a consequence, Indonesia's cocoa crop, one of the largest in the world, has suffered quite a bit this past season.

We already know that the use of antibiotics in livestock have spurred the growth of more virulent disease-causing bacteria.  The use of antibiotics can also be blamed for weakening our natural immune systems, making us even more susceptible to disease.

How much does any one of us know about what we put into our bodies?  How many folks read the fine print on vaccines before we allow them to be pumped into our bodies, much less those of our children?  And those are voluntary actions.  What about the foods we eat?  How much do you know about the corporate-farm grown meats and vegetables on your plate?

Worse still, how many of us consider the consequences of allowing corporations so much power over our lives?  Worse still, how many of us close our eyes to these possibilities because they seem too far-fetched and beyond consideration?

Finally, if we know mice can grow human ears, pigs generate human blood and goats produce spider silk, what sorts of things don't we know about?  And how far has this permeated our daily lives before any admission is made?  Furthermore, by actual consent, or consent by lack of action, how much have we allowed this to be done to us without our knowledge?

The time for discussion is passing quickly.  By the time we know the full implications of this technology, we may be in mortal danger with all-powerful corporations holding the key to our survival.  The most dangerous part is the unintended consequences, which always appear because every single variable can never be fully accounted.  For such deep and lasting effects, we are asking far too few questions and allowing far too much free rein.

Are you willing to take these risks with the next 20 generations of your family?  Where's your line in the strand?


The Long Black Friday Of The Soul

'Gang fight' at Black Friday sale...
Man Punched in Face Pulls Gun On Line-Cutting Shopper...
Shots fired outside WALMART...
Shoppers smash through door at URBAN OUTFITTERS...
Customers run over in parking lot...
Woman busted after throwing merchandise...
Thousands storm VICTORIA'S SECRET...
VIDEO: Insane battle over phones...
Mayhem at Nebraska mall where 9 murdered in 2007...
Shoplifter tries to mace security guards...

Men Steal Boy's Shopping Bag Outside BED, BATH & BEYOND...
Heckler calls them zombies...

Ah, the pitter-patter of shoppers' feet.  This is why the West is doomed.

Hypnotized by media, drugged to the teeth and having lost the last vestiges of social graces, the masses have become mindless consume-a-holics.  They are incapable of reason and unable to haul themselves back from the precipice.  Rather, like lemmings, they stomp on each other to be the first to leap off the cliff.

Our holy days, often referred to as holidays, are little more than crowbars prying money from our wallets, and we dutifully traipse along obliging the Masters of Commerce.

Black Friday, indeed.

There was a time when Man was seen as a creature of duality, both human and divine cohabiting in the same physical form.  That concept became bastardized and secularized as being Man and Beast, reason and lust.  Now, it seems, we have lost any concept of a higher self and spend our lives indulging our physical/bestial selves.

There is no longer the idea that we corporeal beings have been separated from the eternal by birth and must discipline our minds and bodies to reattain that higher state of consciousness.  Rather, we are nothing but a morass of carnal lusts fighting over which one will be satiated today.

Meanwhile, the Masters of Commerce laugh at us.  They dangle trinkets and gee-gaws in our faces and watch us rip each other apart to get at the goodies.  This is their entertainment, since their wealth and power has bought them every other carnal delight.  Because they have sold out their Greater Selves for a few pieces of silver and the illusion of control, they feel obliged to lord it over us and to draw us down into their pit of bestial despair.

And we follow like hungry puppies.  We justify the Masters' decision to throw away their Divine Selves by allowing them to dispose of ours.  Misery loves company, and from the looks of things, we are obliging subjects.

We can view Black Friday and the spiritual depravity it places on display as being the ultimate expression of Calvinism.  The central concept of Calvinism is predestination: that one is born saved or not, and nothing one does in life will affect that.

Thus, under the central tenets of Calvinism, we are free to indulge our basest desires and live with total abandon, since we are going to heaven or hell based on events that occured before our birth.  We cannot obtain salvation through prayer, sacrifice and discipline.  

Calvinism was considered heretical in 16th century Europe and its adherents fled to the New World in order to practice their 'faith'.  Calvinism had a strong influence, along with a number of other heretical branches of Christianity, in the formation of the United States.  Its vestiges can be seen everywhere today.

Later, Calvinism merged with New Thought movements to create the Prosperity Gospel, which results in the idea that we are predestined for heaven or hell and the one way we can tell whether we are among the saved is by the wealth we accumulate in our time on Earth.

Wrap this concept in the Catholic concept of the corporate body, where a group of humans gathered for a single purpose is superior to the individual, and you have the perfect storm of greed culminating in Black Friday.

Black Friday is aptly named since black is the absence of light and Friday is the last day of the week before Saturn-day.  I leave it to the reader to investigate the Saturn cults, but suffice it to say that the orgy of lust we witnessed this last week was a perfect expression of Saturnalia.

Our society has devolved to this: we are not bound to good works and self-improvement because none of it will achieve salvation, which was determined before our birth.  As a sign of god's love and favor, we amass wealth, thus gross consumption and the latest gee-gaws are an outward sign of our holiness.  And finally, all of this is served by mega-corporations which are the physical embodiment of god on Earth through the focusing of groups of humans on single-minded causes.  Therefore, by implication, the rulers of the corporations are god's vicars on Earth.

And so we claw and scratch and climb our way over our fellow humans to get that iPod or Galaxy or BlackBerry.  We disembowel those who compete with us for god's favor, in the form of trinkets.  We worship corporations and the foul beasts who sit atop them as the manifestation of god on Earth.  And the Masters of Commerce laugh at us as we enrich them with our own greed, as surely this is a sign of their righteousness.

We are no longer spiritual creatures in physical form, but physical creatures with no need for redemption, discipline and moderation in order to remerge our bodies with our eternal selves.

The icing on this cake of greed is apocalyptism, which neutralizes anyone who may have a mind to change things.  The idea that at some point, this mess will all come to a violent end and ultimately justify those who stood in opposition causes the few who see through the charade to stand down and leave everything to the Second Coming/Twelvth Imam/Meshiach.  Thus, the parade of carnal delights proceeds unabated and unchallenged.

One thing I do agree all will come to a violent end.  Every society that has devolved to this point, for whatever reason and reasoning, has ultimately vanished into history.  No society can survive when its adherents are nothing more than grasping animals seeking self-fulfillment in mindless consumption.

There is a natural limit of resources, but there is also a saturation point at which not another product can be sold.  At some point all wealth will become so concentrated that a new system must be formed that redistributes everything equally once more.

This is an unavoidable cycle that we humans have been doomed to repeat throughout our history.  There have been brief periods in which everyone seems to sober up a bit, usually following bloody and painful revolutions, but slowly we return to the pattern of destruction that has been our bane.

The only constant through all of this has been religion.  This leads one to conclude that the seeds of our destruction are embedded in the very fabric of our faiths, especially those which depend on bloody sacrifice - or at least the ritualization of it.

Religion is the root of our divisiveness, both from each other and from our true nature.  Until we realize this fact and finally rid ourselves of this insidious control mechanism, we will never be free.  And being free doesn't mean having choices between brands and features, it means freedom from the desire for material wealth.

The revolting display of our base selves last Friday in America should be a warning to us all.  We have gone too far.  We must reform or watch all we have built crumble to dust.

It will not be the end of the world, nor the end of humanity, only the end of our paradigm.  And that end will not be pretty because it will involve the destruction of our entire weltanschauung, our world view.  Everything we do and how we react are founded on a single paradigm.  Its destruction means that most of humanity would be utterly lost and unable to recover.

Black Friday should be our wake up call.  Thinking people must take heed.  It is past time to take action by changing our educational systems, by rethinking what we want and why we want it.  We can no longer afford to be complacent or depend on some outside force to set things right.

We have made our nest and it is up to us to clean it up or suffer the consequences.


Is That A Drumstick In Your Pocket?

Well, here it is Thanksgiving once again.  Here on the Far Side, we're busily preparing for yet another feed of magnificent proportions.  In just a couple of short years, the Far Side Thanksgiving has become the social event of the season.  Folks have started inviting themselves from far and wide, which is an Indonesian national pastime when free food is involved.

This year, we're switching things up a bit for two reasons: 1) turkey is really expensive here (though it's dropped since last year), and 2) I made an unholy mess on the porch last year.

You may recall that last year, reader Teka reminded us of the tried and true frying method, which we had nearly forgotten about.  Well the turkey came out spectacularly good, but the oil drippings on the tile porch took nearly two months to finally clean up.  Not wanting to repeat such a fun and exciting time-waster again this year, we're moving turkey day to Christmas up at the mountain house.  This will protect My Precious from the hordes of freeloaders who stripped last year's bird to the bone and left nothing for turkey sammiches the next day.

It will also allow me to cook outside in the glorious mountain air where oil splatter don't matter, and where the house doesn't arch overhead in the event of an oil fire, which I am expert at causing.  I did, however, buy a good fire extinguisher for both the city and country houses.  Pyromaniacs, oil and fire are a combination best left to the great outdoors.

So this year, we are doing up a massive batch of the world-famous Far Side Spaghetti sauce, with the added bonus of real live meatballs that are such a pain in the butt, it has to be a special occasion for me to take on that task.  The meatballs will include fresh rosemary, onions and bell peppers from the Far Side garden - which is quickly becoming the Far Side edible forest.  The big twist this time will be the handmade pasta shells that I have been working on for nigh on a week now.  Major hassle, but makes for a fun meal.  You have to take pinches of the pasta dough and smash them on your thumb, then roll them on a lightly moistened backside of a cheese grater.  You end up with cute little curly sea shells that really hold the sauce, which is their major advantage over string pasta.

The wife is doing up a big batch of kangkung, a leafy veggie with a mostly inoffensive taste.  She'll also be throwing down some fresh green beans and other vittles.  My veggie contribution will be broccoli and cheese cassarole with a blend of three cheeses (homemade white cheddar, smoked gouda and brie), sour cream, butter, and topped with a layer of bread crumbs.  Of course, there'll be the legendary mash potatoes with chicken gravy and a fresh garden salad.

We'll wrap things up with an apple cobbler made from the brother-in-law's orchard in Tegal and the uncorking or my first batch of mango mead (preliminary tests show great promise with a specific gravity of 5.6).

All in all, it should be a magnificent feed with enough for all the interlopers who inevitably show up, drawn by the smell and the steady stream of folks coming in the door.

As in the past, we'll have an eclectic gathering with local friends and family, and a nefarious group of foreigners from disparate parts of the world.  I'm figuring on using nearly 4 dozen tomatoes, two pounds of butter (real...not margarine), a half dozen bell peppers and onions, two heads of garlic, about a pound of cheese, a quart of sour cream, fifteen potatoes, a handful of hot peppers, nearly a kilo of ground beef, two dozen apples, and a partridge in a pear tree.  We're planning on about 20-30 people.

And it's all halal.

As much hassle as Thanksgiving is in the preparation, serving, and worst of all, the clean up, it remains my favorite tradition.  Taking time out to think about all the good things in life and sharing the wealth with friends and family brings a pleasure that is hard to match...especially when everyone is rolling on the floor in misery wishing they hadn't taken that last helping of apple cobbler.

Thanksgiving is unlike any holiday in Indonesia.  Idul Fitri comes close, but doesn't often come close to the gross amounts of food and libation in a good holiday spread.  Another idosyncracy about Indonesian feasts is that they all sit on thick blankets on the floor.  If I were doing this full Indo style, all the food would be served off of platters in the middle of the blankets with everyone using their hands, but I prefer the table and utensils (at least for serving), thank you.

Another concession to my surroundings is that Thanksgiving will be on Saturday, instead of tomorrow.  There's no public holiday here for the feast, and it would be unfair to ask folks to work the day after gorging themselves on a meal that will take a week to fully digest.  And no one is sure yet what the residual effect of the mango mead will be.

One thing I miss about Thanksgiving back home is the cold weather.  There is something soothing about a roaring fire while feasting that just completes the event.  Somehow, torrential rain and lightning just don't make up for that part.  I never have watched football, so that part doesn't bother me at all.  And the parades have become so commercialized that they are mockeries of the originals, so that part is not missed either.

I will raise a glass to absent friends.  It's been five years since I've seen any of the homefolk, and for the most part, I miss them.  Especially dear, old Mom whose own legendary turkeys inspired and trained my love of cooking.  It is her tutelage that ensures I always use fresh, real ingredients...nothing canned or artificial in my feasts, thank you.

Of course, I was also inspired by Julia Childs, or at least the part where the chef gets sauced on gin while whipping the food into submission.

Thanksgiving is a great time to take personal inventory and realize that no matter what, there is a bright side to everything if you look for it.  I am thankful for my children, for my host country, for my good friends, for the ability to have nature retreats in the mountains and the jungle, for relative good health and another day to enjoy it, and for the massive feedfest that will shortly ensue.  I am thankful for my Mom, who taught me how to read, write and cook, and for my Dad who taught me how to think and analyze history and current events.  In fact, I am thankful for all the teachers who have added the skills and developed the talents I have that allow me to put on holiday feasts and have mountain retreats.

I am thankful for the great readers and listeners of Life on the Far Side, who send such great messages, offer fantastic suggestions and donate to the cause so we can build up this effort into something meaningful for folks.  I am also thankful for the invention of the internet that allows us to have the collected knowledge and experience of Mankind at our fingertips and in the comfort of our homes and offices.

But mostly I am thankful for a beautiful and supportive wife who takes such great care of me and the family, and makes our house a home.  She is my friend, my lover and my partner; who could ask for more than that?

Finally, I am thankful for a world that, despite the best efforts of a select few, continues to offer so much wonder, beauty, bounty, and diversity.  As long as we continue to look with childlike wonder, the Universe will continue to offer those wonders.  And if we put forth a little effort to clean up our little part of it all, then our children and their children will receive the same benefits.

Happy Thanksgiving to all Far Siders everywhere.  May your feasts be lavish, may your mead be sweet, and may you enjoy the blessings of friends and family every day of the year.

Now, where' my fork...


Mobocracy Ascendant

Al Capone
It's fairly well known that the Rothschild family are the central bankers of the UK and the power behind the throne.  Slightly less known is that they are uber-Zionists and were the financial muscle behind the founding of the modern Israeli state.  That family is also implicated by extension in the current paedophilia scandal currently rocking the UK privileged classes.

When a scandal this big gets too close to the major players and covers too many column inches in the 'press', the elite need a distraction to bury inconvenient stories.  If they can move the story off the front pages and slowly corral them towards the back/bottom of the news, then they can make them disappear.

Lo and behold!, it's a war in the Middle East, with none other than Israel smack in the middle of it all.  What's more, the whole thing started with a secret meeting of the core Bilderburgers in Rome.

The front page squeeze is on!  The paedophiles are already disappearing from the mass consciousness.  If the topics weren't so dire, it would be fun to watch how they do this.  But the fact remains that people are being slaughtered to cover up the tracks of some very evil people.

Even without a cynical eye, one can perceive the manipulation of global events to hide some things and expose others.  In a recent article, I detailed my thoughts on the idea that there are two competing factions in the race for global domination: the statists and the corporatists.  Though their goals are the same, they split over the structure.  The former see a world much like Orwell's dystopia, while the latter want to dangle baubles in front of the hypnotized masses.  What it boils down to is the carrot and the stick.  The statists would flog us into submission, while the corporatists would entice us into voluntary servitude.

So what we are seeing on the global stage now are salvos in the war between these two competing philosophies.  The statists are taking down the US military command structure, as seen in the Petraeus case, while the corporatists are pushing military adventurism for profit and to hide their predilection for child sex.

It's a major battle for above-the-fold headlines, each with different agendas and methodologies.  When they aren't threatened in their positions sitting atop the world power structure, they are fighting each other for top dog status.  If you needed an example as to how these groups are nothing more than glorified mobsters, this is it.

When the mob is comfortably in control, they go to war on each other for turf, but if outsiders try to move in, they circle the wagons and defend their mutual claims.  Another way to look at it is an abusive marriage.  Normally, the spouses physically and verbally abuse each other, but if an outsider tries to step in and interfere, they both turn and present a united front.

It helps to keep an eye on the Big Picture and reduce these major global events to more manageable terms.  Don't get me wrong: every man's death diminishes me, but I refuse to allow the cruel and ruthless slaughter of innocents be used as a weapon by evil and immoral gangsters to keep me sedate with fear.  And that is exactly what they are doing to us.

By taking down powerful people and launching wholesale terror on families and non-combatants, they hope to keep us in line with the implication that it could happen to us at any time.  However, they are nothing more than overblown bullies with big toys who want to steal more and more of our labor and freedom to satiate their unquenchable desire for power.  The only way they can win is to paralyze otherwise good people with fear.

Basically, we are the deer and they are the headlights, and if we don't snap out of it fast, we will end up as hood ornaments on their pimpmobiles.

Petraeus and the other military brass are paying the price for their servitude to immorality.  They chose the path and now they must negotiate the obstacles being thrown at them.

On the other hand, the Palestinians in Gaza and others in the region are paying a price for crimes they did not commit.  Rather their punishment comes at the hands of wicked quasi-humans who are taking lives to cover their crimes.

In either case, we the unwashed masses are being enticed by a global slight-of-hand to look the other way while the slime clean up their mess.  Only crimes of unspeakable depth and breadth would require such draconian methods to distract us.  It is therefore incumbent on us to stare directly at them and refuse to allow the filthy mobsters to hide the evidence and bury the outrage and shame that should be their rightful due.

As every fan of murder mysteries knows, committing one crime requires and endless stream of subsequent crimes to cover the trail.  Because the mobsters have millions of murders on their hands, they must eventually kill all of us to hide it.

Or we must put and end to it fast.

We start by acknowledging the fact there is no "right" side in all of this.  It is all "wrong".  There are no good guys or morally defensible side in the global fiasco unfolding on our TeeVees.  We must hold them all to blame, regardless of whether the mob has already thrown them to the dogs as sacrifices to keep us off the scent.

It is our duty to those who have died and who are dying at the hands of these butchers to hold the guilty parties to task and not be fooled by their parlor tricks.  They are nothing more than petty thieves who have figured out how to manipulate our deepest fears for their gain, and nothing more.  They are parasites that will kill the host if we don't act quickly and sensibly to stop the infection.

Guy Rothschild
They manipulate symbols, powerful symbols from our deepest psyches, to make us believe they are "leaders", "authorities" and "officials".  They are nothing more than the latest incarnation of Hitler, Caligula and all the other power-crazed thugs of history.  Knowing what we know now, would you be afraid to stand up to those criminals?  Or would you do everything in your power to stop them before more bodies were heaped upon their crimes?

If these 'people' aren't stopped now, we will all be their victims soon enough.  Remember, if we do nothing to stop a crime when we are fully aware of it, then we are guilty by association.  Out descendants will judge us by what actions we take today.  Think of how we view the people of Germany who realized what was happening and did nothing to stop it.

Start now by turning off the TeeVee.  Boycott Black Friday.  Talk to your friends and family about what's gong on.  Steel your mind to the ubiquitous manipulation of symbols to keep us in fear.  Refuse to be an accessory to these crimes.  We can no longer afford to brush these events off as conspiracy theories and tin-foil lunacy.

The fight is on and we're all in it, whether we admit it or not.


Join The Club

Groucho Marx famously quipped in his autobiography, with regard to a social club that had made him an honorary member, "Please accept my resignation.  I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as members."

This is rather apropos, since our topic today is exactly that of belonging to clubs and resigning from them.

Suppose you found a club whose stated goals were business networking and mutual support.  You found this a worthwhile cause and paid your dues and got accepted to the membership.  For the first few years, it was peachy keen.  You made a lot of new contacts, and the time you had some legal issues, the members who were adept at such things were able to help you out of a jam free of charge, because you were a fellow member.

The dues were a bit high, but you gladly paid them because you received benefit from the club.  Even when the leadership changed some of the bylaws in ways that you thought were a bit out of line, you continued to be a member, thinking that the next round of would see more level-headed officers sworn in who would fix the offending rules.  Besides, you still received a benefit from membership in the connections and assistance you received from fellow members.  So all was well.  At the same time, the various outreach programs were being cut.

The club used to gather once a month to clean up various neighborhoods as a public service.  You thought that was a great idea and even got the wife and kids involved on those weekends.  Now those kind of things were becoming less and less frequent.

After the next round of officers were seated, things got worse.  They started allowing less desirable folks join without vetting.  Dues started going up exponentially  though there was no increase in benefits.  In fact, the only thing you could see was that the board kept hiking their stipends for sitting on the steering committee.

The sub-committee that was in charge of collecting dues and disbursing funds got taken over by a bunch of unsavory types.  After a while, they simply became a gang of thugs whose job it was to extort dues from members, along with "protection insurance".  If you didn't pay the insurance, bad things mysteriously happened to your business: fires, burglaries, customers getting roughed up.  It didn't take long for your customers to go away when they saw the club's emblem on your business.

Now, instead of fostering business, the club was causing your business to decline.  The dues were becoming outrageous and if you didn't pay, you got way or another.  The folks that used to offer business advice were now nothing more than a gang of blackmailers who investigated members to find dirt on them, and then use it to leverage members for more money and to coerce votes when it came time to elect a new board.

Some of your long-term fellow members were still uncorrupted.  You all began talking quietly about the current situation.  You had to go to great pains to keep your meetings out of sight of the club leaders, or they'd suspect you of undermining the club and come around with thugs to beat the crap out of you.  One member got careless and sent an email to several others grousing about the problems within the club leadership.  He was sent to the hospital and everyone else on the address list was suddenly under being followed everywhere.  They were terrified lest they make some small infraction and be beaten to a pulp, as well.

Finally, you decided that the costs were too high, the benefits too few, and the fear of reprisal for the least little comment was more than you were willing to accept.  You decided to quit the club and look for greener pastures.

You tendered your resignation stating that your years of membership in the club had been wonderful and that you had made some great friends there, but it was time to make a change and try some new things.  Well, that didn't sit well with the leadership.  If they let you go peacefully, then they knew that all the other members would get encouraged and start leaving in droves, and that would end the gravy train for the leaders who had gotten so much money for doing nothing all those years.

You didn't receive an immediate response from the membership sub-committee, so you went about your business thinking everything was alright.  That month, you didn't send in your dues and you stopped going to meetings.  You even scraped the club's emblem off your office door.  You had washed your hands of the matter.

Then one evening, as you locked up and were heading home, you turned to face a group of the meanest, ugliest, nastiest thugs you had ever seen.  They were wearing their nifty club uniforms with club patches all over them, as when you turned, they all pulled their jackets back to reveal their guns.

You looked around and saw that you were at the top of the stair leading into the parking lot, which gave you the high ground.  You felt your belt and found that you had your gun with you, as well.  But, there were six of them and your only had seven shots, so the margin of error was razor thin.  You had to decide if being right was worth the fight, even though you knew that if you capitulated, they were still going to put you in the hospital...or worse.

Being a member of a club normally implies that you have the right to quit the club at any time and for any reason.  It's your right to associate with whoever you choose.  When a club, that you joined freely, no longer serves your needs, you should be able to quit and move on to other things.

Nations are clubs.  Groups of people with cultural ties or similar interests join those clubs and pay dues (taxes) because they think membership will offer them things they couldn't have otherwise, or would come at a cost they couldn't pay unless they shared it with other members.  As with all human endeavors, though, sometimes the leadership of those clubs get complacent and enjoy the perks they give themselves at the expense of the members.  As they get more and more corrupt, the members want to leave, but the lost of dues will negatively impact all the goodies the leadership has enjoyed for doing nothing.

Often times, the clubs will start passing bylaws to protect their positions that are painful to the members, whether physically or financially.  As Mel Brooks said in "History of the World Part 1", "It's good ta be da king!"

To protect their privileged
ged positions, the leadership will stop at nothing to prevent the members from leaving.  They will say it's illegal.  They will threaten, and in many cases initiate physical violence.  They will do whatever it takes to continue taking money from your pocket to finance their perks and privileges.

None of that invalidates the right of members to quit any time they choose.  The right of free association means that the members can keep company with whomever they please.  It's a very old and well established concept.  If you can freely join a group, then you can just as easily leave.  It is a well-established fact that contracts can be cancelled if one party is not receiving the promised performance.  To say that a state can not secede is saying that an abused spouse can not leave the abuser and dissolve the marriage.

There are many groups of people around the world who no longer feel they are receiving a benefit, or worse are being abused, by a relationship with a given government.  Maybe they are being taxed into poverty without any return benefits, or they are being physically assaulted by goons and thugs, or they simply feel no philosophical or emotional bond with the other groups in the club.  They have every right to leave unharassed and unmolested.  At some future point, they may feel like it is to their benefit to re-join.  At that point, the other members can decide whether to allow them back in.  That's a risk any secessionists face.  But just as divorced spouses are free to remarry if they so choose, so to are nations and peoples.

In 1989, the Soviet Union flew apart in a surprisingly fast dissolution of a 75-year long shotgun marriage, yet 20 years on, the former members seem to get along (for the most part) just fine.  Just because somethng ain't what it used to be doesn't mean it can't be something better in a new form.

Any group that feels strongly enough to want to go it alone should be allowed to with minimal fuss.  Sure, it should be a fair and equitable split, but why should they be forced to stay in a rotten marriage?  If later they decide they made a mistake, the other spouse may have found something better and moved on, in which case, tough luck.  That the risk they take.

Parts of the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and most other places around the globe want to go it alone.  Why are those people abused and slaughtered for wanting to follow their own dreams?  After all, don't we all have the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, even if that involves going your own way in life?

Let them all go.  The only reason to keep them corralled is because the club leadership is living high on the hog on their nickel.  It's exactly the same as if a lazy husband beats his wife senseless because she wants to leave him, but then he'd have to find gainful employment or someone else to suck off of.  Does that make the wife wrong for wanting out?

Let them go.  There is no moral reason to stop groups who want to secede, and there are only immoral and unethical reasons to make them stay.

Let them go.


Boxing Day

Two days after the last US election, a petition appeared on the What House (sic) website to allow Texas to secede from the union.  The deadline was mid-December to garner 25,000 signatures to (supposedly) force the What House to respond.  Within two weeks, the petition passed 25k and is still heading north.  Note that 19 other states have done the same thing, though none have yet received a sufficient number of signatures.

Texans like being left the hell alone.

But, this does present the US with a bit of a problem.  You see, Texas is one of the largest economies in the world and the primary driver of the US economy.  Not only that, it has the world's only helium plant and the US' primary uranium enrichment plant, and as well as the manufacturing plant for all of the US' hydrogen bombs.  Oh yeah, and there's the center for NASA's manned space flight, too.

The biggest problem is that Texas leaving the union would force a redesign of the flag and all those nationalistic idiots who mindlessly spout rhetoric like, "America, love it or leave it," and who don't have jobs now, would have to spend their food stamps to buy new flags.

During the 'election', Puerto Rico - which has been a US protectorate for 100 years - voted to petition Congress for statehood.

So naturally...I have a modest proposal...

Let Texas go and make Puerto Rico a state.  The net number of states remains the same and there is no need to cancel all the Chinese contracts to make US flags, plus the US gains its very own rain forest to keep the environmentalists busy and a damn fine source of rum to boot.

At the same time, Texas gets left the hell alone, which is how most (real) Texans prefer things.  Texas would also get a jump start on its own space and nuke programs as repayment for the $1 trillion in silver still owed to her by the federal government when the latter "bought" half of New Mexico and parts of Colorado and Wyoming off the Republic of Texas a century and a half ago, and then welched on the deal by 'annexing' Texas in a shady deal that went against the overwhelming vote of the people there.

You see, I have no love lost with the US.  My family were among the original white settlers in the region, back when Tejas was still a Mexican province.  My great (x3) grandfather was the first European doctor in Texas and studied the medicines and healing practices of the indigenous tribes.  His family (and mine by extension) received the crossed arrows from the Comanche, Lipan Apache and Kickapoo.  Other family members fought in the war for independence (from both Mexico and the US), served in numerous public service offices and ran underground railroads before and during the War of Northern Aggression.  In all, my family has been building Texas as long as Mayflower blue bloods have been holding debutante balls.

I also fully support the other 19 states that have petitioned for secession.  Most folks outside the US, much less inside, realize that the US was founded on the idea that the states were to be semi-autonomous, only delegating certain very limited powers to a federal government.  Over the past 200-odd years, that federal government has become feral, taking FAR more power than it ever should have been allowed.  As a consequence, it has become the single biggest danger to the states, not to mention most other countries on Earth.

The feral gummint was never to have the power to tax individuals.  The state legislatures were supposed to elect the Senators.  The Electoral College was supposed to balance the interests of urban and rural populations.  Congress was to make no laws concerning a whole list of things.  All of those provisions have been violated, and in fact, the Constitution has become a dead letter in the eyes of the feral empire.

Furthermore, the Constitution gave no powers to the feral gummint to annex, purchase or otherwise unilaterally create states.  That it has for well over a century was one of the first and most egregious abuses of power it committed.

Texas was annexed in 1845, as part of Polk's effort to create a buffer between Mexico and the US.  In other words, the feral gummint used the land and people of Texas as canon fodder to cover its own hide.  The people of Texas weren't happy about it, and in 1861, when they got the chance to vote on the matter, seceded from the union by a vote of 4-1.  Texas was re-assimilated by the feral gummint by fouce after the War of Northern Aggression.  The only vote on the matter required voters to swear allegiance to the union before they were given a ballot.  Not unlike the most recent 'election', really.

At any rate, Texas has a long history of wanting to be left the hell alone.  The secessionist movement has been around for well over a century.  It is not a new phenomenon.  The fate and fortunes of that movement rise and fall on whether the general populace is complacent with the current situation in Washington.  Under Clinton, the movement caught fire and took several great leaps forward, thanks to a guy named Richard McLaren.  Under Bush, though, folks kind of settled down and went about their business until that president started a bunch of wars.  Now under Obama, folks are up in arms, almost literally, once again.

Taken together with the other calls nationwide to secede, there appears to be a growing tide of anti-feral gummint sentiment in the US.  One can easily imagine the American equivalent of Boris Yeltsin riding into Virginia on a tank waving the battle flag and demanding major reforms.

In other words, the empire is in deep s*#t.

Despite the large and growing number of folks who have surrendered responsibility for their lives to the feral gummint, there is still a strong core of fiercely independent folks in the US, most of whom are in the south and west.  This makes sense since it was strongly self-sufficient folks who moved West to get away from the fascist eastern seaboard in the early days of the US.  Those values, and certainly the genes that influenced those people still live in the decedents inhabiting what the yankee bastards contemptuously call the "fly-over" states.

More importantly and apropos is the fact that states like Texas are on the front lines of the 'quiet war' with Mexican cartels.  On top of that, the cartels were created and empowered by the feral gummint's War on Drugs and other misguided policies that created vast black markets funneling gobs of cash into the hands of criminal elements.

In other words, Texas is still canon fodder for the feral gummint.  Most folks don't take kindly to being placed in that position.

The media, and most folks since they can't think past the end of their TeeVee remotes, are treating the latest secessionist cries as a new and (racist) anti-Obama phenomenon.  The truth is that Obama's re-election and his war mongering and his soon-to-take-effect 'health care tax' are just the latest straws on the back of a very old camel.

Even before the ink was dry on the US Constitution, there were efforts on the parts of folks in all the colonies to secede from the union because they foresaw the issues that are coming to a head once again.  The feral gummint has been a boil on the butt of free-thinking folks for the better part of two centuries, and the secession movement ebbs and flows depending on the burden of carrying a central government.

Certainly, this underlying current exploded out of its banks when the northern industrial states sat squarely on the economy of the southern states back in 1860 and 61.  That led to one of the bloodiest episodes in the soap opera called the United States of America, which has to be one of the all-time oxymoronic titles.

In today's America, it's not industrialists against agriculturalists, it's banksters and corporatists against human beings, with America rapidly becoming one of the hottest fronts in the war for individual freedom.

When the Republican party shat on the Ron Paul faction in the last 'election', they may have inadvertently - or consciously - forced the hand of liberty-minded folks.  As Larry McDonald is famously quoted, "There are four boxes in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and cartridge.  Please use in that order."

The soap box (speech) has been effectively squelched.  The ballot box (voting) is a sham by any measure.  The jury box (courts) are rigged and most folks don't know how to use this one.  That leaves the cartridge box (guns), and with the explosion of gun sales since Obama's re-election, folks may be seeing this route as the final means to get feral animals out of the garden.

It's quite likely we will see an historical rhyme with the overthrow of the Soviet empire occur n the US, sooner than later.  Secessionist movements are but one of several symptoms of 'Sovietistis' appearing in headlines around the world right now.  Having more than one-third of the global population hell-bent on an apocalypse doesn't help matters (and no, you won't be raptured, so get ready...).  There are plenty of ways to defuse the situation, but the antagonists don't appear to be the least bit interested in that outcome.

On the other side, independence-minded folks like real Texans prefer to herd than be herded, and won't sit still for long when someone tries to corral them.

It's a game of brinksmanship at this point.  Who will be the first to blink is the question.  The logical thing is to open the pressure valve and let folks go who want to be left alone.  Obviously, those who suck power like candy can't let that happen.  They get special jollies off of keeping folks penned up who want to roam the range.  Makes them feel big and tough hiding behind their drones and satellites.

Secession is nothing new and the louder voices right now are those who have been bellowing for a long time.  But patience only goes so far.  What remains to be seen is what happens when the patience runs out, and that will depend on which boxes of liberty are still uncrushed.  Might want to grab some Orville Reddenbacher and a case of brew.  This could get interesting.


Simple Questions, Complex Answers

One of our long-term readers and correspondents, LK, has done it again by sending a huge, loaded question using their regular economy of words:
"What is your take on the military and CIA and how O is getting rid of them?"
I could take the easy route out of this one and say that Obama is paving the way for the Anticrhrist, and I'd have backup, but I'll resist the temptation and delve a bit deeper into this issue.

Let's dispose of the Petaeus case first.  In case you've been under a rock for the past decade, and a lot of folks are, David Petraeus was the US general sent into Afghanistan to oversee the "Quiet Surge" against Afghan "Taliban warlords and strongmen", and prevent the Anglo-American Empire from becoming yet another victim in the long line of historic empires who met their doom in that land.

Forget for a moment that under the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 80s, it was known as "military escalation" against "Taliban freedom fighters".  See Tom Hanks in "Charlie Wilson's War".

In a desperate attempt to keep the American public on track with the war effort, Petaeus was built up into a military genius and his "Surge" was considered highly successful, though facts tend to disagree.  As a reward, Petraeus was handed the reins of the CIA, figuring he'd be a compliant sort, lest the PTB take away his glorious mantle.

Well, it seems that Petraeus knows a great deal about the events in Benghazi and the death of the Libyan ambassador there.  So much, in fact, that he was called to testify before Congress.  My guess, and this is a good bet, was that he stated to his handlers unequivocally that he wouldn't lie under oath.  This wouldn't do, since it would undermine the five or six officious versions of those events and even lead to Obama being brought up on criminal charges before Congress (often called impeachment).

For damage control, Petraeus was, fell on his sword to bury a few big skeletons in the US closet.  We can assume this since having an extra-marital affair is about as unusual in Washington as cockroaches in a New York brownstone.  Hell, if Bill Clinton could get away with leaving "DNA evidence" on Monica Lewinsky's blue dress, not to mention JFK's dalliances, we can easily assume much deeper motives in this case.

Of course, this is all speculative, but history and the evidence presents a strong argument.

Now, as for the larger question of disassembling the military, we will have to climb a bit further out on the limb of speculation, but I believe the cumulative events of the past 20 years will support the weight.

First of all, we must define current events.  There are basically two major groups vying for world domination.  One is the Socialists (often called communists, which is a gross misnomer), and the other is called the Fascists.  The Socialists envision the world dominated by the State and operated by a central steering committee.  The Fascists see the world dominated by corporate interests and run by a Board of Directors.  The central goal is the same, this is only an argument over who's heel the world will be squashed under, and how it will be done.

In the US, these interests are represented by the Democratic and Republican parties respectively.  In other countries, they have different names, but in nearly every case, there are two dominant parties who simply trade reins back and forth in things euphemistically called 'elections'.  The Socialists want to unwind the military and middle classes of strong Fascist economies in order to subject everything to the States.  The Fascists want to build up the militaries and middle classes in order to prosecute their wars of domination over Socialist strongholds.

The Socialist faction is centered around Russia, China and parts of Europe, while the Fascist segment is headquartered in the US and UK.  The recent US elections were a victory for the Socialists, which is why the corporate media and business interests are wringing their hands.  The firing of Petraeus and other efforts to undermine the US military are also related to the Socialist efforts to bring the corporate war machine to heel.  By discrediting Fascist military leaders, the Socialists can advance their people into key positions, and with Obama being a lame-duck president, he is free now to begin the pogrom in earnest, having fooled enough of the population into supporting him.

The Socialists have also gone out of their way to undermine the middle classes of the US and Europe.  The Socialists want something similar to Orwell's dystopia in "Nineteen Eighty-Four", while the Fascists envision a strong middle class controlled by creature comforts and gee-gaws.  In actuality, we are seeing a sort of amalgam emerging globally, with the growth of Asia's and the subversion of the West's middle classes.  In effect, the independent Fascist middle classes must be brought to heel, while the cowed populations of Socialist states can be allowed to enjoy some rewards in order to keep them tied to the wheel of state.

In order to create the fusion of Socio-Fascism, the US/UK military might must be crushed and a new leadership with more compliant and less nationalistic allegiances must be installed.

Given the growth of Asian middle classes and the soon to be complete destruction of Western middle classes, plus the balancing of military strength across the planet, that some kind of truce has been made at the highest levels of global domination, with a fusion of the two competing economic and political systems being the consensus outcome.  Eventually, probably sooner than later, an equilibrium will be struck globally with power being shared between corporate and state interests.

Whether this will be a successful marriage of opposites (not complete since they share the same overarching goal) remains to be seen.  Certainly, the masses seem content when they have disposable income, TeeVees and little blinky lights in a box to distract them.  However, there seems to be a need on the part of the PTB to completely expunge the independent spirit still flickering in certain Western cultures.  Those people must be completely dismembered and rebuilt in the image of the PTB.

For their part, the PTB seem to have come to a consensus.  The Socialists see the value of creature comforts and hypnotic toys in keeping the masses controlled, while the Fascists have witnessed the value of forced production and consumption.  And certainly both sides are happy with the re-election of Obama and the fall of Petraeus, since it advances the goal of subduing the West into the global empire.  The Obamacare tax beginning next year will be the final nail in that coffin.

On the other side is a small but growing number of people who realize that slavery is slavery, whether the chains are gold or steel.  There is a definite war going on with the Socio-Fascists on one side and the free humans on the other.  The Ron Paul campaign exposed a great number of them, and that may in fact have been the purpose of allowing Ron Paul to be as successful as he was, whether or not Paul was aware of it (and I haven't decided which yet).

The free thinkers have been drawn into the open now.  Their positions and strongholds have been revealed.  If you perceive the PTB being a little cockier and more at ease, this is why.  The final battle for global domination can begin in earnest now, since all sides and see each other clearly.  The problem is that most free thinkers don't know what they've done yet.  People like Assange and Paul have smoked out the resistace and the PTB can target them at last.

Where is all this leading?  Well, that is entirely up to you, dear reader.  First, you must decide if you are a Socio-Fascist or free thinker.  Then you must determine what defensive and offensive positions you will assume.  Finally, you must take positive action to join one side or the other.  The time for fence-sitting is finally past and the Big Showdown is at hand.  The only weapon the free thinkers have is creativity and culture.  The PTB have shown their modus operandi over the past 500 years.  It only requires a commitment to study on your part to get up to speed.

As usual, LK has opened a large can of worms with a simple question.  The answer requires every non-zombie to face the decision of what price they are willing to pay for "peace and security".  The evidence and strategy are plain enough to support this speculation.

So, which is it?  The freedom to choose your own path?  Or the security of having it chosen for you?  The former will require you to leave everything behind, while the latter will see everything taken from you by force.  By 'everything' I mean dignity and self-achievement, not toys and gee-gaws.

Petraeus served his masters well, and we see the price of his loyalty.

As for me, give me liberty or give me death.
This just in from another long-time reader, correspondent and benefactor of our efforts...
"Hello Bernard:

Again, we appreciate your blogs. Keep up the vigil.

In your Y2K+12+Doom rant you posed a good point about all those instantly disappearing dissenters, such as the many Ron Paul supporters, following the Obama 2.0 selection. Like thousands of others I believe had done, I wrote in my vote for Paul. However there is not one mention in the media or alternative media about him that I can find.

I wanted to send you a link to an interesting article that you might not know about because it is on a financial website.

Along with moneyball and and scientific advances in neuromarketing techniques being used by the media there isn't much hope for all those Facebook members armed with Ipods and a deficit in critical thinking skills, which is just about everybody. Remember in "The Manchurian Candidate" when everybody in the company was going around parroting the same phrase, "Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life." Well, a lifelong friend emailed me after the election and said enthusiastically, "Did you hear Obama's acceptance speech? He is the kindest, warmest, most wonderful man!" The heartfelt letdown is that my friend really meant what she said and there was nothing I could say for an answer without being terribly insulting.

Sometime I feel very alone, but your website is a great lift.

Best wishes,

P.S. You know what I miss the most about Indonesia. Riding on a crowded public bus with all those gentle, sensitive people,,,and durian...I miss durian.
Excellent points there.  Especially the one about the strange Obama zombies.  All very worrisome, indeed.

As for the durian, I know just what you mean.  And that brings up another simple question.  Who was the first person to look at a football-sized fruit with lethal spines all over it that smelled like month-old gym socks stuffed with rotten onions and contained yellow, slimy worm-like fruit and think, "Hey, that looks good to eat!"



Obama was re-elected.

HAHAHAHAHA!  Go on, pull the other one!

From where I sit (about 12,000 miles away) the recent US horse race was the biggest farce in all the history of 'democracy'.  America has shifted from a voting philosophy of "the lesser of two evils" to "the devil you know".

Obama (Democratic) 303 25+DC 60,662,601 50.40%

Romney (Republican) 206 24 57,821,399 48.01%

Johnson (Libertarian) 0 0 1,139,562 0.95%

Stein (Green) 0 0 396,684 0.33%

Goode (Constitution) 0 0 108,195 0.09%

Barr (Peace and Freedom) 0 0 49,426 0.04%

Anderson (Justice) 0 0 34,521 0.03%

Others 0 0 151,360 0.13%
Total   538 51 120,039,056 100.00%
You mean to tell me that with all the furvor and furor that surrounded Ron Paul's candidacy, and with Ritt Momney leading in national polls right up to Monday evening, Obama managed to win with all the third parties together not even pulling 1.5% of the vote?!

No write-ins for Ron Paul?  No mass movement to the Libertarian Party?  What about the millions of folks who whorked his campaign and donated millions of bux?  They just evaporated?  Or switched to one of the two lead horses?  Hell, Ross Perot ('92) got 19% of the vote with a lot less fever pitch to his campaign.  George Wallace ('68) got 14% and John B. Anderson ('80) pulled out 6.5%.

 And Johnson, a perfectly viable Libertarian candidate and popular former New Mexico governor, only polled 0.9%?!

Sorry, the numbers just don't line up.  I didn't have any horses in this race, nor did I vote, as I haven't since 1992, when I was part of Perot's 19%.  Furthermore, I left the US in 2008, and could really care less who won or lost, so I'm not coming at this with sour grapes.  I'm looking at the past year of campaigning, recent national polls and third-party history.

What I'm looking at is the fact that Ron Paul had millions of very passionate followers and he rallied large segment of the US population that was disenfranchised and mobilized them to the point that he drew a bigger crowd at his alternate rally than the Republican National Convention did.  Now, we are supposed to believe that all those deeply passionate people completely failed to show up and vote?  In fact, we are to believe that all those folks couldn't elect one single candidate at any level to any office?  What?  Did they just evaporate?

I'm also looking at the fact that Momney polled higher than Obama by at least a point or two from the debates until the last moment.  And he lost...?  Not only that, he practically conceded before the counting had begun, as if he was in a big hurry to hand over the White House without a whimper.

Yup, this whole thing smells to high Heaven.  Not one single aspect of the election rings true.  The general sentiment across the US was very similar to events in 1980, when Carter faced off with Reagan, and Reagan won by a landslide, even with Anderson pulling 6% of the vote away from him.

This win is in spite of the fact that Obama has been very unpopular as (p)resident, showed up to his first debate stoned out of his gourd, and has taken the country on a wildly socialist turn to the left.  And this is not to mention having failed to live up to a single campaign promise (close Gitmo, end Iraq/Afghan war, legalize marijuana), has instituted the largest tax hike in the nation's history (just wait till next year folks), and is the laughing stock of foreign leaders worldwide (c.f. Putin, Wen, Noda).

In fact, about the only thing Obama has done of any merit is keep Israel in its place, but that is hardly enough to warrant re-election.  Yes, Momney would have rushed into an Iran war, which made him scary to most folks, but with Obama's record, the combined perfect storm of idiots, along with the Ron Paul phenominon, should have driven thousands of voters to third parties.

Yet, only 1.6% voted their consciences.

Something is definitely rotten in Denmark.  Either Americans are far more mind-controlled than anyone could have possibly believed, or the election is a complete sham.  Giving the American people the benefit of the doubt (for now), I'm going with the latter option, though I reserve the right to change my mind upon further evidence.

So what now?

Well, it's back to business as usual.  The Reagan Revolution continues, with corporate interests advancing their stranglehold on government.  The fascist/socialist mutant that began overrunning Washington back in the days of FDR is plowing forward unabated.  The number of people surviving on government handouts continues to wildly expand.  The corporate agenda of weak, ineffective oversight and a school system that produces subserviet worker-bees hasn't paused for a breath in 50 years.

It doesn't matter that Obama won or Momney lost, they are one and the same when it comes to following the previously mentioned dogmas.  With only 1.6% of the population brave enough to change course, and the rapidly approaching point where those on the government teat will exceed 51% of the population, the outcome is written in stone.

The decline and fall of the Anglo-American empire is at hand.


Is Reality Really Real?

Douglas Adams once posited that Earth and everything in it was assembled by an alien race to function as a supercomputer whose purpose was to find the Ultimate Question (the answer being already known to be 42).  Certainly, this hypothesis is about as valid as any other when it comes to understanding reality.

For at least the past couple of thousand years, humans have tried to define reality and about the best answer so far is something akin to the definition of pornography, we know it when we see it.  Some ancient philosophers concluded that reality was a demonic illusion designed to lead humanity into error.  In more recent times, films such as the Matrix series put forth the possibility that reality was a computer simulation designed to placate humans.  All equally plausible.

We used to think light came in seven colors, but now we realize that the very finite bandwidth we can see is just a tiny part of a vast progression of wavelengths spanning frequencies far beyond our ability to directly detect them.  Likewise, we used to think sound was only what we could hear, though now we are aware of far more.

We used to think reality was composed of three spacial dimensions, but cutting edge work is now opening the possibility of multiple dimensions of time and space.  We can even model them in our attempt to visualize things that our senses cannot detect.

In virtually every discipline, our boundaries of reality are constantly being destroyed and rebuilt somewhere further out, only to repeat the process again every few years or so.  Defining that thing we call reality is much like trying to nail water to the wall.  It is a futile exercise that we humans seems hell-bent on performing as if doomed, like Sisyphus, to an eternity of pointless labor.

It wasn't long ago that seeing people walking down the street talking to themselves was an indication that they had lost touch with our communal definition of reality.  Now we have incorporated this activity into our accepted boundaries by assuming those people are using cell phones with wireless headsets.  Thus, people who used to be insane are perfectly normal now simply by a small change in our collective definition of reality.

Conspiracy theories are generally thought to be outside the bounds of reality until they proven real.  Then suddenly, something that was once (violently) denounced becomes an undisputed given.  There was a time not too long ago when anyone who spoke of black helicopters was thought to be on the verge of insanity, yet few people dispute them now.  Same goes for chemtrails, weather manipulation and a dozen other topics.

It is getting increasingly difficult for me to deny what someone else considers real, despite the fact that their reality seems quite foreign to me.  For instance, Indonesians in general believe very strongly in the existence of ghosts and demons.  Though I find the idea intellectually repugnant, I cannot deny it when folks appear to look at these beings and react strongly to their presence though I detect nothing at all.  I also find most of the people having these experiences to be otherwise normal, intelligent and fully functional by my definition of reality.

Another example of this is the topic of evolution.  Millions of otherwise 'normal' people believe that this phenomenon is real despite a complete lack of evidence to back it up and all of the and logical roadblocks that make the theory virtually impossible to exist, much less believe.

The question of what is real still merits serious scientific study.  One group of scientists believe they have hit upon a way to prove or disprove that our entire Universe exists as a computer simulation in some greater reality.  They will attempt to create a new reality inside of a computer to test the rules by which we define reality, which leads to the intriguing possibility that their simulation would be just as real to the beings within it as ours is to us.

It also brings up a number of interesting thoughts regarding the various SimGames or the CGI program that was written to create the massive battle scenes in the Lord of the Rings series of films.  That program allowed the creation of digital creatures with a form of free will within the bounds of certain behavioral rules, not unlike human beings.

In general, we tend to believe that certain things we see on TeeVee are real, though the only objective reality connected with those images are the photons released by phosphors excited by streams of electrons.  The images appear to move even though they are nothing more than a rapid series of still images flashed before our eyes.

When it comes down to it, about the only solid definition of reality is the individual's belief that something is real.  We comfort ourselves by calling other people's experiences that we can't share 'hallucinations' or 'delusions'.  Yet to the person experiencing them, they are as real and tangible as the table I am sitting at to write this.  In some cases, we can even will ourselves to share an experience that was moments before 'not real'.

In a sense, then, both everything and nothing are real.  We cannot say that an experience we don't share with someone else is not real, it is just not part of the shared set of things we collectively consider reality.  In all cases, all reality is nothing more than belief.  The willingness of the perceiver to believe something is real makes it so, and if we all believe something, then we call it reality.

Once upon a time, the Earth stood at the core of a series of crystal spheres with lights attached to them all rotating around us.  That was quite real to the folks who believed it.  At one time, the Universe was comprised of only four elements: earth, wind, fire, and water.  Now we believe there are 117, with new ones beings discovered on a regular basis.  And at some point, we may redefine reality to make the whole periodic table obsolete and no longer part of our reality.

In the end, is there any such thing as objective reality?  Our entire concept of reality are constantly changing, both individually and collectively.  Where this really gets fun is trying to decide if we discover things because be believe they exist, or did they exist before we discovered them?  That may seem like a silly question, but who can honestly say that something existed before it was discovered?  Are we in fact creating our reality every minute of every day?

Just some fun ponders for a lazy Sunday afternoon.  Who knows...perhaps we can make unpleasant things go away by ceasing to believe in them.

Wouldn't that be fun?


The Sunday Funnies

Here's an oldies but greaty from the musical philospher Tom Lehrer....