Here Thar Be Monsters!

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Another Seaside Enlightenment

Travelers have journeys and tourists have trips.  There's a reason why tourism sounds like an accident.

I have recently taken up a book that was probably one of the most influential in my life, though (until recently) I had only read it once in my sophomore year in high school.

The book is Another Roadside Attraction, by Tom Robbins.  I recently picked it up again after lo! these many long years and I have been amazed at how much of it I have assimilated into my life at far below the conscious level.

The reason it was so influential is that up until that point, books had been little more than school texts and linear stories, like Hardy Boys and Treasure Island.  I had never encountered a book that tore me lose from linear time and sprinkled the experience with a cast of completely off-hand characters.

It was a liberating experience.  It was a massive and profound experience.  It was a real learning experience. And it introduced me to a fictional character whose antics I wanted to emulate: Plucky Purcell.  I instantly recognized that the character was a traveler.

I followed up that book with yet another tour de force that also blew the standard model of life and art out the window.  That book was The Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.  In turn, that was followed by A Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein.  In the space of two months during my early high school matriculation, my world was ripped asunder and the die was cast for the wheres and hows of my life.

Reading those three books back-to-back tore down my then long-held beliefs (if a 16-year-old could be said to have long-held beliefs).  Monolithic institutions like religion and government and the standard model of the American Dream vanished in once fell swoop.

It was an exhilarating feeling being freed of these restrictions.  Once again, one of my English teachers had redesigned my Universe by doing nothing more than opening my mind to the world of possibilities, a place in which travelers find their life's purpose.

A traveler can not be said to live a life without fear.  That is not strictly true.  A traveler in fact seeks out experiences in which he or she must confront fear head on in mortal combat.  A traveler sees boundaries as beginnings rather than ends.  It is the equivalent of seeing "Here Thar Be Monsters" on a map and purposely heading for that exact spot to see for one's self what monsters look like, and more importantly, what they smell like, since with all our technology, we still can't bring that one key sense to a remote location.

I have since read many influential books: Don Quixote, Poetics, The Divine Comedy.  The titles pile up like so many dead soldiers on the field of combat - the blood of those authors poured out on pulp so that we subsequent travelers will know exactly what kind of monsters lurk there, and what they smell like.

It was that same year in high school that I discovered drama, not just as a way to meet chicks while attending an all-boy Catholic school (which was very important), but because it was a way to make books come alive.  the powerful combination of living books and books that live at a key moment in my intellectual development set in stone the path I would walk in my journey.

Books, and the language that unlocks them, are amazing experiences, and ones which most tourists will never fully appreciate.  They reach parts of our minds that TeeVee and movies never do, for those media only lull us to sleep while implanting code into our limbic systems.  Books, on the other hand, engage the reader in active combat.

After all, how many books have you read while asleep, versus how many movies and TeeVee shows have you slept through?  The answer should tell you all you need to know.

Had not my mother, my first English teacher, not spent considerable effort to entice me to read, I would not be at the keyboard this very minute while sitting in Jakarta chasing a wild hare.  Had not Mr. Z, my high school English teacher, not introduce me to a book like Another Roadside Attraction, I might well have ended up a tourist.

Alas, she did and he did and here I am.

When I travel, I rarely take photographs, and much to the perplexity of those who view them, I never take photos of people standing in front of things.  I hate that.  Instead, I take my rare photos of things I had never seen in tour books and I strive not to have any recognizable people in the foreground.

I have two photos of the Colosseum in Rome.  One is of the ceiling in one of the main vomitoria of a map of the city at that time.  The other is from the catacombs beneath the floor of the structure looking up at the stands.  The former is something few people take time to notice and which you will rarely find in a photo essay on the subject, and the latter is a view that only the wild animals, slaves and gladiators would have had and one that I paid a significant bribe to security to obtain.

Tourist photos have a certain element of "see? I was there!" to them.  I figure that if I took the photo, that is proof enough that I was there.  I have no interest in seeing some beaming faces in front of a landmark.

The other day, I was in the heart of Jakarta waiting for my ojek to pick me up.  Two families, obviously (painfully) Western were hoofing it down the sidewalk (such as they exist here): Father in the lead with his map and daypack, Mother trailing with the 2.1 obligatory kids in tow.  The Fathers were red-faced and tense, while the crew were obviously exasperated.

"Where y'all from?" I asked.

The Fathers looked like there were going to avoid any local interaction, as tourists usually do, but then thought better of it.

Father 1 said, "Kannst du Deutsche?"

"Yawol, ich kann sehr viel Deutsch!" I responded.

He visibly slumped as if a great weight had been lifted.

Turns out they had been trying to get to MONAS, which is kind of like the George Washington monument of Indonesia.  However, they were stymied by the fact that the park was surrounded by five lanes of unrelenting traffic and they were afraid to cross the street with kids in tow.

I said they should go to the crosswalk just ahead and be sure to use the "force field" gesture while crossing.  Once they crossed, they should go through the train station, over the tracks (ignore all the warning signs like everyone else) and go out through the small gate at the back and you'll be directly in front of the MONAS.

The Fathers looked unsure and the Mothers looked nonplussed.  Helpfully, I said, "Or you can take a taxi and have it let you down at the steps of the monument.  It will cost you about Rp.25,000 after they take you by the long route to get extra money."

They opted for the taxi route and I hailed one of the more trustworthy cabs in Jakarta.


Comfort and expediency rather than full-on combat.  Their kids were doomed to be TeeVee watchers.

Or maybe that American (Texian really) standing on the street in a Southeast Asian country who spoke fluent German and knew the fast and easy way to their destination might register.  Maybe having encountered a traveler they will want to know more.

Who knows?

Or maybe travelers and tourists are destined, not made.  But how, then, do you explain my awakening at the hands of great books and great writers?  Was it simply because I saw the warnings about monsters and decided to engage them head-on rather than shy away in fear?  Or was it because I have traveler in my genes?

Read Another Roadside Attraction and decide for yourself.  Perhaps add a couple of other great titles to it as backup.  Let me know whether you think travelers are born or made.  In my present state, it's hard to be dispassionate.

Send an email to luap.jkt at gmail dot com and put "Traveller" in the subject line if you think they are born, and "Tourist" in the subject line if you think they are made.  I'll reveal the results next week.

In the meantime, enjoy some good reading...


Buddy, Can You Spare A Paradigm?

Few people take time to realize it, but we - as a species - are on the verge of a Great Shift.  All the bitching and hollering about this problem or that change are myopically focused on symptoms, but missing the cause.

Western civilization, at least for the past 3,000 years, has been predicated on two competing weltanschauungs (literally: world views).  All of our philosophy, science and art can be summed up in two basic camps of thought: Aristotelian and Platonic.  The former is also called the materialist view, meaning that the entire Universe can be directly measured and sensed with the human body.  The latter understands that there are unseen and unsee-able forces at work that can not be measured, but only felt or implied.

These two competing lines of inquiry have battled it out, with science sitting in the materialist camp and religion staking bivouacking in the esoteric camp.  They have divided the Universe into mutually exclusive beliefs that have been heretofore irreconcilable.

The problems began in earnest around the time of Galileo.  The Church (Platonic) insisted that the Universe revolved around the Earth, while the materialists (Aristotelian) insisted that it did not.  Poor old Galileo looked and Jupiter one night and noticed that four bright objects were circling something other than Earth.

Well, we just couldn't have that, could we?  So the Church excommunicated Galileo, forced a public retraction out of him and kept him under house arrest until he died.

Along came Janssen, Leeuwenhoek and Pasteur who discovered an entire new Universe that was undetectable with the five senses, yet measurable with instruments and controllable with technology.  Suddenly, we were confronted with something that crossed the lines of Aristotelian and Platonic.  A shaky peace was negotiated and humanity (at least the Western half) managed to limp out of the battle intact.

However, the truce was short-lived and bombs soon began falling anew until the subatomic nukes began popping off all over the place.  The quantum world put our safe zones into a tail spin.  We could neither sense nor measure directly this strange new realm, yet we could engineer horrible devices of destruction, take pictures of bones inside the living body, cause horrible burns and diseases all with things that had no apparent substance.

We were now firmly straddled across two disparate belief systems, both of which were simultaneously true and false.  We learned how to measure these things (Aristotelian), yet they were invisible to our senses (Platonic).  The phenomena permeated the Universe and underpinned its functions, but in the case of quantum mechanics, the very act of measuring them changed their nature.  They could also act instantly across vast distances of time and space, making the physical world of the materialists just the skin and bones of the esotericists.

And so here we languish at the threshold of the 21st century.  Those two all-encompassing world views that had served us so well for 3,000 years, though they were as oil and water to each other, have blurred into something that is both a blend of the two, and neither of them.

Here lies our conundrum and our opportunity.  We are in a position to merge all of our previous learning of the past three millennia and add great new purviews to them, as well.  We are on the cusp of a Great Awakening in which we will have amazing new insights and thoughts based on our new ruling paradigm.

The problem is, as with all new things (especially those which completely undermine all that has come before), there are those who have their entire lives invested in the old way of doing things.  Whether it's as simple as making a living, or as complex as trying to rule the world, a great number of people are unprepared and unwilling to change.  They are and will continue to fight it with every fiber of their being.

We have seen these things on a micro-scale.  The automobile put a lot of people out of work who had invested in the horse paradigm.  TeeVee put the fear of God into the film establishment,  Digital scared the hell out of the analogue folks.  The internet is killing print and libraries.

All new things require the death of old things.  It is the nature of Universe.  As Genghis Khan once said, "Every man should kill at least one other man to make room for himself."

The Western world, and to great extent the Eastern, is faced with the death of two very old and dear friends: our weltanschauungs.  Because the Buddha straddled these two worlds 2,500 years ago, the East is less susceptible, but not immune.  There is still the nature of political force and control to be dealt with.

Billions of lives have been spent in building our current models of Universe.  Though they competed, they fed on each other giving impetus to many folks to carry on the fight.  It is very hard to simply release our grasp and let them go, especially since we are entirely unsure of what will replace them

And that is the crux of our challenge at this juncture in history.  We are witnessing the death of the very roots of our culture and civilization, and we can see the sprouts of the new, but until it bears fruit, no one is really sure what's growing.  For this reason, they cling tenatiously to what they know, even if they are fully cognizant that what they know is wrong, or at the very least incomplete.

Religion, science, governments and economics all have their reasons to stay put.  All have served their paradigmatic masters well, and they have prospered because of it.  But that world is dying and they want to stake out new territory to preserve their privileged ranks.  They are no more useful now than blacksmiths and wainwrights.  But where do we go without them?  This is uncharted territory.

The challenge before us is to craft an entirely new way of looking at the Universe.  It is inevitable and necessary and a task that will require introspection on a massive scale.  This is not choosing which shirt to wear in the morning.  This is choosing whether the shirt exists at all and what form it will take.  It is that profound.

We have to rethink every single aspect of our world, from toilets to towers, from floor tiles to flying things, from universities to Universe.  Things like the internet, 3-D printers and quantum computing are set to tear our world views asunder and leave us morally, ethically and cognitively dangling in the breeze.  The imperative nature of our task could not be more emphatic.  We literally must begin from scratch and create new institutions and philosophies.  It's taken 3,000 years to build the current world and we're only a couple of hundred years into the change-over.  There's a long way to go.

On the one hand, it is very exciting, like waiting for Mom and Dad to wake up on Christmas morning so we can run down and see what St. Nick left behind.  On the other hand, it is terrifying, like the thought that ol' Nick gave us a pass this year for our various misdemeanors.  That very self-related conflict is, on a mass scale, what we are faced with in the realm of civilization itself.

It is high time we threw off the gloves and started wrestling with our problems in a very personal way.  We must question all of our assumptions.  We must examine all of our institutions.  We must re-evaluate all the ways we do anything.

It's that big.

As Douglas Adams might say, it involves Life, the Universe and Everything.  There's precious little outside of that.


Immigration Reform? Hahahahaha!

The ongoing debate over immigration in the States and Europe is cause for some introspection on being an expat now well-past five years.

In my life, I have been an expat for roughly a decade, with the longest stretch being the current Indonesian adventure.  One assumes that the term 'expat' refers primarily to folks who go about it in a legal manner, with all the appropriate stamps and permits to carry on the daily routine of life, since one rarely hears the term applied to those who do not.

Currently in the US, there is a tremendous amount of hand-wringing over 'immigration reform', which involves granting amnesty to illegals, forgiving back taxes and offering various incentives to help them on their way up the social ladder.  The US immigration system is a farce by any measure and laughable to those of us who endure the rigors of other nations' policies.

Let's take Indonesia as an example of what most of the world considers immigration policy.

Here, a 30-day tourist visa costs $25 on arrival.  You can get a 60-day visa outside the country for around $45, plus any agent fees and such.  The 30-day visa is extendable up to 90 days at $25 per month.  The 60-day visa is extendable up to 180 days with the same $25 per month.

Beyond that, you can obtain a 6-month and one-year visa, called a KITAS, that is concomitant with an IMTA work permit.  You must have the KITAS to get the IMTA, but the former does not guarantee the latter.  For one year, it runs about $2,000, all in.  If you get the one-year visa, then you must get the NPWP, or taxpayer number.

You are liable for tax on all income from whatever source anywhere in the world until the NPWP is cancelled - even if you leave Indonesia.  To cancel the NPWP is a 6-month process with a guaranteed tax audit for all the years you have been in-country.

In all cases, you must either maintain a valid ticket out of the country, or your employer is required to pay your ticket out at the end of the contract.  This is to ensure that if you are deported, you pay your own way.

Furthermore, foreigners can not own any property outright.  You can co-own it with a spouse, but if your spouse dies or divorces you, you have one year to divest the property or face confiscation.  The best you can hope for otherwise is hak bangunan, which gives you full rights to property for up to 30 years, and is renewable one time.

The biggest reform to Indonesian immigration laws in the past two decades was the creation of a 10-year KITAP, or permanent resident visa.  This is only available to expats married to locals and so far does not come with the IMTA - that's extra.  It costs $5,000, and because there are yet no controlling regulations issued for them, it is nothing but a big shaft.  One story I heard was that an expat got one after months of strenuous effort, only to have it cancelled when his employer applied for a work permit.  It was replaced with the standard one-year KITAS.

If you want to become an Indonesian citizen, the you must hold a KITAP for some mysterious amount of time.  Then your application will go through a Kafka-esque process until it reaches the president's desk, where he must sign it and publicly declare you a citizen.

Given this background, when I hear of 'immigration reform' in the US, or Europeans wailing and gnashing their teeth over immigrant workers taking over the place, I laugh.  By comparison, the US immigration system is a joke, and the reform is hardly worth the effort since no one pays the least bit of attention to it in the first place.  I personally know two Indonesians who have lived and worked in a major city for more than 25 years with hardly a bead of sweat to show for their dealings with immigration laws.

The word 'farce' comes to mind.

To call the debate in the US "reform" is a bit disingenuous.  It's more like deciding whether to keep the patient on life-support or pull the plug.

A number of writers have speculated that the true demise of Rome was due to the overwhelming number of former slaves who eventually took over the daily operations of the empire.  Most of the real Romans had long since bugged out or left the drudge work to the under classes.  By the time the Visigoths overran the city, there were few folks left to worry or care.

Most people who think the current immigration 'reform' is compassionate have never lived, much less traveled, outside the US.  They have no clue what real immigration policy is, nor do they have any notion of history to inform their thinking.

The Big BO invited a group of illegal immigrants to the White House, a place where few citizens are allowed in the name of 'security'.  There are currently little or no repercussions for employers or illegals alike when they flaunt what little regulation exists.  If the media really had the intention to debate the story, they would interview US expats in other countries about what it means to be an immigrant.  But that might risk introducing a bit of reality into the discussion.

Immigration reform does not mean giving away the store or spending a bit more time groping people at the airport.  Reform means enforcing the visa expirations, disallowing 'anchor babies' and withholding social benefits paid for by productive taxpayers.

Personally, I think all national borders should be done away with because the whole thing is nothing more than a revenue scam, and has little or nothing to do with national security.  But public discourse on the topic of immigration should at least be honest and complete.  Don't call it immigration reform when what is really on the table is creating a class of specially privileged people based on the fact that they have no history or investment in a country.

In every case where I have lived overseas, I have gone out of my way to learn the languages and customs of my host country.  I have done all I could to assimilate, even when I stand out like a galleon among row boats.

If an immigrant begins his tenure in another country by refusing to follow the common law, what does that say about his long-term intentions?  And to reward that behavior with blanket amnesty and special treatment that offers enhanced status over current citizens is nothing less than insane.

Whether we are discussing the US, UK or EU, the current immigration debate smacks of either a concerted effort to undermine the long-term viability of those nations involved, or a depth of stupidity rarely matched in history.

I opt for the former.


A Theory Of Conspiracies

The nature of intellectual inquiry is to observe physical phenomena, formulate an hypothesis as to cause and effect, set up experiments that control as many variables as possible to test the hypothesis, then put forth an theory that attempts to explain the phenomenon.  At every step, the tests are falsifiable, so that a positive result of the process gives us fair assurance that what we believe we see is indeed true.

The reason for this system to have been developed is because our senses can be fooled.  Any magician will attest to that fact.  Also, just because we observe two things to be in close proximity does not mean they are related by cause and effect.  Seeing the same two people in an elevator on a regular basis does not mean that one followed the other.  It may be a coincidence.

At this point, let's define some terms.

A conspiracy is two or more people acting together to create a certain outcome.  In recent years, it has taken on nefarious connotations and implies some kind of evil or illegal intent, but the pure meaning of the word is simply, "any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result."  In fact, the word is derived from two Latin words, con meaning 'wtih' and spirare meaning 'breathe'.  In other words, it means 'to breathe together'.

A theory is the result of testing an idea.  We suspect that the two people we regularly see together in the elevator are related somehow.  We observe their behavior over time and notice that they appear together nearly every day at the same time, getting on and off the elevator together at the same floor, both wearing ID cards for the same company, and theorize that they work together and have a common interest, such as coffee break, that brings them together at the same time.  The theory is still falsifiable, as we still know nothing of their relationship other than objective observation.  But it does give us something to go on.

We can continue to collect observations, such as seeing them sitting together at the coffee bar, arriving at or leaving work together, etc., that continue to confirm or deny our theory.  Under the rigors of logic, if we can falsify any part of our theory, we must throw the whole thing out and start over.

Using our model of the two people on the elevator, we now have a conspiracy theory.  These two people are associated in a certain context and we have reason to believe they have a common purpose.  As we continue to observe them, we either add evidence to our theory of falsify it.

This is a very simple example, but it serves to clarify things a bit.  In the real world, there are a lot more variables and actors involved.  Of course, the larger the proposed conspiracy, the greater the burden of proof becomes.  After all, the Big Bang and Relativity are still theories after a century of investigation, since the number of variables to test are a bit daunting.

By the same token, the JFK assassination involves several competing conspiracy theories.  Most agree that there is overwhelming evidence of a conspiracy (two or more people acting together); however, the actors involved gets a bit murkier with lines of evidence pointing in multiple directions.  This does not falsify the conspiracy theory, only set up multiple lines for investigation.

The theory of relativity implies a great many related phenomena and each must be researched and tested as part of the whole.  If the theory is dependent on certain phenomena, then falsifying any one of them negates the entire theory.  If, however, something is only a corellary, then falsifying that one thing does not collapse the whole.

In the JFK matter, some corollaries have been falsified, but the overall theory of a conspiracy has only strengthened over time.

To prove a conspiracy, we only need to prove that two or more people have been involved.  The banking system, 9/11, 7/7, and many other phenomena have very obviously been shown to be conspiracies.  By their very nature, they involve multiple actors working together in common cause to create the phenomenon.  For this reason alone, it does not matter who puts forth the theory, it is by definition a 'conspiracy theory'.

A theory does not depend on who originates it,  Whether from a government agency or private individual, a theory is, by its nature, testable by objective means.  The Warren Commission and the 9/11 Commission both put forth theories.  The first denied a conspiracy, which has been falsified by testing.  The second put forth a conspiracy that has failed upon further investigation.  In both cases, the failure of the dominant theory has left a vacuum for other researchers to fill, and they have in copious numbers.

The problem arises when a dominant theory is falsified.  If Einstein's relativity theory were to be falsified, then it would leave a huge gap in modern theoretical understanding of the Universe.  New theories would have to be examined and a replacement found that would provide new ground for investigation.

A conspiracy theory is not wrong or subversive on its face.  No one denies that Julius Caesar was killed by a conspiracy of senators, including his best friend and confidant Brutus.  To be sure, at the time that conspiracy theory was just as outrageous as some competing theories of the JFK assassination and 9/11 events are today.  However, time has proved it out.

'Authorities' have, in recent years, tried to discredit theories by labeling them 'conspiracy theories'.  They have attempted to smear independent researchers and investigators by labeling them as such.  Furthermore, they use the term to inhibit independent investigation into those events they do not want exposed.

Galileo offered proof that not all objects in the Universe orbit the Earth.  Copernicus resurrected the heliocentric theory.  Both men were soundly denounced by 'authorities' who did not want reality upsetting their apple carts.  By definition, these 'authorities' were conspiracies acting to limit knowledge and truth, and to prevent the undermining of their privileged positions.

We may conclude, then, that 'authorities' who act to squelch independent investigation and theories are themselves involved in conspiracies.  The scale of the collusion does not negate the fact.  When multiple individuals point the finger of accusation at 'conspiracy theories' because the truth would undermine their 'authority', then they are, by definition, conspirators attempting to limit free and open discourse.  Ipso facto, they negate their own 'authority' on the matter.

I propose that any topic which the 'authorities' attempt to hide by calling it a 'conspiracy theory' should make us pay more attention, not less.  Whenever a group, especially those in positions of 'authority', work so hard to discredit open inquiry into certain events, then that is evidence of a conspiracy, not only to cause something to happen, but to hide the truth.

We should then consider it a badge of honor to be accused by 'authorities' of being 'conspiracy theorists'.  The label alone means that we have touched upon some truth that causes them fear, and the fear stems from a feeling of guilt on some level.

So much of what we take for granted now started as a 'conspiracy theory'.  Massive banking fraud, black helicopters, false flag terrorism, and any of a dozen other topics were once relegated by 'authorities' to fringe elements and tin-foil-hat theorists.  Even such things as a heliocentric solar system and moons orbiting other planets were once dangerous ideas, but dangerous only because the truth upset the apple cart of the powers that were.

Truth is not always pretty, but that does not make it any less true.  Labels aside, the quest for truth is a vital and necessary part of our advancement as a species.  Every dark age in history has been caused by a conspiracy of authority to hide truth.  If we allow authority to stop free and open inquiry into truth, then we are dooming ourselves to yet another century or two of darkness and regression.

It is time to redefine 'conspiracy theorist' as one who is at the forefront of saving humanity!


Real Hope, Real Change

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.  Or so said the ads that used to run on American TeeVee back in the 70s.  The ads were so effective that the entire world has since embarked on a multi-decade effort to completely eliminate education from schools and replace it with indoctrination.

Indonesia is not immune.  In the past several months, there has been an effort to 'reform' the elementary curriculum to achieve the goal of eliminating the sciences in favor of more religion.
"Specifically, the reform efforts that were suggested indicated that science and social science classes were to be merged, and that more time would be spent on religious education and on classes that instill a greater sense of nationalist fervor. The linkage between removing and or minimizing science and improving student character remains unclear."
As usual, government-sponsored 'education' involves little more than reinforcing those things which reinforce the state power.

It should be noted that the 'religion' content mentioned is strictly Islam, and does not include the other three religions officially recognized in the nation's constitution.  One must assume that morality is the sole province of only one belief system.

It should further be noted that "nationalist fervor" has historically not come to any good.  In fact, it usually ends in violent upheavals as the fervent individuals seek to eradicate those they deem less or differently fervent, not unlike religious cataclysms.

I am not singling out Indonesia.  It is a global phenomenon and one that has afflicted Mankind since dense population centers have existed.  In fact, the only thing more manipulated than the female form throughout history is the mind of a child.

As an example, children are not taught why humans consider certain people and things beautiful.  They are not educated on concepts like balance, rhythm, harmony, context, and other aesthetics.  They are not given explanation about phi (the Golden Ratio) or how lighting and perspective can change beautiful things and reveal more detail.

If they were, they would have the power to observe the Universe and determine for themselves what is beautiful, and to be able to explain why and possibly convince others of their point of view.  They would learn to appreciate the world as they find it, rather than work tirelessly to conform nature to some artificial, politicized ideal.

Instead, they are taught what to consider beautiful.  They are shown models and photos and representations of what they are supposed to find attractive.  Then they are expected to conform the world around them to these implanted and commercialized ideals.  Thus, young women starve themselves.  Young men inject steroids.  Mountains are carved with political images.  Cities become concrete and glass abysses.

By the same token, children are taught political slogans and agendas carefully formulated to keep them controllable and incapable of free thought.  They are implanted with 2-dimensional choices of left and right, completely ignoring the infinitely more creative 3-dimensional approach to problem-solving.

Education is about reading and discussing multiple disciplines and applying a large body of historic, scientific and artistic information to novel solutions.  In the absence of such ability, civilization has advanced very little in the past century.  We've been recycling the same old ideas, adding little more than ring tones to things already conceived and designed in the late 1880s.  The lack of innovation mirrors the stultifying atmosphere of the modern classroom.

We treat our children like cattle and expect innovative thinking from this environment.  They are herded from room to room, seated in rank and file, and spend priceless hours cramming 'correct' answers in their heads so that they have a fighting chance of selecting those answers while regurgitating on standardized national exams.  They don't need to express well-formulated arguments in whole language, just get lucky enough to guess the 'correct' fact from a list of four - 25% random chance per question.

These products of bovine inculcation then go on to be teachers, though they have no clue what to teach.  They have degrees in 'education' - the ultimate triumph of style over substance.  They have no expertise or authority in any subject, only the skills to slide whatever message they are told into the unsuspecting mind of the child.  In other words, teachers are but empty vessels to be fill and disgorged as the political class sees fit.

Being incapable of expounding on any real topic, the teachers have little choice than to demonstrate proper condom use and repeat commercial and political rhetoric.  They know nothing other than a few selected techniques for softening young minds, and so are incapable of teaching anything.

Education, as it is practiced today, is nothing more than a control mechanism for those who believe they are in control.  It serves their immediate goal of remaining employed to produce nothing while being paid money stolen from those who do produce.  As such, 'education' is a social poison pill.  At some point, it will destroy all of human civilization.

As the political class die off, they are replaced with the unthinking, uncritical bovine class.  The bovines eventually invade every level of society so that there are no longer any people capable of creative thought.  Thus, at some point there is no longer a group capable of formulating the slogans and paradigms of indoctrination.  Finally, the whole system collapses as no one is capable of innovation and even the knowledge to maintain the system is lost.

We continue this practice at the peril of our species.  By tolerating the current system, we tacitly approve of a parasite class indulging their lust for power and greed for possessions, while sacrificing the long-term survival of humanity.  We allow the lowest of our kind to dictate culture to satisfy their immediate desires by encouraging (forcing) our children to conform to their wishes and ideals.

Religion and nationalism are not solutions to educational problems.  They require only rote memorization and actuate regurgitation, which are both antithetical to real education.  All they produce are compliant and unquestioning masses, which serves the purposes of the ruling and merchant classes, but does little to advance our species or even guarantee our long-term survival.

The only real solution is broad exposure to a wide range of ideas and disciplines, with exercises in applying them to creative thinking and novel ideas.  Obviously, this kind of mind-set is not conducive to submission  and obedience, and thus is not likely to be used by the leaching classes.  However, it is conducive to innovation, creation and advancement - all of which promote growth and survival.

But first, we must overcome our own indoctrination.  We must not be susceptible to peer pressure and group think.  Just because we were herded room to room and bored stiff with empty lectures on non-topics does not mean we must settle for the same treatment of our children.  Change can begin with little more than lively discussions around the dinner table and reading classic books aloud at bedtime.

Most importantly, fostering a desire for life-long education both in one's self and in one's children can change the world.  Too often, people forget that education does not occur in classrooms.

Real education comes from travel (not tourism).  Real education comes from reading great books - made even easier with the advent of tablets and e-books.  Real education is gained by experiencing the world.  Real education is patiently listening to well-constructed arguments, even when the point is diametrically opposed to one's own.

In other words, even the classroom itself stifles education.

We need to rethink the whole process and quickly.  After nearly a century of the Prussian/Merchant style of education, we are fast approaching the point of no return, at which time there will be no one left capable of real teaching.  Those afraid of this change will complain loudly and fight wildly, but only because they benefit from ignorance.  They should be ignored.

At the core of all the world's current crises is nothing more - and nothing less - than education.  It starts by changing ourselves.  Reading, engaging in debate, learning new skills, and traveling widely are habits that encourage our own growth, and will be picked up by our children, as well.  Leaving the political/commercial schools and pursuing more fruitful systems of learning is key to breaking the chain of stupidity.

Finally, trusting our own ability to reason and formulate conclusions is very important.  As long as we rely on 'authorities' to confirm or deny what we believe, we will be slaves to oppression and destruction.  We must be confident in our ability to think and reason, and that confidence comes from open discussions and intelligent criticism.

Most people are aware there are profound problems with our society, but few are looking in the right place for answers because we take education so much for granted.  Many people have home offices (commercial activity), but few have home education centers, even though our technology can deliver all of human civilization to our doorstep.

To paraphrase a somewhat trite proverb, it is time we learned how to fish, so we can quit begging for our next meal from those who attach far too many strings to their largess.


The Trouble With History

Let's imagine you live in a quiet neighborhood.  Everything is pretty sleepy, with the occasional skirmish between neighbors as they argue over a fence being out of repair or a tree limb hanging a bit too precariously over the back yard.

For the most part, though, it is an idyllic setting.  The kids play outside until long past dark and no one worries.  Everyone gets together every so often for a Bar-B-Q pot luck dinner.  The lawns are lush and occasionally a little wildlife wanders through unmolested.

One day, a new neighbor moves in.  With good manners, the neighborhood committee shows up with some fresh baked cookies and punch to welcome them.  They look a little different and dress kind of strange, but hey, to each their own, right?

After a couple of years, the new neighbors have some economic trouble, so the neighborhood committee gets up some donations and pitches in to help.  The new folks are so grateful, they set aside that day each year to remember the acts of kindness with a big feast...only they never invite the neighbors who helped out.

Over time, the new family grows.  On top of that, they start moving the property line inch by inch, taking over more of the neighbors' yards, but not enough that anyone would notice - at first.

Then, the new neighbors started a remodeling project.  They expanded the house to the very edges of the property.  It was then that everyone realized just how much the people had encroached onto the surrounding properties.  People complained and the neighbors apologized profusely and offered to compensate everyone.  They signed contracts and promises, but never made good on them.

Meantime, more folks just like these new people started moving into the neighborhood.  They started cutting down trees and building garish new houses.  They even brought in other strange folks to do all the labor, and these new people looked none to happy about it.  Rumor spread that the labor class was unpaid and that the original invaders held the opinion that they owned the new strangers.

The next thing anyone knew, these noisy and rude invaders had set up their own security patrols, only the security wasn't satisfied to just patrol and protect the invaders' property (which was really everyone else's property).  Instead, they would go out into the neighborhood and bully folks and take things from them.  The security forces stole food and trees and hassled anyone walking down the street.

By the time the original neighbors became alarmed enough to organize, the new folks had grown in number and their security patrols were well armed and trained.  The invaders started dictating how things were going to be and who could live where.  In fact, the invaders would simply take someone's home and offer a piece of paper promising to pay them for their trouble, but when it came time to pay, the invaders simply said no and walked away.

One afternoon, in the dead of winter, some of the original folks looked out their windows and saw their old friends being marched down the street, carrying anything they could.  They had been evicted from their house by the security forces even though they had a piece of paper given to them by the invaders that said they owned the house forever.

The old and young were dropping like flies from cold and hunger.  If anyone tried to help them, the security forces would beat them senseless if not kill them outright.

The next day, one of the original inhabitants happened on a scene of incredible carnage at the old Sandy Creek house.  The day after, the same scene up at the Wounded Knee house.  Though everyone knew it was the invaders, those violent people just shrugged it off and pretended like nothing important had happened.

Before anyone knew it, the invaders had swarmed all over the old neighborhood, stripping it of wildlife and trees and laying waste to the once beautiful setting.  Of the old neighbors, only a handful were left.  The others had been slaughtered by the security forces or marched off to useless sand lots at the edge of the neighborhood and summarily forgotten.

Then the invaders drew up another one of their papers declaring how everyone was the same and had all these rights granted by their god.  They waved this paper around and distributed copies to other neighborhoods around the area.  They claimed that their god had blessed them and given them the land they had stolen, and spoke loudly about how righteous they were for having thought up all the pretty words on the paper.

They felt so righteous, in fact, that they started invading other neighborhoods and doing the same thing they had done to the first.  They spoke long and loud about how their god was so powerful, while mowing down the locals with horrific weapons.  Pockets of invaders cropped up in dozens of neighborhoods and they proceeded to do much the same as they had done in the original.

All the while, the invaders waved their paper around showing how just and righteous they were for having thought up such great ideas, yet they even turned on their own if someone pointed out that they weren't acting in a manner consistent with the ideas on the paper.

Finally, all the neighborhoods had had enough.  They began talking among themselves and discussing how they could stop this wholesale slaughter.  At first, they sent polite letters of protest and tried to reason with the invaders, but that had no effect.  Some, in their frustration, took swings at some of the invaders, but that only infuriated them.  The invaders stood up on grand stands and wailed and lamented about how they had done so much good in the world, and how could anyone want to fight against them?

Growing weary of the long list of abuses by these strange and violent people, the other neighborhoods began to formulate a plan...

As for the invaders, why they just couldn't believe anyone would hate them and want to take revenge on them.  After all, they were protected by their god and had a piece of paper with pretty words all over it.  Who could hate that?

The moral of this story?

No matter how much you paint a tiger to hide its stripes, you can't turn a wild beast into a pussy cat.


A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Global Domination

Ever play King of the Hill?

Indonesians never play that game.  If they did, I suppose they would call it Raja Gunung or Raja Bukit.  I'm kind of partial to Raja Gunung myself.  Has more of a ring to it.

At any rate, I bring this up because that is the game taking place on an international scale right now.  You see, once upon a time, a bunch of greedy inbred idiots got together and figured they'd take over the world.  Seemed easy enough.  Most of the world was pretty ignorant, thanks to religion.  And the sagacious dullards, who called themselves by various ridiculous names like Illuminati, had a good network in days when networks were not part of everyday life.

They nearly succeeded in creating their little New World Odor.  They spent centuries manipulating this and obfuscating that and it got them within spittin' distance of the prize.

But a funny thing happened on the way to global domination.  It's called human nature.  It's like this...when any group of ambitious humans get together to pull of a major coup, everything goes fine until the prize is in sight.  At that point, the key players start sniping at each other trying to be the last man standing.

So, if you're wondering what the status of the New World Odor is, just play a good game of Raja Gunung.

We;ve all watched enough gansta movies and caper movies to know that when the Big Prize is within reach, the players all start knocking each other off so that one of them can walk off with all the marbles.  First it was the Greeks, then the Romans, then the Portuguese, then the Spanish, then the Dutch, then the English, then Germans, then Russians, then Germans again, then Americans.  Now the Chinese want in on the game, and they are siding with the least as long as it takes for the marbles to roll to their side of the table.

They form cabals and consortia, conspiracies and juntas, coups and cartels.  They've tried affiliations, blocs, camarillas, circles, cliques, clubs, coadunations, coalitions, confederacies, consolidationscoteries, factions, federations,guildsmafias, mergers,partnerships,pools, rings, syndicatestrusts, and unions.  The fact of the matter is that the closer they get to global domination, the more folks pile on to steal the whole ball of wax.

Frankly, it's all a bit silly.

These dippy-doodles want to run the world, but they can't even control themselves.  History is replete with examples of these bucketheads knifing, garroting, poisoning, pillaging, raping, murdering, torturing, and tattling on each other in order to get one group out of the way so the next can take all the cookies.

Our main concern shouldn't be whether these buffoons can take over the world, but what they are willing to accept as collateral damage in their struggle to corner the market on power.  They've been at this game for centuries and there's no sign of letting up.  But, things are changing.

We the peons now have it in our power to see the patterns of the ruling bozos.  They haven't changed their habits since God was a toddler.  Thanks to the internet, we can all be privy to their fingerprints on history.  The big difference is that with this knowledge, we can do something about it.

Like any playground bully, we will eventually get angry enough that we will take their scrawny butts behind the gym and wollop the crap out of them.  That, too, is a pattern in history.  This time, though, let's put together a plan to keep them down once and for all.  We need to change our own habits and mind-sets, as well.

See, all through history, these numbnuts keep stealing all the candy.  Eventually, we peons get riled up and stomp their weenies into the dirt.  Then we all go back to sleep until the problem arises again.

How about this time we put in some stop-gaps?  Why don't we make sure we stay vigilant and prevent their kind from running the asylum again?  Let's string some trip-wires, install some booby-traps and mark the inbred bastards for generations to come.  Maybe we could stick 'em all on a little plot of desert and build a wall around 'em.  Hey...aren't they already doing that to themselves?  All we have to do is take away their toys and that should keep them corralled for a while.

By definition, the cabalistos are insane.  For centuries, they have tried the same thing again and again, getting the same results again and again...and yet they still try.

We, too, are insane.  We allow these fools to destroy our cultures, societies and civilizations again and again for their pitiful little games, and we don't seem to learn our lesson.  At the very least, we are too tolerant of their shenanigans.  It's high time we practiced some tough love.

We are at this moment standing on a massive cusp in history.  Never before has the technology and desire existed that would allow us to radically change our collective future.  On top of that, the self-appointed global domineers are embroiled in a war among themselves to be Raja Gunung.  We have all the pieces in place to not only radically change our future, but to ensure that the boneheads who keep robbing us of our birthrights are finally put down, to disturb humanity no more.

The key is education.  Think of education as a map to the future.  First, it makes clear that we have been running in circles for millennia with the same dolts behind the wheel.  Second, it shows us which roads have not been fully explored, or better yet, which roads have not yet been discovered.  Third, it warns us to carefully deliberate what direction we wish to take our civilization and what steps should be taken to get there.

Like  the current spate of Hollywood eye-poppers, it's time we reboot our civilization.  We need to stop the morons who have been holding us back and then clean up our nest.  Sure, it may take a century...even two.  But in the great scheme of things, it's a small price to pay.

Out technology has reached a point where the comfort, safety and liberty of every human being on Earth is at stake - not just now but for vast generations to come (if they come at all).  We owe it to our selves, our planet and our progeny to step back and take a breath.  What are we really achieving with the endless iPads and apps and time wasters?  Is our endless entertainment at the cost of civilization worth it?  Are we so lazy, selfish and greedy that we can't spare a little collective effort to discuss what we want from our future?

Very very soon, there will be announcements that will profoundly change our lives forever.  How we react to that new information will determine the direction of humanity for the next several thousand years.  Perhaps we should put down the games and burning fart videos just for a moment to prepare ourselves.  N'est-ce pas?

A sign of maturity is the ability to prioritize, to put aside frivolous things when more important matters are at hand.  If ever there was a time for humanity to prove its collective maturity, this is it.

The New World Oder is a dead issue, and those responsible are killing each other off post-haste.  We proles have been focused for a long time on trying to get a handle on all this mess.  What we need now is a global discussion on what will replace the fools' games.

We have the tools.  Do we have the will?


An Huxwellian Distopia

O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't.
William ShakespeareThe Tempest, Act V, Scene I, ll. 203–206

I am hereby and forthwith declaring a new English adjective: Huxwellian©.  The current global distopia has exceeded the bounds of either Huxley's or Orwell's most shocking nightmares with elements of both in evidence, and so one must combine the two into something of a superlative to either alone.

Yes, the world has become an Huxwellian phantasm.  A la Huxley, we have populations unable to deal with daily life without the aid of pharmaceuticals.  In addition, we are on the verge (publicly at any rate) of being able to dispense human beings from bottles made to order.  It is not long before we will have Alphas and Betas running roughshod over Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons, and the latter enjoying it.  Certainly, the sharp class divisions and strict population controls are on the table for discussion if not already being implemented via GMOs and virus manipulation.

A la Orwell, we have a fascist security state with highly controlled economy, endless wars and Room 101 "rendition" centers.  Rationing is not overt, but rather is achieved by Inner Party Members shifting resources around and creating artificial shortages to control pricing.  And without a doubt, the MiniTruth is in full force changing history before our very eyes.  Witness nothing else beside the Boston Marathon bombings.

I believe that Huxley's world is probably the ultimate goal, with Orwell's vision the intermediate step to achieving it.  With 'unnecessary' history erased and culture severed from any connection with the past, the World State would be free to manipulate society in its own image, ultimately achieving the tranquil slavery and ultimate control of the brave new world.

Both writers envisioned a class of 'natural' people who exist outside the bounds of the State apparatus.  Orwell's proles and Huxley's savages are dying breeds of humans who neither fit into the Grand Vision, nor present much of a threat, as they consume their time with basic survival.

Both writers envision people incapable of thinking, much less expressing, ideas beyond the scope of their societal function.  Huxley's world has chemically modified worker classes that are dumbed down both in vitro and educationally.  They are unable to formulate ideas or desires that exceed their status in society.  In Orwell's world, the ever-shrinking vocabulary and constant manipulation of information prevents anyone outside the Inner Party from thinking outside the box.  Without words, there can be no thoughts.

In so many overt and covert ways, both visions of the future are in the process of being realized.

Entire populations are addicted to pharmaceutical euphoria - Huxley's soma.  These people are unable and/or unwilling to deal with reality and must chemically subdue their natural abhorrence to the world we are creating.  Millions if not billions of people are accepting GMO foods with nary a whimper of protest.  Our educational systems have already bifurcated into those dispensing the knowledge to run the world, and those offering just enough to push buttons and pull levers on command.

On the Orwellian side, the State has become all pervasive.  It invades our most private places and watches our every move with computerized precision.  Peace has become war and truth has become a lie.  Justice serves only the State and those found lacking are duly rendered into subservient drones.  Permanent war is the ends which justify the means.

Without a doubt, we live in an Huxwellian world.  Take your double-plus good soma and go back to sleep.

Is it too late to change our course?

The answer begins with the realization of what course we are on.  I therefore present my new adjective to the world in order to define the problem - a necessary step before we can remedy it.  Without proper diagnosis there can be no cure.

At this moment, the only reason we proles and savages are protected is because there is a war at the top for ultimate control.  The Inner Party members - alphas and betas - are fighting among themselves to be King of the Hill.  This buys us a bit of time, but it is a situation that can not last forever.  The key to victory is education, not by buying it from the hypnopaedic centers, but by greedily reading the wealth of information in the cultural classics of civilization that have been carefully marginalized by so-called 'education'.

My choice of Huxwellian as a new adjective serves a double purpose.  It highlights two of the most influential novels/writers of the 20th century, as well as points out the fact that real knowledge does not come from single sources, but rather is a connecting of dots across multiple sources.  The single greatest failure of our educational systems today is the lack of true liberal arts curricula.  We must read theology, science, philosophy, economics, and especially history.  We must study music and art and absorb literature before we can not only make sense of where we are, but alter the course we are on.

Furthermore, we must decide whether we hold an Aristotelian or Platonic weltanschauung.  If none of this means something to you, then you have a lot of work ahead of you.  Are you a materialist or metaphysicist?  Even deeper than that, we must formulate a new weltanschauung, one that encompasses a whole new way to describe the Universe we experience.  The materialists are hopelessly inadequate to the task, but by the same token, the metaphysicists are unable to cope with the true scope of reality.  However, the only way we can create new fertile ground for thought and growth is to thoroughly understand where we stand at this moment.

We can not do that without standing on the shoulders of giants, and those shoulders are in books, in reasoning and in focused effort.  Without these things, then the new weltanschauung may indeed be Huxwellian.  We may come to accept a materialist world of chemical processes, controlled information and deprivation as normal and be unable to formulate any other view.  We may forget the spiritual and metaphysical, and doom ourselves to servitude without even being aware of it.

We have a bit of breathing space right now while the Inner Party member/Alphas and Betas duel it out for dominance, but our opportunity is limited and slipping away.  With resources such as and others literally at our fingertips, there is no excuse for us to avoid educating ourselves.  In a way never before available to nearly every human being on Earth, we have a tool called the internet which has the potential to profoundly change our world and our selves.  But, we must seize the chance, because it will not last forever without our direct action.

You, dear reader, have the ability where you sit right now to receive as good an education as any Oxford or Cambridge graduate.  All they do is read and discuss, and the keyboard and screen in front of you is every bit as effective.  All you have to do is start using it.

How much time do you throw away wandering aimlessly through the mall or vegetating in front of the TeeVee?  How much of your life do you piss away watching YouTube lip-synchs and stupid people tricks?  How much richer would your life be if you spent that time standing on the shoulders of giants?  How much less susceptible to fraud and control would you be with a solid background in history and philosophy?

The revolution is literally at hand.  It is all those buttons your fingers are resting on this minute.

Steer them.

The only reason we need an adjective like Huxwellian is because we have done nothing to stop those worlds from manifesting.  You might begin by reading two books: Brave New World and Nineteen Eight-Four.  Be prepared, though:

The future is here.


The Big Chill

It appears as if we are heading into a new ice age, and that would explain a lot of things.

If you go back and look up all the mastodon and mamoth discoveries, there are an inordinate number that still had their last meal in their stomachs.  In fact, the last meals included grasses and flowers that just don't seem to make sense if the animal froze to death in its tracks.  This little fact seems to imply that the drop in temperature was so sudden as to catch animal in mid-stride.

Logic dictates that if the last ice age began gradually over centuries, decades, or even years, the animals would have moved on to warmer climes and most would have died of old age, hunting or some other malady.  But to freeze in its tracks with a last meal of summer grass and flowers in its belly?

So, why bring this up?  You may have noticed a spate of articles lately about the lingering winter and heavy snowfalls.  You may have seen the headline, "Second Coldest Start to Spring in US History."  Christopher Tyreman (interview up on Radio Far Side) has been sending us updates on the heavy flooding in his part of Canada, and he reports the worst is yet to come when the doubly heavy snowfall this winter begins to melt.  Maybe the recent blast of May snow in the US is enough to boggle the mind.

Even the globalist warmers have had to admit that global temperatures have been steady or falling the past 20 years.

Suppose we are heading for a new ice age, one that has been predicted by some faction of some 'authority' group somewhere, but for internal use only.  Suppose this group(s) found data that proved conclusively we were heading for a Great Chill similar in scope to the last one.  Suppose they knew this ice age would come on suddenly, so fast in fact that creatures would be frozen in mid-stride with their last meals in their bellies.

What would you do, assuming you had the foreknowledge and the access to money/power that let you act pretty much however you wanted?

In case you went to a school controlled by 'them', let's review some facts.  Earth is currently in the Holocene interglacial period of the Quternary ice age.  Yup, that's right, we are at the very peak of the latest ice age right now.  Global warming would be a good sign, but that's not real likely just yet.  Maybe another million years or so.  Don't believe me?  Look it up.  Now that you know that, maybe you won't be so surprised if it doesn't stop snowing for the next 10,000 or so years.

Back to our suppositions.  Suppose 'recent' events like Kerakatau in the 1800s, Mt. St. Helens in the 1980s, Fairbanks, San Francisco, Banda Ache, and Fukushima in the 1900s and 2000s have shifted Earth's spin axis just enough (fractions of a degree) to change the cooling/warming pattern that has dominated our weather for the past 10,000 years and allowed humans to expand our civilization with the extra warm period in between deep freezes.

The problem with geologic time scales is you have to think really big.  We're not just talking about a Big Picture that encompasses the last 2,000 years of human history, but events and causes that span eons; patterns that are almost beyond comprehension in our limited life spans; hundreds of times longer than all of known human history.

Now, back to our self-appointed global elite.  They obviously keep the good science and data from us.  Information is power, and they are not known for sharing.  Suppose you had information pointing the likelihood of renewed glaciation and plunging temperatures.  Suppose you knew that these things happened nearly overnight in many cases - fast enough to freeze mammoths in their tracks with their last meals still in their bellies.

Let's put ourselves in the place of this 'elite', as distasteful as it is to pretend that we are greedy, gubbing slimeballs.  How would we react?

We would probably:

This is just a short list, but each item alone can be interpreted as an effort to survive a ice age, let alone all of them together.  The longer the list gets, the more the finger points to one group or another having inside information about and the resources to prepare for the Big Chill.

Furthermore, if we were this global bunch of thugs and we didn't want the general populace to figure out the problem and start hording all 'our' resources, what could we do?

How about create a panic over global warming?  This would keep the public mind off of things like ice ages and actually make them feel relieved if temperatures started dropping.  Basic reverse psychology on a mass scale.  And why else pursue a massive course of disinformation about global warming in the face of facts?  Well, besides placing a tax on breathing.

It is a fact that we are in the middle of a great ice age.  It is a fact that all of human history (as generally known) has occurred during the past 12,000 years during a break in the ice and snow storms.  It is a fact that the Big Chill will resume with a vengance at some point.  It is a fact that there are mass die-offs during ice ages and life explosions during the warm ages.

Humanity, and all life on Earth, would only benefit from global warming, so there is no other reason imaginable to create fear of global warming except as a psychological weapon to manipulate the masses into fearing what is not going to happen, while ignoring what really is happening.

And as for Clif High's and Courtney Brown's predictions of a global coastal event in the near future?  What happens when you put ice in a glass full of water?  The liquid rises, que no?  So if large expanses of ocean were to freeze suddenly, what would happen to the oceans?  You got coastal event.

While I'm not into fear-mongering and mass panic, I do firmly believe that people should at least react to real threats, not shadowy boogie men like al-Qaeda and Chechen rebels.

The threat that is facing off against long-term human survival is the end of the Holocene period of interglaciation and the resumption of the Big Chill.

Sure makes living in Indonesia attactive, don't it?