Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Clown at Midnight



"Nobody laughs at a clown at midnight." - Lon Chaney


More people than ever are ready to believe it's midnight in America, and not many of them think there's anything funny about it. But when was the last time you noticed the hands on the clock move? How long has it been midnight?

In The Secret Doctrine, Helena Blavatsky writes that "occult philosophy teaches that even now, under our very eyes, the new Race and Races are preparing to be formed, and that it is in America that the transformation will take place, and has already commenced." In 1888 America still seemed like a vigorous novelty that might give something new and good to the world, rather than one of its weirder places of ancient dark that could pull it down to hell. Blavatsky was optimistic about the New Race that America was begetting. She presumed that the transformation involved the elevation of consciousness, which would lift all life with it. Generations later, I think we can say it hasn't quite worked out that way.

"Fascism is the supreme expression of religious mysticism," states Wilhelm Reich in The Mass Psychology of Fascism. "It transposes religion from the 'otherworldliness' of the philosophy of suffering to the 'this worldliness' of sadistic murder." Pasolini knew that, too, and showed us that he did with Salo. ("Our guide restored the divine character of monstrosity thanks to reiterated actions. That is to say: rites.")

Fascist mysticism is at the same time relentlessly materialistic, and its "New Race" attained by dominating matter which includes the masses, which are just meat to enact the will of the leadership. The Nazi New Man owed so much to American eugenics, the shadow it casts in 21st century America is more of a homecoming. (Anti-fascism may be back in style in Washington, though just the style, as Bush's handlers shift again the terms of conflict to now suggest America is at war with "Islamofascists." Or, I know you, are but what am I?)

Animals are turning up mutilated in Louisana's Tangipahoa Parish, home of the Hosanna Church Satanic sex cult, whose black-robed elders drew pentagrams on the floor of the "youth hall," raped children and forced them into bestiality. Yesterday, Baton Rouge television reported that Tangipahoa Sheriff's detectives were investigating the "killing of three cats, a dog and a horse; and the mutilation of another dog and two horses." All had their throats slashed by a sharp blade, and there are no suspects or leads. The Sheriff's office notes, with supposed reassurance, that the mutilations and slayings "do not appear to be ritualistic." (The Hosanna Church also practiced the mutilation and sacrifice of cats, though since prosecutors are determined to whitewash occult intent right out of their case, some may contend there was no ritualistic intent there either.)

No one told these people to do this. I don't believe Pastor Louis Lamonica and the rest of his suburban congregation-cult were programmed to ritually assault children, or even that they are necessarily connected to a wider, and deeper, network of devil-worshipping paedophiles. It seems to be inchoate knowlege among those who seek power in dark places that the defilement of the innocent, particularly children, makes for strong magick. Just as disbelief seems the natural defense posture of those who are preyed-upon.

Maybe it's always been midnight in America. It's simply taken a clown in the White House to alert Americans to their missing time. If so, what should we expect a minute past?

In July 2005, Colin Campbell's newsletter of the Assocation for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas published an argument for Social Darwinism by William Stanton entitled "Oil and People." Stanton called those who couldn't grok the necessity of extreme population reduction "sentimentalists," and argued that human rights needed to be replaced by "cold logic." They have had their day, wrote Stanton:

Individual citizens, and aliens, must expect to be seriously inconvenienced by the single-minded drive to reduce population ahead of resource shortage. The consolation is that the alternative, letting Nature take its course, would be so much worse.... When, through old age, accident or disease, an individual becomes more of a burden than a benefit to society, his or her life is humanely ended. Voluntary euthanasia is legal and made easy. Imprisonment is rare, replaced by corporal punishment for lesser offences and painless capital punishment for greater.

Cold logic and mystical, sadistic murder. In a good and necessary cause, we'll be told. And not a word about the magick.

127 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous One,Jeff you hit it on the head fascist mysticism,the eaze to which we succum. For the most part,people that I come in contact with in one day have not one clue about what is going on ,unless it's being spoonfeed.The package that the PTB have given us has started to kick in.What ever they are using it's got fuckers around this country buggen.Has anyone around here seen anything about the self-replicating mind viruse turned loose on the public,something to think about,later.

9/06/2006 07:02:00 AM  
Anonymous lucky said...

I have to say that normally there are so many comments already that it puts me off adding my two penneth worth so imagine my surprise when i find myself at number 2 in the list.
There is so much in Jef's posts to comment on i will look at one small part , that of recognition of whats really happening to our poor old planet and its inhabitents. Why are there some of us , and I include most who read this blog , who seem to have a handle on 'the truth'while the majority dont seem to not only realise the terrible state we find ourselves in but have no will to want to understand- chemtrails a case in point you can point in the sky and show people the weirdness above them but it has effect, so trying to turn folks on to some of the deep parapolitics going on in our capitals is nigh on impossible,
As my mother use to say 'it'll end in tears'.
Lucky

9/06/2006 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger ericswan said...

Lucky...the problem with chemtrails is that it has never been acknowledged hence falling into plausible deniability. Chemtrails are one of the Hopi signs in the sky aka cobwebs. Since there is magik (prophecy) involved, in the words of Chief Dan George in "Little Big Man"

I am invisible.

9/06/2006 08:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why are there some of us , and I include most who read this blog , who seem to have a handle on 'the truth'while the majority dont seem to not only realise the terrible state we find ourselves in but have no will to want to understand--

That McGowan site has an interesting point that I've felt for a while. Perhaps its a bit of that, yes, though perhaps it's a lot more of the lack of social networks to turn the gelling dawning of awareness about this into something actionable.

After all, a good definition of the "mass psychology of fascism" is this utter attempt to rule by fear and destroy frameworks of social networks, rule by divisions, by mutual suspicions--with the State planting these mutual suspicions artifically, as well as then controlling all parcellated individuals as its control freak ideal:

from this:
http://www.davesweb.cnchost.com/nwsltr85.html

Moving on then, I know that I have beat this particular horse before, on more than one occasion, but bear with me here because I feel that I need to point out once again, for the benefit of the slow learners in the crowd, that the basic principle by which this country’s political establishment operates is - now pay attention! - control through fear.

Everyone understands that … right?

I mean, it’s pretty basic stuff – scare the hell out of people and they’ll obediently follow whatever path they are told is the safe path to follow. Of course, it probably won’t really be the safe path to follow, and there probably won’t really be anything to fear – other than the motives and intentions of those directing you down the path. But if you really scare the bejesus out of somebody, none of that is going to matter to them at the time.

...

As I have stressed before on these pages, one of the primary goals of the powers-that-be is the complete atomization of society – the destruction of all social, cultural, and familial bonds. It is the ultimate divide-and-conquer strategy: reduce the entire population to armies of one, each alone and isolated, unable to fight back against the rapidly encroaching police state. As I have also emphasized before, technology has played a major role in the process of atomizing Western society. Just as the egregiously misrepresented Luddites warned, the proliferation of advanced technology has led to a rapid process of depersonalization.


[Perhaps most supply-side driven 'ideals' of technology, though hardly all technologies are like that...]

But just how successful have the puppet-masters been at fostering social isolation? I am sorry to have to report here that a landmark new study (all but ignored by the American media) provides chilling evidence that the psychological warfare campaign has been wildly successful. According to a Washington Post report:

Americans are far more socially isolated today than they were two decades ago, and a sharply growing number of people say they have no one in whom they can confide, according to a comprehensive new evaluation of the decline of social ties in the United States.

A quarter of Americans say they have no one with whom they can discuss personal troubles, more than double the number who were similarly isolated in 1985. Overall, the number of people Americans have in their closest circle of confidants has dropped from around three to about two.

The comprehensive new study paints a sobering picture of an increasingly fragmented America, where intimate social ties – once seen as an integral part of daily life and associated with a host of psychological and civic benefits – are shrinking or nonexistent. In bad times, far more people appear to suffer alone …

Compared with 1985, nearly 50 percent more people in 2004 reported that their spouse is the only person they can confide in …Whereas nearly three-quarters of people in 1985 reported they had a friend in whom they could confide, only half in 2004 said they could count on such support. The number of people who said they counted a neighbor as a confidant dropped by more than half, from about 19 percent to about 8 percent.

(Shankar Vedantam "Social Isolation Growing in U.S., Study Says," Washington Post, June 23, 2006;
read the full report here: http://www.asanet.org/galleries/default-file/June06ASRFeature.pdf#search=%22Lynn%20Smith-Lovin%20%26%20social%20isolation%22 )

The study found sharp declines in all non-kin relationships.

In 1985, 29.4 percent of people reported a close relationship with at least one co-worker;

by 2004, that figure had dropped to 18 percent.

Even more alarmingly, the percentage of respondents enjoying a close relationship with a co-member of a group dropped from 26.1 all the way down to 11.8.

Understating the obvious was the study’s lead author, Duke University Professor Lynn Smith-Lovin: “This is a big social change, and it indicates something that’s not good for our society.”

Let’s be a bit more blunt here and stipulate that a society in which 24.6 percent of the people do not have a single close confidant, and an astounding 53.4 percent have no close non-kin relationships, is a very, very sick society. It is debatable, in fact, whether it is actually a society at all, but rather an essentially random collection of strangers, unconnected to each other in any meaningful way, each going about their meaningless lives in conditioned isolation.

Just how sick is this society? That is difficult to say, since we don’t have any data from a healthy society to provide a baseline for comparison. It is regrettable, to say the least, that the data available to the researchers only covered changes in America over the last two decades. Lacking earlier data, 1985 serves as a baseline for evaluating the data from 2004, but there is little doubt that America was already a very sick society by the mid-1980s and that social isolation had already increased immensely from earlier decades.

What would we find if we had data dating back to the 1960s, or the 1940s, or the 1920s? Does anyone doubt that that data would reveal a marked pattern of steadily increasing social isolation extending back many decades? When was America last a healthy society? What do the social isolation statistics of a healthy society look like? If someone were to finance a comprehensive international study of social isolation, how sick would the figures from 2004 America look in relation to the figures from the rest of the world? Where would America rank among nations? I’m guessing we’d be dead last.

And what does the future hold? If the last twenty years have brought such significant change, through a process that appears to be accelerating, then what will we find twenty years from now, or even ten years from now? If one in every four Americans now have no close relationships, even within their own family, can we expect to see that rise to one in every two Americans by 2020? Is this the kind of society you want your kids to grow up in? Because this isn’t conjecture or ‘conspiracy theorizing,’ folks, this is the cold, hard reality of the society we live in.

Take a look around as you go about your daily activities today; one of every four people you see have no one to turn to, no one to confide in, no one to really talk to.

And fully half the people you see have no social network at all beyond their own family.

But fear not. A lot of them probably have I-pods and personal computers with high-speed internet access. So it’s all good, I suppose.

Technology has, to be sure, played a major role in the rise of social isolation.
[Though it has simultaneously brought people together, and most research on such assumption of autonomic technological anomie actually show that digital media 'users' tend to have multiple connections between people that they actually know through other venues instead of simply virtually. I think that is the Canadian sociologist Claude Fisher's research...hmmm.]

But so too has the selling of fear, for we live in a world, as I may have mentioned before, where control through fear is the basic operating principle of our allegedly democratic government. I am not suggesting here, of course, that this is something new. There was, if I recall correctly, a fair amount of fear-mongering going on when I was a kid. Everyone seemed to be convinced, for example, that it was only a matter of time before “The Bomb” came raining down on America’s cities. To insure that we never stopped thinking about the prospect of nuclear annihilation, public schools held regular “bomb drills” or “drop drills.” When the alarm sounded at my school, we were all expected to take cover under our desks, with our hands strategically placed over our heads. We held regular fire alarm drills as well, but those were a bit different in that they had a real purpose: acquainting students and staff with evacuation plans in the event that an actual emergency should arise. The drop drills, on the other hand, served no purpose other than to induce fear. And I say that because research that I have done as an adult has led me to the shocking conclusion that my hands and a wooden desk would not have offered ideal protection from a nuclear blast.

...

The point is that we are now in a better position to discuss the question posed in Newsletter #81 (April 7, 2006). As readers will no doubt recall, in that outing I basically asked what it was going to take to get a reaction from the American people. But as it turns out, I was asking the wrong question.

The problem, you see, is not that the American people are not waking up to the outrages committed by this administration. To the extent that they can be trusted, every public opinion poll in recent years - whether concerning the occupation of Iraq, the handling of Hurricane Katrina, the performance of the 9-11 Commission, or any number of other issues – has reflected the fact that the American people are indeed waking up. And among those who have woken up, there appears to be agreement that the problems we are facing require immediate action.

So the problem is not that the American people don't know what's going on. And it's not that they are too apathetic to care about fixing the problems once they recognize what those problems are. No, the real problem is that what is required to correct the course of this ship-of-state is a massive and sustained social movement. And the real question that needs to be asked is: how does a massive social movement arise in a nation that is almost completely devoid of any meaningful social networks?

And the answer, it appears, is: it doesn't.

We are all products of what is surely the most socially isolated society that this planet has ever seen (except for those of you who are reading this in other parts of the world). And the harsh reality of the sick society that we live in is that the obtaining of real knowledge may be more of a curse than a blessing. With real knowledge comes the ability to see more clearly through the fog of lies, but with that increased awareness comes an inevitable feeling of helplessness. For how is someone to act upon that which has been learned when said person has no social networks to call upon and acting alone is clearly not going to prove effective? Hence the gaining of knowledge often leads, ironically enough, to yet further social isolation.

If I had it to do over again, I don’t know that I would have burrowed down this rabbit hole as deeply as I have. Unfortunately, it’s a one-way path; once you have dug your way in, there’s no way back out. There’s no way to unlearn that which has been learned. There is a certain satisfaction that comes with being able to understand how the world really works, and being able to more accurately process new information as it becomes available. But if you are powerless to right the wrongs in the world, is it better not to know? Is it better to live life comfortably numb?

I often get messages from some of you asking why I don’t burrow deeper – why I don’t address issues like, for instance, those mentioned at the top of this post. And the answer is that I don’t find the evidence in support of these ideas very credible. Or maybe it’s just that I haven’t dug deep enough down all the various branches of the rabbit hole. Maybe the view from my current position is so unrelentingly bleak that I don’t want to find out what lies beneath.

But then again, maybe if you dig deep enough, there is another way out."


I think that last quote is somewhat of the motto that Jeff's Rigorous Intuition here operates upon.

"And the answer, it appears, is: it doesn't."

--however, unless we find a way to network socially, locally, toward sustainabilty and reintroduce ourselves to create it on various levels, as soon as last week, if not sooner.

Most of all the fears of the "mass psychology of fascism" are entirely artifical constructs maintained by the "plug-in" of the mind into a grid controlled by the state propoganda agencies, euphemistically known as the global corporate 'private' media--which has more of the secret intelligence agency intersections than 'private, autonomous' aspects in it anymore.

I think we do have enough knowledge, if we just start reintroducing ourselves on a local level everywhere, in real life, we'll be surprised how fast it goes...

If all politics is local as they say, you better find the local fast. That's perhaps why Greens with their local autonomy ethic and such have been made Reagan/Bush public enemy #1--and its equally why Bush holds hands with the theocratic 'rule by fear' Saudis instead, as well as the 'rule by fear' Israelis as well; and why the anti-labor "Marxist police state" of China (late 1970s "constitutional" changes even removed the worker's right to autonomously strike, in this "Marxist" state) becomes the U.S.'s main trade partner and one of the main avenue of overseas investment.

Along with this social parcellation, the Bush administration in five years has contributed to the economic politics of despair that faciliates such central control as well:

IN JUST FIVE YEARS, The declines in some manufacturing sectors have more in common with a country undergoing saturation bombing during war...

Communications equipment lost 43% workforce.
Semiconductors/electronic components lost 37% workforce.
computers and electronic products lost 30% workforce.
Electrical/appliances lost 25% workforce.
Motor vehicles/parts lost 12% workforce.
Furniture/products lost 17% of workforce.
Apparel manufacturers lost almost 50% workforce.
Employment in textile mills declined 43%
Information sector lost 17% of its jobs
Telecommunications lost 25% of its workforce.
Wholesale and retail trade lost jobs.
Bookkeeping employment shrank by 4%.
Computer systems design lost 9% of its jobs.

In only five years under Bush's policies, US economy experienced a net job positions loss in goods producing activities--while (hello?) importing about 8 more people.
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/02/334168.shtml

They are smart. They know what they are doing.

Though so do we.

The question is how to make that knowledge into something actionable locally.

9/06/2006 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger sunny said...

Anon @ 8:46, the answer is seemingly simple-everybody, get yourself down to the nearest local group that interests you. Everybody there is doing the same thing, which is connecting with others. They will be glad to see you, and once in, reach out and touch old friends and bring them in, and they in turn can do the same. Pretty soon, people are connected all over the place.

Everyone has access to one local group or another, whether it be political, social, or purely philanthropic. Will they share your interest in the parapolitical? Probably not, but that could be your own contribution. Don't let your own "unusual" take on matters stop you. If nothing else is accomplished, at least you can make new friends, and perhaps, influence people.

9/06/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Bismillah said...

Jeff writes:

[i]"It seems to be inchoate knowledge among those who seek power in dark places that the defilement of the innocent, particularly children, makes for strong magick."[/i]

"Knowledge"? "Magick"? Jeff, I think you are giving them far more than their due. It might make for a strong and increasingly addictive [i]kick[/i], if torturing innocents happens to be their chosen path to derangement, but to call the result "knowledge" is surely to dignify it unnecessarily. What do they "know" after getting their kicks that they didn't know before?

As for the horrible Stanton article: they shouldn't have posted it and they should have apologised immediately for having done so. No doubt there are many in the world's ruling classes who would be happy to "cull" what Kissinger so memorably referred to as the world's "useless eaters". I'm happy to count myself and most of the people I know and like among those Kissinger and his cronies would regard as "useless" (i.e. not rich), so I will certainly resist any "cull" with whatever means I can muster. I hope everyone else will too.

But the fact of resource depletion is as little deniable as the benefits of fresh air, regular exercise and an intact natural landscape - just as the fact that the Nazis had their Wandervogel, their nude gymnastics sessions and their rucksacked Hitler Youth does nothing whatsoever to discredit Green ideas.

The SEVENFOLD increase in the human population since 1850 is indeed bound to have consequences for the biosphere, including its human inhabitants. It is already doing so. We see it all around us. So when Stanton says, "the alternative, letting Nature take its course, would be so much worse", it is not immediately obvious that he is 100% wrong. Because, although we don't have deliberate human culls yet, the world's poor are nonetheless already living in misery and dying young, in their millions. Day after day after day.

The point Stanton misses, of course is that rampant neoliberal capitalism is not "Nature".

In 40 years time, though, there are projected to be another 4 billion human beings on this planet. Respected scientists in every field are warning of a 20-foot increase in sea-levels, chronic water shortages, and the complete disappearance of the Amazon rainforest before my daughter reaches the age of 40. The Stanton/Kissinger solution to impending ecological collapse is a murderous fascist solution, and therefore intolerable. But I don't see that any solution will be possible without a considerable loss of comfort, mobility and variety for huge Western populations that have already become addicted to them.

So if you strike the nonsense about "Nature", there is a tiny but important grain of truth in Stanton's execrable screed: that the consequences of letting business-as-usual continue to steer the world may well soon be even worse than the introduction of strict immigration controls and government-approved programmes of "voluntary" euthanasia.

9/06/2006 10:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Gouda said...

I have to wonder if Swift's brilliant "A Modest Proposal For Preventing The Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being A Burden to Their Parents or Country, and For Making Them Beneficial to The Public" was not a deeper satire than most realize. Others sincerely seek to realize it.

Brush up on it here: http://art-bin.com/art/omodest.html

9/06/2006 10:31:00 AM  
Anonymous warszawa said...

"Man is the pie that bakes and eats itself, and the recipe is hate."

- a line babbled in a fever by the protagonist of Alasdair Gray's brilliant novel "Lanark". (The same line turns up again 100 pages later, with the word "hate" replaced by "separation".)

9/06/2006 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Nazi New Man owed so much to American eugenics, the shadow it casts in 21st century America is more of a homecoming."


Jeff...don't forget that we're not clean either. Alberta's prgramme was one of the ones studied closely by the Nazis in the 1930s.

And on of the Famous Five women - Nellie McClung I believe - was a fervent eugenics shill.

Alberta uber alles!

9/06/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous trachys said...

One trait eugenicists seem to share is a fear of (cultural/political/genetic) diversity. We need to have principled (moral) arguments as well as persuasive metaphors ready at hand when we encounter these folks.

Of course it's often not possible to engage in fruitful discussion with these anthropocentric godlings; sometimes "light-hearted" mockery and jest will be more effective.

9/06/2006 11:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,
good stuff as usual... I have a question : if the power wanted really to have a smaller worldwide population, they have the tools to make it fast and efficient right ? so why don't they do it ?? I know there are plenty of people dying all over the place, but that doesn't seem to fit with a reduction of the population, more like a play field for their corporations ...

9/06/2006 11:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's some food for thought which is taken from a letter one guy I know wrote to another guy I know:

I agree that America's idol is self, the same as is the case of any people of any nation, but increasingly I see the self idol taking a back seat to the false Israel idol, making the self idol a secondary idol in the minds of lots of Americans. I also see the American public being driven continually deeper into idolatry to Israel by the hidden hand through their media democracy engine, to the point where many people have their identity tied up in the false Israel scam. Most of the members of the hidden hand are Ashkenazi false Jews who, being true to their religion, are totally dedicated to the spirit of Antichrist, and are using the media democracy engine to promote their religion. The media democracy engine is more or less completly owned by them and they're using it to it's fullest affect.

The hidden hand rulers employ several groups of think tank scientists, or more specifically, social engineers, who have mastered the art of social control, most of whom have backgrounds in areas of study such as psychology, sociology, economics, philosophy, TV broadcast management, marketing, political science, administrative science, corporation management, music, acting, drama, religion, etc., who work in a luxurious environment in which they share their ideas.

Some of the think tank companies are Tavistock Institute in London, Rand Corp. in Santa Monica, Calif., Systems Development Corp. in Santa Monica, Stanford Research Corp.in Sunnyvale Calif., Frankfurt Institute in Frankfurt Germany, and several others. All of them are under the direction of Tavistock, which is the headquarters of the Satanic elite contol run directly by Rothschilds and a few other powerful men.

There is a Satanic undercurrent in all their activites with some of the scientists being in direct communication with the demonic realm, from which they get their ideas and instructions. Their main tool is TV, with movies coming in right behind. Every second of nationally televised TV time is overseen by them, even the commercials, as are most all of the mainstream movies scripts. And all of the smaller hometown TV stations are required to follow their guidelines.

The media democracy engine is their most important project, because it's through the use of it that they're pulling together all the loose ends of world control. They're now in the process of building community centers in remote villages in the most backward third world countries, which are actually TV viewing centers where the locals can come and watch TV. But as I said, their number one agenda at present (in the US that is) appears to be the promotion of false Israel, using the 'War on Terror' propaganda as the driving force behind it.

To give you an idea of how important Israel is to them, Rothschilds recently built the NWO world heaquarters building in Jerusalem. I have an idea the spirit of Antichrist instructed him to build it there because he wants to rule from there in his role as Antichrist the man. Apparantly Jesus' crucifixion had some kind of spiritual affect on the land, functioning as a sort of permenant open window in the spirit realm that Antichrist is in the process of exploiting, the same as he has done and is doing with the religion of Judaism.

Jesus' murder automatically ushered Judaism into the position of absolute authority under Antichrist, making it the religion he would use as a tool to take over the world with, and I have an idea it had the same sort of affect on the place where Jesus was murdered. In fact I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the headquarters building is built right over the spot where the crucifixion took place. Antichrist would certainly know where that spot is.

I have an article saved that shows some pictures of the building, which is elaborate to the furthest extreme; I doubt whether there is a more expensive per square foot building anywhere in the world. I'll send you the article for your interest. I'll also send you a short one page article that tells a little about Rand Corp.

9/06/2006 12:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with subject at hand, but it stumbled upon this Digby article, and it really freaked me out:

In 1997 she returned to CIA headquarters and joined the Counterproliferation Division. (About this time, she moved in with Joseph Wilson; they later married.) She was eventually given a choice: North Korea or Iraq. She selected the latter. Come the spring of 2001, she was in the CPD's modest Iraq branch. But that summer--before 9/11--word came down from the brass: We're ramping up on Iraq. Her unit was expanded and renamed the Joint Task Force on Iraq. Within months of 9/11, the JTFI grew to fifty or so employees. Valerie Wilson was placed in charge of its operations group.

In other words, even before 9/11, the CIA was getting ready to ramp up on Iraq. Before 9/11.

Back to today's post: this whole eugenics reminded me of two things. The first, of course, was "Soylent Green", the horrible dystopian novel and movie about a world destroyed by pollution and overpopulation, where dead people are recycled as food for the living, and euthanasia can be chosen volutarily to end one's life.

But the second thing I was reminded of was Buckminster Fuller. One of his most prescient quote was: "Great nations are simply the operating fronts of behind-the-scenes, vastly ambitious individuals who had become so effectively powerful because of their ability to remain invisible while operating behind the national scenery."

And yet, he was also a man full of hope for humanity when he said: "Think of it. We are blessed with technology that would be indescribable to our forefathers. We have the wherewithal, the know-it-all to feed everybody, clothe everybody, and give every human on Earth a chance. We know now what we could never have known before-that we now have the option for all humanity to make it successfully on this planet in this lifetime. Whether it is to be Utopia or Oblivion will b a touch-and-go relay race right up to the final moment."

9/06/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abusing children does not make powerful magic.
That is just the forlorn hope of people who feel trapped and in danger of fading away.

Forlorn because they are striving for power, escape ,distinction but the continual failure of the abuse to achieve those things becomes the point of the whole exercise.It builds up a kind of energy, the energy frustration, which the abusers can sense and which keeps them hoping .

9/06/2006 12:25:00 PM  
Anonymous DireStrike said...

Love the post jeff, especially the "clown" lines. Though I have to echo Bismillah's sentiments. Overpopulation is bound to cause problems at some point and it is pretty clear that it is already happening.

9/06/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Anonymous DireStrike said...

Forgot to add, I also agree with Bis about the "magick" users. Sure nobody told them to do it, but culture has many more ways to propogate its ideas.... If it is random and not ritualistic, I'd ascribe it more to a symptom of a bad personality type, mostly shown through controlling those weaker than oneself.

9/06/2006 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

But the fact of resource depletion is as little deniable as the benefits of fresh air, regular exercise and an intact natural landscape - just as the fact that the Nazis had their Wandervogel, their nude gymnastics sessions and their rucksacked Hitler Youth does nothing whatsoever to discredit Green ideas.

Oh, absolutely. As in the post Peak Fascism, I mean to distinguish between legitimate environmental crises and an opportunistic fascist crisis management, which may also include the manipulation and exacerbation of disaster. Remember Maurice Strong's words in 1990: What if "in order to save the planet," a small group of world leaders decided that "the only hope for the planet is that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?"

9/06/2006 12:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Bismillah said...

The really worrying thing is that we find ourselves in a situation where collective action is clearly urgently necessary, and yet there are very few "democratic" channels through which collective decisons could be reached and those decisions implemented. The only Deciders around are in fact our Leaders. Nearly everyone else is simply going about their normal human business - working, raising their kids, entertaining their friends, taking their pleasure where and when they can find it - yet the collective results of these otherwise harmless activities are increasingly catastrophic, because size does matter. What's relatively harmless to the world when 100 or 1,000 people do it (eating Beluga caviar, chopping down trees, driving cars, or even drinking water) becomes unsustainable when untold billions of individuals repeat the same action.

So if we're going to avoid ecological apocalypse AND "opportunistic fascist crisis management", then we'd better come up with some very good ideas and then implement them quickly.

But where's the "we"? And how to do it?

9/06/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Shrubageddon said...

Sunny,

I have to disagree with you on the “get involved in a local group” initiative. As we all know, there is a dearth of special interest groups out there, each with their own particular agendas, sometimes overlapping, and other times in direct conflict. Due to Fragmentation and Inundation, there is no chance for meaningful momentum. Even if cohesion could be mustered, considering, it would be misdirected momentum, since the groups, and their various agendas, emanated from, and adhere to the current, deeply flawed paradigm.

We in The West, and more specifically, The United States consider SACRIFICE a dirty word. It is Anathema to the current paradigm. Problem is, the crucial issues of Resource Depletion, Over-Consumption, Over-Population and ultimately, Sustainability, are not resolvable without said dirty word.

Capitalism must be eliminated for there to be any chance, however slim that chance may be. It is a patently flawed system of resource depletion and allocation, which has no room for sustainability, and as such, will result in our distinction as a species. Capitalism, taken to its extreme, which we are currently doing, will end with Cannibalism, or Immolation. In otherwords, we will grow our consumption to the point where we, for all practical purposes, deplete our resources, at which point we will begin to devour each other. It is a Cannibalistic Philosophy, both literally, and metaphorically. Also, Capitalism is so thoroughly entrenched, that the political system it has erected to protect its interests, will incinerate the planet, rather than allow a shut down. Think MAD. It wasn’t a policy to protect Democracy….because there is no freakin Democracy, but also, because it makes no logical sense to destroy something to protect it. It was, and is, about building in safeguards that only allow for the two aforementioned results…..Cannibalization or Immolation. I was and is about protecting Capitalism’s End Result….our demise.

Every action we take only serves to tighten the noose around our necks, when those actions adhere to the precepts of the current paradigm. Sacrifice, hence a paradigmatic shift on a grand scale, will be required to wriggle from the noose…..and that’s a tall order considering how highly conditioned The Masses are.

It surely appears to be between a rock and a hard place….and we must pick our poison carefully. Either way, there will be gnashing of teeth.

Yet another edition of Cheerful Thoughts with Shrubageddon.

Now, everyone go out and please, please, please, please, please prove me wrong….please…and double please……oh, and lest I forget, please……and thank you.

9/06/2006 01:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Shrubageddon said...

I meant to say "there is no dearth," not "there are a dearth."

My bad....I got ahead of myself.

9/06/2006 01:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Dogananda said...

www.whatenlightenment.blogspot.com

9/06/2006 01:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Shrubageddon said...

Oh, absolutely. As in the post Peak Fascism, I mean to distinguish between legitimate environmental crises and an opportunistic fascist crisis management, which may also include the manipulation and exacerbation of disaster. Remember Maurice Strong's words in 1990: What if "in order to save the planet," a small group of world leaders decided that "the only hope for the planet is that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?"

Thanks for clarifying, Jeff, because I wasn't exactly sure where you stood. There are some on your forum, and even Iridescent Cuttelfish here, who seem to believe that impending Scarcity is merely an erected Straw Man.....but logic, observation and experience tell me otherwise. There is truth in the Peak issue. Why else would there be such a preponderance of disinfo in regards to it, if for no other reason than it must be contained and managed.

9/06/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The POLITICS OF SCARCITY permeates society like "scarce" oil does the strata of the earth.

Don't buy into this fiction, this prelude to our own demise. It's what they want.

Wake up people!

9/06/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Shrubageddon said...

That's right, guys. Keep consuming like there's no tomorrow.

That's an interesting saying...don't you think? Like there's no tomorrow.

It's all a big scam.....resource depletion....resources abound and are limitless.

CONSUME CONSUME CONSUME

9/06/2006 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger Et in Arcadia ego said...

When the mask of upper crust predation that's existed all along is peeled back in all it's rotting glory, we'll see what these all stupid, blind TV people think about being someone else's humps their entire lives without ever knowing it.

America, thou beautiful Cancer, be not a plague on this Earth!

http://www.radioliberty.com/gg2.gif


[Jeff, thank you for being here for us all when we should be the ones that are here for you..]

9/06/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McGowan's bleak (however accurate) assessment quoted above, seems to suggest that there is only one preliminary action: rebuild social networks. This can't be done on the internet. We need to reclaim public social space, public houses (pubs), parks, the streets, civic organizations. This must be the project before any other *movement* is possible. But that seems unlikely because most Americans cannot formulate a concept of public social space and will forever languish in their cars, in front of their television sets, in their shopping malls, in their work cubicles. The revolution will not be televised.

9/06/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mad Mutterings of a Middle-aged Matron

The Susan Polk trial ended recently with a guilty verdict
She’s been found guilty of murdering her husband, Felix Polk
Her attorney, Daniel Horowitz, found his wife, Pamela Vitale,
Viciously murdered with a “sign” carved into her back.

Scott Dyleski has been found guilty of her murder.

After that murder, her attorney’s wife’s murder, Susan Polk defended herself
Which then became The Mad Mutterings of a Middle-aged Matron Show
Court TV set up a makeshift studio across the street from the court house

Susan, while a teenager, was sexually molested by her former therapist
The therapist who became her husband, 26 years her senior

‘Helen Bolling is a tiny woman whose clear blue eyes turn upward naturally. She remembers that as a child, her daughter, Susan, read everything she could, from Jack London to Tolstoy, and that she had excelled as a writer. With pride, her mother retrieves an award given to Susan by the Mt. Diablo Unified School District for recognition in creative writing. It is dated Jan. 29, 1971.
By age 15, her mother says, Susan was becoming a beauty, with pale, creamy skin and dark eyes.

But she also was troubled. Bolling and her husband divorced, leaving a hole in Susan's life. Bolling says she can't remember the nature of the problem that prompted a counselor at Clayton Valley High School in Concord to recommend therapy for Susan--only that the counselor thought she should go to an expert in adolescent behavior, Felix Polk. [snip]

"On the surface, he was the gentlest, nicest, most ethical person around. But from hearing about things he did, you realize there's another person under the surface," says a therapist who'd been close to [Felix] when they were young. As with several friends or associates interviewed for this article, the friend refused to speak if identified. [snip]

Felix began treating Susan in 1972. Shortly afterward, Bolling says her daughter told her that she sat on Felix's lap. "She was a very fragile child," her mother says. "He was supposed to do no harm." In an essay about her life, typed a few years ago and scooped up by police, Susan wrote that she and Felix were having sex by the time she was 16. He was then 42, and still married.
[snip]
No one claims that Felix was having sex with his other patients, but those who knew him say he was unorthodox in his practice, regularly violating the boundaries between therapist and patient.’

LA Times Magazine, June 15, 2003, No Ordinary Murder by Carol Pogash


Scott Dyleski

It was a slam-dunk putting a 17-year-old boy in prison
For the rest of his life
Without having heard the slightest utterance
From him
In his own defense.
Talk about shutting up the teenagers
To be seen and not heard
Processed promptly and efficiently by CC County officials
My question is – what would Scott say?

‘"He's guilty," Jewett said in a four-hour summation that touched on themes of greed, hate and tragedy. "There is no reasonable interpretation of the evidence, other than Scott Dyleski murdered Pamela Vitale."
Dyleski was 16 years old when 52-year-old Pamela Vitale was killed on Oct. 15, 2005, in her Lafayette home. He is being charged as an adult and has pleaded not guilty to charges of special-circumstances murder and burglary. If convicted, he could face life in prison’. SF Chronicle August 23, 2006

Now that he’s been convicted
We can only imagine why in the world
This basically quiet boy would go berserk
Maniacally kill a neighbor woman,
The wife of Susan Polk’s attorney,
And then revert back to the quiet
Polite type of individual he was while in court
Never a word from him
They basically told him to sit there, quietly
While they convicted him and put him
Away in prison for the rest of his life

9/06/2006 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

I’ve always had trouble with this aspect of the Revealing the Big Lie Movement, this occult, satanic ritual, killing kids stuff. It’s not that I’m some kind of determined materialist who eschews anything not in the orthodox scientific canon—far from it, in fact. That science is essentially no different from religion in its purposes and even methods, oddly enough, is as clear as can be. One of the best explanations of the similarities between science and religion comes from a very strange source: science writer George Johnson, considered by many to be the Mike Ruppert of conspiracy circles--that is, a disinformationist--for his book Architects of Fear, in which he, predictably enough, debunks or simply ridicules the possibility of conspiracy in JFK's assassination, or in the artificial scarcity upon which "free trade" is maintained.

Unlike most debunkers, however, Johnson is a rather complex figure himself. A self-proclaimed "pluralist who believes there are many possible ways to explain reality,"
he has also, and more recently, delved into areas at which he himself would have scoffed only a few years earlier. Briefly then, here's what "happened" to George Johnson. He moved to New Mexico in order write a new book, Fire in the Mind, which "examined the strange mixture of Science, Religion, and Occultism that thrive side by side in the area near Sante Fe." Johnson chose his new home as a setting for this book (from the review I'm quoting),

to explore the human mind's hunger for answers about the universe and the desire for control. It's a hunger to tell stories about "how and why we sprang from primordial waters -- and of what happened after the grand emergence." Johnson argues that this story-telling is much the same, whether it is in the dances of the Tewa tribe, the rituals of the Catholic Penitentes or the unfolding scientific theories at Los Alamos and Santa Fe. "The drive to seek and impose order on the world has given birth to the sciences of biology, geology, particle physics, astronomy, cosmology," he states; "it has generated grand cathedrals of abstraction like quantum theory and Tewa religion."

In order to understand the weirdness to which Johnson has apparently succumbed, bear with me here as I quote a few more sections of the book review I found online:

The book is in three parts, each of which addresses order in the world of nature, at different levels. In the first part, Johnson explores particle physics and astronomy, the sciences of the very small and very large, linked by their different expressions of the fundamental properties of matter; of the transformation of energy into matter, in the Big Bang, producing the organized structure we know as our universe. The second part deals with a puzzling paradox: the recognition that randomness, or chaos, exists in the workings of nature, and yet order flows from those workings. How does this happen? And the third part asks how was it that creatures like ourselves, complex and curious as we are, evolved in life's flow.
The "single mystery arching over the rest," says Johnson, is this: "Are there really laws governing the universe? Or is the order we see imposed by the prisms of our nervous systems, a mere artifact of the way evolution wired the brain? Do the patterns found by the scientific subcultures of Santa Fe and Los Alamos hold some claim to universal truth, or would a visitor from a distant galaxy consider them as culturally determined as those divined by the Tewa and the Penitentes?"

To many, it is little short of heretical to suggest that the scientific endeavor is anything but a search for the Truth, a concrete reality out there somewhere. Johnson takes an agnostic stance between science as discovery and science as construction. "In the end," he argues, "there is no way to know whether science is converging on a single truth, the way the universe really is, or simply building artificial structures, tools that allow us to predict, to some extent, and to explain and control."


Now, this might not seem earthshaking coming from one of us here at RI, loose cannons that we are, but conflating and equating shamanist occultism with the scientific subcultures of Santa Fe and Los Alamos?! From a rationalist whose great concession to the reality of conspiracy in the real workings of the world was:

And, finally, I do not contend that there are no such things as conspiracies. Consider Watergate, or the Italian banking scandal of 1981, which involved a secret Freemasonic lodge and led to the resignation of the country's prime minister. But even real conspiracies are not the rigid, mechanistic closed systems the political paranoids see. They consist of people, not mindless pawns of evil. They are best understood and combated without the blinders of paranoia.

There's some kind of subtext here in Johnson's journey into the dark places Jeff mentions that he's too scared or embarrassed to admit. He isn't telling, but one can, of course guess. The thing that is most irksome to me about Johnson's previous stance, the one where he tells us that there's nothing in the dark that isn't there in the light of day, also has something to do with the thing that bugs me about this whole occult business. When Johnson says that conspiracies are "best understood and combated without the blinders of paranoia," he doesn't mention either how to deal with them (through the normal "channels," which are themselves part of the problem?) or how not to be (or be perceived as) paranoid when the official channels are controlled by the evildoers! The necessary germ of truth for effective disinformation
is in the fact that the bad guys are architects of fear, which means that to some extent, and on some level, all this ritualistic nastiness is being perpetrated purely as a means of scaring us to the point where we don't know how to respond or defend ourselves and our children.

Take what Jeff says about the traffikers in occult evil: It seems to be inchoate knowlege among those who seek power in dark places that the defilement of the innocent, particularly children, makes for strong magick. Just as disbelief seems the natural defense posture of those who are preyed-upon. First off, who the fuck said that doing horrible things to kids "makes for strong magick"? Has some insider sufficiently explained the "physics" of how this shit works, or are we relying on Crowley's diaries or something? That it "seems to be inchoate knowlege" suggests at least the possibility that it's the appearance that counts for those trying to scare us, not the reality. I'm not saying this is the case, but it's very difficult to separate the fear from the fact on this point.

The other thing that bothers me is the apparent lack of defense against the dark arts. Again, from Jeff: "Just as disbelief seems the natural defense posture of those who are preyed-upon"--is that an effective defense, or the one that gets them killed? As I was wrestling with these ideas, something from Terry Pratchett kept nudging my subconscious, trying to get my attention, and now i've remembered it. Pratchett is a very funny man, one of the rare talents that can make your eyes water from laughing at the printed word, but he is also deadly serious at times. Before you wonder why I refer to humourous fiction in reference to this very real and serious problem, please let me share something that an academic, Christopher Bryant, who takes Pratchett very seriously wrote about Pratchett's universe over at L-Space:

The condition of hyperreality, as posited by Jean Baudrillard in The Order Of Simulacra, leads to a world in which there are no distinctions between the simulacra and that which they simulate:

"The new postmodern universe tends to make everything a simulacrum. By this Baudrillard means a world in which all we have are simulations, there being no 'real' external to them, no 'original' that is being copied. There is no longer a realm of the 'real' versus that of 'imitation' or 'mimicry' but rather a level in which there are only simulations."

Baudrillard's example to illustrate this principle involves "a map so detailed that it ends up exactly covering the territory" - a 1:1 scale simulation which effectively replaces the original. It is this effect which Baudrillard suggests has already taken place.

The idea of
simulations superseding that which is simulated is a common theme in the Discworld novels. One book which employs the concept is Moving Pictures, which culminates in the characters from a popular film bursting through the screen at the premiere and into reality. The star of the film, Victor, is present at the premiere, and the crowd expectantly wait for him to save the day, ignoring his protests that it was all acting. The solution, in fact, turns out to be quite simple, in a Discworld sort of way - Victor yells "Lights! Picture box! Action!", the cameras start rolling, and he is able to become the hero of the film once again. So-called "movie rules" are made to work in the "real" world: "we live in a world of simulacra where the image or signifier of an event has replaced direct experience and knowledge of its referent or signified."

Ankh-Morpork, the principal location in which the novels take place, is a city obsessed with simulations. A recurring phrase through the books serves as a subtle indicator: "Technically, Ankh-Morpork is built on loam, but what it is mainly built on is Ankh-Morpork". The original city has burnt down, been flooded, been invaded, been attacked by dragons or had parts of it blown up or accidentally turned into jam by the wizards from Unseen University so many times that the city which now calls itself Ankh-Morpork is nothing more than a simulation of the original city, yet is equal and in many ways greater than its model. Its inhabitants are also entirely willing to accept new versions of reality as absolute, whether they come from the Odium picture house, the Dysk theatre, the opera house or simply from a good liar.

In Lords and Ladies, the elves are coming back to the Discworld, and they're not at all what they were for Tolkien. They represent glamour and illusion covering abduction, murder and worse. And Pratchett's "defense" against the real power of/behind the illusion? Remembering what's what by disbelieving the evidence of your senses, especially when it's a story being "told" at a distance. the metaphor he uses is iron as a talisman; because it's so real, the elves can't abide its touch and it keeps you grounded. Is it just possible that we're losing our connection to the earth and the secret to standing up to the illusionists because we give them too much of our belief? It's complicated and paradoxical, I know, since these things really are real, apparently, but it's our knowing that they're real which gives them their reality, apparently. Just a thought...

9/06/2006 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Et in Arcadia ego said...

Lucky said: "imagine my surprise when i find myself at number 2 in the list."

Lucky, how did you know that you would "find yourself at number 2 in the list"?

9/06/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

Shrubageddon,
There's some confusion going on between the concept of artificial scarcity, which is pretty obvious if you only look at how commodities and prices are routinely fixed for the sole benefit of those counting bottom lines, and the environmental impact of the current system's depredations. Peak Oil is a swindle; climate change is not. The "deeper" truth behind the ages of controlling lies and propaganda is that we could have our cake and eat it too.

We could fix the environment, although that window is closing, and give everyone on the planet a comfortable standard of living which would not only be sustainable, but which would also actually result in less stress on the evironment, for one thing due to the subsequent dropping birth rate, which has happened every single time the standard of living has increased.

What we have now is reckless greed and abandon supported, no, promoted by a ruling class which is even more reckless and greedy. Bucky Fuller was right: Utopia and Oblivion are equally real choices. (If only we get to decide...since the suppression of the truth is so successful, most people don't even believe we have a choice.)

9/06/2006 03:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RiversNorth

It's always interesting to see that the people who have the most, i.e. food, land, money, jobs, cars, travel, education etc., are the ones to speak about OVERpopulation and depletion of resources. I guess if you want to continue to consume at the same rate of mega americans than we do need to get rid of some OTHER people.

Joining a group may or may not help, one need to only follow their heart, and that may be a very individual quest. Wonder where Dave McGowan would be if he had joined a group, probably pissed off and unmotivated.

9/06/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous tmb said...

Actually, it is now past midnight for those who don't already know . . . even the Washington Post is letting the cat slowly out of the bag: The End Of Eden James Lovelock Says This Time We've Pushed the Earth Too Far http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/01/AR2006090101800_pf.html

Seems, we don't have much time left according to one of the most prophetically accurate scientists of the last century . . . of course, what he says jives almost completely with the way our "leaders" are acting, like there's no tomorrow - - b/c there isn't going to be one for most of us. This free documentary provides a very strong case that AIDS was placed into over a million people by contaminated polio virus (b/c infected Chimp kidneys, as opposed to the usual monkesy, were used to grow it - - a letter even warning of a "virus X" by a distinguished scientist at the time was blown off but still exist - - gee, virus X? What could that be?)leading to over 100 million AIDS cases, and probably a billion or more in the near future . . . .

Although the movie seems to take the position that this was negligence my opinion, given all the destruction of records and the creeps involved, is that it was just a dry run for the forced inoculations that many of us (i.e. those not in Skull & Bones and our other "leaders") will be seeing in the near future.

At the end of the movie you find out that all these people were "inoculated" whether they agreed or not i.e. they were forced as we will be forced when they cook up some other "virus" and then "inoculate" us . . . (I do believe I read somewhere our dear leader already has the mechanism in the works . . . correct me if I am wrong . . . ). Once you turn off the TV mind control machine and start waking up, it is indeed an unpleasant view into what's been going on while "Friends" and "Gomer Pyle" etc. have been burning grooves into your brain . . . This guy has spent $500,000 putting together a pursuasive video(s) that there was no "moon landing" (no he is not a nut, but a respected docu producer) but that the money, $60 billion, was spent on other secret projects the taxpayers would not have gone for at the height of the Cold War, he makes some incredibly strong arguments (always thought some of the comments by the "moon walkers" were weird as to "as if it never really happened", especially Armstrong and other's general silence on what should have been one of man's greatest accomplishments, and the fact the shuttle astronauts encountered the Van Allen radiation belts as impenetrable 400 miles out but our "moon walkers" had no problems there . . . )
http://www.moonmovie.com/moonmovie/

The bottom line is once you wake up to the fact that almost everything you have ever been told is a lie, it sorta changes your perspective on the great future ahead for us all, as Halliburton uses $385,000,000 of our money to build the concentration camps that await us http://www.ww4report.com/node/1940

Maybe that's where we get our "inoculations"? Get a spiritual practice, as opposed to a "religious" born again brain wash one, and work on it b/c it is over . . .

9/06/2006 04:11:00 PM  
Anonymous tmb said...

Sorry, here is the link for the AIDS movie for those who are interested: http://www.documentary-film.net/search/video-listings.php?e=5

9/06/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Hilda Martinez said...

Sunny,

The "join a group" advice sounds really nice, but in our current cultural context I don't join groups for one reason and one reason only:

Someone always has to be in charge.

All groups I've belonged to have been ruined by people jockeying for power as "leadership" is so prized in our society and is a thinly veiled term for "domination of others" or "feeling powerful and important."

I say, forget joining "groups." Form your own informal associations where you and your friends and family can freely interact with one another for the benefit of everyone.

I think it was Lee Iacoca who once said: "Either lead, follow, or get out of the way."

Well, I'm getting out of the way. I am not a part of that game, thank you.

9/06/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Anonymous warszawa said...

Oh, bloody hell:

BBC: 'Virtually untreatable' TB found

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5317624.stm

Guess who's likely to be worst affected? Correct: Africans, people with HIV, and the poor everywhere.

The 'cull' we've been discussing will very likely come about of its own accord. A Global Committee of Eugenicists will not be needed, and no one will have to personally select the victims. All it requires is even more business-as-usual.

9/06/2006 04:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's always interesting to see that the people who have the most, i.e. food, land, money, jobs, cars, travel, education etc., are the ones to speak about OVERpopulation and depletion of resources...

Fucking A.

And the Ronald McDonald House is a perfect example of these clownish rationalisations-

Let's have a warm fuzzy place for kids recovering from death-defying operations while we buy beef for hamburgers from South American farmers that decimate rainforests, resulting in a devastated planet that will eventually kill the kids from the Ronald McDonald House.

But hey, there's always room for one more mouth on the planet if it's YOUR KID, right? We can fix it with technology, there's plenty of room, blah, blah, blah.

At the moment there is still profit in killing the planet by accomadating mini-vans full of naive, self-centered, self-deluded "parents" of little burger-eaters idleing in drive-thru lanes to get thier "happy meals".

When the profit margin disappears, so will they. And the capstone will be laid.

I have no children, specifically because what is coming soon was obvious 25+ years ago. I've had a good life without the guilt of procreating more consumtion, and find myself taking a perverse delight in the teeth-gnashings of first-world zombies aboard the oblivion express.

Fortunately there's a wild card in all this- the conceited man will be wiped out by his own greed... by a burning planet. Hopefully, this will happen before the upright ape migrates to space. Otherwise, the Galaxy is doomed just as this planet is.

9/06/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Subliminal Minister said...

BBC: 'Virtually untreatable' TB found

Found where? In some sewage puddle in Africa, or in a test tube in Maryland?

Like Professor Griff from Public Enemy said:

"Armageddon? It been in effect! Go get a late pass - STEP!"

9/06/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Anonymous starroute said...

IC -

It's my ambition to be Granny Weatherwax when I grow up. Really. And I think her solution to the mirrormaze at the end of Witches Abroad is probably the most apt answer to the problem of simulacra: If you have no illusions about yourself, you can't be taken in by external illusions.

Or to put it in in more high-falutin' language: Whatever partakes to some degree in Higher Reality has a real nature that will be recognized by those who are themselves real. Whatever holds no share in higher reality is either a counterfeit to be rejected or a soulless gadget that can be used interchangeably with any other soulless gadget. Either way, problem solved.

Of course, the catch is that, as Bob Dylan said, To live outside the law you must be honest. The more the "law" fails us -- which is to say, the everyday, mindless rules for how to navigate in this world -- the more honest all of us need to get.

9/06/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Shrubageddon said...

All groups I've belonged to have been ruined by people jockeying for power as "leadership" is so prized in our society and is a thinly veiled term for "domination of others" or "feeling powerful and important."


I couldn't agree more....and mine has been the same experience. Hierarchical arrangements must be replicated everywhere, and anywhere. They are deterrently stifling simulacra.

The thinking goes....a conscious free flow must be avoided at all costs. We must control. Order, I say. Stop the streams of consciousness....I can't think unless this proceeds according to my linear thought patterns. I must take control. We need a leader.....and I'm just the person.

No Thanks.

9/06/2006 06:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Shrubageddon said...

Of course, the catch is that, as Bob Dylan said, To live outside the law you must be honest. The more the "law" fails us -- which is to say, the everyday, mindless rules for how to navigate in this world -- the more honest all of us need to get.

Is honoring your word being honest? If so, as Eyes Wide Shut adeptly revealed, the PTB, in all their Wicked Glory, honor their word, and their oath, quite well.

As the Grand Master of Ceremonies said so precisely:

Here, we keep our promises.

That is powerful stuff, because in the world I live, very few keep their promises, honor their word or maintain their oath. In fact, it's quite the opposite. It's whatever you can pull over on the next guy.

We can never hope to defeat "them" without rectifying something as simple as that. Metaphorically speaking, they are highly armed and united whilst we are unarmed and divided....by design.

9/06/2006 06:11:00 PM  
Anonymous starroute said...

I think it was one of the Anonymi who said upthread: "We need to reclaim public social space, public houses (pubs), parks, the streets, civic organizations. This must be the project before any other *movement* is possible. But that seems unlikely because most Americans cannot formulate a concept of public social space."

I couldn't agree more. You can drive around the small town I live in on a warm Saturday afternoon and scarcely see a soul. A few dogwalkers, an occasional jogger, and that's about it. Everyone else is either in their back yards or indoors with the tv.

It's been that way as long as I've lived in this area, but it can't have always been like that. The older houses (like mine) all have front porches. The newer houses don't -- and even a lot of the older porches have been enclosed and turned into additional rooms.

But things were different once upon a time. People used to sit out on those porches and watch the neighbors stroll by. Kids used to play potsie on the sidewalks and stoopball on the front steps. But as people retreated inside, the streets became more dangerous -- and as the streets became more dangerous, people increasingly retreated inside.

It isn't just public spaces, though, and it isn't just the last 20 years. When I was pregnant with my first child in 1978, I went into New York City several times to visit my parents. Of all the times I was standing in a crowded subway car, visibly 6 or 7 months pregnant, only twice did anyone offer me their seat. Once, an old Hispanic grandma nudged one of her grandkids to get up and let me sit. The other occasion, I think, involved an elderly Asian lady. Native-born Americans? Forget it.

So, yes, something is very wrong -- but it may be over-simplifying to say this is a sick society. There's nothing wrong with the people, most of whom are as decent as you'd find anywhere. The problem is with the matrix of relationships.

For example, there's only one occasion on which my neighbors do regularly come together. That's after a major snowstorm, where everyone is out shoveling together and helping one another. Smaller storms don't do it -- it's only having a foot or two of snow that not only forces everyone to be out at the same time but also makes them aware of how dependent they are on one another.

It's the myth of personal independence that may have done more to harm America than anything else. It justifies Bush's tax cuts and the slashing of social services. And it makes people avoid -- or at least be ashamed of -- those acts of giving and receiving that form the real glue of society.

Just joining clubs and making friends won't remedy that. Being reminded of our need to share and support one another is the only cure for it. And it's going to take a really major change to bring that about...

9/06/2006 07:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Shrubageddon said...

And speaking of Simulacra, it's about high time women started breast feeding their damn children, rather than resorting to formula.

What the hell is wrong with these people? That's what the freaking breast is for.....regardless of what some perverted boob might say.

Daycare and Formula....they go together like a horse and carriage.

Bunch of freaks, I tell you...a bunch of freaks.

9/06/2006 08:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Shrubageddon said...

And it's going to take a really major change to bring that about...


A major change indeed.

Why don't we form a new religion....something the likes of which the world hasn't witnessed up to this point. It may take several centuries to take hold, and, of course, that may be too late, but it's worth a shot.

What do you all say?

9/06/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beginning of the End
Check out this charming Israeli Prof -
http://signs-of-the-times.org/signs/editorials/signs20060905_BeginningoftheEnd.php

9/06/2006 08:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read through the arguments here about inevitable population decline and how the scarcity of resources mandate this; Bullshit. The problem is not in the carrying capacity of Planet Earth, but in the distribution system. 2 billion starve, 2 billion scrape by, and 2 billion live entire lives unimaginable by any historic standard. Change the distribution of resources (inevitable decline in the standard of living for western styled economies) and suddenly there is enough to go around for all 6+ billion. Only, this is unthinkable for the inhabitants of the western standard, so much so that it is unconsciously accepted by even the "free" thinkers that read and post at this blog.

The propaganda system is not always blatant-hitting you over the head- obvious. In fact, it isn't even propaganda, but established norms that are insidious. Just remember, our norms have never existed other than post WW2 and aren't the result of the triumph of technology, sociology, Capitalism, or modernism...we're just the latest Imperium.

9/06/2006 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

There is no "overpopulation."

The issue is it's dropping much faster than replacement already.

The whole "overpopulation" thing is just another lie.

First, pollution is already destroying human sperm counts (and many species capacities to breed successfully besides humans), to areas below replacement in many countries worldwide. Fact.

Second, with a majority urban population of the world from 2007, there is less call for expansive 'rural' families for land and labor and population has been evening out. That is having huge effects as well and has been noted from 2002 onward when population models and poplation trends were finally beginning to reflect a more nuanced reality and seriously altered. Fact.

These trends have been available for at least 5 years in the public domain.

The "fact" that you are arguing on a false premise concerning population has remained unnoticed, because the sloganeering of the eugenicists (the "population bomb" construct they attempted to drill into everyone's head) has become a dud.

I think it was Utah Phillips who said that "the earth isn't dying. It is being killed. And the people who are killing it have names and addresses."

In other words what I take from that is that environmental degradtaion has nothing to do with aggregate population anyway. It's a false assumption of a direct relationship.

Instead, environmental degradation is a direct relationship how consumption is organized, and the smaller populations of the relict rich of the First World consume the poor out of house and home hundreds of times over. The real 'ecological footprint' is the footprint of a hugely organized endeavor to destroy the ecologial fabric of the planet organized by governments and by corporations, instead of by aggregate populations. "Population" typically is what opposes these organized criminal behaviors actually. That's why the criminals want to kill "population" off--to stave off political complaint instead of any great love of the environment.

And even if they succeeeded in killing billions, do you think that these corrupt governmental and corporate organized aspects of environmental degradation would stop --or would they simply expand because of the lack of mass political opposition? Food for thought...

It's the people calling the shots in organizing this "Utah Phillipsian" world, that are the problem.

They want to kill off the poor because they are concerned about the poor's POLITICAL complaints about these things, instead of concerned about the environment.

The other main euphamism--"the Cold War"--was (and still is) mostly been a War on the Third World to depopulate it and remove its political complaints to such organized degradation.

Taking a quote from the link below, monotonic assumptions of the "Population Bomb" Theory seems to be a dud: World Population has been stabalizing since 2002 and dropping below replacement naturally already--and it has a lot to do with the sociology of larger urbanized populations, percentagewise. How much it has as well to do with massive pollution demoting breeding fitness is unaddressed in the below quote:

This quote from the author/editor of the Whole Earth Catalogue actually:

http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=14406&ch=biztech

"Take population growth. For 50 years, the demographers in charge of human population projections for the United Nations released hard numbers that substantiated environmentalists' greatest fears about indefinite exponential population increase. For a while, those projections proved fairly accurate. However, in the 1990s, the U.N. started taking a closer look at fertility patterns, and in 2002, it adopted a new theory that shocked many demographers: human population is leveling off rapidly, even precipitously, in developed countries, with the rest of the world soon to follow. Most environmentalists still haven't got the word. Worldwide, birthrates are in free fall. Around one-third of countries now have birthrates below replacement level (2.1 children per woman) and sinking. Nowhere does the downward trend show signs of leveling off. Nations already in a birth dearth crisis include Japan, Italy, Spain, Germany, and Russia -- whose population is now in absolute decline and is expected to be 30 percent lower by 2050. On every part of every continent and in every culture (even Mormon), birthrates are headed down. They reach replacement level and keep on dropping. It turns out that population decrease accelerates downward just as fiercely as population increase accelerated upward, for the same reason. Any variation from the 2.1 rate compounds over time.

That's great news for environmentalists (or it will be when finally noticed), but they need to recognize what caused the turnaround. The world population growth rate actually peaked at 2 percent way back in 1968, the very year my old teacher Paul Ehrlich published The Population Bomb.

The world's women didn't suddenly have fewer kids because of his book, though.

They had fewer kids because they moved to town.

Cities are population sinks-always have been. Although more children are an asset in the countryside, they're a liability in the city. A global tipping point in urbanization is what stopped the population explosion. As of this year, 50 percent of the world's population lives in cities, with 61 percent expected by 2030. In 1800 it was 3 percent; in 1900 it was 14 percent.

The environmentalist aesthetic is to love villages and despise cities. My mind got changed on the subject a few years ago by an Indian acquaintance who told me that in Indian villages the women obeyed their husbands and family elders, pounded grain, and sang. But, the acquaintance explained, when Indian women immigrated to cities, they got jobs, started businesses, and demanded their children be educated. They became more independent, as they became less fundamentalist in their religious beliefs. Urbanization is the most massive and sudden shift of humanity in its history. Environmentalists will be rewarded if they welcome it and get out in front of it. In every single region in the world, including the U.S., small towns and rural areas are emptying out. The trees and wildlife are returning. (He's sounding a bit carried away here, particularly given that the organized aspects mentioned above of governments/corporations to destroy the ecological diversity and ecological fabric are continuing unabated despite this population turnaround.) Now is the time to put in place permanent protection for those rural environments. Meanwhile, the global population of illegal urban squatters -- which Robert Neuwirth's book Shadow Cities already estimates at a billion -- is growing fast. Environmentalists could help ensure that the new dominant human habitat is humane and has a reduced footprint of overall environmental impact."


Even with population agglomerating in cities more and more and population dropping, that:

[1] fails to mean that the organization of the political support of environmetnal degradation...will be demoted without more affirmive politics suggested (I would argue) in the bioregional state. Otherwise, the corrupt gatekeeping on politics from such areas and the ongoing protected political development toward unsustainability will continue.

[2] Pollution demotes breeding fitness capacities in general, as well. That is left out of the above quote. The issue however is how low will it go "naturally"--with increasing pollution destroying human sex hormones and reproductive capacities, and precipitiously dropping sperm counts in humans that has been drastically noted in all world surveys?

In other words, there should be a war on pollution and polluters, instead of killing off the population suffering and complaining about the pollution. The only war that is legitimate is a war for against unsustainabilty, and the very small highly politically connected corporations and corrupt states and state militaries. Some of the world's largest polluters, are militaries--instead of private corporations.

Since it has been reported that half of the world will live in large cities by 2007, a bioregional state view that fails to take into account that there is a civil governmental aspect of urban and rural areas that influences their developmental direction, will be as willfully blind as...other forms of environmental gerrymandering on long term developmental biases that are unwittingly (or wittingly, with corruption) formulated.

http://biostate.blogspot.com
author, Toward a Bioregional State (2005)

9/06/2006 08:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Shrubageddon said...

Wow, the previous two posts should be used in a course that teahces how to construct Straw Men.

Population is part of the equation, just as surely as Gross Sales is Quantity X Price. That doesn't mean culling is the answer, but population control by other more benign means is part of the answer.

I know that pisses the Catholics and Mormons off, but hey, too bad.

9/06/2006 08:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Joe Blow said...

Lotta food for thought here, but aren't we hungry, even starving, for action? Whatever you call them --fascists, capitalist pigs, Satanists leading the sheeple, they ain't gonna be blogged to death. Sticks and stones may break their bones but words will never hurt them. Gotta hit 'em where it hurts -- gotta get boycotting some of the key corporation products. A united economic campaign could be more potent than the pathetic phony elections. Can the progressive left ever stop bickering with itself and get down to chopping at the roots of the dominator pig empire? Let's stop calling each other names and start naming products and sponsors that millions of us can wound through boycotts. I'll vote in Nov., but I'm not holding my breath that it will fundamentally change much. Look what's happening in Mexico --the pissed off are taking ACTION.

9/06/2006 09:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Floyd Smoots was going to post a "pithy" comment here, Jeff, but you're not worth the effort. I hope you find a deep enough foxhole when the mountains begin to fall. Jesus Rules!!!

9/06/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Oh how I LOVE the idea of organizing boycotts as a way to kick off the necessary revolution.

As for the demonic Anony 9:34; YOU need to go into the foxhole until your jesus comes. You will die in that hole waiting. Just remember this: go ahead and live YOUR life according to your bullSHIT Xtianity, but don't even think to try and impose any more of your CRAP on myself and the majority of people who live in this country and the world because your "jesus" won't save you or your people from our wrath.

You Bushtians may have destroyed this country.... if it is true we will literally rip you to shreds.

9/06/2006 09:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Your connection of the Peak Oil movement to fascism is interesting. And now we can add Zionism to the weird brew. James Howard Kunstler http://jameshowardkunstler.typepad.com/ is a Peak Oil pundit, who coined the phrase "The Long Emergency". Now his blog appears to be more Zionist apology than anything else, with long rants against so-called jihadists and the implacable Arabs whose only desire is to take down the West. He's doing a very good Neocon impersonation. I wonder why?

9/06/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's an old saying: "'Anger is the response of the fallen human nature to some idol of the heart being challenged." So what's you're problem? Are you a hurt little boy who has opted to reject life because in the course of living it you have been rejected and are lashing out at the pain of it?

9/06/2006 10:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how I LOVE the idea of organizing boycotts as a way to kick off the necessary revolution.

President Obrador in Mexico is calling for a national convention to organize a parallel government on Mexican Independence day (Sept. 16) this year, to deal with systemic vote fraud of Calderon's PAN and Fox's PRI parties.

Merge parallel governments that people consider more legitimate with boycotts and their opposite ("buycotts") and you have something there...

Wasn't the American Revolution a parallel government and a boycott (tea, other products, mass refusals to comply) in origin? Of course that was only about 1/3 or so of the population for it, 1/3 against it, and 1/3 ambivalant.

However, what someone has called the "Global French Revolution" does seem to have more numbers than merely 1/3...

I don't agree with his whole thing, though some points---

The Global French Revolution Has Finally Made It To America.

By Lloyd Hart

The Global French Revolution I have written about in the past has finally made it to the American border and crossed over into the American heartland and every corner of this Greek tragedy they call a nation. With the Mexican ruling class kidnapping, torturing and killing the leaders of naturally rising social movements in Mexico and more immediately in the state of Oaxaca and on the heels of stealing an election nationwide with the help of the Jim-Crow white supremacists who've taken over the Republican party and the American government. After decades and centuries of torturing Mexican flesh and bone with Draconian economic structures whose latest insult was NAFTA, Mexican flesh is now overuling the part of the mind that convinces the body that the body is alone and it cannot do anything to change things. The Mexican public has had enough will no longer settle being treated like trash in Mexico or in America.

...

In the 1990's I was totally blown away when the Clinton administration was attempting to sell the diseased mutant of free trade, NAFTA as a means by which to stem the tide of illegal immigration ( immigrants who, by the way were running from the American sponsored plantation economy in South and Central America that was being brutally enforced by violent, murderers fascist American sponsored regimes) into America by creating jobs in Mexico for Mexicans and of course later the rest of South and Central America. Which actually translated into those Canadian jobs being moved out of the low-wage South into the even more low-wage don't provide any housing or water or electricity or any services at all for your workforce living in shanty shacks around your brand new airconditioned factories. Which only insured your workforce would come to work just to get out of the heat. But of course the majority of workers that got these so called NAFTA jobs south of the border found themselves working in unventilated sweatshops only comparable to the sweatshops of the beginning of the 20th-century in America.

...

So NAFTA did not stem the tide and the immigrants kept coming simply because American hegemony of South and Central America, Asia and Africa was never designed or intended by America's leaders for anything but the wholesale rape of the global south's economic heritage. America now cosumes 40 percent of the world's resources yet is only 4 percent of the world's population.

...

The concentration camps U.S. government is building are in the desert on the door step of that southern border and the American corporate media is playing right along with Jim Crow Congress who is pretending like this unwritten deportation policy doesn't exist.

But that's OK America, you're just putting out fire with gasoline fanning the flames of a Global French Revolution that is about to send the Mexican ruling class running across the border into America....
...

Here is the global warming angle:

It was just recently reported that one-third of the world's population are suffering water shortages and of course most of these water shortages are in the world's poorest nations where the transnational global agricultural business has no regard for how much water they draw from the ground to grow the food that gets shipped to America, Europe and now China. However the majority of the shortages the evidence shows are created by climate change which has created super high and low pressure systems that leaves large populations living in drought or flooded conditions both of which of course are not conducive to human survival regardless.
...

It is sheer idiocy for the ruling class in America to believe that there is a military solution to immigration/globalwarming. People will move to find food and water and of course prosperity. I've never understood the mentality of those who think that prosperity is only for those that rule.

...

What will you do America when there are hundreds of millions of refugees as a result of the consequences global warming? Will you nuke them if they come to close your border? Will you spray them with poison gas if they cross your border? If you are building deportation concentration camps now what will you do, you who consumes 40 percent of the world's resources when those refugees need our help? What will you do when the crisis prevents you from getting at 40 percent of the world's resources? Will you react violently as you always have reacted in the past? Or will you finally grow up and become a civilized nation and come to the world with a civil answer to the crisis we are now in as opposed to the violent military phony war on terror answer you have thus far delivered?"


--

The Mexican wing of the neocon crazies stealing votes there (and with Florida's ChoicePoint corporation, that aided in Bush 2000 vote fraud in the U.S., no less!) are about to lead to the destruction of Mexico. Their Presidential election there was a solid vote against NAFTA policies. However, the fascists keep it up like they have some kind of popular backing. They seem to believe that their own propoganda is going to be enough to counter any systemic difficulties. I don't think they know the half of what they are going to get in return from such a strategy.

Corporate media writes even:

"Without a full recount of the votes or the annulment of the election, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the candidate of the Party of the Democratic Revolution, will not recognize electoral results or government institutions. In fact, he has called for a national democratic convention on September 16, Mexico's independence day, to create a parallel government and new institutions, and has pledged not to let Mr. Calderon rule."

lots on vote fraud here
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/topic/electionfraud/

9/06/2006 10:34:00 PM  
Blogger sullymandias said...

"In 1888 America ... She presumed that the transformation involved the elevation of consciousness, which would lift all life with it. Generations later, I think we can say it hasn't quite worked out that way."

You gotta be fucking kidding me. Seriously, do you have any grasp on how significantly the human consciousness has changed (elevated) since the 19th century? And for the greatest part, this change has originated in America.

I love this blog and normally would not be so critical, but this seems to me to be a blindness due to a dogma: the whole sexual predation of minors and the black magic of the powers that be. I don't in any way disagree with that dogma, but there is a larger framework to view this all from..

9/06/2006 11:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it possible that opposition congressmen in Mexico could TAKE OVER the congress and prevent Fox from giving his 'informe' (State of the Union) speech, forcing the stormtroopers to remove the barricades, and not be reported in the U.S.?

Wouldn't want that sort of thinking to take root, now would we?

And now, back to more Steve Irwin tributes.

9/06/2006 11:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From our free press, in the form of USA Today:

"If the turmoil following Mexico's July 2 presidential election has shown anything, it is that Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the leftist candidate who narrowly lost, cares little about his nation's fragile democracy. What other explanation is there for his claims of widespread voter fraud, refuted by Tuesday's unanimous ruling from Mexico's respected election court? How else should one interpret his current status as commander of a ragtag army of protesters intent on blocking streets and disrupting commerce, government and daily life?"

Yes, YES! How ELSE could one interpret this? Lopez Obrador's obsession with vote fraud shows his contempt for Mexico's fragile democracy!

Just like a physician's obsession with septimecia shows his contempt for a dying patient's fragile health!

USA Today drives the point home for any reader so obtuse as to wonder whether the man might have justice on his side:

"For people in the USA, López Obrador's intransigence raises the spectacle of political instability and economic decline, which could further increase the flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico."

And we wouldn't want that, would we? As they note, "It's as if Al Gore had put ambition above the rule of law and refused to concede after the Supreme Court decided against him in 2000."

As if.

The title of this classic of the genre? "Mexico's Sore Loser."

The Mighty Wurlitzer wheezes on.

9/06/2006 11:30:00 PM  
Anonymous starroute said...

Jeff, I really can't agree with this part:

No one told these people to do this. I don't believe Pastor Louis Lamonica and the rest of his suburban congregation-cult were programmed to ritually assault children, or even that they are necessarily connected to a wider, and deeper, network of devil-worshipping paedophiles. It seems to be inchoate knowlege among those who seek power in dark places that the defilement of the innocent, particularly children, makes for strong magick. Just as disbelief seems the natural defense posture of those who are preyed-upon.

The thing is that ideas get around -- both good ideas and bad ideas. People get ideas from books and movies and Sunday supplements. That particular congregation may not have been programmed and may not be part of any larger network. (Though I wouldn't rule out either possibility.) But it's also not necessary to fall back on "inchoate knowledge."

I've been thinking in particular lately about something I read a fair number of years ago -- long ago that I have no idea of the source. That is that people in the late 19th and early 20th century were very much aware of and disturbed about child molestation and incest. But the mid-20th century -- being hipped on the whole nuclear family ideal -- went into a state of denial about incest and molestation within families, substituting the strangers-with-lollypops boogeyman instead.

If that's accurate, then there's no telling what kinds of subterranean currents could have been running underneath that layer of denial, only re-emerging now that the pendulum of awareness is swinging back again.

I think I've said here before that there's a kind of creepy, Lovecraftian vibe about the whole concept of inbred backwoods communities with strange rituals. I take that as an indication that groups like the Hosanna Church were around 100 years ago just as they're around now, and that if you knew the right places to look, the connections would become apparent.

9/06/2006 11:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

There's an old saying: "'Anger is the response of the fallen human nature to some idol of the heart being challenged."

There's a new saying: "Anger is a gift."

Personally, I like anger. It feels good.

The whole namby pamby "Jesus loves me so I should enjoy a good reality cornholing every now & then " just makes my scrotum shrivel.

The whole psycho-babble that we should all be aiming toward some calm & accepting mutant normality is another ball-sac shrinker.

I've worked with entire shifts of 19-22 year olds who are completely Prozac-ed into numb submission. I ask them why they need these crap drugs. They say, "Oh, I'm depressed."
I say "Smoke a joint. Drop some acid. Dig into yourself for God's sake & work through it." They look at me like I've grown a second head.
A nation of feel-gooders who never ever ever seem to actually feel good.
Who never ever ever seem to actually FEEL anything at all.
Why is that?

"There's nothing wrong with the people, most of whom are as decent as you'd find anywhere."

Oh, I most respectfully beg to differ. There is oodles wrong with the people. Oodles & oodles & oodles. One of my favorite things to do is take 12 mentally retarded adults to any local family restaurant on a Sunday at about noon. Just when everybody's sitting down to their after Church brunch...feeling the warmth of the Lord's caresses, so to speak.
There's nothing like 12 drooling gibbering unfortunates if you want to test that Xtian love.
Christ, I've had little grannies glare at me with pure hatred because I had the fucking audacity to ruin their little post-Sunday-go-to-meeting munchfest by depositing these examples of God's un-omnipotence in front of them.
My response is always the same. I fix them with the biggest shit-eating grin I can muster .
It makes them glare even harder.

I lived in the damn inner-city too. & yeah, people sat on their stoops in summer. But I find the whole neighborly bonding explanation a bit too "touchy-feely."
I think it had more to do with the fact that Jerry Springer hadn't been invented yet. You could always see some guy smacking the shit out of his girlfriend or some drunk bumper pooling his way home. My buddy & I made the humongous mistake of trying to get between some guy & his punching-bag of a girlfriend one night. She looked me dead in the eye with blood streaming from her nose & her split lip & said, "Mind your own motherfucking business."

Now I live in the land of the obsessive lawn mower. That's the big activity here. Lawn mowing. Woo-woo. The guy next door won't let you stand still in his yard because it might affect how the grass grows. I'm of the opinion that if his heart gave out & he died, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

There are weeks when these empty headed fucks mow twice a week. I've tried conversation but they're like human Qualudes.
They talk & I begin to drift off.

The other way of life here in PA revolves around a religion called "The Steelers."
Every fall armies of pudgy Steeler garbed kielbasa eaters wander the city streets demonstrating their love of sports by over-eating & watching other people run around. Their QB was recently involved in a little scooter accident. There were articles upon articles in the local newspapers dissecting every aspect of his crash. We even had one op-ed by a local college professor who tried to blame his feat of motorcycle derring-do on the fact the guy's mother was killed in a car crash.

Dissecting a QB's crash? Hell yeah.

Dissecting whether bombing the shit out of someone is a good idea or not? Fuck no.

So good luck with the coffee klatches & the hug-fests. Good luck telling yourselves that external forces are mind contolling people into
blank disinterest. Good luck with the whole "take back America" do-hickey. $200 says that 20 years after the revolution we find ourselves right back in the same shit-stew.

"Save the Earth? Fuck that. The Earth will be just fine. It's more like 'Save our asses' time."
Unknown comedian

"I don't hate people. I just seem to feel better when they're not around."
Charles Bukowski

"Humanity. We never had it from the beginning."
Charles Bukowski

"I'm tired of this back slapping, aren't humanity neat bullshit.
We're a virus with shoes, ok?
That's all we are."
Bill Hicks

9/06/2006 11:51:00 PM  
Anonymous sullymandias said...

hey richard,

no big deal but 'x' is short for 'christ' (not 'chris'), so a better abbreviation for 'christian' would be 'xian'; 'xtian' is more like 'christtian'.

cheers
s

9/07/2006 12:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think I've said here before that there's a kind of creepy, Lovecraftian vibe about the whole concept of inbred backwoods communities with strange rituals."

Raised there, I would aruge this is endemic across the U.S. South.

I used to know a neopagan goth girl, very politically forthright and lefty. Was involved in a neohippie peace loving group that conducted gatherings on various astral occassions far in the woods with the cycles of the moon mostly, instead of the typical bent of the cat and horse slaughtering kind of stuff that Jeff writes on in the occult elite issues.

They were very peaceful people--and I'm sure still are.

A separate group of girls I knew danced naked in the woods.

You may have to know the "right people," or be trusted enough to be 'let in,' though trust me, I found this pretty endemic around the area of Knoxville, Tennessee, which is really close to the border of the huge Smokey Mountains National Park, about an hour away by car.

The Rainbow Community gatherings may scratch the surface in the public eye, though that got dumped on by all the Greatful Deadheads when the Dead died so it changed a bit. And anyway, that is only a more public face.

On a completely different note, once walking in the Smokey Mountains National Park alone, rather early in the morning, and in a place really way out into it, I was surprised to note that along two ridges above me, to my left and right, perhaps 500 yards away from me on both sides, there were two men, quietly, walking along the tops of the visible tree lined ridges following me and acting like they were protecting something or the area where I was getting into or even tracking me. They were carrying shotguns. Nothing was said between us. I just did an about face and walked right out of wherever I was. They didn't follow. I didn't look back. This is a public park by the way.

The English Saxon paganistic issues that came over with the 1600s and the 1700s are very much alive and current in "Baptist" Appalachia--and who can really say what the hell is going on in some groups. I just mention how easy it was to broach it.

Lots of other occult recruitment things I could talk about going to, faciliated by yet another female friend, all at private "respectable Southern" homes (one got into Kabbalistic lectures--followed by mutual foot massaging where "foot phrenology" was practiced (exactly where you foot was tight was attempted to be related to various mental things about your life); another was a different group with a set of around twelve South American clay bowl looking whistle-pipes, blown during mutual meditation continuously. It was a loud 'carrier wave' of sorts for everyone meditating on the same frequencies being heard whether they were blowing the pipes or just meditating there without the clay pipes. The group was around 25 people.

There was never any calling up of demons in these or any other groups that I saw, though that fails to mean that it didn't exist somewhere and I'm sure it does.

By the way this was in the Knoxville, Tennessee area--the place where Skull and Bones Mayor Victor Ashe (male lover of Boneman George W. Bush) was mayor for well over a decade. Both Bush and Ashe were male cheerleaders at Yale, and I think about two grades apart when there.

Whether this is connected or not, Knoxville has got to be one of the most corrupt little evil feeling towns in the United States with a really large occultic side in my expeience as well. Though the occultiic stuff I saw and participated within was not evil feeling, there was always this feeling that there was a door yet to be opened where I never wanted to go.

9/07/2006 01:22:00 AM  
Anonymous starroute said...

Richard -

If your standards of human nature are drunks, rabid football fans, and little old ladies whose faith you're doing your best to shake, I can see why you have a fairly low opinion of the breed.

My own experience is that your average H. sapiens is largely non-offensive with a definite bent towards altruism. (For example, I've never gotten a flat tire or run my car into a ditch without people magically appearing out of nowhere to come to my rescue.)

As a result, I've spent a fair chunk of time over the years trying to figure out why the human condition as a whole pretty much sucks when individual human beings don't.

No doubt if I'd adopted your position that there is no contradiction -- that it's all of a piece -- I'd have had all sorts of free time to, oh I don't know, take up tatting or raise prize orchids or attempt to bowl a perfect game.

But somehow I'm not made that way. I seem condemned to work on the knotty problems instead -- and no cheats.

At least I never get bored.

9/07/2006 01:29:00 AM  
Blogger Et in Arcadia ego said...

"Floyd Smoots was going to post a "pithy" comment here, Jeff, but you're not worth the effort."

Here's at least one other person glad to see the Floyd Smoots/Court jester/Village Idiot sent to his proper place. If Jeff and the rest of the crew needed agitants seeking to exploit and devide the forum with endless bullshit comments about running to the hills and praise fucking jesus, we'd grow our own in a seamonkey kit.

Good riddance, asshole. Go earn your weekly bowl of corporate artichoke dip working another board..

9/07/2006 01:35:00 AM  
Anonymous lucky said...

to 'et en arcadia ego'
Ah but i was at number two- not really that hard to figure out- or i could say that there was magic involved?!
btw re my original post, I agree that we are in effect ruled by fear ergo our brains resonate at a particular frequency, exciting the reptillian part of the brain and 'feeding'other entities that revel in the dissorder and fear.

9/07/2006 04:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Anony 10:09 said

There's an old saying: "'Anger is the response of the fallen human nature to some idol of the heart being challenged."

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that "there's an archaic saying", or that "there's an idiotic, meaningless saying"?

Regarding "anger".... EVERYONE except those who comprise BUshit's "have mores" should not only be angry, they should be LIVID. If you're not, you are almost dead anyway. Why not help BUshit out and just go ahead and kill yourself now?

9/07/2006 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger Sounder said...

This “strong magick” can be explained using natural laws; we however do not know these laws. (Law of Resonance, perhaps?) Why? Because their obscurity allows bad actors to continue their sticky spider web games. In a land of pigmies even the headless man stands shoulders above the rest. Our authority figures job is to cover up the ‘basic fault’. While most think that the job of intellectuals is to collate information so as to bring enlightenment, really their job is to insure social conformity. The people that best express communal representations are naturally the ones that receive the most validation and hence become authority figures. Still they carry a sub-conscious nagging that their ‘knowledge’ does not adequately contain their understanding, so they resort to power for justification instead.

To the degree that we orient ourselves more closely to reality we increase our chances for creating correspondences between categories that will deepen our experience. Our current bi-valent meta-narrative is hitting the limits of its usefulness. We must work at creating the next meta-narrative so that we may do more than walk around like shell- shocked zombies.

9/07/2006 06:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Bob,

In answer to your suggestion that I kill myself, here's something I wrote to a friend in response to his advising me to forego blogging.

As for my being all tied up in the blogging debates, I haven't posted anything else on the blogging site since last week, for one thing because I sensed that the conversation had reached the point of saturation and that if I kept it going my doing so could wind up weighing in on the negative side as the truths presented might start to sound repetitious, or worse and begin to function as a vaccine (like the televangelist are such experts at doing).

The bloggers are mostly interested in complaining about the symptoms of the problems that are being purposely created by the hidden hand, and most of them have no interest in looking at the root of the problems, mostly because they don't have any understanding of spiritual principles and therefore can't see the root cause. And when you point it out to them it offends them because it offends their intelligence in that (even though they would never admit it) they believe they already know just about everything. And also, by pointing out the root you inadvertantly end up challenging some of their beliefs, which is their idol in many cases, and like you said years ago, whenever you challenge someone's idol all you succeed in doing is to drive them further into it. So in a way, sometimes it's best not to say anything.

The main thing that fuels the blogging arena is fear (and the anger that the fear produces); you wouldn't believe the fear level in the US, due to the fact that for fifty years the bankers have been purposely using their media democracy engine to inflame it, behind the knowledge that people who are frightened are easy to control. And they've increased the intensity of it since Bush has been in office, mostly because so many people hate him and the intense fear is needed to keep people in line. One thing I see in your disinterest in the fear phenomenon is that you can't appreciate how profound the fear level is, because due to your relationship with the Holy Spirit you've never had that kind of fear. Or if you have it was a long time ago and you've forgotten how awful it is.

Just like Paul wrote toTimothy (in 2 Timothy 1:7), "The Lord hasn't given us the spirit of fear but of power and love and of a sound mind.", so that we who have a relationship with the Holy Spirit tend to overlook the fear most of the world's people are experiencing. And here in the US, thanks to the televangelists, when you try to tell people about the Holy Spirit they don't want to hear it, making them in effect their own worst enemy. Their refusal to consider it reminds me of a quote by the cartoon character Pogo, which was: "We have found the enemy and it is us."

9/07/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Well starroute, like I said, good luck untying your knot.

I do wonder one thing though. Since you base your theories of human swellness on your experiences being rescued, are a professional damsel-in-distress?

It seems that, from a statistical angle alone, such blanket assertions require lots & lots of needy altruism in one's life.

On the other hand, I've met oodles of shitheads.

There's this one that stares back at me from my mirror every morning who I find particularly annoying.

Lastly, I don't try to "shake" little old ladies faith. Their faith seems pretty shaky to begin with. I just try to give people who God ass-fucked at birth with a 2x4 a chance to experience something as everyday as eating in a restaurant. I've just learned that doing that requires me to keep my middle finger raised in the air at all times because the "altruism" of the masses appears to be limited to damsels-in-distress like yourself.

9/07/2006 08:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Shrubageddon said...

Richard & Starroute's Debate is a pertinent one, because it juxtaposes the Individual Man with the Systemic Man. The two are, more often than not, in conflict with one another.

Systemic Man supports, via his every day actions, a System that Tortures, Degrades, Murders, Destroys and etc., etc., etc..

Individual Man, not all, but some, is capable of wondrous acts of Altruism, on occasion.

When you tally the results, though, Systemic Man's Carnage far outweighs Individual Man's seeming one-off Altruism.

Paradigmatic Change

5.) We must eliminate Systemic Man, and Resurrect Individual Man to its rightful status.

9/07/2006 09:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Starroute, thought, given your earlier posting on games & reality, you might enjoy this book.

http://www.fromsuntzutoxbox.com/

"Filled with high-tech weapons, gung-ho desert soldiers, and terrorist scenarios ripped from the headlines, today's ultra-realistic video games have moved to the forefront of the militarization of popular culture. How did this once innocent pastime—now rivaling Hollywood in popularity—become so deeply enmeshed in America's entry into global warfare?

From Sun Tzu to Xbox is a definitive history of the longstanding relationship between games and military culture, from wargaming's roots in ancient civilizations, to the Cold War development of computing for battle, to a recent crop of Pentagon-funded shoot-'em-ups, big-budget commercial titles and homemade hacks.

Examining US military projects like America's Army and Full Spectrum Warrior, commercial games from Battlezone to Conflict: Desert Storm, as well as mods, artworks, and homebrewed games created as critiques and responses, From Sun Tzu to Xbox offers the first political history of the video game and a powerful argument of its role in the way Americans have come to think about war."


Also curious if you're familiar with this quote:
"The universe wants to play."
Hakim Bey

Or this:
" But wait! First: -- who is "The Enemy"? It's all very well to mutter about conspiracies of the Establishment or the networks of psychic control. We're talking about real-time direct actions which must be carried out "against" identifiable nodes of real-time power. Discussion of abstract enemies such as "the state" will get us nowhere. I am not oppressed (or alienated) directly by any concrete entity called the state, but by specific groups such as teachers, police, bosses, etc. A "Revolution": may aim at overthrowing a "state". But the Insurrection and all its Immediatist action-groups will have to discover some target which is not an idea, a piece of paper, a "spook" that enchains us with our own bad dreams about power and impotence. We'll play at the war of images, yes. But images arise from or flow through specific nexuses. The spectacle has a structure, and the structure has joints, crossings, patterns, levels. The Spectacle even has an address -- sometimes -- maybe. It's not real in the same way the TAZ is real. But it's real enough for an assault.

Because the Immediatist texts have largely been addressed to "artists" as well as "non-authoritarians" and because Immediatism is not a political movement but a game, even an aesthetic game, it would seem inescapably obvious that we should look for the enemy in the media, especially in those media we find to be directly oppressive. For example for the student the oppressive and alienating medium is "education", and the nexus (the pressure point) must therefore be the school. For the artist the direct source of alienation would seem to be the complex we usually call the Media, which has usurped the time and the space of art as we wish to practice it -- which has redefined all creative communicativeness as an exchange of commodities or of alienating images -- which has poisoned "discourse". In the past the alienating medium was the church and the insurrection was expressed in the language of heretical spirituality vs. organized religion. Now the Media plays the role of the Church in the circulation of images. As the Church once concocted a false scarcity of sanctity or salvation, so the Media constructs a false scarcity of values, or "meaning". As the Church once tried to impose its monopoly on the spirit, the Media wants to re-make language itself as pure mind, divorced from the body. The media denies meaning to corporeality, to everyday life, just as the Church once defined the body as evil and everyday life as sin. The Media defines itself, or its discourse, as the real universe. We mere consumers live in a skull-world of illusion, with TVs as eyes-sockets through which we peer at the world of the living, the "rich & famous", the real . Just so did religion define the world as illusion and heaven only as real -- real, but so far away. If insurrection once spoke to the Church as heresy, so it must speak now to the Media. Once, the revolting peasants burned churches. But what exactly are the churches of the Media?

It's easy to feel nostalgia for such a once-magnificent enemy as the Roman Catholic Church. I've even tried to convince myself that today's washed-out sex-hating charade is still worth conspiring against. Infiltrate the church; fill up the tractate shelf with beautiful porno flyers labelled "This is the Face of God"; hide dada/voodoo objects under the pews and behind the altar; send occult manifestos to the Bishop and clergy; leak satanic scares to the idiot press; leave evidence incriminating the Illuminati. An even more satisfying target might be the Mormons, who are completely enthralled by hypermediated CommTech and yet intensely sensitive to "black magic".2 Televangelism offers an especially tempting mix of media and bad religion. But when it comes to real power, the churches feel quite empty. The god has abandoned them. The god has his own talk-show now, his own corporate sponsors, his own network. The real target is the Media.

The "magical assault" however still holds promise as a tactic against this new church and "new inquisition" -- precisely because the Media, like the church, does its work thru "magic", the manipulation of images. In fact our biggest problem in assaulting the Media will be to invent a tactic which cannot be recuperated by Babylon and turned to its own power-advantage. A breathless "live-news" report that CBS had been attacked by radical sorcerers would simply become part of the "spectacle of dissidence", the sub-manichaen drama of the discourse of simulation. The best tactical defense against this co-optation will be the subtle complexity and aesthetic depth of our symbolism, which must contain fractal dimensions untranslatable into the flat image-language of the tube. Even if "they" try to appropriate our imagery, in other words, it will carry an unexpected "viral" subtext which will infect all attempts at recuperation with a nauseating malaise of uncertainty -- a "poetic terror".
Hakim Bey

9/07/2006 11:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the "Uh Oh" Dept:

WHITE HOUSE TARGETS CONSPIRACY THEORISTS AS TERRORIST RECRUITERS by Paul Joseph Watson
Quote

"The document [link to www.whitehouse.gov] says that terrorism springs from "subcultures of conspiracy and misinformation," and that "terrorists recruit more effectively from populations whose information about the world is contaminated by falsehoods and corrupted by conspiracy theories. The distortions keep alive grievances and filter out facts that would challenge popular prejudices and self-serving propaganda.""

9/07/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hugh Man. Wins, thought of you while scanning this nice propaganda analysis on the tv show "23" (or is it 25?) on Lew Rockwell:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig7/trotter4.html

9/07/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going back to environmental issues, I don't think anyone has mentioned Alan AtKisson before. A while back, I discovered his book Believing Cassandra: An Optimist Looks at a Pessimist's World and then his website http://www.atkisson.com/ .

9/07/2006 12:14:00 PM  
Anonymous starroute said...

Richard -

Here are some of the reasons I feel compelled to blame the systems and not the people (or, should I say, the spaces between the people rather than the people themselves):

I graduated from high school in 1963. My school didn't have a senior trip. Instead, they always took the two Advanced Placement social studies classes (in American and World History) down to Washington and got them meetings with various high-level government figures -- a cabinet member, a supreme court justice, various senators and congresspeople, some government agency types. So there we were, a bunch of smart, cynical, New York City kids, convinced that the folks down in DC were largely a bunch of deep-dyed villains and determined to ask them the most penetrating, put-them-on-the-spot questions we could think of.

And to our surprise and frustration, we didn't find any villains. Instead, we found a bunch of well-meaning people honestly trying to do the best they could and seemingly as baffled by the system as we were. For example, there was the Supreme Court justice who, when asked whether having "In God We Trust" on the money wasn't unconstitutional, responded, "Yes, of course it is, but I'd never get away with saying so."

You may not believe me when I say this -- we found it hard to believe ourselves. But it happened. And no, those people were not all lying to us or pulling the wool over our eyes. 17 year olds are experts in seeing through grownup bullshit, and those people weren't bullshitting. They were just what they seemed to be.

They simply weren't running the show.

Here's another reference point. After college, my husband got a degree in library science and went to work for the Brooklyn Public Library. He stuck it out for maybe a year at most. First it became clear that his main function had nothing to do with books but was to keep a lid on the kids who used the library and make sure they didn't get out of line. Then they told him to go through the shelves, pulling off all the books that hadn't been checked out lately and marking them for disposal. He couldn't handle that. He walked away from the job first chance he got and essentially threw his expensive degree in the trash. He's never worked as a librarian since.

I've heard equivalent stories from a lot of friends with teaching degrees. They start out as idealists, expecting to make a real difference in kids' lives, and learn the hard way that their main fuction is to be disciplinarians and to teach by the book. By and large, they don't stick it out in the public school system for more than a few years.

But the school administrators aren't the bad guys either. From their own point of view, they're just trying to keep things running under what are often highly stressful conditions.

So where do the problems in the system come from? Is it a cabal of Illuminati or some equivalent, working furiously behind the scenes to crap up the US government and the school system and the Brooklyn Public Library? Is it a hidden flaw in human nature that inevitably pollutes everything it touches? Or is it the nature of social systems themselves that they inevitably function in a robot-like manner and drain the humanity out of any task they're assigned to oversee?

My own take on things is that it's a bit of all of those -- and perhaps something more. Social systems *are* robotic and soulless (take the modern corporation as a prime example) and *do* act in ways that no genuine moral being would dare. As such, they repress the best impulses in their human agents and give free reign to the worst. And because people recognize them as soulless and therefore don't expect much of them, they give easy cover to even more insidious conspiracies. (For example, nobody seems to know to this day whether Prescott Bush and pals were actually rooting for the Nazis or were just businessmen going where the money was.)

But all of that is just a description of the situation. It doesn't offer an explanation of why humans should instantly lose their moral compass when they become part of a larger group that seems to validate bad behavior.

That may be the real operative factor. I'm reminded of everything from lynch mobs and the Rape of Nanking, at one end of the scale, to Casanova's claim that it was easier to seduce virgins in pairs because they would egg each other on, at the other.

It also clearly applies to cults of all sorts, as well as to looser networks of socially aberrant individuals like pedophiles.

And the mechanism, whatever it is, is already strongly present in kids, who will do almost any stupid thing as long as they can claim that "It was Jimmy's idea!" or "But Bobby agreed to it!" In youngsters, this tends to be labeled "peer pressure," but I don't think it's really the peers who are the problem. It's the system that enables all of them to duck individual moral responsibility by deferring like mindless automatons to the will of the group.

And yes, Richard, individuals can certainly be jerks. But they're jerks in a fairly limited, self-centered manner. They mow under your window at 5 am, or get drunk and shoot our your windshield, or rip you off and then leave town.

But the really evil behavior, the behavior that preoccupies us at this blog and fucks up the world, is all group behavior. And the real lesson that us humans have to learn may be just to tell the group that it has no moral authority over us. That lying isn't suddenly okay when you do it for a corporation and killing isn't okay because you do it in the name of Uncle Sam. And abusing little kids isn't okay when you do it on behalf of a cult, or a religion, or an imaginary demon-god.

9/07/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

I don't disagree starroute but the individual evil of "jerks" does as much, if not more, to rip the "civil" from civilization.

I'm still one of those weirdos who holds the door for women, & old folks & mothers with kids, etc. I have no problem letting someone merge into traffic ahead of me. I always gave up my seat on the bus to just about anybody who looked like they needed it.

I don't expect much from institutions. I have very little day to day interaction with faceless beauraucracies...but I do interact with individual "jerks." True, institutions may hurt me more on a larger scale but individuals ruin days & days accrue.

It sounds hokey & maudlin as hell but I enjoy helping people. I enjoy giving them a big fat smile instead of rancid attitude. I know it doesn't appear like it, but it's true. I watch people on the road, for instance, where everyone jockies like mad to be 1 or 2 car lengths ahead, & it just amazes me that people can be so relentlessly fucking cold to each other over something so inconsequential.

Why should I expect morality & civility from institutions who, by their very structure, allow responsibility to be avoided when individuals can't even muster a kind word for someone standing right in front of them.

Maybe I'm just a "jerk" magnet. Maybe I just allow these assholes to erase the good impressions...I don't know.

But I've shuttled around too many retarded folk who are treated like pariahs just because of something that's beyond their control to allow individuals an out for their behavior.
You know, when you sit across from some guy who is bawling because a bunch of upscale teens in a mall called him "Jason," as in Friday the 13th Jason, just because of a goddamn birth defect, you tend to lose your love of humanity.

Or maybe it's just me........

9/07/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Shrubageddon said...

Or maybe it's just me........


It's not just you, Richard....it's me, as well.

Where have you gone, Joe Dimaggio, our Nation turns its lonely eyes to you......

Shit, he was also a jerk.

There are no Catchers In The Rye....only those who pretend to be.

9/07/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Anonymous said...
Hey Bob,

In answer to your suggestion that I kill myself, here's something I wrote to a friend in response to his advising me to forego blogging.

I owe you an apology. I assummed that you were the same Anonymous who at 9:34 who wrote a distasteful (to me) comment. As always, the old adage "when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me" seems appropriate.

There are times that I wish that I had never "entered the world of blogging" because the truth is so horrible. But, once you enter and look around some, there is no going back, not for any person with the ability to discern what is true vs. lies, good vs. evil, etc.

From the "Uh Oh" Dept:

WHITE HOUSE TARGETS CONSPIRACY THEORISTS AS TERRORIST RECRUITERS by Paul Joseph Watson

I would say that given the way that the bush junta has run things during this illegal occupation of the exec office, this likely IS going to become a "problem".

ECH! Just the very name 'bush'. makes my skin crawl now.

RE: Blair to resign

There could be no better time than the present to drive the freak from office with massive demonstrations etc. But, there are still WAY too many sheople still mindlessly grazing....

9/07/2006 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"WHITE HOUSE TARGETS CONSPIRACY THEORISTS AS TERRORIST RECRUITERS by Paul Joseph Watson

"The document [link to www.whitehouse.gov] says that terrorism springs from "subcultures of conspiracy and misinformation," and that "terrorists recruit more effectively from populations whose information about the world is contaminated by falsehoods and corrupted by conspiracy theories. The distortions keep alive grievances and filter out facts that would challenge popular prejudices and self-serving propaganda."""


Oh! Thoughtcrime! More illegal thoughts! What a joke Bush is. What a complete and utter joke. And any of his supporters who buy such things are the actual recruited terrorists, willing to go out and kill someone based on Bush's lying screeds.

Bush recruits terrorists.

Give us a break Bush fascists. You guys are recruiting the fascists and destroying American freedoms. Bush leaguers are spreading empty conspiracy theories about 9-11--and Cheney's Halliburton and Bush family's Carlyle Corporation corporations are billing the U.S. for the pleasure.

Read the exact same quote with this title:

9-11 TRUTH ACTIVISTS TARGET WHITE HOUSE AS SPREADING CONSPIRACY THEORIES AS TERRORISM AND WAR RECRUITER by Paul Joseph Watson

"The document [link to any old website.com] says that terrorism springs from "subcultures of conspiracy and misinformation within neocon wings of the Republican and Democratic parties," and that "terrorists and army recruiters recruit more effectively from populations whose information about the world is contaminated by falsehoods and corrupted by conspiracy theories. The distortions keep alive grievances and filter out facts that would challenge popular prejudices and self-serving propaganda.""

badda bing

9/07/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard wrote:

"You know, when you sit across from some guy who is bawling because a bunch of upscale teens in a mall called him "Jason," as in Friday the 13th Jason, just because of a goddamn birth defect, you tend to lose your love of humanity."

Heart-breaking anecdote. But it sounds, Richard, like you're a good guy, perhaps a bit of a "sherrif" type, so I would encourage you to try to keep helping others, as you describe.

It's the only way to bring "order" out of such chaos. You're probably old enough to remember the hoary bromide, "the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing." Well, I think everyone here at RI would say it's not the "only thing," but as long as good people keep trying to do good, then (golly, I sound like Ward Cleaver) goodness will not vanish.

Good people are always "jerk magnets." It took me a long time to realize this, but it's the way the world is constructed.

And after a lifetime of seeing Clint gun 'em down, and the Duke slug 'em in the kisser, and Spidey scramble their eggs, it's hard, no, virtually impossible to "turn the other cheek." But there's a saying I was taught once, "don't let the bastards grind you down."
(Carborundum non illegitimi, I think it ran).

Know that doing good for the sake of doing good is always a candle lit against the darkness. Americans (especially in their driving habits) seem to hate each other, but alot of it is just the "overcrowded rat cage" effect, not to mention 50 years of operant conditioning to be materialist, consuming sociopaths. But as the man said, "when others hate you, don't hate them back, because then they win."

You know who said that? Noted Quaker activist Richard Milhouse Nixon.

Weird world, eh?

9/07/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bushies are a conspiracy from the day they stole the 2000 election and set about to go to war with Iraq long before finding something like 9-11 to justify it. The planning to attack Iraq was a conspiracy before 9-11.

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman to Ari Shavit: "This is a war of an elite." Laughing: "I could give you the names of 25 people--all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office--who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq was would not have happened."

From An Adbusters Magazine article on Leo Strauss as the high conspiracist the neocon's worship.

Straussians: the Bush core "subculture of conspiracy and misinformation". Look at the people at that link.

Downing Street Memo? Hello?

"WMD near Tikrit" in Iraq, said high conspiricist Rumsfeld. Hello?

"Conspiracy theories" are how Bush runs his crazy administration.

9/07/2006 03:24:00 PM  
Anonymous starroute said...

Richard -

I'm sorry I was snarky at you last night. I was tired and out of sorts and let it spill over.

I still don't agree that jerks are the root of the problem though. Jerkiness is one potential negative aspect of human nature that's gotten particularly out of hand in the US lately. (Japan, in contrast, with its hierarchic traditions, suffers a lot more from bullies and a lot less from jerks than we do.)

But jerkiness is a far cry from anything you could call actively evil. And I do think that despairing of the entire human enterprise just because humans display some obnoxious tendencies is misplaced and defeatist.

The problem isn't that humans are often childish, immature, and self-centered -- which is the case in large part because they don't know any better. Blaming, say, SUV drivers for pollution may be a good way for non-SUV drivers to feel morally superior, but it doesn't significantly improve the situation. To have any real effect you have to get to the people who manufacture the SUVs -- and the people who pass the laws that encourage them to do it -- and even then, the problem may be not with the people but with the corporate and government cultures that let them duck moral responsibility for their actions.

This is why ideas like karma or Judgment Day were invented -- to get across the notion that everybody is going to be held accountable some time. It's a pity that most cultures seem content to substitute get-out-ot-jail-free cards in their place.

9/07/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Sorry starroute, but I had to pick my kids up at school & what you wrote was bouncing around in my head so I'm compelled to share. This will be it then I'll shut my typing finger up.

Now you said, "Instead, we found a bunch of well-meaning people honestly trying to do the best they could and seemingly as baffled by the system as we were."

Sorry, but this sounds like 'serial killer's neighbor' syndrome. They always say pretty much the same thing. "He was such a nice guy."

How did they describe Ted Bundy? "Beautiful" & "Charming."

You also said "And no, those people were not all lying to us or pulling the wool over our eyes."

Please explain exactly how you could possibly know this. Do you mean to suggest that if Larry "child rapist" King was amongst those politicians you would have been able to discern his pedophilic ways from one conversation? I really find that hard to believe.

My 1st job out of high school was at a temp agency. Physical labor not office work, & they had a large contract with Western Penitentiary. The agency would employ soon-to-be-ex-cons who were living in local halfway houses. These were rapists, murderers & thieves but my experiences with them were largely positive. Of course I didn't have a vagina they wanted into or a fat wallet full of cash they wanted to steal. My point is that if I didn't know they were cons up front, I doubt that I would have been able to glean that from idle conversation. People construct incredibly intricate & impenetrable masks, don't you think? In Bundy's case I doubt that anyone found him beautiful or charming after his mask came off.

You also said, "17 year olds are experts in seeing through grownup bullshit, and those people weren't bullshitting."
Now if that were true then serial killers like Michael Ross, amongst others, would have had a much harder time attaining their claim to infamy.

You also said, "That lying isn't suddenly okay when you do it for a corporation and killing isn't okay because you do it in the name of Uncle Sam. And abusing little kids isn't okay when you do it on behalf of a cult, or a religion, or an imaginary demon-god."

If I wanted to be a sarcastic fuck I'd say, "Well, no shit."

But I don't think folk suddenly find it "ok" because an authority figure says it is. I would posit that the authority in question is just giving them the cover to do what they've always wanted to do but didn't have the guts to do on their own. I find it incredibly hard to believe that "group think" can magically transform people into something that they aren't in the 1st place.

Now "Sheriff" Andy Taylor will shut up & haul his long-winded ass back to Mayberry.

9/07/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Luposapien said...

From the relevant lyrics dept:

"Story of Isaac" by Leonard Cohen

The door it opened slowly,
my father he came in,
I was nine years old.
And he stood so tall above me,
his blue eyes they were shining
and his voice was very cold.
He said, "I've had a vision
and you know I'm strong and holy,
I must do what I've been told."
So he started up the mountain,
I was running, he was walking,
and his axe was made of gold.

Well, the trees they got much smaller,
the lake a lady's mirror,
we stopped to drink some wine.
Then he threw the bottle over.
Broke a minute later
and he put his hand on mine.
Thought I saw an eagle
but it might have been a vulture,
I never could decide.
Then my father built an altar,
he looked once behind his shoulder,
he knew I would not hide.

You who build these altars now
to sacrifice these children,
you must not do it anymore.
A scheme is not a vision
and you never have been tempted
by a demon or a god.
You who stand above them now,
your hatchets blunt and bloody,
you were not there before,
when I lay upon a mountain
and my father's hand was trembling
with the beauty of the word.

And if you call me brother now,
forgive me if I inquire,
"Just according to whose plan?"
When it all comes down to dust
I will kill you if I must,
I will help you if I can.
When it all comes down to dust
I will help you if I must,
I will kill you if I can.
And mercy on our uniform,
man of peace or man of war,
the peacock spreads his fan.

9/07/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Anonymous sullymandias said...

wow, im kinda glad nobody responded to my two obnoxious comments from last night ;-)

9/07/2006 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

I see that the discussion has moved on a bit while I was writing this post, but it's still relevant and hasn't really been covered yet, so...


Richard, Shrubageddon, starroute, and a few of the anonymi have raised the central questions of only the important debate left to us: can this death spiral in which our world is falling headlong be stopped, and is human nature up to the task? Pardon my epiphany, but I believe I may have found an answer that will give us reason to say, "Yes, and yes!"

The answer has to do with our children, the hope for our species, who may provide us with the tools we need to accomplish this last-minute rescue mission. The largest obstacle facing us is not the problems themselves, which I would broadly define as environmental collapse brought on by greed and violence, but in being able to see the solution. In an amazing article in slate.com, The Real Reason Children Love Fantasy, Alison Gopnik reports on a new consensus emerging as to why children intuitively, instinctively engage in fantasy, whether in their play, or their reading, etc. Contrary to the accepted wisdom of the past, it's not for therapeutuic reasons, to

'work out their problems' or as 'an escape.' Children's lives can be tough, certainly, but relatively speaking they are considerably less tough, more protected, more interesting, even, than adult lives. Happy, healthy children are, if anything, more likely to be immersed in a world of fantastic daydreams, public or private, than unhappy or troubled children.

Nor is it because,

as earlier psychologists, from Freud to Piaget, also suggested that children might be unable to discriminate between reality and fantasy, truth and imagination. It's not so much that children embraced fantasy as that they were unable to recognize reality. But 20 years of empirical research have shown that this also is simply not true. Even the very youngest children already are perfectly able to discriminate between the imaginary and the real, whether in books or movies or in their own pretend play. Children with the most elaborate and beloved imaginary friends will gently remind overenthusiastic adults that these companions are, after all, just pretend.

Gopnik begins the argument for the new interpretation by summarizing the real reason that children engage in fantasy:

In fact, cognitive science suggests that children may love fantasy not because they can't appreciate the truth or because their lives are difficult, but for precisely the opposite reason. Children may have such an affinity for the imaginary just because they are so single-mindedly devoted to finding the truth, and because their lives are protected in order to allow them to do so.

Bear with me on the next passage; it's not that long and it'll save time in direct quotation:

Two decades of research have shown that children construct and revise an everyday physics and biology and, above all, an everyday psychology. These everyday theories are much like the formal, explicit theories of science. Theorizing lets children understand the world and other people more accurately.

At first, you might think that the idea that children are intuitive scientists would be completely at odds with the childhood passion for fantasy. But in fact, theorizing and fantasizing have a lot in common. A theory, in science or in everyday life, doesn't just describe one particular way the world happens to be at the moment. Instead, having a theory tells you about the ways the world could have been in the past or might be in the future. What's more, a theory can tell you that some of those ways the world can be are more likely than others. A theory lays out a map of possible worlds and tells you how probable each possibility is. And a theory provides a kind of logic for getting to conclusions from premises—if the theory is correct, and if you accept certain premises, then certain conclusions and not others will follow.

This is why theories are so profoundly powerful and adaptive. A theory not only explains the world we see, it lets us imagine other worlds, and, even more significantly, lets us act to create those worlds. Developing everyday theories, like scientific theories, has allowed human beings to change the world. From the perspective of my hunter-gatherer forebears in the Pleistocene Era, everything in the room I write in—the ceramic cup and the carpentered chair no less than the electric light and the computer—was as imaginary, as unreal, as fantastic as Narnia or Hogwarts. The uniquely human evolutionary gift is to combine imagination and logic to articulate possible worlds and then make them real.

What we've been doing here at RI is a necessary first step--establishing as fact and documenting I.F. Stone's naked truth, that "governments lie"--but we're a little lost as to what to do with the mess once its scale and ugliness are exposed. The reason we have such a hard time with solutions isn't because the problems are intractable (they're not, it's the work which will be hard) but because our imagination is hamstrung by several factors. The first is simply that we're older. We've been socialized, propagandized and beaten over the head with the urgency of being practical, pragmatic, and just getting through another day. We are no more capable of envisioning another workable, logically consistent reality than the indigenous people were of seeing Magellan's ships when they first arrived.

In the case of the ships' invisibility, it was because of the tremendous dissonance such huge, unknown shapes presented--it was so impossibile that they literally could not see them. For us, or at least the great majority of us, it's because we're so used to confronting reality as we know it and so unused to ignoring what is there in order to imagine what could be, that we just can't see beyond what is. (This may also explain why children are under such a concerted attack--they can't see the emporer's new clothes yet, and this is the greatest danger the forces of control face. If we learned to see the world as our kids do, all the curtains would fall.)

The good news in this is that we can recover this ability, once we're prompted by something other than thoughts encased in strange markings on paper (or computer screens). What's needed is a simulcram to compete with both conventional reality and the many fakeries foisted upon us. We need a visual representation to convince us of the possibility of an alternate vision. A great, quick example is something I posted recently about alternate housing. Roger Dean, the great album cover artist of the '70s, was pondering the role of housing, in its current, deplorable state, in our societal malaise, and began experimenting with actually building designs he made which incorporated elements of Bucky Fuller's work, Tolkien's hobbit holes, and his own artwork. The results are an absolutely doable, right here and now solution to a whole host of problems. They require very little energy to heat and cool, they're virtually indestructible, flood-proof, and they're very, very cheap to build. (Please follow the link, read the short text, and click the "next page" icon for actual photos)

Looking at visual confirmation of this idea--that there's a solution to the world's housing solution which is real and easy--has the immediate effect of smashing the defeatist pessimism that has been so carefully instilled in us and the longer range effect of loosening the blinders that keep us from exercising our imaginations. They still in a dusty box somewhere, and they work just fine; we just have to lug them up from the basement we've been told is too scary to enter. For a secondary example of the effect of Dean's vision, imagine how villages and cities could be differently constructed and what the social implications of living in communities set up this way would be. If we can really let go of all the omnipresent images and preconceived notions we have, possibilities multiply like the eager bunnies they really are.

If we can then apply this same miraculous imagination to the other terrible problems facing us, not only do the solutions present themselves, but we get such a rush of empowerment, of rejuvenation, that we're further emboldened to take on the next insurmountable challenge. One of the most serious issues we're currently not facing at all is deforestation and soil erosion. As Jeff has reported, Brazil is teetering on the cliff. One solution with other far-reaching consequences: the Hemp Revolution. This is another great example of how addressing one problem leads to solutions for many others. Hemp stops soil erosion by setting down deep root structures very quickly. It's a weed and as such requires very little cultivation. As an immediate stop-gap measure, massive planting in degraded landscapes would preserve soils until reforestation could be implemented. Planted between damaging crops like cotton, hemp repairs the nutrient balance. As a cash crop, hemp has even larger implications. Now that the labor-intensive harvesting difficulties of hemp production have been solved, its applications in textiles, as a replacement for petroleum in plastics, in the many types of oils needed for industry and home products and literally hundreds of other uses would have a staggering cumulative effect.

Rippling yet further, the Hemp Revolution would also play a key role in stopping the destructive and self-perpetuating War On Drugs, which in turn would allow the public to see a conspiracy unmasked and provide a template for stopping the growing menace of the War On Terror. A new, which is to say honest, look at these areas brings us the problem of money & society, but I've gone on long enough here. The first step is putting together a visual kit which can convey these startling, unexpected, and generally suppressed solutions to a despairing and/or apathetic public. As the government knows, it's the image that counts. The battle is over in hundredths of a second, and we can compete, and win because these sorts of solutions make people stronger and less fearful.

As to the question of whether our nature is up to fixing this broken world, that's easy. Yes. the Milgram Study was thought to have shown our capacity for cruelty, our innate need to be led into whatever morally questionable foray the leaders had in mind, but that's an improper interpretation, too, another lie. It only shows our limitless flexibility. Yes, we can be made to do horrible things, but we can also be given the choice of doing good, the results of which are never as widely known, somehow, as studies like Milgram's. Chimpanzees were recently shown to give up feeding if it meant preventing their fellow apes from receiving electrical shocks. Compassion is an innate primate trait, and we are nothing if not monkeys. The chimps are also not the most peaceful species, either, in case you're wondering if humans were worse.

I'll stop now with the observations of Frans de Waal, in an interview on his book Our Inner Ape:

...that's why I speak of us as the bipolar ape.

What do you mean the bipolar ape?

I think we have both the aggression of one of our closest relatives, chimpanzees, but we have a good amount of altruism, more like our other close cousin the bonobo. So I think we have both in us.

For example, our sexual behavior is very variable and that's more like the bonobos. We have many different positions and partners. We use sex for a number of different purposes. Most humans and bonobos have sex that has nothing to do with reproduction
.

If we're so closely related to bonobos, why haven't they gotten more attention?

That's the interesting part. We have always looked at the chimpanzee and the chimp is very violent and very male dominated. And then the bonobo came along, and the bonobo doesn't fit the perceptions that we had about our ancestors and our nature. The bonobos are much sexier and female dominated. They're peaceful and they're more sensitive to others. The bonobo came along as sort of primate hippy and that did not fit in the thinking. Many anthropologists at the time thought that our ancestors were brutes, and so many of them ignored the bonobo.

Bonobo or chimp, that is the question...for intelligent humans who've rediscovered the power of their imagination.

9/07/2006 04:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

One more thing starroute...since i just read your 3:59 post...you weren't being snarky at all. In fact, you were being gracious. If anyone should apologize it's me. Last night I had a bitch of a toothpain inspired headache & I was itching for the distraction of a good argument. You have my most humble apologies.

I'd say let's agree to disagree but I don't actually think we do disagree, it just appears that way.

9/07/2006 04:22:00 PM  
Anonymous jon said...

rich said,

"But I don't think folk suddenly find it 'ok' because an authority figure says it is."

uhh--i beg to differ. what was that case study where 'normal' people were taken off the street and told by the Man In The Lab Coat to shock perfect strangers behind a screen? they didn't know that the screams coming from the other were faked and that no one was really hooked up to an electrical charge, but because the Man In The Lab Coat said he assumed responsibility for the consequences, 'normal' people kept upping the voltage under his direction... seems to me like a pretty good case for what starry is saying about *personal* ethics and *group* ethics--with the Man In The Lab Coat taking "responsibility", of course.

9/07/2006 04:43:00 PM  
Anonymous jon said...

here it is:

"The Milgram Experiment:
A lesson in depravity, peer pressure, and the power of authority

I observed a mature and initially poised businessman enter the laboratory smiling and confident. Within twenty minutes, he was reduced to a twitching, stuttering wreck, who was rapidly approaching nervous collapse. He constantly pulled on his earlobe and twisted his hands. At one point he pushed his fist into his forehead and muttered, 'Oh God, let's stop it.' and yet he continued to respond to every word of the experimenter, and obeyed to the end."

http://www.new-life.net/milgram.htm

9/07/2006 04:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Nate said...

Anonymous 2:49:
McGowan's bleak (however accurate) assessment quoted above, seems to suggest that there is only one preliminary action: rebuild social networks. This can't be done on the internet. We need to reclaim public social space, public houses (pubs), parks, the streets, civic organizations. This must be the project before any other *movement* is possible.

Actually, I think this kind of real-space relocalisation *can* and must be done on the Internet, at the same time as it moves off-Net and into physical meetups. It's not an either-or choice, as if people have a limited amount of attention that they will either give to web surfing or neighbourhood involvement. You need to use both.

The Internet for me has been a catalyst for me joining other real-space groups.and regaining a social identity from the fragmented state I started in. I saw this potential even back before there was a commercial Internet, in the world of BBSes.

What people keep forgetting is that the Internet is not a single monolithic centrally-controlled entity, like television. It's fundamentally different in that way (though the rise of broadband ISP consolidation is desperately trying to claw that back). It's a cheap, mostly unfiltered (so far), and writeable mass media - something we haven't had since the rise of radio and maybe even since before the printing press. But that writability is still only a potential for organising - going on the Net and reading political blogs doesn't automatically make you an activist, but it might be enough to tip the scales and begin the process of education.

It's important that what starts on the Internet, doesn't just stay on the Internet, but develops a physical-space aspect. Some of the most interesting to me web/physical cross-communities are things like BookCrossing.com, which combine a deeply physical and local hook (leaving books in public places - altruism, gift-economics, payforward, literacy promotion, random acts of kindness) with local chapter meetups plus a web-based forum and tracking database to make it very easy for non-members to join the conversation, discover their local network and get involved.

In 2002, I travelled briefly to the USA. I stayed for two weeks with friends I knew only from an online MUD, and in Washington DC I stayed for a weekend with an IndyMedia activist I knew only from reading her LiveJournal. Because of that Net contact I attended an IndyMedia meetup that night and heard a fascinating Jewish woman giving her description of visiting Israel and Palestine and showing smuggled slides of life in the occupied Palestine territories.

*That* to me is the real power of the Net, though the so-called 'Web 2.0' wave is only barely starting to realise it. I think it will take at least a Web 3.0 or 4.0 to fully integrate a relocalised, gift-economic social movement, and there'll likely be massive resistance and subversion from the corporate forces, who really do want just a TV with a buy button, and the US defense octopus, who want a convenient way to screen the population for anti-Bush dissidents. And of course, 90% of people at any given time probably just won't care who runs their Net as long as they can get YouTube. But it's that 10% who do care that matter, and the point is to try to grow it to 11%, and from there on up.

OTOH, I agree totally that we need much more involvement in our local, physical communities. That's why since 2003 I've been working in local neighbourhood organising - and found it damn hard, even in sleepy New Zealand, because small as we are, we're still very geographically fragmented, much more than my parents' generation. That social breakdown is happening all over the developed world, not just America.

9/07/2006 05:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Jon, I'm familiar with the experiment.

I'd counter your argument by saying that humanity was far more deferential to authority figures in 1961-62 than they are in 2006.

I would be interested in seeing a contemporary repeat of the Millgram experiment though.

It would be interesting.

9/07/2006 05:18:00 PM  
Anonymous jon said...

i tend to agree, that people are less deferential today than then, but does that mean we're "better", i wonder? i would like to have seen a pre- and post-9/11 milgram done.

and what to think about that 2004 study of 100,000 high schoolers, 35% of whom thought that the first ammendment "goes too far" in the rights it guarantees?

http://firstamendment.jideas.org/downloads/future_final.pdf

9/07/2006 05:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't the Milgram experiment repeated on a daily basis in the military? Isn't that what it's all about? Following orders, hierarchical command structures that result in death and dismemberment?
The ultimate Milgram experiment occurred (successfully, according to the command paradigm) aboard the Enola Gay.

9/07/2006 05:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Luposapien said...

Also, a point to keep in mind about the Millgram experiment is that the subjects did not, in fact, think what they were doing was 'OK'. Quite the opposite, in fact, as evidenced by the poised businessman who "Within twenty minutes, was reduced to a twitching, stuttering wreck, who was rapidly approaching nervous collapse." They knew very well that what they were doing (or believed they were doing) was not OK. It's just that, when it came down to it, they couldn't bring themselves to rebel against the "Authority" in the situation.

9/07/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike said...

Your connection of the Peak Oil movement to fascism is interesting....


It goes deeper down the rabbit hole. See comments on Jeff's previous post 'Why Are They Doing this?' on it, below

THE OTHER TENTACLE: "SELLING PEAK OIL"

9/07/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Sounder said...

Our psyches are flexible, but what with centuries of deferral to authority, a new set of tools is necessary to provide confidence for the common man to think for themselves.

Then we will change this situation.

9/07/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard said
My point is that if I didn't know they were cons up front, I doubt that I would have been able to glean that from idle conversation.

Reminds me of the thought that the problem isn't that people are divided up into good people and evil people...it's that good and evil exist in all of us.

9/07/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Sounder said...

anon, 7:07

I'll drink to that.

9/07/2006 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger Digital Spy said...

Shrubageddon,

Surely a smart guy like you knows why women don't want to breast feed anymore?
IMHO it is another example of feminism, the self-denial of the most obvious and best parts of a womans nature.
Society has become one seriously fucked up place.

9/07/2006 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger Digital Spy said...

Joe Blow

If you really want to hit the bastards where it really hurts you aim for the aorta.

9/07/2006 08:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Shrubageddon said...

Luposapien said...
Also, a point to keep in mind about the Millgram experiment is that the subjects did not, in fact, think what they were doing was 'OK'. Quite the opposite, in fact, as evidenced by the poised businessman who "Within twenty minutes, was reduced to a twitching, stuttering wreck, who was rapidly approaching nervous collapse." They knew very well that what they were doing (or believed they were doing) was not OK. It's just that, when it came down to it, they couldn't bring themselves to rebel against the "Authority" in the situation.


Actually, The Milgram Study doesn't preclude Richard's Thesis, at all. In the Milgram Study, The Authoritarian System used the subject to promulgate its agenda. Richard's Thesis asserts that the individual uses The Authoritarian System to promulgate his/her own agenda, and shield him/her from responsibility.

9/07/2006 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger Puma said...

Wow, that's the first time I have ever seen anyone reference Blavatsky on a blog... It has been probably thirty years since I read Alice Bailey's "A Treatise on White Magic" which led me to "The Secret Doctrine." Bravo, now *that's* esoteric.

9/07/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Puma said...

Although I must add, that I never saw Madame Blavatsky as "optimistic." She, along with many others, saw the coming transformation as an integration of both dark and light, good and evil. It was not that America was going to "show the way" with vigorous novelty. Rather, America will instead literally embody the very battle of good and evil itself - that its crux will be played out here - that because our Way dominates and influences so many others across the Earth, what happens here will profoundly change how all of humanity relates to the World.

9/07/2006 09:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now isn't that odd. The "Son of Gaia" debunker on the previous thread also started ranting (on the crimeblog site) about how these "conspiracy theories" were aiding the Jihadists. A number of people called him out on that (including me), but now, given the new White House/NSC meme, it would seem he was lifting a page from their new (and pathetic) playbook.

One would wonder just how "Son of Gaia" knew to make that association, three days before the White House started bleating about it. Hmmm...

9/07/2006 09:56:00 PM  
Anonymous starroute said...

Richard -

Taken literally, your last response to me would amount to saying that:

1) Congressmen and bureaucrats are all psychopaths, with the psychopath's natural ability to lie indiscernably.

2) Every young man and woman who signs up with the military does so in order to fulfill their barely-restrained desires to rampage through the streets, kicking in doors, shooting civilians, and gang-raping young women.

I can't buy either of those. I saw something recently which said that 20% of the population may technically be psychopaths -- in the sense of not having an innate sense of right and wrong -- but even among those, only a small percent have any propensity to become violent criminals.

Most people -- even most politicians -- do have a sense of right and wrong, and do give the game away when they try lying. (If you don't believe this, you might follow another of my husband's pet addictions and try watching Judge Judy for a bit.)

This is where my real beef with you lies: Saying that people do evil things because they're evil is a cop-out. It dodges the far more interesting and relevant question of how people who are not evil can be complicit in evil deeds.

9/07/2006 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Thivai Abhor said...

I would like to extend an invitation to you to join in on a collective blogging section of our upcoming winter issue of Reconstruction

Here is the original call:

Theories/Practices of Blogging

Our intent in this section of the issue will be to collect a wide range of bloggers and link up to their statements in regards to why they blog (something many of us are asked) and any statement they have on the theories/practices of blogging.

If you already have a post on this you can feel free to use it, or, if you are interested, you can submit a new one.

We will link to each statement from the issue at our site, with the intent of creating a hyperlinked list of statements on blogging that can serve as an introduction to blogging (or an expansion of knowledge for those already blogging).

If you are interested please contact me at mdbento @ gmail.com

9/07/2006 11:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is getting to be too much for me. All I can think about is killing the bastards. Where do you start? There are so many of them. Do you just let them live and keep going about their dirty work? People like Paul Wellstone, Medgar Evers, MLK, JFK, and RFK get offed, and all the evil bastards just keep walking around. What is the deal? Is there no justice at all? Why aren't we the people serving up justice? All we do is talk!!!!!

9/07/2006 11:20:00 PM  
Anonymous starroute said...

anonymous 11:20 -

Why aren't we? Because one of the main cosmic principles is "Effects tend to resemble their causes."

What this means in practice is that killing off a lot of good people will wind you up with an evil society -- but killing off a lot of evil people will also wind you up with an evil society. It's the "killing" part that's relevant and not who's being killed. (One more example of the spaces between people being more important than the people themselves.)

So, even assuming you're sincere and not some kind of provocateur, what you suggest is simply not viable.

9/08/2006 12:41:00 AM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

Or, as Jesus is reputed to have said, the end cannot justify the means because you become the means you employ.

9/08/2006 12:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blavatsky 's dream protoge was inadvertantly a genius who dispelled all the Theosophical crap, J. Krishnamurti. He exploded all the myths and boiled it down to the cold truth. You want to understand all this? Read his transcripts.

9/08/2006 12:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Like I said starroute, let's just agree to disagree.
I'm running on 2 1/2 hours sleep & I think that, even at my best, you're way out of my league as a debate opponent. Exhausted as I am, I'm going to just literally be your verbal punching bag.

I may not be the brightest light on the Christmas tree but I do know when to run up the white flag.

I do see your point. Honestly.

I just agree with the dictum, "as above, so below."

I think our corporations & our institutions, on some deep core level, are little more than mirrors reflecting the dichotomy that sits in every one of us.

Not particularly deep, I know.
but at 1:30, it's the best I've got.

Truthfully, I had this long rambling screed all typed up with my dyslexic hunt & peck tappity tap. Thankfully, I read it before I hit post.

The choice between delete & taste shoe leather was really no choice at all.

9/08/2006 01:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me, there is some especially good stuff here tonight. Apropos of the article about the deeper purpose of imagination, I'll mention Goethe's use of imagination in his scientific investigations. He developed what he called "exact sensorial imagination", where he would mentally recreate the events of a phenomenon. For instance, the change of color of the sky as the sun rises and then falls.

Here's one place that discusses Goethe's work in a series of articles:
http://www.janushead.org/8%2D1/

9/08/2006 01:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, if one is going to "cite" Blavasky, know that she was a huge plagarist...

Typing in the blubs on the back,

Anyway here's a book I would recommend to Jeff:

The Masters Revealed: Madame Blavatsky and the Myth of the Great White Lodge, by K. Paul Johnson

"The author has transferred the discussion of Blavatsky's sources from the realm of the mythical to the historical. He has given us a well-researched series of capsulated biographes of person from which Blavatsky learned, and the nature of her relationship with each of them. His work brings reasoned conclusions into an area characterized by viturpative and polarized scholarship....." - Hal W. French, University of South Carolina

"There is darn little non-partisan writing about Theosophy and this book fills a real need. Johnson shows that the Theosophical movment is intertwined with the intellectual and political history of its time. He has marshalled an impressive body of evidence to show that the Theosophical masters are neither disembodied spirits nor are they fictions but are specific historical personages whose identities were disguised for various reasons." --James Burnell Robinson, University of Northern Iowa

The existence of Madame Blavatsky's occult "Masters" has been fiercely debated for more than a century. Although scores of books have been written about her, none has focused on the historical identities of these elusive teachers. This book profiles 32 of Blavatsky's hidden sponsors, including leaders of secret societies in Europe and America, religio-political reformers in Egypt and India, and even British government agents. The milieu in which she carried out her spiritual quest is vividly revealed as a hotbed of revolutionary plots and secret coalitions. But beyond all the politics [yeah! beyond all that, suuuure.... that's really the crux here how it got so politically connected] was a genuine spiritual awakening of global significance.

9/08/2006 03:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Nate said...

Puma:
"Although I must add, that I never saw Madame Blavatsky as "optimistic." She, along with many others, saw the coming transformation as an integration of both dark and light, good and evil. It was not that America was going to "show the way" with vigorous novelty. Rather, America will instead literally embody the very battle of good and evil itself - that its crux will be played out here - that because our Way dominates and influences so many others across the Earth, what happens here will profoundly change how all of humanity relates to the World."


It's coming to America first
The cradle of the best and of the worst
'Cause it's here they got the range
And the machinery for change
And it's here they got the spiritual thirst
And it's here the family's broken
And it's here the people say
That the heart has got to open
In a fundamental way
Democracy is coming to the USA


Leonard Cohen.

9/08/2006 04:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Nate said...

Anonymous 11:20
"All I can think about is killing the bastards... Why aren't we the people serving up justice? All we do is talk!!!!!"

Starroute:
"Why aren't we? Because one of the main cosmic principles is "Effects tend to resemble their causes."... Or, as Jesus is reputed to have said, the end cannot justify the means because you become the means you employ."


(Which gospel was that from? One of the Gnostic ones? It's very like Gandhi's "be the change you wish to see")

But yes, this is a very important point, I believe. Means become ends.

A good way to look at it is to see our actions as like living organisms: self-replicating entities. The choices we make don't just sum linearly - they multiply geometrically. Our acts become our nature, as our souls grow like trees or pearls, accreting layers. And from each day's new nature spawn new each day's new acts.

So acts that we take don't just have a single effect on the world - they have a compounding, multiplying, accelerating self-referential effect. On ourselves and our habits and memories, on our supporters and admirers, even on our enemies and rivals.

(Who, if we're at all successful, will model themselves on us even as they're fighting against us - this is one of the fascinating paradoxes of the Cold War, seeing people like the neocons adopt both Nazi interrogation techniques and Marxist/Bolshevik political organising tactics out of the idea that 'we must combat fire with fire, our enemies are strong and we are weak, so let's copy their methods'. Ideas and ideologies don't just spread between friends, but between *enemies*. So be very careful who you choose to hate - hatred is nearly as powerful a binding emotion as love, and very close to it.)

This is my simple mathematical refutation to the hard-core utilitarians of the ticking-nuke-vs-torture school, anyway. It's not simply a matter of weighing one tortured terrorist suspect against a dead city. It's actually about one tortured suspect, plus a dozen traumatised and hardened police torturers, plus a scarred legal and political system that chooses to turn a blind eye to atrocities, plus the infrastructure of police terror and detainment that will be created to expedite the new torture policy, plus the thousands of innocents abducted off the streets and tortured by mistake, plus the escalating atrocities on both sides as the enemy reacts and fights back with escalating violence, plus the death squads and internment camps that become easier to create now that we've 'already' justified torture... against the spectre of a dead city that might not actually ever have happened.

Things never stand still, I guess, is the point. There's no such thing as an individual act, any more than there's such a thing as an individual standing alone and proud like an Ayn Rand hero, self-born without parents or peers. Everything compounds, everything accelerates, everything feeds back in one direction or another. There are no isolated things or events, just processes.

The upside of of this revelation is that you can break out of a vicious circle *at any point*. If everything in society is stuffed up and interconnected, dragging us all down to hell together, well, we've got an abundance of targets. It doesn't much matter where we start or how powerless we feel as long as we do *something* - something good, generous, warm and humane in itself and slightly courageous, slightly risky, slightly beyond our usual comfortable norm - to make the world a better place. Whatever we do will have cascading effects, and sooner or later, foom. The Empire falls (it's going to fall anyway) and what's left, will be what remains.

How many people are thinking, anyway, about what happens *after* the Empire? Most people play the Star Wars scenario, assuming that it's all about killing the few mega-bad guys, and once you off the Sith Lords, the world magically heals itself. It doesn't. The problems only *begin* then, because that's when everything falls apart, when you find out how many murderous factions the Emperor and pals, evil as they were, were holding apart from each others' throats by sheer force of violence. That's when the supermarkets shut down and the trucks stop running and the levees break and the Mahdi Army starts rising against the infidels and Chechyna and the Balkans break away and you *really* need people with warm, humane, generous hearts, with good logistics and social skills and counselling insight and organising ability -- and if all you've done is trained them how to kill Bad Guys (tm) a dozen ways with a toothpick and run drugs to finance their RPG purchases they're not going to know how to heal anyone.

Oh, and I have no idea how much credibility to put behind the likes of, say, self-described 'Illuminati' survivors like 'Svali' -- but one of the things she says on one of her articles about what is, if true, a particularly evil mind-control cult, is that they were a) active in not just hardcore porn and drugs, but in *weapons trading*, and b) they set up links in the 1990s with, of all people, hard-right Patriot groups. So that they would have control over them. How ironic is that? The people in the USA's underground most terrified by the Evil Illuminati, and they might be buying their weapons - and getting their top-secret weapons training - from the #1 Enemy themselves. And yet, that makes a whole sick lot of sense to me. You don't just buy tactical arms & ammo at the five-and-dime. There has to be serious profit and illegality involved, massive potential for betrayal and leverage and pwnship - all stuff that bad guys flock to like flies on a dead horse.

So what are your options? Try to bring down your perceived enemies by force - and run straight into their arms, because you're playing *their* game, by *their* rules, and they're the hardened pros and we're the noobs? Or pick a new game, one they can't even comprehend, and run under their radar? I know where I fancy my odds.

9/08/2006 04:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the one who is so hate filled right now. I am a female. I have a son who is the same age Johnny Gosch is, if Johnny is still alive. I saw those photos, and they were boys just like my son. It brought it so much closer to home.

There must be some kind of justice.

I have a friend that says the bad ones go right through a door and have to come right back here when they die. No rest for them in heaven! But, that's not enough. If they are sent right back here, and don't know why, that's no punishment. It would be for me, but I don't think it is for them. They come back and cause more harm. I'm sorry, if that's the way it is run, it's not a very good way.

I know there is a heaven or whatever it is called, because my Dad has visited me. I have cats who have come back to visit. I don't really like the idea of hell, where you are condemned forever, but these people need to pay somehow. They need to pay here, but most of them don't.

I'm not just talking about pedophiles and child murderers and kidnappers. I'm talking also about the horrible leaders of our world, who burn children with white phosphorous, send soldiers off to die for oil, or pull acts of terrorism on their own people and get filthy rich because of it. They need to suffer for these things here and now, and they need to know why. Coming back to pay karma just doesn't hack it.

9/08/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Luposapien said...

True justice has not and will never be met out by human agency. I'd wager more harm has been done in this world by people attempting to enforce 'justice' that by those deliberartely setting out to do harm. None of ever know the full extent of the ramifications of our actions. Of course, that probably won't stop me (or most people) from attempting to do right by others, which really is the best we can do, but we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking we can 'set things right' in any kind of cosmic sense.

9/08/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger iridescent cuttlefish said...

Luposapien,
You're exactly right about the paving stones of the road to hell--that most of them were "well-intended"--but this does not also mean that self-serving, downright evil masquerading as "concern for the greater good" didn't place a great many stones of its own there as well.

More importantly, all that is as things have been, which is not the sum of all that can be. If an egalitarian, sustainable society could be grown through the expedient of never allowing power to accumulate in concentrations greater than the smallest unit of the society, we'd have a new ball game altogether. We've sort of dreamt of such a world, in our blinded fashion, and some aborted attempts have been made on a very small scale, that of the commune, but we've never been allowed to really even contemplate such a thing due to the incessant barrage of fear and the cruel noose of artificial scarcity that maintain the status quo.

We don't really know what the limits of possibilty are, since we're so limited by the meme of impossibilty that is broadcast nonstop.

9/08/2006 10:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Luposapien said...

IC, I hear ya. I probably come across a bit more pessimistic in my posting here than I am in 'real' life. Maybe it's the darkness of the themes here that brings it out in me. Deep down, I'm actually quite the idealistic dreamer. I do worry that there's not enough of us to break the momentum that our current self-destructive culture has built up before things hit bottom, but I still have hope that we can. Speaking of which, I really like your idea about creating a site specifically dedicated to a vision of what is actually, currently possible. The culture at large seems to be set up to prevent, as well as it can, people from even imagining that there may be a better alternative (or even imagining at all), and I think that imagination is the key.

Oh, and thanks also for the links to the Roger Dean site. Very interesting stuff.

Shrubba, I'd agree that, in many cases, individuals will attempt to mask their own selfish actions behind authoritarian constructs (God/the Devil/the State made me do it). But I also think that most people (myself not excluded) do know, on an instictual level, that certain things they do on a daily basis are not in the best interest of either themselves or anyone/thing else on the planet (if distictions can even be made between the individual and the collective), but they do them anyway. They've just let themselves be convinced that other people, people who are smarter or moraly superior to them, know better, and it's best to just not rock the boat. To that, I'd probably say that we're close enough to solid ground that we can probably swim to shore from here, if we just get up the courage to do so.

9/08/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Anonymous pop occulture said...

Actually, I think the connection between fascism and mysticism is of a rather different order altogether, having more to do with the concept of "True Will" than anything else:

"Fascism in One Person"

9/08/2006 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger Et in Arcadia ego said...

" Now isn't that odd. The "Son of Gaia" debunker on the previous thread also started ranting (on the crimeblog site) about how these "conspiracy theories" were aiding the Jihadists. A number of people called him out on that (including me), but now, given the new White House/NSC meme, it would seem he was lifting a page from their new (and pathetic) playbook.

One would wonder just how "Son of Gaia" knew to make that association, three days before the White House started bleating about it. Hmmm...

9:56 PM "


This a sharp observation that I will mirror on the forum.

I know you, anon. You have seen how these people have angered me.

Cheers,
D

9/08/2006 11:46:00 PM  
Blogger tim in san francisco said...

i always knew something wasn't quite right when he went straight from "the mole" to cnn news anchor. trust your instincts, comrades.

9/09/2006 12:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Handel read this:

"How many people are thinking, anyway, about what happens *after* the Empire? Most people play the Star Wars scenario, assuming that it's all about killing the few mega-bad guys, and once you off the Sith Lords, the world magically heals itself. It doesn't. The problems only *begin* then, because that's when everything falls apart, when you find out how many murderous factions the Emperor and pals, evil as they were, were holding apart from each others' throats by sheer force of violence. That's when the supermarkets shut down and the trucks stop running and the levees break and the Mahdi Army starts rising against the infidels and Chechyna and the Balkans break away and you *really* need people with warm, humane, generous hearts, with good logistics and social skills and counselling insight and organising ability -- and if all you've done is trained them how to kill Bad Guys (tm) a dozen ways with a toothpick and run drugs to finance their RPG purchases they're not going to know how to heal anyone."

I concede the power of your observation, but there are other, peaceful transitions: Czechoslovakia, for instance. After the lingering hurt caused by the betrayal in 1968, they split apart without bloodshed. The fall of the Soviet Union, although contaminated by world-class rapacity, is another. It doesn't have to end with a bang, or even a whimper. Freedom sometimes just happens. Or at least that is my hope.

Let us not forget the great Edward Abbeyism: "Freedom begins between your ears."

To Arcadia: your anger is quite understandable. People like Gaiason are playing a vile game.

9/09/2006 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger jules said...

Been offline having a break for my brain lately.

I missed this but gee it reminded me of some of my favorite music.

New Race - Radio Birdman

There's gonna be a new race
Kids are gonna start it up
We're all gonna mutate
Kids are saying yeah hup

Yeah hup
Really gonna punch you out

We're sick of waking up late
Gotta get some control
The kids are gonna mutate
From an endless roll

Scared of circular time
It keeps faking us out
Kids are gonna eject
Cos now it's time to punch out


and

Hand of Law - Radio Birdman again

Fear and terror, watch out boy
The sun is getting low
After sundown we'll be ready
And who could ask for more

On the third day of the seventh month
Is when we'll ride the highway
Night descends, daylight ends
And like the light we'll fly

Hand of law is coming down
Hand of law is coming down
Hand of law is on us now
Hand of law is on us now

Black Killers, Earl Flinns,
Demons from the sea
Midnight train, self insane
Man of mystery

Gonna all burn now, do you hear
In a nuclear flame
You're gonna never be the same
Cos you're gonna be rearranged

All the mirrors sucking people through
Down to an unknown world
All the fears that you ever knew
Are alive in that world

It's coming from the nor nor west
The endless eye warns
A hole in the sky mirrors (pronounced 'meres')
And the light that never never warms
Hand of law is on us now

9/09/2006 10:03:00 PM  
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