Here Thar Be Monsters!

Read in over 149 countries and 17 languages. Now at Augenguy.com! The original Indonesia Bureau brings you news and opinion with an IndoTex® flavor Monday thru Friday at 9a WIB (8p CST), from the other side of the argument to the other side of the planet. Be sure to check out Radio Far Side. Send comments_to luap.jkt@gmail.com, and tell all your friends. Sampai jumpa, y'all!

28.4.12

2001 Shining Orange Eyes

"I suppose you want the password."
"If you like."
"Fidelio."
"Thank you."

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  Orson Welles.  Frank Zappa.  Stanley Kubrick.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Many people have no idea the secrets that are laid bare in art.  Great masters of their media have always embedded keys to decoding the Matrix in their work.  Their talents drive them to uncover the hidden mysteries of Life. When they do, they attempt to present their findings to us is a way that doesn't immediately push us away, and which attempts to slide these revelations under the radar of the Watchers.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?

Mozart's final opera, Die Zauberflöte or The Magic Flute, placed the inner rituals and symbols of Freemasonry on display for all to see.  If you have ever seen an accurate adaptation of the opera, then you may have noticed the Queen of Heaven, the Rainbow Bridge, the noose, the bird...all variations on occult Masonic symbols.  In fact, you would see all the archetypes present in a later work called The Wizard of Oz.

Writing the opera at a time (1791) when the Bavarian Illuminati were becoming a powerful force behind European and American politics, Mozart attempted to sensitize the audience to that group's symbols as a means of exposing them.  It was a warning to anyone who could interpret the opera that nefarious forces were rising behind the scenes.  Curiously, Mozart died at a young age shortly after that opera hit the stage.

Orson Welles
Orson Welles famously revealed the inner workings of one of the most powerful men of his era, William Randolph Hearst.

Hearst was the Rupert Murdoch of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  He could make or break public figures, start wars and manipulate public opinion with the flick of a pen.  His life was mirrored in the character of Charles Foster Kane, a pitiable and lonely man haunted by what he had lost.  Interestingly, Kane was also Welles' autobiographical projection.

Though Citizen Kane is considered one of the greatest films of all time, both for its daring narrative style, and for the ground-breaking visuals that it used, Welles was virtually destroyed by it.  Hearst arguably put an end to Welles' career before it had truly begun.

Though Welles' later work showed all the innovation and genius of his first film, he never attained the stature of say, a Spielberg or Lucas.  But because his creativity was quite useful to the PTB, having tested mass mind-control techniques with War of the Worlds for them, Welles was allowed to muddle through, as long as he didn't stir the pot too much, which he didn't, at least not to the shocking extent of his first film, though all his works contains many visual allusions and metaphors for the aware viewer.

Frank Zappa is not someone most people think of when listing the Great Exposers of the Hidden Elite.  Few people truly appreciate his unique blends of musical styles, or his flaunting of social mores through playfully sarcastic lyrics.  However, if one listens carefully to Joe's Garage in Three Acts, you will pick up very definite audio vignettes of the inner workings of the music industry.  The Central Scrutinizer is the All-Seeing Eye, leading us on a biographical tour of Joe's rise to musical fame, his descent into sex and drugs, his concentration for being creative, and his eventual redemption.

Frank Zappa
Joe's Garage is an audio tour de force, a musical confession of a brilliant mind who eventually saw through the Matrix of his own life and converted his story into a popular and brilliantly crafted rock opera morality play.  Zappa goes directly for the juggler of religion and society, especially Catholicism, Scientology and government control.  He trashes the emptiness of pop culture and drags himself back to humanity and a sense of Self, and beckons us to join him.

Because music is truly the universal language, great composers like Mozart and Zappa are very accessible.  The problem is modern humans have little training in this language, and so are rarely able to bring to conscious thought what their sub-conscious minds automatically understand.

Zappa is often dismissed as whimsical and farcical, and so doesn't rate a look at the depth and layering evident even in his earliest works. Ultimately, this is also his saving grace, in that it was a perfect disguise for his message, though it often leads to him being written off prematurely, as well.

Stanley Kubrick is arguably the all-time master of hidden context and symbolism, when it comes to mass media.  He was one of the few cinematic greats who deeply understood both the art and science of the visual medium, and one of the fewer still who used it for us, rather than against us.  One wishes that he had lived to direct the Da Vinci Code, rather than Ron Howard.  Who knows what depth of layering and occult truths would have emerged from his powerful mind?

Whether you believe Kubrick produced the Moon landings or not, there is no denying that what we expected to see from Man's exploration of local space was exactly what Kubrick planted in our minds with 2001: A Space Odyssey just a year before Apollo 11.

He also showed us the power of secrets and lies.  Hiding truth always led to the logical conclusion that those who threatened to expose it had to die.  It was a conclusion to which even a sentient machine would come.  The only possible outcome of occult knowledge was death and destruction.  Occult is the polar opposite of Truth, one leading to death, the other to Life.

Stanley Kubrick
Kubrick was directly responsible for my awakening to the power of mass media and my desire to learn and master it.  A Clockwork Orange (ACO) left me stunned in my seat.  I had just watched mass mind manipulation in action, but what's more was that Kubrick has shown the audience how it was done and why it worked.

As I listened to the talk as the lights came up, I realized that Kubrick had just done a number on our heads.  He had taken a loathsome and despicable character named Alex, and had turned him into an anti-hero, a sympathetic and tragic figure before our very eyes.  Most people left the film dazed, unable to articulate why.  I knew immediately what had happened, and the alchemy of it enthralled me.

When The Shining came out, I knew immediately that what I had seen and felt in ACO was not a fluke.  Here it was again.  Kubrick had created a symbolic United States in the Overlook Hotel, and he forecast the decay and descent into madness that would follow our collective denial of what had been destroyed to achieve the Shining City on the Hill.  All Americans are Jack Torrance, driven mad by a misguided work ethic and the incessant nagging of Wendy, our conscience personified.

There was no longer any doubt in my mind that Kubrick was telegraphing multiple layers of warnings and wake-up calls to us.  It caused to go back and review all his films carefully, and when I did, I was left gasping for air like a fish yanked from his native ocean.  But the real slap to my psyche was yet to come.

Then came Eyes Wide Shut.  For the first time ever, I was unable to move when the lights came up.  I was gob-smacked into paralysis.  I sat through a second showing in the same afternoon.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing and hearing.  It was all there...all of it.  It was The Magic Flute, Citizen Kane, Joe's Garage, and all of Kubrick's previous works rolled up into one stunning package.

I was haunted by the sounds and images.  I have since viewed it frame by frame, dissected the sound track, and parsed the dialogue, analyzing every layer of meaning.  It is one of the most daring exposes I have ever witnessed.  It was a news reel for the Awake and Aware, and a teacher of even the most adept.  Every nuance and subtlety had a minimum of three definitions.  It was a visual Wasteland, with all of the mastery of Eliot in multiple, simultaneous channels.  And Kubrick was dead four days after finishing it.

One thing all four of these men have in common, beside the ability to lay Life's Great Mysteries at our feet, is that they were all intimately familiar with the aspects of the social Matrix that they exposed.  Mozart walked among the powers of Europe and was a plaything for them.  Welles knew the media moguls and Hearst empire from the inside, both in radio and the newspapers that could make or break a life in 500 words or less.  Zappa had lived through the explosion of pop culture and the rock music industry, and put its guts on display for anyone willing to listen.  And finally, Kubrick understood the awesome power of the visual media, and how multiple messages could be sent through simultaneous channels without distortion.

Kubrick showed us a stylized film frame as the monolith, stark and mysterious, imparting knowledge and information through some unseen magical method.  He showed us how it could be used to make the reprehensible into something likeable by manipulating our senses.  He confessed his sins, and those of his native country, in the metaphors of haunted hotels and naive characters.  And finally, he showed us who the men behind the curtains were, somewhere over the rainbow, in the language of dreams, using the future impossible tense.

These men, and many other people, have suffered greatly both for what they knew, and for their attempts to tell us.  They paid hellish prices, in some cases the Ultimate Price, to bring us the information they had.  It behooves us to listen carefully.  They are trying to warn us away from certain disaster, even from beyond the grave.  Their works are timeless and entrancing, simply because of the pure truths they hold out, though it is up to us to unlock the incredible stories they have to tell us.

It's like that strange scene in Interview with a Vampire, when Brad Pitt first joins the undead.  Suddenly his eyes are opened to the rich and terrifying world just beyond the obvious.  And so it is with us, if we are willing to push the boundaries of our Matrices and see the world for what it is.  Be prepared, though.  Things are never what they appear to be, especially when we stand on the shoulders of giants.

All Truth must be discovered, it can not be delivered.  The great minds have done the work to give us the pieces and we must do our part to assemble them.


25.4.12

The Corporate Diploma

A person who speaks many languages is a polyglot.
A person who speaks two languages is bilingual.
A person who speaks only one language is an American.

It's an old joke, and usually told with Englishman as the punch line, but it works either way.

After centuries of British and American imperialism, demand to learn the English language is quite strong.  The two empires have dominated global trade for nigh on 300 years.  The British being pompous, and the Americans being willfully ignorant, refused to learn anyone else's language.  They simply declared that if you wanted to do business with the only game in town, you had to learn English.

The English racket is still quite strong in Asia, though Europe has cooled a bit over the years.  Asia is handicapped by written languages that are all but incomprehensible.  They are further hindered by pronunciation that requires years of practice to perfect, especially Mandarin.  Furthermore, the invention of the computer virtually demanded the use of the Roman alphabet for several decades, though that is slowly being rectified.

Consequently, the demand to learn English throughout Asia is very high.  Classes begin in kindergarten and run through professional development seminars.

It's much like Europe and the West until the mid-1800s.  For literally millennia, a person was not considered educated and literate unless they knew both Latin and Greek.  It was simple pragmatics.  The Roman empire dominated global trade, and both Rome and Athens were centers of culture and learning.  If you wanted to get ahead in life, you knuckled down and dived in.  Even my own education included Latin, though I had to teach myself Greek and stayed for a time in Greece to work on it.

We see the same motivation, only the language has changed.  For a century or so, America dominated the global economy and was the center of learning and invention for as long.  Though that era is fading fast, the English language will likely remain the international trade language for quite some time, to the great irritation of the French (which still dominates Africa).

As a consequence of this demand, English schools have sprung up all over creation.  Vast chains of these language factories are densely scattered across Asia.  Names such as EF, ILT, TBI, and dozens of others all offer their brand of 'quick and easy' English training, meaning about two years of intensive immersion classes.

To achieve their promises, these schools climb all over each other to bring in native speakers to teach, so that the students can learn the accents, slang and other vagaries of the tongue.

Only one problem.  The profit motive.  Well, OK, two problems.  Corporate backers seeing green because their exploited labor classes can understand their Masters.

The profit motive is simple.  These schools compete fiercely for a limited number of students, and there are a lot of schools.  They are like McDonald's in America.  You can't walk ten feet without tripping over one.  So the schools cut as many corners as they can.  They offer cheapers classes with fluent local speakers.  They cut back by using cheaper curricula.  And they try to recruit any white face to fill the teacher slot, with little or no attention to the person's qualifications.

As a consequence, the schools become teacher mills.  They have revolving doors on the teachers' lounge.  They dangle visas and other goodies in front of the unsuspecting white faces, and when the person figures out the scam, they are replaced with the next victim.

Other than the fact that these hapless 'teachers' grew up speaking some form of English, they have little or no qualifications to teach the language.  Some are barely able to muster more than inner-city trog-speak.  They wouldn't know a tense if they tripped over it.  And spelling?  Well, how many people do you know who are ace spellers of English?  Next to Gaelic, it is one of the most difficult languages to write for that very reason.

Hell, most American schools don't even teach what I would consider the Mother Tongue anymore.

At any rate, the schools also try to get away with not paying out the immigration fees demanded by most governments.  Among them, Indonesia is one of the most egregious tax hounds.  A year-long work visa here costs north of $1,200, give or take some palm greasing.  Most Asian countries also have requirements that teachers have a degree in their subject.

Of all the English teachers in Indonesia, I know a handful with English degrees, much less a degree of any kind.  The odd one here and there might have a IELTS or other teaching certificate, meaning they sacrificed a couple of months of their lives to gain the necessary skills for teaching one of the most complex languages around.

It's a double-edged sword.  The law demands a degree, and the pitiful paychecks these schools offer mean none of the degrees would consider the jobs.

So, the schools are left recruiting barely literate knuckle draggers, in many cases.  And since they are defying the law anyway, why pay for visas and such?  They likely couldn't get them for the unpapered warm bodies in the classroom anyway.  In the end, they take their chances and pocket the difference, at the expense of the students.

Oh sure, scandals break out on occasion.  Several years back, it was EF.  Then it was Penabur.  Now it's TBI.  Mostly, these things just slide past, because too many .gov types get greased to look the other way and most customers don't care, as long as the kids are learning SOMEthing.

The real story behind these schools, though, is much darker.

Because the schools are mostly cash operations and the books are easily padded with invisible students, they are likely to become money-laundering fronts.  Set up a language school, pad the books with extra students, and pass the cash through the door.  It comes out squeaky clean.  This is much more common than folks would suspect.  It also provides a prime motive to cheap out on every corner that can be cut.

Another dark character in the background is the multinational corporation.  They quiety back many English schools around the world, because it serves their interests.  If they can train up a few thousand cheap laborers, put them in management positions to act as go-betweens, then it makes running Nike and Apple sweat-shops all that much easier.  It also provides a financial motive for the students who realize better jobs and pay by learning English.  They can stay off the shop floor and push paper.

You have to dig deep to find the corporate backers, but they are there, lurking around to pick off the talented students to run their job-jacking operations in developing countries.  There is even subtle hints of advertising in the classrooms and text books.  And of course, you can't learn a language effectively without picking up the culture that goes with it.  All of which serves the imperialists' goals.

In the end, the students are the victims.  Their parents shell out good money in the hopes of giving their kids a step up in business.  But the profit motive of the schools, and the corporate ghosts in the background, conspire to reduce the quality of the education while churning the cash crop.

It's a slimy business, and one which makes the thinking person pause and shake the head.  This business is not unique in having these problems, but it is one which few people think about regularly.

Even more unfortunate are the professional teachers who not only have their profession cheapened, but get smeared by the slip-shod operations whose only real reason to exist is profit.

It's a crying shame that business is the ONLY model folks can find to motivate them.

Me?  I'm learning Mandarin.  當我回答的機會敲

23.4.12

Dark Matter, Zombies and Crucifixions

Anyone who quotes the Bible as fact has obviously never read it.

Let's take a look at it scientifically.  If I can prove ANY part of it wrong, then the whole thing is trash.  Works just like a theory in science.  In order to prove the Big Bang true, theoreticians tortured the theory until they finally came to Black Matter.  They needed Dark Matter to prove the gravitational theory of Life, the Universe and Everything.  Needed it.  If gravity couldn't make all that we see, then the whole damn thing was cow patties.  In other words, the whole theory of cosmology, as beat into our brains in the government propaganda factories (schools), absolutely depended on gravity to make it work.

When they couldn't find enough visible matter to make the gravity thing work, then they mathematically created Dark Matter to putty in the gaps.  Without Dark Matter, there was no possible way to make the theory of the Big Bang work.

They went so far as to calculate the shape and distribution of Dark Matter in the area of the Sun.  They came up with theories on how to detect it.  They spent billions of dollars to launch spacecraft to measure the theoretical effects.  They found...nothing.

What they found, based on the motions of all the stars in our area of the galaxy, was that they moved exactly as predicted if they were influenced by the matter we see.  There was no room in the results for Dark Matter.  It didn't exist.  They couldn't tease it out of the data, no matter what they did.

The Big Bang is dead, because in science, if one small part of the theory is wrong, it is all wrong.  In fact, the Big Bang theory has never been proved right in any form of observation anywhere at any time.

Using the same technique, let's look at the Bible...Christian version with New Testament.  In fact, let's use the Aramaic Version in Plain English, Matthew 27:45 on...

45But from the sixth hour there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 46And toward the ninth hour Yeshua cried with a loud voice and he said, “Oh God, oh God! Why have you forsaken me?” 47Those people who were standing there, when they had heard, they were saying, “This one has called Elijah.” 48At that moment one of them ran and took a sponge and filled it with vinegar and placed it on a reed and gave a drink to him. 49But the rest were saying, “Let him alone; we shall see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50But Yeshua cried again with a loud voice, and his Spirit departed. 51And at once the curtain entrance of The Temple was ripped in two from top to bottom. The earth was shaken and the rocks were split. 52Tombs were opened, and many bodies of the Saints who were sleeping arose. 53And they came out, and after his resurrection, they entered the Holy City, and they appeared to many. 54And the Centurion and those who were guarding Yeshua, when they saw the quake and those things that happened, they were very afraid, and they said, “Truly, this was The Son of God.”

Now, before I tear this thing apart, let's keep in mind that the era that all this supposedly happened is considered one of the best documented periods in history.  What we know about this time comes from multiple first-hand accounts from multiple sources.  Pontius Pilat was an excellent documentarian, keeping meticulous records of his governership.  The Romans noted everything.  The Jews were absolutely anal about the temple and would have noted the slightest irregularity, including some guy coming in an turning the banksters' tables over.

With that in mind, we read that Yeshua cried out, "O God, o God..."  The next line says that those nearby remarked that he called out to Elijah.  So...which is it?   Did he call God or Elijah?  Does anyone want to argue that God (presumably Yahweh) is the same as Elijah?  Anyone?

At any rate, there would appear to be a solar eclipse or major storm going on, though there's no mention of rain in the narrative.  Then, at 3pm (ninth hour), Yeshua died and at that moment, the curtain in the Temple was torn in two.  Now, the Jews are absolutely nuts about the Temple.  The curtain in discussion separated the forecourt from the Holy of Holies.  It was never to be opened and only crossed by the priests.  Had that curtain, of its own volition, been torn in two, you can be absolutely sure that we'd have multiple records of that incident.

Then, there's this matter of a quake where the rocks split in two.  Not only is there no record of a quake in this era, one that could have split rocks would certainly have made it into the records of multiple sources.  Pilat surely would have made note:
Crucified the King of the Jews today.  Soon as he died, there was an eclipse and earthquake that split all the rocks.  Also, the curtain in the Temple was torn in two and the Jews are hopping mad.  Needless to say, the centurions are scared shitless.  This may have been a bad idea.

This might be enough, but no...it goes on.  The graves opened and the 'saints' rose up.  Not just for a minute or two, which might be explained by the earthquake, but they hung around for three days and then entered the city with the risen Christ.

Now I don't know about you, but if someone died, and at the same time, there was an eclipse, earthquake and dead people came out of their graves and walked around for days, that would be news.  Try this:
Ted Bundy was put to death at 3pm today.  Curiosly, the minute he was declared dead, there was a total eclipse over Florida that hadn't been predicted, a major earthquake that split stones for miles around, the local synagogue reported the curtain being torn in two by itself, and bodies came out of their graves and are still walking around.  Police are investigating.

Scholars and researchers have looked high and low and have yet to uncover a single record along these lines.  So, we can only assume that the whole thing is false.  Furthermore, there is no record of cleaning up the zombies, so we are left to assume that they are all still walking around this very minute.  Seen one lately?

Now, if one little part of the "Infalable Word of God" can be proved false, where does that leave us?  If this is all myth and allegory, I can handle that.  But, it's sold as Gospel Truth.  In fact, we swear to tell the truth on top of that very same Bible.  But if I can take one small part of it and show that it is provably false, then what does that say about the rest?

Even Paul, whose letters are considered the oldest of the New Testament writings, says that the resurrection was spiritual, not literal.  And none of the contemporary Roman, Palestinian or Jewish records document anything that remotely like this particular passage.

There is nothing equivocal about the words.  They state events as fact and don't give any sort of indication that these might be symbolic events.  Furthermore, none of the other three gospels record things quite this dramatic.

In other words, the theory is false.  Sorry.  And let's not get into the fact that the name Yahwah far outdates the oldest claimed date for the Old Testament.  Yet, that name was supposedly revealed to Moses from the Burning Bush.  So either the story is far older than anyone imagines, or it's false.

Then there's Gobekli Tepi in Turkey.  It was discovered in the mid-90s and has been positively dated to 12,000 years ago (10,000BC).  It has carvings that depict an event much like the Great Flood, which would push that event far into the distant past, well beyond the dates of the best Biblical study.

The thinking person is left with two options: throw the whole thing out as complete fantasy, or accept that the events noted are far older than anything we've accepted so far.

In the case of the New Testament, I think we can pretty much assume that it is a mish-mash of myths and legends.  Not that it invalidates the whole thing, but it certainly calls into question the literal veracity of all of it.

The second conclusion is that the Old Testament is far older and much more complex that anything we are taugh in Sunday school.    In any case, it's safe to say that the god of the Old Testament is an immoral and finite being and not worthy of our worship.

Now, having mauled both scientific dogma and religious dogma, where does that leave us?

Easy...free thinking individuals able to see through the piles of bullsh*t that we call culture.  Even more, we are free of the influence of the Powers That Was.  All that remains is to create a new world, based on honesty and truth.

Or we just give up and let the bastards control us.

Tought choice.

22.4.12

It's A-Lie-Ev!

In a flurry of media attention, a group of scientists got together this past week and announced they were "99% certain" that there is life on Mars, based on a second look at 36-year-old Viking data.

No shit, Sherlock.

For those of us who have followed this stuff since the 60s, that was akin to announcing that Jupiter has four moons, based on a re-evaluation of Galileo's observations.  Way ahead of you, Bub.

At this rate, it'll be another 20 years or so before they announce that Mars has trees and standing water, based on a closer look at Mars Global Surveyor's images.

If you still have a memory left, you may recall the banner headlines in 1976, that Viking landers had discovered microbial life in two of their three experiments.  The test that has recently come to the fore again was the Labeled Release experiment, in which a spoonful of dirt was dumped into a canister, soaked with 'chicken soup' that had radioactive carbon markers, and then measured the gases released.  If there was life, the reasoning went, it would eat the 'soup' and then respire the tagged carbon, which would then be measured as a positive sign of life activity.

Well, the amount of tagged carbon in the canister exploded, and in fact, showed circadian rhythm in the amounts released.  During daylight hours, the amount of carbon increased, and at night it decreased.

In the second phase of the experiment, the sample was cooked to sterilize it, the idea being that if the positive sign was really life, then the carbon release would stop after killing the 'bugs'.  Sure enough, it did.

Gil Levin, the guy who designed the experiment, has been jumping up and down for decades saying his device found life.  But NASA, in its infinite wisdom, said, "No, it's just a chemical reaction in the soil."  They have maintained this stance despite years of attempts to recreate the conditions in the lab by making 'fake' Mars soil and running the same tests on it.  Haven't succeeded yet.

A number of scientists proposed perchlorates in the soil as a possible chemical that could react in a way similar to the Viking results.  Problem was that no one had proof there were perchlorates in Mars soil.  All the little rovers running around up there testing the soil couldn't find perchlorate anywhere.  Suddenly, the Phoenix lander at the north pole found some!  That's right, in a soil sample taken from right next to the lander, they found perchlorate in the soil, which proved that either the Viking results were not life, or that the soil was contaminated by the lander's rockets that used, ahem, perchlorate as a reactor.

And so the NASA circle-jerk goes on, as they do everything in their power to deny that what most normal human beings can see is not there.

In subsequent years, NASA has sent scads of photographers, landers, crawlers, and rollers up there to do everything BUT look for life.  All these toys have been loaded with tools to test geology and look for signs of CONDITIONS that would have been FAVORABLE for life in the ANCIENT past, but nothing even remotely capable of looking for EXTANT life.

Clarke's Trees
In one rather famous case involving the current rovers, the close-up camera took a stunning picture of a crinoid fossil, which the machine proceeded to grind to dust at NASA's command, in it's effort to look for CONDITIONS.

In orbital photos, there are dozens of examples of lakes with things that look just like giant algae blooms.  They grow and shrink with the seasons, and even have a blue-green color.  There are dozens of photos of giant objects half-a-mile tall and as big across that look just like trees.  They grow and die with the seasons and are even called Arthur Clarke's trees, because he could see the obvious in the photos.

One has to ask the obvious question.  With experiments that showed such strong signs of life, and with all the photographic evidence for macro life forms, why hasn't NASA sent a single device to Mars in nearly 40 years to test directly for extant life on the planet?

In fact, they have gone out of their way to represent Mars as alien and inhospitable.  The first Viking photos from the surface showed blue skies and ocher landscapes.  Earthly desert-dwellers would have felt right at home.  The first photos from the current rovers were also initially released in true color, showing blue skies and multi-hued rolling hills.

Eventually, sooner than later, they tweak the colors to give us pink skies and deep red dirt, despite the fact that the color calibration charts are skewed far out of their normal color ranges.  In order for those colors to actually exist, it would require sunlight to be different on Earth and Mars, which just ain't gonna happen.  Sorry boys.  If Mars were circling a red giant like Betelgeuse, I might buy it.  But the Sun's light output doesn't shift color temperature in the few million miles between us and them.

On Earth, bacteria and algae live in every conceivable nook and cranny, under every possible environmental condition.  Even in our own guts, bacteria thrive in acid baths and complete darkness, occasionally swamped by anything we eat and drink.  Why is it so hard to imagine them living on a planet where, in the summer on the equator, in mid-day, most of us would be quite comfortable in T-shirt and shorts (give or take an oxygen mask)?

On top of all this evidence, in recent years, multiple machines have noted a vast methane bloom from certain areas at certain times of the year on Mars.  On Earth, methane is predominantly produced by living things farting, like Reagan's cows.  And since methane is highly volatile, especially in sunlight, it wouldn't persist much beyond a century in any appreciable amounts, so it is being renewed somehow.

Most of the NASA crowd claims the methane is from geolocical processes, though despite a huge and ever-growing library of data that is being scoured 25/8, they can't find a single geological event that could, much less is, produce methane.

Yet the methane blooms increase and decrease with the seasons and times of the day, much like the tagged carbon experiment on Viking.  Gee, you don't suppose that means LIFE do you?!

What is boils down to is: if it walks, quacks and shits like a duck, then it's not a turkey, OK?  Us normal thinking people are left with two options: either NASA scientists have their heads so far up a duck's patoot that they can't see daylight, or they are hiding something.  Granted, it could be an agency full of Rainmen idiot savants, but I prefer to give them enough credit to walk upright, and that they are willfully lying to us and obfuscating the plain truth to save their precious hides and grants.

Frankly, I have no problem believing the Universe is overflowing with bacteria and algae.  After all, on Earth, both survive in places that would kill a man in a matter of seconds.  They love it...trive on it.  They are everywhere...the deepest ocean, coldest polar regions, inside our guts, on our teeth, swarming on feces, chowing on oil and nuclear waste.  Who's to say that every nook and cranny of the Universe isn't just stuffed full of the critters?

Now, supposedly intelligent beings like humans?  Well, that's a different problem.  Maybe the Universe only creates one species like us per galaxy.  After all, the Universe can't afford to have wildly suicidal, pretentious and overly avaricious beings just everywhere.  Certainly, we haven't met many destructive creatures like ourselves out there.  But even if there's only one species per galaxy, then there's literally hundreds of billions of war-like, idiotic demon races out there.

And if you want to defend the human race, I'm willing to entertain the argument on an individual basis, but as a whole...forget it.  I already win before you open your mouth.

Finally, I can say that there was life on the Moon for at least a week and a half.  During that week and a half, six human being walked, slept and worked there.  Their waste so litters the landscape that satellites can photograph the evidence.  I can also argue that life exists on Mars right this minute.  There's a rover there controlled by human beings that is still active, and another on the way.  As the movie "Avatar" argued, a tele-presence is just as damaging as a human presence.  And who wants to argue that anonymous online avatars aren't controlled by living human beings?

Cogito ergo sum.  If I control tools, no matter how far away, then it is still 'I' doing it.  Ergo, life is present.  Does the TeeVee not change channels just because you push a button rather than get up and go over to the TeeVee?  Are DARPA's robots any less lethal because a man doesn't directly pull the trigger?

So, even if Mars is truly a dead, sterile world (fat chance), it has life because there is a machine directly controlled by living beings somewhere else in the Universe.

'Life' is such a moveable target.  What we call life, and what IS life, don't always match up.  And just because we finite, insane beings call something inanimate or inorganic 'non-life' doesn't make it so.  That is only our observations, which are infinitely fallible.

In the end, the definition of life, and its detection, is controlled by grant money and vested interests.  If life were found on another planet, then huge sums of money would flow from geology to biology.  JPL and NASA survive on geology and a particular story line.  If the focus and story change, then the entrenched powers would go hungry and the power would shift to another camp.

Same goes for religion.  The world's religions are based on humanity being the center of everything.  If it turns out there is Creation on other worlds, completely separate from ours, then think how many people would be out of a job.  All those priests, preachers, imams, monks, and shamans begging on the streets, vying for handouts along with all the planetary geologists.  Can't have that.

In the final analysis, you can't trust anyone in a position of authority for the simple reason that they will lie to you to keep from losing their jobs.  Would you march in to your boss' office and announce that you've just figured out a way to eliminate your job?  Then why would you trust anyone else to do that, unless they've figured out how to make money off of the truth?

The only truth in life is what you figure out for yourself.  Even the two-and-a-half people that read this blog on a daily basis should not trust me.  I may have some stake in the outcome I am promoting.  Therefore, it is up to the individual to decide.  What is out there and how does it affect me?  And, how does a major change in the way of viewing the Universe affect my ability to make a living, and can I survive in that world?

And you thought life was so simple, didn't you?

21.4.12

The Fine Columbian

To paraphrase the Grateful Dead, what a long, strange week it's been.

Hitler's birthday passed relatively quiet.  In years past, there have been an inordinate number of big events around this particular date, including significant space events, Waco, Columbine, the BP Gulf of Mexico slaughter, and many others.

I was watching for some kind of marker, since They seem to be obsessed with celebrating this day.  At first, I though it was going to be one of the off-years, but then it happened...

Think about the archetypes involved here: the SS was caught in a scandal in South America involving Bolivian marching powder and little brown honeys.  SS?  South America?  Oh, that was just too rich!  They've gotten much more subtle now.  And it's hard to deny the tie between the two SSs.  Hitler's SS wore black uniforms and part of their job was to be his personal guard.  The Obama's SS wear black suits and part of their job is to do the same.

The delicious irony, too.  In the same week as the SS scandal, they were busily interrogating Ted Nugent about some of his comments regarding Obama's imminent re-election.  As if those black suits have any credibility left...  Next thing you know, they'll write off the scandal as an undercover investigation of drug and prostitution rings in Cartagena.  Bet me.



Another interesting event was the media getting caught with their propaganda pants down.  Looking at how media phrase things.  North Korea launched a missile that could "hit the US".  Iran's missiles are always talked about in terms of their ability to "hit Israel".  Then, India shows up with a missile that can "hit Beijing".

They never just give a range, or mention that any missile that can reach Earth orbit can hit anything anywhere on the planet.  They always give specific targets, though there are thousands of possible targets within the missiles range.  Of course, if the particular country being discussed is the US itself or a close ally, then the missiles just have a range, or can be used to launch satellites, both relatively benign statistics.  You never hear, "The US tested a missile today that can level Moscow from Kansas.

It's all in the wording, and most people aren't critical of such things.  It's like those computer-generated photos in which the picture elements themselves are other pictures.  In other words, it's not the message, but how the message is composed that is the message.  One of those fun ponders for an afternoon of primo and scotch, eh?

Here's another good ponder for you.  What is aperson?  Dorights really exist?  And why is it so important to take God out of the public sphere?

Talk about a brain bomb.

The easiest part to dispose of, ironically, is God.  Everyone runs around talking about their "God-given rights."  Most of the thinking in the Enlightenment period was about Natural Rights and where they come from and who backs them up.  It always came down to appeal to a higher power in order to enforce rights  Every human has natural rights, because they are 'endowded by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.'  By the way, the root of 'unalienable' is 'lien', not 'alien'.  You can't put a lien on the rights or sign them away.

At any rate, if you take God out of the picture, then the author of the rights disappears and the conversation then turns to, "What rights?"  As George Carlin said very well, there are no rights.  No such thing.  Completely made up.  If there were Natural Rights, there would be no need to defend them.  The rights would be self-defending and apparent, like having ten fingers and ten toes.

This is why the Framers of the US Constitution backed up their assertion of Natural Rights with the right to keep and bear arms.  When it comes down to it, the only rights you or I have are those which we are willing to defend with lethal force.  Obviously, those who want to take away our rights are willing to use lethal force to do so, so it stands to reason that an equal response is called for here.

In other words, free speech is limited by folks willing to shoot you to shut you up, so you must be willing to shoot them to maintain your 'right'.  Ergo, the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which backs up all those pretty 'rights' with the 'legal' ability to shoot anyone who would take them away.  Of course, it says 'keep and bear arms', not buy and stockpile ammunition, so your rights end when the ammo supply runs out.

The final ponder is 'person'.  What is a 'person'?  Most Western law defines 'person' as EITHER an individual, or a collective acting in concert as if an individual.  This seemingly simple concept is the reason why corporations are treated as 'persons' having 'rights' under the law.  It is the origin of the 'corporate veil', in which only the collective can be punished, not the individuals behind it.

Since you can't throw a corporation in jail, the only other way to punish a concept is financial sanction.  Therefore, the worst thing you can do to a collective is to take away its profit, or some part thereof.

But how did all this come about?  After all, in our common speech, a person is just an individual human being using a non-gendered, non-specific term.

Interestingly, the origin of this concept of 'person' comes from the medieval Roman church.  Theologians took a close look at two New Testament concepts: the Church itself and the line, "Where two or more are gathered in my name, there too am I."  In other words, a group of people in common purpose constitutes a 'church', which is a singular entity supposedly more than the sum of its parts.

And here is how we got to the term 'person'.  It originally came from the Greek phersu, which was the mask worn by actors on stage...the classic image of comedy and tragedy.  In Latin, it became persona, meaning human being, on so on.  

In philosophy, a person represented the irreducible being that couldn't be defined by its parts, because the whole was more than a set of functions.  A human being could not be defined as the digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and lymphatic systems, nor could the human being be defined by the collection of mental and physical processes within an individual.  Even though we all have the same basic parts and functions, we are completely unique individuals, therefore we are more than the sum of our parts, therefore we are 'persons'.  Even persons are described as individuals...'unable to divide' any further without destroying the whole.

The Church was seen as being more than the sum of the beings who joined to create it.  A pope could die and another get elected, but the whole continued uninterrupted.  In this way, the collective was seen to be a macro version of the individual human being.  It existed on a plane above the collection of parts that constituted it.

By extension, something like McDonald's cannot be defined by the individuals who make up the corporate entity.  The CEO can retire or die, and another steps in, but the collective continues without interruption.  If you swap out the PhD flipping burgers with a high school drop-out doing the same job, it makes no difference to the 'person' of McDonald's.

Just like when one of your skin cells dies and is replaced by another.  You don't feel different,  You don't behave different.  You simply continue on as if nothing had happened.  In the same way, if you cut off an arm, the 'person' that is you does not change because of it.  'You' are more than the sum of your parts and functions.  You are a 'person'.

With all that said, where does that leave us?

Basically, we looked at Nature and saw that we humans were complete Universes within ourselves.  We were indivisible and individual.  Therefore, we were in the same image as God, who was also indivisible and individual.  We came to see ourselves as part of the creative process in this way.  If a group of us got together to perform a function, then that collective became a 'person' that we created by virtue of our joining in common cause.  Furthermore, we ascribed 'rights' to 'persons'.  

As images of God, we were endowed with 'rights' that were previously only given to kings in their function as the 'person' of the State.  If we are all 'persons' who are co-creators and perfect images of God, then we all have the same 'rights' as the king.  Thus, we are all kings (the sovereign individual movement).

In the end, however grand our reasoning and philosophies, we have no basic Natural Rights.  You claim to right to property, but I can steal it just as easily.  You claim the right to speak, but I can silence you in a dozen different ways.  You claim the right to privacy, but that's only a good as no one else listening.  Ultimately, the only rights you and I have are the ones for which we are willing to kill.  Anything short of that is not a right.  It is a civil privilege that lasts only as long as the majority respects the laws on which the privileges are founded.

In the final analysis, all that we hold dear is founded on a single, savage act.  As proof, I offer the sum total of human history, in which millions have died to secure or take away various rights.  If these rights were in fact God-given, there would be no need to kill to protect them, and in fact, there would be no need to kill to determine whose God is more powerful.

When we strip away all the centuries of rhetoric, there is only a human being who is a 'person', individual and indivisible.  Just like Dick Cheney.  You can swap out hearts, and even give him mechanical organs, and he's still the same mean, bitter old fool who shoots his friends in the face.

So, what does it all mean?  It means it's time from more primo and scotch!

16.4.12

Rock Me Gently

Few people take the time to really understand Earth's plate tectonics.  It's one of those subjects in school where everyone's eyes glaze over and they spend their time writing notes to the cute girl next to them, or (nowadays) sexting the girl in the next room.

At any rate, there are fewer subjects that have more immediate impact on our daily lives, and fewer still that anyone pays any attention to.

To visualize this, imagine a cauldron of seething hot molten iron.  On the top of the liquid iron are black islands of impurities called slag.  That's where we live...on the slag.  We are the impurities that float up to the top of the cauldron of molten iron.  If you look at a video of this, you'll notice that the little islands of slag move around and bump into each other.  That's analogous to the tectonic plates on which the slag floats.  Basically, it's a semi-cool skin that forms across the top of the molten material.

Because of the time and size scales involved, it's hard for humans to visualize what the Earth is doing.  Earth is a living, breathing organism, and we are parasites on its skin.  The Earth expands nad contracts as it respires.  It reacts to its environment.  It grows and changes on a daily basis, but we are so puny in comparison that we can only notice such things when a large scale change takes place.

Down the center of the Atlantic Ocean is a ridge where the plates are spreading.  Simply, liquid rock rises up through a crack and spreads the plates apart.  Among the more interesting features of this ridge is that it records the Earth's magnetic polar alignment over billions of years.  A fairly simple scanning process results in a series of magnetic stripes that show Earth's magnetic poles flip-flipping quite frequently over geologic time.  In other words, pole shift is nothing new, nor does it involve the planet rolling over.  Rather the liquid core of the planet is dynamic and as it shifts, the magnetic poles move around.  This process is little understood in terms of whether it is caused by inside or outside forces.  Nor is it much appreciated that the icing at the spin-axis poles is partially a result of the magnetic poles.  Thus, when the magnetic poles shift, ice ages come and go.

Another interesting bit of geologic lore is that at least one plate has completely disappeared.  It slid under the west coast of North America and bunched up the overlying land like kicking a rug.  The result is the Sierra Madre and Rocly mountains, not to mention a string of volcanoes like Mount St. Helen.  Baja and Southern California are also results of this process, and despite appearances, aren't actually part of the North American slag heap.

On a tectonic map, the item to really pay attention to at the moment is the Pacific Plate.  You should notice that it's just a big, roughly round disc that covers most of that hemispere of the Earth.  The reason this is interesting is that a quick scan of the rim of the bowl will locate places like Japan, the Aleutian Islands, the west coast of North America, Mexico and Chile, the Drake Passage, and the islands of Southeast Asia.  A scan of the headlines from the past two weeks should cause a light to go off.  This is the legendary 'Ring of Fire'.

This geologic bowl is surrounded with active volcanoes and is currently the site of hundreds of earthquakes ranging from hardly noticable to life-threatening.  Just the past few days have seen hundreds of quakes in Sumatera, Japan, Oregon, Mexicali, Mexico, Chile, and the Drake Passage.  There's also been a number of quakes down the mid-Atlantic Ridge.  Make no mistake, these are all intricately connected events.

Sumatera provides an interesting study, because in the last eight years, we have witnessed several massive quakes with very different outcomes, because they involved two completely different processes.

The 2004 quake, which reached over 9 on the magnitude scale and caused a massive tsunami affecting a significant part of the globe, was a thrust event.  Two plates bumping into each other snapped and one side popped up vertically causing a massive displacement of water.  Fukushima is another example of a thrust quake.

The quakes last week, in the same region, were strike-slip events, in which the two sides of the fault slide horizontally.  This is usually a weaker quake and rarely causes a tsunami, but these quakes are reported to be the strongest strike-slip quakes ever recorded, though only causing a 60cm tsunami (about a 2-foot wave).  A strike-slip quake normally doesn't cause a lot of damage, too, much as we saw with these two recent shakers.

So, with some background in place, let's put back for the proverbial Big Picture.  I have this little desktop app that gives a read-out of quakes around the world.  I have it set to display anything over 5.  It was relatively quiet for a long time, but in the last two weeks, it has gone nuts, but in a definite pattern.

Quakes are popping off at very specific and regular points around the Pacific: Honshu, Japan; Drake Passage; Ouxhaca, Mexico; Chile; and Aceh, Sumatera.  Almost every quake in the past two weeks has been in a circle surrounding the Pacific Ocean, lterally ON the Ring of Fire.  It would take quite a bit of number-crunching and research to determine what exactly is going on, and we can be sure that someone is doing it, but let's speculate on possible causes.

1) Earth is shrinking: since the globe spreads in the Atlantic and converges in the Pacific, the Earth could be contracting and causing the Pacific plate to receive massive amounts of pressure on all sides.  As the sides converge, the plate would shift and slide under or over other plates, causing a great number of thrust quakes, as well as large strike-slips, as it tries to relieve the stess.  Volcanoes would start popping off all around the region.

This scenario would likely result in a cooling of the Earth's core.  Other signs would be a weakening of the magnetic, as well as the mag poles starting to wander around.  This event would also likely cause the Pacific Ocean to become shallower, thus causing disasterous sea-level rises worldwide.

2) Earth is expanding: in this scenario, the Earth is expanding and causing a massive release of stress all around the Pacific Plate, as it suddenly has more room to move around and reposition itself.  This, too, would likely cause more vulcanism, as pressure was released on magma vents, allowing the swelling core to push more molten rock out the holes to relieve pressure.  This scenario would imply a feedback loop of release of pressure, allowing the core to expand more, creating more pressure, causing more release.

This scenario might also imply wandering mag poles, as the core swells and pressure is relieved, it would tend to shift its spin axis, and thus the mag pole axis.

3) Steady-state Earth: this scenario states that the Earth is neither expanding nor contracting, but the continual spread of the Atlantic Ridge causes a continual increase of pressure on the Pacific Plate, which builds to massive release events on an occasional basis.

All three scenarios would explain a great number of observed phenomena right now.  Even wild weather events could be traced to large-scale vibrations, the release of tremendous amounts of electro-magnetic energy and a number of other energetic events resulting from mass Earth movements.

A shockwave would stir the atmosphere, causing warmer air to rise and colder air to fall, resulting in huge hail storms, increased tornadic activity, strange seasonal changes, and lower hurricane/typhoon activity.

The massive release of piezoelectric forces would be perceived as anything from strange sounds (horn blasts and random 'crack-booms') to wild electrical storms and plasma events (northern/southern lights).  Certainly, there's been plenty of reports of these types of events in recent times.  Of special note are active aurora when there's no corresponding solar storm.

Conclusions could run to any of the three scenarios.  It would take a lot more time and money than I have to research all the quakes, whether they are thrust or strike-slip, associated land movements, and timings.  I'm sure that research is in progress, but whether we little people are privy to it is questionable.  It depends on what outcome is expected, I suppose.

In the meantime, we are left to watch and speculate.  Since I live in Indonesia, I am paying special attention to these matters.  Just this afternoon, there was a 6.5 in the Banda Sea just west of us.  We felt it as a minor jiggle for about 30 seconds, with the Chinese lanterns swinging back and forth.  If you look at a fault map, Indonesia sits on top of an area that looks like a smashed egg shell, on the southeastern extent of the Pacific Plate.  We are in a war zone between the Pacific and Austral-Asian Plates.

The world is basically like one of those number puzzles with 15 tiles and 16 holes, and you have to move them around to get them in the right order.  The primary problem in all this is that when the tiles move, people get hurt.

We are at the mercy of forces far greater than we can control.  All our wailing and gnashing of teeth about saving the planet just went out the proverbial window.  That we assume our activities can have more than a miniscule effect on Earth, or that we can control and master the Earth, are little more than egotistical pipe dreams.

You'd think we had learned this long ago, when King Knutr had his throne placed on the beach and he commanded the tide to stop.  He had to swim out of that one.  No report as to whether the throne survived.  Indeed, folks who think humans have any say whatsoever over natural processes don't get a lot of interaction with Mother Nature.

Come to think of it, Knutr also proved that kings and rulers are pretty much useless, though we haven't learned that lesson, either.

So, as our collective roller coaster clicks and clacks to the top of the first drop, we either choose to ignore the impending plunge, or hold on for dear life.  I'm kind of in the middle.  One arm is waving furiously in the air, while the other is wrapped firmly around the crash bar.

Here we goooooooo...

15.4.12

The Unbounded Joy Of Blogging

Part of the fun of this blogging stuff is making a wide, diverse set of contacts throughout the world.  If I shut up too long, folks start writing to check on me.  If I go overboard, I get immediate chastisements.  And occasionally, when I do something right, I get great feedback.  And I'm not just talking about, "Yo dude!  Great stuff man," though there are a few of those.  Instead, I get these fantastic, thoughtful letters with real ideas in them.

That's what I like...real ideas.  Because in the world to come, that will be the new economy.  People will trade on their original thoughts and concepts derived from other thinkers.

But, I digress.  What I want to share is a very thought-filled letter I received overnight, to whit:
Hello Bernard Bearheart:

Just a note to praise your latest rant and to find out if you know about a brother living in Kalimantan named Imron Comey who recently wrote, "The Generosity Factor: A Message From Borneo."

http://www.amazon.com/2012-Generosity-Factor-Message-Borneo/dp/1463541082/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334426711&sr=1-3

I knew Imron (from Subud) when he lived in the U.S. and my wife met him when when she was studying permaculture methods of gardening in Kalimantan about 12 years ago.

Do you remember Ayn Rand? I have already seen two glowing documentaries recently from Netflix about her life and a third one is on the way. There is also a new movie out, "Atlas Shrugged" in two installments, and the infamous Kock brothers along with an assortment of other multibillionaire "takers" are regurgitating her philosophy and force-feeding it down the throats of the new generation via the school systems through funding controls, and the mass distribution of her books. You can pretty much sum up her philosophy in her own words when she said she hates "altruism." According to her, altruism is the very root of all evil. Allen Greenspan and company, the Neocons, Zionists, neoBolsheviks, and oldMachiavellians, mostly adhere to the common thread of this idea.

If I read your latest blog correctly the aforementioned gang are in their death rattle and gasping for survival. And according to Imron Comey,  it seems just in the nick of time God is about to reprogram our DNA so that we aren't so greedy anymore.

My old English professor lived in Kalimantan with her husband during the Kennedy administration as Peace Corp workers. She once told me a story about when they asked a group of Penans ( true hunter/gathers)  what they considered the worst sin. The group went into a huddle for some time and finally emerged with their answer. The chief quietly said, "Not to share."  --RF

Wow!  A lot to digest there.  I suppose we should launch at the beginning...

Just to address the initial paragraph, I have heard of Imron Comey, but I have yet to come across him or his work.  However, based on this letter, I shall make a concerted effort to do both.

The next order of business is Ayn Rand.  Now, since I never met her, I can't say I remember her, but I am surely familiar with her work.  Among my crowd, "Atlas Shrugged" was required reading in 8th grade, along with "Lord of the Rings".  We were a somewhat advanced bunch, I suppose.  However, the book started a craze with us for a couple of years, and heavily influenced my thinking even until the present day.  We considered it a sort of response to "The Wasteland", in that it showed a way out of the cultural dead-end that had emerged at the dawn of the 20th century and culminated in the 60's cultural revolution (which I daresay is a misnomer).

At any rate, Ayn Rand preached anti-altruism as ultimately ending in communism, where there was no private property, industry or social life.  In other words, altruism ultimately led to Marxism, but to truly appreciate that statement, you must read Marx.  For those who think the Soviet Union or any other political entity has ever been Marxist, you are sadly mistaken.

Marx proposed unwinding the capitalist/bankster system and slowly returning control of everything back to the common man, so that when the revolution was complete, there would be no State, no corporations and no system of control above the immediate collective.  Marx' ideas were a direct threat to the so-called capitalist system, and has led to more than a century of ideological war between two diametrically opposed concepts.

Ayn Rand proposed a middle road.  If altruism led to Marxism, she reasoned, and capitalism led to totalitarianism, then there must be a happy medium.  This, she proposed, was 'enlightened self-interest'.  It is the central concept of true libertarianism and has aspects of both Marxism and capitalism woven into it, but which seeks a third outcome.

Enlightened self-interest (ESI) is a form of anarchy, which also has a bad name, but in its ideal form is rather appealing.  Like Marxism, ESI envisions the complete unwinding of the State and all its control mechanisms.  It would spell the end of borders and concepts like immigration and emigration.  Any system of governance would be strictly local without any form of centralized power.  Each community would set its own standards and then compete for economic growth based on the attractiveness of their system to other people.

Where Rand departs from Marx is in the concept of personal property.  This, she reasoned, was the prime motivator for people to innovate and create and to engage in commerce.  The ability to enrich one's self was the only reason to get out of bed in the morning.  Within the confines of one's property, one was an absolute dictator, able to set the law of the land and enforce it however necessary, as long as that law and its enforcement did not encroach on the next guy's fifedom.

In a nutshell, if you took one part Marx, one part Rand and one part Robber Baron, shook it thoroughly and strained into a glass, you'd have the perfect way of life.  No controlled markets, no authoritarian central governments and no communal ownership.

Here's the problem with Marx: you have a construction project at the house.  All the community hammers are crap.  The heads fall off and the handles break.  So you go an buy a fine Estwing.  While working on your project, you put the hammer down and go inside for a glass of iced tea.  You neighbor walks by, sees the great hammer lying there and takes it for his project.  The same thing happens, and in less than a day, your investment is gone without a trace.

Here's the problem with Rand: you buy a fine piece of land.  Good dirt, running water, rolling fields.  One day, your neighbor wants to build a nuclear waste dump.  You have no say in the matter because it's his land, and as long as you can't prove damages, he is free to do as he likes.  To prove damages, you need a judiciary of some sort.  The judiciary forms a syndicate, and the syndicate forms a centralized political body.  Then you're back to where you started.

Here's the problem with capitalism: I seel shares in a project to raise capital, but I retain just enough shares to have controlling interest, even though the shareholders put up the capital to do the project.  Since the shareholders' interest is to make a profit, they really don't care what you do, as long as you show a profit.  So now you are motivated to bend or break all the rules to produce a profit so all your shareholders keep their money in your project.

You can extend these examples ad nauseum.  In all cases, you come up with abuses and legal conundrums that are virtually impossible to solve without resorting to a system pretty much like what we have.

The problem is human nature.  Throughout all human history, and even among the ancient gods, behavior is the same.  Ultimately, greed and avarice seep in and take over.  Altruism is great until you are faced with having to enforce it.  Enlightened self-interest is great, but you are left with the same problem.

Ultimately, I've only been able to derive a handful of solutions that involve modifications to what we have now.

The first is remove all concept of the Corporate Veil.  Do not allow corporations to act in the collective as if they are individuals.  Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was a morality play about just this idea.  By stitching together bits and pieces of dead matter to create artificial life, you inevitably create monsters that are nearly impossible to kill.

Next, remove the power of governments to create legal entities, to tax anyone or anything, and to create systems of tracking and identification.  If people feel compelled to serve their communities, they should do so for altruistic reasons, not for self-enrichment.  Take away government's incentive to grow, and it will not grow.

Do away with all centralized currencies.  Let the markets decide how they will trade and allow people to offer competing systems, such as BitCoin, e-Gold and NotHaus' Liberty notes.  Open up barter to trading ideas and concepts.  Let people trade in anything they want.  The best systems will thrive, and the rest will fall away, but in no case will anyone be able to monopolize currencies.

Finally, do away with the current concept of policing.  Return to the elected sheriff system.  In all cases, the voting ballots must be marked and signed (whether by hand or by electronic means), stored for 10 years and open to public scrutiny.  If using e-voting, the code must be open source and viewable by the general public to ensure an above-board system.

This is not perfect, but it cleans up many of the current problems.  Unfortunately, there can be no perfect system when those who create and administer it are imperfect.  Until and unless there is some mass awakening, some fundamental change in the human condition, none of the ideal system will work.  All we can do is create systems that encourage people to grow and expand until such time that we are a species capable of much bigger thoughts than the extremes of personal or collective property.

If the markets and the systems are open to encourage the invention and dissemination of such things as zero-point energy and Star Trek replicators, and the basic needs of power and food and clothing are rendered mute, then we will have launched our species on a new and fantastic path.  But as long as we are scrambling around trying to get more than the next guy, we will never have the time to expand our consciousness to the point that mundane pursuits no longer interest us.

One of my favorite Bible Bits (Matt 6:28) holds, I believe, the key to true enlightenment: Look at the birds of the sky and the lilies of the field.  They do not sew, nor do they reap.  Yet in all his glory, Solomon was not arraigned such as these.  How much more precious in the eyes of God are you than these?

If altruism and self-interest were not mutually exclusive, we would be well on our way to something better.  The keystone of enlightenment is educating one's self.  The irony is that at the end of education, you come full circle to find that it is the child who is best able to see the world.

14.4.12

Da Fat Lady Done Croaked

The porcine opera diva is warbling the final Brynhildr aria.  Do you hear it?  Something has changed.  It's another one of those gut tickles that I've come to trust over time.

Cue Richard Wagner's Ride of the Valkyrie!

I think it was about lunch time when I got this sudden, overwhelming feeling that it's all over but the sweeping up.  The Fates have chiseled the upcoming events in stone and our chance to rewrite then has closed.

I'm not sure if it's the recent mind-boggling round of earthquakes roughly splitting the Earth in half, or the Trayvon fiasco, or the St. Vitus' Dance in Europe, or the Ionesco-like events in North Korea, but something triggered this strange feeling in my gut.

Maybe it's the overwhelming pall of gloom and doom in the headlines.  Maybe it's the resurgence of Petrus Romanus speculation, or the closing of the Norway seed vault (overseen by the UN), or the absolute abandon with which governments are behaving these days.

Perhaps it's the overwhelming sense of resignation one gets from the global population.  It's as if all the fight has gone out of folks all at the same time.  I'm not sure whether to be amazed or depressed.

Really, I've been sensing this for a while.  It's part of the reason I took a little hiatus here on the Far Side.  I was metaphically holding my breath to see which way the wind started blowing.  Unfortunately, it seems to be coming from the general direction of the local garbage dump.

It's like a balloon.  You blow it up to the bustering point, then pinch the neck so that it makes a high-pitched screech as the air slowly seeps out.  At some point, you get bored with that and let go.  The balloon launches into whirley-gig mode while making flatulent noises.  That's the point we're at now.  The balloon has sailed up to the crest of it's parabolic arc, and will soon fall limp and lifeless to the ground, though it hangs there for a moment, motionless against the azure sky as if trying to defy gravity with one last gasp.

The absolute absurdity of it all.  People take this stuff entirely too seriously.  I mean, just look at the Trayvon thing.  A Jewish Hispanic shoots a black guy and white folks are to blame with an African sitting in the Oval Office.  Excuse me?  When did we take a turn into the Twilit Zone?

Or how about North Korea, where Precious Leader hails the country's great triumph as their phallic symbol goes flaccid and falls into the sea?

Or take the EU, a grand plan hatched in the Third Reich in the waning days of WWII.  Now the PIIGS are wallowing in the mud and slopping at the trough with abandon.

Something is going on that has been carefull hidden for a long time.  Someone is desperately looking for an answer in ancient texts.  The evidence for this is the insane manner with which certain countries have been laying waste to the Babylonian and Egyptian antiquities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Greece, and of course Egypt.  It shows in the mad scramble to the Moon in the 60s that was basically abandoned after They found whatever it was They were looking for.

It shows in the incredible race to investigate Mars, but only certain groups are allowed to go.  The Russians, for instance, are not allowed.

Somewhere in all this, there is an answer to a question us little folks aren't allowed to ask.  Someone knows something, and knows where to look for the answers, but it appears there's still something missing.  Some key piece has not been found to do whatever it is They need to do.

Obviously, this information is explosive, because not only is it key to some future mystery, but it is also a powerful technology and only certain Upper-Party members are privy to its inner workings.

There's a much deeper story going on here.  If there isn't, and all this is just Resource Wars, then I completely give up on Humanity.  This depth and breadth of the insanity going on around us means that either our species deserves to go the way of the do-do, or we all deserve to know what the real story is before whatever it is happens.

All of it, though, is overshadowed by this new feeling of fait accompli.  Whatever it is, it is done.  It could be the February 2013 meteor or pole shift or the arrival of a supernova shock wave that is entering our Solar System now.  It could be any number of things that have been swimming around the edges of consciousness, waiting for an oppotune moment to strike.

No matter.  It's done.  Time has run out, for better or worse.  I suspect that whatever IT is, is probably good for Humanity, but bad for the vested interests, which is why They've been laying waste to the Earth in the Their quest to stop IT.

In a way, the EU and the NK rocket are archetype metaphors for current events.  The old way of thinking is crashing and burning before the global stage.  The ones who will survive IT are those who eschew the narrow-minded scramble for wealth in favor of a more harmonic and enlightened Way.  The trick is to think so far out of the box that you forget there ever was a box to begin with.

Yes, there's a hidden agenda, but the time for worrying about that is over.  The time has come to focus on who we want to become, as individuals and as a species.  Those who can't get past the gee-gaws and material wealth will find that they offer no solace or hope when things radically change direction.

On the other hand, there are those of us who know that the meaning of 'apocalypse' is to reveal or enlighten, and we see it not as something to fear, but as something to anticipate with great hope.  The apocalypse is not the end, but the beginning of something completely different.  Those who embrace this event will flourish, and those who look for death and destruction will find it, in spades.

At any rate, the time has come.  The cell is dividing and the nucleus has completely split.  All is as it should be.  Time now to watch the unfolding...the revelation...the apokalypsos.

I've learned to trust my gut, and the larger it gets, the more I trust it.