Monthly Archives: March 2015

global warming

The Social Costs Of Capitalism Are Destroying Earth’s Ability To Support Life

By Paul Craig Roberts

March 29, 2015 “ICH” – I admire David Ray Griffin for his wide-ranging intelligence, his research skills, and for his courage. Dr. Griffin is not afraid to take on the controversial topics. He gave us ten books on 9/11, and anyone who has read half of one of them knows that the official story is a lie.

Now Griffin has taken on global warming and the CO2 crisis. His book has just been published by Clarity Press, a publisher that seeks out truth-telling authors. Griffin’s book is a hefty 424 pages plus 77 pages of footnotes documenting the information that he presents. Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive The CO2 Crisis? is no screed. The book is a carefully researched document.

Readers often ask me to write about global warming, chemtrails, vaccines, and other subjects beyond my competence. However, I can see that Griffin has made a huge investment in researching climate change. His book provides a thorough account under one cover.

Griffin concludes that civilization itself is at stake. His evaluation of the evidence is that humans have about three decades to get CO2 emissions under control, and he sees hope in the agreement between Obama and Chinese president Xi Jinping that was announced on November 11, 2014.

Griffin argues that instead of rushing to their own destruction like lemmings, the human race must accept the moral challenge of abolishing the fossil-fuel economy. He makes the case that clean energy permits most of modern society’s way of life to continue without the threat posed by ever rising emissions.

Nuclear energy is not among clean energy sources–just look at the ongoing radiation pollution from Fukushima. Griffin is correct in the way he has framed the issue. It is a moral challenge.

Clearly the climate is changing, whether caused by CO2 emissions or some other cause. Every day brings more reports of perils associated with climate change. See for example:

The planet is being polluted with many forms of waste:

Our foods are also polluted. On one hand our food is polluted with herbicides and on the other hand by antibiotics. And then we have hormones and pesticides. The World Health Organization has concluded that the glyphosate in Monsanto’s Roundup, a herbicide widely sprayed on GMO food crops, is a likely causes of cancer in humans and animals.

Glyphosate, which is also believed to be exterminating honey bees and Monarch butterflies, is now present in 75 percent of air and rain samples. Some time ago I reported on a microbiologist who wrote to the US Secretary of Agriculture about extensive findings by independent scientists that glyphosate has serious adverse effects on animal life and on animal and human fertility and on the ability of soil to produce nutrition in food crops. The scientist pointed out that the US government’s clearance of glyphosate rested entirely on the industry’s own studies of its safety and that these “studies” are not substantiated by independent scientists. He pointed out that not only are the studies done by scientists employed by Monsanto, but also many agricultural science university faculties are dependent on research funds from the chemical industry and thereby do not have an independent voice.

(On a French TV show a Monsanto representative claimed Roundup was safe enough to drink, but turned down the offer from the show’s host to demonstrate by drinking a glass by exclaiming “I’m not stupid!”

Martha Rosenberg writing in CounterPunch reports that 70 percent of all antibiotics are fed to livestock because it produces weight gain and saves money on feed costs. Ninety-three percent of doctors are concerned about the meat industry’s excessive use of antibiotics, and independent scientists have definite evidence that the growing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics is due to the use of antibiotics as animal feed.

Scientists at the University of Iowa found Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in 70 percent of farmed hogs. A Consumer Reports investigation found that US meat, regardless of the meat’s source, is full of “pathogens, commensals, and antibiotic resistant bacteria.” Pork tested contained five resistant bacteria strains.

The Food and Drug Administration, severely weakened by Republicans, cannot stand up to Big Meat. Rosenberg reports that “when the FDA tried in 2008 to ban farm use of cephalosporins (antibiotics like Cefzil and Keflex) because they are needed for pneumonia, strep throat, and other serious human conditions, the egg, chicken, turkey, milk, pork, and cattle industries and the animal Health Institute stormed Capital Hill.”

Congress responded to the campaign donations, not to the health and safety of the American people. The Animal Health Institute consists of the drug companies who make profits selling 70 percent of their production to meat, egg, and milk producers. The members of the “health” institute are Abbott, Bayer Healthcare, Elanco/Lilly, Merck, Boehringer, Ingelheim Vetmedica, Novartis, etc.

In other words profits come far ahead of public health. As the drug companies have more or less stopped the development of new antibiotics, the protection antibiotics provide against infections is rapidly fading.

The horror goes on. During a time of severe drought in the western US, with California reportedly left with one year’s supply of water, the fossil-fuel fracking industry is polluting the remaining surface and ground water.

All of these activities–use of antibiotics as animal feed, use of GMO herbicides, fracking–are profitable because they impose huge external costs on the environment and on third parties who are not participants in the profits gleaned by externalizing the costs of production. And this brings us back to Griffin’s important book.

Griffin makes the point that the external cost imposed on the climate by fossil-fuel use is the source of the life-threatening crisis that humanity confronts. Capitalists make money by exploiting labor and by externalizing the costs of the wastes produced by the productive process by imposing the wastes on the environment. It is the short-term time horizon of production organized by selfish private interests focused on quarterly profits that is destroying the livability of the earth.

Almost every economist on earth will rise up in opposition to that true statement, because they are brainwashed in the neoliberal ideology that masquerades as economic science, but in fact is nothing but an apology for capitalist exploitation of labor and the earth.

I happened to be one of Ronald Coase’s graduate students the year he published his famous article on “The Problem of Social Cost” (external costs) for which, together with his article, “The Theory of the Firm,” he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics. In theory, externalities can be internalized into the process of production so that the producer bears all the costs if all inputs and waste products are subject to property rights. But no one owns the atmosphere, the oceans, the rivers and streams. They remain “common property” and thus are dumping grounds for waste disposal.

Governments, despite pressure from corporations, have realized that pollution is a problem, and governments have imposed some regulation. The regulation raises some costs to corporations, but the regulation is insufficient to halt very much of the externalization of the cost of production. In economic terms, this is the crisis that David Ray Griffin presents to us.

Capitalism’s pursuit of profit is destroying life on earth.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41387.htm

 

 

[P.S.: I just bought the book.]

‘private idiots’

Rogue Idiots Carry Out False Flags

Posted on March 30, 2015 by WashingtonsBlog

Not Just Governments … Private Idiots, As Well

Governments all over the world admit that they carry out false flag terror.

But private citizens do it, as well …

For example:

▪A Georgia man admitted last week that he planted a backpack with two pipe bombs in a public park near Atlanta to to frighten the public and sow fear of Islamic terrorism

▪A French Imam spray-painted anti-Muslim graffiti on his mosque. Similarly, an Australian Imam was caught on video kicking in the door to his own mosque to frame a rebel group.

▪A Jewish Harvard graduate in his thirties who was irritated by the  discussion of issues involving Israel posted anti-Semitic diatribes in order to make people think that a website was anti-semitic

▪Similarly, a Jewish student admitted that she herself drew swatiskas on her dorm room door. And five Jews were arrested for painting swastikas on Israel Consulate. Indeed, there are many, many, many, many examples of this type of false flag

▪An African-American student sent a racist threat to fellow minority classmates … in the hope that her parents would think the school was dangerous, and so let her transfer to the school she preferred.

▪An inmate was caught on video beating himself up … in an attempt to blame police for his injuries and get out of trouble

▪And 18 members of the neo-Nazi French and European Nationalist Party admitted that they carried out a series of 3 terror bombings which killed two people and injuring 20, posing as an extremist anti-Arab Zionist group.  The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism explains:

The perpetrators were not Jewish, but were in fact French racists, who had hoped that the hostel bombings would inflame tensions between Arabs and Jews alike.

So it’s not just governments who play this game … it’s private idiots, as well.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/03/rogue-idiots-carry-false-flags.html 

[Is this the new international alternate reality game?]

argosi_dimensions

[&&]{**}[##]

93-minute music video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKJ3aFGYNiQ 

[&&]{**}[##]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternate_reality_game 

The WikiPedia article previously also described:

–Similarities and differences to other forms of entertainment

–Influences and precursors

–Basic design principles of ARGs (important reading)

See also the sections on

–grassroots development

–community development

–commercial games

–the self-supporting ARG

–the serious ARG

–new developments

–TV tie-ins and “Extended Experiences”

The WikiPedia article lists as over 60 linked or downloadable references.

[&&]{**}[##]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transreality_gaming 

includes this reference:

Campbell, MacGregor. “The audacious plan to make the world into a game.”

New Scientist 209.2794 (2011): 36-39.

[&&]{**}[##]

http://www.aset.org/images/DrNeuroWhoPictureReallySm.jpg

“… Players will join Dr. “Neuro-Who” as he enters his time machine the “Nervis” (Neuro Event Re-Visitation Space-Time Continuum).  You will travel with Dr. Neuro-Who to destinations in the past and the future of neurodiagnostics and visit distant destinations in our current time, where innovative research in neurological medicine is being conducted….”

http://www.aset.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=4023

[&&]{**}[##]

“… Social games emphasize communication between players and collaboration among teammates…. The game play consists of a series of scenarios that lead players to collaboratively solve puzzles and accomplish activities. As players complete each task, the game presents new scenarios and eventually takes players through an entire storyline….”

Designing An Educational Alternate Reality Game 

[a 50-+ page research paper]

http://www.shoyu.com/education/Research_DesigningAnEducationalARG.pdf 

[&&]{**}[##]

“… the integration of playful and at times competitive street events situated in a fictional story-world and punctuated by prescripted story beats, with the more narrative-driven, serious-minded and collaborative online participation created friction between narrative and gameplay that has not been reported for traditional ARG productions. Integrating narrative and gameplay is always a challenge for game design, and especially difficult one for novel forms of games…..”

Narrative Friction in Alternate Reality Games: Design Insights from Conspiracy For Good

http://www.mobilelifecentre.org/sites/default/files/Narrative_Friction_in_Alternate_Reality_Games.pdf   [17 pp.]

[&&]{**}[##]

Secret Websites, Coded Messages: The New World of Immersive Games

http://archive.wired.com/entertainment/music/magazine/16-01/ff_args 

[&&]{**}[##]

“… The paper explores aspects of collective participation among players, the motivations underlying such participation and the factors that shape these contributions such as timescale of the game. It discusses too, how the narrative is produced and progressed through collective player interactions and how the experience is created through a collaborative suspension of disbelief. Different aspects of participation are also considered, in particular how a more passive spectatorship is an important experience for many players of the game. Finally the game considers how the ideal of a collective ethos among players is sometimes challenged during game play and the efforts necessary to repair this.”

Participation, collaboration and spectatorship in an alternate reality game

by Kenton O’Hara, John Williams, Hazel G. Williams

https://www.mendeley.com/catalog/participation-collaboration-spectatorship-alternate-reality-game/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

“… Is it okay to play as a terrorist, fighting for a successful bombing or to totally annihilate  a member of an American special forces squad?… Our very own Jenni Powell was sent clues by the game developers, beckoning her to join in to play The Darkest Puzzle, an alternate reality game that seeks to “solve 9/11″….”

http://www.tubefilter.com/2011/09/02/911-alternate-reality-game/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

“… Alternate Reality Gaming is a phenomena that has been around in one form or another for the better part of 15 years.  The concept is remarkably simple, and yet impossible to pin down – an experience that transcends one single medium, blurring the lines between reality and fiction and in the best of cases leaving you questioning your own actions, motivations, and perception of everyday life…..”

http://www.futureconscience.com/the-shifting-paradigms-of-alternate-reality-gaming/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

From past research:

First Monday 

http://firstmonday.org/ 

First Monday is one of the first openly accessible, peer–reviewed journals on the Internet, solely devoted to the Internet. A lead article in the latest issue is

Storytelling in new media: The case of alternate reality games, 2001–2009

by Jeffrey Kim, Elan Lee, Timothy Thomas, and Caroline Dombrowski

First Monday, Volume 14, Number 6 – 1 June 2009

http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2484/2199
New media allows previously passive consumers to tell and shape stories together. Yet most information is still disseminated in a top–down fashion, without taking advantage of the features enabled by new media. This paper presents five Alternate Reality Game (ARG) case studies which reveal common features and mechanisms used to attract and retain diverse players, to create task–focused communities and to solve problems collectively. Voluntary, collective problem solving is an intriguing phenomenon wherein disparate individuals work together asynchronously to solve problems together. ARGs also take advantage of the unique features of new media to craft stories that could not be told using other media.

Contents

  1. Introduction
    2. Evolution of Alternate Reality Games (ARGs)
    3. Five ARGs between 2001 and 2009
    4. Distinctive findings from five ARG cases
    5. Conclusion

About the authors

Jeffrey Kim, Ph.D., is the Director of the Institute for National Security Education and Research at the Information School of the University of Washington.

Elan Lee is one of the foremost Alternate Reality Game designers and founder of Fourth Wall Studios.

Timothy Thomas is a CIA Officer in Residence at the University of Washington.

Caroline Dombrowski is a Research Project Manager at the University of Washington.

[&&]{**}[##]

“‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. 

‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. 

And while you’re studying that reality —judiciously, as you will— we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. 

We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’ ”

[&&]{**}[##]

Crowdsourcing the future

Can alternate reality game Superstruct help save the world?

Dan Kaplan

September 29th, 2008

The year is 2019. Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or REDS, has appeared in Stockholm, the first city outside of the tropics to see a case. The disease is known to overwhelm local health resources everywhere it goes, and news of health insurance companies going belly up has become routine. Word is spreading that in the absence of effective governmental responses, ad hoc militias have been forming to forcibly quarantine infected populations around the globe.

On its own, REDS sounds like a major disaster, but it is not the kind of thing that could put an end to the world. But in Superstruct, a large-scale online game put on by the Institute for the Future, REDS is merely one of five independent “superthreats” coming to a head in 2019. The others involve 250 million climate change refugees, the steady breakdown of the global food supply, increasingly brazen attacks on the world’s cyber infrastructure and the rising international tensions surrounding the world’s failure to agree on standards for renewable energy.

The game forecasts that humans will be wiped out by 2042. The point of Superstruct, which anyone can begin playing on October 6, is to work together with fellow players and find brilliant ways to avert this fate.

More here:

http://venturebeat.com/2008/09/29/crowdsourcing-the-future-can-alternate-reality-game-superstruct-help-save-the-world/ 

The Institute for the Future created Superstruct because it suspects that without cooperation on a worldwide scale, the crises of the medium-term future could collectively obliterate everything our species has achieved.

The Institute for the Future (IFTF) is based in California’s Silicon Valley, in a community at the crossroads of technological innovation, social experimentation, and global interchange. Founded in 1968 by a group of former RAND Corporation researchers with a grant from the Ford Foundation to take leading-edge research methodologies into the public and business sectors, the IFTF is committed to building the future.

October 05, 2005

Antecedents to alternate reality games

(updated February 17, 2006)

Assassin, also called Killer.  Game played by people usually in some educational institution, where they try to kill each other according to a pre-established scheme.  Assassin must occur within these real, non-game settings. Not too narrative, as Tony notes.

Iain Banks, The Player of Games (1989).  Science fiction novel, focusing on a world where a game structures culture and society.

Jorge Luis Borges, “Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” (1940).   Short story.  Fictional world created, seeps into our world through encyclopediae.

Carmen Sandiego games (1983-present).  These hunts for a character are built onto real world locations and information.  This is the prototypical search opera.  (thanks to Tony)

Janet Cardiff, Walks (1991-present).  These performance stories are experienced as audio tracks, overlaid upon landscapes the audience walks through.

G. K. Chesterton, “The Tremendous Adventures of Major Brown” (1905).  Short story.  Hero stumbles into someone else’s game, run by perhaps the first ARG business in the literature.

Richard Connell, “The Most Dangerous Game” (1924).  The game intrudes onto the main character’s life, against his will.  Like some games, it’s played in a walled garden.   (Thanks, Glen)

David Fincher, The Game (1997).  Film.  Protagonist signs up to play a game which weaves itself into his life, changing him for the better.

John Fowles, The Magus (1965, 1977).  Novel.  Hero becomes subjected to series of games, which pose as real life.  Sort of.

William Gibson, Pattern Recognition (2003).  Science fiction novel.  Characters follow The Footage, a mysterious, distributed, film/video microcontent project.  The Footage isn’t published to a single venue, but appears through discussion fora.  The reality of what it shows isn’t clear.

Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic (1998).  This focuses on US Civil War reenactors in everyday life.  Reenactment in general is good ARGfodder. (thanks, Martha)

How to host a murder parties.

Ray Johnson (1927-1995).  Artist, whose work wove into audiences’ minds and lives, unsettling (among other things) the boundary between life and art.  Cf the film How To Draw a Bunny (2002).  Performance art in general is a rich proto-ARG vein.

Live-action role-playing games (LARPs).  Not intrinsically ARGlike, but become so when played within a non-game setting (i.e., a town, school, party).

Luigi Serafini, Codex Seraphinianus (1970s).  A mysterious, gorgeous book portraying a fantastic world in a coded language.

Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA).  The creation of historical narratives, and their insertion alongside modern life.   (thanks, Andy)

The Sokal hoax (1996).  ProtoARG as political statement.  Alan Sokal creates a scholarly article as prank, gets it accepted to a real journal, then whips back the curtain.  (thanks, Jamie)

http://infocult.typepad.com/infocult/2005/10/antecedents_to_.html

****

The danger that alarmists fear is that the simulation will become socially and politically more “real” than real life situations whose contexts are buoyed by actual socially overdetermining economic, political, religious, etc., institutions. People will then begin reacting more en masse to the inconsequential world of simulation than to the real world. When this happens, the argument goes, one of two things, and possibly both, will occur: 1). The economy and socio-political structure of our society will collapse because people are producing in simulated situations rather than “actual” ones and/or 2) The wily hegemony of our society will further the narrative and blur the ability to distinguish between reality and simulation, whereby, as seen in the Rheingold passage, “electronic mind-control” will be exerted by the same hegemony over the hapless worker-inhabitants of simulated realms.

http://www.psiopradio.com/arg/

****

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_intelligence

****

“… After leaving the Marine Corps Hekmati founded Lucid Linguistics LLC in February 2006, working as a military contractor translating Arabic and Persian.[11][12] Between 2005 and 2007 he is alleged to have worked on a report on two-way translation systems published by Mitre Corporation for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).[11][13] He is cited in the “Acknowledgements” section of Applying Automated Metrics to Speech Translation Dialogs, a paper published by the MITRE Corporation.[14][15] He was later employed Kuma Reality Games on a language-learning video game for the United States Department of Defense.[16] …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amir_Mirza_Hekmati

****

OTP22: Calling the ‘Beautiful Minds’ of Cryptogon

January 16th, 2013

I’m pretty sure that OTP22 is an alternate reality game.

But, who is running this and why?

This query isn’t directed to those of you who bathe regularly and/or talk to other humans in meat space more than once every few days. You guys will just be wasting your time.

Posted in Off Topic, Technology

****

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BIpfzRDIL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg

Explore the conceptual origins of wargames and role-playing games in this unprecedented history of simulating the real and the impossible. From a vast survey of primary sources ranging from eighteenth-century strategists to modern hobbyists, Playing at the World distills the story of how gamers first decided fictional battles with boards and dice, and how they moved from simulating wars to simulating people. The invention of role-playing games serves as a touchstone for exploring the ways that the literary concept of character, the lure of fantastic adventure and the principles of gaming combined into the signature cultural innovation of the late twentieth century.

http://www.amazon.com/Playing-at-World-Jon-Peterson/dp/0615642047/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pdT1_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=ZNSLAHA4O64&coliid=I1UZ75TINP8VTA

[&&]{**}[##]

http://oneinabillionblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/concept-resilience.gif

[&&]{**}[##]

 

http://boydownthelane.com/2014/07/21/synchronization-coherence-lifes-challenges/ 

 

[&&]{**}[##]

The following is taken from two books:

The Art of Possibility

Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander, 

Harvard Business School Press, 2000;

Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, 

Random House/Crown Business, NY 2004.

Being The Board on Which the Whole Game is Being Played

When the way things are seems to offer no possibility, when you are angry and blocked.., when, for all your efforts, others refuse to move, cooperate, compromise, or even to be halfway decent.., when even enrollment does not work

and you are at your wit’s end… you can choose to see yourself as the board on which the whole game is being played.

With this change in perspective, you can move the problem in any circumstance from one which sits outside yourself to one which resides within yourself. With this act, you can transform the world.

If you are intent on blaming whatever or whomever it is that seems to be the problem outside yourself, you lose the ability to steer the situation in another direction. If you cannot simply be present without resistance and accept the way

things are, if you feel yourself wronged, a victim, a loser, you lose the ability to learn from it. You lose your leverage.

If, on the other hand, you accept the way things are, you become the framework for everything that happens in your life, opening up the possibility of a graceful journey in which you are free to choose, in which you have access to other and perhaps greater possibilities.

Usually we play the game of life like it’s a game of chess, in a way that allows us to see ourselves as the important king, the wily knight or the humble pawn. As any one of the pieces, you would understand that your job is to achieve your

objective, do well by your team, and help conquer the enemy. But when you define yourself as the board itself, or the context in which life occurs to you, you give

yourself the power to transform your experience of any unwanted condition into one in which you care to live. Note that we did not say that you have the power to transform the condition itself, merely the way you experience it. For when you see things differently, other changes occur.

As a single game piece, an individual in a particular role, you can only react to, complain about or resist the moves around you that interrupted your plans. But if you see yourself as the board itself, you can turn all your attention to what you

want to see happen. The action in this game is ongoing integration. One by one,you bring everything you have been resisting into the fold. As the board, you make

room for all the moves, because that is what is there.  It is the way things are.

Taking this one step further, you can then ask yourself, in regard to the unwanted circumstances, “How did this get on the board that I am?” As you contemplate the question “How have I become a context for that to occur?”, you will begin to

see the not-so-obvious contributions of your calculating self, or your history, or your earlier decisions that landed you where you are, feeling like a victim. This reflection may then bring forth an apology that will knit back together the strands

of relationships. And then you will be standing freely and powerfully once again in the universe of possibility.

Being the board is not about turning the blame on yourself. Becoming the board on which your life experiences play out is about making a difference. Being the board is about re-designing your actions and conversations and approaches to situations and people to produce results and experiences more in keeping with where you want things to go and how you want yourself and others to experience

them. In the fault game, your attention is focused on actions — what was done or not done by you or others. When you name yourself as the board, your attention turns toward repairing breakdowns in relationships, and apologies will come more easily and more frequently.

Just as the pawn in the chess game is subject to the moves of the other pieces, much of one’s life in the fault game is subject to the actions, capacities, will and whims of others. A perception of dependency arouses fear and leads to repeated

breakdowns between people, which become the basis for the appearance of barriers and problems throughout life. When bad things happen, we have a spectrum of response that includes guilt, blame, regret, helplessness, resignation, a sense of injustice, righteousness and anger. But each of these responses actually takes us on a detour, into an eddy or whirlpool, a spiral away from where we really want to be.

In the practice of being the board, you are not concerned that other people examine their own assumptions; instead, you see that the “stumbling blocks” that stand in your way are part of you, and that only you can remove them.

Once you start being the board, you claims for fairness or justice become less frequent in favor of the riches that deepening relationships and possibilities offer.

When you are the board, you present fewer and fewer obstacles to others. You name yourself as the instrument to make all your relationships into effective partnerships.

Imagine how profoundly trustworthy you would be to the people around you if they felt that there was no problem that would arise between you that you were not prepared to own. Imagine how much incentive they would have to cooperate if

they knew that they could count on you to clear the pathways for accomplishment.

Being the board will launch you on a soaring journey of transformation and development with others, a completely different route than the one of managing relationships to avoid conflict. It calls for courage and compassion. You do not find compassion simply by listening to people; you open the channel by removing the barriers to tenderness within yourself.

Among the rewards are self-respect, connection of the deepest and most vital kind, and a straight path toward making a difference.

The Dynamics of Decline, Death Spirals and Loops of Doom  

Turf protection is clearly the enemy of change.  Secrecy and isolation, blame and avoidance, all accelerate the death spiral.  Time and energy get spent on self- protection instead of mutual problem-solving.  Invisible walls grow taller.  Informal communication decreases.  People feel trapped; some head for the exit.  The cycle becomes mired in learned helplessness; repeated failures to get out of a difficult situation teach people not even to try.  They settle for the timidity of mediocrity.  They sometimes leap for tantalizing short-run solutions that will only make the situation worse.

Acting from a weak position, they reinforce an ever-weakening position.  Promises of forthcoming superior performance only put more pressure on leaders and performers who then learn to hide bad news from each other.  With low aspirations and little innovation, with inflated hopes and metrics that have been tweaked for temporary advantage, everyone’s confidence is reduced.  When the results prove to be less than forecast, onlookers speak in discrediting tones, causing further decline in perceived value and the confidence of the team.

Individual choices, in which each person or group tried to exercise whatever power they felt they had, added up to a system that made all of them feel powerless — impossible to change, in a loop of doom.  Panic leads to quick fixes, and quick fixes in the face of losses undermine the long-term strategy and deflect attention from it.

The dynamics of decline are remarkably similar among sports teams and corporations.  The problems of distressed organizations are pathological patterns that are self-perpetuating perpetuating self-perpetuating and mutually reinforcing.

Decline is not a state… it is a trajectory.  Losing teams, distressed organizations, declining empires, and even depressed people often run downhill at an accelerating pace.  Common reactions to failure prevent success and make losing in the future more likely.  Unchecked cycles of decline can easily turn into death spirals.  Problems are exacerbated by responses that make them even harder to solve.  Secrecy, blame, isolation, avoidance, a lack of respect, and feelings of helplessness create a culture that makes the situation worse, and makes change seen impossible.

Decline stems not from a single factor, but from an accumulation of decisions, actions and commitments that become entangled in self-perpetuating system dynamics.  Once a cycle of decline is established, it is hard to simply call a halt, put on the brakes, and reverse direction.  The system has momentum.  Expectations have formed, and they can turn into a culture that perpetuates losing.

So how does losing become a habit

If losses mount, pressure goes up — or the perception of pressure.  Stress makes it easier to panic.  Panic makes it easier to lose.  Losing increases neglect — letting facilities get run down, discipline deteriorate, and good manners disappear.  Signs of failure cause people to dislike and avoid one another, hide information, and disclaim responsibility — key elements of denial.  All this makes the cornerstones of confidence crumble.  People doubt themselves, feel they cannot count on others, and do not trust the system around them.  The climate of expectations turns negative, and everyone begins to feel powerless to change anything

Losing streaks begin in response to a sense of failure, and failure makes people out of control.  It is just one more step to a pervasive sense of powerlessness, and powerlessness erodes confidence.  When there are few resources or coping mechanisms for dealing with problems, people fall back on almost primitive, self-protective behavior.  There are nine pathologies that begin to unfold as an emotional and behavioral chain reaction:

  • Communication decreases.
  • Criticism and blame increase.
  • Respect to decreases.
  • Isolation increases.
  • Focus turns inward.
  • Rifts widen and inequities grow.
  • Initiative decreases.
  • Aspirations diminish.
  • Negativity spreads.

These behavioral tendencies are polar opposites of the characteristics that help winners win.  Powerlessness erodes the cornerstones of confidence, reducing the triad of accountability, collaboration, and initiative.  And, at the extreme, it can corrupt, if losers’ habits lead to acts of petty tyranny, selfishness, and a desire to harm others.

Understanding each of the losers’ temptations makes clear how to recognize the symptoms of decline, and why it is so important to avoid them.  If untreated, these responses can turn a few losses into a long losing streak, and modest decline into a death spiral.

A Classic Doom Loop  

Prairie View A&M University in Houston, Texas is notable for (among other things more positive) holding the NCAA football record for the longest unbroken losing streak in history — 80 straight losses between 1989 and 1998.  It had been even longer, more than 25 years, since Prairie View had a season in which it won more games than it lost.

The Prairie View Panthers were caught in a classic doom loop that undermine confidence at every level:

  • They lacked depth of talent, because they had no resources.
  • They receive no resources because they had weak and constantly-changing leadership.
  • They had weak and constantly-changing leadership because they lost.
  • They lost because they had no resources and low aspirations.
  • They had low aspirations because they had a poor record.
  • They had a poor record because they had low aspirations.

These are only a few of the universal connections between poverty of resources, and impoverished spirits.  Economics and psychology reinforce each other in a complex web of self-perpetuating loops.

Le Chanson de Beezlebub

I got hacked. Yeah, I did something stupid out of personal interest and bought into an idea and, of course, hindsight is 20/20.  I had been knocked off line for over seven days.

 

(I used the time to good ends, though, as I finished re-formatting an entire e-book.)

 

Suddenly my browser froze and on came the message that appeared to be from Apple that said you have two options.  1) Pack up your 17-“-monitor iMAC and take the whole bloody mega-package up to the Apple Store and leave it with them for 5-7 days and prepare to pay $400 to undo the virus that just froze your browser, or 2) find yourself an approved Apple Level VI technician in your area, or 3) we can find one who will do the work for you while you wait online — right now — for the same $400 and have the job done within an hour or an hour and a half.

Yep, I bit.

So they told me they found one and told me who it was — TechnoSquare, Inc. out of Delaware as Computer Fix, Inc. , and gave me the phone number and asked me to call them. I did. 1-800-587-9155.

Yep, they said, they could fix the problem and — since it appeared to be a hack job from a country outside the US — they would install software which would prevent the thing from ever happening again and prevent anyone coming from a foreign ISP address from ever entering my computer, and more.

Yep, and “you’ll do this for $400 and right now?”

“Yes we will, and we’ll guarantee the work for a year (and leave you with the printed guarantee and phone numbers).  Just download this software that will allow us to remotely access your iMac….”

Okay…

So off they went, and they did the work.  I watched while they did it. I took notes on their name, phone number, guarantee.  I paid with a credit card.  The charge went through. I have the transaction number. , date, time, authorization codeThey finished their work in about an hour and told me, as they closed out and explained what they had done, that I should be sure to try to clean up my desktop because it was too crowded with stuff and would hurt performance (which seemed much improved). All appeared well. They left. I backed up the iMac on my new handy trusty 60 terabyte external hard drive wired into my Apple Time Machine set to work automatically (as well as on demand).  I cleaned up my desktop and started folding stuff into new folders I called “clusters”, deleting some shit, and otherwise working on it.  I did other things, including at least two new blogs, and more.

And then, Friday afternoon, they called back.

“We screwed up, sir, and we’re refunding your money. You will see a complete refund in 24 hours. We are going to fix the problem and put the right software in now. Give us remote access.” I did.  Now, while they were working away, I said “So let me understand this correctly.. you are going to refund my money and fix the problem for free?”  “No”, they said, “when we are done, we’ll activate the license when you pay us $250 (a $150 savings).”

“Great”, I said, “I’ll pay that just as soon as I see my refund.”

“No”, they said, “you’ll pay it now.” [This all, of course, is reduced and simplified but I got the main facts down on paper.]

Well, by now I’m on speaker phone and my son (who’d just dropped off his son for baby-sitting) and my wife were listening to this all on speaker phone. And I’m starting to get testy. I’m yelling. And I said “I’m not paying another thing online. I don’t do online banking (I told you for the third time), and I’m not paying you anything until I see my refund.”

“You have to trust us.”

“Let me speak to your supervisor.”

“I am the supervisor. I’m the senior technical [something or other] for the Apple division of Square Techno, Inc. d/b/a/ Computer Fix, Inc.”

“Not good enough. I want to talk to a Vice President. Or someone in charge of your financials.  You tell me you don’t have a record of the means by which I first paid [they can’t keep that kind of information, they said], and this is no way to run a business. I’m very concerned.”

“You have to trust us.”

“No, you have to trust that i’ll pay the fee when I get the refund.”

“No. We are holding your iMac hostage. We are going to black ball you on the Apple network. You will have no choice but to buy another computer. You know that thing you paid $1700 for three years ago? It’s gone. Unless you pay your money. Go uptown — here’s the address — and go to Western Union, and wire the $300 to John Young in India, and we will release and license the work.”

Well, by now, I’m screaming, but then I’m suddenly being very cool and talking them out as they are now busy erasing everything they’ve done. So I reached around the back of the computer while I talked to them on the cell phone and said “My wife is calling the credit card company right now to see if the money has come in…. “no, no, we told you it takes 24 hours….” and then she is going to call the FBI.”

And then I disconnected the iMac from the modem at both ends of the cable and took back control of the iMac and erased some shit quickly and did a back-up and went back and erased some more software they’d uploaded and then strung them along while they talked about how they were in the computer and were controlling it and then I asked them to double-check that since I’d disconnected the thing, and they said “No, we can control your computer whether or not it is plugged into the internet or not or whether or not is is even on, because we control your individual identity code as part of the ISP number.”

So I simply hung up on them.

And then they called right back purporting to be the FBI Anti-Fraud Unit — in their Indian accent — same voices in the background — my wife was listening to this as well…  and we did a *69 on the phone which immediately gave us the same phone number they had given me earlier. 1-434-481-2007.

And so of course we just laughed and and hung up.  I haven’t heard from them since.

I didn’t try to go online until late Friday, a week later.

I did call Apple (instructive and useful, though my warranty had run out, and they did provide confirmation that there was a safe “re-boot” fix ), and my Internet Service Provider (useless except to confirm what Apple said about the procedures and technologies of linking to the Internet).

Apple said they had a fix for the problem. When they took my complaint [Ref. #60535816, the FTC told me to take the computer in and have it cleansed.

I did file a formal complaint with the credit card company which  is going to start a recovery/denial process with the vendor and they tell me I do not have to pay the bill.

My wife called her work IT department and got clear on the fact that no damage was or could have been done to her computer or connection. She also called one of the credit agencies which said no identity theft had occurred and that they would track it for free for 30 days based on the complaint. $11 a month buys us permanent protection across all three credit bureaus.

When I went back to the iMac, which works fine, by the way, I did discover they absconded with the folder label “iMAC cluster” and the one labeled “home cluster” and the complete file of non-Apple photos, but there was nothing there that could harm us in any way, unless they are going to play cut-and-paste.  I don’t keep financials in the computer.  Nothing else seems disturbed, but who knows? The folders they got. they took the entire thing… just stole it, or erased it, or what the hay I don’t know.

But it was easily retrieved from the back-up.

Comcast, Apple and the FBI and the FTC all intimated, without saying anything much, that they were familiar with the company or at least the company’s tactics. No one seems terribly excited, even the FBI when I told them the crooks pretended to be the FBI.

I did file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

See also:

http://www.technoitnew.com/reviews/removing-downloaded-squaretechno-program-on-apple.html

http://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-09-2012/tech-support-scam.html

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0346-tech-support-scams

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft

http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-800-587-9155

 

With nothing much else to do, I watched the DVD of the latest Bourne flick, the Bourne Legacy, the one with Jeremy Renner (I can’t wait to see what he and the others do with the tale of the journalist who shot himself in the head twice), in which the protagonist (and may others like him) are transformed and “chemmed out” virally with the aid of the ‘heavily-redacted’ sciences of pharmaceutical-industrial complex.

I’d seen the movie before, probably as a rent-a-flick on TV, but I bought the DVD because I found it to be compelling cinema, and not because of the ever-so-exciting chase scenes on high-speed motorbikes in a crowded Asian urban center.

This time, before I watched the movie, I checked out the deleted scenes (interesting, but yes, they added nothing to the movie) and the extended commentary by directors, writers and others involved in the making of the Bourne series (fascinating stuff). One in particular hit me right between the eyes and I wrote it down on a 3×5 card and tucked it into the exterior plastic sleeve on the DVD box.  It was Edward Norton’s comment that the anarchy of the individual will would always remain.

This despite the efforts of the totalitarian jackboot of the scientifically-based paradigm of the national (now global) interlocking command structure that feels it can commandeer the lives of anyone it wants.

The flick reminded me suggestively of the three times in which I’d battled a severe viral illness to the point of being semi-unconscious and hallucinatory a good deal of the extended days (in the latter two cases weeks), once when I was 9, once when I was in college (they called it mononucleosis, it was right after I dropped out of ROTC, and it eventually got me kicked out of college because I took a 0.0 for the semester, but I appealed it successfully many many years later, so I’m actually kind of a bogus gradute), and the third time at home when I had viral pneumonia for three weeks that got me fired (I actually told them I was done, cooked) working as an online independent medical transcriptionist (and starving).

The flick reminded me of the off-path readings I’d done about obscure military camps in wooded places, some of them underground and out of sight, and it reminds me of the tales of Duncan O’ and a small handful of people I’d known over the years who suddenly were transferred to different locales and different lifestyles and were never seen or heard of again unless it was for having failed the training or the placement.

Given my own spotty and obscured personal history surrounding birth and early development, and the fact that no one still alive who was in my life at that time either knows anything or wants to talk about it, it gets a little eerie. And then the phone rang and the office of the recently-engaged new doctor who’d put me on steroids for polymyalgia rheumatica calls and says that they have to see me in the office in person for assessment without fail before I leave on a personal 10-day travel stint.

I watched the flick again for the third time with the commentary from a panel of film makers, screen writers and others intimately involved in the making of this film.  I commend the film and the commentary to you.  It’s fascinating to me on another level since I took college courses in film, film production, etc., though we were certainly not even on the same planet as these professionals. Aside from the technical stuff about multiple shots, camera angles, working with the actors (there was one great line about getting it right in one take because life itself allows you only one take), the chase sequences, the casting and, most importantly, the research done to verify the science explained in the key moments of the film. The key phrase: “programmable behavior neural design”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFmWHiWN32Q

So I am now back online, fixing the computer issues slowly, having filed the complaints, having learned a lesson, having accomplished much in the gaps where I wasn’t following the news, having had the opportunity to re-connect with an old friend, talking about new horizons, new approaches, writing, music, creativity, and more.

I did hear something about a plane crash in the Alps, and managed to catch just enough of the CNN coverage to see through to the other side, even if I haven’t yet discovered what really went down.

I’ll now take an extended look around at what’s happened in the world while I was digitally blind.

It’s not clear as to what extent I’ll report what I found.

Tell me this, dear reader, is it worth the time to try to point out to others where and how you have been lied to?

Maybe we’ll pen a chanson, the epic poem of the new world:

Le Chanson de Beezlebub.

political labels

 I abhor political labels, party names, isms. 

Most times, they are lies, or invitations to bend the truth, or re-packaged, not-recently-updated snapshots of a position on multiple issues.  Labels allow others to pigeon-hole someone else in to a corner from which they must defend.

My politics — since I’ve been more awake and spending a lot more time reading suppressed books and in not-heavily-trafficked corners of the Internet — are akin to the way I used to drive when I had the license and the freedom to drive at high-speed.  I cut my teeth on the road in my formative years in successive vehicles. 

The first was a brand-new 1968 Ford Cortina GT. I bought it new in college and it was my very first car;  it allowed me to take first place in the one and only formal SCCA rally I’ve ever run. The rally was so poorly designed that everyone got hopelessly lost; the navigator and I merely figured out where the finish point was and showed up there at about the time the lead car should be arriving. Even with all the penalty points for missing all the checkpoints, we came in first at -6,852, or something like that. What really blew me away was that, before the official  start, all the other entrants gathered around my car and said “Check out the Pirellis!”.

The second was an old ’62 M-B 220S sedan with four-on-the-column and a SW radio that could tune in the U-boats. I bought it used for $750 when the Cortina died suddenly in a dashboard electrical fire (damned British electrical parts).  The blue Benz — with patchy paint and rocker panels which I eventually discovered were stuffed with sawdust — was so heavy that it tracked like a tank.  

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oMHFw1uz5n4/VPSK-luM3nI/AAAAAAAABec/p-LLlXEivUA/s1600/1961-Mercedes-benz-220SE.jpg 

I used to have fun with first-time passengers when I’d shift from second to third and hand them the gearshift and ask them to decide when we could go into fourth.  The old oberstleutnant finally gave way when the radiator and exhaust systems got too rusted to function, and I couldn’t rationalize replacing them (and neither could I afford to).

A brand-spanking-new Cadillac ambulance Cadillac ambulance  with a five-liter 8-cylinder power plant played a pivotal role in the right-down-the-middle approach.

http://gomotors.net/photos/df/a9/cadillac-ambulance_e1cdd.jpg?i 

With the flashing lights, I had the license (and legitimate reason) to go barrel-assing down the road as fast as I dared. It was an instant lesson in responsibility.  

I’d already been reading Car and Driver and Road and Track, was a fan of Brock Yates and his ideas about a Master’s Driving License, taught myself skid training on the snowy parking lots of New England ski areas, and was a huge closed road course auto racing fan. One of the films I shot and produced in college was about Lime Rock. I found a whole bunch of other crazy college kids and we played out the Avalon Hill tabletop game “Le Mans” for 24 hour straight.  I took paper and pen in hand and drew out, designed and tested a complete circuit of Formula One courses along the same style. I even dreamed about the possibilities of being one of the entrants into the infamous Cannonball Baker Sea To Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, now morphed back into a closed-circuit format called One Lap Of America and due to start in early May.  But you can still read about the early history

In the ambulance, you had a partner and, soon enough, a patient for whom you had the absolute duty to deliver gently and intact at the earliest possible moment. Advances in paramedicine and EMS systems (which I helped initiate) soon made all-out-speed less necessary. 

In the ambulance, I made short sprints up Interstate 91 in the middle of the night to crash scenes in Whately.  “Even though this ambulance weighs more than three tons, it’s a Cadillac with a gasoline-burning 472 V8. It’s got some punch.”  I could never go as fast as the cars the troopers drove, though. 

I corralled “preemies” in their incubators with attached nursing crews from the small hospitals in Western Massachusetts and negotiated ice-slick back-country roads to bring them to Wesson Women’s in Springfield. I transported patients from hospitals in Greater Springfield to Boston straight down the Massachusetts Turnpike (Interstate 90). I am pleased to say (and so were the passengers) that I never had a single accident at speed in an ambulance. [The tree in the middle of the school playground that I backed into in Leeds has since forgiven me.] “[D]riving an ambulance is all about getting a patient to the proper care with the least amount of patient-upsetting craziness possible. After all, you don’t want someone to die of a heart attack after you’ve already saved them from dying of a heart attack.”

Going fast is fun. 

Being one with the vehicle is like being In the Zone.  There are stories in that book by people like A. J. Foyt and Jimmy Clark that are instructive and resonant.  There’s one story I can’t find again easily about seeing the entire road and understanding or predicting what someone who is several hundred yards away is going to do, or what they are looking at. Having that skill helps you avoid old drivers with tunnel vision and slower reflexes, or the idiots who are texting while driving, or putting on their make-up.

One of the patients I routinely transported was an elder man with complications of diabetes and COPD. He was forever back-and-forth to the hospital, some doctor or another, or in need of a new tank of oxygen. We took good care of him and, in the end, he took good care of us.  He invited me with the proper directives and paperwork to go to the dealership he ran and take any car I wanted at cost. 

That was when I filled up the radiator in that old Mercedes with water and cranked it up. It only had to drive four miles. 

I drove away two days later with a brand-spanking-new fire-engine red (black trim) 1970 Ford Mustang GT with 351-cc Cleveland four-barrel carb engine with a Hurst four-speed. In the words of a co-worker and mechanic, “that sucker would honk”. Top speed I was able to record: 135 mph. 

http://images1.americanlisted.com/nlarge/1970-mach-one-4-barrel-351-factory-h-o-ford-mustang-60k-americanlisted_36849509.jpg 

I used to leave lesser vehicles like Porsches and Corvettes in my rear-view mirror. On the Interstate highways at night, when everyone else except the long-haul truckers were in bed, I could sustain 120 mph. 

But I gave it up for a 1974 Fiat X1/9, top speed 96 mph downhill. But it was true seat-of-the-pants-driving since my back was up against the 4-cylinder, 1290-cc.  and my ass sat four inches off the road: “light weight, stiff suspension, and mid-engine configuration makes smooth and twisty roads fun”.  I could push the car single-handedly, the Targa roof was a gas (you could drive in a light rain and not get wet), and it was hands-down the most automotive fun I’ve had.  

http://bringatrailer.com/wp-content/plugins/PostviaEmail/images/1974_Fiat_X19_Hot_Rod_For_Sale_Cromadora_resize.jpg 

Mine was white with black trim.

The Fiat was outfitted with the best in Michelin tires and some custom-fitted after-market quart-halogen sealed beam headlights that would allow you to see unreflective objects a quarter-mile down the road, and reflective ones at far greater distances. Behind them, it was like driving in a light tunnel. 

The mid-engine “poor man’s Ferrari” was tailor-made for the back roads of Western and Central Massachusetts, and because it was so economical, I spent as much time as possible on them.  I honed my skills late at night, including on a self-designed Monaco-like tight slow circuit I designed for the small back streets of Northampton that I would run timed laps on at 3 AM.

One day, on the way back to Greenfield from a meeting in Boston, I was outbound on Route Two out beyond Orange. It was late; the road was empty. I was maintaining a good steady 85 mph. As I ducked down into the stretch along the Millers River through Erving, the State Police cruiser lay in wait on that little parallel side street that ran up the hill and then down. He tracked me to the other side of the French King bridge and then snapped on his blues. I coasted to a stop at the side of the road and reached for my license and registration. He got out of his car and walked right past my open drivers’ side window to a spot out in front of the car and looked at the headlights. After about fifteen seconds, he came back and asked what kind of lights they were while he did the obligatory glance at the documents.  I told him.  He said “I clocked you conservatively at 85 coming through Erving.  You’re a very good driver.  Slow down and have a good night.”

My beloved Fiat had to be sold when my first-born arrived. It was only a two-seater.  I had had an accident in it when I got T-boned at an intersection; the Fiat sat so low to the ground that vision was often blocked, and that big Pontiac sedan cut the corner behind that box van that was turning in front of me just as I was accelerating.  He hit me right in the left hip.  I maintained control of the vehicle and brought it to rest up over the curb on the grass, but the impacts of the Pontiac driving me sideways into the curb had blown two driver’s side tires; the driver’s side window glass was shattered, and the passenger was only shaken, not hurt. 

The car was towed off to the repair shop where the insurance company would not declare it totaled and I had to wait for a month for the extensive $3,680 in repairs that left me with a bent frame so the car was always going down the road with the driver looking a few degrees to the left of center. Of course, it never felt right after that either. 

Life and children intervened and so the car escapades faded quickly. I could never afford anything notable and was always driving used, near-death vehicles (one of which functioned only because we were able to rig up a rawhide and wire hand-control for the accelerator).  For some time, I drove it without a hood, too; it was penance for earlier behavior, no doubt. I won’t bore you with a long review of the kludges, one of which was a Chevrolet Chevette with four on the floor and a diesel engine. 

But I got another chance when my post-college son got his mom to put up the down payment on a leased ’99 black Pontiac Trans-Am.  Quite understandably, he outran his mileage allotment by way too much, and paying the fee was simply not an option when buying the car outright cost less, so my wife and I agreed to buy the car.  It reverted to me.  It took me close to a decade to run it into the ground, but in the time period, I made countless trips to Stratford, CT, a six-hour trip up to Montreal and back in the autumn  (voler à travers les lacunes de montagne dans le nord du New Hampshire, bancaires à gauche à Magog), and a two-day jaunt down through the Cumberland Gap that was simply stunning.  One of my more obscure musical covers of Brubeck’s Take Five has been re-named for the local of the twisty, winding road down off the heights into the Kanawha River valley. This was a very wide and stable car with a lot of pep, great visibility, and a joy to drive.  I was past the days when high speed was the thing, but a Trans-Am at 80 mph on a long stretch through Appalachia with favorite music mixes in the CD was delightful. (I killed the car when I asked it to tow a U-Haul 850 miles up I-81 and across I-84 in the snow, though it stayed alive for another year until I could afford to buy something else.)

In the end, though, it was the ambulance and the Mustang and the Fiat and the TransAm that fit the political metaphor. (This is about politics, no?.)

I am sadly incomplete, not having had any experience with driving in Europe on the autobahns or the autostrada.  I use to dream about the Mille Miglia and once put together a blog entry on that event.  The Paris-to-Peking rally is another event about which I’ve only read.

The safe way to drive, and the safe way to navigate among the shifting vagaries of the political scene, is to straddle the line down the middle of the road.

You can tuck your left nose out and see down the road a good way. You can prepare to pass when it’s necessary or useful.  The left lane is often wide open.  You can use the entire surface of the road, occasionally leaning on a shoulder. Being in the center of the road allows much greater reaction time and wider room for error; it’s possible you could have a blowout, or some other nincompoop on the road pulls a sudden nutty move. Being in the center allows you more room to maneuver suddenly and recover or maintain control. You can duck right if the fellow in front of you suddenly veers to the left. You can slow down and back off if you see trouble up ahead.  You can see farther in 360 degrees.  You have a better view through the rear view mirror and can see speedily-oncoming cars (including cruisers).  (If you have a Targa roof, you can even occasionally spot a “bear in the air”). Radar detectors are optional and often illegal. At speed, you want as few distractions and reasons to turn your head as possible. A music system loaded with your favorites that can play for a minimum of an hour is vital. They are building (and will soon mandate) cars that will drive themselves, taxicabs into which you punch a destination. “Whenever a radical new technology promises to change our way of life, it’s only a matter of time before Hollywood finds a way to turn it into a comedic farce…..” 

And politics works the same way.  

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/Ie2OmexiEWA/0.jpg 

“… If a transcontinental race happened today, he says, the biggest hurdle would be reliable maps in the middle of nowhere. “They don’t exist off the shelf. They have to be created and used,” Absmeier told Popular Science.

Suppose the race passed through part of Kazakhstan, for example, that a self-driving car hadn’t yet navigated. The vehicle would have to rely entirely on its sensors and road signs to determine its position. Then there’s the weather. If heavy dust blows around, Absmeier says, a car’s radar could have trouble detecting its surroundings.

“I would say from Paris from Beijing would be close to impossible,” he says.

And there’s this small detail about self-driving cars: They typically observe all of the rules of the road, including speed limit, turn signals, safe-assured distance, and so on. This would be standard practice for any future software companies testing their vehicles on public roads. That’d certainly negate any high-speed antics, barring some creative plot twist…..”  [Like hacking, perhaps.  Shades of Hastings, and Wellstone.]

I’m looking forward to the day when blogs come fitted with a heads-up display.

http://static.pakwheels.com/2014/05/Heads-Up-display-in-car.jpg 

Runnin Down a Dream

 

Take It Easy

 

Riders on The Storm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DED812HKWyM 

Silver Thunderbird, Marc Cohn

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-JZFxpuEnw 

LaGrange

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vppbdf-qtGU 

Radar Love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwqMKf7r7Xg 

My Heart Has Never Changed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mn4-IcEcXPU 

Violence Against Women (re-post)

Violence Against Women: Why We Keep Getting it Wrong

March 15th, 2015

Robert J. Burrowes

With the passing of another International Women’s Day, during which much attention around the world has again been focused on tackling violence against women, I would like to explain why none of the initiatives currently being proposed will achieve anything unless we acknowledge, and act on, the cause of this violence. So let me briefly explain the fundamental cause of violence in our world, including the cause of violence against women, and invite you to do something very personal and effective about it.

Perpetrators of violence learn their craft in childhood. If you inflict violence on a child, it learns to inflict violence on others. The terrorist suffered violence as a child. The individual who perpetrates violence in the home, in the schoolyard or on the street suffered violence as a child. The man who inflicts violence on women suffered violence as a child.

If we want to end violence against women, then we must finally end our longest and greatest war: the adult war on children. How can I claim that violence against children is the fundamental cause of all other violence? Consider this. There is universal acceptance that behavior is shaped by childhood experience. If it was not, we would not put such effort into education and other efforts to socialize children to fit into society. And this is why many psychologists have argued that exposure to war toys and violent video games shapes attitudes and behaviors in relation to violence.

But it is far more complex than this and, strange though it may seem, it is not just the ‘visible’ violence (such as hitting, screaming at and sexually abusing) that we normally label ‘violence’ that causes the main damage, although this is extremely damaging. The largest component of damage arises from the ‘invisible’ and ‘utterly invisible’ violence that we adults unconsciously inflict on children during the ordinary course of the day. Tragically, the bulk of this violence occurs in the family home and at school.

See ‘Why Violence?’ http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence and ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’ http://anitamckone.wordpress.com/articles-2/fearless-and-fearful-psychology/

So what is ‘invisible’ violence? It is the ‘little things’ we do every day, partly because we are just ‘too busy’. For example, when we do not allow time to listen to, and value, a child’s thoughts and feelings, the child learns to not listen to themSelf thus destroying their internal communication system. When we do not let a child say what they want (or ignore them when they do), the child develops communication and behavioural dysfunctionalities as they keep trying to meet their own needs (which, as a basic survival strategy, they are genetically programmed to do).

When we blame, condemn, insult, mock, embarrass, shame, humiliate, taunt, goad, guilt-trip, deceive, lie to, bribe, blackmail, moralize with and/or judge a child, we both undermine their sense of Self-worth and teach them to blame, condemn, insult, mock, embarrass, shame, humiliate, taunt, goad, guilt-trip, deceive, lie, bribe, blackmail, moralize and/or judge.

The fundamental outcome of being bombarded throughout their childhood by this ‘invisible’ violence is that the child is utterly overwhelmed by feelings of fear, pain, anger and sadness (among many others). However, parents, teachers and other adults also actively interfere with the expression of these feelings and the behavioural responses that are naturally generated by them and it is this ‘utterly invisible’ violence that explains why the dysfunctional behavioural outcomes actually occur.

For example, by ignoring a child when they express their feelings, by comforting, reassuring or distracting a child when they express their feelings, by laughing at or ridiculing their feelings, by terrorizing a child into not expressing their feelings (e.g. by screaming at them when they cry or get angry), and/or by violently controlling a behaviour that is generated by their feelings (e.g. by hitting them, restraining them or locking them into a room), the child has no choice but to unconsciously suppress their awareness of these feelings.

However, once a child has been terrorized into suppressing their awareness of their feelings (rather than being allowed to have their feelings and to act on them) the child has also unconsciously suppressed their awareness of the reality that caused these feelings. This has many outcomes that are disastrous for the individual, for society and for nature because the individual will now easily suppress their awareness of the feelings that would tell them how to act most functionally in any given circumstance and they will progressively acquire a phenomenal variety of dysfunctional behaviours, including some that are violent towards themselves, others and/or the Earth.

From the above, it should also now be apparent that punishment should never be used. ‘Punishment’, of course, is one of the words we use to obscure our awareness of the fact that we are using violence. Violence, even when we label it ‘punishment’, scares children and adults alike and cannot elicit a functional behavioural response. If someone behaves dysfunctionally, they need to be listened to, deeply, so that they can start to become consciously aware of the feelings (which will always include fear and, often, terror) that drove the dysfunctional behaviour in the first place. They then need to feel and express these feelings (including any anger) in a safe way. Only then will behavioural change in the direction of functionality be possible.

‘But these adult behaviours you have described don’t seem that bad. Can the outcome be as disastrous as you claim?’ you might ask. The problem is that there are hundreds of these ‘ordinary’, everyday behaviours that destroy the Selfhood of the child. It is most children simply do not survive asSelf-aware individuals. And why do we do this? We do it so that each child will fit into our model of ‘the perfect citizen’: that is, obedient and hardworking student, reliable and pliant employee/soldier, and submissive law-abiding citizen.

The tragic reality of human life is that few people value the awesome power of the individual Self with an integrated mind (that is, a mind in which memory, thoughts, feelings, sensing, conscience and other functions work together in an integrated way) because this individual will be decisive in choosing life-enhancing behavioural options (including those at variance with social laws and norms) and will fearlessly resist all efforts to control it or coerce it with violence. [bold added by blog editor]

So how do we end up with men who inflict violence on women, including the women in their own life? We create them.

And can we do anything to end this violence? Yes we can. Each one of us. Here is the formula, briefly stated:

If you want a boy (or girl) who is nonviolent, truthful, compassionate, considerate, patient, thoughtful, respectful, generous, loving of themself and others, trustworthy, honest, dignified, determined, courageous and powerful, then the boy (or girl) must be treated with – and experience – nonviolence, truth, compassion, consideration, patience, thoughtfulness, respect, generosity, love, trust, honesty, dignity, determination, courage and power.

So if we want to end men’s violence against women, we must stop inflicting violence on children. Primarily, this means giving every person, child and adult alike, all of the space they need to feel, deeply, what they want to do, and to then let them do it (or to have the feelings they naturally have if they are prevented from doing so). In the short term, this will have some dysfunctional outcomes. But it will lead to an infinitely better overall outcome than the system of emotional suppression, control and punishment which has generated the incredibly violent world in which we now find ourselves.

Each one of us has a simple choice. We can acknowledge the painful truth that we inflict enormous violence on our children and respond powerfully to that truth. Or we can keep deluding ourselves and continue to observe, powerlessly, as the violence in our world proliferates. What is your choice?

-###-

Biodata: Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981.

He is the author of ‘Why Violence?’ http://tinyurl.co/whyviolence

His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is at http://robertjburrowes.wordpress.com

http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2015/03/15/violence-against-women-why-we-keep-getti 

Secret Space and Breakaway Civilization (re-post)

Secret Space Program and Breakaway Civilization Presentation – View Free Online

Catherine, News & Commentary on March 11, 2015 at 3:03 pm · No Comments

The Global Breakthrough Energy Movement (GlobalBEM) is a non-profit volunteer-powered organization dedicated to educating & activating the public about breakthrough energy technologies which are clean, sustainable and world changing

Mark McCandlish

Title: Zero Point Energy: The power source behind the Secret Space Program and Trump Card of the Break-away Civilization

Promo Video

Presentation

Michael Schratt

Title: The Man-made vs ET Issue

Promo Video

Presentation

Joseph P Farrell

Title: Bullion, Brains, Bonds: Financial, Historical, and Cultural Analysis of the Breakaway Civilization and its Analytical and Policy-Formation Culture

Promo Video 1

Presentation 1

Catherine Austin Fitts

Title: The Black Budget: What Does It Mean to US Federal Budget, the Economy and You?

Promo Video

Presentation

Richard Dolan

Title: UFO Encounters with the World Militaries: Implications

Promo Video

Presentation

Joseph P Farrell

Title: UFOs, the Tower of Babel Moment, and Space Collateralization and Commercialization: An Analysis of Worst Case Scenario Policy Formation of the Breakaway Civilization

Promo Video 2

Presentation 2

Jon Rappoport

Title: Mind Control, the Space Program, and the Secret Theater of Reality

Promo Video

Presentation

Carol Rosin

Title: OVERview and OUT

Promo Video

Presentation

 

Round Table Discussion Saturday Secret Space Program Conference, 2014 San Mateo

Saturday Panel

 

Round Table Discussion Sunday Secret Space Program Conference, 2014 San Mateo 

Sunday Panel

 

If you have any questions about the videos, please contact secretspaceprogram2001@gmail.com

http://secretspaceprogram.org

main website : http://globalbem.com

media website : http://globalbemvoices.com/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/secretspaceprogram

twitter: https://twitter.com/GlobalBEM

youtube : https://www.youtube.com/user/Secretspaceprogram

soundcloud : https://soundcloud.com/globalbem

GlobalBEM Disclaimer : We are all, in a sense, investigators of our world. And while we, as individuals or as Globalbem, may not agree with everything presented on this video, we fully support freedom of thought and speech as well as the Quest for truth.

We are a non-profit organization of volunteers and thus each member or any other person involved in any way, have to take responsibility for their own statements, acts and beliefs.

All rights reserved © GlobalBEM 2014

https://solari.com/blog/the-secret-space-program-breakawaycivilization-view-free-online/  

 

 

 

 

http://www.momogalerie.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/MOMO_Hubble-Ultra-Deep-Field-galaxy-20081.jpg

 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTXeWIL1vhA 

If you make any contact, drop someone a line.

interesting things

I collect interesting things… Information, words, facts, books, quotations, tangible objects… I find many things interesting. The world is exciting to me because of its infinite variety and complexity. I read a great deal in order to add more information to my archives. Some of the things I found interesting are noted below.

[&&]{**}[##]

Yup, it’s another post on the “Chemical Manipulation of Humanity”….

and it’s a really important post, well-done, well-documented,  multiple citations, several links, and a 

Link to a pdf which contains every external link contained within the above article 

Save the pdf, share it with everyone you can- Let’s help one another

Posted by Penny at 3:32 PM

http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.com/2015/03/roundup-converging-pattern-of-toxicity.html 

[[&&]{**}[##]

Worldwide neuroscience research conducted under Obama’s BRAIN project, as well as similar research sponsored by the European Union exceeds $1 billion combined. The goal is nothing short of decoding the human brain. While there are many embedded initiatives associated with this type of research, the production of artificial intelligence that can rival or even surpass humans is at the forefront.

One recent development aims to move beyond mere computational horsepower and incorporate the principles of Darwinian evolution in order to naturalize the process of robot evolution.

This initiative has become evident in the European Union’s cloud network called RoboEarth where robots can do their own research, communicate with one another, and collectively increase their intelligence by mimicking family and cultural learning.

This drive for embedding evolutionary principles into robotics formed the cornerstone of the next phase of research begun at the University of Wyoming’s Evolving Artificial Intelligence Lab, seen in the video below, where the stated goal is to introduce survival of the fittest to hopefully break through current evolutionary barriers toward fully intelligent robots.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cyfyzl934Sg (1:53)

As you heard, willful procreation is a natural outcome. This has been echoed by George Zarkadakis, an artificial intelligence engineer, who believes that intelligent robots will move toward procreation as they desire to produce superior offspring. Through a simple software swap, new intelligence could be created, as well as the likelihood of other upgrades like virus protection. Incidentally, the organic component of this is also being researched by geneticists as downloadable DNA via our own human Internet.

Just as we humans wish that our own children become healthier, more intelligent and longer-lived versions of ourselves, so too will increasingly self-aware robotic systems. The research at the University of Wyoming has embraced this potential.

Further commenting on the potential of the “mutations” and code swaps, lead researcher Jeff Clune stated:

We’re trying to harness the power of evolution. It’s an extremely creative and powerful design force. Can we use that process to evolve robots? We can harness it, and when we do, evolution comes up with something smarter than humans can design.

[…]

We want to engineer robots that rival nature and are as agile and smart. (emphasis added) 

However, robots that rival their human counterparts is exactly the scenario that is being warned about.  Some of the many unintended consequences erupting from a superintelligence have been articulated by Nick Bostrom. The response to a “rival” humanity by this superintelligence could involve operational enslavement or eradication, just as it has among animal and human groups throughout history. Despite such tech luminaries as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk being moved by Bostrom’s research and existential concern, research continues apace.

A similar program from Michigan State University “uses genetic algorithms operating on a mathematical framework called Markov networks to model a large population of robot ‘brains’ working on a particular task, like finding the exit to a maze. The brains that perform the task best have the largest number of simulated ‘offspring.’” Researchers point to the ability to easily speed up the process of natural selection, which could theoretically produce intelligence and consciousness in the relatively near term. Team leader, Chris Adami, specifically cites the ability to equip a new robot brain with the results from “hundreds of thousands of generations.”

Once equipped, robots can illustrate marked evolutionary principles such as cooperation and, eventually, self-awareness.

Adami believes that evolving robot brains in complicated worlds that force them to interact with each other is the best path toward self-aware intelligence. “When robots have to make models of other robots’ brains, they are thinking about thinking,” he said. “We believe this is the onset of consciousness.”

Adami then issues a rather tepid dismissal of those who are worried about what these conscious robots would exactly wish to accomplish:

Thinking robots will be extraordinarily useful, Adami says, adding that humanity should have no reason to fear a rise of the machines. “When our robots are ‘born’, they will have a brain that has the capacity to learn, but only has instincts. It will take a decade or two of exploration and training for these robots to achieve human-level intelligence, just as is the case with us,” he said.

At best, we see that there is certainty about the birth of conscious and self-aware robots operating on the principles of survival of the fittest … and that humanity has a hopeful stay of execution date in a decade or two.

Sources:

http://phys.org/news/2015-03-evolving-robot-brains.html

http://www.33rdsquare.com/2014/05/using-evolution-to-advance-intelligent.html

Recently by Nicholas West:

Brain Imaging Tech Opens Up New Door to Predicting Behavior

DARPA’s Autonomous Microdrones Designed to Enter Houses

Germany’s New Pre-Crime System Directly Modeled After “Minority Report”

http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2015/03/scientists-continue-path-of-darwinian-evolution-for-robots-3116506.html 

[&&]{**}[##]

Unbenannt

[&&]{**}[##]

We can just vote this away by voting for the other team this election, right?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbyuuOl5Y4s (7:03)

via

blacklistednews.com 

[&&]{**}[##]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztzhohOdKo0 (11:13)

[&&]{**}[##]

The New World Order is a book written by H. G. Wells, originally published in January 1940. Wells expressed the idea that a ‘new world order‘ should be formed to unite the nations of the world in order to bring peace and end war.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_World_Order_(Wells)

The New World Order

by

H.G. Wells

First published by Secker & Warburg, London, 1940

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter I. The End of an Age

Chapter II. Open Conference

Chapter III. Disruptive Forces

Chapter IV. Class-War

Chapter V. Unsated Youth

Chapter VI. Socialism Unavoidable

Chapter VII. Federation

Chapter VIII. The New Type of Revolution

Chapter IX. Politics for the Sane Man

Chapter X. Declaration of the Rights of Man

Chapter XI. International Politics

Chapter XII. World Order in Being

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks04/0400671h.html 

World Brain is a collection of essays and addresses by the English science fiction pioneer, social reformer, evolutionary biologist and historian H. G. Wells, dating from the period of 1936–38. Throughout the book, Wells describes his vision of the World Brain: a new, free, synthetic, authoritative, permanent “World Encyclopaedia” that could help world citizens make the best use of universal information resources and make the best contribution to world peace.  Much more at the link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Brain 

[&&]{**}[##]

This Is Your Avatar Speaking

BY NICOLA TWILLEY

“… Virtual reality is often seen as touristic, a way to visit fantasy worlds without leaving home, but … “It’s a way of allowing you to step outside of your own body and experience what it’s like to be someone else for a short time,” he said. “What’s remarkable is how plastic the brain is in accepting that illusion.” …. When the illusion of body ownership becomes the illusion of authorship, the implications are potentially serious…. demonstrating a mistaken sense of agency….  A headset and a motion-capture suit aren’t prerequisites, of course, for changing one’s perspective. As D. Fox Harrell, the director of M.I.T.’s Imagination, Computation, and Expression Laboratory, pointed out to me, art, literature, and the social sciences have long served that purpose quite effectively. Nevertheless, Harrell is convinced of the potential of virtual-reality technology to expand our understanding of the self, particularly if Slater-style illusions can be made more sophisticated and interactive. “What are the new ways of being and seeing yourself when you’re able to blend multiple selves between the virtual and the real?” he asked. “It will be really interesting to see what kind of new social configurations emerge.” Slater’s work points toward a future in which virtual reality will increasingly shape analog reality, in which our illusions will have consequences. Philosophers, ethicists, and even poets will have to adjust accordingly.”

http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/virtual-reality-avatar-speaking 

via

http://cryptogon.net/ 

[&&]{**}[##]

DARPA Tech Enables Paralyzed Woman to Fly F-35 Fighter Jet Simulator With Her Mind

Friday, March 6, 2015 5:57

DARPA is quite possibly the most dangerous and unpredictable limb of the US Government.

Frequently dubbed the “mad science agency”, they are responsible for the creation of the Internet (originally the ArpaNet, *not invented by Al Gore), countless robotic remotely controlled weapons of war, TOR (the onion router), and many more incredible and often dangerous technologies.

This week we learned that a paralyzed woman was used to simulate the flight of an F-35 fighter jet using nothing but her mind.

In an ongoing experiment, 55-year-old Jan Scheuermann agreed to have brain implants in 2012, allowing her to control a robotic arm.

Using the electrode implants, she was able to operate the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter simulator.

“Instead of thinking about controlling a joystick, which is what our ace pilots do when they’re driving this thing, Jan’s thinking about controlling the airplane directly,” said the head of DARPA, Arati Prabhakar.

Disregarding the dangers of high technology in the hands of known war criminals, Prabhakar continued to say:

For someone who’s never flown – she’s not a pilot in real life – she’s flying that simulator directly from her neural signalling.

We can now see a future where we can free the brain from the limitations of the human body.

Read more here:

http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2015/03/darpa-tech-enables-paralyzed-woman-to-fly-f-35-fighter-jet-simulator-with-her-mind-3117924.html 

[&&]{**}[##]

http://i1.tribune.com.pk/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/423491-goatsstock-1345221838-889-640×480.jpg 


http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/03/06/remember-kill-chain/

 

[&&]{**}[##]

http://breakingdefense.com/2015/03/what-should-congress-do-about-ukraine/ 

Full text below, emphasis added

Poland suddenly reappeared in 1919, 120 years after it vanished from the map of Europe, sowing confusion at the Versailles Peace Conference as the great powers tried to heal the wounds of World War I. The British questioned the legitimacy of the new Polish State and the French were suspicious of Polish ambitions. Frustrated with allied reluctance to help Poland, Josef Pilsudski, Poland’s new leader told a French journalist:

“The great evil afflicting our country (Poland) is the fact that the Allies have no clear and definite program. We are left to face this big Eastern question all alone, because Europe does not know what it wants…We Poles are next-door neighbors to Russia… We have got to decide ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ peace or war. We cannot wait any longer.”

Poland refused to die. Marshal Pilsudski’s Polish forces counterattacked the next year, annihilating the Red Army and shattering Trotsky’s dream of marching over “Poland’s corpse” into Germany.

What are the parallels with Ukraine? Like Poland in 1920, Ukraine also refuses to die. Americans must engage in an authentic, unbiased appraisal of U.S. and allied military capabilities.  Put more bluntly, in Putin’s next crisis, Washington and its allies may be compelled to put up or shut up.  Consider the following:

Putin commands the Russian Armed Forces and its surrogates in Eastern Ukraine through the Stavka, the High Command of the Russian Armed Forces. The Stavka is staffed by talented officers that have risen through a highly selective professional general staff system. The High Command imposes absolute unity of command on all branches of the Russian armed forces. In contrast, the Joint Staff in Washington is a feckless organization with no command authority. The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) are a committee of Service Chiefs focused on “service equities.”

Russian electronic warfare and cyber capabilities can interfere with many of America’s high precision weapons, GPS-based navigation and guidance systems, as well as our RF-based networking between tactical platforms and operational commands. Combine these problems with the practice of last minute lash-ups of Army, Marine, Air Force and Navy headquarters, and the scene is set for disaster.

Russian air defense technology is capable of identifying, tracking and potentially destroying every manned and unmanned aircraft in the U.S. inventory from AH-64 attack helicopters and A-10 Warthogs to the B-2 Bomber. In a contest with Russian forces in Ukraine, a confrontation could easily resemble the 1973 Egyptian-Israeli War along the Suez Canal. The reach and impact of American aerospace power would be severely limited. Given America’s history of predictable, sequential operations — first air, then, ground offensives — the probability of U.S. military paralysis early in a conflict with the Russians is high.

But Russian forces boast other advantages. They have a short commute to the battles from their bases in southern Russia. U.S. and allied ground forces would have to move at least 400 miles from the Polish border, or roughly the distance from Kuwait City to Baghdad, just to reach the staging areas in the Dnieper River valley. It is very doubtful that Mr. Putin would mimic Saddam Hussein, and simply do nothing while U.S. and allied forces built up and then move hundreds of miles of open terrain to attack him.

Russia is waging war in the Donets Basin or Donbass with tank and armored infantry formations heavily reinforced with rocket artillery and a host of strike systems, as well as, manned and unmanned aircraft.  Under the Stavka’s direction, Russian forces are integrating the maneuver of mobile armored formations with the application of massive strikes against the opposing Ukrainian forces.

If the U.S. Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps and/or the Marine Corps, the French and British rapid deployment forces or the German Air-Landing Brigade were deployed to fight in the Donbass, their survival in contact with these Russian ground forces would be counted in hours, if not minutes. No amount of American or allied intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, (ISR) let alone strike from aerospace and naval forces can compensate for this weakness. But, today, these light forces constitute the majority of American and allied ground forces.

How meaningful and enduring the recently announced ceasefire between Kiev and Moscow will turn out to be is not known. But Putin’s gushing nostalgia for the Soviet Union of his youth suggests he thinks much like Stalin and would push Russia’s borders westward over Ukraine’s shattered remains.

The central question for America’s elected leaders is: what should Congress do?

Washington must not risk a future confrontation with Moscow, or for that matter, any great power, with ground maneuver forces that are organized, trained and equipped to defeat relatively lightly armed and equipped Arabs, Afghans and Africans.

First, the nation needs standing Joint Force headquarters in the regional unified commands. These are not JTFs thrown together at the last minute. They are staffed and equipped to rapidly integrate capabilities across service lines, and assimilate ground maneuver with the devastating, long-range precision strikes of aerospace and naval power in future conflicts.

Second, Congress must end the U.S. Army’s penchant for squandering billions of dollars on failed modernization programs, programs presented as “transformational,” but lacking an integrative strategy, a joint warfighting purpose and a realistic tactical foundation. If Army airborne, air-mobile and Marine Corps amphibious forces are useful only in “permissive environments” against weak opponents in the developing world, then scarce defense resources should be diverted from light forces into the development of new ground maneuver forces with modern mobile armored firepower. We need mobile ground forces that can take hits, fight and win against capable opponents like Russia and other great powers, not forces designed to police and combat hapless Arabs, Afghans and Africans.

Putin is restoring Soviet norms in Moscow’s foreign and defense policy. It’s why Congress should heed Józef Pilsudski’s “lesson learned” from dealing with the Russians: “When she (Russia) is weak she is ready to promise anything, but she is equally ready to break those promises the moment she feels strong enough to do so.”

Douglas Macgregor, a member of the Breaking Defense Board of Contributors is executive vice president of Burke-Macgregor Group, LLC, a defense consulting firm in Reston, Virginia.  His newest book, Margin of Victory, will appear in the fall of 2015.

[&&]{**}[##]

“… Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies are advancing and increasingly given control of nuclear launch decision making.  (Max Tegmark, Professor of Physics, MIT)….”

http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2015/03/notes-from-nuclear-confab-in-nyc.html 

 

Citizenfour

 

I was patient.  I waited and waited until the movie came around on the TV schedule.  I’d established an alert with a DVD sales outlet for its distribution, but no response.  Maybe they decided not to hawk the product, I dunno. 

I’d passed on watching any of the various versions available through torrent, streaming, etc.

I looked but did not find any viewings of the film that just won the Emmy for Best Documentary, strange enough in its own right. (The the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences doesn’t touch controversy.)

I suspended judgment on the entire question of “what’s up” with the journalist and his paymaster, the former agent-turned-whistleblower, the issue of free flow of information versus the slow leaking approach, the veracity and validity of the entire thing as an act of conscience or a carefully-and-cynically planned op.

Snowden’s Citizenfour was on HBO tonight. 

[##]

Edward Snowden would go to the US if he was sure that he would face a fair trial there, the former NSA contractor’s lawyer Anatoly Kucherena says.

“Edward Snowden is ready to return to the US, but on the condition that he be given guarantees to receive a fair and impartial trial,” Kucherena told journalists on Tuesday, as cited by TASS.

The lawyer has said he received a letter from the US attorney-general promising no capital punishment for Snowden should he return to America.

READ MORE: Snowden documentary CitizenFour grabs Oscar

“So what we are being guaranteed is not the fair trial, but that Snowden will not be executed,” Kucherena said. “And it’s done by a prosecutor, who according to the law, is not in any way able to determine a court’s decision.”

Kucherena says he does not trust news of certain countries’ readiness to accept Snowden.

Read more

Washington won’t say how much damage Snowden leaks did

“I suspect that as soon as he leaves Russia, he’s going to be taken to a US embassy,” he said.

Edward Snowden, who holds a Russian residency permit, can in theory travel freely to other countries, but there are no guarantees of his security abroad, Kucherena specified. It is unclear how this would work in practice, though, because he has no passport for any country.

Snowden has a Russian and US team of lawyers, according to Kucherena, who said his client wants to go back home.

He’s thinking about it. He has a desire to come back and we are doing everything possible to make that happen.

READ MORE: ‘I would have come forward sooner’ – Snowden on NSA leak regrets

In June 2013, Edward Snowden leaked thousands of classified NSA documents to the media, revealing the organization’s widespread massive surveillance. Shortly after, the US Department of Justice charged the whistleblower with two counts of violating the Espionage Act as well as theft of government property. The State Department revoked his passport.

Snowden flew from Hong Kong to Moscow, where he intended to board a plane to Cuba. Because his passport had been annulled he wasn’t able to fly, and eventually he was granted political asylum in Russia, where he has been ever since.

http://rt.com/news/237149-snowden-us-trial-just/

[##]

“… Snowden supporters will likely seize on the award as further validation that his actions—which some politicians continue to claim were treasonous and undermined national security—were justified. The win also amounts to a tacit rebuke by Hollywood of the Obama administration’s civil-liberties record, a sensitive issue for an industry that was once dogged by accusations of communist sympathies during the Red Scare of the 1940s and 1950s.

“Edward Snowden could not be here for some treason,” Oscar host Neil Patrick Harris jokingly quipped after the award was given…..”

http://www.nationaljournal.com/tech/snowden-film-citizenfour-wins-oscar-for-best-documentary-20150222 

[##]

“… Movies are lots of things, but “important” isn’t one of them. It’s not that they can’t be meaningful and life-changing, but when a critic’s praise tries to go beyond that, it raises red flags for me.

Normally, this happens when the movie takes on a serious subject—think An Inconvenient Truth or 12 Years a Slave. But the problem is that at that point, we’re no longer talking about the merits of the film but, rather, how we feel about the subject matter. (For instance, last year I got a few emails from people who couldn’t believe I didn’t put 12 Years a Slave in my Top 10: Didn’t I care about racism?) Films with serious themes can be great, but when we place the worthiness of the subject above all other considerations, we’re not really talking about artistry anymore.

The new documentary Citizenfour is a perfect illustration of this dilemma. I’ve already heard a few colleagues talk about what an “important” movie this is, and I understand where they’re coming from. A significant insider’s view of Edward Snowden’s attempts last year to blow the lid off the NSA’s intrusive surveillance program, the latest from documentarian Laura Poitras is a sobering overview of one of the country’s major debates: whether the need for national security outweighs the individual’s need for privacy. The result is very good, but its newsworthiness doesn’t automatically make it a stunning piece of work.

The third installment in her trilogy of post-9/11 documentaries (joining The Oath and My Country, My Country), Citizenfour recounts how Poitras was one of the few individuals Snowden first contacted when he planned to go public about the information he had on the NSA. ….”

http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/edward-snowden-before-the-storm-citizenfour-reviewed-1649331455 

[##]

“Poitras’s other films include O’ Say Can You See… (2003) and Exact Fantasy (1995).[4] Her 2006 film My Country, My Country, about life for Iraqis under U.S. occupation, was nominated for an Academy Award. Her 2010 film The Oath, about two Yemeni men caught up in America’s War on Terror, won the Excellence in Cinematography Award for U.S. Documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.[18] …. On August 22, 2012, in a forum of short documentaries produced by independent filmmakers, The New York Times published an “Op-doc” produced by Poitras entitled The Program.[19][20] It was preliminary work that was to be included in a documentary planned for release as the final part of the trilogy. The documentary was based on interviews with William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency, who became a whistleblower and described the details of the Stellar Wind project that he helped to design. He stated that the program he worked on had been designed for foreign espionage, but was converted in 2001 to spying on citizens in the United States, prompting concerns by him and others that the actions were illegal and unconstitutional and that led to their disclosures.

The Program implied that a facility being built at Bluffdale, Utah is part of domestic surveillance, intended for storage of massive amounts of data collected from a broad range of communications that could be mined readily for intelligence without warrants. Poitras reported that on October 29, 2012 the United States Supreme Court would hear arguments regarding the constitutionality of the amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that were used to authorize the creation of such facilities and justify such actions.

Government surveillance[edit]

Poitras has been subject to monitoring by the U.S. Government, which she speculates is because of a wire transfer she sent in 2006 to Iraqi doctor Riyadh al-Adhadh, a suspected Sunni insurgent.[21] After completing My Country, My Country, Poitras claims, “I’ve been placed on the Department of Homeland Security‘s (DHS) watch list” and have been notified by airport security “that my ‘threat rating’ was the highest the Department of Homeland Security assigns”.[22] She says her work has been hampered by constant harassment by border agents during more than three dozen border crossings into and out of the United States. She has been detained for hours and interrogated and agents have seized her computer, cell phone and reporters notes and not returned them for weeks. Once she was threatened with being refused entry back into the United States.[23] In response to a Glenn Greenwald article about this, a group of film directors started a petition to protest the government’s actions against her.[24]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Poitras 

[&&]{**}[##]

the trailer for the film “The Oath” 

the trailer for the film “My Country, My Country” 

[&&]{**}[##]

I have a feeling I should watch these films before I close judgment on Laura Poitras.  

Who precisely was it that selected her to meet with Snowden and make the film “Citizenfour”? 

What proof is there of this?  

Who suggested Glenn Greenwald as the journalist to begin the process of telling the story?  

Prior whistleblowers like William Binney, Mark Klein and Russ Tice had already written about extensively for years. 

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Binney_(U.S._intelligence_official) and

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russ_Tice and

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Klein   

[##]

From my own notes taken while watching the film:

‘It all comes down to state power and meaningful ways of people to oppose that state power.’

Does this suggest that the film and the leak is part of the Hegelian dialectic in action?

Is there anything within the film that has been proven wrong?  Hasn’t it all been proven to be true? 

So the questions going into the viewing were these:

  • Is Snowden a traitor, or a hero?
  • Is the release a “psy op”?

We see footage of Ari Fleischer (remember him, and his background?) clearly conflating things and stating ‘As we saw in Boston, people are willing to shelter in place’ and give up their liberties’. 

We saw footage with ‘correspondent’ Andrea Mitchell, Allen Greenspan’s wife. 

We saw Greenwald say to Snowden “We are going to be doing the government’s work for them.”.

Again, we saw the theme ‘This is about us, and the battle between the citizenry and the government’. 

As a viewer with a B.A. in media production, I have to say — although the problem may also reside in my own choice of size of viewing instrument and its audio components — that the film’s textual overlay graphics were too small and not easily read, that the sound mixing was horrible, and that the droning background noise was a nice effect but was wholly overdone.

A most interesting point was made by Jacob Appelbaum during a conversation (I’m probably going to have to watch the film again to get precise) about the inability to have unmonitored or private conversation with someone else and having a sense of sense of agency. As William Binney noted, we are forced to practice surreptitious tradecraft if we want that kind of communication with others. 

[&&]{**}[##]

Then I remembered that Wayne Madsen and the researcher he keeps chained up … Sil (WA), the Hausfrau with the keyboard, the crazy lady in the “basement”… had written a good deal about the principals, especially Greenwald: 

 

”… This latest Greenwald betrayal is a true showing of solidarity with Israel and Netanyahu with a global media psyop by Greenwald to sway public opinion toward Pollard which represents covert pressure on US national interests via public forum straight from Israel. More L’Illusion Tragique which by definition is classic theater with a story within a story by our friend Greenwald. 

I say above that even the hefty Omidyar check is still “only a piece of the money trail” because I smelled a big agent in Greenwald months ago when he rushed in to ‘help’ Snowden. I did an excavation of the deep state behind Greenwald and found him directly and undisputably tied to things as unfathomably sinister as what I just dug up on the witch stirring the cauldron full of boiling frogs in the last couple of days who is busy griping at him because he got the latest pot of gold and global pedestal to go with it instead of her…..”

As to Greenwald, I passed on what I excavated to the proper journalists whom I trust to write it up into a real story when they find time for it. I am just the crazy lady in the research basement who digs things up, loosely correlates it and sends it to real journalists whom I trust for checking what I found and connected and write it up, a list of journalists which is painfully short by design because so many in the profession are bought and paid for that it is dizzying. 

The huge deep state story I dug up on Greenwald and solidly correlated into a loose but very vast construct which checks out on all sides of probing what I put together on him which remains publicly undiscovered to this day is every bit as bad as the story of our beloved oracle Sibel. I believe some writing by a real journalist whom I sent it all to is coming but because the deep state behind Greenwald is so huge and involves first educating an audience about the deep state topic and description of networks and their foundational histories first ….

He is a big old deep state spook since the cradle. I am certain because I did the very extensive deep research…. [Wayne Madsen] is today visibly busy with the continuum of the spectrum and tackled Greenwald who is part of the Greenwald-Sibel+Assange with Netanyahu in a support role giant psyop kabuki we are all witnessing…..”

http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/articles/20140108_1 

January 8-9, 2014 — Leaked documents and  extortionists (Wayne Madsen Reports)

PDF: Madsen on Greenwald Jan. 2104

September 1-2, 2014 — The Omidyar/Greenwald  Redaction Team (Wayne Madsen Reports)

PDF: Madsen on Greenwald Omidyar Sept.2014

[Be careful if you print this, lest your black ink reservoir be drained… it’s a plot, I tell you, a conspiracy]

[&&]{**}[##]

The film’s ending credits unusually[50] name several free software projects and security tools, without which “this film would not be possible”. The programs named include Tor, Tails, Debian GNU/Linux, Off-the-Record Messaging, the GNU Privacy Guard, Truecrypt, and SecureDrop. In October 2014, the Electronic Frontier Foundation published an informational page about the software credited in the film.[54]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizenfour 

[&&]{**}[##]

Snowden in talks on returning to U.S., Russian lawyer says | 3 Mar 2015 | A Russian lawyer for Edward Snowden said on Tuesday the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of the government’s mass surveillance programs was working with American and German lawyers to return home. Anatoly Kucherena, who has links to the Kremlin, was speaking at a news conference to present a book he has written about his client. Moscow granted Snowden asylum in 2013…Kucherena said last August Snowden had been granted a three-year residence permit in Russia.

[##]

Newly Released Snowden Documents Related to New Zealand

March 4th, 2015 by Kevin

We know more of the operational names and technical details than in past years, but Hager let the world know this was happening back in 1996: Secret Power.

Via: New Zealand Herald:

New Zealand is “selling out” its close relations with the Pacific nations to be close with the United States, author Nicky Hager has said.

Hager, in conjunction with the New Zealand Herald and the Intercept news site, revealed today how New Zealand’s spies are targeting the entire email, phone and social media communications of the country’s closest, friendliest and most vulnerable neighbours.

The revelations, based on documents supplied by United States fugitive and whistleblower Edward Snowden, expose a heavy focus on “full-take collection” from the Pacific with nearly two dozen countries around the world targeted by our Government Communications Security Bureau.

The Snowden documents show that information from across the Pacific is collected by New Zealand’s GCSB but sent on to the United States’ National Security Agency to plug holes in its global spying network.

Posted in Covert Operations, Dictatorship, Surveillance, Technology  

[##] 

http://robinwestenra.blogspot.com/2015/03/edward-snowden-revelations-on-nzs.html 

[##]

The head of the German inquiry into NSA spying had his phone tampered with after sending it off to be inspected for suspected hacking. When the phone arrived at its destination, its packaging had already been opened.

Patrick Sensburg, a member of the German parliament (the Bundestag) from the Christian Democratic Union party, sent his phone to the  Federal Office of IT Security (BSI) in Bonn to be inspected for possible hacking after he noticed problems with it in February. Though the phone was sent in a lead-lined container to block any wireless signals, the package was sent by normal DHL post and by the time it arrived at the BSI, the secure container had been opened.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150305/1019073671.html#ixzz3TTWaAS7A

[##]

The disclosures that Edward Snowden reveals don’t only expose a threat to our privacy but to our democracy itself. When the most important decisions being made affecting all of us are made in secret, we lose our ability to check the powers that control.

 

So the way I’m reading this is that the controversies are less about Snowden and Poitras than they are about Greenwald and Omidyar. There are lots of people genuinely concerned about the stresses on the Constitution and the lack of oversight,. But this seems not to be the case with the millionaire, or Greenwald, and Poitras is plying her craft out of a background and community oriented toward hacking, rights, and the free flow of electronic information.

And Snowden is the deer in the headlights.

Stay tuned to find out how the whole thing turns out. 

 

occult foreboding

The world is on edge with economic woes, warring confrontation, and occult foreboding,  In short, everyone is wondering when the next shoe is going to drop.

Recently noted was commentary by “the freelance journalist” Jim Stone, amplified by the appendix in the book The Most Dangerous Book in the World, written by the former art director of the Weekly Standard, the favored publication of the neocon movement and philosophical cocoon for the Project for a New American Century, 9/11’s maleficent step-mother.

 

(7:16)

 

One of the more well-known Internet comment “gadabouts” suggested that the dates 3/11/2015 and 5/11/2015 have heavy significance and that certain events have been given permission to develop and ensue.

Charles Drago casts it as sponsorship, differentiating it from lower levels of — pardon the pun — execution, performance, mechanics, and the secondaries of cover-up and disinformation.

This gadabout meant his allusion to ‘permission’ perhaps in the same way certain meetings at a very private and selective elitist meeting room once hosted a small group of people who hatched the unspeakable events of Dealey Plaza. [Have you read, by the way, James Douglass’ book Gandhi and the Unspeakable?  It makes a nice companion piece to his earlier parallel traits on JFK.]

The gadabout provided the reference to his allusion, illusion, submission or suggestion by sending me a copy of the graphic at the top of this post (a recent cover of The Economist magazine reminiscent of a Beatles album cover), which is explained and analyzed in a post here: http://www.dailypaul.com/332613/whats-with-the-economists-strange-and-ominous-2015-cover-for-those-who-have-eyes-to-see which cites (re-posts_the definitely outside the mainstream “Vigilant Citizen”.

“… What can be gleaned from this strange cover of a publication known to be connected to the Rothschild dynasty? Vigilant Citizen and the resulting commentary makes for an interesting analysis…..

The magazine The Economist published an issue named “The World in 2015″. On the cover are odd images : A mushroom cloud, the Federal Reserve in a game called “Panic” and much more.

I wouldn’t normally dedicate an entire article analyzing the cover of a publication, but this isn’t any publication. It is The Economist and it is directly related to the world elite. It is partly owned by the Rothschild banking family of England and its editor-in-chief, John Micklethwait, attended several times to the Bilderberg Conference – the secretive meeting where the world’s most powerful figures from the world of politics, finance business and media discuss global policies. The outcome of those meetings is totally secret. It is therefore safe to say that the people at The Economist know things that most people don’t. For this reason, its “2015 prediction” cover is rather puzzling.

The bleak and sinister cover features political figures, fictional characters and pop culture icons that will surely make the news in 2015. However, most importantly, it also includes several drawings that are extremely symbolic and allude to important elements of the elite’s Agenda.

Continued:

http://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/economist-2015-cov…

772 Comments

The full link to the graphic:

http://ec.nikkeibp.co.jp/item/image/h_236610.jpg

Here’s a comment at the Daily Paul:

“… the Illuminati’s “number of destruction and judgment and the death of man.”

The 9/11 false flag is filled with symbolism related to this number. Two 11s together, ie 11 11, is supposed to be a particularly menacing number. In the occult world 11 is called a “master number.”

News headlines: Understanding Illuminati Numerology

www.helpfreetheearth.com/news565_numbers.html

Other past events are also dripping in numerological significance. {Note that I am not learned about these things, or things cabbalist, or Satanist, or the deeper essence of other secret societies. I’m still working on the more basic elements of physics and math.]

 

So go on and read the article at the Vigilant Citizen and the comments too.

And then join me in watching the run-up to the dates March_11 and May_11.

N.B.:  The author/owner of this blog who makes no predictions whatsoever, and there is no attempt on my part to pin anything on anyone else either.

But

  • hug your loved ones and tell them you love them,
  • make sure you put out extra water for the dogs and Friskies for the cats,
  • put your affairs in order, and,
  • whatever you do, don’t buy extra insurance.