Saturday, July 31, 2010

WikiLeaks, The Last Free Press


What is WikiLeaks?

WikiLeaks is a multi-jurisdictional public service designed to protect whistleblowers, journalists and activists who have sensitive materials to communicate to the public. Since July 2007, we have worked across the globe to obtain, publish and defend such materials, and, also, to fight in the legal and political spheres for the broader principles on which our work is based: the integrity of our common historical record and the rights of all peoples to create new history.


Freedom of the Press now considered an Act of Treason?


While the mainstream media in the United States and throughout much of the world has abandoned journalism in favor of some form of Jerry Springeresque entertainment format and become little more than the propaganda department of the national statists and globalists agendas. Some may claim that their journalism is unbiased and pulls no punches when it comes to reporting the facts, however the arena in which they are throwing the punches is maintained within the narrow confines that the White House draws for them. There is a well defined “appropriate” avenue of news where the main stream media presents their grand theater for the American publics consumption, entertainment, and endless bickering over marginal or even fabricated issues.

As a litmus test of how the main stream media has become the governments lap dog, we need only ask yourself “When was the last time U.S. Intelligence planned to destroy CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, or MSNBC?” None to my knowledge, however WikiLeaks has been targeted just a few months ago. How odd, the “Home of the Free” and “Land of the Brave” using its military might to silence the Free Press. Well, I suppose the Constitution only says,

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”

Gee, the Founding Fathers could not possibly have foreseen the depraved, debased, corrupt individuals that we have elected to “represent” us since the Founders neglected to specifically preclude dropping laser guided bombs it or a Tomahawk missile strike.

Narrow Road of Perception

In my daily interaction with people I come into contact with no less than 25-30 people every day and I have yet to find one who is even aware of the United States being implicated in war crimes in Afghanistan. This is not a Bush thing or a Cheney thing this is Our Thing!  We are a nation with a government “For and by the People” supposedly, and as such the world sees any actions taken by Our government as actions condoned by the American People.

To complicate matters We have allowed Our government to control us through the propaganda network previously described to blind us to the actions Our government is taking in Our names. This is an outrage, it is criminal, and We must put a stop to it NOW!


US Accused of War Crimes in Afghanistan


Thomas Jefferson on the importance of Freedom the Press…

"To preserve the freedom of the human mind... and freedom of the press, every spirit should be ready to devote itself to martyrdom; for as long as we may think as we will and speak as we think, the condition of man will proceed in improvement."

- Thomas Jefferson to William Green Munford, 1799.

"The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them."

- Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787. ME 6:57







Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Zeitgeist Movement

The Zeitgeist Movement

I have been asked by one of my acquaintances to render my opinion on the Zeitgeist Movement. Pursuant to their request I offer the following.

I will not berate anyone who believes in the lofty ideals that this group claims to promote, I question their pragmatism in attaining their idealistic goals. If I had a magic wand that could make things happen as they present them in their videos and literature, I would be inclined to wave it right now. I am no fan of the status quo, but massive, radical universal changes in society seldom if ever results in positive results. I am bereft of even one example in history where a populist Utopian group, which is what the Zeitgeist Movement is, has ever delivered a net positive benefit once their theories are implemented. To the contrary history is rife with examples of  horrificshameful, and grotesque abominations from those who promised heaven on earth.

However, when you come down from the fuzzy emotional high of the Zeitgeist Movement Guide, the Where We Are Now, and the Where We Are Going videos you must soberly ask yourself, "What are the implications of this movement's ethos?" Let’s take a look at just the first four…

1. Conserving all the world's resources as the common heritage of all of the Earth’s people.
How do we define a “resource”? How do we define “conservation”? Who will establish these definitions? How will conflicts be resolved when someone disagrees with these very basic definitions? If I ask 10 people to define these things, I will get 10 different answers. Ants do hive mentality exceptionally well! Humans do not…so well.

2. Transcending all of the artificial boundaries that separate people.
Again the ideal sounds wonderful; it is the implementation that gets messy. Which are “artificial” boundaries and which are “real” boundaries? Are the walls of your home a real boundary? One might say “No, you built that boundary.” While others might argue, “Yes, that wall is the boundary of your privacy to which you are entitled.”

3. Evolving from a monetary-based economy to a resource-based world economy.
This appears to conflict with #1, people spend and waste money like mad even in the most resource destitute nations on earth. Take a look at the Saudi family, the Sultan of Brunei, or the Cali cartel in South America. How do we “conserve” the “common heritage of all the Earth’s people” when those who have ready access to the resources decide they want to “over utilize” the resource taking what belongs collectively to those who have little access to the resource? As an example, fresh water is not equally distributed around the planet. The Great Lakes are a vast wealth of fresh water, how do we ensure that people in sub-Saharan Africa are not cheated of their share?

4. Reclaiming and restoring the natural environment to the best of our ability.

First we must establish that humans are unnatural, otherwise anything that we do becomes by definition natural as well. I think termites are destructive and methodically wreck havoc on forests with machine like precision, but I would be hard pressed to convince anyone that they are unnatural. There is a vast and deep chasm between what constitutes ecologically responsible behavior and Neo-pagan Druidism.

It seems to me that any one of these first four ideals establish the grounds for global warfare more than anything resembling the placid, idyllic future the Zeitgeist Movement envisions. I don’t mean to sound pessimistic about the future of mankind, because I am not. It is said that the wise learn from their mistakes; however I believe that those we revere as brilliant remembered best the lessons of history and choose not to repeat them. The true genius learns from the mistakes of others.
I hear the Zeitgeist Movements’ visionary promises of efficiency, plenty, and equality. I see the Great Leap Forward and at a cost of 30 to 40 million lives.

I hear the Zeitgeist Movements’ call to promises of efficiency, plenty, and equality I see 
the killing fields of Khmer Rouge.
I hear them convincingly explain how they have finally figured out how we as a species can all work together in freedom, peace, and prosperity… after 4.3 million years but how many times have we heard that before? The Sumerian, Macedonia, Egyptians, Persians, Chinese all had, at least for a little while, 
civilizations that were unparalleled and seemed sure bets. Even an illiterate nomadic boy from the steeps of central Asia devised a simple and highly effective plan for making us all one happy family and nearly succeeded. He mounted his horse in the east and as he rode west he (and 200,000 of his best friends) killed the men and impregnate all the women.
One of our species long standing handicaps is that our greatest causes lose sight of their affect. Perhaps, it is hard wired in our genome, maybe it’s our left hemisphere seizing the reigns, or maybe it is easier to become a monster than to confront the suffering you have loosed upon those you only wanted to help.

I have all the respect for Zeitgeist’s ideals, and their bravery for speaking out in a time when so many are apathetic the suffering of their fellow man. I understand their wanting to somehow fix these hapless, hopeless, and sometimes horrific creatures…we…Humanity. We are beyond doubt irrevocably broken at our core, but before they put on the mask and surgical gloves to remove our afflictions… they should remember that far more important than the hope and promise of panacea is the duty to do no harm.
As for myself, I believe that there are other less radical more prudent paths to that bright future we all seek. My paths are not as glamorous as the photos depicting the Movements vision of an ultra-modern archeology society. However, I feel confident that by virtue of being less radical experimental, and theoretical pose a better chance of success and moreover pose less risk that in our tinkering we do not , as Peter Gabriel would say, shock the monkey. We are very fortune, in that we have the ability to change when our survival depends on it. We are cursed because we rarely recognize when extinction is looming at our door. We are fools because we jump to absurd action when Chicken Little shouts, “The sky is falling!” We are noble because as we have strived to lived boldly together on this unique pretty blue sphere, we envision a better place for those who will come after us, and then we will lay our burdens down, we return to the ground from once we rose. Therefore, since my time is short my efforts will focused on tangible returns that produce positive outcomes in the earthly realm of small judiciously chosen battles and leave the grandiose and potentially harmful to the Zeitgeist Movement. However, I wish them well in their bid to create the visionary world of The Jetsons.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hypocrisy is Contagious

“Liberty is the right of every man to be honest, to think and to speak without hypocrisy.”  – Jose Marti

Eight years ago we launched ourselves into two extraordinarily stupid wars with no clear objectives or exit strategies. Despite the best efforts of Congress, the White House, the Department of Defense, and the major media outlets to polish these (pardon my expression) “turds”, the wars continue to carry that signature aroma to which we have all become accustomed for far too long. These unpleasantries I expect as par for the quality of individual we elect to lurk about Washington D.C.,  but what has taken me completely by surprise is that everyone seems to have forgot that these things stunk to high heaven from the start. 
Many of us knew it but acted upon what we saw as our patriotic duty to support the troops, as misguided as it is.  Others, still reeling from the attacks of September 11, may have harbored misdirected frustration (coupled with a weak grasp of geography) and assumed the warsantiwar were just wars being retaliatory in nature. 
However, I also remember boisterous protests all over the world and in my own little corner of the globe, being Seattle. The suburb of Lake Forest Park had at  least weekly protest converge at the intersection of Bothell Way (Rte. 522) and Ballenger Way. Attended by 15 to 20 rambunctious idealists getting the message out that these were illegal wars, the machinations of Bush family insiders out to make a few bucks, or just plain old imperialism. Similar protests were fairly common in Seattle’s Pioneer Square or other neighborhood venues. 
However; there were no more protests anywhere the instant Bush left office and Obama moved into the White House. If the war was illegal before January 20, 2009, what made it less so the following morning? The conflict surely did not gain legality by virtue of who occupied a single public housing unit. Did Imperialism swing back into fashion? Did we make vital changes to ensure that the “correct people” were getting the loot from the military contracts now instead of Bush’s buddies? 
Defense Secretary Robert Gates was appointed by Bush after Donald Rumsfeld fell from favor in 2006, and is currently retained by Obama as head honcho of our armed forces occupying both Iraq and Afghanistan. What is the deal?
We are still in Iraq eight years after invading a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11, harbored no weapons of mass destruction, and who’s people have had about as much of our Freedom that they can stomach. 
The good news is the “insurgents” are attacking with far less frequency due to our military's efficient efforts.  The bad news is we have worn out our welcome, assuming we had one in the first place, long ago. Our epic and colossal failure to provide nearly everything we promised the Iraqi people prior to the invasion (with the exception of getting rid if Saddam) thus far may have something to do with this souring relationship. Basic infrastructure such as transportation and utility conditions such as clean water in Baghdad, which are by far the best in the country, are nearly unlivable for the average Iraqi. Many roads are cut off by blast walls six meter tall that have transformed neighborhoods and thoroughfares into a maze tiny box canyons supposedly “protect the residents” from the adjacent prison yard communities. Is it any wonder that the Iraqi’s are handing us our hats, wishing us well, and holding the door open for us to leave? Is it any wonder that the opposition our forces are facing are increasingly the Iraqi people themselves? 
I can find no evidence that our overall policies in Iraq have changed with the new Administration, barring a significant decrease in the abuse of prisoners being detained by United States forces thanks to scandalous headlines more than good administration or oversight. As a veteran myself, I know that there were protocols and procedures to be followed like everything else in the military. If the impossible happened and the soldiers guarding the prisoners had neither theater specific protocols and procedures to guide their conduct, then the protocols of the Geneva Convention are the guide. Had these stalwart standards well known to every American soldier been applied with a modicum of common sense and maybe a shred or two of basic human decency, then the abuse never would have happened. 
At the risk of belaboring this point, wasn’t the abuse of prisoners by Saddam one of the primary “reasons” we cited to justify our invading Iraq in the first place? 

Still, not a single protest from anyone who was so ardently dedicated to saving lives by standing up, doing the right thing even if it was unpopular! I remember one of the protesters telling me that “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” a couple years ago, so where is their patriotism meter hovering now? A better question might be, where the hell are they? 
Was the Anti-war movement wrapping itself in the flag and punctuated by quotes from the Founder Fathers just another ploy of party politics being played out on the public stage? It sure seems that way to me. However I think the real problem is that ”Hypocrisy is Contagious“ both parties are acutely infected by it perhaps in different ways but just as terminally contaminated and it’s time to put both of them under strict quarantine before they spread the infection any further.

Please watch the following video and ask yourself:
  1. What were our grounds for pursuing this conflict?
  2. Have those grounds been proven legitimate?
  3. What was our stated objectives in the beginning of this conflict?
  4. Have those objectives been achieved or within reach?
  5. Where are we now in the scale between benevolent liberator and malevolent invader?
  6. How did we get to this point? 

Happy Birthday America!

…now please try to remember who you are.

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