You can also watch the Top 10 TED talks highlights video.
Monday, June 30, 2008
You have to work on yourself before you can really get anywhere. No one can do it for you. The magical codex and the dimensional escape hatch remain firmly out of reach for now. The flame will burn those who are unable to hold it safely in their hands. The universe insists, most adamantly, that we learn how to do it all by ourselves. Gnosis, spiritual attainment, esoteric wisdom. Whatever you want to call it. No cheating, no looking at your friend's paper, no plagiarising - you must do your own thing in your own way. Otherwise, we are compelled to repeat the same tests over and over again, through multiple lifetimes, until we finally figure it out. So you have to do the homework. Sharpen your blade. Keep moving. Fortunately, there is no time limit and everyone’s ascendant path is custom-built for their own unique growth pattern. Spiritually, it’s a win-win situation.
To help penetrate the all-pervading mists of the illusion, one must first acknowledge that consciousness is not the accidental and purposeless by-product of the human condition. The perceived world that we appear to be locked inside, like the silver ball in a pinball machine, is wholly a construct of consciousness. The pinball constructs the machine around itself. Whilst a testing notion for even the most elastic of modern philosophical minds, it has been known for aeons by the ancient mystical traditions and experienced directly by the indigenous shamanic cultures of every continent. Now, it is being evoked again as a progressive scientific theory in quantum physics. It is not new information we are bringing to mind, not by any means. It is better described as a remembrance.
Consciousness is a transcendental music with which we can attune, conduct and create. The spiritually synchronized mind instinctively discerns this. Consciousness flows through all things. It follows that consciousness itself does not originate in the brain of the individual. It is at root, a non-local force. The quantum and holographic traces of this have been unfolding for some time now, most intriguingly in the works of Gebser, Bohm, Pribram and Laszlo. The personal experience of consciousness is better conceived of as a tunnel, or an uplink, to the akashic field (aka the universal field, vacuum field, noosphere etc) which is dynamically connected to everything and everywhere. Perhaps the field is composed of the same subspace luminous filaments that Castaneda’s mythical figure of Don Juan spoke of so enigmatically; these being the fractal structures of consciousness itself, elaborately extending themselves across the multiverse, articulating every conceivable resolution. Our thoughts, feelings and articulations are unique expressions [configurations] of the field. Our imaginal thoughtforms sculpt its physical and psychic manifestations.
Subspace And Not-Thinking
Consciousness operates in a field which is not bound by the restrictions of third density conditions (time & space). Consequently, it may seamlessly reach into higher dimensions/fractal resolutions and potentially innumerable parallel universes, as indicated in superstring theory and m-theory. This is how telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance and similar extra sensory perception phenomena function, by jumping into the subspace field and observing any point along it, instantly and completely. Travel without movement. The coherence vector or signal quality is the difference between a faint intuition of something (I think my Aunty Barbara might call this evening) and a full-on vision (a 25ft meteorite will land in my back garden tomorrow at 9:45am and destroy the lawnmower). To maximize signal fidelity, to get the most accurate information, the mind must be trained to quieten the perpetual internal dialogue, the chatter of the brain.
Thinking is brain churn. Knowing is field connection. Whilst deductive reasoning is practical for information processing, it can stand in the way of the coherent field connection necessary to attain wisdom. Many deep mystical experiences encountered in different planes of consciousness are so state specific that they cannot easily be brought back into the third density for adequate expression using the modern linguistic symbol set. Articulation is not always necessary for total comprehension. Standard ‘remote viewing’ technique (the psychic ability to gather information about a distant or unseen target) teaches the student not to think. The collective consciousness within the field knows everything already. It can communicate any information about anything right into your head at supraluminal speeds. So why are some able to remote view and others not? Impulsive brain chatter obscures the incoming data, like static on a TV screen. We need to learn to step out of the way. Meditation brings insight into the thinking process, helping to smooth it out and sometimes stop it altogether, allowing deeper perceptions to be received. Toltec shamanism teaches the apprentice the procedure of ‘stopping the world’ as a means of placing false egoic thinking aside in order to perceive the world shamanically, or if you prefer, to establish a stable uplink to the field.
Interfacing with reality is more instructive than purely theorizing about it. We have long since reached the saturation point of the narrow scientific method with its reliance on separation, measurement and reductionism. Such materialist inferences, no matter how scrupulous, are at odds with the holistic multidisciplinary attitude required for actual conscious evolution. They only obstruct efforts to perceive beyond the particulate cloak of Maya. The primacy of felt experience is consistently more edifying and meaningful than the smug abstractions of ‘scientism’ (the belief that scientific principles are essential to all other disciplines, including philosophical, mystical, spiritual and humanist interpretations of life). The Control System sponsors scientism by overexposing various trenchant physicists, atheists and parapsychologists who all exhibit some form of spiritual devolution. As smart and kooky as some of them are, they lack the psychic integrity and spiritual humility that is so palpable in those who truly walk the path.
Small Is Beautiful
Far from being the exotic anthropological oddity it was once depicted as, shamanism is the original spiritual experience of all indigenous peoples. Present in the savannas of Africa, the jungles of the Amazon, the plains of America, the mountains of Asia and the forests of Europe, shamanism was an integral mystical practice of deep esoteric and spiritual importance to both individuals and communities. Thus it remained, organically ascendant, up until a few thousand years ago when the personal, sovereign right to a spiritual connection with the divine was removed from daily life. This was achieved by hijacking and co-opting all systems of transcendence into the dark canopy of organized religion. The fake priesthood. They took what they liked, pruned the liberating and inspiring bits and threw the rest away. Anyone who sought to practice their own mysticism or dared to resurrect the old ways was executed. Many such religious crusades were prosecuted against ancient spiritual and shamanic practices, campaigns that today would fall under the technical terminology of genocide.
If you trace the origins of the major monotheistic organized religions back far enough, it becomes clear that they were never designed to help the individual grow and develop. They were there to control land, dictate moral and social norms and separate the common man from his divine heritage. Higher consciousness, personal freedom and spiritual communion, far from being the core elements of their basic mystical teachings, were concepts firmly discouraged by the various priest castes. In their place, the disempowering qualities of submission, victimhood, repression and guilt became the preferred tenets of worshipful compliance.
Most who walk the path have long since discarded the unnecessary restraints of organized religion. There are many good people who still operate within the conventions and structures of Christianity, in particular, and that is of course, their prerogative. However, it doesn’t take much research into alternative history and the ancient indigenous chronicles to discover that the sacred texts that form the backbone of today’s megareligions are merely distorted versions of much earlier and authentic methods of spiritual practice. Despite the artful stage-managed resurgence of religious fundamentalism in both the east and west, the crude pious repressions of the Control System are beginning to lose their grip. People are realizing that they can anoint themselves as their own special representative on earth (who else could they be?) and their own personal channel to the holy spirit.
In ‘The Art Of Dreaming’, Carlos Castaneda wrote, "Don Juan contended that our world, which we believe to be unique and absolute, is only one in a cluster of consecutive worlds, arranged like the layers of an onion. He asserted that even though we have been energetically conditioned to perceive solely our world, we still have the capability of entering into those other realms, which are as real, unique, absolute and engulfing as our own world is. Believing that our energetic conditioning is correctable, don Juan stated that sorcerers of ancient times developed a set of practices designed to recondition our energetic capabilities to perceive. They called this set of practices the art of dreaming." When I first read that in 1994, two things sprang to mind. (i) How don Juan was absolutely spot on, and (ii) rather fittingly, how the process of unfolding the onion layers of reality can indeed bring tears to your eyes.
The ‘cluster of consecutive worlds’ is a fractal model. The essential pattern of creation is encoded into everything, all the way down the line, from galaxies to cauliflowers. It helps to examine fractal formations in nature to properly appreciate their properties. I have collated some useful illustrations of fractal geometry in the attached picture (click for large version).
The geometry and mathematics of fractal forms has been studied since the 17th century (in modern history that is) but their complexity and infinite recursive depth made progress slow. The arrival of computers in the 1970’s made things much simpler. Rapid processing, sophisticated graphics and software modelling enabled researchers to explore the depth of fractals to a level never seen before. Researchers categorize fractal generation into three different classes: (1) Escape-time Fractals; Mandelbrot set, Julia set, Nova fractal, (2) Iterated Function Systems; Cantor set, Koch snowflake, Sierpinski carpet and (3) Random Fractals. In random fractals, we see dendritic fractals demonstrate the fundamental natural property of diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA). DLA is best illustrated in the physical manifestations of fern growth, ice crystals, tree branch growth and electrical discharges. See the aforementioned montage image for examples.
Observing the nautilus shell, we encounter the living embodiment of the Fibonacci sequence of numbers 0 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 144 233 377 610 987 1597 2584 4181 6765. So important to sacred geometry, Egyptology and the ancient mystery cults. For those who may have discarded their high school mathematics (understandably in most cases), the Fibonacci sequence establishes the first number as 0 and the second number as 1. Each subsequent number is equal to the sum of the previous two numbers.
The sequence presents itself in nature in the branching of trees, the structure of pineapples, artichoke flowering, uncurling ferns, the arrangement of pine cones and the spiralling florets in the head of a sunflower (see image). Stunningly beautiful.
The recursive, self-iterative nature of fractals, clearly visible in the Mandelbrot and Koch snowflake, begin to speak to the higher consciousness and express some of the underlying structures of reality. The fractal holography of the universe imprints the design of itself into each individual component, each creative lego brick. All elements are coded with the entire universal design project. The ancient druidic respect for the oak tree and the acorn were symbols of this core understanding. As then, so now, such meditations lead to a fuller comprehension of the sacred mysteries of creation. Our art is to project into higher and deeper resolutions of the fractal spiral, gathering gnosis and wisdom as spiritual gravitation compels the ascendant homeward journey.
Our life is the journey. We illustrate it with our unique and miraculous stories. Our learning helps to improve the coherence and the elegance of the fractal. Our capacity for consciousness determines how deep we can go. I sense that each lifetime, each self, each frequency of being, emanates fractally from a larger, grander structure, from where our higher self guides us and loves us. Perhaps even these ultra conscious entities are expressions of an even more sublime intelligence. Gazing at the head of the sunflower, it certainly feels that way.
First illustration, “Oversoul” by Alex Grey
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Sección 22, the radical Oaxacan section of the Latin American education workers' union Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores en la Educación (SNTE), has finally signed deals with both the SNTE hierarchy and Oaxacan local government. However, the strike will continue until this weekend.
The strike (previously reported on Libcom here and here), a contrast of almost blanket support from union members and almost blanket condemnation from the rest of the state, will however continue until this Sunday, five days longer than originally planned, and today, another regional section took over the maintenance of the plantón (encampment) in Ciudad de Oaxaca's main plaza.
The SNTE executive bowed to the Oaxacan local's demands of new union elections within the state this coming September, a core demand of the strike in the context of the national union leadership's breaking of the 2006 strike in Oaxaca in the midst of a statewide revolt. In order to undermine the authority of Sección 22, the SNTE went as far as to form a rival local in Oaxaca, Sección 59. The hierarchy also agreed to hitherto return to them 90% of their dues
While the local government acceeded to the majority of their demands, the most immediately impressive of which being the (supposed) release of "all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Oaxaca and the cancellation of all arrest orders on movement members". The government claims this has been enacted in the form of their discontinued interest in some 250 individuals, but even a cursory glance at the track record of law enforcement agencies within the state creates doubts about their sincerity.
Also within the agreement is an undertaking by the local government to do the following:
-$500 million pesos' (around £24.5 million) investment in infrastructure and equipment for Oaxacan schools, including new kitchens and provisions to provide school breakfasts (school starts and finishes early in Mexico), new uniforms, shoes, amongst other things
-the return to Sección 22 of 108 schools "occupied" by Sección 59 (or rather, "a committee to oversee the regularisation of services in schools affected by conflict")
-an increase in the annual compensation of teachers for their personal contributions to the maintenance of school supplies
-an increase in the number of state scholarships for sons of education workers
-an increase in funding for programmes for homeless children and orphans
-more investment in medical centres in rural areas
-more availability of loans and accommodation for education workers (government programmes often offer both to young state workers in order to keep public services [nearly] afloat)
-the recognition of Sección 22 as the sole representation of Oaxacan state education workers (as opposed to Sección 59)
Most of the budget increases will be at a lower rate than the strikers demanded, according to the common practice of barter in industrial disputes. The local's demands of the removal of Ulises Ruíz Ortíz, the incredibly unpopular state governor, and the shelving of the ISSSTE law (which intends to break up state pensions provisions) were also unsurprisingly successful.
However, the striking workers have won a great many gains in their workplace, and have once again demonstrated to their critics - who claim that their annual strike damages the education of their pupils - that industrial action is the only way to improve their working conditions. Moreover, the fractured Sección 59, whose leader today was forced to deny that its members have struck at all, now sound somewhat irrelevant in their pious proclamations about "being concerned with the children's quality of education".
Now talk moves onto the future of this unstable, poor and desperately unhappy region, and a propaganda campaign has started in earnest against Sección 22 in the wake of their forcing of the local authority's hands. One prominent local government minister told journalists that the agreement demonstrates that Sección 22 "will never have to strike again", in an attempt to jettison the almost 30 year old tradition of a yearly work stoppage.
Meanwhile the local itself is accused of corruption, with the disappearance of $5 million pesos (around £245,000) of money set aside by the union for reconstruction work in the main plaza of Ciudad de Oaxaca following the unrest of 2006.
Although Mexico’s contribution to social-movement murals is well documented, much less is known about Mexico’s activist graphic arts history. Leopoldo Méndez (1902-1969) was a printmaker and activist in numerous political and artistic groups, but he reached his incandescent peak as founding member and de-facto leader of the Taller de Gráfica Popular (variously translated as Popular Graphic Arts Workshop or People’s Graphic Art Workshop, TGP). It is a resounding tragedy that the TGP, one of the most significant loci of mid-20th century social movement printmaking, is virtually unknown in the United States. This is only partly explained by the usual disability of Anglocentrism; the deeper roots have to do with academia’s discomfort with political activism and with the general lack of scholarship in this country about political printmaking. Deborah Caplow’s excellent book goes a long way toward informing us about the explosive combination of art, artists, politics, and printmaking in Mexico during the mid-1900s. More than any previous work, Caplow’s book explains Méndez in the context of his time, analyzed through the organizations in which he participated and the other artists with whom he collaborated. By Lincoln Cushing, Art Historian
Review of a book by: Deborah Caplow, Leopoldo Méndez: Revolutionary Art and the Mexican Print. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2007.
Although Mexico’s contribution to social-movement murals is well documented, much less is known about Mexico’s activist graphic arts history. Leopoldo Méndez (1902-1969) was a printmaker and activist in numerous political and artistic groups, but he reached his incandescent peak as founding member and de-facto leader of the Taller de Gráfica Popular (variously translated as Popular Graphic Arts Workshop or People’s Graphic Art Workshop, TGP). It is a resounding tragedy that the TGP, one of the most significant loci of mid-20th century social movement printmaking, is virtually unknown in the United States. This is only partly explained by the usual disability of Anglocentrism; the deeper roots have to do with academia’s discomfort with political activism and with the general lack of scholarship in this country about political printmaking. Deborah Caplow’s excellent book goes a long way toward informing us about the explosive combination of art, artists, politics, and printmaking in Mexico during the mid-1900s. More than any previous work, Caplow’s book explains Méndez in the context of his time, analyzed through the organizations in which he participated and the other artists with whom he collaborated.
Mexico has a long history of printmaking in the service of social change, largely credited to the seminal work of José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913), who was a printmaker and social critic during the Mexican Revolution. The TGP was founded in late 1937 after the collapse of the four-year-old Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios (LEAR, Revolutionary Writers’ and Artists’ League). It brought together a dedicated cadre of political activists who happened to express themselves as printmakers. They worked collaboratively, issued editions as both fine-art prints for raising funds and free or cheap street posters for propaganda, and engaged in strategic acts of support for progressive candidates and issues. Although they occasionally generated lithographs, screenprints, and other media, their trademark expression was through linocuts –one or two color relief prints created from hand cut linoleum mounted on blocks. Prints were generally single sheet items, although some works are quite large for this medium (35 x 90 cm) and some were printed as two sheets and pasted together into one large poster.
A Contra Corriente (article originally published in this journal)
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The California Highway Patrol arrested six anti-war activists at a demonstration opposing the war in Iraq today about 12:15 p.m. at the State Capitol near Governor Schwarzenegger's office.VERY URGENT NEWS ADVISORY Thursday, June 26, 2008 Contact: Paulette Cuilla 916/956-8678 or Maggie Coulter 916/456-1420 **NOTE: Video of arrests available via an independent videographer** SIX ARRESTED in front of SCHWARZENEGGER'S OFFICE DURING ANTI-WAR PROTEST TODAY SACRAMENTO – Six people were arrested at a demonstration opposing the war in Iraq TODAY/THURSDAY about 12:15 p.m. at the State Capitol near Gov. Schwarzenegger's office. The California Highway Patrol charged the activists with several misdemeanors, including allegedly demonstrating without a permit and illegally entering the Capitol, and released them. The demonstrators have a July 23 court date. The arrests took place following a "Freeze-In for Peace," where about two dozen people participated in a demonstration that required them to freeze in place for five minutes. Similar "freeze-in" actions for peace are popping up all over the country. "This is absolutely linked the budget deficit mess in California. Our share of the war in Iraq is $67 billion," said Maggie Coulter, one of those arrested. "In fact, just spending the money for these officers to arrest peaceful demonstrators doing little more than what happens in a legislative hearing is also a waste of taxpayers' money," she added.
Catching up with Evo Morales in Bolivia...
HITTING BERKELEY JULY 15, 2008: WORLD CAN'T WAIT youth activists Rock the Boat! World Can't Wait youth organizers are heading to Berkeley, CA to make this a summer of resistance by creating such an intense orange uprising that it will reverberate across the nation! Working collectively with other young people committed to repudiating the Bush program, they will contribute to reshaping the political landscape by focusing on making breakthroughs in stopping the military recruiters and working to fire, disbar and prosecute John Yoo, infamous author of the "torture memos". These summer plans are a crucial part of forging a new generation of leaders that refuse to be bound by "the politics of the possible" and mobilizing others to bring to a halt the whole Bush program that is still setting the terms for official politics today. More on the project This summer, with your financial support, World Can't Wait youth activists will work on making clear: the Bush Regime or any other administration has no right to recruit, invade and occupy. They are wrong to torture, justify it, and lie about it. Several youth are ready to go make history. Your generous contribution today will make it happen! Jamilah Hoffman has lived in Texas her entire life though she now considers herself to be a citizen of the world. It was Hurricane Katrina and the Bush regime's criminal actions which caused her to question the role of government in the lives of its people. Jamilah asked herself at the time, "What's the point of having a government if they can't rescue people from their roofs?" After hearing an ad on Air America Radio about World Can't Wait and mobilizing for November 2, 2005, Jamilah has been active with the Houston chapter of World Can't Wait and focusing on the youth of her community.
Whether it's sleeping in the median of a street in a New Orleans housing project, fighting dehydration at the Coachella Valley Music Festival, or walking the dusty streets of Jackson, Mississippi, Jamilah wants to be active in the struggle to rid the world of the disaster of the Bush regime. She'll be attending The University of Houston this fall where she will be working on a double major in Spanish and Journalism. Meet some others of the youth activists up for adoption! When you adopt an activist you will receive personal updates and photos from the youth organizers.
Debra Sweet, Director, The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime
What the Government Knows About Cannabis and Cancer – and Isn't Telling You
Senator Ted Kennedy is putting forward a brave face following his recent surgery but the sad reality remains. Even with successful surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy treatment, gliomas – a highly aggressive form of brain cancer that strikes approximately 10,000 Americans annually – tragically claim the lives of 75 percent of its victims within two years and virtually all within five years.
But what if there was an alternative treatment for gliomas that could selectively target the cancer while leaving healthy cells intact? And what if federal bureaucrats were aware of this treatment, but deliberately withheld this information from the public?
Sadly, the questions posed above are not entirely hypothetical. Let me explain.
In 2007, I reviewed over 150 published preclinical and clinical studies assessing the therapeutic potential of marijuana and several of its active compounds, known as cannabinoids. I summarized these numerous studies in a book, now in its third edition, entitled Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids: A Review of the Scientific Literature. (NORML Foundation, 2008) One chapter in this book, which summarized the findings of more than 30 separate trials and literature reviews, was dedicated to the use of cannabinoids as potential anti-cancer agents, particularly in the treatment of gliomas.
Not familiar with this scientific research? Your government is.
In fact, the first experiment documenting pot's potent anti-cancer effects took place in 1974 at the Medical College of Virginia at the behest federal bureaucrats. The results of that study, reported in an Aug. 18, 1974, Washington Post newspaper feature, were that marijuana's primary psychoactive component, THC, "slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent."
Despite these favorable preliminary findings (eventually published the following year in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute), U.S. government officials refused to authorize any follow-up research until conducting a similar – though secret – preclinical trial in the mid-1990s. That study, conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program to the tune of $2 million, concluded that mice and rats administered high doses of THC over long periods had greater protection against malignant tumors than untreated controls.
However, rather than publicize their findings, the U.S. government shelved the results, which only became public after a draft copy of its findings were leaked to the medical journal AIDS Treatment News, which in turn forwarded the story to the national media.
In the years since the completion of the National Toxicology trial, the U.S. government has yet to authorize a single additional study examining the drug's potential anti-cancer properties. (Federal permission is necessary in order to conduct clinical research on marijuana because of its illegal status as a schedule I controlled substance.)
Fortunately, in the past 10 years scientists overseas have generously picked up where U.S. researchers so abruptly left off, reporting that cannabinoids can halt the spread of numerous cancer cells – including prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and brain cancer. (An excellent paper summarizing much of this research, "Cannabinoids for Cancer Treatment: Progress and Promise," appears in the January 2008 edition of the journal Cancer Research.) A 2006 patient trial published in the British Journal of Cancer even reported that the intracranial administration of THC was associated with reduced tumor cell proliferation in humans with advanced glioblastoma.
Writing earlier this year in the scientific journal Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, Italian researchers reiterated, "(C)annabinoids have displayed a great potency in reducing glioma tumor growth. (They) appear to be selective antitumoral agents as they kill glioma cells without affecting the viability of nontransformed counterparts." Not one mainstream media outlet reported their findings. Perhaps now they'll pay better attention.
What possible advancements in the treatment of cancer may have been achieved over the past 34 years had U.S. government officials chosen to advance – rather than suppress – clinical research into the anti-cancer effects of cannabis? It's a shame we have to speculate; it's even more tragic that the families of Senator Kennedy and thousands of others must suffer while we do.
June 26, 2008
Paul Armentano [send him mail] is the senior policy analyst for NORML and the NORML Foundation in Washington, DC. He is the author of "Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids: A Review of the Scientific Literature" (2007, NORML Foundation).
[Thanks to Annette for this link]
George Orwell's famous 1938 account of the Spanish Revolution and Civil War, from his point of view as a volunteer in the POUM militia. Though the POUM were socialists, he wrote "as far as my purely personal preferences went I would have liked to join the Anarchists." His vivid descriptions of classless anarchist Barcelona following the revolution and terrorised Stalinist Barcelona after the counter-revolution are a timeless reminder that a 'revolutionary state' is a contradiction in terms. Chapter 01 Chapter 02 Chapter 03 Chapter 04 Chapter 05 Chapter 06 Chapter 07 Chapter 08 Chapter 09 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14
I distinctly remembered that Bush said something back during his first presidential campaign about leaving medical marijuana laws up to the states. After Clinton's horrendous crackdowns in California, I recall thinking Bush's stance on this, along with his "humble" foreign policy promises, was a reason I quietly rooted for him against Gore. I imagined on civil liberties and war, as well as economics, he'd be slightly less bad. And here it is,in Washington Post article from 1999: "Campaigning in Seattle on Saturday, Bush answered questions about medical marijuana laws by saying, 'I believe each state can choose that decision as they so choose.'"
Of course, we know President Bush has raided marijuana dispensaries in violation of the 10th Amendment. While I do believe federalism is an improvement, and the correct Constitutional position on these issues, I must admit I am somewhat more skeptical of "states rights" conservatives than I used to be – they almost always end up favoring centralizing power in the end, whether we're talking about some of the anti-Union hypocrites who sought federal protection of slavery and then centralism within the Confederacy, or today's politicians who never seem to apply federalism consistently, especially once they have federal power.
(I do still believe anarchism and libertarianism generally imply decentralism, however, but libertarian decentralists tend to be much sounder all around, including on federalism, than conservative decentralists.)
“Simply one of the many biocidal glories of NAFTA…not long after American companies started plopping their most toxic operations just across the border to capitalize on such as lax Mexican environmental laws, a shocking spike in the number of babies born without a brain (anencephalic) became a legacy of the massive industrial pollution.”
By Rand Clifford
Bodies of evidence by the millions make the dumbing-down of Americans the most successful federal program of all time…. Not that a great challenge has been surmounted, nor much of a fight put up, nor any bounds of day-to-day comfort grossly exceeded; insidious is the motif. With shrewd play on human emotion—especially and always fear—people can be manipulated into consistently acting against their best interests, for the best interests of money-hung manipulators. By and large, the dumbed-down believe outrageous lies that defy all evidence if the lies are packaged and repeated appropriately. The official story of 9/11 for example, or its diabolical spawn, the war on terror—would these have any chance at all in a nation of alert and thoughtful people?
America propaganda…into the bouillabaisse of lies, stir in well-crafted bogeymen, along with heaping portions of distraction, envy, selfishness—and double-up on aversion to being different (who wants to be “the turd in the punch bowl” by controverting what we are officially supposed to believe?) In such a context, the term stemmer transcends sheer comic relief, into a realm of sobering relevance threatening to become terminal.
A man called Whizzer in the novel CASTLING, first published in 1995, identifies stemmers as a blight metastasizing among the American people under careful nurture at highest levels of government. A self-described Professor of Social Science, Whizzer deliciously merges charisma with science, employing experiments in human behavior to prove his theories.
Many people keen to America’s profound intelligence deficit cling to solid theories of a chemical dumbing-down…from fluoridation of public water supplies, to aerial spraying (chemtrails), to ubiquitous bisphenol-A plastics, to heavy metal contamination, to the enormous prevalence in our foods of neurotoxins such as MSG (in its many nefarious manifestations), and aspartame, on and on…. But, Whizzer’s extensive research supports his theory of atrophy…the simple, “use it—or lose it”. His theory of stemmers:
“It all has to do with how much of your brain is functioning,” he insists. “Scientific evidence is very clear that about all you really need to survive is a brain stem…your reptile brain.”
Whizzer’s research into stemmers grew from babies born without a brain down along the Rio Grande, such as in Brownsville, Texas. Simply one of the many biocidal glories of NAFTA…not long after American companies started plopping their most toxic operations just across the border to capitalize on such as lax Mexican environmental laws, a shocking spike in the number of babies born without a brain (anencephalic) became a legacy of the massive industrial pollution. Some of the babies born with only a brain stem are still able to live indefinitely with proper care. Enter Whizzer’s trademark comic relief: “But then again,” he says, “maybe nature’s just saying ‘Hey, you wouldn’t use the thing anyway. You’d be better off not lugging around all that waterlogged tissue.’ Yep, looks to me like the hand of evolution at work. Maybe we’re seeing the emergence of a new subspecies. Homo Sapiens Americanus Sans Cerebrum.” Note: Whizzer’s penchant for humor never fouls his fundamental science; his strict adherence to the scientific method puts to shame anything we now must categorize as “Bush science”, or, The Official Stuff. (Please see: Only One kind of science http://www.starchiefpress.com/articles/article05.html).
At a huge kegger wrapping up an annual tournament involving American and Canadian softball teams, Whizzer delivers a monologue regarding stemmers that captivates the crowd (he also uses “The Party” to run a key experiment to expose major differences in “gut-reaction” aggression between Canadians, and Americans; except for the border, these people are virtual neighbors).
Basics of Whizzer’s stemmer theory, in his own words: “The Rio Grande is a sewer and toxic cauldron. But that’s not the point. The point is a lot of babies born nearby have only a brain stem, but they can survive, sometimes for years and years…. Yeah, way way back, millions of years before they invented Canadian bacon or 4X4s, our ancestors had little more than a brain stem. The reptile brain. Over the years, cerebral cortex grew on top of the stem ‘cause they started puttin’ together a lot of abstract thoughts, and figuring out how to make life less of a bugger…how to get a little comfort. They worked hell outa those brains and like a muscle the brains kept growing and growing…. And that’s why now we lug around these big bone casings we call skulls—to protect all that brain mass we inherited. Well, down at the heart of all that grey matter lies the ol’ brain stem—all anyone really needs to survive. With it you can still eat, drink, sleep, reproduce, and fight…which brings us to my theory…. The human brain has stopped evolving. The human brain is currently devolving back toward stemhood, and fast. Proliferation of consumerism, of gadgets and celebrities, spectator sports and lottery, television, mega-religion, fast food, smart bombs, drive-by violence, main stream propaganda and the coolness of being stupid, just to name a few—they’re causing the bulk of Americans to slough their brains. Who needs all that gray matter? Around here we call those obviously running on little or no more than brain stem…we call them stemmers. Basically, they’re lizards in sheep’s clothing….”
In Part II: Stemmers, and the future of The American Experiment. Bilderberg, The Council On Foreign Relations, The Trilateral Commission…with the Nation so poised for martial law to usher in the New World Order, is there even time to identify America’s intellectual nadir for public evaluation of solutions, or will “My Pet Goat” herald our oblivion after all?
Rand Clifford is a writer living in Spokane, Washington, with his wife Mary Ann, and their Chesapeake Bay retriever, Mink. Rand’s novels CASTLING, TIMING, VOICES OF VIRES, and PRIEST LAKE CATHEDRAL are published by StarChief Press: http://www.starchiefpress.com
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